The Birth of T1: Part I

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

In the weeks and days leading up to T1′s birth I spent a considerable amount of time imagining what the entire experience would be like. I chose home birth because of the control it afforded me. I dictated where I labored, how I labored, and who was present. I read something written by a midwife once detailing an old birth video she watched that showed a laboring mother baking a chocolate cake during labor. This oh-so-composed mommy popped the tins in the oven, hopped on the bed, and pushed the baby out just in time to ice the rounds in order to celebrate. This normalcy during labor is what I wanted for myself, and though I didn’t bake my cake at 8 centimeters dilated, you will later see photos of me blow drying my bangs in place and picking zits on my face a mere hour or so before I started pushing. If that isn’t the epitome of a normal, natural birth, then I don’t know what is.

That is why I chose to birth at home, in my own private space, with the people I love most in the world cheering me on. I experienced the most extraordinary moments of my life and a few hours later settled in bed with a new little person, my incredible husband, and a slice of homemade chocolate cake with avocado buttercream frosting I had made myself when contractions were lighter, washed down with a glass of sparkling cider to celebrate. It was even better than I could have imagined.

Saturday, April 10th, 7:00 am

On Saturday morning, the day which I had marked as my official estimated due date, I woke up to a toilet full of bloody toilet paper and stained panties. Frantic internet searching commenced and I learned that this could mean everything or it could mean nothing. Baby could come that day or 3 weeks from that day. Very light contractions began happening somewhere between every 20-30 minutes, lasting an average of 40 seconds each.

I called my mom and she made the (very smart) decision to fly down the next morning, after weeks of vacillating back and forth about whether she wanted to try to be present for the birth. I sent a few text messages to Kelli Nicole as well, keeping her updated on my progress as we were hoping to time things so that she would get there in time to photograph everything that was happening.

Saturday, April 10th, 10:00 am

That Husband and I started going down my birth plan, gathering the items we needed and cleaning up the house as it was very important to me that things be neat while I labored. I do not like clutter and I knew it would be distracting to me if we didn’t tackle the messes early in labor. We watched Walk the Line,  moved the dining room table into the middle of the living room, and TH blew up the birth tub. I laughed so hard as he decided to get in the freezing cold water to “test it out”. I think we were both a bit giddy realizing that we were going to have a baby in our lives sometime soon.

Saturday, April 10th, 11:30 pm

I decided to call it a night, knowing it was important to try to get as much rest as possible during the early hours of labor. That night I slept in 10 minute intervals, waking in pain frequently as yet another contraction rolled over me, giving up after only 4 hours and heading into the kitchen to find something to eat.

Sunday, April 11th, 3:30 am

I decided on a banana and knelt by the side of our bed and ate while finishing Deliver Me From Pain, then got up and got another banana because the first one tasted so good. An hour later and I was hungry once again, this time walking out of the kitchen with some peanut butter toast and a glass of milk, which satisfied my tummy but not enough for me to sleep. After 30 minutes I sent Sarah a text telling her how miserable I was and she suggested a nice warm bath combined with a dose of Benadryl. This relaxed me enough that I was able to sleep for a little over two hours, something I would be very grateful for later on the next night.

Sunday, April 11th, 8:30 am

I woke That Husband up and told him we wouldn’t be going to church that day, and decided to eat breakfast and start on baby’s birthday cake. I gathered up all of the baking supplies on the counter and started mixing, and found over time that my contractions were slowly dying down, spreading out and tapering off in intensity. By the time I finished baking the cake at noon I was hardly feeling anything and starting to stress that my mom was on a plane, Kelli was halfway here, and maybe I wouldn’t be having a baby anytime soon after all.

32 thoughts on “The Birth of T1: Part I

  1. I’m loving this already. I don’t know why, but the way you said you got another banana because the first one tasted so good had me laughing out loud. I’ve never been pregnant, so I can’t relate, but it was funny. :)

  2. I’m getting excited already. I’m so glad you got to do this at home and be as comfortable as possible. Also, Hooray for Peanut Butter Toast! Yum!

  3. Baking a cake and having sparkling cider, what a better way to celebrate. Much better than stories of people who get awakened by the nurse.
    It must have been disapointing when the contractions started dying down. You’ll have to tell us if it’s normal, or like braxton hicks or something.

  4. I contemplated not reading the posts until you were finished… that way I could read them all at once. Alas, I don’t have the patience for that. =) As far as I’m concerned, these should be really long posts so there are fewer to wait for. =D

    I think the dying down thing is so normal… With Addie the contractions totally petered out for quite a while, but once they got going… man!

  5. Ok I just have to get this out there: I do not like cliffhangers. So I’ll probably be mad for like 3.5 seconds after reading all of your birth posts. But then I’ll be all “Ohhh this is sooo good I’m so happy for her yay I can’t wait to read more maybe she’ll post again today!” In a run-on sentence, of course.

    But in all seriousness, what an amazing way to give birth. Sort of like you’re just going about your business, and you just happen to have a baby that day, too.

    I really think you’re doing something so great here, Jenna. You’re changing minds (I can guarantee you’ve changed mine) and that is SO amazing. Can’t wait to read more!

  6. It’s so funny, because even though I was there, I’m probably just as excited as most people to read it! I can’t wait for the next installment :).

  7. ahhhh cliffhangers! Can’t wait for next installment. Thanks for sharing. The photos Kelli took are beyond beautiful.

  8. I love the story, though I must say I am now craving chocolate cake. Darn it!

  9. As soon as I read this, I jumped off the couch, ran over to my husband and announced that we will be having birthday cake when our little one arrives. I love this so much! I can’t wait for more.

  10. GAAAH!!! The excitement is palpable in this post. Great writing. Can’t wait for the next installment.

    How painful were the middle-of-the-night contractions on a scale of 1 to 10?

  11. soooo glad you’re writing about this so I can know what to expect for a possible future water birth. :)

  12. Super, super excited that you’ve started this series! Can’t wait for the next post!
    I know exactly how you felt when your contractions petered out- we were at a family Christmas gathering when my contractions started to get regular, so we left around 10:30 and called the midwife on the way home. And as soon as we walked into our house, the contractions spaced waaaaaaaay out again and I was ticked. off. since we had already let my midwife know what was going on and she was sending someone out and I did NOT want someone to come out at that time of night if this wasn’t the real thing. Thankfully, after JD Man massaged the pressure points above my ankles, the contractions started coming faster again and it was the real thing.

  13. Great start to your birth story…like the others I can’t wait to read the rest. I can’t wait to have a baby, and hearing about your magical experience isn’t making me any more patient!

  14. Your explanation of why you wanted to give birth at home helps me understand why you chose that birth plan. I have been interested in hearing about your choice because it’s something I haven’t even considered (not that I’m even planning on getting pregnant for a few years…). Thanks so much for sharing your birth experience. I can’t wait to read more!

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  17. I am so excited to read this! My husband and I talked about having a home birth. I cant wait to read how everything went!!

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  19. Pingback: Baby P « Kelli Nicole Photography – Houston Photographer

  20. I wanted to just email you, but couldn’t find an address anywhere.

    There’s a rally in SF on June 25th to make sure that homebirth midwives get to continue to practice in California. I’m a homebirth mama (of 2) and a reader. We’d love you to join us and also spread the word if you can.

    We are having a rally Tuesday the 25th from noon to 1pm on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall (Goodlett steps facing Civic Center Plaza) to support Homebirth with a Licensed Midwife! We have been told that the rally is one of the most important things we can do to lobby for an amendment to AB 1308 to remove physician supervision. It is crucial that the requirement for physician supervision be lifted so that midwives can practice legally. Legislators need to know that the public is behind Licensed Midwives. We need your help.

    Come to support homebirth and Licensed Midwives! Please RSVP to your local midwife if you will be there (we need a head count in case we need to apply for a bigger permit). If you cannot come, please ask a friend to go in your place. Don’t forget to join CFAM http://www.cafamiliesformidwives.org/

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