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?
If you haven’t heard I’m prego!! Ok, you probably have. I’ve been asked about so many different things since becoming pregnant. Being pregnant the second time around is a lot different too. I feel so much more relaxed. I thought I would just compile some tips I’ve learned from both pregnancies into a blog post. There’s so many things to consider after finding out your pregnant. It can seem a little daunting! Hopefully, these tips will help to make the transition a little easier.
Take a prenatal with folate and not folic acid. Folic acid is synthetic.
One of the first things pregnant women do after finding out they’re pregnant is supplementing with a prenatal. More often than not, it contains folic acid. Most doctors are still prescribing folic acid to newly pregnant moms. Unfortunately, it’s not even good for you! Here Dr. Ben Lynch gives great insight into why you should be taking folate instead of folic acid.
Get at least 80-100 grams of protein a day.
I remember thinking this seemed crazy with my first pregnancy! However, your baby is growing so rapidly and needing the extra protein for fetal development. Plus, for me the biggest thing I noticed when I ate enough protein, especially in my first pregnancy was increased energy and less nausea. It helped keep me full longer which kept my nausea at bay.
Ditch the soda and grab a sparkling water instead.
No one should be drinking soda or pop anyways, but especially during pregnancy. It might sound good with all the bubbles and fizz but grab a sparkling water instead. I like to add lemon or lime to my sparkling water and some stevia-instant fizzy drink minus the artificial sugar spike. This has helped me so much, especially during my first trimester when food doesn’t sound that appealing, and all you want is something to ease the nausea.
Avoid synthetic laundry detergents and snag a natural one instead.
Mainstream laundry detergents are full of toxic ingredients these days. The last thing you want to do is be soaking all the toxins up everyday through sleeping and your clothes. Plus, most of them are filled with synthetic fragrance that you or your baby should not be exposed to. Why not start prepping for when baby comes anyways? Who wants a newborn drenched in synthetic chemicals? Not my child! I really love these natural laundry detergents.
Avoid air fresheners and candles and stick with essential oils.
Air fresheners are a no, no all around. I can smell the artificial fragrance a mile away. No one should be breathing in these toxins, pregnant or not but especially being pregnant. Candles are so sketchy too. Some say soy but then have artificial fragrance, or are made with part soy, part paraffin(petroleum), my recommendation is just steer clear. It’s 9 months guys, not a life time. Stick with pure, organic essential oils instead. Get a diffuser and diffuse them in your home. I really like Mountain Rose Herbs Essential Oils-pure essential oils.
Craving Carbs? Opt for a grain free waffle.
You hear it so often when women are newly pregnant-all they want is carbs. Carbs aren’t bad in and of themselves but an overdoes of bad carbs are. Especially when it’s all in the form of white flour! I definitely craved carbs and still do with this pregnancy. I’ve found a couple tricks to help satisfy my cravings without putting me into a carb coma. One recipe I love is from Britney Angel and is her Paleo Waffles. They’re so tasty! I mean I would choose these over regular waffles any day. I’ll make a batch, freeze them and take them out, and toast them whenever I’m needing a pick me up.
Clean your home with natural cleaners.
It’s surprising to me how many people continue using their toxic chemical cleaning products when pregnant. The scent on them alone is enough to have me running the other way, not to mention having it come in contact with my skin. Word of advice? Just ditch all your conventional cleaners and grab some natural ones. You and your baby don’t need to have those toxins around. Instead, swap it out for my favorite cleaning products, like baking soda, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. I have a full list here of all the products I use-the list is actually really short!
Get a natural stretch mark prevention cream.
Avoid all the mainstream stretch mark creams filled with synthetic chemicals and snag a natural one instead. Let’s be real, I rubbed stretch mark cream on my belly a couple times a day during my first pregnancy. Well, it paid off-no stretch marks! But I can’t imagine if I was using some synthetic filled one. Everything you put on your skin absorbs into your body-so you better be careful what your applying. I really love Buckaroo Organics Mother Hen Belly Butter. It goes on so smooth and keeps my skin hydrated. Plus, it smells so good and is all organic!
Take Magnesium for nausea.
Magnesium has long been known to help ease nausea in some women. I used a magnesium lotion by Ancient Minerals in my first pregnancy. A lot of women are already deficient in magnesium going into pregnancy so it’s great to supplement. Ask your doctor to see if it might be something to look into, especially if you struggle with nausea at all.
Avoid aerosols and stick with pump sprays.
Again, I probably sound like a broken record but aerosols are one of the worst things for you. So you should probably just steer clear of them in pregnancy. No one needs to be breathing in that toxic air. I love Josh Rosebrook’s Firm Hold Hair Spray. Best natural pump hair spray I’ve found!
Have a pillow underneath you while your laptop is on your lap.
We are already constantly exposed to radiation through so many things, why not lessen the blow a little. One tip my naturopath told me is to always have a pillow underneath my laptop when I have the laptop on my lap. That way the radiation isn’t directly on my stomach(aka baby). You could always get one of these lap desks too!
Well that sums up my some of my top tips for natural pregnancy. Do you have any tips that have helped you along the way? Leave me a comment!