I am Mama Cow: Baby Quill’s Unplanned Unassisted Home Birth (Part 1)

Home Birth Part 1

If you follow me on Facebook, you know the birth of our second child, baby Quill, just occurred at home- completely unplanned and I’d say pretty much unassisted to top it off. It was hands down the most amazing experience of my life. (And one that makes me want to have zillions of babies, at home of course. Ahem.)

Allow me to start at the beginning.

Preparing for Birth

As you know, I was more than impressed with the graceful nature of our dairy cow’s birth a few months back. So much so that I decided to make my pregnancy and birth mantra “Birth like Mama Cow.” It was my own personal reminder that we- and all of nature- are magnificently designed, and that my body was more than capable of having a healthy, graceful pregnancy and an easy birth, much like what I witnessed from Mama Cow.

I also took the Hypnobabies home study course, really focusing my energy on the positive affirmations. My goal was to have an unmedicated, intervention-free hospital birth with my OB and doula, and I knew the only thing standing in my way was my own mind. Interestingly, we seriously considered home birth, but ruled it out because we are a good 45 minutes from the nearest hospital, and so we wanted to err on the side of safety should mother or baby have any unexpected issues.

Throughout my pregnancy I focused on eating healthy, nutrient dense foods (see my pregnancy diet here), and supplemented with fermented cod liver oil, liver pills (once I grew tired of eating real liver), vitamin K2 supplements (especially after reading this), and magnesium oil. I have experienced first hand a dramatic decrease in menstrual cramps when I use magnesium oil, so I felt certain it would help with labor pains as well. I also had a whole foods prenatal that I took on days when I felt like my diet was a bit lacking.

I found chiropractic care to be very helpful as well. I went periodically throughout early pregnancy, and during the last month I was able to find a chiropractor who accepted our insurance, so I went twice per week. She specializes in pregnancy and the Webster Technique and claims her clients’ labors last about four hours on average… and I have to say, I’m a believer!

Baby Quill’s Birth Story

Early Labor

The afternoon before baby Quill’s birth, I started having what I would describe as regular Braxton Hicks- there was no intensity whatsoever, but they continued throughout the evening and all night. I’d had Braxton Hicks throughout the pregnancy, but they usually stopped after a few hours, so when I woke up the next morning still having them, I thought in the back of my mind that it could be baby day. Around 7:30 AM I shot my doula a quick email just letting her know something might be happening later that day.

My husband had some projects to work on, and I told him to go on and get them done so he could be home for the afternoon, in case anything started to happen. Fortunately, he decided to stay home to be sure I was not in labor- he would have completely missed the birth!

Around 8:30 AM I timed the frequency of the contractions because my doula asked, and they were four to five minutes apart. Again, no intensity at all still, but we went ahead and called my husband’s parents to come pick up our three year old son, just in case. I still assumed the baby would be born later in the evening or the next day, and thought it best to have him settled in at their house already.

At 10:00 AM I ate my morning snack as normal and hubs went out to get the animals fed/watered in case we weren’t there that evening to take care of them. He also went ahead and picked all the ripe tomatoes, because it’s canning season after all. We were planning to go for a walk once he got back inside, but between 10:00 and 10:15 things started to pick up. When my husband came back in, I asked him to sit with me and time my contractions.

Active Labor 10:30 AM- 11:00 AM

Over the course of this time period I began to no longer want to talk through my contractions, which indicates active labor.

By 10:30 AM there was definitely some intensity with the contractions, but I was still able to get through them relatively easily. They felt like pressure only in the lower front of my stomach, exactly where I’d want them to be for dilating my cervix. I did feel like I would soon be needing the support of my doula, so I sent her a text asking her to head on over, knowing that she lived an hour or so away and thinking the timing would be perfect- I’d really need her by the time she got there and then she could help us determine when to head to the hospital.

We have an “L” shaped sectional couch in our house, and once the contractions became intense, each time I’d have a contraction, I’d get on my knees on the floor in the corner of the couch and sort of lay my body over the couch while kneeling on the floor. This ended up being the same position I chose for giving birth.

Transition 11:00 AM – 11:20 AM

Based on what happened after these last few contractions, I was definitely in transition…!

Around 11:00 AM the contractions became intense enough that I felt a little flicker of doubt enter my mind- why did I think it was a good idea to avoid pain medication? I had five or so contractions with these thoughts and then began to verbalize it- I told my husband I wanted to go to the hospital and get an epidural. After saying that through two contractions, he went on out to start the car. He pointed out that the doula would be to our house in five more contractions, and that was a comforting way for me to think about getting through the next five, but we decided to just call the doula and ask her to meet us at the hospital.

To be continued…

I hate to do this, but the birth story was so long, I decided to split it into two posts. Ironically, the birth itself was very short, apparently I just like to write down every single detail. See you tomorrow with the rest of the story. (Read it here.)


Home Birth Collage

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  1. Awesome job mama! I knew you could do it! Congratulations!! I can’t wait to read the rest of the story.

  2. Pat kincade says:

    Waiting for tomorrow’s blog!

  3. Delia Trenholm says:

    Last year I gave birth to our little girl.. 40 min from 1st contraction till she was in Hubby’s arms 🙂 we lived very rural at the time and the mid wife was 2 hours away she didn’t make it lol

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