Doula's Own Birth Story of Success After Infertility & Complications At Home

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Emmerson Henry’s Birth Story

We knew from our experience trying to conceive Jameson we would have to seek medical assistance again. LRMCs policy is you have to try for a year before they will help. We started trying right away after Jameson was born knowing it would take awhile and we wanted the kids to be close in age. At the end of April, Wes left for a deployment and wouldn’t return again until the end of November. We picked up right where we left off since “deployment babies” are a real thing. Unfortunately we were still not successful so we decided to seek medical assistance. I knew exactly what I needed so there was no fighting them this time. They found I wasn’t ovulating so I had to start the weaning process. I slowly cut back how many times I breastfed Jameson throughout the day until we reached the magic number (am & pm feeding) that would bring back ovulation. I did 5 rounds of Clomid and had every side effect in the book. My OB decided since we were getting ready to move to Texas and I wouldn’t have anyone to monitor me, that would be our last round.

Although we really wanted the Clomid to work, and the kids were only getting older, making the age gap bigger, I was glad to take a break. All the side effects from the Clomid made me feel awful. I was an angry ball of emotions and with my anxiety on top of that, it was ugly. I wanted to yell, or cry, all the time, there was no in between. Taking a break was just what I needed. I had even told Wes that when were ready to try for #4, I would prefer to just try without being on medications because I couldn’t do this again. So that’s what we agreed on for when the time is right to try again.

The beginning of November we flew to Texas to buy a car and our house. Wes would have to be back in Germany in 10 days to finish out processing and bring Sister (our dog) back to Texas with him. The kids and I drove back to CA with my dad to spend Thanksgiving with family. I had brought my favorite pair of jeans with me and at one point I gave them to my sister because I couldn’t button them anymore. I was assuming it was just all the stress and American food I had been eating making me fat. Jameson was still nursing maybe once a day at this point, usually in the morning because I was so exhausted and it was something that would give me an extra 30 minutes of sleep. One morning he crawled into bed with me to nurse, and made and awful gagging sound and told me “this is nasty milk, I no like it.” That was the end of our 22 months of breastfeeding.

Wes’ mom and I made the drive back to Texas right after Thanksgiving to meet Wes. I was more tired than normal but decided it was probably from all the stress and moving through so many time zones over such a short period. Every time we passed a Starbucks I was getting a coffee and every time we filled the car up with gas, I was getting 2 Monster energy drinks. At one point I told Stacy “you watch this is going to be the month I got pregnant and this kid is going to come out on a caffeine high.” We laughed and she said not to get my hopes up. Once we got back to San Antonio, and got settled in the hotel, we decided to go get a few things, important things, like shampoo and margarita mix, at Walmart because after 26 hours in a car with 2 kids, margarita mix is important. As we stood there staring at the margarita mix, I figured it was a good idea to grab a pregnancy test since I was a few days late.

We get back to the hotel and I immediately go hide in the bathroom with my tests. We weren’t telling Maddy yet just in case it was negative so I had to be quick about it. I peed on this stick and it immediately revealed I was pregnant. I yelled out “SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!” And Stacy yelled back “IT IS SHUT” and I said “No! Shut the front door!” She came in and I shoved the stick at her and she laughed. Because what perfect timing, or something. We were homeless, living in a hotel for who knows how much longer, in a new city, with a car we just bought that wasn’t going to work anymore because now we needed something bigger.

I was planning to tell Wes when he got in later that night but the airlines stuff got screwed up and he ended up having to drive from BWI because of Sister. When he called to tell me what was going on, I said to him “so the car we just bought, isn’t going to fit us for long.” It took him a minute but he figured it out. Although exhausted from his travels and fighting with the airlines, he was excited.

It didn’t sink in that I was really pregnant for a few hours. I remember going back to look at the test thinking it wasn’t real. I did decide to take another test the next morning. It was still positive. The feeling of excitement was mixed with the feeling of fear. As hard as we tried and as much as I wanted to be pregnant, I was terrified I would have a repeat of Jameson’s birth. I knew I had to make sure that didn’t happen to me, to us, again.

We announced officially about a week later. I was roughly 6 weeks pregnant. We ended up driving to Oklahoma for a few days until the final paperwork to our house was ready to be signed. While we were there, I started having really bad lower back pain. One morning I ended up in so much pain I couldn’t move without crying. We went to the Emergency Room and since I had no confirmation of my pregnancy other than two home tests, they did an ultrasound. The Dr in the ER kept looking and looking and said that he wasn’t finding anything. I was holding my breath the entire time. He finally said that he saw something but it wasn’t an 8 week old fetus. Of course I was imagining the worst, that the baby stopped growing and I was miscarrying. He ordered some blood work and another ultrasound with the actual ultrasound clinic.

When the ultrasound tech came and got me, I was on the verge of tears and shaking, I couldn’t get past the feeling that something was wrong. All my doula training had prepared me for this, but I had also become more educated in the things that could go wrong, and Wes wasn’t allowed to go back with me. The tech had me get on the table and I asked her if I would be able to watch. She told me that because it was an order from the ER she wouldn’t be able to let me. So I laid there while she did the ultrasound. Then she turned the screen JUST enough so I could see and said 8 weeks! I lost it on the table. The tears just started flowing and I couldn’t stop. She didn’t know what to do besides get me a wash cloth to wipe my face and ask if these were happy tears. I explained all that we had been through and that yes, these were happy tears, that I was just terrified something was wrong. She wasn’t able to print a picture for Wes but at least she let me see for myself to confirm that there was in fact a baby there. I ended up just have a very strained muscle and had to take medication for almost 2 weeks to get back to feeling like myself.

Once we finally got in our house and started to get settled I knew we would have to do something soon as I had not had any prenatal care up until this point. I joined all the mom pages and asked questions about how the military hospitals were in regards to natural labor and I was far from impressed. I knew I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t have a repeat. I was prepared to have an unassisted home delivery, even if it had to be an accident. Wes was not keen on the idea of a homebirth, he had always said no, that it wasn’t something he felt comfortable with. At 12 weeks into our pregnancy, he decided that he would be willing to talk to a few midwives in the area about the differences between a birth center birth and a homebirth.

I lined up interviews with 3 different midwives. The first one ended up convincing him that a homebirth was the right fit for our family. The second midwife was great and seemed like she was going to be the one for us. I almost cancelled our meeting with midwife number three because I was ready to sign contract with the second one. Wes told me to keep the meeting and just see what we think. Midwife #3, Sam, ended up being the one for us. We hit it off right away. She was just the right amount of crunchy granola for me.

In the weeks to follow, I shared my experience with Jameson’s birth with her and how upset it made me. I think she realized then how much I needed to be in control this time around, that I was looking at this experience as something that would help heal the trauma. All of our check-ups were at our house with the kids and Wes. We were able to hear the baby and ask questions every time. Every time, everything was great and progressing fabulously.

We did our 20 week ultrasound when my parents were here for their visit so they could stay with the kids. The appointment was abnormally long because the baby wasn’t cooperating. After almost an hour and a half, they sealed the gender shot in an envelope (Wes saw on the screen but I was turned away) so I could have it for later. We ended up having to do a repeat u/s because they couldn’t see the left ventricular output of the heart. We did the follow-up because we wanted to make sure everything was perfect since we would be doing this at home.

I had been off my anxiety meds since I was about 14 weeks, and doing more natural methods to keep it controlled. Although the risks are small, there is a chance the baby can be born addicted and have issues at the birth. We decided that as long as I could handle being off of them, that was the best route to take. Sometime between our ultrasound and Easter, I had an emotional breakdown. I was not feeling emotionally connected with this baby. I had an anterior placenta (located more towards the front) so I wasn’t feeling the baby move, which really wasn’t helping me connect. I was feeling like I wasn’t going to be a good enough mom to be a mom of three kids. The feeling of disconnect wasn’t something I was used to feeling. I love being pregnant but this time something was just off. Maybe it was because of Jameson’s birth or all the stress of moving or not knowing the gender or being able to call him/her by name. Wes ended up telling me the gender on Easter morning with my Easter basket.

Bonding after knowing the gender seemed to be a little easier. I still had my fears that I wasn’t going to be able to love this baby enough, that I wasn’t going to be able to connect after he was born, and I was really afraid I would develop postpartum depression. Once we got a little more settled in our home and things started to get into a routine, I started feeling okay. It wasn’t until I started feeling him move on a regular basis that I was really able to connect emotionally with the fact that I was really pregnant and that this was really happening. As my belly got bigger and more round, I looked “legit pregnant” so Britany said and started feeling like my normal pregnant self.

Since my water broke early with Jameson, Sam had me on lots of vitamins to make sure my amniotic sac was strong to decrease the risk of it breaking prematurely again. We also decided that since I was fairly active with my last pregnancy, that I should be on limited activity at least until it was safe for me to deliver at home. This was easier than I expected it to be especially since I hadn’t made any friends yet and it was really hot and really humid every day. It was easy to stay inside the nice, cool, air-conditioned house except for trips to Costco on the weekend.

Wes and I decided it would be a good idea if someone was here when the baby was born. We knew I would need to rely on him when I was in labor and that we should have someone in case we ended up needing to do a hospital transfer. It was important to me to know that the kids would be taken care of if we had to get in the car/ambulance and go. I wanted to know that Wes would be able to go with me, not have to stay behind with the kids. Stacy ended up being able to rearrange her schedule to arrive on the 22nd of July. My official “due date” was the 28th. We decided not to announce the due date on social media since really the due date is more of a guess date and on the off chance I went past my date, I didn’t want to be asked every day if the baby was here yet.

At our 36 week appointment, Sam cleared us for our home birth. We were able to order our birth kit that contained all the tools Sam would need at the birth. She brought the birth tub over and told us how to set it all up. We kept up with our weekly appointments, checking on me and baby and making sure everything was good. I was very relieved on the 22nd when Stacy arrived and I was still pregnant. With an exception of it being hard to sleep, I was actually feeling great, like I could be pregnant for several more weeks.

On July 25th, while Stacy had taken the kids shopping, Wes blew up the birth pool and I climbed inside and cleaned it. The sides were a lot sturdier than I expected and the padded bottom was awesome. Once it was all cleaned and ready, I pushed it aside where it would sit for a few more days. I tried to rest as much as possible to allow my body to get ready for labor. I spent a few minutes several times a day sitting on the floor stretching and doing deep squats to help get baby in the optimal position for delivery.

On Thursday the 28th, I was feeling great, with an exception of having a sore throat. Jameson and Wes had been sick for a week or so and I managed not to get it until I woke up with a sore throat. I had been asking Wes to move his tools and misc. stuff into the garage for a few days and since it was still there, I finally decided to move it myself so I could vacuum the floor. Then all the fire alarms in the house started going off and we couldn’t figure out why. The neighbor ended up coming over to check on us to make sure everything was okay and told us how to shut them off. Then we checked for smoke in every room, garage, and attic before deciding that one of the detectors was faulty. After all that excitement, we decided to get out of the house while I was still feeling good and go to Sam’s Club to get some groceries, Hobby Lobby to get an ink pad to do footprints, and HEB for what we couldn’t get at Sam’s. We all got up and dressed and ready to go. Thursday was my due date. This would make the first time I ever reached 40 weeks pregnant. I was still feeling like I could go for another two plus weeks.

As we were walking through Sam’s Club, I started feeling tightenings. I was thinking they were just braxton hicks contractions, it was hot and maybe I hadn’t been drinking enough. So I was chugging my water while we were walking. They were still coming but they were very easy to ignore. Since my labors are short (when I’m not on ridiculous amounts of Pitocin) I decided I should probably time them just in case I was ignoring something that was real. They were about every 5-10 minutes but weren’t very strong. We were able to finish our shopping, even bought 2 pineapples for me to eat to make sure things kept going. We got home around 4pm and I text Sam just to give her a heads up that something was going on. I had dinner at 4:30 just in case I went into real labor and didn’t feel like eating. By 5:30 pm, my contractions were about every 4-5 minutes apart, but still not very painful. Around 6:30pm I ate almost an entire pineapple with whip cream until my mouth was hurting and I couldn’t eat anymore.

At around 7pm, Sam had me time a few contractions all the way through, they were coming about every 4 minutes and lasting just over a minute. They were enough to be a nuisance but not painful. She kept asking if I could talk through them but I reminded her that I could talk through Pitocin contractions so that wasn’t something we should judge my labor off of. We talked about me checking my own cervix and I tried it out. From my estimation, I was about 4 cm dilated but I wasn’t familiar with effacement so she said when she came to check on baby, she would check me and explain it to me. Wes, Stacy, and I sat and played a few games of Sequence while I bounced and rotated my hips on my birth ball while we waited on Sam.

Sequence Game
Jax Ltd Inc

Sam arrived around midnight and checked on baby and took my blood pressure and everything then we decided to do a cervical check. She said I was about 3-4 cm dilated and about 60% effaced. Then she explained to me how to check for effacement so I could do it the next time. Since my contractions were so mild, she ordered me to take 2 Tylenol PM (since I had been taking this to help me sleep anyway) and to go to bed. I took my PM around 1-1:30am and went right to bed.

The first time I woke up to contractions was at 3am. I was able to get up and go pee and go back to sleep for about another hour. At 4:15 I was up again but this time I knew there was no going back to sleep. I wasn’t able to lay still anymore so I decided to just get up. I went into the bathroom and started a hot bath to help me relax so I could rest some more, and shave my legs, because that’s important. While the tub filled up, I went pee again and this time had a small amount of bloody show. I was able to rest in the bathtub until almost 6am.

I got out of the bath tub and did another check. I was a solid 4 cm, if not a 5 and about 70% effaced. I was also starting to feel my bag of waters bulging. I went and laid down for a little longer with pillows propped between my legs to keep my pelvis open. After about 30 minutes of laying like this, I was starting to get more and more uncomfortable. It finally got to the point where I couldn’t sit my legs still anymore and I was tossing and turning and having to breathe through the contractions. I got out of bed and went into the living room so Wes could keep sleeping. Everyone was still sleeping at this point. I got my small peanut ball, blanket, and cell phone and headed to the couch. I was sitting on the ball in a deep squat and leaning against the couch so I could keep resting. The peanut ball was great, I’ve used it with several of my clients but have never been able to use it myself. I was able to roll the ball and my hips left to right during contractions keeping in that deep squat position that really applies baby to the cervix while keeping your hips and pelvis open. I laughed, because I realized I was doula’ing myself.

From my ball by the couch, I heard the sound of morning happening in our house. I heard Wes get up and call in to work to tell them he wouldn’t be going in, Jameson knocking on grandmas door, Maddison waking up, and everyone coming downstairs. At 8:30 I went to the bathroom I remembered thinking if I had one more contraction on the toilet I was going to die.  Those contractions were the most uncomfortable. I text Sam asking when we should fill up the pool. She said when I can’t stand the contractions anymore or when I feel my cervix is paper thin and very dilated. I’m so glad I went with my gut on this one. 9:15am She text me and asked that in the next hour can I check myself again so she had a better idea of where I was at. I know cervical checks don’t determine labor progression but with my history it typically does. She explained that she didn’t want to slow me down by showing up too early. I was in the shower for probably half an hour. I washed my hair and worked through several pretty good contractions that had me leaning on the shower wall breathing and swaying my hips through them. At this point I was roughly 5-6cm dilated and about 80-90% effaced. At about 9:30 we talked again that my contractions were coming harder now but I still wasn’t ready for her to come. I was in the bathroom doing my make up between contractions. I text my photographer at 9:40 to tell her that things were picking up and she should probably head this way. I thought I was giving her plenty of time. At 9:52am, I sent Sam a text that read “Cervix is pretty thin. Contractions pretty hard, not so funny anymore, bloody mucus. You should probably head this way.”

I moved from the bathroom where I had just finished up my make up to the bed while Wes was filling the pool with hot water. I tried some laying down and then hands and knees on the bed. Stacy was sitting with me and we were talking and laughing at me curling my toes with every contraction. I really didn’t want to be in the bed, I was scared my water was going to break and we didn’t have anything down to protect the bed.  I decided to get off the bed and go check on the progress of the tub and go be social in the front room. I made it to the end of the bed and decided the carpeted floor looked fantastic. I got on my elbows and kneeled with my knees really far apart so my belly was almost resting on the floor and had several contractions. Sam text at 10:15 that she was on her way. Wes started setting up the live feed for our family and friends on Facebook while I worked through more contractions on the bedroom floor. When Wes came in the bedroom to tell me he was getting it set up I asked him if there was only hot water in the pool. He said yes and asked if I wanted him to start adding cold water so I could get in. YES GOD YES. I needed to get in the pool.

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

I stayed in the bedroom while he switched the hose to the cold spout and he brought me some coconut pineapple water, which tasted awful, so I wouldn’t get dehydrated. I drank sitting up and resumed my contraction position every time I felt one coming on. He finally said that the pool was cool enough now that I could get in. I sat up and was getting ready to get off the floor when another contraction came. I was in an awkward position so that contraction was super uncomfortable. He helped me off the floor after that contraction and I got in the pool. It was great. It slowed the contractions and their intensity just enough for me to rest for a bit.

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

The front room was loud and bright and Wes couldn’t figure out where to set the iPad so the people watching would have a good view. Once he got that figured out and set up, my contractions started picking up again. They weren’t as close as they were on the bedroom floor, but it was dark and quiet in there. I had Wes get my headphones and I plugged it into my phone and turned on some music to help drown everyone out. A song or two later and my contractions were back and rolling in one after another. I was feeling great, leaning over the side of the pool, on my knees, rocking my hips back and forth during each contraction. I remember telling myself that the vibration of the deep moaning worked as a distraction so that’s what I was doing.  One ear bud fell out and I remember thinking I should put that back in but I really didn’t care. I had one ear listening to music and the other listening to everyone else.

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I was reading the comments on our live feed between contractions and then all the sudden around 11am, my phone hit the ground and I was really vocalizing through my contractions and still swaying my hips. I didn’t know it but Stacy had been timing my contractions for a while and they were coming pretty quickly now. The photographer showed up right at 11am and I was doing another cervical exam so Wes could text Sam. He picked up the phone and Sam had text at 10:59 saying she was almost there. I was 10 cm & 100% effaced, I could feel his head maybe 2 inches from “crowning” position. My contractions were starting to come back to back. I was feeling a bit pushy but something was telling me to wait until Sam arrived. I was resisting the urge to push.

I had a break in contractions after he text Sam and I reminded Wes to check the live feed since it only allows 2 hours of recording at a time. It was only just over an hour of video so far. My body was resting, I was in those brief moments of pause and rest before things got serious. Then when they came back my deep moans were mixed with deep owwwwwwwwwwwwchhhhhhhh. I was starting to feel like Sam wasn’t going to make it. I told Stacy she should probably get the stack of towels out of the bedroom and bring them out just in case. JUST as I was getting ready to scream “Where the fuck is Sam?!” Sam walked through the door at 11:07am. I knew I hadn’t eaten anything in a while, since 4:30pm the night before, and I didn’t want to run out of energy so I had Wes bring me a spoonful of honey, which was disgusting, but it was enough sugar to level me out and get me feeling good again.

Sam was able to get all her things set up and sterilized while I rested and worked through the contractions. She talked to me while she was getting set up and asked about baby and made sure I was still feeling good movement, which I was. After my next long contraction she checked baby’s heart rate and my pulse, all I could think of was how nice it was to not be fussed with during a contraction. While Sam was checking on us, Stacy and Wes got the pool back up to the right temperature. The pool has to be a certain temperature so baby doesn’t take a breath under water. I was throughly enjoying the cool water but knew it needed to be warmer for baby.

I was definitely in that resting period of transition now. My next long contraction and they were still adding the hot water. I could feel it swirling around me and it was making me nauseous. As soon as I heard Stacy say it was in the right temperature bracket I said, “Oh that’s enough hot water!!” and it was turned off. Stacy asked Wes about restarting the live feed and they talked about why he should do it now. He agreed and reset it which threw everyone watching for a loop.

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

I had one more good contraction and Wes was trying to give me another spoonful of honey but there was no way I could manage that. It was that contraction at 11:25am when I said I couldn’t resist the urge to push anymore. I was concentrating on my deep vocalization and Sam reminding me to breathe. The next contraction was the most intense out of all of them. I could feel the pressure everywhere, my whole body was swaying and my moaning was very loud at this point and then I felt it. I felt my amniotic sac burst, it was a very thick bag, there was no mistaking it. It burst mid contraction and I growled “OH I think my water just broke” and went right back into my deep moaning. It was 11:26 when my water broke. Then the pressure was centralized. My breathing was a little uneven as I was trying to recover from that contraction. Sam was telling me to breathe, to get oxygen all the way to my babies toes. Being in the pool really helped because I was able to blow on the water and watch it ripple and that really helped slow down my breathing. Sam, so calm kept talking me through my breathing and all I could think of was “shut up I AM breathing!!!” *lol sorry Sam*

Then my body rested again. At 11:28, my next contraction started and I was pushing, Sam was behind me, Stacy and the kids were in front and Wes was holding my hand. 17 seconds into that push and his head was out. I remember kneeling there with his head in one hand and Wes holding my other. I could feel his little face, his nose, eyes, mouth. It seemed like time was standing still. I couldn’t see what I was feeling but I knew what it was. It was the longest moment of my life. 11 seconds after his head was in my hand, his shoulders were out and I looked down and yelled cord. In those 11 seconds before I cried for help, I released Wes’ hand and reached down and slipped my finger under the cord and tried to slip it over his head. I’ve seen lots of births, I wasn’t panicked, it was like I was trained to stay calm and remember what to do. The cord was too short and too tight for me to do anything. As soon as I yelled out cord, Sam came around the pool. Stacy and the kids got out of the way quickly to make room for Sam. My body was trying to push again I knew I couldn’t let the baby come out any further because he was tangled and the cord was too short. To keep from pushing I yelled out “the cord!” again and I could hear Sam saying she was there. She was also unsuccessful at getting the cord off. She ended up having to jackknife his body. She flipped his head upwards towards my belly and his abdomen and the rest of him followed and she tumbled him up into my arms. 20 seconds. All of that took 20 seconds from the first time I called out cord. Emmerson Henry was born at 11:29am and he was perfect.

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Everything that happened after that was a blur. I was lost in my new baby. The feeling of oh my god we did it, I’m not broken, my body IS capable of this, took over. Sam kept asking if I was ok and how I was feeling and made sure I knew that if I started feeling bad that she needed to know. I felt fantastic, tired from the 2 hrs of sleep after taking Tylenol PM, but fantastic. When Sam checked me, she noted that I had a bit of bleeding and that the umbilical cord was already pretty white and had stopped pulsing so it had probably broke off when we untangled him. We were going to monitor it and if it didn’t stop, she would give me a shot of Pitocin, but wanted to wait because she knew I didn’t want it. The bleeding didn’t stop, it wasn’t a lot of bleeding but it was enough that Sam wanted to make sure it didn’t get out of control so she gave me a small shot of Pitocin, even though I gave her a nasty face. OH MY GOD! That shot in my arm was the most painful part of everything.

It had probably been 20-30 minutes since delivery although it only felt like 5 and my placenta still hadn’t come yet. This is pretty abnormal for me since mine usually come within 10 minutes. She had me push a few times even though I wasn’t feeling that crampy urge and still no placenta. She tried to give a little bit of counter pressure on one of the final attempts of me pushing it out but stopped when she felt it tearing. Sam talked to us about cutting the cord and getting me out. I really wanted to wait until after the placenta was born to cut the cord so it broke my heart a little bit that it needed to be cut before then. I know had I declined Sam would have figured it out and made it work but I’m a reasonable person. I could look at the pool and see the amount of bleeding that had happened and although I still felt fine, I didn’t want to risk a hospital transfer so I agreed to have it cut. I watched her lift him up and hand him to Wes. I didn’t want to let him go.

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Once Emmerson was successfully handed off to Wes, Sam wanted me out of the pool. Since the amount of blood I had lost was slightly more than normal, she helped me slowly get out of the pool to make sure I wasn’t dizzy. I stopped at the end of the pool and leaned against it trying to decide how I was going to climb out and my placenta fell out into the pool. She got me the rest of the way out and I laid on the floor, which was awful on my back, for what seemed like forever. Sam fished my placenta out of the pool and we found out the reason for the bleeding, I had undiagnosed velamentous cord insertion and it was likely one or more of the vessels broke when my water broke and we untangled him from the cord.

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

After what seemed like forever, I was asking for my baby back. My uterus was going back to normal and my bleeding was stopped so I was granted one whole baby. As they were getting ready to hand him down to me, I ripped my bra off so I could nurse him for the first time. It’s very difficult to nurse laying flat on your back but we managed to make it work. A bit later, I was begging to get off the floor because my back was killing me. I was released from the torture that was the floor and was able to get on the couch. I laid on my side and was able to keep Emmerson either latched or doing skin-to-skin. Wes brought me a chocolate pudding and spoon fed me for all my hard work. I was starving so he brought me an English Muffin with peanut butter.

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Wes and Stacy drained the pool and threw the liner in the trash so they could deflate it and put it away. After all was said and done, I was ready to get up and shower so I could clean up a little bit. Sam came to help me get up and found Emmerson left her a nice sticky meconium mess, all over me, him, and the robe that was covering us. After she got him cleaned up, she handed him off to Stacy so she could help me in the bathroom. It was a super quick shower, my hair was still wet from the shower I had taken that morning so I didn’t bother even taking it out of my bun until after. I got out and put on some comfortable clothes and climbed into bed so we could do the initial newborn tests and get his stats. He was 7 pounds 7 oz and 20.75 inches long.

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

I nursed him again and we made the round of phone calls to all of our grandparents to let them know it was a boy and what his stats were and did a bit of FaceTiming. Once all was said and done it was time to recheck me. Everything was still in one piece except for a tiny “skid mark” from when Sam had to jackknife him out but that didn’t even require stitches which I’m glad because she would have had a hard time convincing me I really needed stitches in my lady bits. We went over taking Emmerson’s temperature throughout the night and when to call Sam if we had a small issue and what issues were serious and to call her on the way to the emergency room.

After our run down of when to call who, we gave hugs and exchanged thank yous and Sam started packing up. Wes took the baby because I needed to get up and walk around and I was famished so I walked myself to the kitchen. I heated up a giant enchilada and shoved my face. It was delicious even though Sam yelled at me for getting up and getting it myself. We hugged one more time as she carried her last bag to the car. I was a little sad to watch her leave because that meant it was over. We spent so much time preparing and it was over SO quickly, more quickly than I expected.

It was so nice to be able to spend the evening as a family bonding and letting the kids hold their new brother. Maddison was all about holding him every moment she got but it took Jameson quite some time before he really wanted to interact with him. He didn’t really get into Emmerson until it was time for him to go to bed and then and only then was he ready to hold him. Excuses to get out of going to bed on time aren’t usually accepted but we made an exception just this once and it was totally worth it to see the smile on his face.

That night although we didn’t get much sleep, it was amazing. Wes didn’t have to leave for the night and we were able to sleep in our own bed. We also co-slept with Emmerson and didn’t have to hear anyone come in and yell at us for doing so or telling us that we were going to harm our baby because we had him in our bed.

All in all, our homebirth experience was great. We had a few bumps in the road and had to deviate from my plan a little bit, but Sam always made sure I was informed with what was going on and in the end everything was my decision. I never felt out of control of my body or overpowered by contractions. I can honestly say I wouldn’t describe my labor as painful, intense, yes, but never painful. I will forever be grateful for our homebirth experience. It reminded me that I am the one in control of my body and capable of doing what my body was made to do.

After our run down of when to call who, we gave hugs and exchanged thank yous and Sam started packing up. Wes took the baby because I needed to get up and walk around and I was famished so I walked myself to the kitchen. I heated up a giant enchilada and shoved my face. It was delicious even though Sam yelled at me for getting up and getting it myself. We hugged one more time as she carried her last bag to the car. I was a little sad to watch her leave because that meant it was over. We spent so much time preparing and it was over SO quickly, more quickly than I expected.

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

Image by Andrea Garcia of FInal Touch Photography

It was so nice to be able to spend the evening as a family bonding and letting the kids hold their new brother. Maddison was all about holding him every moment she got but it took Jameson quite some time before he really wanted to interact with him. He didn’t really get into Emmerson until it was time for him to go to bed and then and only then was he ready to hold him. Excuses to get out of going to bed on time aren’t usually accepted but we made an exception just this once and it was totally worth it to see the smile on his face.

The photographer is  Andrea Garcia of    https://www.facebook.com/FinalTouchPhotographyAndrea/ and the videos will be from the Facebook live feature. My IG is creatoroftinyhumans and doula_done_wright and FB is Caitlin wright.

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

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