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The Homebirth of Sweet Wyatt William

 Holistic Parenting Magazine

 

In October 2005, I met the first love of my life- my wonderful husband Jake. On August 19th 2010, my second love was born (plans for a natural, relaxed birth center birth were derailed by a pitocin induction at the hospital...I still birthed as naturally as I could while tethered to an IV lying in a bed but it was everything I didn’t want). Even though Jack’s entrance into the world didn’t unfold as I had hoped and planned, I learned a lot from the experience and it was a major milestone in our life. From minute one, I mothered with my heart- followed my instincts and followed my baby’s lead. Mothering came naturally to me, as did breastfeeding. Without really knowing about the term ‘attachment parenting’, I lived this lifestyle of keeping my baby close and responding to his needs. I saw firsthand how secure attachment leads to secure independence. My passion grew and I started working on my doula certification and my La Leche League leadership accreditation. I couldn’t wait to give Jack a sibling. Over the next 4 months, I went through a LOT of pregnancy tests, read Toni Weschler’s ‘Taking Charge of Your Fertiliy’ and probably drove my husband a bit crazy. Christmas morning. Sure enough, on Christmas morning, those 2 pink lines showed up and I was able to give Jake the coolest present ever. 

Although it seemed too expensive and out of reach for us, I knew in my heart that this baby would be born at home. My friend told me about a local homebirth midwife and when I called her, I knew right away that she was who I needed to help me birth this baby. Thankfully, she agreed to work with us financially to make the birth of my dreams happen. Jake and Jack both liked her too and I felt such peace and relief knowing that our baby was going to enter the world gently, peacefully and surrounded by love. The pregnancy was the stuff birth dreams are made of. I took great care of my body, mind and soul and was totally looking forward to meeting our sweet baby Daisy (I STRONGLY believed this was my girl!) in September. Since I decided to not have an ultrasound, there was a slight chance that it could be Wyatt in there…

Sunday September 1st was the perfect day. We decided to take three-year-old Jack fishing for the first time. We left around noon and had a blast, despite some cramps and mild lower back discomfort - Jack was a natural fisherman and caught 3! I took a few pictures of my belly, not knowing at the time that they’d be the last ones with baby on the inside. Back home I made an easy dinner that turned out to be the perfect early labor meal: egg whites with veggies, fruit salad and oatmeal with almond milk, banana, raisins and cinnamon. My ‘contractions’ continued but weren’t very intense and I didn’t notice any kind of pattern. After nursing Jack to sleep, I went to the living room to relax on the couch and continue our nightly watching of “Breaking Bad” with Jake. By this time, the feelings were intensifying- it would begin in my lower back and my belly would tighten. It wasn’t painful, just interesting (Ina May would be proud of me!). My philosophy for handling ‘surges’ was to let my body go limp, breathe through the feeling and just melt into it (I was really focusing on the thoughts of surrender... melting...waves.) 

It was pretty cool to let the wave just roll over me and feel my body naturally doing what it knows how to do without any input or effort from me. Around 11pm I was able to sleep- it felt like a deep sleep- but I remember waking to breathe through each wave. They definitely weren’t stopping. It was all totally manageable and not at all painful, which I attribute to my state of mind and thoughts about what my body was experiencing. Around 12:15, I got out of bed to pee and try to move around- it felt uncomfortable to lay down at that point At 12:36 a.m. The surges were coming pretty consistently and deepening. I felt the need to lean forward and hold onto both knobs on the open bathroom door and heard myself slightly moan through each one. I really enjoyed the pure freedom of just letting my body to do its thing and being alone during that time felt totally right. That privacy allowed me to fully relax and lose all inhibitions, exactly what a woman needs for her body and baby to do their magical dance of labor and birth. Suddenly, I felt a sudden, quick gush and I knew my water had broken. On the toilet! No water mess to clean up! I smiled and looked into the toilet and saw that it was a nice, healthy clear color. By then, my body was beginning to push! Totally involuntary- it was just happening. I knew I needed to slow it down so I panted short, quick breaths during each surge. I realized I should call my midwife, Ellen- it was time! 

I started giving Jake directions- this baby was on its way out! I felt really calm and was staying on top of the surges. They were totally intensifying but the quick, panting breaths I was using absolutely slowed down the progressive pushing my body was doing. I put a towel down in front of me on the floor and tried to lay down on my right side. Just then, Ellen arrived. I went over to the couch so Ellen could check my dilation: I was complete! Because I had a fourth degree episiotomy during Jack’s birth, I knew it was vital to stay relaxed and push in a very slow, gentle and controlled way to avoid tearing. I had complete and total faith in my body, knowing that it was made to birth babies. Ellen held warm compresses from the lavender oil and water in the crockpot as she supported my perineum. She used arnica oil to gently stretch me. Jake was kneeling next to me and I was holding his hand behind my head, which I would squeeze HARD with each push. It felt so neat as my baby moved further down and I pushed gently and breathed, working with the waves of my uterus and taking my time to allow my vagina to stretch open. Jack woke up and Jake brought him over to me; I could see that Jack was both excited and a little nervous. I gave him a kiss and was so happy that he woke up just in time to see the birth of his baby sister! 

It felt so wonderful and natural to have my husband and son right there, in the comfort of our home about to welcome our new baby. Before I knew it, Ellen said “Sara, feel her head.” I reached down and there it was, wet and wrinkly (like a walnut), covered with hair! Jake and Ellen’s encouraging and loving words were awesome- they really helped me to work with my body and stay feeling confident. Suddenly, with the next surge I pushed and my baby slid out- it felt AMAZING! The time was 3:19 a.m. I looked down and immediately saw his scrotum. Yes, there was a penis. “Looks like it’s Wyatt!” I announced, feeling surprised in the best way possible. Ellen put Wyatt on my belly and I gently lifted him closer to my chest. He was so alert and looked at me with the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen. I definitely was looking right into his precious little soul and instantly fell head over heels in love for the third time. Jake was crying tears of joy and awe- I loved watching his raw emotion. Jack took a quick break from playing to meet his brother and has adored him ever since.

Wyatt and I bonded instantly. I looked over his perfect little body. Tiny fingers and toes, perfect kissable lips, sweet little nose and head full of dark hair. Wyatt decided he was ready to nurse after lying on me for about a half hour and he expertly latched on. I was beyond overjoyed to be holding my sweet baby BOY! I definitely credit this amazing experience to taking care of my body both physically- daily exercise of walking and yoga and eating organic, vegetarian foods- and mentally- my positive thinking, birth education and confidence in my body’s innate ability to grow and birth a baby. My placenta smoothly slid out with one final surge. We ‘oohed and ahhed’ over it and Ellen made prints for me and took it with her to encapsulate. After about an hour and a half, Jake held his new son and Ellen helped me to the shower. I put on a nightgown and settled on the couch to nurse my boys together for the first time (a totally magical bonding experience!). Jake and Ellen made me some toast with banana and cinnamon and Mothers Milk tea. After cleaning up Ellen went home and our new family of four went in to bed to rest. I was exhilarated and had no desire to sleep. Jake, on the other hand, was exhausted and passed out instantly. Jack stared at his new little sidekick as they nursed together and I felt more peace and contentment than I knew was possible in this life. I felt like Mother Earth. 

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Wyatt’s birth was without a doubt one of the best events of my life and I honestly wish I could have froze time to relive the magic over and over. I had imagined my ideal birth at home as going smoothly and perfectly but it actually far surpassed that. It was sublime and I am so thankful that my husband was so supportive of my wishes. We were able to experience birth as it should be- no interventions and in the comfort of the place I felt safest- home and surrounded by pure love. I can’t wait to do it again! 

 

Holistic Parenting Magazine 

 

(This article appeared in Holistic Parenting Magazine Issue 1 (Jan/Feb 2014)

About the Author
Sara Sites
Author: Sara Sites
Sara lives outside of Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and sons. Passionate about the inherent strength and beauty of womanhood, she seeks to develop within herself and share with others through her interests in fertility, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, parenting and holistic living. Sara stays busy laughing and learning with her boys while supporting and encouraging moms, babies and families as a La Leche League leader, doula and leader of various groups and workshops through her business, Full Circle Doula Care.

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