We welcomed baby Micah Tuesday evening. This is my Bradley Method Home Birth Story. If you like positive birth stories, this one is for you.
At the moment I am cuddling skin to skin with the most precious newborn baby boy. It’s hard for me to stop staring at him long enough to write this post.
We welcomed him into the world two nights ago at 7:13 p.m.
This is the positive all natural home birth story of our newest addition, Micah Bobby Gene.
First, a word about the name
We chose to name our third son Micah Bobby Gene. At the time of birth, we had absolutely no idea what we were going to name our baby.
Just to make things simple, we called the baby Rosie throughout the pregnancy. I loved the name Rosalie June and was set on using it for a girl. A notoriously bad guesser, I was wrong AGAIN! He didn’t look so much like a Rosie once I laid eyes on him. 😉
Tuesday after the birth my husband looked through the list of baby boy names I collected in my phone throughout the pregnancy. He scribbled several options out, some from my list and some that he came up with. When I looked at his list, I noticed Bobby making an appearance as the first and middle name in several of the options. He has always been close with his maternal grandpa, whose name is Bobby Gene. Not Robert, not Bob, but Bobby. I liked the idea of using both his first name and middle name as two middle names and then using a name we chose as the first name. We both agreed that Micah was our favorite first name from the list I made.
So, two days after his birth it was settled. Micah Bobby Gene.
I could not have asked for a better pregnancy. I was a little nauseated and tired in the first trimester, but after that I felt amazing.
Due to some research I had done, we chose to not use ultrasound or doppler unless a problem was indicated. The pregnancy was completely uneventful and we never needed any medical intervention.
When my due date rolled around without any contractions, I wasn’t even annoyed. My last two babies were eight and nine days late, so I was fully planning on going at least 41 weeks again.
When contractions began the day after my due date, I was sure I must be experiencing false labor for the first time in my life. There was no way it could be the real thing. I was so sure I would go at least a week past the due date.
Contractions started sporadically the day after my due date. I had plans that evening to go out with some blogging friends that live in the area. I was really excited to get together with them. They are all successful and talented bloggers, and there was no way I was missing it for a few signs of possibly early labor. Now this was against my better judgment, because I had to drive an hour away from my home to go to dinner and I did have my third child pretty quickly (as in, in the van. Read that story HERE.) But, I knew I could leave if things turned around. Thankfully, I just had a few sporadic contractions during dinner and nothing alarmed me that anything was happening soon.
That night I continued to have contractions about every 30 minutes or so. They were strong enough to keep me from sleeping, but they weren’t getting any closer together. I was still convinced this had nothing to do with real labor and i would still make it the full 41 weeks.
The next morning they almost completely stopped. I had a few random contractions throughout the day, but I pretty much forgot about it and wrote it off as Braxton Hicks.
Things start picking up again
By one in the afternoon the contractions were back. They started coming more regularly at about every 10 minutes. They weren’t getting closer together, but they stayed consistent and I had to lay down and relax through them. I couldn’t just walk around and keep talking during them.
Around 2:30 I started getting things ready in case this really was the real thing. I made some padscicles and put them in the freezer so they would be ready. I spread a vinyl shower curtain on the bed under our fitted sheet and put waterproof pillow cases on the pillows. The birth bag had been sitting in the bathroom incomplete and untouched, so I brought it out and looked over the list to see what I was missing. I brought out more towels, baby blankets and a knit hat for his/her tiny head.
I was still pretty much in denial that I could possibly be in labor this close to the due date, but didn’t want to be fumbling over preparation stuff if the more difficult active labor was on the horizon.
By the time my husband came home from work at 3:30, I was pretty sure real labor had actually begun. I already needed to lie down and get my body into a fully relaxed state to get through the contractions without pain.
I will discuss this more later, but the premise of the Bradley method is that our bodies can only experience pain when tension and fear are present. With total and complete relaxation, the contractions are extremely powerful but not painful. You let them happen, instead of fighting them.
Call the midwife
Pride and denial makes this call difficult for me every time. What if it’s not really labor? I would hate for her to come all the way out here and then things fizzle out! I decided to go ahead and call her just as a heads up. She told me to call her back if they got any closer together at all, so she could hurry. Otherwise she would start making her way out here in another hour or so. She was in a town an hour away at the time.
Around 5:30 I called her to say they were down to every six or seven minutes.
I had my husband apply counter pressure to my lower back. During a few contractions it was very helpful, but by the third I told him to stop right away. It was no longer working.
By the time my midwife arrive at 6:45 contractions were one on top of the other. I had a few where I started to tense up and get a little panicky, but then I was able to reign it in and relax on the next few. The difference between a tense contraction and one where I rode the wave out letting my body do what it needed to do was incredible.
My midwife waited quietly by my side to find a moment in between contractions to check my blood pressure and the baby’s heartbeat. She had to be pretty quick about it because they were about a minute apart at this point.
She remarked that she couldn’t tell if I was having one or not because I was just lying there silently with my eyes closed.
I really wanted this to be my first birth ever where I mastered relaxation even through transition, but try as I might I can never seem to do it. I have read stories where women can, and experience and entirely pain free labor. This hasn’t happened for me, because those last few contractions make me squirm and tense up.
Thankfully this super intense part of labor, when the cervix makes that final push to completely open, only lasts a few minutes.
I said out loud, “I don’t like this part.” I have had enough children that I was able to recognize that I was in transition.
I told the midwife it would be soon. She started gathering towels and helped me take off my leggings.
What I love about home birth is how a woman is taught to listen to her own body. Never once in pregnancy or labor has my midwife checked me for dilation. If I told her I was ready to push she trusted my instinct. No questions asked. No need to confirm I was complete.
First, I pushed out the bag of waters. I got up on hands and knees and started pushing out the head. After two or three more slow pushes my baby was born at 7:13 pm. The midwife hadn’t even been here 30 minutes.
He weighed in at 8 pounds 11 ounces.
(Sorry for quality of these first few pictures. Photography and lighting were about the last things on my mind. My sister Andrea Vehige Photography came over an hour later to get some better pictures. The light still wan’t ideal, but with a good camera, a little lightroom editing and a lot of skill they look a lot better than the iphone photos we took.)
What is the bradley Method of childbirth
Known as husband coached childbirth, the Bradley Method of Childbirth focuses on relaxation guided by the husband. Couples learn how to work together to make sure the birth environment is conducive to relaxation. Dim lights and a comfortable safe environment are key. Throughout pregnancy, couples practice going through contractions by relaxing every muscle from head to toe.
it sounds easy enough to just tell yourself to relax, but only when you’re in natural labor for the first time do you realize how difficult that really is. You have to train your mind for it.
How to prepare for a positive natural birth
Books I read:
This book teaches the practical relaxation techniques that I used in my labor. She lists all the needs of a laboring woman and shows the perfect position for total head to toe relaxation.
Sorry about the weird pictures in this book. Apparently the author thinks women have to be naked throughout their entire labor. If you can ignore that, this book is my number one recommended resource for natural childbirth preparation.
This book teaches the scientific reasons behind the fear-tension-pain cycle. When you are fearful your body produces adrenaline. Adrenaline and tension interfere with your natural pain relieving hormones. Labor slows down and becomes more painful. This book teaches you how your attitude toward labor can actually make it painful and cause it to be the long slow agony that it can truly be.
It is NOT saying that the pain is in your head. The fear of childbirth and tension produce real actual physical pain.
Your mindset about birth is key. Get positive natural birth stories on Youtube and listen to as many as you can. Don’t let people tell you their birth horror stories during your pregnancy. People really enjoy doing this for some reason. Stop them and ask them kindly to tell you that story after your baby is born.
Do a search like this on google or Youtube “pain free childbirth”. Listen to the stories. Somehow just knowing that pain-free birth is a possibility is surprisingly comforting. You will be absolutely amazed at how many people describe their births as positive and enjoyable experiences.
This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure HERE.
My other positive birth stories
Bradley Method Home Birth Story Video
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Thank you so much for stopping by the farmhouse!