Amazing G(race)- The Story of My Accidental Homebirth! – Part 1
By Catherine Slezinger
I never intended to have a home birth. It sounds weird to say it, because everything else about my life is so old-fashioned, homespun, and down to earth, that it seems natural that I’d have my babies at home too! But I was simply convinced up until Grace was born that I didn’t want one. I thought it would be too messy, too out of control, and that I wouldn’t like having our other littles around. So I planned for a natural birth at our closest birthing center with my midwife. Turns out it didn’t matter what I thought, because I wasn’t going to have ANY say in the matter!
A little background: We have 3 kids, ages 4, 2, and now little lady Grace just turned 1 last week. This post is in honor of her birthday! I had our oldest, Nathaniel, at a hospital with a doula, naturally, which was extremely stressful. The natural labor was actually great but the hospital staff was very difficult. But that’s a whole other story! So I was really relieved to deliver Micah, our second, at a birthing center. That was like heaven compared to the hospital experience. Then when I got pregnant with Grace, when Micah was only 6 months old, I immediately planned to go back to the same birthing center where he was born. I had all my prenatal care at the birthing center, and was even planning a water birth!
I was so excited about my water birth, and had been watching You Tube videos for weeks. With both Nathaniel & Micah, I had clearly felt a day they would be born- and with both boys I was right, oddly enough. Grace was due on 3-23-11, and I was just convinced she was going to be born on Saturday, 3-26. I was so busy taking care of the boys that I waited waaaayyy too long to get prepared for Grace’s arrival. We also had some big switches to make- the boys were going to have to share a room, which I was terrified about, Nathaniel had just been potty trained, and now we were having a new baby. I kept putting off moving the boys in together. I was so afraid they would permanently mutiny from sleep, lol! That meant that Grace’s room was not set up AT ALL. No bassinet set up, no crib, nothing.
On Saturday 3-19, some amazing friends of ours came over and all went to town cleaning our house as a shower gift to us. We worked all day and finally the house was cleaned up and ready for a baby to come- except for Grace’s room. In my mind, I had one more week, so I planned to spend the next week packing my bag, setting up her room, and moving the boys together. Also I desperately wanted a pedicure. Ha! What a plan!
The weekend flew by, and Monday morning came. It was a gorgeous, bright, spring day and as soon as I woke up I thought, "What a beautiful day this would be to have a baby!" Before Mark left for work, we vowed that we would move the boys into their new room that night, and that we would set up the new baby’s bassinet as soon as he came home. (We didn’t know we were having a girl!) Feeling better because the house was all cleaned, and things were slightly under control, he went off to work.
Meanwhile, I realized I didn’t even have a take home outfit for the new baby. I was really behind! I wanted to run to the store to get a new outfit. My in laws were in town and my mother in law offered to go get the baby an outfit with me, and the kids. We took Micah, our 15 month old, and ran off to the store, leaving Nathaniel home with my father in law. Our "quick run" took much longer than we expected. We wandered around the store for almost 2 hours stocking up on items we would need in the upcoming weeks. I was having contractions but I’d been having them for weeks, so I was still counting on Saturday as my delivery date!
Finally we were done and made our way home. I was SO tired. I fed the boys a quick lunch and put them down for their naps. I desperately wanted to go to sleep myself, but I still had a few things to get done. Finally, 20 minutes before the boys were supposed to wake up, I made it upstairs for a short catnap. With a sigh of relief I quickly drifted off, looking forward to completing the kid’s room setups that evening.
I was SO unprepared for what was about to happen!
Let’s just say that part of what comes next involves a frantic call to my husband saying:
"I think you REALLY need to come home- NOW!"
On Thursday I will share what happened next, and how my midwife almost didn’t make it in time for the birth!!! Talk to you then!!
With much love,