Thanks to Anna for sharing the October 2013 Kentucky home birth story of Greta Mae. Greta was born in Covington, KY.
For some reason, everyone thought I’d have my 2nd baby a little early. Causal acquaintances, family members, friends – all predicted this one would appear before her due date. My son had been born just a few days before his due date, so it seemed reasonable this one would be similar. Well, turns out my sweet little girl had her own ideas.
I’d been having off and on, very light contractions for about a week starting just a few days before my due date. The day before Greta was born they finally seemed to be getting slightly more real, but this seemed very different from labor my son. I took Robin to the park after lunch and noticed contractions seemed to be coming at regular intervals. We drove to my midwife appointment and I timed them at 3-4 minutes apart while in the car, but still nothing like the intensity I remember in early labor with Robin. I let my midwife know what was going on, but during that appointment the contractions pretty much stopped, so I thought it probably wouldn’t be happening any time soon. That evening they came back, but were fairly irregular. I contacted my midwife and our parents to let them know it could be soon, but we’d try to get some sleep and hopefully baby would at least wait until morning.
My husband Steve slept a few hours, but I quickly realized I wouldn’t be getting much sleep. I think I dozed a couple of times when contractions were about 10 minutes apart. Then, all of the sudden around 1:30 am, things started getting noticeably more intense. I called my midwife and my mom around 2am, but I still wasn’t quite sure I was in active labor. At 2:30 am my water broke and I finally knew this baby was well on its way. My midwife lives 1.5 hours away, but her back-up was only 40 min away. Both left right after my water broke. The contractions were super intense immediately after my water broke and I started having pushing urges not long after that. When my mom got here around 3:00 am I was on all fours, head down, trying to keep baby from coming out before one of the midwives showed up. My mom was so calm and helpful even though I know she was quietly freaking out because she could she the baby’s head at this point. Steve was rushing around getting the tub filled and our bed prepped.
Our back-up got to the house at 3:28 am, and Steve had just finished filling the birth tub. I decided that sounded good, so we quickly moved into the kitchen, I hopped into the tub and 7 minutes later, Greta was out! I was able to pull her up out of the water, and we stayed there for 15 minutes or so, just basking in the glow of what had just happened. We weren’t even sure whether Greta was a boy or girl for awhile because I didn’t want to move her off my chest to look.
Greta’s birth was a crazy whirlwind – very intense, but definitely easier than Robin’s birth due to the short time factor. Robin ended up sleeping through the whole thing! He was pretty surprised to find a baby when he woke up that morning. It was amazing staying at home (my first birth was in a hospital), especially with such a fast labor. It’s much nicer to have a baby at home than in the car on the way to the hospital! We really appreciated being able to relax in our own bed and not having so many people poking and prodding Greta in the first days after her birth. I feel so lucky and proud to have had such a lovely homebirth experience, and I feel strongly that all women in KY should have access to qualified homebirth midwives.