Thursday, August 25, 2011

You Had Your Baby Where?!

On June 2nd at 3:24pm, I had Zoe here...

Oh, that doesn't look much like a hospital? That's because it isn't. We had her at home. Yes, on purpose. Probably everyday since she has been born, I get asked about her birth. So, here's the story.

Saturday 5/28/11
I was due June 18th 2011. On May 28th, I was getting ready to go to dinner and I lost my mucus plug. If you don't know what that is, definitely DO NOT Google it. I starting cramping then, but tried to ignore it. However, our dinner companions asked me if I was OK at least 5 times, so I guess I couldn't completely hide it.

Sunday 5/29/11
We had a big party at our house. Yannos and I joked about how I was going to go into labor during the party and we'd have to send everyone home. I thought the timing was impossibly early, but we actually weren't that far off

Monday  5/30/11
Monday night, I started leaking amniotic fluid. In the medical model, they don't let you do that. They bring you in and induce you if you don't start labor quickly. They are supposed to let you go 24 hours to see if you will start labor on your own, but lately I've been hearing they induce you right away. There is a higher risk of infection after your water breaks, so it is something you have to pay attention to, but it should be evaluated case by case. In my case, the midwife was willing to wait 48 hours since I was GBS negative. 

Wednesday 6/1/11
Wednesday morning I was having mild contractions that started getting more consistent. By, midday they were 12 minutes apart. In the afternoon they were 10 minutes apart. Oh, did I mention what I did on Wednesday? I saw 3 homecare patients in the morning, and 3 aquatic patients in the afternoon. When my patient said she would see me next week I told her, "Umm, I'm not entirely sure that I'm not in labor right now. I've been having contractions that are 10 minutes apart all day." Needless to say, she started freaking out.

On the way home from work, I stopped at Target to get the rest of the birth supplies on our list. I suddenly felt this overwhelming panic that I didn't have anything ready. When you talk to my mom about when I was born, she usually says she was "a little uncomfortable." I thought she sounded like a crazy person. Who uses the word uncomfortable to describe labor? Who used the exact same wording when she was in labor? This girl. I said all day Wednesday that I was just a little uncomfortable. Wednesday night my contractions were about 8 minutes apart and I was still not convinced that I was in labor.

Thursday 6/2/11
I woke up at 3:30am and finally told my friend that I thought I might be in labor. I was much more uncomfortable, but contractions were still 8 minutes apart. I couldn't fall back asleep. I tried not to wake Yannos up since he had to go to work, but eventually I caved. We took a walk around the neighborhood. His work was throwing us a baby shower that day, and I was still convinced I was going to make it. Here's a picture of the lovely party we missed.
At 6am, I called the midwife to let her know I was in labor and she said we'd be in touch around 9am unless something changed. I called my mom to tell her she might want to think about flying here.

At 8:30am my labor changed and I could no longer completely ignore the fact I was having contractions. Even Zoolander couldn't distract me. They were still about 8 minutes apart, but much more intense. I called the midwife and she said she would come over to the house to see what was going on. Yannos had to run around trying to get the house ready (you have to prepare a lot stuff when you have a baby at home) so I labored by myself for a lot of the morning.
If you know anything about the DC area, you know there's a little bit of traffic around here. It took the midwife over 2 hours to get to our house during morning rush hour. At first, I was fine that she wasn't here, but about 20 minutes before she arrived, I started getting a little distressed.

When the midwife got here, I was 4cm dilated. Yannos went to get lunch for everybody, and I labored in the tub. Starting around noon, I basically hated everything. Every position I tried, every plan we had, it was all useless. I started having intense back pain in the early afternoon, and no position really relieved it. Around that time I decided that sitting on the toilet was the most comfortable position, luckily that's when my water broke! Things got intense after that. The midwife was mostly in another room up until this point, just coming in to check on me and the baby every once in a while. I grabbed Yannos's arm and told him, "You don't understand, I need to talk to them right now."

Almost immediately, I had an intense urge to push, which totally freaked my freak because I had just been told I was 7cm. I really fought what my body was trying to do, which made the whole process take a little longer than needed. The midwife was saying that the baby would be here soon and I would sob, "No she won't, everyone is lying to me." I was a little dramatic.

Since things had changed so quickly, I was checked again. I was at 10cm and finally felt comfortable pushing instead of psyching myself out. I don't think I was mentally prepared for having her 2.5 weeks early, so I was really resistant. Hence, the yelling "I can't do it!" over and over again. Like I had a choice at this point. There is something called the Ring of Fire, and it is NO JOKE. Of course, looking back on it now, it doesn't seem that bad. But at the time, I started screaming, "She can't stay there!" I mostly just got laughed at about that comment, with the midwife saying, "well, there's only one way to make her move." At one point, I looked over at Yannos and he could not have gotten any flatter against the headboard - he really did not want to see anything, and I think he was a little scared of me. After that momentary break down, a couple more pushes and she was here.
Seconds after Zoe's birth!
She was perfect. She didn't need any suction, she had zero signs of prematurity, and she had a BIG cry. Yannos was perfect. He didn't even get mad at me when I yelled at him to "get that crap out of my face" when he tried to have me smell my favorite shampoo as planned. I was also perfect. I felt great afterward and was up walking around within the hour.

My medication free, midwife assisted, home birth was the best and I would not change a thing about that day.

Well, maybe the part where I totally lost my cool and freaked out about having to push.


  1. You are AMAZING! Thank you for this! I am so happy for you guys and sending you three lots of love.

  2. So excited to finally hear the story! We all lose our cool when it's time to freaking hurts! You are awesome!

  3. Awesome! Great birth story Ashley and Yannos! What a wonderful memory to cherish of baby Zoe! Thanks for sharing! <3

  4. Wow, you did so well Ashley! Sounds like a truly amazing birth experience xx