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On February 12 2023 I went into labor. My labor experience is much different from most, as I had my second born at home without the use of medication, and almost transferred to the hospital due to maternal fever.
Contractions started very early Saturday morning, and they were more intense than the Braxton Hicks contractions I was used to, but extremely irregular. This had me convinced I wasn’t quite yet in labor.
My sister took my first born out of the house for the mid afternoon and my fiancé ended up having some friends stop by to scoop him up and take him to lunch as well.
I decided to take the exercise ball that I purchased weeks ago and start doing some stretches and breathing exercises while listening to a hypnobirthing podcast. I figured I had at least a week left in my pregnancy and I should probably start preparing my mind for natural labor. This went on for about an hour or two before I decided to give it a rest and get some other things done while I had an empty house.
I informed my midwife what I was experiencing and she stopped by to check on the baby and myself. With everything I was experiencing she told me that she believed I was in the beginning stages of labor, and we would probably see my baby arriving within 24-48 hours. She left and I went on with the day as usual.
Contractions continued on throughout the day as they did for about a week prior, but they were more intense than previous days, but again, very irregular.
They simmered down around 4 o’clock and I figured I was in the clear because as I’ve been told. Real labor doesn’t stop.
Around 6:30pm the contractions started again, more intense with each one. I was also met with nausea and a fever, which prompted another call to the midwife as a fever during labor can be dangerous when trying to achieve a home birth. My midwife arrived for the second time that day around 8:00 pm to discuss our options. At this point I believed I was in labor. My midwife called the University of Michigan hospital where I would have been transferred to after asking for a second opinion from a fellow colleague. The hospital told us to stay home until active labor and if I still had a fever, call back and we could transfer. My midwife told me to drink Vitamin C non-stop, try to get some rest and call her when contractions get closer together.
My fiancé put my toddler down for bed and the two of us tried to crawl into bed ourselves to get some rest. The contractions were so disruptive at this point it was near impossible for me to sleep. I chugged just about 32oz of Vitamin C and closed my eyes for as long as I could.
I woke up at 12:30am on February 13th from contractions I could not ignore. I drew a bath and sat in the bathtub for about an hour listening to my guided meditation and focused on my breathing. I was able to let my entire body go and put myself into a state of hypnosis. I spent about an hour in the bath drinking what felt like a never ending amount of Vitamin C until the bathwater was uncomfortably cold. Upon getting out of the bath I took my temperature and noticed that my fever broket. I figured I should try to get some rest to prepare myself, so I put some comfy clothes on and laid back down.
The contractions kept me up all night. I mostly scrolled through tiktok with the occasional google search to make sure what I had been experiencing was normal. At around 2am I realized that the contractions were getting close enough together that it was probably time to call the midwife. I woke up my fiancé and told him to give her a call. The last contraction I logged was at 2:14am.
I asked my fiancé to set up the birth tub and get the water going, thinking I’d have a long way to go. I stayed in bed and tried to get through a few more contractions when one came around that gave me so much pressure my water broke. I called the two women that I wanted to attend my home birth, letting them know it was time for a baby!
Everyone showed up around the same time. I was sitting on the couch with my midwife as she listened in on my vitals and the baby’s heartbeat. With a steady maternal temperature of 99.0 we were in the clear to have this baby at home.
The pool was about half way full when I felt the urge to push. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was already 10 centimeters dilated shortly after everyone arrived. I could feel my body giving me the all clear to push this baby out. With the pool not having enough water in it, I had to move myself to the bedroom and before I knew it we were entering transition. Cecelia arrived on February 13 at 3:31am weighing 7lbs 4oz measuring 19 ¾ inches.
The first words I mumbled were along the lines of ‘it’s over?’ because I was in a state of total shock. Just 8 hours ago I had a hospital bag packed and was trying to mentally prepare myself to transfer to the hospital due to fever. I was absolutely amazed at my body’s ability to kick the fever long enough to go through labor.
The whole experience made me realize how truly wonderful the human body is, and great things can happen when you allow nature to take its course.
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