Our journey to freebirthJan 29, 2021
As many of you know our third little nugget was born at home. This has been a dream of ours since finding out we were expecting our first baby. Unfortunately logistics surrounding midwifery care in Quebec made it impossible for us. Now that we live more remote and our only option was a hospital birth vs a midwifery birth centre like we had with our first two, we decided to take birth back.
We decided to trust a natural instinct. We decided to trust the beauty and perfection of the connection between a mother and her unborn child. Armed with education, preparation, support, and most importantly our binding love as a couple, we embarked on a wild journey. The journey of freebirth. We took birth back. Miko was born, in a cloud of oxytocin, the natural hormone of love, at home, with just me and his dad as witnesses and participants. I will forever be grateful to him, as to our other children, for connecting me with my inner strength and power as a woman to create life and bring it to the world freely, on my own accord, as I was created to do. Every birth has empowered me as a mother, as a wife, and as a woman.Birth matters. Mothers matter. Choices surrounding birth… matter. And it is your choice to make, as the parents who created life. Advocate for birth on your own terms.
You have choices.
Miko’s Birth Story
After two births with wonderful midwives, the anxiety brought forth by the thought of a hospital birth kept me awake night after night. Having moved to a remote area, the closest midwifery centre was more than 2.5 hours away, most of the journey without phone reception. To drive there, in the event that my labour happened quickly, would be risky. And the worldwide pandemic of Covid-19 made it impossible for us to rent an air b&b nearby. My dream had always been to give birth at home, but living out of zone made it pure fantasy. It would never happen. I’d never experience it.
Until early March, when someone put me in touch with a mom who had experienced a Freebirth. Giving birth at home … with just my man … the excitement and trepidation of giving birth was finally coming back to me. But could I really do it ?! A nurse by trade, I was trained to look for and prepare for the worst … Yet, we embarked on a quiet preparation. We followed a natural birth prep course. We read preparation books. We joined facebook groups. We even had the privilege of watching Freebirths broadcasted in real time.
Quietly, our plans took form. A birthing pool, natural remedies, my home care equipment carefully organized … I transformed our room into the perfect birth room, from the cozy bed to romantic twinkling lights on the walls.
Nothing was set in stone. But we were keeping our options open.
In the evenings, I would close my eyes and speak to my unborn child. When the time would come, he and my body would tell me what to do: take the road to the birth centre, fork for the hospital, or stay home.
On May 22nd my contractions began after putting my two little one’s to bed, but quickly faded away after a few hours.
On May 24th, my contractions resumed. Stronger. Closer. A bath didn’t seem to calm them either. I stood outside, alone in the dark, swaying and dancing to music until 2h in the morning, letting each contraction gently pull on my cervix. However after going to rest, they finally stopped at 4h in the morning. The disappointment was sour in my mouth. I was ready.
On May 25th my contractions once more made an appearance but this time I didn’t trust them nor did I believe they would lead to actual labour. I take a bath and they slowly crept further apart and loss vigour. Tonight wouldn’t be the night. As we sat to have dinner the waves continued on but they are soft and sweet. I placed my little one’s to bed and headed to the bathroom. A sudden urge to lean brought me to face the back of the toilet and lean on its back. My love asked me if he should fill the birth pool. I say no. It wasn’t time yet. After 15 min I decided to head to bed. It was 9h pm, I was tired of being disappointed and I fully expected these contractions to fail me once more.
Its I walked into our room however, my love had dimmed the lights and turned on the little twinkling lights we had sprung on the walls in case we birthed at home. He had covered the bed in a mountain of pillows and a heating blanket. He was waiting for me. He knew… He knew long before I did.
I laid in his arms as he massaged me. The contractions continued but I was safe and happy in the arms of my man, in the comfort of our country home, with the sounds of the chickens “chatting” outside. The moon bathed us in its glow, making the moment feel surreal.
At 9:30 pm I felt warm blood running down my legs. My cervix was dilating. No need to tell my man that we were staying home … we both felt it.In a soft voice I asked him to fill the birthing pool. I headed to the bathroom when I suddenly lost my mucous plug. I called him to me, and he knelt I could lean into his strong embrace.
Tonight would be the night. I wasn’t scared. I was confident and at peace. I felt safe.
As soon as I immersed myself in the warm water of the birthing pool, I sighed in relief. I had always birthed in water. It felt calming, soothing, and right.
Suddenly, and fully embarrassed, I had the urge to go to the washroom. I tell my man that I have to get out of the water immediately! He proudly pronounces, with a fish net in his hand, that there is no need for me to get our of the pool, he is ready! Flushed in ever growing embarrassment I tell him that I think this isn’t the kind he can catch with a fish net you see… He proudly answers, that he has a bowl and he slips it under my butt! Before I could protest, a contraction, a hard one, strikes me and it’s too late…
I look at the water, panicked of what I thought I had just done… It wasn’t what I thought it was! My waters had just broken! We both began laughing until we noticed that the water was soiled with blood clots. My cervix had dilated so quickly that it had bled a little more than usual. My love knows and trusts in women’s instinct of birth, as such he asked me if everything was okay. I knew it was, I felt everything was perfectly fine. We listened to our sweet babies heartbeat through my belly, and confirmed that everything was just right.
And then I started to growl. Like a wolf protecting its young. A sound I’d never made before. Me, who had hoped I could finally manage a quite birth like you see in orgasmic birth videos… This being my third natural birth, I figured if I was going to growl now, I would never be a quite birther.
I let the growls come and escape my lips while ending each in a gently push to release pressure. I knew what that meant. It meant I was in transition, that my cervix was fully dilating and it wouldn’t be long before our son was in my arms. And then I felt it. I felt him slide down … I felt every movement of his little body inside me! I groaned, I growled, and I yelled at the top of my longs. But despite my out of control appearance … I was in control. Time slowed in my mind, I could think more clearly than I ever had before. I knew what to do. My body, my baby, and I were one.
On all fours like a wolf I growled and reached down. I felt him coming. His head slipped into my hand as I gently stroked around it to feel every inch of him… his ear, his hair, his hand … wait … his hand !!! What a funny little guy coming out with a hand my his ear, like superman!
At the next contraction I felt his shoulder stuck on my pelvis. This is what we call shoulder dystocia and is usually accompanied by invasive procedures that cause tears and pain. But most shoulder dystocia’s can easily be resolved if we encourage women to change positions to open their pelvis. Instinctively, most women will know what positions to take. I felt his neck out, which was a good sign so I waited for the next contraction as I got into a squat to receive him, ready to lunge backwards to open my pelvis if his shoulder didn’t allow passage. As the contractions turned, I felt his head rotate, as it should, but only a quarter turn as his shoulder is still stuck on my pelvis. Yet the contraction reaches its peak and his stock shoulder gets pushed down enough for the other shoulder to slip out allowing him to escape my pelvis. The rest of his body slipped into my hands, and I pulled him up to my chest in amazement. My body, my instincts… I had resolved his shoulder dystocia all on my own! I placed him over my forearm and rubbed his back as his first cry erupts through the room.
‘Hello!!!! Hello!! But how rosy you are! Wow! But how beautiful you are !!!! ’ I yelled in delight.
My lover says ‘Baby !!! You did it! Wow! My love! All alone! You are amazing! You did it!!!!’
For 20 mins, completely engulfed in a cloud of oxytocin and love, I sat there in the water holding my baby on my chest.
My love helps me to our bed where I deliver the placenta before even fully sitting down, without pushing, pulling, or probing. He gently places it in a bowl. A 10-10-10 Apgar. The best I’d ever seen.
2h pass before we burn the umbilical cord with a candle, alone under the moonlight. Nobody, not a soul, comes to disturb our cozy nest of restorative hormones protecting me.
I was in full control. I tested his reflexes, listened to his heart and lungs. Me. No one other than me.
We slept soundly, peacefully through the night with no interruptions.
Under the soft morning glow our children come to meet their brother. From the top of their 2 and 1 year old glee they exclaimed ‘Baby !!! Wow! Bavooooo (congratulations in french)! ’ covering him in sweet kisses.
Love and oxytocin enveloped us. The feeling of connection to my body, to my baby, the incomparable presence of mind that I felt… engraved into my mind and heart forever.
I ask my lover for his thoughts are and he responds ‘There is no better way to give birth. It was perfect. You amazed me even more than I thought possible. I dream that our next children will be born in the same way but with one change! ’
‘What change?’ I ask.
‘Our next baby… I’m catching him! Now do you think you can pump some milk for my coffee ?! ’😂