Supported by her husband John, her Doula and her midwife, Lindsay had the home birth she dreamed of. She got herself super prepared and shared with us how.
" We had our first baby, Rhett, at our home on March 15, 2022.
I knew I wanted a homebirth years ago before my husband and I were married. Knowing that I didn't want a hospital birth unless absolutely necessary, I started researching, praying and mentally/emotionally putting myself in the homebirth world. When my husband and I got a positive pregnancy test in July 2021, I reached out to two local midwives to interview. I was on my way home from work when I found my amazing midwife on a whim. She was living a little bit over an hour away from home, but we immediately clicked. It was like we had been friends forever.
I went into labor early on a Monday morning around 4am, I started to feel period cramping. My husband woke up around 6 am, I told him that we were probably in labor. He was very excited, blew up the birth pool, went to work, came back after lunch to work from home and ran to the store to get food for our birth team. I texted my midwife and my Doula to let them know I was in early labor. They both advised me to rest, eat a good nutritious meal and go on a walk. My water was slowly leaking throughout the day.
My water stopped leaking on Tuesday morning at 1 am. We called our midwife to let her know, she told us to call her back a couple of hours later to check in and go back to sleep if I could. I ended up sleeping until 5:30 am, and then I could sense a shift in the feel of the rush. I would not time contractions again, instead I would focus on breathing at the start of a rush to relax my entire body. The more intense the rushes felt, I instinctively knew I was getting close to giving birth to my baby.
5:30am, we called our midwife, she remained on the phone for 20 mins with us to listen, and decided to come join us. In the meantime, she advised me to get in the pool to try to relax. I labored on the ball and on the toilet while my Doula and my husband John filled up the pool. I went in the water and stayed for about an hour, I didn't like it that much (I did feel weird being in a pool that was filled only half of the way, haha).
7:30 am, our midwife joined us at home. I got out of the pool, so she could check on baby and me. Every time I felt a rush, my husband or my Doula did a double hip squeezed to relieve the discomfort. They both encouraged me to sip on water and eat a honey packet, which I did.
8:58 am I got back into the birth pool and changed position several times. I felt my baby's head going down and going back up, it was a wild feeling! My Doula helped me with the discomfort by pouring water down my back and talking to me with so much kindness and encouragement. My Doula was all I could focus on.
" I felt my baby's head going down and going back up, it was a wild feeling! "
Next rush came in, which was very strong, and I felt a very intense pressure. I felt my baby's head coming out, and then my body completely relaxed to get ready for the next rush. As soon as I felt the contraction coming, he literally slid out of my body in my midwife's arms. They had me taking short and steady breaths while his head was descended, so I would stretch for his body.
"As soon as I felt the contraction coming, he literally slid out of my body in my midwife's arms."
10:14am, my baby boy was born, he was wide awake and very alert. My midwife placed him on my chest and checked on him. We decided to wait before cutting the cord, it stopped pulsating after 14 minutes and then John did cut it. My midwife had me cough a bit, and she gently massaged my belly to help the placenta out. The discomfort was minimal, I could barely tell that I was birthing the placenta.
After a nice shower, I crawled into bed, they handed my baby back to me and my midwife checked for any tearing. My midwife ended up doing a couple of stitches that were not necessary, but she decided to do it because I am a very active woman who practices yoga and fitness. The pain was minimal when she stitched me, I could barely feel anything.
Photography of Lindsay and her baby boy Rhett.
We kept our homebirth plan on the down low until the end of our pregnancy. I highly recommend keeping your heart to yourselves during this vulnerable time, well-meaning people will try to talk you out of it.
We had an extremely healthy pregnancy even though I got COVID-19 during the last trimester and had high liver enzymes, but wouldn't have even known if my blood work would not have been done that week. During pregnancy, I ate tons of nutrient dense meals and organ meats, I did read a number of birth and baby books, listen to podcasts and take an online birth course. I prepared for postpartum and had the BEST village after baby was earth side. Find the people you trust, prepare for breastfeeding, plan your meals in advance (frozen or meal train). Most of all, save time and money to have plenty of time off to heal and bond with your baby. I honestly don't know how people give birth without being over prepared, it has helped us so much on this journey.
I highly recommend the Pain Free Birth Course by Karen Welton, Daily meditations on YouTube and reading the following books:
Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read and Ina May Gaskin,
Ina May's book Guide to Childbirth & Breastfeeding,
Bringing Birth Home by Colleen Reagan Noon, Corinne Brown and 14 more,
The Water Birth Book by Janet Balaskas,
Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin,
Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West and Teresa Pitman,
Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize.
I suggest investing in a Doula, regular chiropractic and massage to stay aligned, taking Epsom salt twice a week and putting your feet up.
I'm so proud of us that I want to scream from the rooftops! I highly recommend reading all the positive birth stories you can find and researching the pros and the cons of giving birth in a hospital if you are not at risk."