From the beginning, we planned to have our second child at home with a midwife. When I went into labor, I began having contractions in the middle of the night, but I was able to go back to sleep. I finally woke up again at 6:30 AM with uncomfortable contractions, but I was able to go about my day as usual. I did laundry, took my son for a walk in the stroller, watched a movie, played computer solitaire, talked on the phone, and napped. I took a walk with my friend at 8 PM and my contractions got stronger. They had been coming five minutes apart and lasting about a minute long throughout the day. When we got back from our walk, it was around 10 PM.
I took a shower and tried to sleep, but it was so uncomfortable that I couldn't. I leaned over the arm of the couch to get some relief during the contractions and took deep, long breaths. The contractions were not getting closer, but they were harder. I called my midwife at 11 PM and was still talking in between contractions which made me wonder if this was the real deal.
I woke my husband who readied the birthing tub and put a plastic sheet on our bed. The birthing tub felt awful to me. I hated it and went to the shower instead. I positioned the nozzle straight on my lower back and blasted hot water. It was so awesome! It felt so good to have that. Suddenly I felt that I needed to empty my bowels, so I jumped out of the shower and sat on the toilet. But NO! It was the baby coming! I was worried about having the baby without a midwife, so I didn’t push. It was the most painful thing to wait for 20 minutes until she arrived. (We were living in military housing and she had gotten held up at the base security.)
As soon as she checked me, she said, “You have NO cervix left.” I stood up and pushed. My water broke and I got on my hands and knees on the bed. I could see myself in the mirror on the headboard as I gave two pushes. Out came the head, and out came the body.
Suzanne Victoria was born at 1:07 AM on June 10, 2004. I fell back onto my bed lightly and held her in my arms for about 45 minutes before my husband cut the cord. It was so awesome to be connected on that level after birth. She just breathed and made sweet baby noises, and didn’t cry until she looked up at the light. After delivering the placenta, I took a shower, and my husband gave Suzanne a tour of our house. The midwife and the nurse cleaned up the bed, gave me postpartum instructions, and then they conducted a newborn exam on my lap. They made me a snack, and they went on their way.
We got to wrap our baby up in our own bed and nurse without any interruptions or unfamiliar noises from the hospital. That morning at 8 AM, my 21-month-old son woke up and came into the bedroom to find his new baby sister. He was all smiles and fell in love with her the moment he saw her. Suzanne's home birth was fulfilling and breathtaking. My husband and I fell in love with each other all over again.