I'm officially a mom of two! (I still can't believe it) Today I shared my home birth delivery story on my YouTube channel and in this video I detailed the process of my birth plan, my labor, my contractions etc... along with footage my husband Manny recorded as I entered active labor. But here I want to go into more details on what I've learned, why I chose this super natural route and why it's beneficial.
My Birth Plan:
• Vbac at home
• Water Birth at home (ended up not happening)
• No interventions (no petocin)
• No epidural or pain meds
• Delayed cord clamping
• Immediate Skin-to-Skin contact
• No eye ointment
• Freeze placenta to turn into cubes
• Immediate breast feeding
• No bathing the baby or cleaning the baby after birth
NOTE: All of the standard testing done on a pregnant women (like blood test, glucose test and GBS test) were done by my midwife and some were done at a medical laboratory by my midwife's recommendation.
Why I chose a Vbac?
Vbac stands for: vaginal birth after cesarean section (vbac - “vee-back” - for short)
9 years ago I had a c-section with my first child (Manny). I was a young girl with absolutely no knowledge of health, and what alternative routes I could have taken to address his breech position. I followed everything I was told to by the professionals and I followed the patterns of what my family thought was right without questioning or researching further. My birth experience with my son was quick and felt rushed. I was numbed and drugged and my recovery process was long. I was also disconnected from what I instinctively knew was best for my child. A lot of my decisions were based on my own convenience and not the possible outcome of my child. As time went on I learned about what I could have done and the options that were not presented to me at the time. Ever since I had my c-section I always feared another. Even if I ended up having another c -section today, I would've at least had some peace of mind knowing I tried my best but I cannot say I tried my best 9 years ago. It's because of my son Manny that I'm able to make wiser decisions and live a healthier lifestyle in order to birth with consciousness and knowledge of my choices. My son led the way for us. He taught us how to be parents, and how to search for answers without settling.
We learned to question EVERYTHING!
Most of the time I hear the motto 'once cesarean, always cesarian' being promoted and vbac's are often talked about with fear. In many cases having another cesarian would be the easier choice. In my case I felt it's necessary to research vbac's and I learned how commonly successful it actually is. Once you know better, you do better.
Why I chose a midwife delivery?
What is a midwife?
A midwife is a professional in midwifery, specializing in pregnancy, childbirth, women's sexual and reproductive health, post-partum and newborn care. A midwife is trained to assist women during labor, delivery, and after the birth of their babies. Midwives can deliver babies at birth centers or at home, and may also help deliver at a hospitals.
I initially wanted to birth my 2nd child at a birth center with midwives and a doula but I could not find a convenient location near me that was close enough to home and my plan-b hospital choice. As I did some research online, I found options for midwives and read their patients testimony's. I set up a call with about three of them to learn about their method and their view on birthing in hopes of it matching my own birthing dream. The third midwife I called offered to meet me in person (without charge) and we were suppose to chat for about an hour. Instead she spoke with us for over 2 hrs in our first meeting. She was so confident and knowledgeable about everything I wanted like my vbac, no interventions, no epidural, skin-to-skin contact, delayed cord clamping, ingesting the placenta, and everything about having a gentle birth. We were aware of how much experience she has and her medical background. Half-way through our meeting she made us feel comfortable with delivering at home and we left that meeting feeling confident about her being a part of our birth journey.
Why I chose a doula?
What is a doula?
A doula is a trained professional who provides the expecting mother and father with birth coaching, informational support, continuous physical, and emotional support during and after childbirth to help the parents achieve the most satisfying experience possible. A doula's will stay by the moms side continuously during labor and they work well together with a midwife.
I met my doula as a recommendation from my midwife. I wanted someone who my midwife already had experience with. My doula and my midwife are longtime friends and both share the same passion for natural birthing. Just like with my midwife, I set up a meeting with the doula before officially deciding on her. She visited my home, we sat and talked about what she offers, how its done, and her past experiences in her many years as a doula. We also related to her and she made us feel comfortable and confident about my home birth. She also showed how passionate she was about never excluding a father and encouraging a father to be the main support for the birthing mom. We loved her coaching before birth and she was amazing during my labor/delivery.
Immediate Skin-to-Skin contact:
Having immediate skin-to-skin contact creates an immediate bond between mom and baby, which helps baby identify with mom instantly. Skin-to-Skin also helps regulates baby's heart rate, warms the baby's body and regulates their body temperature. Studies show premature baby's heart rate and temperature regulate as they feel soothed and warmed by moms body. It only makes sense for a baby to feel most calmed by their mom's touch as they exit the womb and desire to feel comforted by moms heart beat, temperature, and voice. Skin-to-Skin also lessens possible anxiety for mom.
It's only natural that a mom should be able to touch, comfort, and soothe her baby simply with physical contact. This is also true with animals.
Why it's important to me:
When I had my son Manny via c-section I felt very disconnected to him. There was a sheet dividing me from the surgery area, several nurses moving around and when the baby was taken out of me I heard his cry for the first time. I watched him go by me with one of the nurses as he cried while she cleaned him, measured him, and gathered all the information she needed for their paperwork before me being able to touch, smell, talk and interact with my newborn son. I wasn't prior to the c-section that I would feel this way but now that I know better, I will do better.
Delayed cord clamping:
Everything in the baby's cord belongs to the baby with purpose. By not clamping the cord immediately after birth you can secure more stem cells to your baby (which functions as the building blocks for development and promotes long term health). Baby's use their lungs for the first time after birth therefor not clamping the cord also ensures proper oxygen levels (which is extremely necessary to avoid possible breathing issues). Delaying cord clamping also increases blood circulation & iron levels, which is very necessary for premature infants.
Consider a gentle cesarean (if all else fails):
A gentle cesarean can be great option to consider into your plan-b birthplan if your intended natural birth or VBAC fails. With a gentle cesarean you can pick and choose which aspects will create an ideal birth experience for you. The purpose of a gentle cesarean is to create a peaceful, calm atmosphere that closely mimics what happens during and immediately after a natural (vaginal) birth. This means you have the option of immediate skin-to-skin with baby, breastfeed in the operating room, delay cord clamping and you can request for the anesthesiologists to NOT give you extra drugs, so that you can lessen the toxicity of drugs in your system. You can also request for the placenta to be saved and/or frozen until discharged from the hospital or you can hire a third party to care for your placenta. To continue bonding with your baby you can request to hold your baby as you're wheeled into the recovery room, and continue to bond there. Since the baby will not be exiting through the birth canal you can ask your doctor for a vaginal swab to give your baby the best microbiome possible! A c-section doesn't mean that your baby has to go without the benefits of these microbes. The absence of bacteria transfer in cesarean babies explains why some studies show that cesarean babies have higher rates of asthma, allergies, obesity, and other health issues. With a gentle caesarean, your doctor or midwife can collect a vaginal swab and wipe it in his or her mouth to contribute toward a positive microbiome. Another option is to take a swab of your vagina and wipe it onto your nipples before baby breastfeeds. Read more about this here: MamaNatural
The more you research the more clear your birth plan becomes. There's a lot of things I disagree with which is why having a home birth allowed me to avoid the many unwanted interventions shown in the above list. Do what you believe is best for your baby.