So excited to finally be sharing Gracie’s home birth story with you guys. It’s been three weeks since the little nugget came into the world. She is just the sweetest babe. A good sleeper…so thankful! She’s still a newborn and wakes up in the middle of the night to nurse, but she’s such a better sleeper than Finley was. My whole experience the second time around has been totally different than with Finley. You can read my home birth experience with Finley here. I should have known the birth was going to be different as well.
Gracie was due September 3rd but she came August 31st. Finley was 10 days late! So to say I was shocked she was early is an understatement. I remember thinking I had at least a good week left before she came…haha so not the case! I woke up Tuesday morning August 30th around 3ish am. What woke me up? My first contractions. I thought maybe they were just braxton hicks. But they didn’t go away. I tossed and turned until around 7 am and then got up to shower. My husband came up and said what I had planned for the day, I said casually, “Well I think I’m going to have a baby.” He laughed and said, “Are you serious?” I said, “Yep it’s looking like it.” The contractions were every 15 minutes. Nothing crazy, but I could definitely feel them. I called my mid-wife just to let her know the situation. She said it sounded like I was in the beginning stages of labor and to keep her posted. (pic. on the right was taken the day I had her)
My husband took Finley outside and I went into full on cleaning/organizing mode. If it needed to be washed, cleaned, etc, it was getting done. I kept experiencing the contractions as I cleaned. Sometimes I would have to stop and just breathe through it. My mom came in the afternoon. She always stays with me a week after giving birth(she’s a saint). She helped with Finley too. My sister in law also showed up. She was my doula basically for Finley, even though she isn’t a doula. She’s had three kids and two of them at home. To say she’s amazing is an understatement! I feel so at ease when she’s there helping me. (pic. below of my two loves a week after Gracie was born)
My contractions were kind of all over the place still by 5 pm. We were timing them and some were 5 minutes apart, some 10 minutes. There wasn’t any real consistency. I was getting annoyed that I wasn’t progressing faster. Most people will tell you that your second is a lot faster than your first. My first mid-wife even had said to call the minute I sneezed with the second because it was going to be fast. Finley’s birth was relatively fast for a first birth-around 9 hours from the start of my first contraction to birth. This time around it seemed to drag on. So I started walking up and down my stairs to get things moving. It seemed to help. The contractions started getting closer together. Still not super consistent though. Some were further apart, other’s closer together. I called my mid-wife again and she said it was up to me if she came. I didn’t feel like she should come yet, I mean what was she going to do but sit around. I started to bounce on the exercise ball and the contractions seemed to pick up. I had called my midwife around 7 and it seemed my contractions started to pick up around 9. I called her and told her to come. She showed up around 9:45 pm. I was definitely having intense contractions, but when she checked me I was only dilated to a 5. I was so frustrated! I was thinking I would have a baby already, but still wasn’t close. Finally, things started to pick up after that, and my contractions were getting longer and closer together. I laid down once on my side but felt that slowed down the progression, so I went and sat on the toilet and that really took things to the next level. It got pretty intense in the bathroom and I knew I was getting closer. This whole time my sister in law is helping to coach me and push on my back where I was having back pain.
My midwife suggested I move back in my living room, so she could check and see how far along I was. But it didn’t happen. I moved to the living room and right as I got there I had another intense contraction. I just fell to my knees and had my hands and elbows on the couch. I told her I needed to push. It was so intense! More intense than with Finley I felt, which is odd because Finley weighed 9.05 lbs. and Gracie was 7lbs. 12 oz. However, with Finley, I never felt the urge to push like I did with Gracie. It was like my body couldn’t not push her out. So I pushed and they said they could see her head. I pushed again and her head came out. I pushed two more times and her body came out-relief! The most amazing feeling, it’s hard to describe. As I mentioned she was 7 lbs. 12 oz. and 19 inches long. She was born at 1:21 am. I climbed on my couch and held her, cord still pulsing. I had witnessed a miracle again. She pooped on me when I was holding her. I don’t know it could have been my poop too, haha, there’s all sorts of stuff coming out of you when you give birth! Ten minutes later I pushed out the placenta. So I ended up giving birth on my knees this time around. With Finley I was laying down. Can I be honest though? Laying down is one of the worst positions as far as when you’re having contractions. I much prefer to be on my hands and knees. (pic. above taken right after Gracie was born)
This time it was harder for me mentally, just because it ended up being a lot longer than I expected. Although the contractions weren’t super intense until later in the day, it just seemed to drag on, compared to Finley’s birth. My water also didn’t break until Gracie came out, whereas with Finley it broke before I even had contractions. For me, giving birth at home is so convenient and comfortable. I love being in my environment, not having to go anywhere before or after. I take a shower in my shower after the birth and can climb in my bed. My biggest piece of advice for anyone thinking about having a home birth is to not have preconceived expectations. Things always change, and it helps to just keep an open mind. In the end, the goal is a happy and healthy baby! (pic. above taken a week after Gracie was born)
Have you given birth at home? How was your experience?