An Unexpectedly Quick and Ecstatic Home Birth
I spent all day February 6th trying to naturally induce my body to begin labor. I was nine days past due and getting desperate. I tried everything; cotton root bark, membrane sweep, bouncing on a yoga ball for hours as the sound of the breast pump mocked me. I went to sleep that night with not even a twinge of a contraction and resolved to be pregnant forever.
The next morning (ON MY BIRTHDAY!) I woke up around 8:30am having slight contractions that I thought nothing of. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep because “dammit, if it was my birthday” I was at least going to sleep in. Not 15 minutes later the intensity of the contractions changed and I thought - “oh shit, I should time these.” They went from 7 minutes apart, to 6 the next one and 5 the next one getting stronger every time.
At around 9:04am I figured I should text my birth photographer, Kayla, (because priorities) and let her know that today MIGHT be the day. Then we called the midwife and let her know that they were about 5-7 minutes apart and I was going to shower, try to check dilation myself and then go on a Costco run (I was a bit in denial that this was actually happening). She told us to call her back if the contractions got more intense or were consistently under 5 minutes. My husband, Joseph, began timing my contractions at this point and despite the fact that they were all coming under 5 minutes apart I still denied that I was in labor.
I got into the shower and out of nowhere the intensity of the contractions became severe, much more so than either of my two previous labors. They were now coming less than 3 minutes apart. After asking me multiple times if we should call the midwife, Joseph decided to take control and called her at 9:40am to inform her that we weren’t going to Costco after all. My awesome team of midwives, apprentices, birth photographer, and my mother were on their way!
All I remember thinking at this time is that there was no way I could go through this labor if it had just started and I was already in that much pain. I did not realize I was already in transition. My husband stood on the other side of the glass door of the shower where I was resting my head and never left my side. At this point my body took over and I was moaning and roaring through contractions. He helped me out of the shower and I used the yoga ball on the bed to lean over and sway through the next few contractions.
At 10:00am my amazing student midwife, Rachel, arrived and immediately started placing waterproof pads under me and all around me and asked if I had felt the urge to push and all I could think was “Is she crazy? This just started!” She checked me around 10:15am and I was already at a 9.5 cm dilation with just a bit of lip in the front. I was told there would be no time for the birthing tub and my heart sank a bit because I was set on a water birth after missing it with my second sons home birth. My husband ran a bath in our tub so I could at least labor in the water and we headed back into the bathroom.
The next 30 minutes were a whirlwind of the most painful contractions I have ever felt - all concentrated directly in the center of my uterus. My sweet husband never left my side the whole time and stayed forehead to forehead with me while I clawed into his arms. Our backup midwife, Melek, and her apprentice, Katie, showed up while I was in the tub. At one point my husband reassured me, “You do not have to wait for the photographer you know.” But again priorities. She arrived moments after this. Everyone made it except my lead midwife, Genevieve.
My birth team was telling me to send all the energy I was moaning out of my mouth downward to push baby and to start to bear down. This was amazing advice, and when I could handle the immense pressure it put on my vagina I followed it. During maybe the second or third bear down I felt a huge popping sensation and looked down and my water had broken and there was a large amount of meconium in the bath water. I freaked out, thinking I had pooped in the bath and immediately stood up to get out of that water.
My husband helped me to the bed where I collapsed as soon as possible at a sideways angle and he cradled me from behind. They told me that my babies head was right there and I needed to push hard. All of a sudden, I felt this immense relief that this was actually happening and my daughter was actually really coming. No more denial.
Rachel asked me if I wanted Joseph to catch (which was the plan from the beginning) but he was giving me so much support that I needed him face to face with me and I’m pretty sure I yelled “NO!” at her. Two pushes later her head was out and I cried out, “It’s almost over!” My husband reassured me that, “Yes, she’s almost here,” and an indescribable sense of joy filled my heart.
With one more push at 10:58am she arrived.
Her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and body. Melek gently removed it as she placed her on my chest. All I kept saying was “That’s mine! That’s my baby!” I will never forget how strong my husband was for both of us and the look on his face when his baby girl was born. Daniella Lynn Gorordo was 7lbs 14oz and 20.5 inches long. She was born after only 2.5 hours of labor - in which her Mommy was in denial for the most part of.
My amazing birth team stayed with us for hours after her birth and got us in a soothing herbal bath and my mother went and got our two boys from school so they could meet their baby sister. Harper, my 8-year-old, is infatuated with her and my 6-year-old, Jackson, is not going to let her interfere with his world too much right now. Our family is now complete.