Our Second Son: A Home Birth Story!

Light cramps, this is going to be easy! Right?!?!

I must start this post, my second son’s home birth story, by telling you a bit about my first birth with my first son, 3 years prior. I had a natural, unmedicated water birth at a hospital assisted by two midwives and a doula, the entire labour was about 14 hours long and I spent most of that time in the tub, delivering my son underwater. This was one of the hardest yet most amazing things, both physically and emotionally, that I have ever done in my entire life.

My second birth took place a year ago and as my son’s first birthday approaches I finally sit down to write a full post about it. I wrote down quick notes about it in my journal but here is the complete story…

I remember I was huge and four days past my due date, I had a midwives appointment that day and a scheduled membrane sweep I requested. I had gone into labour with my first right after having a sweep so I knew it was likely I was going to go into labour this time as well. Coincidentally I had the sweep done by the same midwife who did the sweep back then and she did it again! I came home to light cramping and the feeling of labour starting!

I had light cramping on and off most of the afternoon and I sat on my exercise ball while my oldest coloured and did crafts at the table. For this birth I had decided to have a home water birth and we were under the care of the same midwives who delivered my first son. I also hired a doula to help me through labour and my mom was staying with us as she was visiting from Calgary. I was very lucky to have a fantastic support system around me!

He tells me he is “fishing” as we set up the pool

By 6:00 p.m. our doula was already at our place setting up the pool and getting things ready. Contractions were very light and I remember naively thinking that maybe second births were not as painful. The intensity was nowhere near as hard as with my first labour, but then again I had back labour then so the contractions I experienced with my first were a lot stronger than most people ever experience.

I was not hungry at all but I remember our doula serving me some chicken noodle soup for dinner and encouraging me to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. After dinner she suggested doing the Miles Circuit to help baby descend on the cervix.

By 8:00 p.m. my contractions were pretty regular, about 3 minutes apart and lasting over a minute so my husband started setting up the bed and filling up the pool with water.  At around 8:30 p.m. one of our midwives arrived and I was about 4 cm dilated. We did some open-knee to chest positions to help get baby ready and we waited as she prepared all of the equipment.

Suddenly contractions seemed to have slown down a bit so we headed to our room to do some pelvic releases while listening to Hypnobabies. My mom was reading a bed time story  to my son and he was getting ready to go to sleep.

By 10:00 p.m. my midwife recommended I try sleeping a bit to see if my contractions came back, she heads to her place to catch some sleep too and I am instructed to call her as soon as the contractions pick up and get stronger again. I went to lay down in bed and rest, no sleep for me though, all of a sudden at around 11:30 p.m. I felt lots and lots of movement in my belly, I sat on the birth ball and some very intense contractions came, slow at first then very fast.

The beginning of the very strong contractions, painful!!!

It was midnight, my oldest was sleeping peacefully in the room next door and the midwife was on her way. My contractions kept getting stronger and stronger and I knew the moment we had all been waiting for was near.  Both my husband, doula and my mom were massaging my lower back and handing me water to drink, helping me get through the contractions.

12:20 a.m. I was feeling lots of pressure, very painful contractions and I felt like pushing, we called the midwife again and she stayed on the phone as she was speeding through town in the snowy night.

Finally the midwife arrived and at that point I was already on the bed, 7cm dilated and ready to push. She was setting everything up and I wanted to move to the pool at that point but seeing where we were at the midwife recommended to stay put, things were happening extremely FAST!  It was 1:00 a.m, our second midwife arrived and his head started crowning, as baby was coming out he experienced shoulder dystocia and needed a bit of help coming out, thankfully the midwives were very experienced and perfectly managed the situation,  after about ten minutes of pushing he was finally born!

He is here!!!!


He was immediately put on my chest, a healthy, pink baby boy and he started breastfeeding like a champ right away. He met his Dad and my mom. Then he got measured and checked by the midwives, his older brother woke up right on time and he got to meet his baby brother too!

Hello brother!!

I didn’t end up having a water birth this time around but I did have a perfect home birth, I loved being able to crawl back in bed after his birth as everyone left to just enjoy our time with our new son, in our own bed, at our home without any bright lights and loud noises disturbing our sleep. Would I have another home birth if I had a third baby? Absolutely!

Hello world!

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!

12 responses to “Our Second Son: A Home Birth Story!”

  1. Love this post and the gorgeous photos! Go mama go!!

  2. Beautiful!

  3. Beautiful indeed! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Thank you for your beautiful story and pictures. I think I am wanting more of a home birth now for my second. I remember how noisy it was for me at Women’s Hospital in Vancouver. Not sure how Calgary’s system is now that I’m here…but after reading this..I’m leaning towards home birth!

    • My first one was born at Women’s as well, lovely nurses and a beautiful room BUT it was so loud and bright, very disruptive as we got 0 rest during our stay!

  5. I never did manage to have a home birth, though I went through 7. With my 5th child I wanted a home birth but my Dr was against it and persuaded me to go into hospital for the birth and boy was I glad about that afterwards. It was an extremely long, hard labour and I really did want to give up and just go home, I was exhausted (remember this was my 5th!) – he eventually put in an appearance. He turned out to be a big baby with a big head (he still has that!) hence the more difficult birth. He was born with the cord around his neck but luckily it was long enough not to have caused any damage. Had I had a home birth I’d have been convinced it was difficult because of that fact alone.

    • Home births are definitively not for everyone! If there are any medical concerns it is best to go to the hospital. We were prepared to transfer to a hospital if anything caused any concern with regards to baby or mom’s safety. Happy to hear everything went great with your 5th birth!

  6. What a fabulous birth story. I am glad it was all so positive for you.

  7. Great Post – Congrats

  8. Thank you for sharing this story with us. So glad you had a wonderful support team there.

  9. Love this post and thebeautiful photos

  10. Thanks for sharing

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