Its been almost a month since our little Freyja made her long and over due arrival.
I’ll be perfectly honest with you- I am SO glad I am not ever going to be pregnant again!! Not that I am not grateful for the ability to conceive and have children… my pregnancies are just hard and miserable. This one was the hardest.
I suffered from some hardcore depression through my entire pregnancy and am still struggling with postpartum depression. I was completely detached the whole time. And quite frankly I feel like my emotions robbed me of my last pregnancy. I enjoyed not one second of it…. and for that I am regretful. I will always wish it went differently and that I was able to enjoy some it. Maybe it was the season, as I was pregnant through the winter. Or maybe it was just the season of life at the moment. Who knows… but all that matters is that I have a happy and healthy baby now.
Anyways, more on that later. Since I really feel like depression and pregnancy needs to be discussed more and women need not to feel ashamed to admit that pregnancy sometimes is not all rainbows and butterflies and glowing…. sometimes….. it just sucks.
As many of you know my husband and I decided to have a home birth with this baby. We planned on it with the last one, but once she was diagnosed with gastroschisis that was no longer an option for us. When we found out at our 20 week scan that everything with Freyja was A-OK and she was 100% healthy we began our search for a midwife. We had already kind of been interviewing a few, but finally when we were discharged from the high risk care we found “the one”.
Why a home birth? Well, my mother was a home birth midwife for many many years. I witnessed a handful of my 7 siblings be born at home. So to me this was “normal”. After the traumatic birth experience with our third daughter (first two were born in birth centers with midwives as well) my husband and I wanted to have a “healing experience”. I wanted my husband to be able to catch our daughter and experience bonding immediately after birth. Moments we didn’t have with Aurora due to her medical complications.
Were we scared? Not really. I mean, everyone has reservations about birth because there is so much uncertainty. But we fully trusted our midwife and her team. We also trusted my body and knew it would do just what it was designed to do, and had done 3 times previously.
But there was no drugs? Correct. My first 2 births were all natural with no drugs either… I only had an epidural with my 3rd due to the hospital scaring/forcing me into one with the “if an emergency happens and you need a c-section we will rush you back and just cut you open without waiting for meds” line………….. yeah… so, I caved after 14 hours of labor. She was born 2 hours later with no c-section…. -_- Anyways, I knew I was capable of another unmedicated labor and birth.
So, finally what you all have been reading for….
After what seemed like a pregnancy that would never come to an end- on April 1st. Days after my due date my water broke at about 830am. And of course given what day it was- no one believed me….. other than my midwife.
However, with not needing too much convincing that this was really happening, my husband came home around 1230 and we started getting things ready. Then we realized that we still needed to get some supplies…. So, off to Meijer we went, in labor. I joked about being the lady in labor at the store buying baby stuff for almost my whole pregnancy- well I was the lady in labor at the store buying baby stuff!!!! By the time we left the store I was in full blown active labor. Once we got home the midwife and her team showed up about 25mins later. They got the pool all set up, as we wanted to have a water birth.
my contractions were coming in hard and fierce.. with no break between them. They were lasting about 2.5 minutes and giving me about 30 seconds before the next one started. My husband and youngest daughter were a great help. I really wanted all of my kids there, but my 2 oldest were at school and at their dads house that day….. It was still nice to have at least one of them there though.
I have had 3 kids and NEVER had a labor like this…. this one was hands down the roughest one I had ever experienced. Topped even the 2 I was induced with. It was hard. I was physically, mentally and emotionally burnt out. But my husband and our birth team did a wonderful job coaching me through it. Getting me out of my own head.
After not progressing from a 9 to a 10 after about two hours my midwife got real with us and told us that we had two options.
1. she could “reach up there” and manually turn the baby (as she was posterior) to get her to drop and come out and it would not be pleasant
2. we go to the hospital (one of the many reasons we chose who we chose. We knew that if it came down to it and something happened or to prevent something from happening she would not be afraid to tell us we had to go to the hospital)
I think I actually screamed for her to “just reach up there and get it the f**k out”…… there was a lot of screaming and lovely words during my labor I was told hahaha. And possibly some wall punching, too.
Well, whatever she did worked and next thing I knew I was being told to push good and hard…. There was some more choice words from me and then she said “Jon, would you like to reach down and pull your baby out?”
The moment we had all been waiting.
April 1, 2019 10:44 PM Freyja Lilith Jean was born at 9lbs and 21.5″ right into her daddy’s hands.
Granted it was on the couch and not in the pool…. It was still everything we had hoped it would be and more.
We opted for a delayed cord clamping and waited until the baby got all of the “good stuff” from the placenta before we cut the cord.
And this is probably my husbands favorite part of the whole ordeal!!! He not only wanted to cut the cord… he wanted to use one of his personal knives. Our midwife said that was not a problem as long as it was sterile……. To which Jon quickly responded that he intended on sterilizing the knife with bourbon, taking the shot and cutting the cord….. and that is exactly what happened…. hahaha!
If I had to do it all over again, I would choose a home birth over and over. Nothing else compares. Hands down.
*Keep in mind, a home birth is NOT something you just wake up one day and decide to do. It takes a lot of soul searching for both you and your partner, research, education, and some hard conversations about possible decisions that could possibly have to be made. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it is one of the most rewarding and amazing things you could ever do and experience.
Funny story: when my husband and I decided that we were going to have another baby last year, I kept having this dream. Over and over and over. It was two little girls playing in the back yard. One was Rory (our 3 year old) and the other was a little red haired blue eyed girl. I told everyone I was going to have another girl and she would have red hair…..well, guess what? that dream came true and we have a little blue eyed ginger baby!
Our incredible team that made this experience possible:
Midwife: Stacia Proefrock, CPM
Birth Photographer: Rachel
Newborn Photographer: Magan