Hello Rhonda & Sue,

We both really enjoyed your course with Healthy Birth Choices in 2013 and felt that it gave us great information and confidence to know what we could expect on the wide range of what is considered normal for birth. I made the personal choice with the support of my husband to have a home birth because I know where I would feel most comfortable.

My first was born at home as planned. I had a healthy pregnancy and a fast labour. The day before my son arrived I knew that something was off.

I was 40 weeks and 3 days after missing my appointment we were told to just go for diner and relax to avoid sitting in rush hour traffic. We got home watched a movie I felt a little uncomfortable during the movie but it was nothing I recognized as a contraction. We went to bed around 11 pm and as per usual my husband fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. I found myself shifting to child’s pose and on all fours in bed. My husband woke up to hear me breathing through contractions which I was convinced was still early labour.  He got out of bed checked out the binder from our birthing class and decided to call our midwife. Once the midwife heard me in the background they were on their way.

I needed help getting the tens machine on. At first I could figure out when to push the buttons but later Chris has to push the buttons for me so I found simply focus on changing positions. When the midwife arrived I was 8 cm dilated already. Once it was time to jump in the tub it felt good for a while until the midwife said that my water broke so I had to get out of the tub. From this point on I was constantly changing positions since my baby’s heart rate kept dropping. When ever I shifted positions things were good.

The midwives became concerned and said that they needed to call the ambulance for support since the baby’s heart rate kept dropping during contractions. I remember two men in uniforms and then two others. The two ambulance workers seemed really respectful as they asked for a status update from the midwives and based on where I was at. At this time squatting at the end of my bed being supported by my husband behind me. The decision was made to deliver at home and then baby would be taken to the hospital to get checked out right away post delivery. When it was time to push everything felt like a contraction and I might have been caught up in the moment a bit that I wasn’t sure when to focus my pushing. Once his head was out he came out really quick and then he was on the ground still attached to me but he was being checked out. Everything felt like it was in slow motion he pinked up and made noise.

The baby was rushed to the hospital with one of the midwives by ambulance. My placenta came out quite quickly afterwards. I was then taken to the hospital where they could finish my post delivery exam and keep me close to baby.  Since he was born at 6 am we were in rush hour traffic on a weekday. Ambulance #1 baby and midwife, ambulance #2 me and the student midwife. During the ride I was kept talking and focused on other things I was doing quite well.

Once I got to the hospital I needed a catheter because even though I peed it wasn’t enough. I had a lot of urine still inside of me. Then I was stitched up from the eposimity. At this time we were informed that baby was being transferred to the Foothills NICU as they had the better services for babies. I was transferred over as well I was able to stay the first night where I was an emotional mess I couldn’t look at him without crying. He was in a bed with a a lot of wires attached to take readings on his brain activity, and in IV.

He was not to be picked up for the first three days of his life because he was on a cooling bed. Only 2-3 degrees colder than his body temp but it was because his APGAR scores were all really low and they wanted to be certain that it he was deprived of oxygen for any period of time that they could help him heal this way.  I went into the hospital each day multiple times, my mom drove me because my husband got a cold and when you have a cold you are to high risk for any of the NICU babies that you are not allowed in. I learned that pumping with baby near was much more successful. It took a while for there to be more than a few drops of collostrium at first, then ounces of gold liquid, then the milk came. ( I kept thinking about the breast feeding class there we were told that we make what baby needs and at first baby doesn’t eat a lot). Each night when I came home my mom would make lunches for us and my husband took care of me like having a nice bath and high fat healthy treats for me to eat.

A quick summary of the NICU experience was 3 days of no holding then I was allowed skin time abut no breast feeding, he was tube fed my milk while tests and monitoring was taking place. The pressure was on the day before we were allowed to take him home I had to breast feed successfully for them to release him. We took home our son when he was 11 days old. We had a 3 month and then a 1 year follow up with a neuro doctor which were were told in the end to never come back. We are truly blessed.

For my second birth I decided to just focus on what would be best for us. I requested that my family provide us with two weeks alone while my husband would be taking time off to be with me and baby. We wanted a home birth again but prepared for a hospital birth just incase. I didn’t advertise that we decided to have a home birth again as last time people only shared their fears. Baby number two was also 40 weeks and 4 days he started making an entrance in the early morning hours.

My husband called the midwife as soon as I was up feeling contractions. This time around I felt the labour differently rather than child’s pose standing up and leaning back felt best. Once the midwife arrived my husband ran my first child down the road to grandma’s house. once he got back it was almost time to push. I felt my body and just knew what to do don’t get me wrong it still hurt but it was just familiar and a feeling that I knew I have seen the other side of. He started in the tub and then I delivered him on all fours in the bathroom.

After that he was brought to my chest on the ground and then I was in bed with him on my skin while the midwives checked me and baby out. I delivered my placenta right there and then I continued holding baby on my chest until he showed interest in feeding. It was amazing this time around since in a couple hours after birth my husband and I were alone in bed with baby. It was incredible we rested for the day and let our older son enjoy some time with grandma and then pick him up to introduce him to his little brother.

Our first baby boy was born December 5 2013, 6 am, 8 lbs 15 oz.  after 7 hrs of labour

Our second boy was born October 9th, 2015, 7 am, 10 lbs 9 oz. after 3 hrs of labour

I attribute my two fast labours to being in good health, preparing with massage, acupuncture, and massage. My first birth was a tough physical and emotional recovery since I was up right away and never really gave myself a rest. My second birth I was able to bed rest and stick to the house for a while to allow myself to really heal so I could be strong by the time my husband returned to work in two weeks.

Michelle Murphy

The 2 Home Births of our Sons
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