The transforming childbirth of Lexy, from a strong to invincible woman.
While everyone around Lexy was a little apprehensive about her plan to give birth at home, she never doubted herself and gave birth to her baby girl on her bathroom floor surrounded by her relatives.
" My first pregnancy was quite literally a breeze. I had zero complications, felt better than I ever have, more confident and positive, so on and so forth. The moment I found out I was pregnant I knew I would be having a home birth or a birth in a birth center, no doubt in my mind. While I do have a really good support system of friends and family, everyone was a bit apprehensive on my goal for a homebirth. My absolute best friend in the world was my Doula, even though she has never and does not have plans to ever work in the birth field, she never questioned my ability for a second.
On my due date, my mother and my Doula decorated our master bathroom and stocked it full of anything we may need during labor and birth. As they were showing me the room, I began to notice quite a few Braxton Hicks contractions (so I thought). I went to be around 11pm and realized that these were in fact, not Braxton Hicks. I started timing them just to double check and immediately notified my Doula that I was in early labor. Thankfully, I was able to go to sleep and was only awoken a few times from the contractions. I couldn’t believe that I was able to sleep with all the excitement I felt.
Around 8am the next morning, my mother came into my room and I told her “I’ve been in labor all night” with a laugh. I had a scheduled appointment with my midwife that same day. My mom and my Doula accompanied me to the appointment where I walked in half hunched over from a contraction. My midwife looked at me and the first thing she said was “Are you in labor?!” We did a cervical exam per my request, and I was at 3 cm with a “ripe avocado” cervix. On our way out of the birth center, the three of us decided to go out to a horse ranch… because what else would you do while you’re in labor? We stopped by our house so that I could pee and that’s when labor really kicked into high gear. I used the restroom, laid down on the bathroom floor, and didn’t get back up. I moved to the bed and spent the next 5 hours left-side lying to get the baby to turn, although looking back, I know I should have been moving and doing different positions to help with that. My mom and Doula were with me the entire time. We notified my partner that I was in labor, but he was at work and I told him I didn’t need him yet. He ended up coming after a couple of hours of me being in bed.
" On our way out of the birth center, the three of us decided to go out to a horse ranch..."
I can’t say I remember much about the time that I spent in bed. I know that people were holding my hand, letting me push my feet into their hands, keeping my hair back, telling me bad jokes and laughing with me, giving me water, and endless amounts of verbal encouragement. But the entire labor, I went so deep within myself, that it felt like it was just me at that moment. Me and my baby. I could visualize her moving around, getting into position. With each contraction I focused on the exact muscles being used and told myself to expect more pain than I was feeling. I convinced myself that this was going to be the worst pain I have ever felt, since that’s what everybody always says. But every time a contraction came and went, all I could think was “I can think of something that would hurt more than that contraction.”
At around 5pm, I started throwing up. Thankfully, I knew this was a sign that I was in transition. By this point I was repeating affirmations that my support team was telling me, and 110% believing every single word. “This is not pain, this is power.” “My body and my baby are working in perfect harmony.” “I trust my body to know what to do.” “Women all over the world are birthing with me.” “I will meet my baby today.” Every single word, out loud, feeling not a drop of judgment from anyone. I told my Doula to call my midwife, knowing I was close.
"This is no pain, this is power."
My midwife arrived within 30 minutes. My Doula had warned her that I have a really high pain tolerance, and I didn’t want to be that first time mom that called the midwife too soon. She definitely was not prepared as she checked my cervix and immediately said “Let's go have a baby!” I was 9 cm and fully effaced. We made our way to the bathroom and I got in the tub and started kicking myself for not getting in the water sooner. The amount of relief I felt and peace I felt was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I listened to my body completely and pushed when it felt right. I made enough progress in the tub that I was able to reach in and feel the top of my baby’s head. This was such a surreal moment. Not only was this little human real, but I was the first person to touch her and feel her.
"The amount of relief I felt and peace I felt was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced."
My midwife suggested trying to push on the toilet, so we moved over, and my midwife was able to see that the sac was slightly in the way. Not a problem, just making it a little more difficult. She offered to pop the rest of the sac with an amniotic hook, and then we started to see some real progress. I pushed on the toilet for a while and then we decided to lay on the bathroom floor. Despite this position being usually the worst position to labor in, after about 20 minutes, we could see my baby’s head. The room was full by that point. There was my midwife and her assistant, my partner, my mom and dad, my Doula, my baby’s godmother, and my partner’s parents. Every one of them were encouraging me and motivating me. My midwife was able to press down slightly under my baby’s head to help guide me where I should be directing the pushes. My midwife’s assistant was checking my baby’s heartbeat and although it still sounded fairly fine, I could tell there was a slight panic when she said “We have to do this okay?” I asked if everything was fine, and she said it was okay. I told her “Please don’t sugar coat it, tell me if there is something wrong.” She very calmly reassured me that there were slight dips in the heartbeat because she was getting tired, but that it is was not an emergency. I thought to myself “I am getting this baby out NOW.”
Three pushes later, I roared my baby out from head to toes. My midwife scooped her up, unwrapped her cord from her neck (I have never heard such an intense silence from the room, even though everyone was cheering and crying). My midwife quickly handed my baby to me, and she let out her first cry. We took in all of the glory of our new daughter and I remember thinking how I immediately wanted to do it all again. I was on such a high and loved every single minute of the entire process. I delivered my placenta within 20 minutes and I barely felt it pass. My midwife did all the routine checks on my daughter, and she was in otherwise perfect health. However, this little tiny human, ended up being a lot tinier than we expected, at a whopping 4lbs 15oz. Per my midwife’s license, she is required to bring in any baby under 5lbs 2oz. We took our time with breastfeeding, and thankfully I had frozen colostrum to help get some food in her.
Within two hours of delivering, I was walking around, getting myself dressed, getting my baby dressed, preparing to drive to the hospital. Everyone was looking at me like I was a mad woman, they couldn’t believe I was right back to doing everything as if I hadn’t just pushed a human out of my body. My midwife was on the phone with our local hospital for a couple of hours before finally reporting that we did not have to take her in. The only good thing that came out of the pandemic was that it would have been more of a risk to expose her to a hospital. The nurses told my midwife that if the baby was in fine health, then just to keep her home.
My midwife did a print of my placenta and took it to be encapsulated for me. We settled into bed, my Doula still right by my side. It was about 11pm at this point and most people had gone home now. My baby and my partner fell asleep, and I sat there holding my greatest accomplishment I have ever achieved. I was determined to prove everyone wrong for doubting my ability. I knew what I wanted, and I did absolutely everything I could to ensure that I had the birth experience that I wanted. I had a perfectly healthy baby, and I was in amazing health with very little bleeding, no tears, a uterus and belly that almost completely “bounced back”, and not a single thing I would have done differently. Although my support system definitely deserves credit, I truly believe that that was all me. I did it all and I found a strength within myself that I never knew existed. I knew that I’d be able to handle anything else that comes my way in life. I changed that night. I have never been the same since and I can truly say that I am in love with life, even after a year-long battle with postpartum depression, anxiety and rage. There was not a single moment when I felt scared, or like I couldn’t do it, or wasn’t enjoying the whole experience, even through the pain. I have never felt so much power and control over my own body and mind. I thought I was a strong person before, but now I am invincible."