September 8, 2014

Audree's Birth Story: The Unplanned Kitchen Homebirth

By Chelsee
Introduced by Amy

Hey friends!  Today's guest post is by Chelsee, a cool girl I met at college.  And, guys.  Holy moly, her story blew my mind.  And since I just went through labor and delivery myself, it doubly blows me away!  Wow...just read it. --Amy

Audree’s birth story comes with a whirlwind of emotions. I would say it was one of the most unbelievable, scary, neat, crazy, but also funny experiences in my life. It was so intimate and had so many aspects that I wanted for her birth, but also completely unexpected and unplanned.

I was scheduled to be induced on March 7th at 7:30am. The induction date was set for 41 weeks as that is the longest that my OB wanted me to go. For weeks leading up to that date, I was having a lot of anxiety and really did not want to be induced. I did not want a long stay at the hospital and I wanted to be able to labor at home for as long as possible. (To give you a brief reason as to my history and why I wanted to be able to stay at home for as long as possible and go for a natural hypnobirth let me share short details of my first delivery. With the birth of our firstborn I went to the hospital straightway when I started noticing heavier contractions. I went in without a real birth plan in mind, got my epidural when I was writhing in pain at just 3cm and labored for over 10 hours in the hospital. Nothing was really wrong with that experience, but for some reason this time around I wanted to feel like I had more say and control as to what happened during my births and to let it happen naturally and try to better prepare my mind for the pain this time around.) This girl sure had a mind of her own though and everything surely was out of my hands.

Contractions started at 10:30pm on March 6th, the night before my induction. They were slightly uncomfortable, but they were manageable and I decided to head to bed to get some sleep. I was dozing off and got about an hour and a half of rest before I couldn’t really get comfortable in bed. So, at about midnight Jake and I decided it would be best to move downstairs to the recliner where I could get more comfortable and hopefully get more sleep. He joined me by sleeping on the couch.

For the next couple of hours I sat laboring and trying to relax while listening to my relaxation music/script from Hypnobirthing. I timed contractions on my phone, but they seemed to be very irregular and not lasting all that long. They would be anywhere from 1 ½ - 4 ½ minutes apart and lasting 25-45 seconds. I kept thinking in my mind that I’m not at the “5-1-1” (5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute, for 1 hour) and that contractions needed to be longer, harder, and more uncomfortable than what I was experiencing in order to leave for the hospital. These contractions didn't seem to be worse than what I had experienced with my first and so I thought I had more time. Plus, even though the contractions were painful, after the 30-45 seconds of contracting, I was relaxed again and again dozing off in between them. After about 3 hours in the recliner, I decided to move to the birthing ball and rest my head on a pillow on the table. Jake was asleep on the couch (which he says he wishes he would have been awake helping me), but really I didn't feel like the laboring was that bad and I was handling it just fine. That was until about 3:30am.

At this point I felt that the contractions were bad enough to merit waking Jake up, although I still don't remember them being as bad as they were with my firstborn when I was just at 3cm. I had also started spotting a little bit. As Jake was waking up, I decided to have a little snack and started toasting a piece of bread, because if I was going to be laboring for the next few hours at the hospital I sure didn't want to be hungry. Jake was quickly (and while still half asleep) packing things up to head out to the hospital when I felt the need to hit the bathroom. Something that through labor wasn't very unusual for me. I hit the bathroom multiple times during this labor and so thought it was just another regular, quick visit.

At 3:41, as soon as I sat down my water broke and I felt her head crowning. I was going through transition, my body was beginning to push and I had no control over it, nor did I have control over my howling/scream. Jake who was upstairs getting the monitor ready to give to my mom so that she could listen for Josh while we were gone, heard the scream did 3 loud pounds on my mom’s door and ran downstairs. He already had the car pulled around and packed up waiting for me, but I couldn’t even take a step out of the bathroom, let alone walk to the car. When my mom came downstairs, she checked me and saw that the baby’s head was crowning. Jake came into the bathroom with my shoes, was frantically trying to put them on my feet and was determined to head out the hospital. But by the good thinking of my mom, she decided that we were going nowhere and she dialed 9-1-1.

(This was at 3:44am) The dispatcher told my mom to get me lying down on my left side. I have no idea how he did it, but Jake picked me up and moved me around the corner to the dining room floor and got me on my left side. At this point, my body began pushing when it needed to push and I really had no control over what was happening. I just kept screaming because it was the weirdest feeling ever. I had no control over the pushing reflex, and my body really had taken over completely. The only things I remember saying over and over and thinking at this point were “I can’t believe this is happening” and “I should have woken Jake up sooner”.

In between my body pushing I kept apologizing to both Jake and my mom about it. Over the next few short minutes my mom and Jake were taking directions from the dispatcher. In about 2-3 pushes (again pushes that I couldn’t force or have control over) her head was out. I remember talking to my mom in a panic about how much it hurt (that ring of fire is a doozy) and how sorry I was that I didn’t get Jake up sooner. As soon as her head was out, Jake was so worried about how blue she was, he kept telling me that I needed to push to get the rest of her out. I can still hear the panic in his voice as he was trying to direct me into pushing. However I tried and couldn’t really do anything. My body pushed when it wanted to, and I couldn’t force it. At the next contraction/push from my body, the shoulders and the rest of her body followed. It was such a feeling of relief. She was born at 3:51am. You got that right, 10 minutes from the time my water broke and 7 minutes from the time my mom called 9-1-1 she was there. The EMT’s hadn’t even arrived yet.

She wasn’t crying at that point, but I heard little coughs and whimpers so I wasn’t too worried about her. I still remember Jake being really worried about her though and trying to clean her mouth out. About a minute after delivery the paramedics showed up, clamped and cut the cord and began assessing the baby and me. Jake kept asking for suctioning because she had stuff in her mouth and nose. There were two paramedics that I remember being with us, one beside me kept asking me questions, such as “are you feeling okay?”, “are you dizzy?” to which I responded that I felt great. The other paramedic was by Jake’s side trying to assess baby and clean her up. My vitals and everything were looking fine and really I felt fantastic. All I felt was a huge wave of relief and almost a relaxation feeling. No pain, nothing. It was nuts! After talking this story over with my mom though, I really think that my body was in a state of shock and that’s why I felt so relaxed and was so quiet.

Over the next little while, they cleaned baby off and got her wrapped up to stay warm. As I later found out from my mom, the paramedics wanted to take her and do some work on her, but Jake insisted that I get to hold her and handed her to me. Never in my life, did I think that I would be lying on my dining room floor holding my newborn baby girl. Holding her was as if the world had stopped, that everything that had just happened and was currently happening was on pause. Those few minutes, felt like forever, like I was going through life in slow motion and it was incredible. Thinking back on it now, I really have no words to describe how I felt. I had just had one of the most intimate experiences of my life. My husband delivered my child and my mom who I have such an incredible, close relationship with was there to see it, to witness it and help guide me through it. I will never forget that moment.

I’m so lucky that my mom was able to be there not only to help me through it, but to document and help remember the story. When Jake pounded on her door just a few minutes earlier, she tells me that she had this instinctive reaction to grab her phone. Not sure why, she did and luckily she did because we had it to call quickly call 9-1-1 on and also for her to take pictures. I only remember 4 paramedics being there, but my mom later let me know that there were in reality 6. That’s a lot of people to pack in the lower level of our little townhouse. She took pictures, because how could you not document such a crazy and incredible moment. I’m so grateful that she captured these details.

The next few minutes or so consisted of getting baby and me in the ambulance to head to the hospital. Before heading out to the hospital though, I remember Jake briefly and jokingly asking my mom if she could mop the floor. Baby girl had pooped all over the floor in the middle of all the birthing bodily fluids and later my mom told me that it was all over the place. She said it looked like the apocalypse, blood all over the toilet, stuff all over the floor, etc. etc. I found it quite funny. Out of anyone though, she is one that can handle it. With that squared away, she stayed home with Joshua, who miraculously stayed asleep upstairs during all the ruckus.

Being my first ride in an ambulance, these are the small details I remember. The paramedic gave me an IV and asked me questions about my health history, name, date of birth, etc. etc. He called about 3 different people relaying the incident. All this happened while I held my baby and Jake was in the front seat. I also remember that dreaded paramedic rubbing my belly to get my uterus to keep contracting. If you’ve ever had a baby you know how awful of a feeling this is. It’s like daggers being jabbed you’re your uterus. I wanted to punch him in the face.

Once we got to the hospital, there were about 5 nurses to greet us at the outside door (I’m sure just to witness this crazy story) and they wheeled me through the hospital up to Labor/Delivery. Jake was running around signing papers as we were walking in and luckily made it with me to my room. I had no idea where we were in the hospital or how to get back to the exit which made things kind of funny/interesting when Jake needed to leave.

At this point, I still needed to deliver the placenta and so my doctor was called. She wasn’t at the hospital yet, so they needed to call her in. While they waited for her to come, they prepped and cleaned me up a little in bed. Here are a few little quirky details that I remember during this time. As they propped me up to get ready for the doctor, I saw a quick glimpse of my lady parts in the reflection of the hospital window. Definitely not a sight I ever want to see again. My poor little body. I also remember the nurses taking off my shirt (because it was filthy from delivery mess) and having a hard time winding it through all the IV’s and stuff. I also remember a nurse taking off my socks and just telling me that she was going to throw them away because they were nasty.

Through the craziness of what felt like 10 people in my hospital room at all times, my doctor quickly showed up. She delivered my placenta, which had still been in place for an hour since delivery which is about the max time they like to have it in. She also had to stitch up my almost 3rd degree tear. It was a pretty rough one because baby girl came so quickly. Except I’ll tell you now through recovery, it felt just like when I had an episiotomy with my first. So in many ways I knew already how to get through the recovery and what to expect from it.

Through that time, my baby girl was being assessed right next to me. The pediatrician did his assessment right there in the room and said that she looked fantastic. 7lbs and 3.7oz and 20 ½ inches long and she was perfectly healthy. Because she had a lower temperature than what they would have liked to see, after being wrapped in damp blankets during our transport through cold spring morning, they wanted her to have kangaroo time and had her breastfeed right then and there through the stitching which was really neat for me. My first baby had a rough start and nursing him didn’t come all that easily, so I was over the moon about the fact that I could nurse her right away and she was doing so well at it.

So after about 2 hours since delivery, the room was finally quiet. Everyone was assessed and squared away and Jake and I were finally able to have an alone moment with our newborn daughter. At this point, we could finally talk about naming her. Jake instantly said, “I really wanted to name her Makenzee and was going to fight for that name when we got here” but then there was a pause. Just before then as I was holding her I knew that that wasn’t her name and was really drawn to the name Audree, as was Jake. Our little diva. With a dramatic entrance like that, Audree it was. It’s pretty neat how a name just fits.

In the many times that I’ve shared this story now 2 ½ years since having my daughter, I get asked all the time “How did you and your husband do it without freaking out?” The thing was, inside we really were freaking out. However, you truly get into this survivor mode. That “fight or flight” stuff they talk about, really is what gets us through these kind of situations. When you have no other choice, you kind of just have to go with what you’ve got and make it through. I also believe my mom and the direction from God’s Spirit really is what had us make the decisions we did in the manner that we did. We are really lucky that my mom decided to call 9-1-1 and keep us at home. Can you imagine me delivering the baby with just Jake on the side of the road in his nasty, beater car? Um, no.

Even though it didn’t turn out how I exactly would have wanted it to, like safely and comfortable in a hospital bed, I’m really glad that I stuck with a natural hypnobirthing delivery. The pain wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be and the recovery was well worth it. I again would have to say that it was one of the most unbelievable, scary, neat, crazy, but also funny experiences in my life. Unbelievable because who really has met someone that gave birth on their kitchen floor? Scary because Jake and I really didn’t know what to do, but with my mom and our natural instincts we just did what we had to do to make it work. If you ask Jake about it, he says that he felt absolutely terrified. If you ask my mom about it, she felt like we were both handling it really well and were both pretty calm. Neat because it was the birth of my daughter with the two people I’m closest to helping me through. Crazy because of how quickly everything happened. And funny, because in each time that I’m telling people the story I can't help but laugh because of how ridiculous it all sounds.

So amazing, huh? Haha, not your typical birth story! I'm so glad Chelsee agreed to share it with us. :)  She is so brave, and her husband too!  And, I can vouch for the fact that it's tricky to know exactly how far into labor you are. 

If you were amazed by this story too, please show Chelsee by Liking and Sharing and commenting! :)  Also, if you're new here to SOM and you'd love to read more stories from cool ladies (like you!) then LIKE or Follow this blog on BlogLovin so you never miss a post!  We have a lot of fun around here. :)

And, thanks for being patient with my slow posting while I figure out how to be a momma to TWO kids! Ha, it's kinda kicking my bum, especailly the whole sleep-deprivation part of having an infant, along with an active toddler. But, I'll adjust and figure out how to take care of two at some point! (Probably when I'm about to have my third. Ha!)  :)


  1. Holy cow that is amazing!! Thank you for sharing your incredible story! Audree is the perfect name for her, haha!!

  2. What a crazy story!! I was telling my husband about it and he just looked at me with large eyes and said, "I don't ever want that to happen to us!!" Haha!!

  3. That's nuts!! So glad everything went so amazing well considering! Gorgeous baby :)


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