#homebirth series: is it possible to have a short #labor? my hour-by-hour homebirth – episode 10

#homebirth series: is it possible to have a short labor? my hour-by-hour homebirth - episode 10 Claire Samuel

I want to break the myth of the first baby who takes hours to come to our world, after a difficult and painful long labor, leaving the mother totally exhausted. I am not the only one to have enjoyed an easy labor. I did my best to prepare for a home birth, reading about it and hiring an independent midwife. I had no idea how long my labor would be. What a beautiful surprise to have given birth within a matter of few hours! I started having very intense contractions around 9 pm and my amazing baby daughter was born at one in the morning. I am grateful for both the strong raspberry leaves herbal tea I drank throughout the pregnancy and for the inflatable birthing pool I used. My friend, my sister, it is definitely possible to give birth at home, within hours, without an epidural, without atrocious pain and without episiotomy.

Please find below an extract from my midwife’s notes about the day my baby daughter was born:

  • early labor since morning
  • irregular contractions
  • regular since 8pm
  • Claire is walking around at 9:30pm
  • at 11pm when midwife arrives: Claire is active and mobile, puttering around in the flat, drinking raspberry leaf tea, squatting during strong contractions which come every 3 minutes
  • emotional state is very well
  • snacking and drinking plenty of water
  • no vomiting
  • at 11:30pm contractions every 60 seconds
  • at 23:30pm: Claire in the shower, helps with contractions, quietly vocalising through these, sometimes singing and keeping nice and relaxed
  • midnight: strong contractions, Claire is moving around the flat coping well, can feel baby moving
  • contractions strong and long, membrane still intact
  • having sips of apple juice
  • 0:30am: pushing during most contractions now, can feel baby moving
  • vacalising, labor intense
  • 1am: Claire feels like being sick, contractions very powerful, feels afraid, wants to stop, isnt pushing anymore – midwife talks about fear being normal and that Claire is doing it anyway
  • Claire is very quiet and poised
  • 1:20am: birth! beautiful and quiet greeting, Claire scooped her baby, we haven’t seen yet if it’s a boy or a girl
  • 1:25am: baby to breast, cord still pulsing
  • 1:30am: out of the pool and in bed, nursing baby, blood loss approximately 200 ml, Claire lying on side
  • 2am: still nursing, cord still pulsing
  • 236am: birthed placenta
  • 2:50am: cord clamped and cut by Claire
  • 3am: vaginal exam by midwife: labial grazes, nothing requires stitches
  • 3:45am: resting and having a snack
  • 4:30am: midwife leaves

#homebirth series: is #breastfeeding easier when #birthing at home? – episode 9

#homebirth series: is breastfeeding easier when #birthing at home? episode 9 Claire Samuel

Breastfeeding has not been that easy at first. I had trouble positioning my newborn so she could latch on properly. I almost got discouraged during the first days. However, I was very determined to breastfeed, so much that I had started attending the local La Leche League meetings when I was four months pregnant. I loved being surrounded by mothers breastfeeding their babies. This was exactly what I needed: not abstract theory but practical example from other women. After a week of trial and error, I eventually managed to get a good position to feed my newborn daughter, so that she would not take too much air when feeding. When I started going to La Leche League meetings with my own baby this time, things got even easier. Breastfeeding became a natural part of my daily life. Breastfeeding was tremendously helped by learning the skill of babywearing. Hence, carrying my baby against my heart allowed me to feed her discreetly anywhere. If giving birth at home does not mean than breastfeeding will be automatically an easy task, it has secondary benefits. Thus, giving birth at home, enjoying the first nights with baby from the comfort of my own bed and being surrounded by a familiar environment meant for me I had more energy and peace. Whenever the life of a new mother is made easy in some way, she can enjoy peace of mind and the strength to learn this ancestral and beautiful art: breastfeeding her baby.