Birth Story Collections {Anatel’s Home Water Birth}

AnatelsWaterHomeBirth

Welcome to Birth Story Collections at The Promiseland Farm! If you would like to share your birth story, please email me at thepromiselandfarm[at]gmail.com

Miriam and Robert are from Texas. Miriam is a Stay-at-Home Mommy and Robert is an EMT.

They have a new puppy and are planning to start gardening next spring. Miriam is interested in natural green living, health through herbal remedies, cooking, sewing, as well as natural birth, raising children etc. Robert has started a jewelry making and repair business and is also interested in biblical teaching and evangelizing.

Here’s their water birth story, enjoy!
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Birth Story Scollections: Anatel

Married at 21 years old & pregnant 3 months later

I became Pregnant with Anatel a month before turning 21, about 3 months after getting married to my wonderful husband Robert. It was perfect timing because I had been struggling with some health problems (heart related) when we got married, but through the help of friends that God “just happened” to put into our lives I had recovered very quickly and felt my body was at a good place when I became pregnant. I had been so very worried that I wouldn’t be able to have children due to these health issues, so It was a tremendous blessing to us to discover we were going to have a baby so soon!
We began discussing the birth and what we wanted pretty soon after discovering I was pregnant. Robert had recently begun his job as an EMT, and was wanting to be as involved as possible in the birth. We did discuss not even having a midwife, and him just delivering the baby, but I wasn’t quite ready for that. Maybe the next one, I said.

 

Diet and supplements to help anemia and weight concerns

After finding a midwife, we discovered that I was anemic, and a bit underweight, so she gave me some diet pointers put me on iron boosting supplements to begin solving these issues. Overall, my pregnancy was very easy (no morning sickness! Yay!). I was troubled at times because of my lack of appetite, but our baby was growing, and I was quite healthy besides the anemia. The midwife was a bit concerned about this, but she said to just keep working on the iron levels and I should be fine.

 

We planned a natural home birth with a Midwife

I was very much wanting a natural birth. My mom had had seven children at home and I was determined that my birth would beautiful and natural, in the bathtub, and right in my own home. I also pictured worship music in the back ground, soft candles,my husband there quoting scripture and rubbing my back, and all the women in my family being able to watch this beautiful thing take place.  My sweet midwife was very helpful in explaining the reality of birth, and how my desires may be very different. Of course, I just smiled and nodded, and was quite sure she was wrong. Ah me.

 

Contractions began one month before my due date

So, fast forward to April 2012, about a month before my due date (due date was May 22)  I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks,  and I started feeling pretty tired all the time and very uncomfortable. Please just get this baby out already!!
April 23, the day of the birth, We began the day by attending a funeral. A dear friend’s husband had died and I was an emotional wreck at this point. I remember feeling extra tired that day and just wanting to sit down forever!  Walking was really painful. Of course, afterwards Robert and I decided that it would be a great idea to go into town to do some errands and pick up some baby project supplies . Wrongo.
It started out fine. I walked in the car parts store, then the healthfood store, then the feedstore……I was about done at that point. Taco Bell (yes, Taco Bell) and Walmart were next. We were in the car on the road when I had a giggly thought. “Wouldn’t it be so funny if the baby was born today???” Robert just looked at me, and said “No, that would not be funny! Baby, you’de better stay in there! No coming out yet!”  Well, I’m so glad we got that settled!

 

Water breaks at Wal-Mart

We had our Tacobell lunch (don’t judge me!) then headed to Wal-Mart to finish some shopping. I really hated the thought of walking anywhere now, but I knew this was our last stop, so I decided to be tough! Really bad idea. (Lesson#1 Trust your instincts!!) We walked in and pretty soon, I was really done. All I knew was that I needed a chair, or a bench, or anything! Just let me stop moving! Of course, being so tough, I mentioned none of this to Robert, so we continued on to the hardware section to look at shelving. Robert kept asking me what I thought of this length, or this wood, or what about this idea?? Sounds good honey. Now, I need a chair. And possibly a bathroom. I was just about to mention this when, I felt three heavy hammer-like sensations in my tummy and then WATER!!
I yelled and kneeled on the floor hoping it would stop or go away.  Robert kept asking me what was wrong, and thought I was having some heart pain until he saw a nice little puddle forming on the floor. He got one of the associates to bring us a wheel chair and took me out to the car while I was shutting my eyes and praying that this was not it.

 

I was in labor and one day short of 36 weeks gestation

Robert called the midwife, and since this was so early, and not all births happen immediately after the water has broken, she debated whether to send us to the hospital, or to put me on bed rest at home.  Since I was one day short of 36 weeks (which is the cut-off point that midwives are allowed to deliver at home), she said to keep watching for contractions, be on bed rest etc. and that she was on her way. So we were relieved at that. I just wanted to go home!
On the drive home, things began getting a lot more intense.  Contractions started coming on about every 3 minutes,  so I grabbed Roberts hand and started squeezing really hard!  My husband was so thoughtful and concerned for my comfort, so he started quoting scripture and singing hymns.  I thought I would die!  Any noise was agony to my body, so I asked him to please not say anything!!  He expected this sort of thing, so he kindly stopped talking and just held my hand.
We got back home, and all I could think of was a hot tub.  We were living with my parents in their guesthouse at that time, which was right across the lawn, so since our hot water was off at the moment, Robert scooped me up and carried me into my family’s house to their bathtub.  Amazingly enough, without knowing anything about me being in labor, my dad and sister had just done a major bathroom/tub scrub and so everything was ready when we came in.  God was so good!  My mom came in (we had called her while we were on the road) to see how I was and told me everything was wonderful, and I that was not going to die.  I needed that!
I took my clothes off, climbed in the tub and felt a little relief.  I was all scrunched up by the faucet , so Robert asked me to lay out straight.  I was crying, and telling Robert that I couldn’t do this yet, which I guess is why I  wanted to keep my knees scrunched.  He got me to lay down though, and started asking me to breathe and relax.  The contractions were coming quite regularly, and all I wanted to do was push. It was surreal.  I have never felt anything like that feeling of having something take over your whole body! I had the urge to yell out really loud, so I did. Afterwards, I was told I sounded like I goat!:)  It was painful, but not unbearable. I was very thankful!
At this point, I had been laboring in the tub for about 40 minutes. Robert had been keeping in contact with the midwife, who was driving from about 1 1/2 hours away.  He  was hoping that the contractions would calm down from the warm water, and that I would have another week or so on bed rest, but once I started yelling, he knew we were having a baby! Robert was an amazing coach and midwife!   I couldn’t bear any noise, and touch felt like knives and needles, So my family was kind enough to give us lots of space.  It was pretty much just him and I!!

 

We delivered the baby ourselves!

About this time, Robert looked down at the birth canal and saw the top of a little head!   He was afraid of me tearing, so he coached me through the pushing process (which was actually fairly easy) while applying gentle pressure to the head as the midwife had told him to.  She started easing out and It seemed like a moment later I gave one extra push and there she was!

 

Midwife arrives right after the baby is born!

She was so tiny!  Her little cries were rather feeble as Robert lifted her up to my chest.  Thankfully, the midwife arrived a few minutes after she was born, and began doing her examination. Anatel weighed 4lbs 15oz and was 18 inches long.  Both she and Robert were concerned about her breathing as she was retracting around her rib cage when she breathed, and since she was early and breathing so hard they were worried that the surfactant that held her lungs to the chest wall wouldn’t be strong enough and so she said we had better call an ambulance. She then started Anatel on some oxygen.  Meanwhile, we were still waiting for the placenta to be birthed, and I was feeling fine.

 

Hemorrhaging and blacking out

The midwife began checking the birth canal and tugging a bit on the cord, which suddenly broke. She told me to push, and when I did the placenta finally came out.  The problem was, there had been a blood buildup behind the placenta, so when it did come out, I began hemmoraging pretty badly.  Pretty soon, I started to see spots and stars and was starting to black out! Not a nice feeling.   Robert said he looked over at me and my head slumped down, he was on the phone with 911 and quickly put the phone down and laid me down in the tub to get blood flowing back to my head while my midwife injected me with Pitocin (oxytocin) to stop my hemorrhaging.

 

Transferred to the hospital in an ambulance

The ambulance arrived and they positioned Anatel in a car seat while Robert got me dressed and and carried me out to the stretcher. We were settled in the ambulance and on our way very soon.  The ride was uneventful but as soon as we got into the hospital Anatel was whisked away to the NICU and I was put on a trauma bed while being surrounded by a half dozen nurses and a couple of doctors.  They began getting a report and the doctor did a uterine examination and purge which hurt worse than the entire birthing procedure!  After that rather traumatic experience I was taken up through the NICU, to see Anatel before being taken to a room in the postpartum ward.

 

Fainted and blacked out again – no strength to see our new baby, Anatel

Unfortunately, blacked out once while I was looking at Anatel and listening to the doctor fill us in on her details, then I nearly fainted again later once I was in my room trying to walk around.  I didn’t have the strength to go see Anatel for about a day, and I felt so guilty!!  I had heard so many people tell me that the first few hours are crucial to bonding between mother and baby, and separation would be terribly harmful etc.  I felt like a really big failure! Robert went back and forth between Anatel and I and let me know how she was doing.  He was even the first one to feed her her bottle<3 (she did have some formula the first few days)

 

Holding Anatel in the NICU for the first time

I finally felt good enough to hobble to the NICU, and when I finally got to hold her, it was like being in heaven!  I felt so close to her, and I knew she needed me.  The hospital staff were wonderful, and we had an excellent lactation consultant that made the first few days so much easier as we waited for my milk to come in, and as Anatel and I worked together to try to learn this nursing business!
To help my milk supply, I started drinking gallons of mothers milk tea and chlorophyll.  I was pumping since she was in the NICU, and after a couple of days I was producing way more milk than Anatel needed, we were drowning in milk!
Birth Story Scollections: Anatel

Anatel stayed in the NICU for two weeks

Anatel had somehow contracted an infection, so her white blood cell count was very high.  The doctors put her on antibiotics for two weeks, during which we stayed at the nearby hospital hostel.  It was a hard two weeks, filled with emotional ups and downs ( can we say major postpartum freak outs!!) but we had so much support, and Robert was my amazing prayer warrior, I feel blessed when I remember it all!!
Anatel was able to gain about 2 lbs while we were there, and we became an awesome nursing team!  God was very good! We were finally sent home and blessed to the brim to be back with our beautiful little girl.  Had been looking forward to lots of snuggles, with no leads or wire hookups!!
I look back on it all now, and I don’t want another ordeal like that again!  But even with all of the stress, worry, and fear,  I was able to realize during it all that I have no control!  God has control, and He also knows the future, and He prepared all of us for her birth. One special thing that God did that meant so much was that we had some friends who’s baby’s due date was April 23rd (the day Anatel was born) but they didn’t have their baby for another week after ours.  We had decided on naming our baby, if it was a girl, Anatel Joy which they knew nothing about.  They had also kept there baby’s name a secret.  Later that week, we learned that they had named their little girl Anna Joy.
Isn’t it amazing when God gives us those little hints of His love and presence?
I’m so thankful for the family and friends who gave us mountains of love and help during those first few weeks, and for our midwife, Brittany, who gave us so much help and support before the birth and who was yet another prayer warrior on our behalf!  Even though Anatels birth wasn’t exactly what I pictured or wanted, it was alright. We made it and it was good! Robert and I have a beautiful baby girl who is not ruined forever by a little bit of separation and formula, and we learned so much together because of it all!

God is good!

Birth Story Scollections: Anatel

PICTURE CREDITS: Robert and Miriam

This post was featured on Real Food Wednesday, and Homemaking Link-up, Party Wave Wednesday, and From the Farm Blog Hop.

 

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