Hayden Beau’s Birth Story

I had just finished packing the last bins on the afternoon of December 13th to get ready for our midwives and our planned home birth. At around 4 pm, I decided to curl up on the couch and take a nap while Jesse read a book.

When I woke up Jesse and I were chatting, I shifted a bit and felt a small trickle – which felt rather normal at first with all the changes in my body and fluids over the last nine months. Then I stood up and a full gush of fluid came running down my legs and luckily I made it to the bathroom on time. I immediately knew that my water had broke. I was both excited and nervous.

My labour with Sarelle started with a hind water leak and this put me on the clock to make sure contractions would start in time otherwise I would be due to go to the hospital and on Pitocin. So my nerves were all over the place. I also felt that I was ready to have this baby as I knew he was coming early…but I was thinking wow this is it.  I had just literally gotten everything done at home to welcome this babe, but still expected it to be another few days. But here I was putting on a pad every few minutes to catch the gushes of amniotic fluid coming out of my body.

I decided to call my doula Jess at 5 pm, at least we could have a conversation before I alerted the midwives. She assured me that this was likely my water breaking but not to worry about being on the clock yet. There is still time and to relax and see how it goes and then call my midwives.

So at 5:30 pm I decided to call my midwife Rachel and we had an in-depth conversation about what took place. She decided it was worth her coming by to check me and make sure it was amniotic fluid and not just discharge. I was definitely sure that things were starting, but it was important to make sure my midwife was on the same page.

She came over within the hour, checked my fluid and confirmed labour had begun. She encouraged me that all there was to do at this time was to relax, rest, have a filling dinner and see when contractions would start. As they should typically start within 24 hours of my water breaking – but if there was ways to induce labour naturally I could go ahead with that. She even recommended that I could take castor oil if I wanted to use it as an aid. I had mixed feelings about ingesting it again but I knew that castor oil is what helped Sarelle come into the world naturally.  She calmed me and told me not to worry about going to the hospital at this point. However, if I was going to labour and delivery at home she mentioned I would not be able to labour in the water (but I could deliver in it) and she could only do minimal internal checks on me to prevent any infection.

After Rachel left that night, I warmed up some veggie lasagna and Jesse and I had a chance to set up the house and the birth space the way we wanted it. We inflated the birth tub and air mattress, got the table ready with all the supplies, set up candles, salt lamps and anything else I wanted in my space to make it calming and special. It was nice to have the house to ourselves to set up quietly how we wanted it.

I should mention that the time in between my water breaking and my midwife arriving around 5:45, Sarelle also came home from my in -laws and I shared the news with them and we had already pre-planned that when labour started, Sarelle would go and stay with them for the night. So it was nice to have some time to spend with my girl, my only child before we welcomed our second. It was also convenient that my in laws were over to be able to take her at 6pm  vs at 3 am! We also arranged for a dog walker to come and take Goji for the night. So far things were on track.

After dinner and setting up our birth space,  Jesse ran out to get some organic castor oil to have on hand just in case. Then we sat on the floor and did some acupressure on specific points to induce labour and we used the clary sage essential oil on those points.

We got ready for the night and went to bed around 10:30 pm. I was up at 1:15 am to go to the bathroom and I was a bit anxious that contractions hadn’t started naturally. So I was mentally willing them to begin. I started visualizing and breathing to welcome them. Jesse was awake, so I had him help me to do more acupressure points on my hands and ankles.  We were just talking and relaxing and at around 2 am – I felt my first contraction. I was relieved that they finally started on their own. We started timing them and they were variable between 3-8 mins and about 1-3 min in length. I was able to labour calmly in bed and decided not to contact anyone until 4 am. I wanted to wait as long as possible as long as I was comfortable as I knew it was going to be a long day and everyone needed their rest (how nice of me).

When my doula and midwife arrived they just checked in and started to set up their supplies and around 6 am or so. That’s when I decided to start moving to a different location to keep things progressing.

We went down to the living room where the birth tub, tarp, cushions, couch was all set up. I stayed on the floor for a few contractions and then we decided to try the breast pump to get things going a bit more but that seemed to have changed the pattern of my contractions. So we eventually stopped. And I moved to the ball and all fours for some contractions and then starting moving around the room and the rest of the house – to the stairs, up to the kitchen, walking around and the contractions continued to progress and intensify. It seemed that every time I would move around things would progress and whenever I would relax and sit or lay down labour slowed. So the goal was to keep me moving.

I couldn’t really eat or drink. Just sips of water, electrolytes, bone broth – but couldn’t keep them down. Each time I had a liquid, my body rejected it and I threw up.

My doula was spoon feeding me homeopathic all day. Even those were hard to take and keep down.

When it was around 11 am, the conversation was that if I reach the 24 hour mark without baby, there is a possibility of going to the hospital for a non-stress test. But I was pretty adamant on that not happening. It wasn’t necessary but suggested.

At around 1 pm midwife suggested taking castor oil to progress labour and allow me to rest while it worked itself into my body. I was so tired and depleted at this point. No sleep for hours, nothing was staying down and my contractions were all over the place. So my midwife really was encouraging me to rest so that I would have enough energy for the final stages. But labouring on my side was so uncomfortable, that as much as I wanted to rest, it was impossible to lie down.  I was also so turned off by the idea of ingesting the castor oil because I was feeling so nauseous but knew that it would work (as it did with Sarelle). Also the idea of it causing any stress to the baby was concerning (as there is a risk of meconium (baby poop) getting into the fluid and that would force us to go to the hospital).

She went ahead and made me a smoothie with castor oil and pineapple juice and put it on my nighttabe while I attempted to lay down to do my hypnobirthing meditation.. I couldn’t even bare to relax, the pain was just too much and I knew in my gut that this was not the next step for me. I was well into labour land but fully aware of what I wanted and didn’t want. So I got up to walk around at that point and my contractions started to progress in frequency and intensity to almost an unrecognizable point when I could hardly believe this was happening to my body. It’s funny how much you remember and forget from your last delivery!

I remember standing over the stairs looking down and having some pretty mean contractions. Jesse and Jess  held my hips as they always did and tried to find the sweet spot for each surge – which was so hard for them and for me to locate to direct them. What did work was me swaying or rolling my hips or bouncing on my feet to distract myself from the pain. Things continued from here on in. Every time I went up or down the stairs things got more intense. Which meant that baby was making his way down. So good news all around, although it was so hard to imagine that this much pain was going to reward me with a baby.

Then I couldn’t even balance myself on Jesse or Jess. So I went down to the laundry room counter and it was there that the urge to push and sensation of having a bowel movement took place. I never had this with Sarelle so it was so interesting to actually feel that urge to push. I was even starting to make sounds with my contractions which funny enough every moan made me feel a bit nauseous. When it was suppose to make be feel better. So instead I just opted for deep breaths in through my nose and out through my mouth. This was different than what I had been practicing with my hypnobirthing (nose in nose out). I just had to go with my instinct on this one as exhales felt really good through my mouth.

After I vocalized that the sensation of wanting to poop, my midwife said we could make our way to the tub. Which still needed to be filled. This meant that I had a handful more contractions on land to get through before it was warm and ready for me.

I was standing leaning on Jess and each time baby felt closer but midwife and doula were telling me to “blow them away” which I didn’t fully understand at first. I later learned that they were trying to stall things as I had a cervical lip at 10 cm that needed to move out of the way and that we were waiting for Trish my second midwife to arrive. So each time the sensation came, I was blowing through them and trying to keep him in essentially.

Finally the tub was warm and ready. I had the go ahead to step in and continue to labour in the tub and I could now follow my instincts to push him out. Jesse got in with me, behind me. I got on my knees. Put my hands on the rim of the tub and started to breath and push with each contraction which was so tough as I just wanted to push but at the same time wanted my body to honour the natural expulsion reflex to just let him come out (also part of my hypnobirthing training). So each surge that came, I tried to calmly breath through it and go with the natural urge to push and with two contractions his head started to push through the “ring of fire”. Then it was out and I needed to wait for next contraction to push his whole body out. I remember reaching down to feel his head and how dilated I was. There is nothing COOLER (for lack of a better word) than feeling your baby’s head peaking between your legs. This gave me even more motivation to get him out on the next surge.

At 3:19 pm my little boy was fully out and on my chest in the tub. It was so beautiful to push him out and pull him out up on to me. Jesse and I just stared at him in disbelief that this just took place. He let out his first cry and he was covered in vernix. It was so amazing. I replay this moment over and over again in my head. It was my dream to have a second home birth and to deliver in water as I didn’t get that chance with Sarelle. Being upright to push was also so incredibly rewarding as my body and my pelvic floor didn’t take that much of a beating. I didn’t tear and my recovery has been incredible.

We held him, confirmed he was a boy (because ya’ never really know until you know) and then I needed to move over to the seat in the tub so they could work on getting my placenta out. The tub started to fill with blood as I was bleeding out. They decided to air lift me out onto the mattress we had set up on the floor so they could get the placenta out. There was a bit of concern with how much I was bleeding and how depleted I was at this point. So I didn’t realize at the time that their eagerness to get me out of the tub and my placenta out of my body was an extremely high priority.

Once I was out, Hayden was on my chest all cozy and they worked on getting my placenta out. I needed a shot of oxytocin because of the blood loss and to help with contractions. My placenta came out in one piece and then we delayed the cord cutting for about 25 minutes and Jesse got to cut the cord as desired. We chose to have my placenta encapsulated so we packed it up in a freezer bag until it was delivered to Graceful Birth to process it for me. We also decided not to have the vitamin K injected into Hayden (we did oral instead) or use the eye drops. These were personal choices for us and something you have to look into on your own.

Then me and Hayden went up to bedroom carefully and I attempted to breastfeed and he pretty much latched right away, it was magical. Then Jesse joined us and we all just laid in bed while everyone cleaned up around us. It was so special. I finally had an appetite and had some almond butter on simple mills salty crackers and huge glass of coconut water followed by a huge glass of  almond milk. I was in baby bliss.

I remember feeling how hard it was to talk. My belly felt so hollow and empty. I was still so exhausted and depleted but so so happy. The midwives came up to our room to weigh Hayden who was a delicious bundle of 7.8lbs and 19 inches long. He had no issues after birth and everything with his health was a 10/10. Another sigh of relief as you not only want to deliver your baby in a healthy way, but make sure they are in good shape in the short hours after birth. From here we just spent time together in bed until my mom and brother arrived around 5:30 pm with Mediterranean food for dinner.

We spent the first night just cuddled and Hayden slept on my bare chest. Nothing more special than skin to skin. And his little bundle of a body fitting right on my stomach is just so sweet.

So there you have it. The story of Hayden Beau making his debut into the world. I plan on doing a podcast on The Ultimate Baby Podcast soon sharing even more intimidate details as Jesse joins me with his perspective as well. So stay tuned and make sure you are subscribed to get an update when it is released sometime this spring.

You might also like