♥Baby: Baby Hudson
Born at Home to:
♥Natural Mama: Karla Mills ♥Proud Daddy: Kellen
I’m so thankful to moms like Karla Mills who share their intimate birth stories with my readers. With my birth just around the corner she definitely re inspired me to see that our bodies were meant to birth and we can do it! Karla is a work from home mommy who works hard for her boss and her family. Her boss (Nick Vujicic) is a motivational speaker who has no arms and no legs and travels and speaks all over the world to hundreds of thousands of people. He has two organizations and Karla is the Chief Operating Officer for one of them called Attitude is Altitude . It’s amazing because we have shared Nick Vujicic’s story many times with the teens in our youth ministry, so it’s so cool to know Karla works for such an inspirational man! Thank you Karla for being a strong mama and sharing your story with us!
QUESTIONS FOR THE MAMA:
1. What made you want to have a natural child birth?
My husband and I watched “The Business of Being Born” on Netflix and we both immediately felt strongly against taking any drugs, etc, through the birthing process.
2. Did you take any birthing classes to help you prepare for a natural birth?
No, we only took classes that were non-birth related; eg- breastfeeding, baby care, etc.
3. Best advice you can give to someone who wants a natural childbirth but is afraid?
In the grand scheme of things it’s just a few hours of pain to go through – at the time it may suck so badly and be the worst thing you ever experienced, BUT then the BEST thing you’ve ever experienced comes next when you meet that beautiful baby!
4. A quick tip you can share for first time moms or something you wish you had known before you became a mom?
For me I wasn’t prepared for the recovery. I thought after all the “hard work” (labor and birthing) is done, then I will just be super mom and be back to normal and able to do everything, plus be a new mom. Ummmm, no. Recovery takes time. Things hurt down in places that never had hurt before… and healing takes time. Be ok with resting a ton & allowing things to be done for you, while you just feed and cuddle your baby and take care of yourself.
Baby Hudson was due on February 5th or 6th, 2013 (I had a different due date given to be by an OB that I went to when first pregnant, to the due date my midwives gave me when I later found them and decided to go with them for my birthing instead of the OB). My hubby and I had decided around 13 weeks into my pregnancy after watching “The Business of Being Born”, that an all natural homebirth was the way we wanted to bring our baby into the world. So after we had met with an OB and had an ultra sound one time at around 10 weeks, we didn’t meet with any health care providers again until we chose our midwives and had check ups with them from around the 15-16 week mark.
I loved my midwives – there were two of them, and I met with them each month to begin with, alternating which one I saw each time, and I would spend an hour or so with them, in their house, getting to know them, spending time just chatting, on top of doing my regular appointment checks, etc. It was such a nice experience, compared to what I have heard from a lot of people I know who would go to a doctor’s waiting room for up to an hour, to then go into their OB for just a few minutes. It was nice to become friends with the people who were going to be delivering my first baby.
Throughout my pregnancy I had no complications, and didn’t experience morning sickness really, aside from occasionally feeling a little nauseous. My main “symptom” of pregnancy, aside from the growing belly, was being tired a lot. So I really couldn’t complain much about my pregnancy.
But I’ll hurry up and get to the actual birthing part… On Wednesday, January 30th, at maybe around 2am I started to have contractions that definitely felt different to anything I had felt during the pregnancy, so I for sure thought that it must be time… or almost time. They were totally bearable, and not really painful- just intense and strange feeling. So I timed them, but since they were happening in and out of dozing off to sleep, I realized it wasn’t quite crunch time yet, so no need to phone my midwives. When I woke up properly later that morning the contractions had stopped though. Ahhh, so maybe this was one of those “false labors” that I had heard about. Since nothing else was happening I told my hubby not to worry, to go to work as normal and just make sure he has his phone handy in case anything happened later that day. Nothing did.
We went to bed as normal that night, and lo and behold around 2am the next morning (Thursday) the contractions started again. The same thing as the previous night, but even more intense, and therefore there was much less dozing off to sleep. But in timing the contractions they never were close enough together or long enough for it to be time to call the midwives, so I knew that my baby boy wasn’t coming out for a few hours at least still. When it was time to get out of bed the contractions again disappeared. At this point I was pretty bummed out. Where on earth was this baby and why did he keep faking his upcoming entrance to the outside world?
At around 5pm that evening I was sitting on the couch with my husband, just taking it easy when the contractions started coming back, getting more and more intense. They would come in weird rhythms of being long and frequent, but then after 20 minutes or so they would be less frequent, and shorter. So I wasn’t sure what to do. They were getting painful, but still a pain that was evident, but not nearly as crazy as people say that it is, making me think “if this is labor- it’s not so bad after all, I can totally rock this”! Hahahaha, little did I know that what I was going through at that point was nothing!!! Around 8pm we had one of the midwives come to check me coz I was having waves of pain in the contractions that I thought must have meant it is time. I was pretty bummed when she told me I was dilated 1cm and that I still had a while before I’d be close to pushing, so to call again when the contractions are 1min apart for over an hour, or until they feel unbearable if that comes first. So she left and I got in the tub and sat under the shower to try to ease the pain of the contractions. In of course the best timing ever our plumbing decided to get backed up and no water would drain, so I got out and dried off and just lay down.
By 10pm the contractions were happening regularly and much stronger and I felt like it was “unbearable pain” so we called the midwives again and the other midwife came over. She checked me and said I was 3cm. Ughhhh, 3cm? That was still 7cm off what I needed to be. How long would it take to go the other 7cm? Was Hudson going to come out before midnight or was this going to be an all-nighter?
The next several hours were not awesome. I’m not going to lie- I felt like I was in hell. Hudson was in posterior position, so I had what is commonly referred to as “back labor”. Basically this meant I had a constant feeling of a fire burning against/inside my back. When people say contractions hurt like hell, but then you get breaks between them to breathe and rest- they are not talking to mamas who experience back labor. With back labor there are no breaks. There is no down time to rest or catch a few z’s between contractions. You are in a constant state of immense pain. A couple of hours into the “active labor” contractions and the “back labor” and I was wondering why the heck I decided to try for an all-natural home birth… I must have been crazy! I even started to think “what will people think if I punk out of this and have them take me to the hospital and give me drugs and just take the baby out of me”? Lucky for me I have an amazing husband, and fabulous midwives, who constantly reassured me and encouraged me, telling me I was a super star and doing so well. My husband literally held my hand and talked me through every step of the process and was my hero through it all. Over the couple of nights of early contractions he only got little bits of sleep here and there with me, then on this Thursday night- overnight through Friday morning he got no sleep while he supported me through every contraction and the complains of back labor. I remember looking him in the eyes a couple of times, crying, saying “I can’t do this”. He looked at me with so much love, encouraging me and telling me I could do it and how great I was doing, and I could see in his face he wished with everything inside of him that he could take this pain away from me, but knew he was helpless in that endeavor.
At around 5.30am my midwife checked me again upon my request because I was certain it was time to push since during my contractions at this point it felt like my body was naturally trying to push, however, sadly I was only 6 or 7cm. Then the midwife’s assistant (and doula) arrived and my midwife told my hubby to get some sleep and let the doula count my breathing for me through the contractions for a couple of hours, since he would need to be wide awake and energized soon for me during the pushing stage. All this labor was happening in our bed, so while my hubby got some sleep for a couple of hours, he was still holding my hand, laying by my side through everything.
After a few more hours of feeling like my back was on fire, and having strong, painful contractions my husband was awake, and my midwife asked me if I was ready to be checked. I started crying and said “If you check me and tell me I’m only 8cm I don’t think I will be able to go on”. Nevertheless, she checked me and I was so happy to hear her say “Ok, it’s time to push”. As exhausted as I was from the pain and no sleep for almost 36 hours I was excited. At first we decided to try and “go with gravity” for the pushing, and I sat on the toilet and pushed like I was going to use the bathroom, haha. However, due to utter exhaustion I barely could hold myself up on the toilet so had to go back to the bed. After almost an hour of pushing, and a lot of words of praise and support from my hubby, midwife and doula, at 10.41am on Friday, February 1st, 2013, my beautiful baby boy was born.
Immediately they passed Hudson to me and lay him on my chest. The amazing rush and feelings of love at first sight as I snuggled my perfect baby boy totally blew the pain of labor and birthing out of the water. None of that mattered at all once I was holding this amazing miracle in my arms.
The memories of the excruciating pains came back later of course, especially during recovery when I was waddling around instead of walking, and having to sit on a donut to avoid feeling the pain during the healing process. But no matter how much physical pain was present through the whole process, I would do it again and again to have this special human being in my life. And I wouldn’t change the fact that I did it all natural and in the comfort of my own home.
Hudson is 8 months old now, and while hubby and I aren’t about to start trying for number two yet, when we are ready to go down that road again, there is no way I will do it any differently to how I did it this first time… except maybe see a chiropractor or do more yoga to move the baby if they are in posterior position, haha.
Baby Hudson Born February 1, 2013 at 10.41am- 8lbs 10oz, 19 inches
Hudson at 8 Months old. Happy and Healthy. (Photo Credit Lov Photography)
The Beautiful Mills Family.