My Home Water Birth Story
These words were typed within a few days of my 36-hour home water birth. Those 36 hours were raw, real and completely changed my life.
*WARNING: I talk about vagina's and poop*
On Friday, April 3rd, 2015 around 1 am, I started having mild cramping. I thought they were Braxton Hicks and was excited because I always wondered what those felt like. I don't remember feeling exactly when they started or stopped, and they felt more like period cramps. I dozed in and out until morning, barely getting any sleep. I had an appointment scheduled and tea with a friend that I ended up canceling because I was so exhausted and thought I should stick close to home since I still had the cramping. I called my doula, Suzanne; around 9 am to let her know what was going on. She told me they might not be Braxton Hicks; they could be the real thing! She asked me to get some rest and call her back around noon. So I laid down; at that point, the cramping was coming about every 5 minutes. I slept for a couple of hours, waking up every 30-45 min from a contraction and recording it. I was sure they were just Braxton Hicks because they were very manageable pain wise, they didn’t feel like what I thought “real contractions” would feel like. The contractions slowed down after my nap, and I called my doula back to let her know.
She said check in at 3pm, but call her if there were any major changes. At this point, they were coming about every 15-30 minutes and lasting about 25-35 seconds. My grandma came over, and we took a trip to Fred Meyer and Target, I needed some food and thought it would be a good idea to get out and do some walking. I called my midwife, Brandy, around 2 pm to let her know and she told me to ignore them as long as possible, get some rest and call her back when the contractions were lasting longer than 45 seconds and about 5 minutes apart.
So I quit keeping track and over analyzing every cramp and laid down again. After resting for a couple of hours, I got up and walked around outside. Mike had been at work all day, and I had been keeping him updated. My sister and her boyfriend came over and brought me food while we waited for Mike to get home. He had a meeting after work, so he was out later than normal. I called my doula around 8 pm, and she told me to lay on my left side for 20 minutes (I had been walking around, and it was hard to keep track of my contractions) and record the contractions. They started coming every 2-4 minutes and lasting 40-50 seconds. It seemed like things were only progressing, the contractions were becoming stronger. So I called Brandy and let her know, and she gave me the go ahead to order my birthing tub. I called Mike, who was still at his work meeting, to let him know I had ordered the tub, and he left his meeting right away.
I also told my mom to head on over. The labor tub arrived around 9:30 pm. The woman was hesitant to leave the tub because it didn’t seem like I was in very much pain and she was worried it would be left there for a couple of days. At this point, I don’t think anyone thought I was really having a baby. Now it was just a waiting game! Suzanne told me to call when I felt like I needed her, that happened around 11 pm. When she got there we realized I wasn’t as far progressed as we thought because the contractions weren’t consistent, they changed when I got up and moved around. They started getting stronger eventually, and I began to get the shakes which were a sign I was progressing. Around 2 am we called Brandy to come over. When she got there, she checked me and told me I was all the way effaced (at this point I was only 1 CM dilated but thank goodness Brandy didn’t say that, and she pushed me to 3 CM). I ended up laboring through the night. My sister, her boyfriend and my mom slept on the couch, and my midwife slept on the floor. My midwife's assistant was the one checking on the baby and me. She monitored his heartbeat during a contraction every 20 minutes. I always looked forward to that. Those contractions didn’t seem to be as painful because I got to hear my little man’s heartbeat.
I ended up laboring through the night in and out of my birthing tub while everyone else slept. My mom and Suzanne were with me the most between laying down and resting. There was no point where I specifically remember the contractions changing, they just gradually got stronger. By the morning I got checked again and was at 4-5 CM. I had lots of contractions on the toilet (not fun), and they had me walk around outside, up and down the stairs. I got back from walking around noon and my water broke. I took a shower and then got in the birthing tub. The contractions were unyielding at this point, and it wasn't long until I felt the need to push. Mike got in the tub and sat behind me. I was so sick of contractions that it felt good to push. It felt more like when I have to poop so bad, and it feels good to do it.
I kept an eye on my midwife. Eventually, she got out gloves that sat in her lap; that was a sign things were getting close! I was so relieved when she finally put on the gloves. I pushed for a good half hour, every time telling myself that my baby was only a couple pushes away. It felt like a bowel movement until he reached the end of my vagina and then I felt the ring of fire. It still felt better to push than not to push. In between the last couple contractions things were like normal, we even joked around a little bit; I remember giving my nephew a high 5 and joking about the poop (I pooped a lot, and did not care.) I could smell it too, but that was the least of my worries. I sounded like a cave woman but again did not care. I pushed as hard as I could with every contraction. I couldn’t believe this was real life, the numerous times I had seen this happen on TV, the few times in real life, and I was experiencing it for myself! I was exhausted, it had been almost 36 hours.
There were so many times I wanted to give up and thought I couldn’t take it much longer. But every time I thought to myself “I can’t” I turned it into “I can, I will and I am” Those last three contractions were magical. The first one, half of Axel's head came out, I reached down to feel, it was squishy and hairy. With the next contraction/push his head came completely out, and I felt him again. It was so weird sitting there in between a contraction with his head just chilling outside my vagina. With the next push, he was out and in my arms.
At one point she had me slow down a bit so that my vagina could stretch and I didn't rip, thank goodness! When she was doing my exam she told me I had two little tears but that was it, and it barely looked like I had given birth, how cool is that?
I could feel everything, my vagina stretching; it felt like my anus was going to pop out. I just kept imagining that moment he was free from my vagina and on my chest. When that happened I didn’t know what to do; he was so tiny I didn’t even know how to move him.
They said it was one of the cleanest births they ever had. My mom called me her hero. Axel was perfect. I did great and was so strong. I had my ideal birth.
Thanks for taking the time to read my birth story. Love to you! <3
Rawspiration, the eBook
THIS IS THE EBOOK, GET THE HARDCOPY HERE
Rawspiration is an ebook about my journey from a pink haired party girl to a crunchy mama and everything I learned along the way.
I have poured my heart and soul into this book with the intention to change as many lives as possible. The purpose is not to sell you a quick fix or make a profit. The purpose is to better your life, to show you there is a different way of living, that you can find peace in this chaotic world.
In this book I have included:
Here is my favorite review of this book by my friend Crystal Love:"So, I'm sitting here reading Anne Meinke's new book, thinking I was going to have a ton of new, delicious raw recipes to try, but this book is SO MUCH MORE! An extraordinary young lady's story of heartache, transformation, healing & journey into motherhood. I am blown away & admit I've had to grab some tissues a couple of times! Not only is the book RAW, honest, real & full of RAWsome recipes, she's included everything you need to easily move to a more plant-based, all natural lifestyle. I just had to give a shout out, I've never read a book quite like this, very well done, thorough & did I mention RAW!"
Affirmation Journal (e-version)
The idea for this affirmation journal came to me when I started building myself back up after a mental breakdown in early 2017. I took a composition notebook and wrote a positive affirmation on each page. Every day I would spend about 10-20 minutes, pick a few affirmations and write them over and over again. This method really helped me change my mental patterns to create a healthier and happier me.
In this journal, I provide my favorite affirmations with lines for you to write them over and over. There are 4 different categories: Love & Relationships, Career & Financial Success, Optimum Health & Happiness and Peace, Balance & Moving Forward. There is a section where I teach you how to make your own affirmations (DIY Affirmations) and I also teach you two other affirmation techniques that personally help me with pages to utilize them as well.
I made this e-version all black and white so you could easily print at home. There are 8 mandalas throughout the book that were intentionally left black and white so you can color them in!
I hope this journal helps you as much as it helped me!
3 Day Meal Plan (High Raw)
Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you bored of eating the same food every day? Are you looking for new, delicious and easy recipes? Are you ready to experience more energy AND spend less time in the kitchen?
THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!
My 3-day meal plan will set you up to succeed with a new and exciting recipe for every meal! Spend a few hours on prep day to make the 3 days a breeze! Eating mostly raw means very few dishes and pans to scrub, making clean up super quick and easy!
I put a lot of thought and energy into this meal plan! I focused on using the same ingredients and recipes to make different meals, making the grocery list as short as possible. I made sure to get greens and one avocado into the meals each day.
This 3-day meal plan is a spin-off of my larger eBook, Rawspiration. I recommend buying them together. I have so much information in Rawspiration that is not in this mini-meal plan.
What This eBook Includes:
*An outline of the meal plan
*A shopping list
*Instructions for "Prep Day"
*Day by Day instructions
The following RAW recipes: Banana Milk, Greenola, Smoothie Bowl, Green Smoothie, Marinara (for spaghetti!), Ranch, Salted Caramel, Gingery Date Sauce, Quick Guac, Quick Salsa, Quick Chilly, Nice Cream (3 flavors), and Chocolate Mousse.
The following COOKED recipes: Sweet Potato Nachos & Sweet Potato Lettuce Wraps
*There are tips to make this a fully raw meal plan*
A RawMama Holiday: Sides & Sweets (ebook)
Are you feeling afraid of falling off the healthy wagon during the holidays? Have no fear, RawMama has your back! In this ebook I have provided all the must-have holiday favorites, only upgraded to their healthiest version!