Shaunna’s Planned Home Birth Turned Hospital Birth
“Over the next hours Kayla and Justin did physical and verbal prompts (Like Peace & Relax) for me and the birthing time was going so very beautifully. Everything was so calm and peaceful, just what I dreamed of.”
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I had a completely low risk, perfect pregnancy with absolutely zero issues. I walked every day, did yoga twice per day, kept my vegan diet, had perfect labs… which makes it even harder that it didn’t go as planned. Here is our story:
On March 22, 2019, around 4 pm I had pressure waves (Hypnobabies word for contraction) that I interpreted as cramps. I took a nice bath and called my amazing doula, Kayla, as my hubby, Justin, couldn’t tell when I was having a wave. She had a hard time too, thanks to my Hypnobabies, but determined we were 4 minutes apart in active birthing time (Hypnobabies word for labor). I couldn’t believe it as it didn’t feel anything like what I would have thought. Kayla said it was time to get things moving and that he would be born soon!
I texted my wonderful midwife, Diana, who headed over and got all set up. I spent some time outside with Justin and Kayla before heading back inside to be checked. Diana found I was 100% effaced and 5 cm dilated. At this point I was ready for the pool, mostly because I love the water, I had no pain (again thanks to my Hypnobabies).
Over the next hours Kayla and Justin did physical and verbal prompts (Like Peace & Relax) for me and the birthing time was going so very beautifully. Everything was so calm and peaceful, just what I dreamed of. In fact, a lot of them voiced after he was born they almost fell asleep because of the Hypnobabies music and how calm everything was.
Kayla & Justin worked tirelessly side by side to comfort me in every way. I did not have any pain but was getting very tired. I could not have done it without them, there is no way!
On top of that, I was surrounded by 2 ladies who had multiple very long and difficult birthing times there to cheer me on. When I looked at them I felt renewed knowing what they must have gone through!
Outside of the room both my mom and Justin’s mom were tidying up, doing laundry, getting whatever the team needed, and having fun waiting for their first grandson to be born! They both came in at one point and commented on how it was the calmest birth they had ever seen (mind you my mom worked L&D).
At around 8 cm Diana suggested I get out of the pool and lie down for some rest. She said he was waiting until his guess date to be born as we were pushing midnight. Everyone got a little bit of a nap in (I have no clue about any time frames during my whole birthing time). I knew all of a sudden it was time to push and I jumped out of bed. They escorted me back to the pool and it was time to push for our baby!
I was EXHAUSTED and kept telling them I could not do it. I knew already that at the point you feel you can’t it’s time for baby to be born. Kayla did some fear clearing with her rebozo and the birthing waves were growing in intensity to bring him here. I was still able to surrender to the process even through the roars coming out of my mouth.
Diana checked me and found I had a cervical lip and tried to hold it back for me. My water broke and I laid back for a minute to rest. He did not like this and his heart rate went down. I tried for several more pushes in the water before getting out onto the birthing stool so that it was easier to monitor him.
On the stool, everyone encircled me and cheered me on with each wave to push with all I had left. I was beyond exhausted and I just wanted him to be here.
After several pushes with oxygen on and trying to stabilize my breathing and his heartbeat, Diana and Amy had to make a call for us to transfer to the hospital, but it was the right one for sure. It was a tough one for her to make since she knew how I longed for a home water birth and how hard I worked during pregnancy to stay healthy and fit to make that dream a reality.
After a transfer to the hospital and straight to an L&D room he was already crowning. Dr came in and a few pushes later he made his very sudden appearance into the world on his guess date! The first thing I remember saying was,” Oh my God, we just had a baby!” I think we were there for maybe 30 minutes before he was born.
He was taken from my body and immediately they started to work on him which broke my heart. I kept counting the minutes he was away from me and crying. Justin and I both were very emotional during this time. I got to give him one quick kiss and look at him before they took him away.
He was immediately taken to the NICU and Justin went with him. After I was stable Justin came back to the room and we shared in an emotional embrace as we comforted each other. I got into a wheelchair and went down to see our boy for the first time.
He knew where he needed to be born surrounded by a team that could help him breathe and get the meconium out of his tiny little lungs and heal his pneumothorax.
I don’t recall any pain only pure exhaustion. Everything gets pretty blurry after we woke up from our nap that night and it was time to push!
We visited him multiple times a day, sitting with him for hours, although, we weren’t allowed to touch him most of the time. Some of the best memories I have were of Justin and I in that postpartum room, because he cared so loving for me and we shared moments that strengthened us in ways I didn’t know were possible. On the 25th I was discharged from the hospital. It was the hardest thing we ever did, leaving him in a hospital to be cared for by someone else when he was supposed to be home with us.
Every day he was in the NICU we would spend almost the entire day and into the night with him. Coming home only to sleep and go back.
Honestly, after his birth I felt like a huge failure and I repeated everything over and over in my mind wondering where I went wrong. I still do this but have given myself some grace. I wish I could’ve been stronger physically and mentally for him, then maybe everything would’ve gone as planned and I wouldn’t be dealing with the trauma of his birth.