The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
Hello, everyone! Well, I did it!
Christian Spencer Taylor was born at 12:53 a.m. on Tuesday, March 30, 1999. He was born at home with just a few hard pushes and one big pull -- a whopping 10 pounds 2 oz!! And no tears. Isn't God good?
I will write as much as I can while he hangs out here on my shoulder sleeping. (He thinks he has to nurse constantly. I mean hours in a row!)
Ah he is awake again. I'll try to type anyway; forgive the typos!
I saw the midwife Monday morning and she said I was ready -- 100% effaced and 2 cm dilated. She gave the cervix some encouragement, pushing the bag of waters away from the edge all the way around and actually stretching the cervix to 3 or 4 cm. She sent me home and said "It'll be tonight." A 7 or 7.5 pounder she though. Boy, did we have her fooled!
Mild contractions started about 2 p.m. My mom and I went out to eat and ran errands. I called the midwife when I got home, and called my husband Derek. Everything was casual for a few hours. I could eat or drink whatever I wanted -- a nice change from hospital routine! But I DO NOT recommend Krystals! They taste so bad later.....
At one point I felt really private and just went in the other end of the house and cried. I felt briefly that I couldn't make it, didn't want to do this, etc. Then I realized I was shaking and knew it was just a phase of the delivery. Hard contractions started at 10 pm. I stayed vertical in between contractions, and during I assumed whatever position struck me -- sometimes squatting, leaning over the bed, on the toilet, hands on knees or just leaning on Derek. MW kept reminding to relax, let the baby press down, not tighten my buttocks.
At about 7 cm, I got in the tub. WOW, what a relief! Any part of my body that was under the water felt great. The only "pain" was in the top of my belly where the water wasn't deep enough. Derek took a big plastic cup and poured water over my belly so it would feel good, too. The contractions were INTENSE, overpowering, huge, and frightening. But they did not "hurt." I found that by controlling my breathing and movements, I felt like I was riding on top of them instead of being ridden over. With each contraction I spread my legs wide to welcome it, envisioned the cervix spreading, and breathed "hoo hoo hoo" at first fast and then slower, in rhythm with the contractions, and Derek's water pouring, and it was all like a strange dance that everyone could feel the beat to.
I know these descriptions sound strange -- they always did to me when
I read them but now I know what they mean! There is a birth rhythm,
something good and strong and intense but it isn't PAIN unless we perceive
it that way. I had to experiment to find what that rythmn was, which
sounds made me feel the best, which movements, etc. I was in control and
I felt good. It wasn't long before I was completely dilated.
I pushed for just 12 minutes. His head emerged slowly; I felt the
"ring of fire" but not as intensely as I had in my previous births.
I saw it in the mirror and realized he was HUGE! Suddenly the MW
said "Get her out!" Everyone grabbed my arms and pulled me straight
up out of the water. I didn't know why, and was terrified something
must be wrong. She said "hands and knees" and when I was on
the floor on my hands on knees on some towels, she just pulled him out
me, really fast. It felt like my insides were coming out, but it
happened so quick, and then he was on the floor between my legs, kicking
his feet and screaming. (His shoulders had been stuck, she later
explained, and this position rotated him so that she could get him out
Derek was crying. I was in awe of the whole experience, and couldn't believe how quickly it was over. The baby was wrapped in towels and I held him against me.
Unfortunately, I retained the placenta and ended up going to the hospital for a D & C. This was unpleasant, but it would have happened no matter where the baby had been born. (In fact, I had the same problem in my last birth, but it was manually retrieved w/o the D & C.)
So here I am with my little fat baby in my arms :-) The homebirth experience was GREAT. It was so nice to eat and drink and be cared for by my husband, my parents and my wonderful midwife & assistant. It was wonderful being in my own home. Every time I go to the bathroom, I see the place where he was born and I am just filled with awe. Above all, I feel really strong and brave and well, a little cocky. A 10 lb baby! I don't know anyone who has done THAT! Especially without drugs, doctors, C-sections or even an episiotomy! Not even a tear, and I feel great! I told Derek "I feel like a REAL WOMAN."
As for the water birth question, you will LOVE it -- I will never birth on land again! LOL. I always thought it sounded goofy, but it was GREAT. We live in a strange society when something so simple and basic seems "unnatural" to us, but it seems "natural" that women BEG for 2-inch needles in their spine!
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