DISCLAIMER: My pregnancy was specific to myself and in hindsight I realize not a normal pregnancy. Negative birth stories are not something I consider appropriate to tell healthy moms in order to scare them. However, I do think they are important to tell in the event that someone is having a hard time and need sympathy or validation. I would have liked validation for what I was going through. Proceed with caution.
I found out I was pregnant with Piper in October 2010, about 6 weeks after my honeymoon. Joe and I weren’t trying to have kids, but we weren’t trying to prevent it from happening either, due to decisions we had made about family planning previous to getting married.
I’ll answer the question everyone wants to know: No, she was not a honeymoon baby. My monthly cycle started as soon as the honeymoon ended.
I had always liked the idea of having a home birth, and upon finding out we were expecting, birthing decisions had to be made immediately. Would we go to a hospital? A birthing center? Home?
We didn’t have a home of our own. In fact, we were living with my grandfather, and the prospect for buying our own house was looking rather bleak.
We decided home birth anyway. We knew a family who was attending our church who had births at home, and I have never liked hospitals. Joe and I didn’t like the idea of letting the hospital dictate to us who our OB/GYN would be or leaving it up to whatever doctor was on call at the time of delivery. We definitely didn’t want a man with his hands around my lady parts, no matter what the reason. We didn’t/don’t have health insurance, so a home birth was also cheaper than paying a hospital or birthing center out of pocket. Home birth just seemed like the way to go, and we would just be prepared to go to the hospital as a last resort if something went wrong.
My parents helped us a lot with the living arrangements. They had been wanting to finish the second floor of their garage, and a grandchild on the way seemed like good enough motivation to do it! My dad and Joe started working to finish a one room, half-bath living space above my parents garage, and in the meantime we lived with my grandfather.
As I became more and more pregnant I began to experience the common symptoms which accompany it. At 6 weeks along I came down with morning sickness that was ’round the clock – just nausea, no vomiting. It subsided around 12 weeks. At 17 weeks I began to feel the fluttering that is baby movement which was very exciting.
However I also, starting very early in my second trimester, started to experience groin pain. I had severe soreness in my lower abdomen and groin, and the baby kicks became very strong very early which made for a very long and uncomfortable pregnancy. I had to sit down quite frequently, and couldn’t wear dresses because they offered no support. All my pants were super uncomfortable with the elastic waists or button bands feeling like they were cutting into me. For a long time panel pants were just too big for me and so until I fit into them, I just suffered. I remember even wearing the belly band to bed at night.
My mother was convinced I was acting overdramatic. I know from my current pregnancy that I wasn’t.
Things I didn’t do through pregnancy that I probably should have done in this situation, but was too stubborn to:
- lamas classes (for frugality reasons, I decided I would self teach and read up on the subject instead)
- more kegel exercises
Things that went well:
- sleeping through the night.
- no braxton hicks contractions whatsoever
- the health of the baby (which is the most important)
In May of 2011 Joe and I decided it would be best for our new marriage and the peace of our family if we moved out of my grandfather’s house. The apartment wasn’t close to being finished though, so we needed another temporary arrangement. Someone from our church offered to lend us their pop-up camper, so we agreed and set it up in my parents’ backyard, and we moved in.
We were fortunate to have a mild spring that year, and I got to spend my days hanging out with my family when I wasn’t working.
Apartment construction went slowly.
My due date was July 2nd, and that date came and went and we were still in the pop-up. My midwife and I had a plan set up that i would give birth in the camper if I needed to. We had a 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat (made for 5 gallon buckets) on top for our toilet and a hose hooked up to a spigot outside. In the camper we had a propane cooking range and electricity, so we were totally going to redneck it.
6:30 am on July 11, 2011 I woke up with my first contractions.
The apartment had a bathroom sink with running water, and the floating flooring had just arrived. My dad and Joe had plans to lay the floor that day and they got to work early in order to get it down fast!
At round 10:30 am my contractions were steady at 6 min. apart and my midwife came to check dilation – 3cm. Another painful discovery was that checking for dilation felt like being tortured. Most women have no problem. They can get checked or have a membrain sweep, and have no issue with it. For me it was not so. It was agony.
After checking me, she went back home to get her supplies together, and do some last minute things with her family, and then returned around 1pm where my contractions had shifted to 4 min apart.
At around 3pm, the floor was down, and a futon mattress was dragged upstairs and laid out. They brought in the bucket toilet, and had an air conditioner in the window, and we hunkered in for labor and delivery.