Amanda's FreebirthOct 20, 2021
Evie Marie was my fourth birth. She was my first free birth, or undisturbed, unassisted birth, third home birth, third VBAC.
I knew when I became pregnant a 4th time I would Free Birth. I didn’t know much about it yet, but I had thought about it with my third, and he was almost unassisted. My midwife arrived 5 min before he was born. Yet I wasn’t ready then. With my 4th, I was.
I also knew I would do an unassisted pregnancy. Besides a test at Planned Parebthood which I only got because we needed it to receive benefits from the state, I didn’t do anything. No measurements, no listening of the heartbeat, no tests, checks, scans... what I did do was listen to my intuition, my body, my emotions, my baby. I ate whatever I wanted. I was active and inactive depending on my mood. I didn’t read up on anything in terms of preparation - you know, the worsts that can happen, what to do, etc I dealt with my fears when they came up, and made sure I wasn’t taking on anyone else’s. I focused solely on the outcome I wanted - nothing else. I read and listened to successful free birth stories. I didnt even prepare for the birth much at all. No birthing tub, no birth kit or supplies, no playlist, mantras, etc I bought a fish scale to weigh baby and a tape measure to measure length, and that was it. I didn’t plan where I would birth. I just knew I WOULD birth.
I had a pregnancy filled with much stress and changes, many emotional highs and lows. I was taken to the darkest places. Physically, I felt great. I felt very in tune with myself spiritually, emotionally, physically. I knew I was having a girl, even when I began to doubt it toward end of pregnancy when people said boy. When Ian and I were in Paris with the kids and decided yes, we wanted to grow our family and answer the call of a little girl calling us, we did on a full moon. She came in strong, but was lost as quickly when we returned home. She came in again a bit more grounded when I found myself pregnant February 2018.
The entire pregnancy I knew I was growing a goddess. When I hit 30 weeks and began to feel my busy getting ready, I thought maybe I would go early. I was scared. Yet I knew all my babies have come 40 to 42 weeks, and I honored my body for its wisdom in starting the process early. As we got closer to due date, I’d wake up with fluid leaking down my leg as my cervix continued to efface, soften, dilate. I knew labor was close.
My due date came, as did the full moon. I was very spacey, irritable. I was missing my first born terribly, remembering him present at my last birth, feeling the pain of him being gone from our daily lives. My husband was off 3 days in a row, and I trued to enjoy the family time. We went to Dr. Suess Museum, got our Christmas tree, and did some other things together. I was noticing how active the baby was - alien baby I said - like my belly would just burst open. I was also hobbling around as the pressure in my butt and sacrum was intense.
I woke around midnight after putting the kids to bed earlier at 40+5. I had intense pressure in my butt and sacrum. When I stood, I noticed the discomfort radiating from like right around my butt crack out to the sides, with a bit of heaviness and cramping very low in front. I didn’t think much of it cause I wasn’t feeling anything anywhere else.
I laid in bed, cuddled Ian, kids, but couldn’t shake the sensations I was feeling, radiating from sacrum/butt around to the front, very low, a bit more. Around 1:30, I decided I was in early labor. The sensations hadn’t stopped, and were intense when felt where I couldn’t sleep through them easily, but they were still 5 min or more apart. I wasn’t comfortable on my side anymore, and I was feeling very hungry and thirsty. I got up, had a banana, water, walked around the apartment. They were more intensely felt when standing. I would lean against something. I would take child’s pose or hands or knees for relief. Ian got up. A restless feeling was permeating in the house. He had to work at 730 and he said he wanted to call in, I said, no, go, I think we are in for the long haul. The contractions were intense, but still spaced out. I was remembering Adas labor which began with contractions and a slow build, about 24 hours. Graham’s was 3 hours but my water broke first.
I took a bath around 4 and felt relief and dozed a bit. I was feeling very tired and said I have to try for some rest, so got out and laid down around 5. I want to mention too I had been sitting on the toilet a lot during these early morning hours. I felt grounded, and my sacrum felt better. I had during this pregnancy sat on the toilet a lot for grounding and release and wondered if I’d like it during labor.
So back in bed by 5, but contractions began to pick up in intensity and I was out of bed around 6:15. This is where I noticed things were picking up quick. I drew a bath but didn’t get in. I sat on the toilet. I knew my neighbor below would be getting up soon and I had wanted to birth after he left for work at 7:30. Something told me that wouldn’t happen. I stated to shake and rub my legs and moan and make noises I couldn’t replicate if I tried. I was close to crying not out of pain, but because I couldn’t stop this. train and fuck I wasn’t ready! I felt helpless.
I thought why the hell am I doing this again. I was hot and cold and so thirsty. Ian and kids were up now and brought me some water and were hanging in our tiny bathroom and I shooed them out. I could feel with each contraction the dilation if my cervix and I was seeing a spiral like a shell or a tunnel I was spiraling down. The imagery was intense! I began to feel her coming down now and my moans became screams and roars. She was coming down fast. I heard Ian tell the kids it’s birthing noises. I was still on toilet and when I reached between my legs I could feel her bag of waters bulging. I wanted the water to break so bad for relief. I got off the toilet and onto hands and knees and could feel her head emerging and the waters broke as it did. Ian was behind me at this point. I think I was saying get out as in baby in my body and next thing I knew, baby was out. I was breathing heavy and slowed down my breathing as I heard Ian say we have a girl and I turned around to hold her.
I didn’t push at all. Fetal ejection reflex brought her down and out in about 5 contractions. She was almost born en caul, in her waters, but her head broke through breaking the waters. It was not messy at all, hardly any blood, and placenta came about 20 min later with Evies bag of waters attached. She was a bit gurgly with mucous but began crying soon after, and worked mucous out in first 24 hours. She was alert from the get go, nursing well. She was lifting her head up at 2 days old! I haven’t bled much at all and no tearing. My vagina honestly feels back to normal 4 days PP. And she was 9lbs 7oz! The after pains were almost worse than the labor, but they were intense first evening, next day minimal, gone by day 3 or 4. I first thought no way in hell I’d do that again... but you bet I would. Maybe I’d even catch the next one! My one perhaps regret if there was one, but hands on earth I needed when her head came through. Free birth! We did it Evie!
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