Episode 16’s Amazing Sponsors:
Mom After God’s Own Heart
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Hatched at Home-Midwife Carrie LaChapelle: www.hatchedathome.com
Body Works Physical Therapy
- Megan lives in Texas with her husband and 5 children. She homeschools, and is so grateful to have her in-laws in the same neighborhood, and her parents just 30 minutes away.
- For her first birth, Megan decided to have a birth center birth. This came about in quite an interesting way: during college, she was required to volunteer a certain amount of time. She decided to work at a crisis pregnancy center. The volunteer coordinator there happened to be a midwife.
- She had a good friend at the time who was having children with that midwife, and she saw how amazing her friend’s experiences were.
- Several years later, Megan was married, and she and her husband became pregnant on their honeymoon (isn’t that the cutest?!). Megan and her husband decided they should consider all of their options. They first toured a local hospital. Later, they went to the birth center of the midwife Megan knew at Family Birth Services. The birth center is a renovated historic home.
- “I just felt heard. I felt encouraged. I felt supported.” This is how Megan felt immediately at the birth center. She and her husband came prepared with lots of questions, all of which were comfortably answered by her midwife and the staff.
- “I did not feel like a number. I felt like a person with valid questions, and they did not rush me.”
- Megan read several books to prepare for birth: Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and Supernatural Birth
- With her first child, she had been praying throughout the pregnancy for a short delivery. At 38 weeks, she called her midwife and told her she was experiencing contractions. Her midwife talked her through everything, and the contractions dissipated.
- At 39 weeks, Megan began feeling contractions again. She laid on the couch, and they still would not subside. Her husband began saying, “Hm, I think we should get in the car and head to the birth center,” knowing that the center was a 45-minute drive away.
- On the drive to the birth center, Megan’s husband had his mother pull the car over so that he could drive and get them there faster (don’t worry, he’s a police officer!). The 45-minute drive turned into closer to a 30-minute drive. By the time they arrived, Megan was quite uncomfortable.
- Once she got into the center, she had her midwives check her. At this point, she was dilated 3cm. This was at 7pm.
- At 9pm, her midwife, who was in the area, stopped by the birth center to check on her. Knowing that Megan is a first time mom, the midwife said, “Oh, I’ll probably have time to go home and take a shower and gather my things, but let me just check you.” At 9pm, Megan was already dilated to 9cm!
- “I just followed my body. I felt like I was being pulled through birth.” Megan mentions that when she wasn’t fighting the contractions, all went well. She did experience moments of pain, however, and she later realized they were the times that she began fighting the feelings and tensing up. She recalls how it was very related to the pitch of her voice getting higher and higher.
- After her first birth, Megan stated that she never wanted to have to go through laboring in a car again. That was the major reason that she switched to giving birth at home.
- “I just thought, ‘if I don’t have to go anywhere, why go anywhere? Why not just be in my own place?’”
- With Megan’s second child, beyond the fact that she really didn’t want to labor in the car, she loved the idea of the coziness of giving birth in her own home. Another deciding factor for having a homebirth instead was that she now had a toddler to contend with. Her in-laws were planning to take the toddler down the road to their house as she gave birth to her son.
- Unlike her siblings, Daniella took her sweet time coming out. At 40 weeks and 6 days, Megan finally felt what she thought were true contractions. She downloaded an MP3 called Childbirth In the Glory and listened to it as her husband and family members still slept.
- Her plan was that once labor truly began, she would have her in-laws come pick up her 3 boys. Her daughter, who is 10, wanted to stay home and witness the birth.
- Unlike all of her other births, which took 4-6 hours, Daniella’s birth was 12-14 hours long.
- Megan’s midwife Bethany texted her and told her to try the Spinning Babies’ Abdominal Lift and Tuck. She decided to walk outside with her 3-year-old and get some fresh air. Megan remembers leaning against her chicken coop performing abdominal lifts and tucks during contractions…. As her son chased chickens with a stick!
- Megan went inside and ate a light lunch, then laid down for a nap. Around 2:00, her contractions began coming stronger, lower and longer. At this time, she still was concerned that maybe she was contacting her midwife too early. Because her labor was so different this time from previous labors, Megan was feeling confused, and even struggling with fear.
- “I think that every woman faces that… fear vs. faith.”
- Around 4pm, Megan finally texted her midwife and said something to the effect of, “My husband would feel more comfortable if you’d come this way.” …Still not wanting to be the reason that her midwife came out all that way if it wasn’t actually time!
- In relation to that feeling, Megan mentions, “And midwives.. that’s their desire. To be there for you in your time of need, whether it’s the ‘real deal’ or not.”
- By the time the midwife arrived an hour later, Megan was in the labor zone. “I think the thing I love most about midwives and labor, is that they are in the background and I get to follow my body’s lead, and I am the star of the show. I’m the queen for the day, at least for a few hours!”
- Megan mentions how wonderful it is that her midwife is so good at waiting in the background, yet anticipating her needs at the same time.
- Her husband was wonderful support- staying next to her and holding her hand when needed, letting go when needed, and praying over her.
- Megan got to the point where she felt the familiar wave of transition nausea run through her. However, this time was a bit different. She got on hands and knees to throw up, and as she did, the baby began crowning! “So here I am… throwing up in the bowl, and the baby’s crowning, and it all happened all at once!”
- Megan’s midwife helped her switch positions to lie on her side so that baby could make a slower entrance and prevent tearing.
- She discusses how her postpartum has been amazing, even now at 4 months out. But the few weeks leading up to Daniella’s birth, Megan felt like she was an emotional wreck. Much of this she feels is because she had certain expectations for when and how she would give birth, and when they did not come to pass, she was frustrated and confused.
- Megan tells us how this postpartum has been very laid back. Daniella sleeps better than her previous babies, and she’s taking supplements to keep her energy and mood stabilized. She says that experience also helps—She knows what kind of mother she is and how she parents. “It’s not about what other people think. It’s about what works for me and my family, and with that comes peace.”