home + waterbirth : welcome serenity! {Tampa Bay Home Birth}

This story comes to us from a beautiful client who is the mama to 3 precious girls. This was her 2nd homebirth. I love how calm she was even while cursing like a sailor to bring her baby earthside. I just adore this family and love that they have shared their story with the world! Enjoy! 

"On Nov 8, 2012 I was 41 weeks pregnant with my 3rd daughter Serenity River. I had a real urge to get some shopping done that evening, so after dinner I ran to Wal-Mart while Chris was home with the big girls. On my way to the store I started having back pain for the first time. So when I got back home, I ended up doing a "Bitch post" for the first time, complaining about my back hurting and was just DONE. I was ready for Serenity to come out and meet the world!  It was after we got the girls to bed that I realized this back pain was coming and going, which meant I was in early labor!! I called Gina and Charlie, my midwife and student midwife, to let them know what was going on. This is when Gina told me she was still not feeling well from being in the hospital sick for 5 days and that she couldn't come to my birth, she would have to send her back up Jill with Charlie.  I was really upset that she wasn't going to make it, but felt very comfortable with Charlie; I knew she was going to take great care of us.

Around 12am I pulled out all the home birth supplies, took some Cal Mag, a hot shower, and went to bed. I didn't get much sleep because I had to keep getting up to go to the bathroom.  Around 1:15am I had lost some of my mucus plug along with a tinge of blood. I was super excited now because I knew things were moving along and my baby was going to be in my arms soon. I then wrote a note for Chris so if he got up for work, he would know to call in to work- meaning it was baby time!!!

Around 4am, a strong contraction woke me up so I got out of bed and pigged out, because I was starving!!! I took another hot shower and tried to go back to sleep. I couldn't sleep so I just rested until Chris got up; he got himself and Ava ready to take her to school. My friend Jill came over to pick up MaKalyn so Chris and I could go for a walk. My contractions started to slow down so I hoped that a long walk would bring them back. Charlie arrived to our house shortly after my walk with Chris. I just wanted to cry because I felt bad she drove all the way to my house for nothing. Charlie had me go on another hour walk with Chris and I took B&B labor Enhancer every 15 minutes. I only had two very mild contractions on that hour walk, so when I got back home, I talked with Charlie and we agreed she should go home so I could rest.

We then called my friend Jill and had her drop the girls back off at home. I took some more Cal Mag, put my pj's on and hit the hay. I slept from 1pm til about 4pm, when I was awoken by yet another strong contraction. This time I knew it wasn't going to stop, this was the real deal! Charlie sent me a text to check on me and I let her know that I was contracting every 6-7 minutes, for a minute long. She told me she was going to head back over to the house. I called my mom and Patty our birth photographer to let them know it was time, along with my friend Jill to come back and get the girls. Chris got the birth tub set up but we couldn't get the water hot enough for me to relax in. By this time I was starting to panic, the contractions were coming every two minutes. Things were moving really fast now. Charlie and the backup midwife Jill were both coming from far areas in the middle of Friday's rush hour traffic. I thought for sure I was having this baby on my own! I somehow managed to notify a few mama friends to let them know the show was about to begin on Ustream. I was now barking orders for Chris to take some of the water out of the birth tub and pour boiling water in (I don't think he ever did that.) I then got in the tub and the temperature was at 91 degrees, which was way too cold to be relaxing in. I tensed up really bad, so I knew I needed to get out of the tub. I obviously wasn't thinking clearly, because I  jumped in the shower next with the birth ball thinking I would have enough hot water after we just filled a 300 gallon tub. -__-

While sitting in the shower I cried "I want hot water" over and over. I then heard someone at our door, it was Patty our birth photographer in which my mom then let her in (she was hoping it was Charlie, sorry Patty). Charlie showed up right after Patty. At that time I knew that little Serenity was going to be here very, very soon! I got in the tub, still not knowing if they ever put boiling water in it or if the water heater warmed it up, but it felt better.

I had a much different sound with this labor than I did with my past  experiences; it was more like a soprano singing sound. I can still remember Patty mentioning to me when she got there, that she loved my singing.

When I was in the tub, I was thinking to myself "I can't believe how fast this is going". I was in my own world with my loved ones all watching me, but I felt like I was alone. I wasn't scared or sad about this feeling at all. It was just what I needed to do in order to get this baby down an out. I felt like I was losing control and freaking out, but when I watch my video I really wasn't. I was very much in control of my body and my labor, just not my head, which was going crazy from disbelief of what was happening. I was having my 3rd daughter at 41.1 weeks and couldn't wait for her to be out, and in my arms.

Around 8pm, yes folks just 4 hours of labor, I started to get the urge to push. It still blows my mind after 3 natural births how you can go from having one contraction, to the very next one your body starts pushing and I start grunting, which is just aboslutely amazing! I don't recall how long I pushed for, so I asked Charlie at my 6week pp. appt.  She said "like 5mins, or 8 fucks!" Hahaha! Yes, I was dropping the F-bomb A LOT when it was pushing time, sorry to all that watched my birth. 

Serenity's little head came out still in the sac. Charlie thought that was cool. I thought that made it hurt more, birthing all that extra fluid in the bubble, well just sucked. I do think its super cool now, just didn't at the time. After her head was out, the sac burst and I reached down to touch her head. I yelled out "She's so small!!" I knew my whole pregnancy she was going to be a small baby, and she was. She was also my last, weird. When her head was out I felt her body rotating around. I had never experienced that feeling before, remembering it was really a weird feeling. Here’s this little baby which is half way out in the world with the other half still in your own body twisting her way out! Yeah, shits crazy! But a good crazy. I love feeling everything and being in control of my own body, even though in my head I wasn't in control at all.

With the next contraction, Serenity was born on November 9, 2012 at 8:13pm. Charlie and I held her under the water until she opened her eyes; then I slowly pulled her up to my chest and I just started to cry with joy.

I got out of the water pretty fast because I didn't want to birth the placenta in the water. Next, I walked to my room with our baby in my arms, umbilical cord still attached to the placenta awaiting it's delivery. I climbed in my bed and Serenity latched right on. It wasn't long after, that she started pooping a river of meconium that Patty was so kind to keep cleaning up for me. Serenity was still naked without a diaper on, so she just kept pooping on me and Patty kept cleaning it up.

Jill, the backup midwife, finally arrived (after GPS sent her all over the neighborhood) just as I was ready to birth the placenta. Shortly after, Charlie and Jill did Serenity's newborn exam. She was perfect in every way. Serenity was 6 lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long, with a 13 inch head that was perfectly round.

Around this time we heard a big splash! My male kitty Hollister usually liked to sleep on top of the birth tub that always had a lid on it. Well poor kitty got a big surprise and went for a swim. Lol!

After all that, Chris fed me dinner as I sat in our bed and nursed Serenity. Everyone was helping cleaning up and Patty was able to go home before her bedtime. All in all, Serenity's birth was amazing and I will be forever thankful for Charlie. How amazing she was as my midwife. She was hands off unless I needed her, it was almost as if she was in my head knowing what I needed without me saying a word, maybe just a moan. Charlie will always hold a special place in my heart for the rest if my life. I'm also very thankful for Patty, which was able to capture the most amazing photos of my last birth, in which I will cherish forever. I'm also very thankful for Chris, my mom and my best friend Jill. They all helped me along this process, in which I couldn't have done it without them."

 A very special thanks to Patty of Sweet Plum Photography for sharing these photos. Patty is available for birth photography in the Tampa Bay Area and can be found at www.sweetplumphotography.com