Sage’s Birth Story: From Home Birth to Hospital

Lydia dreamed of having a home birth. However, when labor got off to an unexpected start, she and her fiancé Gabriel went to St. Luke’s to deliver their first child, Sage. This is her birth story.

I’ve always wanted a home birth – since I was a kid! It was a dream of mine. I wanted to have a water birth, and I knew that most hospitals don’t allow that. Also, I wanted the comfort of being at home, lying in my own bed after having my baby, and being in my own space. Naturally, when I got pregnant with my first, I was so excited to start planning.

We had a midwife who was going to attend the birth at our home. Our plan was that after my water broke, I would labor at the house, and eventually go into the pool we had set up for the water birth. Just my fiancé Gabe and our midwife would be there. But, as we got close to the delivery date, I started leaking fluid.

We did an amniotic fluid test, but that came back negative. I waited another day, and when I was still leaking, I took the test again. That one was positive. That meant I had been leaking amniotic fluid over 48 hours. That put me at risk for infection. I was also concerned that my body wasn’t kicking into active labor.

My midwife recommended I go to the hospital. My fiancée and I were disappointed, but we knew it was the right thing. So, we grabbed what we needed and headed out.

From home to hospital
We had chosen St. Luke’s as our back-up because we thought the Birthing Center had a natural feel to it. Before we arrived, my midwife told the staff I had wanted to have a home birth. Once we got there, they got me situated and went through my birthing plan with me. I was so happy with how they respected my preferences.

We had an amazing nurse, Naomi. She had been a doula for 12 years and had done a lot of home births. She had suggestions to make our experience similar to delivering at home. She gave us options for the placenta that I hadn’t considered. I also didn’t have to take antibiotics for the leaking amniotic fluid. I was really happy with all of that.

To start active labor, they gave me Pitocin at 6 am. Around 8 am, I was finally in active labor.

A minimally invasive labor experience
Naomi stayed with us during the whole birthing process. She taught Gabe how to help during contractions and me how to breathe for pain management. She helped him stay involved and feel like he was an important part of everything.

She brought us a peanut ball (an exercise ball shaped like a peanut). I hadn’t heard of that before. I used it while lying on my side, between my knees to help relieve pressure.

Naomi also brought us a bunch of essential oils and a diffuser. She gave me a bunch of choices for scents. I think I chose lavender. When I was nauseous, she had me smell peppermint. There was a citrus one, too!

One of my favorite things was the giant, really nice bathtub right in the room. It just makes you feel weightless. It takes pressure off other parts of the body, so you’re not focused on anything else other than the contractions coming in. Once I had the urge to push, they had me get out of the water to deliver, and my midwife assisted as a doula.

My water fully broke at 1 pm, and our little girl Sage was born at 3:50 pm.

Mom and dad holding newborn baby

Welcome to the world, Sage Elaine
Gabriel held her first, and then passed her up to me. He was so excited about that.

Sage stayed with us in the room the whole time. The nurses offered to take care of her if I needed to rest, but I kept her. We stayed just the night she was born, then went home the next day.

We kept the placenta. We are going to plant a tree with it. I love that they showed it to me.

Overall, it was a great experience. I was able to move around as I pleased and eat during my labor. It was very quiet. There was even a great view of Lake Superior out our window. “If I couldn’t have a home birth, this was definitely the next best thing.”

Read more birth stories from moms like Lydia.

Mom, dad and baby sit outside on a fall day smiling.

St. Luke’s Birthing Center is located in Duluth, MN, with St. Luke’s clinics in the surrounding region, including Superior, WI. To schedule a tour of St. Luke’s Birthing Center, call 218.249.5605.

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