Anonymous Mom: I’m Proud I Didn’t Let Fear Stop Me From My Second Home Birth
Anonymous Mom is a column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity. The following is a follow up to an Anonymous Mom column we published last December.
I’d like to share the story of the birth of my second child, a baby girl named Eve. Six months ago I welcomed her into a tub set up in my bedroom after just three hours of labor. The experience was almost— but not quite—perfect. It was so different in every way from the traumatic home birth of my son nearly two years before.
During my pregnancy I wrote an article about my emotional decision to attempt another homebirth. That story was incredibly cathartic for me to write and share and it proved to be a catalyst for my changing perspective. Somehow, putting my messy truth out there helped me bring back into focus what was really important. I took to heart many of the reader’s comments and sought help from a variety of sources. Simply put, I was rattled and had lost my confidence; I had to work to get it back and to change my inner dialogue. The physical difficulty of my pregnancy only exacerbated my psychological roller coaster. But as my due date approached, I was so at peace with my decision that it was hard to believe I’d felt so conflicted and scared just a few months prior.
I had to wait until 41.5 weeks for labor to start, but once it did, we were off and running. My midwife, well aware of my precipitous first labor, arrived an hour after contractions began. I was walking down the street stopping at every mailbox for a contraction when she pulled up and ordered me back inside. I was three centimeters. Then my water broke, she administered IV penicillin since I was GBS positive, and my contractions seemed to be progressing rapidly. I asked her to check me again before I got into the birth tub and I was six centimeters dilated.
Oh, that birth tub! Easily the best 60 dollars I have ever spent. Just as the contractions were getting difficult I got into that tub and the warm water took everything down a notch. I found comfort there and was able to relax for a few minutes before there was more work to be done. I had my Hypnobirthing CDs on — and while I don’t believe I was ever hypnotized — they were key to me mindfully relaxing and fixating on a positive mantra. The contractions became very intense as I relied on my doula to distract me with different tricks for coping with the pain. I turned to her every time I thought I was going to blow a gasket and she coached me through it all.