#48 | Becky and Tom's DIY Home Birth

September 9, 2020

Today we're talking with Becky and Tom, one of several HypnoBirthing couples Cynthia has worked with who ended up with an unplanned home birth. When you hear these stories, it's often hard to remember that the couple really believed they were about to get in the car. But some babies don't give quite enough advanced notice and you find yourself having a DIY birth at home!

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You can sign up for Cynthia's HypnoBirthing classes as well as online breastfeeding classes and weekly postpartum support groups run by Cynthia & Trisha at HypnoBirthing of Connecticut

Please remember we don’t provide medical advice, and to speak with your licensed medical provider related to all your healthcare matters. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation, and see you next week!

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View Episode Transcript

I'm Cynthia Overgard, owner of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, childbirth advocate and postpartum support specialist. And I'm Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. And this is the Down To Birth Podcast. Childbirth is something we're made to do. But how do we have our safest and most satisfying experience in today's medical culture? Let's dispel the myths and get down to birth.
Today we're talking with Becky and Tom, one of several HypnoBirthing couples I've worked with now who ended up with an unplanned home birth. When you hear these stories, it's often hard to remember that the couple really thought they're about to get in the car to go somewhere, but some babies don't give quite enough advance notice.

Hi there. My name is Becky, I live in Killingworth, Connecticut with my husband Tom. We have two boys Grayson and Lincoln. And we were able to successfully plan and have a waterbirth with Grayson and so fast forward a couple years later after having Grayson and we found out we were pregnant with our second child and this time around we found out we were having a boy in advance that was fun to know you're having gonna have two boys the day that our second son Lincoln was born. started kind of like any other day in the morning, woke up with just really mild cramping. kind of had the sense Okay, maybe this is the day things were feeling a little different, nothing intense or really different. I'd already been working from home by that point for a couple weeks. So, you know, I didn't have to commute anywhere. And I sent a note to my boss at the time just saying, Hey, I don't think I'm going to make our regular meeting this morning. It might be the day but if you can just keep you know, keep it on the download with the team and and then Tom, I remember you took a link or took Grayson rather to daycare just like any other day.

My mom was here because we were getting ready to go to the hospital. I got through there.

Yeah, my my mother in law was staying with us already by that point. So that morning, racing goes to daycare. Tom is working from home also at that point, right. You were in your office, I was up in our bedroom. We had a yoga exercise ball up there that I had been actually sitting on at my desk at home as I was working because it was really comfortable. And that morning I put on my HypnoBirthing Rainbow relaxation see It's something I've been listening to throughout my second pregnancy as I have it the first pregnancy to prepare and just get in the right mindset. And I just felt myself getting a little more uncomfortable. I was just kind of rocking on the exercise ball just trying to stay calm and breathe doing, you know, just my breathing. I think at that point, too, I called my doctor just to say, Hey, I think I might be in early labor and they wanted me to come in and I said, I'm not sure yet I need to check with my husband and I don't know when I can get there just kind of really couldn't make a decision. Just kind of felt like I wasn't there yet. We also let our doula know our doula Colleen and she said, okay, you know, thanks for the heads up, I'll start clearing my calendar. You know, the plan was, Oh, well maybe be at the hospital later this morning or midday, you know, this was maybe 8:39am. So it really didn't seem like anything was going to happen quickly.

I think. I think we were going to leave you told me we were going to leave. And I'm sure I was texting updates to you, Tom kind of like, yeah, definitely think this is happening and, you know, you know, can you are you coming upstairs soon? And I know Yeah, you were trying to wrap up work because I'd given you this 10 o'clock, you know, deadline. So fast forward, you know maybe that our things progressed. And I remember getting off the exercise ball and trying to lay in our bed and I just could not get comfortable. You know, I was laying on my side I just, I don't know, couldn't get comfortable. I do recall that I had a labor tracking app that I was using to try to try to time my contractions and I kept getting different numbers. I didn't know if I was doing it right. But it would tell you like what stage of labor you were in, I remember and it kept saying early so I kept thinking, Okay, this is all still earlier plans are fine.

Because surely the app knows more than the mother.

Like oh, this is just a really labor you don't need to worry. tells me what stage of labor you And I mean, like, what did women do before these?

Thank God for the same guy for the apps. Right? And thank God I didn't. That's crazy. That's crazy. I just totally listened to it.

And did it and it did. Okay, yeah, let's hear. Let's hear what happens next.

Right? So I'm kind of comparing that to my experience, like, Okay, well, geez, this is going to be an uncomfortable haul here, right, I got a long way to go here. And I think at that point, I went into our bathroom because we didn't have a chair in our bedroom at the time. So I went into the bathroom just to sit on the toilet as kind of a chair and I felt totally in my like morning, comfortable clothes, sitting on the toilet, and I remember just breathing and I remember distinctly taking one deep breath and feeling the baby move literally all the way down in one breath, and I felt and like heard a pop. And I remember from all of our education with Cynthia and HypnoBirthing and the research that I done, and this was the second time around, okay, that maybe that was the mucus plug. I was kind of like, but I literally felt him move in one breath from top to bottom.

Trisha, can it ever pop like that ? You are already fully diluted because you're saying the baby you actually felt the baby move down into your it was one breath. I just felt him move down as I was sitting up.

So okay, I'm not sure what that mean your cervix had to been already fully diluted so kind of in the mucus plug back at that point. Did you consider asking me app what the Pops?

I'm sure it would have been able to tell you.

I think I've abandoned the app at that point.

I think the green the text chat with Tom just Hey, you know, I think you yelled for me.

Yeah, I think you probably weren't even texting at that point. You're probably just holding on for dear life. And you know, whoever is available come to me now. Well, yeah, it was just, you know, this breath and this just feeling of Whoa, something some sort of release or something. And then yes, I think I said Tom, and I yelled for Tom. And then it was kind of funny, right? How because your mother in law was in our kitchen, which is kind Kind of in between, I guess the sound waves of our bedroom to Tom's office. And I think she said Tom Becky's calling you. And then what you ran upstairs and what do you remember?

Yeah, I ran upstairs and you, you know, you were, you know, definitely something was different. You said, Can you see the baby's head and I could see the baby's head? I there was no question. And my first thought was, how do we put this on hold and get to the hospital? You know? Because this was not you know, what we were expecting and then, you know, I think right at right after that I call the doula and I was like, Well, what, what should we do? Call me she's called Nighthawk she's like, call 911. And I was like, Oh, yeah, that makes sense. The query, I was in a little bit of shock at first. So I did we call 911. And I think I was you know, Becky, what, like something just sort of, I can't all the thing I can describe is that in these kind of situations like you just you're not really, you're conscious, but you're not like, I just wasn't really stressed or, you know, I was definitely worried. But I was just really focused, I think, well, I guess, because it was clear that this was going to happen. And it was clear, like, the baby's gonna calm and that's what I call the dual. And she said, you know, call 911, which kind of makes sense when I tell a story, but at the time, it was like, I don't know what I was thinking. It was like, of course you call 911 to get an ambulance here, so you get to the hospital. So anyway, but it was going to happen long before the ambulance got here. And then I called 911. And the operator. I just remember like, we were in the bathroom, the volume of the phone was that she was like really talking loud. And like she was yelling, like, seemed like she was nervous or something to it. So I was just telling Becky that, you know, you know, I don't know why, like, we'll get on all fours. No idea why we would do that. And so the it happened so fast, and he came just like he is personalities like this now he's just like Like ready for the next thing, he came out so fast. I barely got them. And then it was like a second and the operator said, turn the baby on its side. And I did that he started crying. I just, I just rotated him and then he just started crying. I was like, whoa. And then she turned over. And I'd put him on her chest that I ran downstairs and you know, everything was okay. I told my mom. She was like, what she doesn't even know. Like, it's just going on. And she came up and took a picture and then probably five minutes after all this happened. The first paramedics showed up and one side even gotten there. And then, you know, I was holding him while the student paramedics took her out. And then they went mad blends together and I drove separately so we have a car there to get around. It all Honestly, it was fast. I mean, I've never done it before but it was like you got to be hands ready like catching a little like a moving target. like, Whoa, that was pretty, you know, I wasn't scared. Because you're in the moment. And then, you know, we're driving, you know, driving to the I was driving to the hospital alone, it was like, just all this emotion came, it was just like all this stress and, you know, I just started to cry.

You know, and it's funny, I have a memory of the 911 call too, because I think at one point in time, I have a memory of you saying, you know, listen, I have to go, like, I can't keep talking to you on the phone. I think the baby had arrived. By that point, you were like, Can you just get the people here? And, you know, I've got things to attend to here. So I definitely have a memory of that. And yeah, I remember getting on all fours. I don't remember any pain whatsoever. It was just almost like maybe one or two pushes one or two breaths and he was out. And Tom gave them to me and I just you know, I knew what to do. Fortunately, this is second time around and I had breastfed Grayson and I plan to do the same with Lincoln. And I also just knew From hypno birthing class, you know, to see if I could have Lincoln latch, because that helps, you know, your uterus contract and I was worried about bleeding, you know, just, you know, not being in a hospital and just kind of in this circumstance, but that I knew that would help and, and I was feeling pretty, you know, it was just otherworldly, just very exhilarating. You know, and I think it was I think the first things I said to him were like, I got you baby, I got you, baby. You know, I didn't even necessarily use his name at first, but just like that you and Tom, you know, kind of covered me in some towels to keep me warm and. And then yes, with my mother in law, it was really funny because like Tom said, she had no idea this was happening. I mean, so this was this all happened maybe in the span of 1015 minutes, or one time came up to the bathroom. So when Lincoln was born, and and then yes, Tom described and all of a sudden there were like seven men in my bathroom and you know, hi.

And think I delivered the placenta in the bathroom. I think I did that there. And we had planned to encapsulate after the fact. So we had like, a little cooler ready and all that stuff to bring to the hospital. So I think, Tom, I forget, I think he probably went down and grab that. And they, you know, the paramedics are great, and they took care of, you know, putting that in there for us, but it really was pretty empty. Because I think we'd been connected for so long.

He didn't because usually when we were going to the hospital, they disconnected like, right away or, you know, cut it their processes like the cut it immediately, like, it just seemed like you have to fight the process and pass a little bit, or at least that was my impression.

And it depends on your provider depends on your provider depends on where you're giving birth, but that has been the standard for a long time. But I just wanted to comment on how isn't it interesting that you both you know, described how you didn't feel any fear in the moment that Lincoln was born. You just present doing what you know you needed to do yet. We spend all this time Time all these months trying to prepare ourselves to not be afraid of birth, you know, to trust the process and there's so much fear around childbirth. But then when it actually happens, there's no fear.

You know how to do it.

You as long Yeah, you just in it when it's happening, you're just fully present. And the trust is inherent.

Yeah, it was really, you know, I just sort of brushed these things off like, Well, you know, I just had to, you know, you sort of do you have to do. And then so I parked at the Haas landing, Becky attachments, and I'm in room, you know, whatever. And so I walk up to the base of the station, and then they're like, are you you know, the nurses were like, Are you the father? I was like, yeah, and they were like, yeah, they were like, so excited that, you know, I delivered the baby because not very many fathers do that. And they were super excited about handing me the birth certificate so that I can sign it. It was like I didn't it was kind of cool. Yeah, I'm on his birth certificate as you know, basically I think we're a physician with signed by legitimately and legally delivered our second born.

That's a new twist on getting an honorary doctorate.

Our friends, I think they were calling the doctor Tom.

My uncle told me I should see I should submit the delivery chart right? Yeah, right

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How quickly did you get to come home?

Yeah, it's a good question. So. So I think we say Lincoln was born around 1012 in the morning because we weren't exactly sure a couple minutes here or there. And I think we hoped I you know, I would have gone home same day, so I was Group B strep, positive. I think that's why the hospital kept us for Did I say two nights? I can't remember. I think they kept us an extra night. Because of that. Just Yeah, just to watch and make sure but yeah, he was you know, we understood the concern and, and so we stayed two nights. You wouldn't feel like when you had to call Tom and you said this is happening right now.

Oh, my God. You know, I think kind of like Tom was saying was very in the moment. I was focused but relaxed, and I do yoga sometimes. So I, you know, I think the breath can be such a powerful tool for many things, especially stress relief, and you know, this is a really stressful situation. And but I was very focused. I think afterwards I was exhilarated and I think just yeah, you just feel like a superhero in some degree, which it's an everyday thing, but you do just feel very blessed, excited. I just remember, you know, being at the hospital and really feeling great. And, you know, I really felt pretty fantastic. I, you know, in terms of any complications or anything like that I was, you know, in pretty good shape and just really happy and just kind of in disbelief a little bit too, because it was not the plan. So, yeah, so it was Yeah, just really amazing. Well, you had an undisturbed unmedicated birth, which results in that beautiful cascade of oxy tosun all the right hormonal combination to literally feel like Superwoman after, you know and that and you just feel great when Earth goes that way. And it's true. And I remember like when Tom describes, you know, driving to the hospital and I was in the ambulance with the paramedics who were really great and really nice, and I was just in this, I think glowing, hyper excited, you know, just amped up state, I think, yeah, it just felt like you feel really powerful in a weird way. So, like, you can do anything, you know, I kind of think about this as if I could do that. There's not a lot in life that I can't handle in some way.

So Tom, tell us something else. What did did you get congratulated more than usual? Yeah.  Like Superman.

Yeah, I tried to use it sparingly because you know, then you want to but I use it every now and again, I actually until this podcast came up, you know, a, every now and again, we think about it or I think about it, but I don't It's not something that I think about on the read on a regular basis, which is kind of interesting. So, this is this is, this is the truth. Two things that I recall went through my mind. One was, thank God, I, this isn't one a second or second child. And to thank God that I watched that birthing video that you shared, it's like a it's like a guy thing. I think it's like, you know, you watch these, like, Do It Yourself videos, you know, I can figure that I can do that myself. And that's what kind of went through my mind a little bit like I can get I got this, I've seen this, you know, I don't know if that was real or not, but that's really what I thought and, and so I also felt like, you know, we were really well informed because we, at least I felt like I understood a lot more than I would have if it just, we weren't educated. We had no idea what we were doing. I mean, we really had no idea what we're doing, but a lot of adjusters are like, came naturally. Like it felt very like I sort of like instinctually you know, Know how to do this, or at least you know what you're supposed to do as a partner of somebody giving birth, like it just sort of happened. It's really interesting. It's very, you know, like animalistic. It's like it's at your core that you don't even realize you have a lot of it's instinctual and you need to do your research and be open minded. But you also really need to trust yourself and believe yourself because we are really capable of so much.

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Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood.

You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). 

To join our monthly newsletter, text “downtobirth” to 22828.

About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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