Two years ago today, Pipsqueak was born at home.
It was a long time coming, a homebirth. I have a history of quick and pretty easy labors. I can’t stand hospitals. Nobody likes them, though, do they? But I really, really can’t stand them. Especially for giving birth. I was reading somebody’s blog the other day. She’d just given birth and showed a picture of a sign in her room. “Babies are weighed between 2am and 7 am.” Seriously? Like, someone is going to come in during the time that both mother and baby should be getting some much needed rest – just to weigh the baby? . I tend to ignore lame rules. Reason number one right there for having a homebirth.
OK, so questionable hospital policies and previous quick labors were in my top 5 reasons for choosing to birth at home. Here in Colorado we have laws dictating exactly who can give birth at home. Your health history, including prior births, current health, position of baby, number of babies (singleton vs multiples), health of the baby – all factor in. I got a green light in all of them.
I wasn’t scared that something would go wrong. Well, just a little. Not scared that something would go wrong because I was at home, but because sometimes things happen no matter where you are. But I was mostly scared that I couldn’t deal with the pain. I’d had 3 unmedicated births before Pipsqueak, but each time the safety net of the epidural was right there. Any time I needed to I could get some relief. My midwife was really great, though. Not only did she address all my “what if this happens” questions, she also helped me through my lack of confidence in myself. When she told me that she had never transferred a mom to the hospital because of pain, I knew with her help I could do it.
And I did.
It was truly the best birth experience I’d ever had. I was in my own bedroom most of the time. I was encouraged to eat whenever I needed to and in fact I had some of the gingerbread that my mom and Pumpkin Girl had made for dessert. Several times an hour someone was putting my water bottle in my hand and having me drink. My children were in and out of my room whenever they needed to touch base with me. I got a full night’s sleep in my own comfy bed. When my contractions finally got started I had a team of midwives supporting me. They frequently reminded me, “This is all about you.” Never in my entire life has something been completely about me. Whatever I wanted to do, go, or say was fine. It was all about making things as easy for me as possible, while keeping both me and baby healthy.
I labored a bit in my bathtub. Then I leaned on Phil and did the labor waltz, my arms around his neck, his hands at my waist. I got tired – weary – of that, so I laid down. I got sleepy and my midwife nodded sagely, knowing that this urge to sleep sets in right before the pushing is about to happen.
Pumpkin Girl came in to my room to witness her brother’s entrance into the world. She sat quietly on a chair and was one of the first people ever to see him. The boys and my mom were waiting not too patiently in the hallway and as soon as I was ready, Pumpkin Girl let them in. Within minutes of his birth, Pipsqueak was surrounded by the very people who love him the most.
Within the hour Boo was holding Pipsqueak and reading fairy tales to him while Pumpkin held the book up. My mom made me Polish sausage and eggs for breakfast. When everything was cleaned up and packed away, my midwife and her team left. She returned the next morning and again two days later. I was confined to the upstairs of my house to recover and it was wonderful and restful. It was the easiest recovery I’ve had.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
Happy 2nd Birthday, Little Pipsqueak! We are glad you are here.