Noomi Faolan, A Homebirth Story
Noomi Faolan Wright
Born January 22nd, 2015 at 12:05 p.m.
8lbs 1oz, 20.5 inches
Noomi’s birth story really begins quite a few days before she was born. When I had my son, Søren (now almost 2 1/2), I went into labor 5 days before his ‘due date’. I was in labor with him for 52 hours and he was born 3 days before his ‘due date’. During this pregnancy with my daughter Noomi, I didn’t know what to expect. Would she follow her brother’s lead and show up just a little ‘early’? As we approached 40 weeks it seemed like she was going to blaze her own trail. My ‘due date’ with her came and went, but I wasn’t worried. I knew she would come when she was ready. We had a home birth with my son and we were planning the same with this pregnancy, however, if we wanted to have our home birth, she needed to come before 42 weeks in order for our midwife to attend her birth (due to state mandates). As the 42 week mark approached, we started trying some natural induction methods. I ate 4-5 dates a day, ate pineapple, ate spicy foods, rubbed castor oil on my belly, had fun times with my husband, did lots of cardio workouts, weight/strength workouts, sat on the birth ball for hours, lots of squats, walking, etc. You name it, we probably tried it! The last few days before the 42 week mark we went and had acupuncture (my first time!) every day to try and get things started. The day before I was 42 weeks we went in for our 3rd acupuncture treatment. Afterwards, my midwife (Rebecca) came over and stripped my membranes. We were scheduled to go to our local hospital for a non-stress test and a consult for induction if things hadn’t started on their own by the next day. I wasn’t against having my baby in the hospital, but I was hopeful we would get to have her at home and I very much did not want to be induced if I could help it. That night at about 8:30 I got super tired. All I wanted was a foot rub from my husband (Adam) and to watch Guardians of the Galaxy together. I told my mom it was strange for me to be so tired that early, and that I thought maybe my body was trying to tell me that I needed some rest because I’d be going into labor soon. I decided to listen to my body and relax and go to bed. At about 1:18 am, I woke up needing to use the bathroom. I went and at that time had a ‘bloody show’. Contractions started pretty much right away and were about 10-15 minutes apart, so I went ahead and got up and sat on the birth ball to try to progress things and help get the baby into a good position. At about 3 a.m. it was clear that things were going to keep progressing. Baby girl was coming on her own on the last possible day and we were going to get our home birth! Adam and my mom started setting up the birth tub, and I started setting up the bed with sanitized sheets. etc. Also, I was hungry and knew that I might not have an appetite for long (and based on my last birth I could be in labor for a very long time and I would need the energy!!), so I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of coconut water. I kept laboring on the birth ball and drinking coconut water for the next few hours and texted Rebecca to let her know what was happening.
At about 6 a.m. I started feeling a little nauseated and shaky between contractions, and wanted to lay down. I did and fell asleep a few times between contractions. The birth tub was ready by then, so I had my husband text Rebecca to see if she thought it was okay to go ahead and get in the tub. Because of my prior experience, I didn’t want to stall the labor by getting in too early. She let us know she was on her way and to go ahead and get in the tub. I went to the bathroom again and then got in the tub. Let me tell you, that tub was like magic! I instantly relaxed and no longer felt nauseated or shaky between contractions. I could talk normally again and laugh and joke. It was amazing! Instant relief. Rebecca arrived not long after I got in, and checked on my and the baby’s vitals. Baby sounded great and I was doing great, too. At one point, our dog (a Pekingese) decided to launch herself into the birth tub. I think she thought I was laying on some sort of couch, because she hates water. It was so funny and made me laugh so much it started a pretty intense contraction. 🙂 At about 8:30 am our son Søren woke up and Adam brought him out to see me. He was so happy and gave me the best hugs and kisses. When I would start a contraction he would hug me and help me through it. It was sooo sweet. It was great to see that it wasn’t upsetting him at all to see me in labor, it just seemed natural to him. Everyone was really relaxed and happy. I feel like at this point I should rewind a bit and mention that a few days before I went into labor, my mom had closed her eyes and seen an image of a clock, and the clock read the time 11:56. It sounds super weird, but she had told me about it and we had wondered if maybe that was the time the baby would be born. Okay, so, strange as it may sound, but I kept this in mind during labor and asked Adam a few times what time it was between contractions. The last time I asked it was 9:30 a.m. I knew that Jennifer (our birth photographer) lived about an hour away and wanted to get to our house about 2 hours before the baby was born. I sort of thought to myself, ‘if the baby really does come at 11:56 am, then we should go ahead and tell Jennifer to come’. So I told Adam to text her and she made her way out. I think she probably arrived around 10:45ish. I didn’t want to ask what time it was anymore because things were getting more intense and I didn’t want to feel disappointed if it was after 11:56.
After Jennifer got here, the contractions got more and more intense and I started getting nauseated again (this time during contractions). My midwife was using frankincense to rub my lower back, and peppermint oil to help my nausea. At some point I threw up (sorry to everyone that had to see that! Gross.). I felt like I must be getting close, but I was afraid I was wrong. The whole time I was in the tub I was laboring on my knees (with them open) sort of sitting back towards my heels with my arms on the side of the tub.This was the only position that felt good and I felt like it would help open things up and also help the baby get into a good birth position. At this point I felt like the contractions were getting on top of me a little bit, and I kept saying to Adam ‘This is hard!’. Every time a contraction would start I would hold on to Adam for dear life.
I felt my body start to bear down on it’s own over the next few contractions. I told Rebecca, “I’m feeling ‘pushy’.”, and she said, “I’ve been watching you and I can see that your body’s doing it, go with it.” She told Adam to go ahead and get in the tub with me, and he did. I rolled onto my side through a contraction and then onto my back with Adam behind me supporting me. My mom was next to the tub, holding a cool cloth on my head. I had another contraction and pushed a little bit and they told me they could see her head. I didn’t realize it then, but the time was exactly 11:56 a.m.
I asked my mom to hold my hand. I had another contraction and pushed, I felt her move down the birth canal and when the contraction was over I felt her move quickly back up. I said to Rebecca, “I felt her go back up!” And she said, “It’s okay! She’ll come back down on the next one. You’re almost there. You are so close.” I held onto that like a lifeline, because I knew Rebecca wouldn’t say that unless it was true. With the next contraction I pushed, and felt her head come through and quickly after that her shoulders pop through (she was still in her amniotic sac!) and she shot out pretty quickly as she was turning and out of my reach. I remember saying, “Sweet relief!”. The time was 12:05 p.m.
I watched as Rebecca reached down and helped put her into my hands and I brought her up to my chest with Adam’s help.
Our son Søren was standing there watching. I was smiling and laughing and Adam was in tears. Adam and I looked up at Søren and Adam said, “I love you, Søren.” And Søren burst into tears. I don’t think he was scared or upset, I think it was just a release of emotion. The feelings were so strong and intense in the room, so much joy and relief!
My mom snuggled him for a bit and after that he was really happy. Noomi’s cord was pretty short and kept getting tugged on, so we went ahead and cut the cord a little sooner than I would have liked because it was so short it was uncomfortable to me. We did wait until it was pretty much done pulsing, then Adam cut it. I was losing a pretty good amount of blood and the placenta didn’t feel like coming out, so I got out of the tub and moved to my bed. We got the placenta delivered and my bleeding under control, then they got me cleaned up and stitched up from the tearing that I had. Rebecca gave me a fruit and veggie snack bar, and my mom made me some eggs and sausage. Søren and Adam and I all snuggled in bed while Rebecca and her assistant (Julinne) got the house cleaned up and finished up paperwork and got my herbs all ready for my aftercare. They also weighed Noomi (she peed while she was being weighed! Hah!) and did her newborn exam. Once everything was all taken care of and we were tucked in and happy they headed out. It was such a great experience from beginning to end! We’re so thankful to have had Jennifer there to capture such beautiful photos of Noomi’s birth. None of us realized until she shared the pictures with us that Søren had actually been standing right next to Rebecca watching the actual birth (we all had thought he walked into the room just after she was born). I’m so happy that he was! It was really a beautiful experience for all of us. Having the unbelievable photos Jennifer took to help us keep the memories close and vivid in our minds forever is something that I’ll always be thankful for.