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Hatched at Home-Midwife Carrie LaChapelle: www.hatchedathome.com
- Rachael is a mother of 3: Her oldest is 10, she has a 4-year-old son, and a 1.5 year-old babe
- In 2009, when pregnant with her first, she decided to have a birth center birth. We discuss how uncommon this choice was at that time, at least in the area she was living.
- She had two friends who had had hospital births without any interventions. When she asked them about their decisions, she began seeing the benefits of an intervention-free birth and thought it might be something she’d like to do.
- Rachael admits that another big aspect of choosing an out-of-hospital birth was the fact that she wouldn’t be allowed to eat in the hospital. The more she learned, the more she began to feel rebellious!
- We discuss the fact that childbirth education courses can truly help shift your perspective of what your body can tolerate (in regards to pain) during labor, and what you can do to relax and enjoy the experience.
- “It was as much like therapy as it was a [prenatal] appointment”
- Rachael finds it very interesting how different each one of her birthing experiences were.
- With her first, she had prodromal labor for a week and a half
- Rachael kept feeling like she needed to poop- so she had her husband run grab her an enema from the store. She laid down on the couch while she waited, and after about 3 minutes, she heard a sound that sounded like a shot going off. Initially, she thought her colon had exploded! And then she realized it “worse”—her water had broken! She expected that she still had several weeks to go before having her baby, so this was quite a shock.
- She called her midwife, who said she would check back in with her once contractions began. About 30 minutes later, her midwife called back and asked her if she’d like to begin heading to the birth center so she could be assessed (she also recognized that traffic would be getting difficult soon, as rush hour approached).
- 12 hours after he water broke, her baby was born.
- Rachael discusses how all of the things she thought she’d want in labor were NOT what she wanted. The opposite was true, too! She did not imagine wanting to labor on the toilet, but it worked for her during labor.
- When Rachael laid down, she would vomit- she was grateful that she learned about how sphincters work during her childbirth education class, so she wasn’t shocked or scared by this reaction.
- “I didn’t panic… until I hit transition, which is I guess when everyone panics!!”
- “I looked like I’d been pulled behind a speedboat for about 6 hours when Lilah was born, but I felt SO good!”
- “Don’t be so afraid of birth—don’t let somebody else handle it because it scares you. Learn what you can about it so that you can make informed decisions.”
- Between her first and second child, Rachael had been divorced, and she was now in her late 30’s. She did not think that she would have more children.
- Her next pregnancy was a surprise—“No one was planning that!” She was grateful that her partner was completely supportive and on board with having a birth outside of the hospital.
- Rachael feels that her second baby’s birth was even more straight forward. He was born en caul!
- The day before labor, she didn’t feel good and decided to stay home instead of going out to dinner with a friend.
- Rachael talks about how in her mind, she did not want her daughter to miss school because she was having a baby (She’s not sure why that was a big deal to her, now!). She didn’t go into labor until 1 am on a Saturday, so she thinks she must have mentally willed that to happen!
- “I didn’t want to wake up the midwife before 5am—I thought that was rude.”
- Rachael remembers feeling more “with it” during her second birth.
- Her son was born around 9 am, and they were back home by lunch time
- With her last birth, CeCe, Rachael was 40 years old: “That’s not what I had planned for this year!”
- Once again, Rachael had prodromal labor.
- Her husband’s mother came into town a week before the baby was due- she was hoping that she’d be around once the baby came.
- Rachael made dinner, then decided to go get in the bed, as contractions (she was confident they were prodromal) were making her uncomfortable.
- Rachael contacts her midwife, who tells her that she’s heading out for a birth that’s in quite a distant location. She asks how Rachael is doing, and Rachael tells her not to worry, she feels like she has plenty of time.
- Thank goodness—the other baby was born in quite a hurry, and the midwife (who was acting as a second for that birth) was called and told not to even worry about coming out because everything was taken care of.
- In the meantime, Rachael’s daughter began getting sick. She got up to go check on her--
- “When I stood up, I had that ‘Oh no, what have I done’ contraction!”
- She went to the bathroom and saw that she’d lost her mucous plug. “Okay great, well we have to go now!”
- Somehow Rachael and Andy were able to make it to the birth center in 30 minutes—usually a 45-minute drive!
- Once they arrived at the birth center, Rachael’s baby was born within 30 minutes.
- “It just keeps getting better… maybe we should just keep having more kids!”