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Birth Story - Lilian L.

After having three, happy and healthy hospital births (each with an epidural), I decided to birth baby #4 at home. This is the birth story for Richard "Richie" Callahan, born at home on Monday, December 7, 2020.

I had been in early labor since Saturday evening. Random, easy contractions, but only when I was sitting or relaxing. Around 10:45pm on Sunday, I went to bed and had my husband rub my back to help me sleep before real labor kicked in since nothing seemed to be progressing anyways. Eventually, I had three more intense, but still manageable, contractions and on the last one, at 11:40pm, my water broke.

I knew things were about to get real (all 3 other babies were born 2 hours after my water broke) so I immediately called my folks, our doula, and midwives. While on the phone with the midwife (and sitting on the toilet), I had 2 contractions but said I'd call back once things seemed more regular. I immediately called her back and texted the doula that they better come now because the contractions were coming one on top of the other!

The contractions were in my back and pelvic floor, as they had been with the other 3 babies, and I couldn't bare to sit nor stand, so I kneeled down on the floor at the foot of my bed. And then started the most intense pain for about 30 minutes. It was just my husband and me and I told him baby is coming! In walked our doula, Amara, I was already crowning. We were both so relieved to have her there with us! I remember her hands - they were so magnificently cold (it was the middle of the night in December, after all), soft, and soothing as she took over for my husband and pressed on my back helping to relieve my pain. Amara brought so much calm and reassurance into the room when I felt like I was spinning out of control.

The next 2 contractions I was saying that I can't do this - we were in transition, almost there - and Amara kept reminding me that I COULD do it, that I WAS doing it! I pushed his head out (still no midwives, but my mom had come in the room), then I put one leg up into a "proposal" position and the rest of him came with the next surge. Richie was born at 12:21am, only 40 minutes after my water broke and active labor began. Amara passed him to me through my legs just as one of our midwives arrived.

After the adrenaline wore off and Richie and I had been thoroughly checked over by our midwives, we snuggled in to sleep in our own bed. One by one as they woke up later that morning, each sibling came in to meet their new baby brother. And we started our life as a family of six.

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