Natural Parenting

Natural pregnancy, birth, and parenting: healthy, happy and ecological ideas from a mother's personal experience.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Homebirth & Sarah's amazing homebirth story

Firstly my own homebirth...

The problems with the doctors/midwives started when they measaured my tummy and it appeared to small and I was sent for numerous scans which I really didn't want to have but felt I had to. They scanned and said my baby had a large head and small body and suggested inducing asap and possible caesarian, [I thought god this is why there are so many caesarians] you can imagine the dilemma, obviously I didn't want to endanger my baby, but I felt instinctively soooooo strongly that there was nothing wrong with him and that the doctors just wanted to cover their backs and didn't want even a 1% chance of any risk. Even though I went overdue I stuck to my guns and had Oscar Solomon problem free in the peace of our home, he was 6Ibs which they considered small/wanted me to go to hospital but again I insisted he was healthy as the same weight as all the 'first babies' in our family so was not worried at all. From then on there were no problems and the midwives were as proud as I was in the end!

I had a lucky and wonderful birth without any intervention to Oscar, who is now two, hopefully the first of many! He was 9 days over due which was causing me a lot of stress as I felt under pressure from the midwives' 11day induction deadline, which I was going to totally ignore anyway, of fear of having to go into hospital at all let alone have a caesarian. I was taking homeopathic Caulophyllum 200 pills and doing reflexology on my hands and feet after a consultation with local practitioner Emma Dalton which I swear helped make induce the labour and make it a speedy and straight forward process, along with yoga breathing/positions. I started feeling funny period type pains in the evening and just carried on to have dinner with my family as a distraction, actually being in total denial about being in labour! Started having regular tightening around my lower tummy and back and having to grip onto things, after having a 'show', then thought I'm gonna get this little bugger out and started doing gentle jogging around the garden and on the trampoline to my families horror! When I started to feel like pushing we went home to 'sleep and play cards' for what we thought would be the next 12 hours... I got stuck kneeling over the bed on some cushions upstairs with very regular/strong contractions and attempted to write them down with increasingly crazy writing. I told Simon he needed to get that tens machine on me quick, he was still trying to have that sleep I'd told he be able to have, and he started filling up the inflated birthing pool with water. Simon tried to drag me down to the pool in the living room with resistance from me as I didn't want to move a millimeter or be touched at all, I kneeled clamping myself to a very uncomfortable wooden box with handy gripping holes and didn't move til Oscar was born, refusing any cushioning under my face. The tens machine and breathing were an excellent distraction and control throughout, helping with the back pain. Oscar's head started to appear after a few hours but to Simon's horror looked like the inside of a lychee fruit as he was still in the water bag which had not broken. The midwives were calming and instructing him over the phone. After the arrival of the two midwives, they popped Oscar's water bag and he burst out with a big push. We never made it into the birthing pool, it's a paddling pool now!

I wanted to keep him attached to me for as long as possible via the umbilical cord as I'd heard this continued to give your baby maximum nutrition from you up to the last second. He started to get cold and my legs were shaking so they cut the umbilical cord and I delivered the placenta naturally tried our first breast feed. I refused the offer of the vitamin k injection and the wish from the midwives to take him to hospital as he was small, I thought after all that and it all being so wonderful, just because he is not on the percentile chart thing, no way. They made sure he was getting enough milk and gave me a few stitches before leaving and all three of us snuggled in bed together in a little blissful bubble, keeping tiny Oscar warm. Breastfeeding was very painful for the first two weeks but eased after that, I think to do with bad positioning and generally hormonal tender nipples. I took Arnica 200 homeopathic remedy afterwards for bruising and healing. We did not was Oscar for over a week wanted to keep the birthing liquid on him as we'd read it was very beneficial to the baby. We buried the placenta in the garden under a peach tree after forgetting it for a couple of days!

My homebirth was the most perfect and wonderful experience but I really had to fight for it against all convention and doctors/midwives/paranoia. I feel strongly that all mothers especially first time mothers should not be put off like that even more so as most of us are vulnerable/sensitive/paranoid when pregnant for the first time. I'm lucky that I have very strong beliefs on the subject that fueled my determination, and with the total support of my family and friends, along with being born at home myself, I was not scared at all and totally believed in myself and my body. Not without having to go through a lot of stress/guilt/upset as a result of doctors/midwives wanting to cover their backs and not feeling confident in homebirths. The midwives said they could not promise they would come out if they did not have enough staff, but I was so stubborn I wouldn't have left the house unless it was an emergency anyway! The hospital is only ever about 30 mins away - which is the same amount of time it would take them to prepare theatre anyway, in Holland most women have homebirths [as it is their policy to] without any problems. There is no reason why you shouldn't have a homebirth if there are no complications with your pregnancy. You may have to fight for it though if you have a team of midwives who are not keen for whatever reason. But it is your right as a pregnant woman to choose. I only know one other mum in the UK who has had a first time homebirth and that was my sister! I really want to promote it and help other women to feel empowered again. Women should be able to make choice with confidence and believe in their own powerful bodies.

The Vitamin K injection offered after birth, you can get hold of Vitamin K in vitamin pill form from Health Food Shops if you do not want to have the injection, you do not have to have it.
The Homeopathic Birthing Kit is invaluable pre/during/post birth for you, your baby and your partner. Available from some Health Stores and, about £30.
Caulophyllum 200: A homeopathic remedy used by many women giving birth to help speed up labour. Everyone I know who has used this has had a speedy birth.
Available from homeopaths, health food shops, or who sell homeopathic 'birthing kits' for all birthing issues and problems.
Arnica 200: This is widely used homeopathic remedy for shock and repair, much needed during and after birth.
Rescue remedy: Always useful for the mother and birthing partners at any time during the birth.

A helpful website:
Excellent books: New Active Birth by Janet Balaskas for birthing positions and preparation etc and Natural Baby by Janet Balaskas for care of newborn etc

The placenta being buried!

See this article below on FREEBIRHTING, giving birth alone without any professional help!!!,,2075395,00.html

Here is Sarah's story...

The birth was the most intense and amazing experience
of my life. She was 7 days overdue. Eric was getting
restless and bought 10 baby chicks to quell his desire
to nurture something! But now we'll have yummy eggs
in September.
I really wanted to give birth on april 2nd because it
was the night of the FULL PINK MOON, I willed myself
into having some contractions, but they petered out
and it wasn't until 12.20am Sat 7th April that I woke
up and needed to poo which I knew was the beginning
beecuase I never need to poo int he middle of the
night. When I went to the toilet I had a "bloody
show" (not sure what its called in ENgland) and then
started to have contractions every 6 minutes. They
were quite intense, but I could breathe through them,
then after an hour they shifted to every 3 minutes, so
Eric called the midwife. At this point I began to
make low primitive whale sounding noises. I have no
idea where those noises came from. They were the only
sound I could make that helped. Eric was amaxing and
was applying accupressure to various points to help
the pain. Claudette arrived and then my contractions
went back to 5 mins apart. So she went to bed in
Olivias room, (olivia was at her moms) and told us to
wake her up when they got closer together again.

At about 4.ooam I started to get in the shower every
time I had a contraction, I did this for about 11
hours! I just had the shower running permanently, I
was experiencing really intensely painful back labour.
She was slightly back to back and her amniotic sack
stayed intact and was pressing on my spine. It was
soooooo painful. I couldn't have anybody touch me
after a while, it just made the pain worse. When I
was about 8 cm dilated Claudette said we should fill
the birthing tub. She hadn't wanted me to get in
before because it can slow the labour down. This part
was hell, because I had to stop using the shower so we
could fill the tub. My contractions were so much
harder to bear without water. I remember wailing that
"i couldn't do it on dry land"! I resorted to being on
my hands and knees making giant sweeping circular
motions on the bed with my right arm?!
Finally the birthing tub was filled (in living room,
best view out of window).
I jumped in and it was such an amazing relief. If you
have any more babies absolutely include the idea of a
birthing pool as pain relief. Even if you don't want
to have the baby under water, the pool is amazing.
Its got to be deep though. A bath tub wouldn't work
nearly as well.
I was in the pool for about 20 minutes when claudette
checked the babies heart with her doppler and got
really concerned because its rate had dropped really
dramatically. She made me get out of the pool so that
we could find a position that the rate would improve.
Unfortunately the only position that the heart
improved was me lying on my back. Which was the last
position I wanted to be in. Nothing in me wanted to
be in that postion. At that point I got the urge to
push, claudette and paula (2nd midwife, just arrived)
said to go ahead. I really wanted to stand up or be
in the pool, but they didn't want to risk losing the
good heart tones we had got on my back (because even
these heart tones were still quite slow) So I pushed
for about half an hour, little Ginger was crowning and
then my midwife started to get really concerned
because the heart rate was dropping again. Everybody
was yelling "come on Sarah get your baby out!" It got
quite dramatic. Then claudette said if I didn't get
it out in the next push she would have to do an
episiotomy. I pushed soooooooooooo hard! I worked so
hard like I've never worked in my life, Ginger's
waters finally broke and exploded with such force!
The midwives were covered, it was all over the wallls.
Quite amazing. But still she wouldn'dt come out so I
told Claudette to do the episiotomy. I was ready to
cut off my arm just to have her safe.

Claudette cut me (it barely felt like anything
compared to contractions), and I pushed and out she
popped at 5.05pm (almost 18 hours ) She went so pink
and yelled and it was soooo amazing. I could,'t
believe this little baby had come out of my body.
Poor Eric, he was sweating and so relieved that
everything was ok. I think in some ways it was more
stressful for him, because I just knew that little
Ginger was going to be ok.

The next few weeks are a hazy bubble. I was in a lot
of pain initially from the swelling and the stitches.
(I had about 12) Ginger slept a lot so it made things
quite easy in the baby department. I only looked at
my stitches for the first time last week because I was
afraid to see a mutilated frankenstein fanny. But
actually now the swelling has gone down it doesn't
look too bad. I took lots of baths in comfrey,
rosemary and lavender. And would make cups of comfrey
tea and put the tea bag directly on my wound. I took
2 different kinds of arnica and capsules of bee
propolis. Alll on claudettes advice. I feel quite
healed, the stiches won't dissolve for another couple
of weeks though. Looking forward for some fun beneath
the sheets, but a little aprehensive about ever
inserting anything in my fanny ever again!

THe episiotomy was quite a shock, I'd prepared myself
that I might have to have a c section if anything were
to go wrong, but I knew Claudette was against
episiotomy's so I didn't even consider it. I was only
the third one she had done in 1200 births! I felt
almost like I had been assaulted, but now only a month
later I feel absolutely ok about everything. Its
birth, there is no way of knowing what is going to
happen. My friend who had baby the week before me,
experienced exactly the same kind of labour, her
baby's heart tones began to drop at about 8 cm, so
they wisked her off for a cesarean because she was at
the hospital. The cesarean is such a major operation,
her recovery period is much more extensive than mine.
I'm so glad that I just had the episiotomy to recover

We discovered after Ginger was born that a little
blood clot had formed at the base of her umbilical
cord which claudette believes to be the reason why her
heart rate dropped.

So that's the full story. Not quite the homebirth I
had planned, but you can't control birth. I've been
learning a lot of life lessons in the last 4 weeks!


At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Eternity said...

Well said.


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