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Birth Story of My Third Child & First Homebirth

Translation: DH=dear husband, DD=dear daughter, DS=dear son

My “due date” was anywhere from 12/4/11-12/6/11 depending on what date you use. The first “due date” I got using the suspected ovulation date & an online calculator was 12/7/11.

Around 1 A.M. on 12/7 I woke up with cramps & back pain. I’d been having Braxton Hicks Contractions for weeks upon weeks, and they had gone from annoying, to uncomfortable, to painful, and I’d had a few with some cramping. I thought to myself that I might want to tell DH to stay close to a phone that day in case this was “it.” After I was awoken by “cramps” and back pain every few minutes, I realized that this was, in fact, “it.”

They were fairly strong and consistent with a definite beginning, middle and end, but they were wildly varying in spacing. Some as close as 2 minutes apart with an occasional 10 minute+ lull. I wasn’t able to fall asleep between contractions and finally gave up and came downstairs.

I heard DH’s alarm go off (and off and off and off…for an hour) and debated about asking him to stay home from work or not. On the one hand, DS’s contractions started at 9:44 PM & he wasn’t born until 10:44 PM the next day. On the other hand, I didn’t want to have to drive DD to school while contracting, and I didn’t want DH to drive over an hour to work only to have me call him to come home.

I didn’t want DD to know I was in labor & not want to go to school, so I was frustrated when she came downstairs at the same time DH did. I asked him if he had to go to work today and he said “no, why?” and I just raised my eyebrows at him.

He took DD to school and I made cinnamon rolls (terrible for you but delicious, OMG!) We waited until they were ready for a second rise, then headed out to the grocery store. We stopped at Staples to drop a package off, then got to the grocery store around 11. By the time we got there, my contractions were 4 minutes apart, and got closer while we were shopping. I had to concentrate and slow down during them. I managed to convince DH I was antsy to get home, and we went through the Chick-Fil-A drive through. DH went into Advance Auto Parts and it felt like an eternity waiting for him to come out. Contractions were about 2 minutes apart & I was having to close my eyes and breathe through them.

I had been doing laundry & dishes, hoping to have all the chores caught up. When we got home around 1, DS was asleep in the car, so DH stayed in the garage with him. I had a ton of groceries to put away, plus laundry to fold & put away, dishes to empty from the dishwasher, dishes to put in, and dishes to hand wash. I wanted to finish the cinnamon rolls too.

The contractions were getting serious. I had to stop dead in my tracks & hang onto something and vocalize. I didn’t have much time between contractions, so as I was carrying food to the basement freezer or laundry upstairs, I had to ride the contraction out, then hurry up/down the stairs before another hit. At one point, DH came in to get something and I was in the laundry room hanging onto the counter and vocalizing. He rubbed my back & asked me if I was OK. I said that I wasn’t getting much of a break between contractions.

Part of me wanted to tell him I thought the baby was coming soon, but I also didn’t want to jinx myself. Logically, I thought that since those thoughts of doubt (how much longer can I do this?) were creeping in, I was close. But what if I had 12 more hours of this?

Finally between 2:15 and 2:30, I finished the last thing on my to-do list and the cinnamon rolls were iced & cooling. I headed upstairs and started to fill the big tub in our bathroom & got in. I had brought my phone up to listen to music, and I laid my towel over the edge to rest my arms on.

DH came up around 2:45 to check on me & to say he & DS were leaving to go get DD from school soon. A small part of me almost asked him to go pick her up early.

While the water felt good, I wasn’t really getting any major contraction relief and the cervical pain was getting intense. I was really vocalizing. I was super thirsty but didn’t want to get out of the tub. I almost texted DH to ask him to bring me a drink as soon as he got home!

I was mentally reviewing DS’s labor, trying to figure out how much longer it might be. I think I decided that based on the length of the really tough part, the baby might be here by 7. I thought OK, I can do that, but then time seemed to come to a standstill. I remember looking at the clock between 3 something & 3:16 & being aware that the baby was going to come soon. I was getting slightly longer breaks between contractions and was resting my chin on the tub edge, almost falling asleep.

In the next few minutes, I thought I may have felt a small gush of fluid (exactly what happened during DS’s birth.) Somewhere around 3:27, my water broke for sure and I knew then that DH would miss the birth. With the next contraction, I felt the baby move down. The next contraction came quickly and the head crowned. I had absolutely nothing to do with the process as my body pushed and I roared the head out with the next contraction. I got a few seconds of blissful, surreal relief as I had my hand on the back of the baby’s head, fully out and in the water. The next contraction came and the body shot out like a rocket.

I scooped the baby up and rubbed and talked to it. It just took a few seconds for the baby to pink up & cry. While the cord wasn’t very short, I had a ton of water in the tub and couldn’t easily relax and keep baby out of the water. I decided to open the drain and let some water out, and I wrapped him (barely remembered to check) up in my towel.

I wasn’t sure if I should text DH to let him know, considering he was driving. I waited & it started to seem like a long time.


It didn’t take me long to realize that I was stuck with a wet towel for baby & none for me. I had to walk on the carpet to get to the box of chux pads in the closet. I grabbed the bag of chux pads and a few receiving blankets as quickly as possible & ran back to the bathroom. I wrapped the baby in blankets, then I ripped the bag open and was attempting to lay the chux pads out so I could go back to the closet to get the baby hat. That’s when DH got home with the kids.

I asked him to grab an old towel out of the closet to wrap around my waist, but he wasn’t able to get it tucked around me. Instead, I laid a chux pad on the floor and leaned up against the tub with the towel over my lap. The flash made the color weird in the photos. We’re not as ghostly white as we look.


Everyone admired the baby (except DS, he wanted to watch Mickey Mouse, go downstairs, play with blocks etc. Basically, he was unimpressed.)


A little later, I stood in my own kitchen, eating dinner (after emptying the dishwasher…again) and realized how freaking awesome this all was. I felt better at that moment than I did a week+ postpartum with the other two.


DH is a little disappointed that he missed the birth (we knew it was a possibility if the kids were awake, since he was going to be watching them), but I’m pretty happy with how things worked out. I never felt “out of control,” I always listened to my body, and I was never embarrassed, ashamed, or inhibited by my noises.

The biggest injuries I have are a bruised knee (I must have really been leaning into the tub?) a sore chin from leaning it on the tub, and my back, arms & thighs are a little sore, as though I went on a long hike!

I’m of course very happy with the birth for all the reasons I outlined before, but it was even better than I expected, and I’m just amazed at the difference in how I feel now compared to my hospital births.

P.S. See how his size compares to my “newborn diaper model,” LOL!


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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
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  • December 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Love your story! While we didn’t go completely unassisted, (a midwife was there) I have caught my babies myself and basically just did it on my own with her there in case of complications.
    I LOVED being the first one to touch my baby and hold them and find out who they were. So amazing and memorable.
    I think it’s funny how so many people somehow think it would be “gross” to catch your own baby. Isn’t it more “gross” to have someone *else* that close to your private areas and touching all your bodily fluids? LOL! 😉

  • December 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Love it! Thank you for sharing your birth story! I love everything about it. I was recently talking with a few mom friends and they were sharing birthing stories and one said “I had to call really really loud to get someone in the room when the baby was crowning.” I said “you could always catch it yourself”. The general response was “ewww”. But that was such a rewarding moment for me! When I could reach down and feel my daughter’s head coming and be able to be the first person to touch and hold her. Oh, I just love your story. Congratulations!

  • .:karen:.
    December 16, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Wow… you are a brave mama! If we were to end up with a 3rd, I could see myself in a birth center or at home, but not unassisted. I am in awe. 🙂 So glad everything went so smoothly and you have another beautiful baby in your family. Congrats!

  • Courtney S
    December 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Congratulations! You have a very inspirational story! I’m so excited for your family. He’s a beautiful little boy!

  • Raquel Beaty
    December 12, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    That is such an amazing story Maria! I had a water birth for my second child, in the hospital! I had an amazing amazing doctor, and I loved all of it, except the staying at the hospital afterward part! I echo what you said about feeling better right after the birth then you did 1+ week postpartum with the others! I was ready to take on the world, but I couldn’t due to the hospital walls! Someday maybe I will convince my husband that home birth wouldn’t be so bad! Congrats momma!

  • December 12, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Congratulations. So happy that it was so seemless and “easy”. Why did you decide to go completely unassisted?

  • Mom
    December 12, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I am amazed and so moved by your story that I’m trembling.

  • December 12, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Wow! Congrats!

  • Beth R
    December 11, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Congratulations mama! Truly amazing! What a beautiful little one.

  • D Schmidt
    December 11, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Amazing! Congratulations

  • December 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Congrats on the arrival of your baby boy! Did you do this totally on your own, without a midwife or anything?

  • December 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Congratulations! I hadn’t realized you were intending to go unassisted. I really enjoyed how my second birth went (unintentionally unassisted) so I can appreciate how nice it can be!

  • December 11, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    That’s great, what an experience! I had a water birth with a midwife at a birth center. I loved every minute of it, but I am contemplating home birth with our 3rd – not unassisted though 🙂 You are amazing!

  • December 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Congratulations. What an amazing and awesome story.

  • December 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Such a great birth story, sounds like he came sooner than you expected. Sorry your husband missed it.

  • Pam
    December 11, 2011 at 9:52 am

    That is amazing. It sounds like an awesome experience!

  • Sara
    December 10, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Awesome birth story!! I just had a 9 lb 3 oz boy at home (my 3rd) after a 3 hr 45 min labor. I planned a water birth, but we forgot about the pool being filled up and it overflowed!! My husband got to catch this one, so aside from the water catastrophe, it was a great birth. 🙂

  • Katie
    December 10, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Oh my gosh!! You are AMAZING! This is an incredible/crazy story, and I’m so impressed that you were able to do this all by yourself! Way to go!! Amazing!! Congratulations!

  • Laura O.
    December 10, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Wow, I have considered homebirth, but always used a birth center. I don’t think I could go unassisted! You are amazing!

    And the iPhone screenshot is priceless!!

  • December 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I used to think that women who had home births were either crazy or uneducated. I no longer think this [and haven’t thought it for a few years]. I’m thrilled that you were able to have this experience, but am sorry your husband missed the birth.

    • December 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm

      I may or may not have mentioned that there was a point in time that I thought the same thing. Weird, huh?

      • December 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm

        Did you go unassisted? Wow, I’m amazed. [I don’t think it’s wrong or bad.] My husband would NEVER agree to that.

  • December 10, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Oh, that is too bad your husband missed it! But I’m glad everything went really well for you and that you’re all healthy!

  • Lindsey
    December 10, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    This is A.MA.ZING! You are my hero 🙂

  • December 10, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    OMG, This is such an amazing story. I’m sitting here with a smile on my face and tears running down my cheeks. Congrats to the entire family. I wish I could say that I was mentally strong enough to give birth at home. I’d love to experience it but I don’t know if I’d be strong enough. When my daughter was born, I was having contractions that started in the middle of the night and lasted until the next afternoon.

    During that night back in 2006, my cousin Mags was 8 years old. It was me and her awake. She did everything she could to help me because I didn’t realize it was time. Lil Miss is my only child. So, I didn’t know what to expect. After being up with me all night and my Aunt confirming I was in labor, Mags asked to be in the room. The doctor said he didn’t care so she followed me in there along with my immediate family (well all the females). My delivery room was packed, I had my epidural, and we all laughed while we waited for Lil Miss to arrive.

    I don’t know what I would have done if Lil Miss decided to come before I made it to the hospital. I totally wouldn’t have kept my cool. Kudos to you.

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