Well Rounded Birth Prep

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Guest post: Josee Meehan's home waterbirth

I'm honored to feature a guest post birth story. I received this e-mail from Josee Meehan:

I just found your blog through the Unnecesarean. I've had two home births and one birth center birth. I've attached my middle child's birth story (our first home birth). Feel free to use my name/location. Here's a link to a photo taken 12 hours after her birth:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mild contractions begin, a few an hour while I'm awake. Danny is on the floor, putting a Little People figure through a wide-mouth funnel and quietly chanting “Come out, baby, come out.”

He knew that his baby sister was on her way. The contractions stopped and I slept.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I carried on with errands while Danny was at Parents Morning Out. I began to pass the mucus plug that morning.

A sleepover with Nana and PopPop had already been planned for Danny on Friday night. That afternoon as we coaxed Danny "Who's coming to see you soon?," he answered "Baby Ona." We were expecting him to say “Nana.” He definitely knew.

After Danny left, the contractions began building slowly from about 4:30 to 8:30, manageable enough for Jim and I to take a walk and go out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant. They felt pretty strong while I was eating dinner and I looked over at Jim and said, “You may want to eat fast, boy.”

Back at home, by 9 p.m. the contractions were getting longer and stronger and I could no longer concentrate on anything but the contractions. I had been watching You've Got Mail on Oxygen while draping myself over an enormous exercise ball. By that time, I couldn't talk on the phone with the midwife.

I took some Valerian root pills and went up to rest for about an hour or so with a warm rice sock wrapped around me and my old security blanket tucked under my chin. When I got up, I knew it was time for Julia to come and told Jim to get her on her way.

Jim made the call and then came upstairs. He inflated the birth pool and set up the birth supplies on the dresser, saying “You don't want to be fumbling around in the tackle box when the fish are biting.”

I laughed. He kissed me as I sat in the rocking chair and said, “We're going to have a baby tonight.”

“Maybe,” I said.

The ghosts of Danny's marathon 40-hour labor still haunted me. I had thrown up twice already and was getting nervous that this labor would take a turn for the worse like Danny's labor did. Luckily, it didn't.

Labor progressed rather quickly from then on. Jim kept me eating graham crackers and peanut butter and drinking Smart Water. I spent some time in the bathtub and then in the shower while the contractions got stronger.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The midwives were on their way to the house by midnight. They marched in around 1 a.m., a bag in each hand, loaded with oxygen tanks and other supplies, that landed with a reassuring thud on our bedroom floor.

I had dilated to 8 cm by the time they arrived. Jim, Debbie and Julia took turns rubbing my lower back during contractions. I kept telling Jim, “I'm not doing this again.”

At around 2 a.m., I was lying on the floor on my left side staring directly at the clock. Fiona's heart rate was dipping and Julia and Debbie urged me to get up before the next contraction. Her heart rate returned to normal as soon as I started moving around again.

Soon after, they started filling up the birth pool and when the water heater couldn't keep up, they began boiling pots of water to add to the half-full pool. From about 2:30 a.m. until shortly after her birth, I remained in the warm pool, switching positions from front to back and taking sips of cool water between contractions. Near the end, I started losing control and screaming. Jim encouraged me to keep my voice low (a tactic that Bradley recommends to help keep the mother calm). I began to groan low and slow. I was almost fully dilated when Julia encouraged me to just push gently with each contraction. Finally, I felt my water break and just minutes later out came Miss Fiona.

She was born at 4:22 a.m. The cord was around her neck, but Jim pulled it off. She pinked up right away and was breathing, but looked around for a few minutes before finally crying.

Julia and Debbie marveled at how they could hardly tell when I was having a contraction because I was so calm. She complimented us saying that were a perfect example of a Bradley method couple. They both said they wished we had videotaped the birth (maybe next time we will!).

After getting dried off and cleaned up, I curled up in my own bed, on my own sheets and my husband and I spent the next hour alone with our newborn daughter.

Josee Meehan (You can view Josee's blog here.)
Durham, NC


Thank you so much for sharing your beautifully written birth story with us, Josee! I loved how your son Danny had a special part in announcing his baby sister's upcoming arrival. It sounds as though the Bradley method worked wonderfully for you. I especially appreciated reading about the normal variations in labor and delivery that are not an emergency when handled properly. TV portrays birth so differently than reality.

If you would like to have your birth story featured on Well Rounded Birth Prep blog, please email your submission to me at wellroundedbirthprep (at) gmail (dot) com, with or without photos. Please let me know how you would like to be credited (anonymous, first and last name, initials only, location or no, etc.).

I welcome birth stories from hospitals, birth centers, or homebirths; whether medicated or unmedicated; vaginal or cesarean deliveries. Your birth story is special and deserves to be heard.

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