Thank you all for your sweet comments regarding our new baby girl! It is such a blessing to now have our 4 older boys and 2 little girls!
It was such a wonderful birth! Our first son was born in the hospital, and after that experience, we knew we wanted something different. Ever since then, we've had home births and really loved it, but this time I tried a water birth and it was great! The lovely woman I bought my birth pool from recommended an herbal tincture called Smooth Transitions by a company called Wish Garden Herbs. Wow! What a difference this made to me! In the past, Transition has been a time when I "start talking crazy!". I start doubting myself and thinking the pain is too much to bear. I asked my husband to remind me that when I start my "crazy talk", I was likely in transition and the baby would soon come. After hearing me say that I would like to drive myself to the hospital and ask for a cesarean so I could be knocked out and not feel anything, he got really excited and said, "I think you're in transition!". Once I heard him say that, I went over and took Smooth Transitions tincture, and soon enough I was taking control over my labor and asking my husband to fill the birth pool and call our midwife. I was so blessed to have a short labor this time around. My contractions were very strong, but not as close as they were when I had my other children. We had our sweet baby girl just 1 hour after our midwife arrived!
Here are a few things that helped me have the best home birth experience ever this time around:
1. Letting myself go completely with each contraction when I realized I was really in labor. Moving around rhythmically really helped a lot!
2. ContractionMaster.com This website let me time the contractions and keep track of how far apart they were. As I tried to sleep because the contractions were still only 15 minutes apart, I had our iPad in the bed and just had to click start and stop.
3. Lavender Essential Oil! I have always used this in the past, and it has always made a world of a difference for me. This time I put some drops into a tissue and just put it up to my nose and breathed it in during contractions.
4. A wooden hand held massage tool. I used this on myself while my husband was filling the pool. During contractions as I was pacing around I used one hand to smell the lavender and the other to massage my back with the tool. It was really nice to be in control and know exactly how much pressure to exert and where.
5. Pandora.com I created a station on there called Nature Sounds, and had my husband play it for me in the background. It was really soothing and calming to hear waves and rain, etc. in the background.
6. We set up the birth pool in my daughters room. She went to sleep in the boys room that night, along with my aunt and mom, so I had it all to myself. We have a white paper star lantern in her room, and that was the only lighting we had on in there. I also really love the Giant Rainbow play silks hanging in her room. The soft glow from the star lantern and the pretty rainbow silks made for a very tranquil and welcoming environment for our new baby to come. It was so peaceful in there and the soft nature sounds in the background were the perfect addition to the environment.
7. Having herbal tinctures really made a difference! I used different ones at different times, during my hour of labor: Bach's Rescue Remedy, Bach's White Chestnut flower essence, and Smooth Transitions by Wish Garden Herbs. Smooth Transitions was absolutely wonderful in helping to snap me in to delivery mode when I was starting to "loose it" and feel the pain was too much to handle.
8. Natural ginger ale really helped for when I began feeling queasy and nauseous.
9. Trusting my instincts. Each birth is different and you never know what to expect. Although my contractions were still at about 4-5 minutes apart, I felt like I needed to push. Sure enough with the first push, my husband excitedly announced, "I see the baby's head!". I really wasn't expecting the baby to come so soon. In the past, I wasn't pushing until my contractions were coming like crashing waves, one after another without a break. This time around, I just went with my instinct and sure enough the baby came quite quickly. I was pleasantly surprised!
10. Choosing to have a water birth! The comfort the water provided was so awesome, I only wish I had done it before! The pool I got is called, Birth Pool in a Box, and it was very comfortable. It was large enough to fit both my husband and I, deep enough to be covered with water, and the floor was padded which was really great. The water soften the sharpness of the contractions, and when it came time to push it was easy to get into whatever position felt comfortable to me. The pain one feels when pushing was eased tremendously for me as well. If it is God's will for us to have more children, I definitely want to try for a water birth again.