Lydia’s birth story actually began long before her birth. I had heard about a midwife that lives near our home that delivers babies at home and that surprised me. I had never even considered having a home birth because I figured that nowadays that only happened on accident, and that babies were supposed to be born at the hospital or in a birthing center. So upon hearing that people DO have babies at home, I decided to do a little research on it, and I decided to look up this midwife.
I found a phone number for her and after a few weeks I got up the courage to give her a call. When she answered I asked “Is this the Valerie that’s a midwife that delivers babies at home in Eagle Mountain?” She just laughed and said “Who is this?” I explained that she had no idea who I was but that someone had told me about her and I wanted to research this home birth option. She explained that she does prenatals on Thursdays and she invited me to come over the next Thursday to meet her. So the next Thursday I loaded my kids up and we went to meet her. She was nice and I met some of the other ladies that go to her for prenatal visits. Then I scheduled a time for Kyle and I to come together so he could meet her and we could ask questions. Kyle came with me to meet her and he asked some questions. He asked “what was needed to certify our house for a home birth?” and Valerie just laughed at that. Valerie asked us for some information about us. Turns out that she was working in Anaheim at the time that I was born. In fact she knew most of the doctors that delivered babies in the hospital that I was born in, including my mom’s OB, Dr Samanth. I really felt like doing a home birth sounded like a good idea, but I just kept feeling like, “but what if….” After doing a lot of pondering and research, I decided to get over my ‘what if’ concerns and try for a home birth.
Thursday, April 28th, I went in for another prenatal visit. We did all the normal stuff, urine sample, weight check, blood pressure, listen for the baby’s heartbeat… Then she looked at my chart and said that based on when I felt the first kick, we should be having this baby tomorrow (the 29th). Then she looked at all of today’s info and compared it to last weeks. She pointed out how my weight seems to have leveled off, and the height of the fundus seems to have stayed the same and my blood pressure has gone up slightly. And she said that usually right before going into labor your weight will go down just a little and your blood pressure will go up a little. I had never heard any of these things before. So I found them very interesting.
After putting the kids to bed that night, the baby was very active. This is actually very normal for this baby, and happens just about every night. But this time it was rather more painful when the baby would kick or turn or wiggle. About 10:00pm I was getting ready to go to bed in the hopes that if I’m laying down maybe the baby will calm down. Or at least I would be stretched out flat and being kicked in the ribs wouldn’t be AS uncomfortable. When I went potty for the final time before bed I noticed some bloody show, so Kyle suggested that I give Valerie (my midwife) a call and let her know what is going on. So I did, and I felt silly because I wasn’t noticing contractions really, I was just super uncomfortable and now I had some light bleeding. She told me that usually, babies get really quiet before labor starts. She suggested that I try to get some sleep and give her a call when contractions were happening.
I tried going to bed. But I couldn’t sleep, I was just so uncomfortable. Kyle came to bed shortly after I did and he took longer to fall asleep than is normal for him but he was out before 11pm. So I laid here in my bed, uncomfortable and awake by myself and felt contractions coming. But at first they were pretty spaced out (just not spaced far enough apart for me to get any sleep). I had to get up to pee again around midnight then again shortly after 1am. That second time there was quite a bit more than I was expecting and so I wondered if maybe my water had broken, but I wasn’t so sure about that, and decided to just go back to bed. But I couldn’t lay down any more. Contractions started getting really intense and were coming really fast. I just couldn’t take them lying down any more, so I sat in the recliner to hopefully be more comfortable.
About 1:30 I just felt like I couldn’t do this alone any more so I woke Kyle up, and he just sat with me. Every time I would breathe deeply he would ask “Another one?” Yes that’s another one! I told him I had no idea when we should call Valerie back, but I told him that he could do it whenever. He decided to call her and tell her that contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes now, and she said she’d be right over. So Kyle went to shut the kids bedroom doors, turn on the porch light and open the front door, so Valerie could come right in and not disturb the kids. She actually ended up calling back to find out which house was ours because she couldn’t see house numbers in the dark (it doesn’t help that the porch lights are behind the numbers so the numbers are just part of the shadows.) But she found the house and came in. Right before she came in, Chloe woke up and was trying to get out of her room, so Kyle went to get her out so she wouldn’t wake the other girls up.
Valerie came in and set down her things and helped ready the bed and then got me to it. She sat down with me and pulled out her doppler so we could check on the baby’s heart beat, which sounded great. Then she went to check my progress and said I was already “5000% effaced” and fully dilated (that made me feel good despite the painful contractions. I’m always afraid to be checked when I’m in so much pain and be told that I still have quite a ways to go). So then she felt around further and she said that she feels the bony head right there, and I asked if she broke my water (I had to ask because I didn’t feel a gush and she said that she felt the head and it didn’t feel like it was being cushioned by the waters) and she said that she thought they had already broken. By this time Kyle was sitting on the bed beside me holding Chloe, and Valerie asked if I had had a blessing yet. I said no, and she said now would be a good time. Kyle said he could give me one if I wanted. So I nodded and Kyle asked me if that meant yes. Gosh I’m in pain here give me a break and pretend you know me a little bit better than that ok!? So he gave me a blessing, then Valerie felt for the baby again and said that I should be feeling pressure and that I should be feeling like I needed to push. I told her that I didn’t feel any pressure yet. I don’t know if that was because the baby hadn’t descended far enough down yet, or if it was because I was laying flat on my back and gravity wasn’t working for me or what. But we decided to start pushing with the contractions anyways. After all, the sooner I pushed her out the sooner I would be feeling better.
I think the pushing stage was a bit harder this time around than it has been in some of my previous deliveries, but again that may have been because I was laying flat on my back, whereas most of my other deliveries I was sitting up, and slightly reclined in a hospital bed. But after several contractions there was a head, and a few contractions later at 2:44 am, we had a baby. Valerie announced that we had another girl. Meanwhile Chloe had just been sitting with Kyle this whole time on the bed next to me. When Valerie picked up the baby and put her on my tummy, Chloe crawled closer to me and was so excited that there was a baby there. She kept pointing out the “nose, nose” and the “eyes, eyes” (Chloe has to repeat everything she says). This is when Kyle got up and started taking pictures of the baby and Valerie and I just kind of waited for the placenta to release itself from the uterine wall. After the placenta had been released and delivered, Valerie had Kyle cut the cord and they got me all covered up again. Then we heard another child at our bedroom door. Kyle answered it and it was Dinah. She came in and saw that Valerie was here and we had the baby and she got so excited. She came up on the bed and sat next to me with the biggest smile. Then Valerie asked what we were going to name her. I said that we had discussed the name Lydia, and I asked Dinah if that was a pretty name. I was really concerned with how Dinah would react if we had a girl and named her something other than Ella, since that is the name that Dinah has been hoping for consistently for quite a while. But Dinah said she liked the name Lydia, and so we decided to just stick with that. 🙂
Having our baby at home has been so peaceful. I didn’t have to deal with riding in the car during the most crazy part of labor, and lets face it, the contractions got so strong and frequent so fast that by the time we could have waked the kids and gotten them loaded into the van and headed for the hospital, we just wouldn’t have made it. In the morning when it was time to wake the kids up to get ready for school, Kyle got to wake them up and send them to our room saying “Guess what came in the night?” I’m so grateful we didn’t have to disturb them in the middle of the night, and I’m sure that made getting them to school much easier for them. I’m also grateful that I didn’t have to deal with IV’s and nurses refusing to take them out of my arm, and nurses coming in every hour or so to check my vitals, or hearing carts rolling down the hallways at all hours of the day and night. I’m grateful that I could ask Kyle to get me whatever food I wanted, when I wanted, and it actually tasted like real food, unlike that nasty food they serve in the hospital (their eggs taste nothing like real eggs, and I remember the pancakes being really nasty last time I was there too). And I’m glad that I got to be home with my family the whole time. I have always hated sitting alone in the hospital while Kyle went to take care of the rest of our kids. They would come visit me but they never could stay very long before the little ones started getting into things they shouldn’t. I have always hated sitting all alone in a hospital room with my baby, and not having the rest of my family there with me. Can I just say I’ve always hated going to the hospital so my body can do what it was going to do naturally anyways???