My husband and I were always health conscious and after reading books and watching documentaries, we were positive that we wanted a natural non-medicated home birth.
My first child was born in a hospital via an emergency C-section. The whole experience was traumatic for me. I was almost fully dilated, but couldn’t take the pain and hear the doctor or nurse keep on asking me for an epidural, so I gave in. After having the epidural, the doctor told me to push and I couldn’t feel anything. After three pushes an episiotomy and a vacuum, I was rushed for an emergency C-section. When I woke up, all I could think about is my baby it was very scary. Fortunately, the baby was born healthy. However, the recover after the C-section was difficult and I needed lots of help taking care of the baby.
I didn’t want to go through another C-section so for my second child, I had a successful VBAC with a midwife at a hospital. My husband took me to the hospital when I was almost fully dilated. I kept on visualizing the waves of the ocean each time I had a contraction. I was in a positive mindset and didn’t give in to the pain.
I felt empowered after having a VBAC so for my third child, I wanted something different. Even though I managed to have a VBAC at a hospital, I wanted more freedom and more choice. So with the help of the ICAN of Manhattan, I found the Midwifery Care NYC group. I knew from the first meeting that I’d want them to be my midwives and have a homebirth. My husband was very supportive and I didn’t have any doubts as well. I stayed positive during the entire pregnancy and stayed away from people that had any negative thoughts about homebirths for VBACs.
My labor started in the middle of the night in the end of May. It was only a day before my due date. I remember a few hours earlier, I was having a normal day with my kids at the playground and making dinner. When I went to bed, that’s when I started feeling contractions. These contractions were actually getting closer and stronger. I called Carol and she was timing out my contractions. My doula Laura Vladimirova, first arrived and gave me some water and a wet towel on my forehead. I was getting a little nervous because the contractions were getting stronger too quickly. But luckily, Carol came on time with her assistant, Brandy. My husband was very supportive and I managed to stand and hold onto him whenever I had a contraction. I felt so much better to stand and move around rather than lying down on a hospital bed with an IV and heart monitor hookup. Carol never told me when I should push, it was up to me when I felt the urge to push. I thought this idea would be crazy, but at one point (after my water broke on my husband’s foot) I really felt the urge to push and that’s when they brought in their birthing stool. I sat on the birthing stool and after a few pushes, Carol told me to feel the head and I remember feeling a lot of hair on his head. The baby came out after very few pushes and came straight to my arms. Carol didn’t cut the cord right away and I was holding and breastfeeding the baby
I was very relieved to see such a beautiful healthy baby on my arms. I couldn’t believe that I just had a baby in my own living room! I keep on telling women that it’s not the end for them if they’ve had a C-section. If it’s a low risk pregnancy, there’s a good chance that any woman could deliver at home.
My husband and I made the right decision to have a homebirth. The midwives were always warm and helpful whenever I asked them questions during the prenatal home visits and were easy to contact. The doula and birth assistant were also a great help and I’m very glad they’re part of this midwifery group as well. — R.Z.