{Birth Story} Landon

Landon’s Birth Story {Our First Homebirth}

On December 11th I woke up around 2 am feeling a tightening in my abdomen. I had not noticeably experienced any Braxton Hicks contractions prior too these so I was pretty certain at what was happening. I laid there on the couch for a little while, waiting for the next one, and the next one, and the next.

Realizing they were continuing, I went and woke up Dave and told him what was going on. He came out into the living room with me and we began timing the contractions. They stayed about 10 to 12 minutes apart and I honestly don’t remember how long they lasted. They were very manageable, just a tightening from the top of my tummy down.

Around 5:30 in the morning, we decided to go ahead and call my parents so they could get on the road. Mom was just getting ready to give Dad a haircut and they decided they would finish that up before they got on the road. Needless to say, in their excitement the clipper guard came off when my mom went to make her first pass and gave my Dad a nice two inch long bald spot at the back of his head. They had a five and a half hour drive ahead of them and we wanted to give them plenty of time.

We also went ahead and called Brenda, our midwife, to let her know that my body was doing something and she gave instruction to call her again when they were 5 minutes apart lasting 60 seconds for about an hour. She would also want to listen to me during a contraction to gauge how intense they were. I was so fascinated by what my body was doing and at the natural process of how this seemed like it was playing out. There was a hum of excitement under the quiet focus of my labor. It was a great feeling.

The contractions started to get a little closer together. Some were seven minutes apart, others nine to ten. The closer we got to lunchtime, the farther apart they seemed to get. I began to worry that I had jumped the gun by having my parents come down and what if it all stopped and we were still a week away from his actual arrival. The estimated due date was the 16th of December.

We called Brenda and she gave us some ideas to try to jumpstart the contractions again. We went for a walk down and up the big hill by our house. Dave had to practically pull me and my big tummy back up the hill. Then we came in and took a hot shower. But nothing seemed to work. We chalked it up to a practice run and settled in for a nice afternoon of visiting and talking about how soon everything was going to change once baby got here.

Evening came and we all headed to bed. I took up my usual spot, semi-reclined on the couch in the living room, and Dave in our bed. I missed snuggling with him but the couch was the only place I could get comfortable with my belly.

About 2 o’clock in the morning, I woke up to the tightening feeling again. I couldn’t help but be excited. Maybe we didn’t jump the gun after all. Maybe baby was just giving us a practice run the day before. I went in and woke Dave up and told him it was happening again. We settled back on the couch and began timing them.

It seemed we were on track for the same pattern of the morning before. They were coming ten to twelve minutes apart and very manageable. Around five or so in the morning, my mom woke up and came out into the living room. She just sat and watched Dave and I as we found a rhythm and worked together. Somehow, my body decided that paddling my feet was an effective way for me to go through a contraction. Maybe it was all the ocean sounds I listened to each night as I visualized the birth that made “swimming through the contractions” feel so natural.

So, as the sun came up, we laid on the couch, Dave timing my contractions with the red wall clock that now hangs in the bedroom, me paddling through the waves of labor, and Mom and Dad quietly observing. Everything just felt so relaxed and natural. {The red clock Dave was using to time the contractions was the only time piece that we had with a second hand. At this time, there was a silly pop culture celebrity called Flavor Flave, and he would wear a wall clock around his neck as a piece of jewelry. We decided Dave should be called David Dave in the same silly way that the celebrity would announce himself because they both wore the clock so proudly.}

At some point in the late morning, Mom and Dad decided that they should leave the house and let Dave and I focus on the contractions and laboring together. They were picking up in frequency and intensity and they didn’t want to hinder our concentration or the progress that seemed to be taking place. They headed out for coffee, a slow brunch and some shopping.

Shortly after they left, Dave and I decided it was time to call Brenda. We talked through a contraction and she agreed that we were progressed enough for her and Anita to head our way. Dave and I continued to labor together. We moved all over the house, trying different ways to manage the intensity of what my body was doing. Dave was amazing! He was my rock and would do whatever I needed him to with each contraction. Sometimes it was literally hanging off of his neck, others it was him rubbing my lower back as hard as he could to counter the pressure that I was feeling. As long as he was close by, I felt safe, strong and able. He played such a vital role in the birth and I know I fell more in love with him through the whole journey of bringing our baby into the world.

At this time, my sense of time was out the window. The contractions were strong enough and close enough together that they required my full attention and surrender. Everything else that took place around me I was pretty much oblivious to. Brenda and Anita arrived sometime after lunch, I believe around two thirty or so, and brought in their stuff. She watched us labor through a few contractions to see how I was handling them and then offered to check me to see where our progress was.

It was determined that we could begin filling up the pool and I could labor in the warm water. I was excited for this part because that water sounded very appealing. They got to work getting their gear out and in between contractions Dave tried to help them get the pool filled and set up. I remember being by the window in our bedroom and just as a contraction left me, I felt another one coming up behind it. Dave had started to walk back over to the bathroom and I grabbed his shirt sleeve. I said to him in a not-so-sweet voice, “I need you here with me! They have done this before and know what they are doing! I have not so quit leaving me!” I was so dependent on his presence that when I didn’t feel him near me, only then did the contractions feel more like pain.

The pool was filled and I climbed in. (sigh) It felt so good to be in that warm water. It became very soothing and I was only asked to get out so that I could be checked one more time. Once I got back in, I settled into the rhythm my body gave me and took each contraction as it was; one that had a beginning, middle, and an end, each one bringing me closer to meeting baby.

I next remember the most intense and incredible feeling; it felt as though baby moved down farther preparing for the big arrival. It was such an overwhelming sensation, I became fully aware that my body was not my own, but also that it knew exactly what to do, I only had to go along for the ride. My vocalization became different at this point. As baby descended lower into my pelvis, my voice became lower. We were getting closer.

Once I was given the okay to work with the contractions and begin pushing, I tried every possible position to get comfortable. I tried in the pool, by the pool, by the bed, and eventually ended up on the bed with Dave behind me. I pushed for about an hour and when baby arrived, all I could do was let out a sigh of disbelief and awe! We did it!! Dave, baby and I, we all did it, together!

They put baby up on my chest and we just stared at that sweet face; all blinking eyes and staring back at us. Then, Dave had to ask, “Is it a boy or a girl?” We didn’t know if baby was a boy or a girl while in my tummy so we were anxious to find out. IT’S A BOY! Landon is here! The three of us snuggled on the bed and got to know each other. Brenda and Anita continued to do their thing of taking care of me while watching Landon to make sure he was breathing great, alert, and responsive.

At some point Brenda and Anita had to focus on me for a little bit. I was bleeding pretty good and needed some Pitocin and fluids to help my uterus contract and restore my energy. After all that work, I looked like death warmed over. My mom and Anita went and gave Landon a little bath; he had poo’d all over himself and me while we were cuddling. Then Dave brought me some food and orange juice and then brought you back.

We then attempted nursing and with some help from Brenda got him latched on okay. He was just perfect. Once we were deemed ready for visitors, we invited Dave’s parents, my parents, and my cousins Ryan, Amanda and Ashley all back in to meet him and watch as he got weighed and measured. He was six pounds, eight ounces and 19 ¼ inches long. Everyone was all smiles and full of joy and love that we finally got to meet Landon.

We spent the rest of the evening holding him and just falling more in love.

Landon newborn

This is a photo of Landon a couple of weeks old. I will find some of his birth photos and add them!

Have you ever written down your birth story(s)? I love being able to go back and read them and remember the day!

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