Birth Story – Holli, Taylor and Ethan Dumont
When I got pregnant I remember a friend asking, “So where are you going to have the baby? At home or at the hospital?” I was taken aback by this question. I honestly didn’t think people had babies anywhere else but at the hospital. I really didn’t think there were options when it came to where you had your baby.
His question intrigued me so much that I started looking into home birth. The more research I did, the more I was convinced that this was what I wanted to do and after meeting Dotti, our midwife, my husband and I were sold on home birth.
Nine months passed…slowly. I can’t say that I was the biggest fan of pregnancy. The nausea, the stretch marks, lack of bladder control, etc…it can be tough for some women, and I was one of them. Sometime during my 3rd trimester I developed a condition called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. My body was creating too much of the hormone called Relaxin. So it was getting difficult to walk, lie down, and move…it just plain hurt to do anything. To help with this issue I started seeing a chiropractor and it helped a lot. I was also assured that the birth of my child was going to be okay; it just might be a tad more intense. She wasn’t kidding…but we will get to that in a minute.
Late on October 18th, I started having rhythmic contractions coming at about 10 minutes apart. They felt different then the Braxton Hicks that I had been having for months, so I knew that this must be some form of labor. Within a few hours they started coming every 5 minutes and they were getting a bit stronger. We held off calling Dotti until morning. When we spoke, she asked a few questions and told us to call her if things started to progress. By mid-day everything had pretty much come to a halt and this was how it went for the next 4 days, contractions at night and nothing during the day. I was getting very tired and discouraged by this. I wanted the pregnancy to be over and I wanted to meet our baby. We wanted to wait to find out the sex, so this labor delay was making me more and more anxious.
On the 21st we decided to try castor oil. Wow! That stuff tastes awful, but it worked…however…it worked too well. I took it at 7pm and by 11pm my contractions were very intense and coming every 2 minutes. We called Dotti and she came over right away. Apparently my cervix wasn’t really on board with the whole castor oil thing, because I was only dilated 2 centimeters and only about 10% effaced. Dotti wanted to slow things down so she got me into the labor pool and sure enough, things slowed way down and eventually came to a halt.
At about 3am on the 22nd, things picked up again. Contractions were hitting me like waves, but this time it was different; my pelvic bone was killing me. With every contraction it felt like my pelvic bone was being ripped from my body. Dotti came over immediately and we tried a bunch of different labor positions to try and ease the pain. She said that it would be wise to get me into the chiropractor so that he could adjust my pelvic bone. The thought of getting in the car for 25 minutes was horrifying, but she said that I wasn’t dilating and that at this point it was just torture to let this continue. The chiropractor was amazing, ! He did a bunch of strange adjustments and within an hour my contractions stopped completely.
The next 3 days were pretty uneventful. I was having my normal Braxton Hicks, but nothing else. At this point I was very depressed, worn out and stressed.
My husband is a commercial pilot, and he had called into work on the 18th when all this silliness started, but his airline would not give him any more time off. So he was scheduled to leave on the 5:30am flight on the 27th and would be gone for 5 days. I was scared to be alone with all that had been going on, but our hands were tied.
On 26th my husband mentioned trying the castor oil again. I figured we had nothing to lose, so at 2pm I did it again….yuck. At 7pm I started having mild contractions 4 minutes apart. We decided that since they were not very intense we would ride it out through the night. At 4:30am on the 27th, my husband was ready to go to the airport; bags were packed, uniform was on, keys in hand, heading out the door…when….my water broke. We were both a little surprised and confused. We didn’t really believed what was happening.
Within 30 minutes the contractions were unbearable. I was in my husband’s arms, falling to the floor screaming, my pelvic bone was on fire. I couldn’t breathe, walk or even stand. The pain was excruciating. Dotti came over immediately and I was so grateful for her. She was able to get me breathing again. She got me to focus on what I needed to do to have my baby. The other two assistants were there within hours and they were amazing too.
Labor was very slow and very intense. I remember it being very dark, then light and then slowly get dark again. However, it was very comforting to be home. We had soft music playing and candles lit. It was the perfect environment and I felt very safe.
I labored on the birth ball for what seemed like an eternity, when Dotti told me that she wanted my husband and me to go for a walk. I really didn’t want to but there is no point in arguing with your midwife. I didn’t know anything about giving birth….she did...and she knew what I needed to do to get my labor progressing. So I embraced all her suggestions.
We walked for about 20 minutes and when I returned to the house, sure enough I had progressed. We then tried a couple of side-lying positions to get the baby in the optimal birthing position. I do recall vomiting at one point, and believe it or not, it felt amazing! And it helped me dilate enough to be able to get in the water.
Hours passed again. My husband stayed busy keeping me fed and hydrated. (Dotti’s note “It was getting towards evening and Holli had been a real trooper. She was in the pool and she looked over at me and asked, “Am I in transition yet?” My response: “You are almost through transition!” That was the first time in a long time a faint smile appeared on Holli’s face). Finally I was ready to push. I remember being told once that you would feel the need to push, but I didn’t experience that. I had to be told to bear down and push. I thought I would birth on my knees, but that wasn’t what felt right. I ended up sitting on my bottom with my knees up. My husband was behind me, out of the water, and ended up scooping me up under my arms to elevate me. I was so happy to be pushing…we would finally get to meet our son or daughter. After only 6 pushes, Ethan finally made his appearance at 8:04pm on Oct 27th, weighing 8 lbs. 11.5 oz. and measuring 20 ¾ inches. This was truly the most remarkable experience ever.
To all you first time mothers-to-be out there, if I can offer any piece of advice it would be 2 things: 1. Rest! Rest! Rest! Rest as much as you can in the beginning of labor because, hours later, when the pushing starts you are going to need all your strength. 2. Listen to your midwife. I am so grateful for Dotti and her assistants, Misty and Stephanie. They were my guides in this journey. They knew exactly what I needed to do to have a successful birth and I can’t thank them enough for being so caring and comforting in such a delicate time.