Téo's Birth, Part One: Choosing a Home Birth

I recently heard that in regards to being a mom, the days feel like years and the years feel like days. Owen, our oldest, turned two on Friday and today Téo turns one month old… I’m starting to understand this to be true. It’s so cliché, but honestly, where does the time go?

I was itching to share Téo’s birth story as soon as he was born, but it seemed I blinked and this month flew by. And when I say blinked, I mean I blinked a lot, sleep however has been pretty elusive. I think I may have forgotten (or blocked out) a lot of the early sleepless days of Owen’s life. I find myself always asking Aaron, “Was it like this with Owen??” to which he assures me it was. But more on that for another post.

Before I go on any further, let me get this talk about home birth out there. It came as a surprise to some that we were doing a home birth. Goodness, it came as a surprise to me. Four weeks before our due date and here I was chapters deep into Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, when that tiny thought (I thought it must just be my exaggerated crunchy side) came back up again. Maybe just, maybe, we should consider a home birth.

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Birth story after birth story of women talking about labor in a way I’d never heard….They talked about pleasure, not just pain. They talked about how it was one of the best experiences of their lives. How their bodies were made, created to be able to give birth and that was something they marvelled in and embraced. There wasn’t any language of fear, or dreading the pain; instead they worked with it.

Most people AFTER labor say “Oh you just forget the pain ever happened and you’re ready to do it all over again!” But let’s be real here, I did not feel that way after Owen was born. I remembered the pain, even with an epidural, I remembered it full well and was NOT ready to do it all over again. So instead I had carried that fear with me into this pregnancy.  “I have to do this again!?” …

But here I was re-thinking the whole thing, realizing (maybe for the first time) that my body was made and designed to do this, to give birth.

In Ina May’s guide they mention how people often say giving birth is like having to get a lemon to come out of your nose, except they point out that, well, lemons aren’t meant to come out of noses, but babies are meant to come out of, well.. you know where they come out of. The body accommodates the size of what it needs to pass through and it’s a matter of working with your body, both mentally and physically to help this happen.

May also talked about how much better the body labors in a relaxed environment. All I could think about was my last labor and how un-relaxed and absolutely stressed out I was (until the epidural made me hilariously chill), as most of you have read about the stresses and anxiety surrounding my pregnancy in Quebec.

I wanted so badly for this experience to be different in every way. To experience this almost blissful (not ignoring that there would be pain, but blissful in an “I’m going to embrace this with strength” sort of way) labor they all seemed to talk about, something you don’t hear during the average birth story.

Suddenly after finishing Ina May’s book, I didn’t fear labor anymore. In fact, I felt empowered and ready to just tackle it. I was so excited for contractions to start, I just had a sense of “Let’s do this!!” pulsing through my body.

Being in Vancouver this time, made all of this an easy possibility. I couldn't have dreamed it any better - the amazing team of midwives at my birth clinic and my fabulous doula made it feel totally do-able. After discussing things over with my midwife and having Aaron’s full support, given that I was not a high-risk pregnancy, they enthusiastically approved my home birth.

Home birth may not for everyone (and that’s ok!), even our decision was met with some skepticism, but having done further research on the practices of midwives in BC, knowing the reasons we were choosing it, and having total peace about it, we knew it was the best choice for us.

For the last two weeks I had been all ready to go with my hospital bag packed, but now suddenly I had a different type of prep to begin, prep for a home birth! More on this coming in the next post!

(I also made another awesome last minute decision, which was to have pregnancy photos taken (all the ones in this post!) and I'm sure glad I did! Olivia Ann Photography was the best!)