If you read our birth story, you know how it went. We welcomed our baby girl within the walls of our home.
The first few days after Alba was born, I had mixed feelings about the birth. On the one hand, I knew that we had a successful home birth, which made me so very happy. On the other hand, part of me felt like I totally missed out on my birth experience. It wasn’t until 3-5 days after the birth that I realized I had the exact birth I wanted, and I felt so very empowered.
Here’s why I felt like I missed something …
Like I mentioned in our birth story, this labor & birth were extremely fast. Being a first time mama, I had no idea what it would feel like, and when things started moving so fast, I totally checked out. The intensity was so much more than I expected, and my brain gave way to let my body take the lead.
With that said, after a few days to reflect, I realize that the above could be said like this instead: my body did an amazing job. My prenatal yoga, birth classes, meditation, supplements (and tea), and acupuncture helped prepare my body for this birth. Once things started getting really intense, my instincts kick in. I breathed, moaned, swayed, and vocalized my baby from my womb. I had a 100% unmedicated, natural birth, no interventions … in my home … with my love catching our sweet baby girl as she entered the world. My body did it … we did it … and I couldn’t be more grateful.
I thought I’d share a bit of my favorite moments:
- I loved feeling my water break. Many moments during those six hours are a blur, but feeling that gush is a vivid memory. It really “proved” that I was in active labor, and that our little one would be joining us soon. I had many fears that my water had broken throughout my pregnancy, so having this obvious breaking of my waters was so rewarding!
- Jimmy … I know this isn’t a moment, but man, everything he did was perfection. The counter-pressure he put on my forearms was heavenly. Neither of us knew that would be the ideal support I’d want, but yeah, it was awesome. I will never forget hearing him crying right before Alba was born. As soon as he put his hand on her head, he was so full of joy/anticipation/emotion … It was the best encouragement, and I gathered my strength from all of his love.
- Seeing Alba for the first time is a bit of a blur, but I remember a few things very vividly: grabbing under her arms and pulling her up to my chest. I remember how her little slippery body felt. I also remember saying, “I knew you were a girl!” … It was one of the most joyful moments of my life. I was on cloud nine.
- I loved having the freedom to labor where I wanted. I never thought I’d be a labor-on-the-toilet kind of gal, but I loved it!! The birth blanket our midwives encouraged us to make ended up being awesome. I had my baby on the floor in our living room. We were situated on top of my favorite white rug, so I am very grateful for that waterproof blanket!
- Naming her was so wonderful. We had a few names in mind, but once we learned she was a girl, we just knew we had to name her Alba. We were laying in bed with her & it just felt right. She went from “Baby” or “It” to “Alba”, and it was so beautiful to make her acquaintance.
If we choose to have another baby, we will have another home birth (as long as the baby and I are healthy). It was such a joyous morning, and I wouldn’t change a thing. My midwives were exactly what I wanted & needed, and Jimmy was the best support. I know home birth isn’t for everyone, but we both agreed the experience just felt so natural. I encourage every woman to know their options when it comes to birth. Whether it’s at home, in a birth center, or in a hospital, your birth will be amazing if you feel you’ve made the best choice for you. Related: results from a study on home birth were released this week. As a lot of us knew already, the study showed that home birth is a completely safe option for healthy women & healthy babies going through a normal pregnancy. The cesarean birth rate is 25% lower than in a hospital, and the breastfeeding rate is extremely high. The babies are healthy, the moms are healthy. When assisted by a liscensed midwife, home birth is a wonderful option for those who want a more intimate, personal birth experience.