I knew it wouldn't be long

Homebirth of Lucia Christina Lopez on March 22, 2008

On Friday, March 21, I began having contractions at around 4pm. Contractions began about 5 minutes apart and continued for a couple of hours and then moved to 4 minutes apart. We were at home at the time and decided to go get something to eat before everything began to progress. We went to Celebrity Bakery, a bakery we had wanted to try however the kitchen was closed and we could only get desserts. We purchased our 6 cookies and 2 cinnamon rolls and ended up eating dinner at Cantina Laredo. I really don’t remember much of dinner as I was having contractions at the time.

When we got home, I knew I needed to give Aurelia a bath and get her to bed in case I ended up delivering that night. During the bath, my labor began to stall. Contractions slowed down and became irregular. We called the midwife and let her know I was in labor and then she called later to check our progress and we let her know that labor had stalled. We called Sal’s parents in San Antonio and my sister in San Antonio and let them know I was in labor. This was around 7pm. By 8pm labor had stalled and everyone was on their way up. My mom and brother came to our house to help with Aurelia, as I was unable to get her to bed during contractions. Sal’s parents and my sister, Roni, arrived at around 2am. Sal and I had gone to bed by this point. Contractions came sporadically throughout the night but I was able to sleep.

By 7am Saturday morning contractions started up again, starting at about 10 minutes apart and then went to about 7 minutes apart. Sal made me scrambled eggs for breakfast. By 10am contractions began to come regularly as I labored in bed. Around 11:30am we called Christy Martin, our midwife. She said she would stop by around 12pm (noon) unless we needed her sooner. I continued to labor in bed. Around 11:45am, I moved to the bathtub as the contractions we getting more intense although I could still talk in between contractions. The water allowed the contractions to continue they were just a little more manageable. Around noon, Christy arrived. I stayed in the bathtub. By this time, my mom, sister, and brother had arrived to the house and I requested that my sister come into the bathroom. Christy let me know that things were progressing and that she would call everyone else. Another midwife, Sarah came along with 2 midwives in training, Dr. Cindy (our chiropractor, doula, and training to be a midwife), Angela (midwife in training), and Jennifer Bolan, a friend who acted as our doula. Along with Sal and my sister, these women were in the room.

During the entire labor, I never once was internally checked. Baby’s heart rate and my blood pressure were monitored with a doppler and blood pressure cuff. I was not hooked up to anything. I labored on the toilet, in the bathroom and on the bed. I used, and I mean USED, my husband for leverage during labor in all sorts of positions.

I continued to labor on the bed lying on my side with my husband. At some point I believe we drifted off to sleep. At around 3pm, I felt a strong contraction and my water broke on the bed. I was wide-awake now. I saw everyone putting on gloves. I knew that it wouldn’t be long until I was pushing. Within a few minutes (it felt like seconds) I could feel a small urge to push. I was concerned about pushing on my side on the bed, as I didn’t feel like I had enough leverage. I moved to the floor where I was on my knees, holding onto the bed with my left arm and holding onto Sal’s neck with my right arm. I could feel the baby moving down the birth canal. I knew exactly where the baby was at each point. I could even feel the baby moving back up after my first push. I knew exactly when the baby crowned without anyone telling me. As soon as they did tell me, I knew I was right. I gave another push and the head came out further. I was able to feel the top of the baby’s head. I knew that this baby had slightly less hair than Aurelia but still had hair. I knew I had to get the shoulders out. After that, the baby slipped out and I was able to grab her on the floor. We found out the sex, a baby girl. Later on we found out that she was born with a nuchal hand (hand being by her face as she came out).

I continued to sit on the floor waiting for the cord to stop pulsing. By this time, I remember telling Roni to go get mom and Tina. I was uncomfortable in this position, so we moved to the bed. From there, Sal cut the cord. I still had to deliver the placenta so Sal took the baby and I got on all fours on the bed to deliver the placenta.

Baby Lucia and I took an herbal bath. Aurelia had woken up from her nap and came into the bathroom to meet her sister.

Lucia Christina Lopez was born on Saturday, March 22, 2008 weighing 7lbs, 14oz and 20 1/4inches long.

Attending the birth were: Christy Martin (midwife), Sarah Baker (midwife), Cindy Haggerton (chiropractor, midwife in training, doula), Angela (midwife in training), Jennifer Bolan (doula), Sal, Roni (my sister). I wouldn’t have changed the experience. I feel that my homebirth with Lucia went perfectly.

Christy Martin