Knox-ing It Out of the Park | A Tampa Bay Home Birth Story

"I was told baby number three was the “wild card.”  

My first son was born in the hospital with typical hospital scares (and almost a c-section), but I was able to have him naturally and vaginally.

The night after he was born, I walked up to the nurses counter and had a conversation with one of the nurses.  She had six children, five were born at home.  She told me “don’t come back here stay at home.”

Well I listened.

My second son was born at home, much faster and easier than my first and I knew my next child would be born the same way.

We recently moved to Tampa so I needed to find a midwife.

My husband and I instantly connected with Charlie.  We loved her confident yet laid back demeanor.  She had a ton of knowledge and experience.  It was easy to tell how passionate she was about the safety and benefits of home birth and we were excited to have on our team.  I loved having home visits.  Doctors’ offices have always given me some anxiety but at home I felt much more at ease. 

The day Knox decided to come was a very hot day in June.  I had an appointment a 3:30pm (which of course I was sure I would not make) two days before my due date.  I had been having contractions, no pain just stomach tightening, all day.  I had lost part of my mucous plug in the morning but still wasn’t sure if I was going into labor any time soon.

That evening I went to the playground, Daily Eats for dinner and started getting the boys ready for bed.  At about 9pm I felt a sharp pain in my cervix area, different from the pressure I had been feeling.  I went into the bathroom and had lost the rest of my plug and had a “bloody” or pink show.  I called Charlie and told her my contractions still had not started.

I decided to take a bath and I called my doula, Rae.  While I was on the phone with her, I felt a pop and a small gush of water.  I was pretty sure my water had broke but still wasn’t convinced I was in labor.  Rae however, wanted to come over right away.  She attended my other two births (she came in from Ohio) and expected me to go quickly.  I called Charlie and told her I thought my water broke but I still wasn’t having contractions and we agreed to just let me hang out for a bit.

At about 9:30 I noticed a few contractions about 7 minutes apart but not painful.  At 9:45 my doula arrived and by 11pm they were getting a little more intense. I sat on the birthing ball and had a few more small “gushes” of water.  At 11:15 Rae felt I was in transition and wanted me to call Charlie back, I said “I have lots of time left.”  Rae informed me my baby would be there before 12:30am, I laughed in disbelief and gave her a high five.

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I did however call Charlie and she decided to come over.  She arrived at 11:45pm and thank goodness she did.  I had about 2-3 really intense contraction and felt like I had to go to the bathroom.  I had another two back to back and all of a sudden I felt the need to push.  “This couldn’t be right”, I thought, as I hobbled back to the pool, telling Jenn, Charlie’s assistant, “I feel like the baby was coming out the other end.”  It was quite comical, and Jenn reassured me, “That’s typically what it feels like.”  

I asked Charlie to check me because I felt like I needed to push.  “See if you feel like you have to push on the next contraction”, she said.” Well the next contraction came and sure enough there was no stopping me from pushing.  The next push his head came out.  Charlie asked me to flip over.  I later came to realize the cord was wrapped around his neck (his head didn’t come out the whole way which is a sign of cord restriction). 

Two pushes later at 12:13am Knox Jameson Hafner arrived (he couldn’t wait until 12:30).  I couldn’t believe it. It was so fast and really not that painful at all.   

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natural water birth tampa florida
father at home birth tampa florida

I did however deliver my placenta in the toilet (sorry Jenn!) oh how birth brings out the best in all of us.

Home birth is an amazing experience.  I’ll never forget the moment I picked up Knox out of the water and held him for the first time.  Honestly, writing this makes me tear up. It was the most beautiful, simple, safe and honest moment.  Being surrounded by strong nurturing women and having my husband next to me was so reassuring. 

I can’t thank Barefoot Birth enough for their support and encouragement through the whole process.  We were truly blessed!"

newborn at homebirth south tampa florida
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A very special thanks to Taylor of Highlight Studios who captured this birth so beautifully. You can check out her other work on her website or via their Facebook Page