Experiencing our first home birth after having an unmedicated hospital birth was such a surreal feeling. I had desired to have a home birth, even with our first baby, but my husband and I had met in the middle and chose to birth in a hospital setting with midwives for our first baby. After that experience (you can read about our natural unmedicated hospital birth here) we knew that having a home birth for our next baby was what we both wanted.
Finding our home birth midwife went really smoothly for us. We looked up local midwives in our area that practiced in home birth care and we interviewed a few different ones via zoom because at the time we were still in the height of the pandemic. After prayer and consideration, we finally chose the midwife we felt was the best fit for our family. We considered getting a doula this round but since we didn’t get to have one with our first because the hospital only allowed one support person (so either my doula or my husband) we knew that my husband was the perfect teammate and support that I needed during the laboring process so we chose not to hire one.
The day I went into labor
I had gone to see my midwife on my due date, I was exactly 40 weeks that day. I hadn’t been checked up until that point and I asked during my appointment if she could see if I was dilated at all and if she could sweep my membranes because ya girl was ready for this baby to come. My midwife was also flying out of the country the next day to Chile and I wanted her at my home birth so badly, so I really needed this baby to come out. We were waiting for birth to find out the gender, the anticipation of that alone made me beyond ready to meet our newest family member.
My appointment was at 11:30 am, I got the membrane sweep and we checked positioning. I was already at 3cm and had no idea, which was truly amazing. I was praying for a smooth and fast birth so already being dilated to 3cm, I felt encouraged. Everything was good to go, now just to wait and see if the membrane sweep did anything to help get labor going. We walked around some shops and then grabbed lunch after leaving my midwife appointment. I definitely started feeling tired and crampy after lunch so I was ready to get home, kick my feet up and take a nap.
Around 6:00 pm, I started to feel like very crampy but I wasn’t entirely sure if it was really happening or not. I was ready to keep the contractions coming if they were gonna start coming, so we got out and walked the block a couple of times as a family to see if we could get things moving before calling the midwife. Came back inside, had dinner and then bounced on my ball until around 7:30 I decided to give the midwife a call because I felt like labor might be coming on since the cramping didn’t stop. She asked if I had lost bloody show, which at that point I had just a tiny bit but really not much. I got into the bath for 30 minutes and if they continued after that I was to call her back.
Well, 30 minutes came and went, contractions were still coming on so I called my midwife back and she said, “alright I am on my way!” and at that point, I knew it was happening. I was still pretty calm and not in any intense pain. I was able to walk around and just started to get things ready for birth. I called my birth photographer and then called our friend, Megan, to come over and rock our oldest to sleep since her bedtime was around 8:30pm. We took our last family of three picture at 8:41 pm and that is whenever my midwife also showed up as well.
Well, 30 minutes came and went, contractions were still coming on so I called my midwife back and she said, “alright I am on my way!” and at that point, I knew it was happening, we were having our home birth! I was still pretty calm and not in any intense pain. I was able to walk around and just started to get things ready for birth. I called my birth photographer, Roxanne, and then called our friend, Megan, to come over and rock Nanyori to sleep since her bedtime was around 8:30pm. We took our last family of three picture at 8:41 pm and that is whenever my midwife also showed up as well.
My midwife, Hillary, checked babies heartbeat and then checked me to see if I was progressing. I was at 6cm and labor was here!!!! I couldn’t believe I was at 6cm because again, I still wasn’t in intense pain at this point.
Around 9:20 Roxanne showed up and got right to it. My husband was filling up the birthing pool, while I labored on the bed. During a home birth you have endless options of how you want to bring your baby into the world. I really desired to give birth into water, so we had a birthing pool that we rented from our midwife. During that time our hot water heater decided we had used enough hot water and it got super cold. (apartment life) So, I wasn’t able to get in and labor in the pool until they could fill it up high enough for me to give birth in it and for the temperature to be warm enough for baby to enter into as well. We texted our upstairs neighbors to see if they had a big pot we could borrow so we could haul water from warming on the kitchen stove back to the bedroom to pour into the pool. They had a massive boiler pot that came in so clutch (s/o to carmen and caleb) and Roxanne, Megan and Tryce got to hauling water.
At 10:35pm my midwife came over to the bed and asked me to go pee and get into the birthing pool. She didn’t even check me or anything, I believe in her wisdom of birthing babies for 20+ years she knew by the sounds I was making through those contractions that baby was almost here and I needed to prepare to give birth. I didn’t think I had the strength to go pee because I had hit that point in birth (iykyk) where I didn’t think I could keep going in my own strength. As soon as I had one more contraction, my husband picked me up and forced me onto the toilet. I peed and then hit the floor to finish out my contractions. My midwife said, “Erin, during this next rest period you NEED to get into the birthing pool. It is going to help you so much.” I trusted her and did exactly as she said. I got in and the water was so relaxing and relieving from the moment I got in. It was so warm and I could feel the pressure of the contractions being completely lifted from my body. When they say water is like magic during labor, I truly believe that now.
At 10:42pm I asked Tryce to call my mom on facetime because there’s something about the strength of my mother that just helps in these moments for me. Megan held my mom and Tryce’s mom on another phone while on facetime. The song, “This is how I thank the Lord” by Mosaic MSC was playing and at 10:46pm with two strong pushes, and some major roars, our sweet baby GIRL was born right into her daddy’s arms.
Finding out the gender at birth was such a whirlwind and so exciting that it helps keep your thoughts elsewhere besides on the fact that your vajay is literally on fire and you just pushed a human out of your body. LOL I also don’t enjoy pregnancy (I have had HG every time) so much that the adrenaline of birth and meeting my baby and not being pregnant anymore brings me intense JOY.
I sat in the warmth of the birthing pool with our precious daughter for awhile. I eventually birthed my placenta and then that’s when I wanted to get out because that’s when all the bleeding starts happening once your placenta detaches from your uterus.
Truly the gift of bringing life that grew inside of my body and into this world is one I do not take for granted. Birth is such a miraculous journey and I feel so proud of myself every time I do it. I believe birth resembles a lot of what heaven on earth could possibly feel like. A sheer moment in time where it feels like there is light amongst darkness. This home birth experience exceeded my expectations and I am at a loss for words. Having the honor of bringing our second beautiful daughter into this world within the comfort of our own bedroom is a memory I will hold dear for the rest of my days. The Lord was present and my strength in my weakness. I will do it again (literally in two months) and enjoy this hard, raw, vulnerable, intense kind of beauty birth brings. Heaven touching earth and the closest to heaven I’ll ever be.
If you’re into watching birth videos, here is our home birth video , it’s clean and there’s no showing of anything you may not want to see. Just a short clip of how incredible our experience was. If you’re debating about doing a home birth, I couldn’t recommend it enough if you have a low-risk pregnancy. My photographer wrote an incredible blog post over our home birth and I would love for you to see it and all of the incredible photos she took of our beautiful day.