Canton Home Birth Photography with Dawning Life Midwifery

Canton Home Birth Story with Dawning Life Midwifery

I love it when the mom writes the blog post for me. It’s her birth, so I feel it should be her story to tell, from her own perspective.


I got my first contraction at 3 am, which woke me up out of sleep. I went to the bathroom to pee and had my bloody show. I woke Steve up to let him know that things were starting, and per the recommendation of our midwives. Steve advised that we try to go back to sleep until things amp up. We both got back in bed, but I started timing the contractions. They started at 5 minutes apart. I was in constant communication with our doulas because I knew they would take about an hour to get to us. 

By 6 am, I couldn’t lie in bed any longer, so I woke Steve up. He then drew a bath for me in our tub, and proceeded to call our midwives, doulas, and Maegan, our birth photographer/videographer. When I got in the tub, I stopped timing the contractions, but they were coming pretty quickly- I think around 2 minutes apart. 


Next thing I knew, the whole crew was at our house, and they all quickly started to fill the birth pool up with water, a process which ended up taking more than an hour! In the mean time, I was in our tub, getting cool rags and fruit juice from Steve and our doula. Every 30 minutes, one of the midwives would come check the baby’s heartbeat before and during a contraction. When the birth pool was filled, I got out of the tub and was helped to the toilet to pee. I asked the midwives to check me before I got in the birth pool. They did, but didn’t tell me where I was at as to not discourage me. (Later I found out I was 6 cm dilated at that point). In the pool, I labored for a while, and after a bit, I started feeling my body pushing. I was checked and was told that I could start actively pushing. 


I could see everyone get ready for baby to come. I pushed in the birth pool for a while, but at my midwife’s recommendation, I came out of the pool and sat on the birth stool. 


She thought that I needed the help of gravity to make the baby descend. I pushed there for a bit when the midwife asked if she could break my water. She said that we may need more pressure on my cervix. I agreed, and things got more intense. 


The midwives suggested I move over to the bed, and instructed me to curl around the baby to push. I pushed there for a while, and Steve adjusted my pelvis while I was on my side. After a while, I moved back over to the birth stool, where I continued to push. 

At 12:30 pm, the midwife decided to call it. She said that I had pushed for 3 hours, and the baby wasn’t descending as fast as she’d like. In addition, the baby’s heart rate started to fluctuate out of the norm. She assured me that it was not am emergency yet, but we didn’t want to wait for it to become one. Everyone started rushing at this point. The doula got me pants, one of the midwives called the hospital to let them know we were on our way, Steve grabbed the pre-packed hospital bag, and out the door we went. On the way to the hospital, I told Steve that if they want me to go back to a c-section when we get there, to just let them do what they need to do. I was sure they would want to use some kind of intervention to get the baby out since I was already 10 cm and actively pushing. Contractions were now one minute apart and lasting a minute. It took us less than 10 minutes to get to the hospital. A nurse was waiting for us outside with a wheelchair and masks. I sat in the wheelchair and they brought me in while Steve went to park the car. 


I was in excruciating pain. I then remember myself on a hospital bed and them sticking consent papers for me to sign! The doctor and nurses are telling me not to push, but I can’t help it at this point. They ask me if I want IV pain medications, and I decline. They ask me if I want an epidural, and I say yes, but they let me know that they have to draw labs and wait for the results to come back before they can administer an epidural. So I agreed to IV pain medications. I was willing to do anything at that point to make it stop. They put in the IV in my arm and gave me the medications, which just made me feel loopy. I was still in a lot of pain. Baby’s oxygen levels started dropping, so they gave me an oxygen mask and put me on my right side with a peanut ball between my legs. The doctor checked me and asked if I was 10 cm at home. I said yes, and he said that I was 9 cm now. 


We waited for the anesthesiologist to come to administer the epidural, while the nurses were coaching me through the contractions as my doula and birth photographer were not allowed in due to COVID restrictions. They anesthesiologist finally came, and he was able to administer the epidural with my laying on my side, so I didn’t have to move, but I did have to hold very still through an intense contraction while he stuck my back. I could still feel the next contraction, but the one after that was a little less intense, the one after that was even less, and then the 4th contraction, I couldn’t feel. 


Almost immediately, my heart rate plummeted, so the anesthesiologist gave me a shot of epinephrine (adrenaline) into my thigh. I was able to rest for a bit with the oxygen mask on, which was exactly what I needed at that point. About 30-40 minutes later, the doctor checked me again, and said that I was back at 10 cm. He asked me if I wanted to keep resting or if I wanted to go ahead and push. I told him that I was ready to get her out, so we geared up. 

He had to tell me when my contractions were, and he had my push for a count of 10 (a very slow 10) take a quick breath, and then push for another count of 10, 3 cycles of this per contraction. I started feeling pressure and knew she was finally descending. Steve could see her head crowning, she was making her way out slowly, just the way it’s supposed to be. However, the doctor decided that if I didn’t get her out in the next 2 contractions, I was going to go in for a c-section. I pushed hard, but the doctor performed an episiotomy, and then she came out. 


They immediately put the baby on my chest, but I couldn’t quite see her. They were wiping her down, and the doctor was waiting on the placenta to be delivered. At this point, I started shaking uncontrollably. They took the baby to check her out, and realized that her temperature was low. They checked my temperature and realized that it was 95 degrees, and because they put her on my chest, she became cold, too. They warmed her up under lights, and the nurses brought me what seemed like 100 heated blankets, but nothing stopped the shaking. It was partially due to the epinephrine they gave me as well. 


Meanwhile, the placenta was delivered. Steve had to meet one of our doulas outside the hospital to give her the placenta so she could encapsulate it. The doctor was stitching me up at this point. Steve came back in and was with the baby, making sure that they weren’t doing anything we didn’t approve of. After that whole ordeal, they moved us into a postpartum room. We stayed in the hospital 24 hours after the delivery and were discharged to go home.”




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