Mía's Home Birth Story
This week is going down in history for the week that couldn’t break me. I’m not gunna lie, it was a tough one guys. So before I get to the full birth story, I have to share the moments leading up to it because it all played a factor in this 40 hour labor and delivery… yup, I said 40 hour labor.
First, I have to mention that this birth was NOTHING like Koda’s birth. His birth was quick, painless (just lots of pressure) and so much easier than this one. So the entire time leading up to this birth I kept thinking… I got this, this is gunna be cake. If Koda’s was that simple, this one will be a breeze.
Oh man was I wrong.
(don’t miss the slew of pics at the end)
*** Huge shout out to my big brother Jeremy who produced this version of Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses song and turned it around for me in 48 hours just for my video. He played the guitar and my 13 year old niece Kehndryx sang (her voice is amazing)***
To help me lay it all out, I wanted to jot down a quick timeline for reference before I go into detail.
Quick breakdown of the week:
Monday - Prepping for hard thing
Tuesday - Hard thing
Wednesday - Positive Covid test
Thursday - Me & Koda pack up and go stay at my moms
Friday - Reassuring myself I still have 2 weeks ‘till my due date. I won’t go into labor.
Saturday - Water breaks @ 3:30 am
Sunday - Mía is born @ 7:02 pm
September 29th - My sister (Kehndra’s) heaven day
Alright, now let me fill you in…
September is a really hard month for me and my family. Every year for the past 20 years it’s been a month we’ve dreaded. September 29th is the day my sister passed away. I’m usually pretty emotional this entire month. This year wasn’t any different.
Until now I always associated September with pain. I was really looking forward to an October baby. Little did I know this little one had other plans…. she must’ve known our family needed something special in September ;)
Tuesday, September 21st
There’s so many things I love sharing with this community. I’m usually an open book. But there are just some things that are incredibly personal that I don’t feel comfortable sharing with the world, at least for now.
So I’m just going to call this the “Hard Thing”. There’s something I had contemplated doing for many years. Something most people could never understand. I know I’m being very vague here but bare with me.
The “Hard Thing” was something so mentally and emotionally hard that I had to mentally prepare for it for months (honestly years) in advance. This thing Pete was afraid would break me, he didn’t want me to do it to be honest. So Tuesday when I did the “Hard Thing”, it was incredibly draining. I couldn’t even function like normal again for a few days (honestly, I’m still recovering mentally). Maybe one day I’ll feel the need to share. Until then, this is all I will say.
This is how my week started. But I thought I had more time, I wasn’t due until October 9th so I thought I could get this over with, recover and be ready for birth. I was wrong.
Wednesday, September 22nd
We were notified by Allie’s school that she had been exposed to someone in her class September 14th who had Covid. She had to wear a mask to school for the next 10 days but should be okay. Pete started not feeling well a few days later, so we decided to get Pete and Allie tested Wednesday morning to be safe.
Fuuuudge! Allie’s came back positive, Pete’s was negative. Poor Allie broke down and cried when we told her she had it. She was so worried about me and the baby and scared that she might’ve given it to me. It was heartbreaking watching her be so worried.
Thursday, September 23rd
Once we knew Allie had Covid I needed to get tested ASAP. Being 9 months prego and how bad Covid hit me last year when I had it, I was terrified of getting it again during pregnancy. Not to mention how bad Covid was affecting pregnant people, we were pretty worried. So Koda and I went and got tested. We were all on edge until we got the results. Pete was a mess :( That entire day of waiting for our results were intense. We were all on edge.
Thankfully both of ours were negative. So to be extra safe and make sure I don’t get it, Koda and I packed a bag and headed to my moms while Pete stayed home and took care of our little Allie bug. Pete and I decided that was our best option.
We planned to stay there until Allie was in the clear. This was SO hard! With our due date nearing, we weren’t looking forward to these next few weeks of our family being split.
We may have all shed some tears these few days.
Friday, September 24th
Pete and I kept telling ourselves… “it’s okay, we still have 2+ weeks until our due date. I won’t go into labor, I won’t go into labor.” But really the entire time both of us were terrified, what if I go into labor? What will we do? I can’t do this alone. There goes my home birth plan, there goes Pete being there (he probably has Covid now too), there goes Allie being there, everything was unraveling. I was a mess mentally. I really thought I was gunna lose it.
This is literally the worst timing. Positive thoughts only. It’s okay, we still have 2 weeks. Right?
Saturday, September 25th
I was asleep at my moms and woke up around 3:30 am to go pee. I rolled over to get out of bed and as soon as I rolled, I felt a HUGE gush of liquid. I thought maybe it was pee, this baby would NOT stop pushing on my bladder the last few days.
I went to the bathroom, pulled down my undies and there was a big puddle of liquid. I knew right then my water broke. I stood up and a HUGE gush of water poured to the floor, legit like the movies. Shit! This can’t be happening right now ;(
I immediately broke down crying. I fell to the floor on my hands and knees and just bawled like a baby. NO! This can’t be happening right now. What am I going to do?
I couldn’t walk upstairs because the water wasn’t stopping, it was coming out of me like a running faucet. Luckily I had my phone so I called my mom who was upstairs and told her I needed help. She came down, walked in the bathroom, saw me bawling on the floor and with tears in her eyes said, “honey I’m so sorry”. She knew how scared I was of this happening. I vented to her about it all night.
Pete was already so stressed about everything so I was really nervous to call him. I called, told him what happened and he was so sweet and calm, reassuring me everything was going to be okay and we’ll figure it out. But I knew he was secretly freaking out on the inside. He was worried about me having to do this alone too.
I cried to him trying to figure out what we were going to do. He’s such a crucial part in my labor and delivery. We practiced together, he knows what I need, he knows all the counter pressure points, he knows how to keep me focused. He’s the most incredible birth partner, we’re a team, I literally don’t know how to do this without him.
With Allie having Covid and probably Pete now too since he’s been home taking care of her, what happens to my home birth we planned? If Pete has Covid, he can’t be there for the birth and neither can Allie. What do we do now?
Pete told me to calm down and said he’d call our midwife to figure out our options.
A few minutes later she called me. I got her up to date on our situation and she gave me a few options. 1) She could come to me and we could do the birth at my parents. Since this is my childhood home and I feel comfortable there, I would actually be okay with that. 2) We could relocate the birth to their birth center. 3) We can clean my house, disinfect it top to bottom, quarantine Allie in her room and have the birth at home as planned.
Pete and I discussed it and decided to do the birth at home as planned.
I grabbed a towel from the bathroom, put it around me like a diaper so I didn’t ruin my moms car, and she drove me home. We decided to leave Koda there with my dad so we didn’t have to wake him.
We pulled up to the house and I waited in the car while my mom and Pete put on their masks and cleaned/disinfected my house top to bottom. (thank you mom!)
They set Allie up in her room and told her she had to quarantine in there.
I came inside, grabbed a diaper from the supplies my midwife dropped off last week and threw it on… my water was still gushing out, so crazy!
After I got settled, Pete grabbed Allie and went to go get rapid tested again to see where we stand. It has been 10 days since Allie was exposed so there’s a slight chance she could be in the clear now.
While they were gone, my midwife came over and laid out our options.
1) If Pete and Allie both test positive for Covid, they both have to stay quarantined in Allie’s room during labor and delivery. This was my biggest worry. This means I’m doing this alone. With everything earlier in the week and now this, I couldn’t stop crying, I never imagined a scenario where I didn’t have Pete.
2) Allie tests positive, Pete’s still negative. Allie stays quarantined, Pete will be by my side through it all. Allie was devastated over the idea that she can’t be there. But at least I have Pete!
3) They both test negative. We get to do everything as planned. (Fingers crossed extra hard!)
The entire time they were gone Pete and I were texting each other. We were both a mess. I’ve seen my husband cry 3 times ever (I’ve been with him for 17 years) and we both were in tears all morning.
I’m sitting on the couch with my midwife and all the sudden my phone goes off… It’s Pete. He sent me a screenshot of the test results… both NEGATIVE!!!!
I immediately broke down in tears, thank god! Pete and Allie called me from the car and Allie says, “mom this is the best day ever!”. She’s seriously the sweetest.
Pete and I finally felt a moment of relief. He can be by my side the entire time (I was so so thankful)!
Now my midwife sits next to me and let's me know it’s time for me to get tested. There’s a small chance I could’ve gotten Covid when I was with Allie those few days. My neighbor had a rapid Covid test she had got from CVS and told me I could have it. I was not in shape to leave the house to get tested. So she dropped it off.
My Midwife said if it’s negative, we’re okay to move forward as planned. If it comes back positive, she strongly recommends we transport to the hospital now and deliver there to be safe. She said there’s been many cases where a mother has Covid, delivers just fine and then a few hours later things go downhill very fast and a hospital setting would be our safest option. Man, now I was really worried.
Okay, I open the test, follow the instructions, and oh my gosh… those 15 minutes of waiting for the results were intense. I swear you could hear a pin drop in the room. We were all REALLY hoping it would come up negative.
The guy we had to call for the at home test gets on the phone and confirms the test came back NEGATIVE! Again, I break down in tears. Pete was about to lose it but as soon as he heard negative, it looked like a thousands pounds had just disappeared from his shoulders.
We were all emotionally drained already at this point and it was only 10am. So many ups and downs, it felt like a rollercoaster of events.
But here we are, able to give birth as planned… at home, with Pete and my kids. Thank you! Thank you!
Alright here goes. Now we can finally focus on this birth.
Alright now that we know we’re in the clear, let’s have a baby!
My midwife Ashleigh called the other two midwives so they could head over. I had a total of 2 midwives + 1 in training. Every single one of them was absolutely amazing! (we used Birth Journey Midwifery)
My mom has been present at all my births. And this time was no different. She was there to 1) just be my mama and be there for me when I needed her and 2) to help keep an eye on the kids so Pete could act as my doula and be by my side 100% of the time.
She had a grocery list in advance with some stuff to bring to my house once I went into labor. I call her my snack lady because she always brings all the yummy things I can snack on while in labor lol.
I learned from Allie’s birth that this was a MUST. I labored with her for 14 hours without anything to eat and I was so hungry that after she was born I asked for the box of crackers next to my bed before asking to hold my own baby, ugh.
It’s like running a marathon without being able to fuel your body. Your body is literally doing the most physically draining thing it’ll ever do, but you’re going to starve it? No thanks.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gunna stuff a burrito down my throat or chow down a cheeseburger. But I did need food/fuel.
Some of my faves are granola bars, dried fruit, yogurt, my “special drink” (sprite, orange juice, and cranberry juice), some crackers… stuff like that.
And since we had a home birth this time with our midwives being here for who knows how long, I had her grab a tray of sandwiches for everyone. My mom is the best (I love you)!
***(For your reference, every time I say expansion, I’m referring to a contraction. In our Hypnobirth class we call them expansions)
Around this time I started having expansions. I always thought it would work like in the movies where your water breaks, you’re in labor and soon after you have the baby.
Ha I wish. It did not work like that for us.
My expansions would get intense, closer together, we’d think ‘here we go, here comes active labor’ and then they’d slow down again.
Pete and I tried everything on Saturday. We went outside and went curb walking (this can sometimes help get labor moving). I sat/bounced on the birth ball continuously. I got on all fours and my midwives shimmied my Rebozo on my belly to help try to get everything in position.
Expansions would start to get super intense, closer together and again, we’d think it’s go time… and then they’d slow down again. ugh! It was pretty exhausting. I remember when my expansions started feeling this intense with Koda’s birth, it was about an hour and a half before he was born so I was convinced we were getting close. I was wrong.
My midwife let me know that we weren’t on a timeline… but we were on a timeline. If I don’t start having consistent expansions by the 36 hour mark (from the time my water broke) then we would need to start discussing plans to transport to a hospital. I’m not gunna lie, this made me super tense.
I can’t force my body to go into active labor, so how the hell do I make this happen so we don’t have to move to the hospital? Right now our hospitals are only allowing one support person due to Covid. This obviously isn’t ideal. I REALLY wanted my home birth.
Ashleigh (one of my midwives) mentioned that we could try pumping. Pumping can help induce labor when your body is ready, since my water already broke, I’m pretty sure it’s ready. Alright, let’s give it a try.
I attached the pump 30 min on, take a break, 20 min on, take a break. When I had my pump on, my expansions would get more intense and closer together. Each time we’re thinking, here' we go. But everytime it didn’t turn into anything.
My midwives were continuously checking my blood pressure and the baby’s heart rate throughout the day to ensure mom and baby were okay and there weren’t any concerns. They were also checking my temperature.
Because my water had broke, the chances of infection were higher. If I started to have a fever we would know there’s an infection and would need to address it immediately.
Every time they checked, I was okay and baby was all good and sounded perfectly healthy. But man, that clock was ticking. Pete and I both were on edge and worried we’d have to go to the hospital. Why isn’t active labor starting?
We try to get some rest
It was around 11pm when my midwives suggested Pete and I just go to bed and get some rest… hoping active labor would start soon when we’re not “trying” or thinking about it.
We got some rest, but not really. We were both up all night tossing and turning… trying to be positive with one another but we both knew the other is secretly stressed the F*&% out.
The midwives crash on one of our beds downstairs and in their camper/van they had outside. But they didn’t leave.
We get up and out of bed around 6am Sunday morning. Still no consistent expansions. Seriously, what is happening? I should’ve have this baby by now. At this point I was so discouraged. I remember just looking at the bassinet we had in the living room all day Saturday thinking by the end of the night a baby will be in there. Little did I know ;( Here we are on day 2!
Here we go again, on and off expansions all morning long. But nothing consistent enough to be in active labor. The clock’s ticking and Pete and I are both getting really worried, if we weren’t already.
I tried locking in with my headphones, listening to my relaxation tracks. I tried listening to music that I liked. I tried not thinking about it. I tried focusing on it. Nothing was working.
The 36 hour mark would be 3:30pm today. We’re running out of time.
At this point I was ready to try anything!
12pm Midwives Brew
My midwife Melyssa asked if I wanted to try something called the midwives brew. I can’t remember exactly what was all in it, but I do know there was a splash of castor oil in it.
I’ve never tried castor oil before and I wasn’t too fond of the idea, but again, I was up for anything at this point. Let’s try it.
About an hour later it started to kick in. Technically it’s poison, which is why we only added a splash. So it literally pushes everything out. I went to the bathroom like 6 times I swear lol. But it’s supposed to help get expansions going.
1pm Shower Breakdown
Around 1pm I decide to get in the shower to help relieve my expansions. They may have not been consistent yet, but they were still really intense.
I rolled my birth ball in the shower so I could sit on it while I let the warm water hit my lower back. Pete walked in and I remember looking at him thinking he looked so exhausted. He was worried about me, he was worried about the baby, worried maybe something was wrong.
He said he needed to go for a walk to clear his head. He said he’ll be back and if I needed anything my mom and midwives were right outside the door and asked if I’d be okay without him for a while. I told him to go ahead.
As soon as he walked out and I was alone, I broke down in the shower. What is it about crying in the shower that feels so good? I was just so exhausted… mentally, emotionally, physically… why wasn’t active labor starting? I felt like I was failing.
I’m not a religious person and I don’t know what I believe after someone passes but I really wanted to to talk to my sister, I do this sometimes.
My sister Kehndra passed away when I was 15 years old (she was 19). She was my very best friend in the entire world. We shared everything with each other. We relied on each other for all the highs and lows.
I remember saying out loud, “Kehn if you’re there, I need you. Please help me get through this, I don’t know how much longer I can go. We’re running out of time, we need to get things going”. And then I cried some more.
Then my mom came in to check on me and we chatted for a bit.
About 20 min later Pete walked in. He looked like an all new person. He even had a little pep in his step lol. He looked right at me and said, “Alright, I’m ready. Let’s do this!”.
He told me before leaving for his walk he broke down in front of my mom and the midwives. This is NOT like Pete. Like I said before, I’ve literally seen him cry like 3 times in the 17 years we’ve been together.
He went for his walk, cleared his head and came back. He said he never understood what people meant when they said they just needed a good cry and now they feel better lol. Now he gets it.
Seeing him so positive and ready, gave me a little boost too.
3pm IV Fluids + antibiotics
I got out of the shower and it was time for another round of IV fluids with antibiotics. Earlier in the morning they had given me y first round. I was supposed to have my Group B Strep test at my next appointment, but since we never made it to, we didn’t know if I had it or not, we wanted to be safe and get me antibiotics just in case.
So I have this thing with blood, I don’t like seeing it, it gives me major PTSD so I always have to look away and it stresses me out major every time I get poked.
And my luck, they just couldn’t get it in my vein, they had to poke me twice in one arm and once in the other. Not gunna lie, I was super annoyed and on the verge of another breakdown right about now.
Especially because I was still having random intense expansions and what if one came while they were trying to poke me? They finally got it to stick. Yay!
I was sitting on the couch while hooked up to the IV and my mom came and sat next to me. There’s something about my mom that just made me want to curl up into a ball in her arms and bawl like a baby.
Now it was time for me to have another breakdown. I started bawling while laying in my moms arms. Here it is almost 3:30pm, 36 hours after my water broke and still not in active labor.
“Mom I’m so tired! Why isn’t active labor starting? Everytime I feel like it’s go time, things slow down again and nothing happens. What can I do? I don’t know how much longer I can do this, I’m so exhausted.”
My mom just listened and cried with me.
Shit hits the fan!
It was right then when my photographer Shailynn, walked up behind me and and said all the right things…
“Okay guys let’s all envision this baby being born. Let’s all think positive thoughts. Linds there’s good energy here, just envision you having this baby, you’re gunna have this baby.”
I sat up and said, we’re having this baby by 6 o’clock because I’m hungry and I really want some pizza (my first meal after all my babies was Pizza from The Pie, it’s my favorite and I was really looking forward to it lol). Since we didn’t have a name for the baby yet, we started calling the baby 6 o’clock pizza haha.
My IV was done, they unhooked it and almost immediately I had a super intense contraction… and then another… and then another.
I needed to get in the birthing pool but it had been filled up since yesterday so Pete and the midwives drained it and refilled it with clean, warm water.
5PM I got this
I got inside and I could fill it in my bones, this time it was it!
I remember Allie rubbing my face and cooling my head with a cool towel. She was amazing. Then I asked Pete to get in with me, the expansions were getting harder to get through and I needed some counter pressure. I never had expansions this intense with Koda’s birth, ever. This was all so different.
To be honest, I was so mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted at this point that I didn’t know if I could make it through.
I had to stay extremely focused or else I’d slip and start to feel an intense amount of pain during my expansions. I’d slip every now and then, but Pete could always tell when I did, would make sure I focused only on him and would say some words of encouragement like a trainer at the gym, and I’d get right back to my “happy place”. He was absolutely amazing! He was everything I needed to make it through.
This was by far my most vocal birth. I don’t remember being vocal with Allie or Koda almost at all. But I was doing horse lips and moaning a LOT to help get through each expansion. It helped a TON!
I remember reaching my hand down and checking myself to see if I could feel the baby. I had to shove my fingers up there so freaking far before I could feel the head. This got me super discouraged.
What the heck? My expansions had been this intense for this long and I still wasn’t even close? Fuuuuuuuck! This is never going to end.
But then the craziest thing happened. My next expansion came and towards the end of it my body all of the sudden started pushing, I couldn’t have stopped it if I tried. I involuntarily grunted really loud. It was the craziest feeling. The only word that comes to mind for what it felt like was as if my body was regurgitating this baby out of my vagina with no effort of my own.
For a split second when my body first pushed, I remember thinking… “okay we’re at the pushing phase. I don’t think I can push for another 20, 30, however many more minutes this is going to take”. I’m too exhausted, I’m done.
But then at the end of this push/grunt… the baby was out. In that one freaking push!
I remember looking down and seeing this little baby fly out of me like a starfish, its legs and arms spread out, floating in the water and shooting right into Pete’s arms. OH MY GOD WE DID IT!
No one was expecting it, not even my midwives. There was no “she’s crowning” or “we’re getting close”. The baby literally was pushed out at the end of that last expansion after I had just told everyone I could barely feel the head. CRAZY! My videographer even missed the moment I pushed her out because it was just all so fast.
I immediately felt relief. It was over. I’m done. I did it!I couldn’t stop crying. Pete brought the baby up on to my chest and I felt like superwoman. We both held each other with the baby between us and we couldn’t stop crying. I remember Pete putting his forehead right against mine, looking me right in my eyes and saying, “You fucking did it babe!”
I looked up at Allie, she was crying. I told my mom to go grab Koda (he’d wondered off to my room), I held the baby up for Allie to see and she announce… it’s a baby GIRL!
We all broke down and cried some more. Allie jumped up and down, she really wanted a little sister. Koda took a minute to warm up, I think the baby scared him a bit because she was covered in so much Vernix. The cheesiest baby I’d ever seen. (once we got her cleaned up a little, Koda was fine).
I handed the baby over to Pete, now I have to birth the placenta. The placenta was the worst part of Koda’s birth and was pretty traumatic for me. My nurses in the hospital were pulling and yanking on it trying to get it out of me and it was incredibly painful.
Pete went to stand up and get out of the birthing pool, I grabbed his leg and said, “don’t you dare leave me”. He sat back down lol.
I brought my placenta fears to my midwives attention at one of our first appointments, so they knew it was my goal to ensure we had a more gentle placenta birth. Letting it detach on its own with expansions, massaging my stomach when/if needed.
So they guided me through birthing it. Instead of them grabbing the cord and pulling… they massaged my stomach, told me to grab the cord and gently give it a little tug with my next expansion while pushing. I love that they guided me to do it myself.
During this time Allie was cutting the umbilical cord. So precious!
Finally it came out and I could relax with my sweet little baby.
The baby was an hour late for 6 o’clock pizza. She was born at 7:02pm.
Shout out to my sister in law Courtney who currently lives in Vegas. She knows me too well and already had pizza ordered and on the way. You da best ;)
The relief Pete and I felt was something I can’t even explain. The baby was here. Mom and baby are both happy. We had her at home. We were all so in love already. She was absolutely perfect. I couldn’t stop kissing her.
Having a home birth was so amazing. Gosh, I wish I had all my kids in the comfort of my own home. It was so nice to go lay down in my own bed after an exhausting couple of days with my brand new baby and husband.
I always hated those tiny hospital beds. Pete and I both would try to fit on it while holding our new baby and rest, we’d both be exhausted. It was the worst!
My midwife Kyra made me a green smoothie right after to help get some good nutrients in me after being so exhausted. I swear there’s nothing like having a good midwife.
Also, waking up to a clean house. I walked in the living room Monday morning and it was as if it never happened, like it was all a dream, my midwives had cleaned up everything and took it with them. It was great!
Just wanted to share a few more photos below…
(I love the one of Allie learning about the placenta and Pete and I being able to go lay down in our own bed after a rough 40 hours. Beats a tiny hospital bed lol)