Mia and her fiancé have been together for 7 years and have two precious sons together.
She comes for a naturally minded family- some of her aunts had had homebirths. However, she was not very educated on the subject. She planned for a hospital birth and had a pretty good experience.
She later experienced a friend’s homebirth (about 8 months after her own hospital birth) and realized that’s what she would want to do with any subsequent children.
Mia found out that she was pregnant with her second son right after her first son turned one.
When she found out she was pregnant, she knew she wanted her friend’s midwife to act as her own midwife.
Interestingly enough, both Mia and the midwife did not make it in time for the actual birth of Mia’s friend’s child! However, Mia loved how the midwife interacted with her during the home visit and immediately postpartum enough to know that homebirth was the way she wanted to go. “It made me more aware that homebirth isn’t a scary thing.”
Mia admits that she procrastinated a bit with her prenatal care- she began going to prenatals at 20 weeks.
One way that Mia educated herself was by joining several homebirth and natural birth Facebook groups. Every afternoon when she would scroll through her feed, she would gain more insight into the choice she was making.
With her first birth, her water broke before labor began. Once she went in, Mia mentions how many steps there were before she was actually able to focus on her labor: She had to get checked in through labor, assigned a room, they had to bring a birthing tub in in pieces, her water line was broken in her room so she had to wait for maintenance—Because of this the hours seemed to pass by like minutes. “Looking back at it now, the hours passed by like minutes.”
After laboring for 3-4 hours in the tub, Mia was checked and found to be 9 ½ centimeters. After a few more contractions, she was ready to push.
Mia says that pushing was the time that things became more uncomfortable. She was on her back, bright lights shining directly on her, nurses and doctors hustling and bustling, etc. Mia felt that the discomfort of the situation slowed her labor dramatically. She ended up pushing for 3 hours, and when her baby finally came, he was tangled up in his cord. Mia wishes she had been able to push in a better position, thinking that could have helped her situation dramatically.
With her second child, Mia had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks. She woke up at 3 am one morning with contractions that were different from what she’d been experiencing. Her fiancé works nights, so unfortunately this was right when he was coming to bed. She remembers having to tell him, “Hey, you can’t go to sleep- I’m having contractions!”
They decided to wake up and straighten up the house a little bit. After, Mia decided that it might be a good idea to eat a little something and begin timing her contractions. She was contracting every 5 minutes and they were lasting about 30 seconds. However, because they were consistent for an hour, she decided to call her midwife and let her know what was going on.
Her midwife agreed that she was in labor, but recommended that she try to go to sleep for a bit. Mia took her advice and after about an hour of trying, she was able to fall asleep and stay asleep for 4 hours.
She woke up and had a normal day. Mia was even able to get a small nap in when her son did later. Once she awoke, she decided it would be best to head to the grocery store to get a big haul of groceries so she wouldn’t have to leave her house any time soon!
She remembers her son running away from her in the store. As she chased him, she began having a contraction and though people must think she was crazy!
“I think that I was so busy trying to relax that day that I didn’t nourish my body the way that I should”
Mia stayed in touch with her midwife throughout the day. At 7:30 pm, Mia’s mother arrived at her house. Around that time, Mia called her midwife and asked her to begin heading her way. Her midwife said, “Well, you’re still talking through your contractions. I’ll call you back in about half an hour to reevaluate.” About 15 minutes later her midwife received another call—this time from Mia’s mom—telling her she couldn’t talk through contractions anymore!
Mia says that she had a perfect birth team. Her aunt, who has had homebirths, and her mom, played a huge role in her first labor, so she knew they would be important in her second birth, too. Her two cousins came, and even Mia’s little sister, who is 6 wanted to be a part of the special day. Mia had a photographer, and of course her midwife, as well as a second midwife and an assistant. Her fiancé was there taking care of her, too! Everyone was at her house by 9pm.
“And really what helped me most through contractions this time was listening to worship music and just trying to sing through them, which I loved.”
Mia’s midwife kept asking her to go pee, but Mia was unable to each time. Her midwife finally said that she felt like Mia was a bit overstimulated with having everyone around her. She asked her to go lie down in her bed with her fiancé, promising that they would come in and check on her.
Mia laid in her room for the next 2 hours, her midwife coming in to check on her every 30 minutes or so. At one point, her midwife said again, “Listen, you need to go pee, or I’m going to catheter you. If you’d like, I can check and see how dilated you are.”
Mia decided to be checked, and when checked, her midwife let her know that she was fully dilated.
She notes that she had been feeling the desire to push, but was thinking it couldn’t possibly the right time. She though she needed to let the pain do its job, and if she had pushed, it would be counter to what she needed.
Mia says she thinks her midwife came in right at the perfect time, because she probably would have had the baby alone in her bed had she come in any later!
“Get in the water and push your baby out!” About 5 pushes later, Mia had her baby!
Mia describes how with her first baby, even though they didn’t find out the gender, she knew she was having a boy. With this baby, she was completely convinced it was a girl. However, once baby was born…. She reached down and found a surprise!
“I was so convinced I was having a girl this time….I reached down and I felt balls!”
After having the placenta, Mia got out of the tub and realized that she was hemorrhaging. Her midwife began doing all of the common interventions for too much bleeding. She began by giving Mia hem-halt, which is an herbal supplement to help stop the bleeding. Her midwife then gave her a catheter since she knew that Mia hadn’t been able to pee for quite a long time.
Neither treatment worked, so her midwife examined her internally to see if there was any clear reason as to why she was bleeding. Upon examination, nothing could be found. The bleeding continued, so her midwife gave her a shot of Pitocin and 3 Cytotec (another drug used to contract the uterus) rectally.
After all of these interventions, Mia was still bleeding. Her midwife made the decision to have someone call 911 and transport her to the hospital, as the bleeding was not stopping.
As the ambulance was on its way, Mia’s midwife recommended that she put together a hospital bag, should she have to stay for any reason. She also told her that her baby’s car seat needed to be installed so that he could come to the hospital.
At this point, Mia refused. Her baby had only been on her chest so far, and she was not going to put him in a car seat so quickly. Her midwife told her that when EMS arrived, they would tell her that she couldn’t take him with her in the ambulance. Mia said, “Well I’ll just throw a fit, because he’s not going away from me.”
Once the ambulance arrived, Mia did as she said she would and advocated for herself. She told the EMS team that the baby would be riding on her chest- that she would take responsibility. They conceded and Mia was able to take the baby with her.
Once they arrived at the hospital, they had to wait for the OB to come down from the maternity floor. While waiting, Mia’s midwife April checked her again and told her that her bleeding was much better. She said they would probably just check her out and send her home.
Before being sent home, the OB wanted to physically feel inside of Mia to see if she could figure out why she had been bleeding. She felt internally as deep as she could, and Mia describes this as the worst pain she can remember experiencing.
After receiving IV fluids and stitching, Mia was able to return home.
“It doesn’t always have to be 100% perfect at a homebirth. Your midwife knows what’s going on and is going to send you in when you need to be sent in.” (Katelyn)
Mia mentions how she didn’t feel any panic during the hemorrhage because she knew her midwife was on top of the situation.
The body works so much better when given space to work! During her hospital birth, Mia ended up pushing for 3 hours lying on her back. With her second birth, she was in a pool of water on her knees. Her baby was out within just a few pushes. Position makes such a difference!
Always, always, always advocate for yourself or have someone present who will. When Mia had to be transported for bleeding, she made sure that her baby was able to stay with her the entire time (clearly, she knows the importance of postpartum skin to skin!). She stood up for herself and her baby and kept him with her at all times, even when it was considered unconventional.
Having a “Happy Homebirth” does not mean everything has to go perfectly. It’s not always going to be butterflies and rainbows. Sometimes things go awry. The Happy Homebirth experience is being supported and surrounded by care providers that you trust to keep your health and safety (not only physical, but mental and emotional) as the top priority. Sometimes this includes hospital transports. This can also include hospital births!