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One Warrior Mama: Two Plus Size Home Birth Stories

I’m always honored when a mom wants to share her birth story with me!  This blog post is of Mindy’s enthralling two plus size home birth stories. She’s one STRONG mama!!

Violet’s Birth Story – April 24th, 2007

Home BirthsOk so all of a sudden at like 2:45 in the morning I got these really intense cramps that would make me bowl over, I didn't believe it was actually time until I had like 3 or 4.  They were EXACTLY 5 minutes apart, so I immediately called my mom being she had the farthest to go to get here.  Well then I called the midwife and she came straight over, oh and the doula too.  I was managing these ones just fine.   Soon they were 4 minutes then 3 minutes it was like clockwork, Andy was actually getting to the point that he would tell me when the next one was going to start. My midwife suggested sitting on the toilet backwards to help things along and sure enough that worked wonders my water finally broke.

This whole time my husband is frantically trying to get the tub filled with hot water.  We drained out hot water tank and it was only a 1/3 of the way full so he had to boil pots of water to throw in to fill it the rest of the way.  The contractions got so intense at this point that they knew I should be in the tub but they had to practically carry me to get me into it.  Somewhere about this time contractions went from intense to excruciating.  I was screaming at every one, pulling on my hair, covering my face, anything to cause pain elsewhere to distract me.  I was more than fully dilated but for some reason didn't have the urge to push.  They were forcing me to push through every contraction, kept trying to convince me that I would actually feel better but it didn't it only made the pain worse.  I swear my hips were breaking!!!   The labor tub did very little to help, it was not big enough for me I needed something that would cover me to my chest and if I was squatting it left my back and butt completely out of the water.

plus size home birthsWell I'm not sure how long I pushed for but I even told them I didn't think it was working.  My midwife told my mom as soon as she got there to help encourage me to push because she thought I wasn't trying hard enough.  I didn't feel her coming down at all and when she would it would be too long between contractions that she would slowly move ALL the way back up.  I was so exhausted that my mom and Andy had to hold me up by a rebozo to get me to be squatting so I could concentrate all my energy on just pushing.  FINALLY we were going somewhere.  Well the midwife was happy, kept feeling the baby's head and it was getting closer.  She was concerned though because there was a lot of meconium, baby poo, coming out with every push.  She kept checking the heart rate but it was always perfect 120-140.
Well finally the baby was crowning and the midwife all of a sudden flipped out and told me to stand up.  Well HELLO I was currently being held in a squatting position by my mom and husband and you want me to stand on my own?  I could barely breathe on my own by this time.  So poor Andy and mom had to hoist me out of the water and that’s when everyone realized that was NOT a head but a BUTT!!!  She told me to push my ass off because the baby had to come out NOW!!!  Well I did and the next contraction I pushed out her ENTIRE body.  I held the next contraction then pushed the head out on the third.  She was Frank breech her hands were straight down at her sides.  So I just pushed out the largest circumference a baby can have!  This was a first for my midwife and she was shaken up after the fact.

fat woman home birthWell the story doesn't end there.  The baby was perfect.  She came out, eyes open fully awake and not a single peep.  She was just very content, at 9:51 am… almost exactly 7 hours after labor started.  Well I tore as you can imagine and was bleeding pretty badly, and the umbilical cord was WAY short.  She barely reached my belly.  Andy had a hard time cutting it because it was so tight just to keep her out of the water.  So they had to get me out of the warm water ASAP.  At this point I was on oxygen to get me back to health and all kinds of other things to help stop the bleeding and get the placenta out.  My body just gave up, I only had 2 contractions after the birth and they lasted only like 5 seconds each, but I just kept bleeding and bleeding.  So finally the midwife and Andy agreed it was time to call the ambulance to come get me.  I was amazed how fast they got there, within 4 minutes.  They whisked me away and left my baby at home with grandma and grandpa.  Andy was the only one that went with me.

We get to the hospital and they don't really do anything for me.  They put me on iv fluids and Pitocin, an artificial hormone that causes contractions, to try to expel the placenta.  Well Pitocin causes some awfully painful contractions, nothing like I had just experienced but in my mind I was supposed to be done and all my nerves were already at my wits ends.   So everything they did to me hurt like a-son-of-a!! I was complaining about the pain and the nurse said we had to wait for the doctor to get there to prescribe something well finally 2 hours after I got to the hospital the doctor finally arrives and decides to check me out.  So she looks then decides to stick her hand up in me and YANK on the placenta to get it to come out, TWICE!!!!!!!  WTF… please pain meds first PLEASE!!  That was the worst feeling ever!!!! Well it was still stuck, so she decides to operate. The doctor and the anesthesiologist decide to do a spinal anesthetic, finally some relief.  So they wheel me away to prep for surgery.  The anesthesiologist put in the numbing medicine into my spinal column, OUCH.  And then starts the needle for the actual spinal.  I am moaning and jumping and complaining at this too… so he gives me another numbing shot.. OUCH again! Well then he didn't have the needles they needed to finish that and decide to do an epidural instead.  So MORE needles in my spine!!!  JESUS CHRIST!!!  Well he doses me twice and nothing, I can still feel and move.  So they finally just give up and knock me out. Well when I woke up in recover 4 hours after the birth but only 15 minutes after the spinal fiasco, I'm completely numb from the boobs down, can't move, and can’t feel.  Well I guess the damn epidural worked dumbass!!!!  I'm shaking uncontrollable from the chest up. Not cold just can't stop shaking.

The doctor originally made it sound like I was going to be released as soon as the anesthetic wore off. But at about 6:00 pm I realized on my chart I was due for more meds at 2:00 am, so I knew I wasn't going home that night.  I made Andy go home and get Baby V and bring her back to me at the hospital.  I was NOT going to go 24+ hours without seeing my baby and not nursing. That was my ONLY concern when they wanted to send me to the hospital.  I didn't want them to take her with and do tests and I didn't want her to get formula, I wanted to nurse!!!  Everyone there thought I would only be a couple of hours as well.  Well no…my mom and midwife gave her a bottle of formula and she ate from it.  So by the time she got to the hospital with me, she couldn't figure out how to latch.  I was so upset and didn't know what to do, I tried everything and it wasn't working.  So I tried the bottle again she hated that too. She wouldn't drink unless I dribble formula on her lips. She was so confused. I'm sorry but those who say baby's don't have nipple confusion are out of their minds…once she had tried both she couldn't figure out either.

two home birthsShe stayed the entire night with me at the hospital and no one said or did a thing.  The nurse tried to help me calm her and gave her a pacifier for me, thank goodness. I was finally discharge 24 hours after I was admitted, severely anemic and DAMN sore.  It took a few days and a nipple shield to get V to finally figure out the whole latch thing, but we eventually got there and she nursed like a champ!  This was one hell of a roller coaster ride but worth every hiccup.  I have never felt more like a super woman or just an empowered woman from one singular event!   And I was eager to do it again!!

Korben’s Story –  October 1st, 2009
plus size and pregnantI woke up Wednesday, September 30th, feeling fine, then late in the morning I had some weird pain in my hips of all places that seemed to be 20-30 minutes apart for maybe 2 hours then stopped.  Thought maybe I had to pee LOL…yeah you get weird pains when you have to pee and you’re pregnant.  Found some bloody show in the bathroom, which seemed promising! Called the midwife and she came over about 1:00 pm and checked me. I was 5cm dilated and effacing.  The “pains” stopped and now were replaced by a backache and nausea.  She said I was in early labor and that she would stay on this side of town and to call when things picked up or changed.  I didn't believe her as things seemed to have stopped, like they have done a many times in the past few weeks.  Later in the evening, 8:00 pm or 9:00 pm the pains came back but irregular averaging 15 minutes apart so I texted the midwife just as a heads up.  She told me to sleep some so I went to bed at 9ish. Finally fell asleep and then got woken up at 11:00 pm with a sharp pain that i couldn't ignore…7 minutes later another one.  I figured it'd have to stop at some point.  I took a shower but nope didn't go way, after a couple of hours of 7 then 6 minutes apart of these “contractions” I texted the midwife.  We then talked, and since they were steady and getting stronger we figured I could get in the tub.  At about 1:30 am I got into the tub for the first time, it helped.  Finally at 2:30 am the midwives showed up.  I was managing but they were hurting… this continued, stronger, closer, etc… like a normal birth should.  I have to admit that even laboring with a breech baby the thought of “i can't do this anymore” “it’s too much” “I'm too tired” etc.. .NEVER crossed my mind but it did repeatedly with this one!!  My hips hurt more than ANYTHING, they burned more than pained and nothing relieved it.  I finally had to give in and ask for help!!!  Which i never expected to do and I more than once was yelling at myself for not hiring a doula, in my head!!!  Thanks to Sherry and Tiffanie for jumping in when I couldn't do it by myself any more.  I never felt so helpless or alone than then, but I knew the end was near if this is how I was feeling.  This birth I remember far more and was FAR more coherent throughout the whole labor.  I remember more, I was having conversations between contractions.  I remember that I felt like pushing but that it hurt!  Something’s not right, so she checked and I had a little lip left at the front of his head.  Finally got that out-of-the-way and I could finally feel the need to push for real!!  Wow!  Weird how your body takes over, it was so instinctual my body just did what it had to do and it felt great!  At this point we woke up my 2-year-old daughter to come witness. She and daddy sat and waited.  Well I pushed for maybe 30 minutes.  It was a world of difference the pushing this time, I was accomplishing something with every contraction and there was no retreating baby this time!!!! But I don't remember pushing for more than a couple of contractions… maybe 4?  Then he was here. And swollen LOL and quiet just like his sister although it was almost like he was tired and kinda just chilled for a long while.  He eventually decided he was cold enough to cry for us and we moved on.
plus size home water birthWe cut the cord, I got out and finished up with everything else. Measured this moose and he was 10lbs even and 24″ long, the dang newborn Pampers diaper wouldn't fit!  I didn't have to go to the hospital this time, placenta didn't come out right away but I pushed it out.  I heard it was sizable and the person encapsulating my placenta called to tell me she ran out of capsules and had to go buy more because it yielded so much LOL…

Well after all that they handed him back to me he was hungry and latched perfect first time and has been nursing like a champ since.. and pooping OMG this kid poops!!! Did I mention he sleeps?? The first night I was able to get 3 straight hours of sleep! And it has continued like this. It has been fantastic in comparison and so less stressful than the birth of my breech daughter.


Jen McLellan, CBE
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