Successful Home Birth Story

Why Home Birth!?

Even before getting pregnant with our 4th baby, I told my husband I wanted to go with midwives the next time we had a baby. He raised an eyebrow at that, but I assured him that midwives could deliver babies at the hospital – which was true, but not my intention! After three hospital births (read about them here, here, and here), I wanted to try to have a home birth.

I knew a few people who had used a midwife instead of an OBGYN or family doctor, which is more common where I live, but I personally only knew of one person who had had a home birth (a distant relative). However, I had done a ton of reading and research and ultimately wanted to have more control over my labour and delivery, and felt that a home birth with midwives would be my best option. My favourite thing about midwives (at least the ones I’ve worked with) is their philosophy on birth. I was told time and time again that as the mother, I was in charge of all decisions during pregnancy and birth. They were so good at educating, letting me make ALL the decisions, and being supportive.

My husband was hesitant about a home birth so one of the midwives suggested he come meet her and ask some questions. She told us that husbands were often hesitant about home births, but always became their biggest recruiters (and she was right in our case!). He definitely changed his mind after he met the midwives. They explained that they have all the same annual training as labour and delivery and NICU nurses, plus additional midwife training, and have access to all the resources and equipment you would find in a hospital delivery room, and then some (they seriously bring in a TON of stuff with them). They walked us through what would happen in different emergency scenarios, and explained how closely they monitor pregnancy and labour to avoid those situations – they are very quick to refer to an OB during pregnancy or transfer to the hospital during labour if needed. In a nutshell, the only thing they can’t do with a home birth – is a C-section or epidural.

38 Weeks Pregnant

Before the Birth

I was induced with my first and second pregnancies, but went into labour spontaneously with my third. Because of this I was hopeful this time around I would also be able to go into labour on my own, and was ready to wait for it to happen. 40 weeks came and went – then 41 weeks. The midwives said I could try castor oil to induce labour at home if I wanted, or I could go to the hospital to be induced, or I could keep waiting. I really wanted to go into labour naturally, but also wanted to not be pregnant anymore. We decided to try castor oil at 41 weeks 5 days.

I know using castor oil has mixed reviews from many. I was “warned” by many not to use it, but honestly, I trusted the midwives recommendation and thought it would be worth trying before being medically induced.

Birth Day- 5:30 a.m.

I took the castor oil mixture in the morning according to the midwives instructions. Yes it caused diarrhea, no it wasn’t terrible. Some cramping started that morning, but nothing consistent. They recommended I take another dose a few hours later, which I did, but it still only caused mild cramping. Meanwhile the kids were with family, so we had a peaceful morning tidying and organizing. My midwives were actually all sick, so they had arranged for the another set of midwives to care for us. One of them came late morning to check in. I asked her to check if I was dilated – only a couple centimeters and a little effaced.

Because I was over 41 weeks pregnant, it’s standard practice where I live to go for an ultrasound. I had one booked for the afternoon, assuming I wasn’t in labour – which I wasn’t. So we went to the ultrasound, then check in with the midwife when we got back. She was willing to rupture the membranes to get labour going. Based on my other labours I was sure that would do the trick!

4:00 p.m.

The midwife came around 4:00 p.m. and ruptured the membranes. She had another patient close by to go see, so she left and told me to keep her updated. As expected, contractions started shortly after. We walked around outside and came back in when they started getting stronger. When they were 4-5 minutes apart, I texted the midwife and she said she’d be right over.

Timing contractions

Labour was still relatively easy at that point. Contractions were moderate and evenly spaced. The midwives set up all their stuff and did some paperwork. They were very supportive, checking on me often, offering suggestions for positioning to make labour more comfortable and efficient, but also gave us lots of space.

6:30 p.m.

Around 630 p.m. I asked them to check and see how dilated I was – 6 cm and almost completely effaced, which was very promising (this was the only time they checked my cervix – they said there was no need unless I wanted to know). I guessed the baby would be born by 8 p.m. When I felt like I was in transitional labour I spent some time in the shower. When I came out the midwives were so supportive – I had never felt so supported in labour. Even though labour was intense at this point, I felt really calm and in control.

Birth – 8:19 p.m.

Eventually the midwives suggested I try labouring on my hands and knees on the bed. The midwife’s were so calm and encouraging, and no one was ordering me around – I trusted my body to birth a baby and so did they. There was no need to “push”, I just let the contractions move the baby out. After a couple contractions the baby was crowning, and a couple contractions later he was born at 8:19 pm. He weighed 9lbs 8oz – our biggest baby, but not by much! Only 2oz bigger than his sister. And for the first time – no tearing!!

My husband called our family to have them bring the kids home. I did skin to skin and breastfeeding and waited for the placenta – which took about 30 min to finally come. I then had a quick shower to clean up. I remember being so surprised when I came back out. The midwives had cleaned up everything – packed up all their things and made the bed with fresh sheets. They got me comfortable in bed with the baby and asked my husband to get me a drink and food.

The kids were back by then. They got to see and cuddle the baby for a bit before my husband put them to bed. The night went well, but I passed lots of clots whenever I got up. At one point I felt a little dizzy, but laying down and drinking water was all I needed.


I was so happy with this home birth! Honestly, there’s not a thing I would change. If you are considering a home birth, or even a hospital birth with midwives – I’d highly recommend!

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