Updated: Nov 24, 2022
By Ieva Stuikyte
Luka Teresa was born at home at 41 weeks + 5 days, September 5th, 2021. Luka's mom was dreaming of home birth and was preparing to have her girl at home, so when the due date passed, it all became a bit anxious. Yet, she was confident in her choices, trusted her body and her baby, and was able to welcome her baby girl as she was always hoping for.
Ieva, Luka's mom, joined the Mamamoon School from her week 36th of pregnancy, and we absolutely loved having her with us. Thank you Ieva for sharing your beautiful birth story with other moms as well.
The beautiful birth story of Luka Teresa, born at home in Amsterdam on September 5th, 2021
Since the beginning of my pregnancy, I have made a decision that I want a natural home birth in water. It just felt like the right way to do it. I wanted to experience it all and give this baby a chance to be born naturally and peacefully, straight into the loving arms of her parents.
I really enjoyed the pregnancy, and I was so excited to have my dream home birth. However, my body and the baby have been preparing for the big arrival for longer than expected, so what seemed to be very fast labor, also felt like a challenging waiting game.
At 40 weeks appointment, my midwife laid out all options for me in terms of what I can expect if I’m still pregnant at 41 or even 42 weeks. We decided to give it some more time and wait. At 41 weeks though I was getting a bit impatient and we decided to check if I’m dilated - and I was 2cm! So the midwife did the membrane sweep and said that baby’s head is super engaged and quite low - that gave me a boost of positivity and encouragement to wait for longer. Also, I went to the hospital, just for peace of mind, to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and check the fluids - everything seemed perfectly fine! I had some contractions that night, but in the morning everything stopped.
Two days later I have decided to get another sweep to see if things will start progressing then. The midwife has also booked me in for the balloon the following morning. So on Friday, I went to the hospital again, but after the midwife checked me, she said there’s no point to insert the ballon as it will fall out right away. She also said she can feel the baby’s head - how exciting! What was not exciting is that she quite forcefully tried to convince me to get an induction and give birth at the hospital - she gave me a speech about the risks of being overdue and the higher chances of a stillbirth... It was very hard to listen to all this and to stand my ground and say no - but I did. It just felt right to wait, I still had time, the baby was doing fine, I knew that we just need a bit more patience.
On Saturday (41+4 days), my partner and I spoke to the baby all day saying things like ‘please, baby, you have to come out now', ‘please, come to us’, ‘it’s time to come, we want you to be born at home’, ‘we have everything ready for you and we can’t wait to see you, we love you so much…’. Secretly I was already quite pessimistic and thought that my plans to give birth at home are already canceled and I have to deal with the hospital birth fact. However, I decided to have a very nice, chill day, and after cleaning the house for the 10th time that week (hello, nesting!), I had the longest spa-like shower, pampered myself, bounced on a ball, and danced around the living room in my underwear, feeling like a big round goddess :) We then decided to go to the seaside (we’ve been doing that quite a lot towards the end of my pregnancy. Each time we thought that it might be the last time it’s just two of us watching the sunset. And each time it wasn’t…) While sitting on the beach, I felt that my underwear got unusually wet and I thought if this could be my waters leaking?! As there were no other signs of labor that night and the leaking seemed to stop, I just went to bed feeling quite disappointed but trying not to lose hope - Sunday was the last day for me to go into labor naturally...
On early Sunday morning, I woke up at 5am after I felt the first contraction. I thought it might be just a practice contraction again so I didn’t wake Lukas up yet, but then 15mins later I had another one, another one 9 mins later, another one 5 mins later, then it already started coming every 4 minutes. That’s when we realized this is definitely happening! I tried staying in bed, on all fours, laying on pillows, and swinging my hips but it was already getting quite intense, so I moved to the living room. It was still dark outside, so I put my lavender diffuser on and lit some candles, and stayed again on all fours leaning on the sofa, contractions were super intense, every 3-4 minutes. I didn't feel like talking anymore and when Lukas tried comforting me, I didn't like the sensation of touch at all, I just wanted to be alone, in my bubble. At 06:37 I decided to call doula first, she said if I want her to come now or wait a bit and I thought we can still wait... But then at 06:58, I was already calling the midwife trying to explain between frequent contractions that it’s all happening super fast and intense but she said it will definitely take some time and she will come a bit later. After that call, I couldn’t stay in the living room anymore so I moved to the shower. I remember reading a birth story once where a woman said that the only place she wanted to be while in labor was a warm shower in the dark, and I felt like I want the same. So I took a candle with me, went in the shower in the dark, laid a towel, and stayed again on all fours, leaning more forward during each contraction. It felt SO intense that I started moaning and it felt better when making that sound. Lukas heard me and he understood it’s getting super intense so at 8am he called the doula and midwife to come asap.
Doula arrived around 8:30 and came to the bathroom, sat on the floor in front of me, and her calm presence made me feel secure and that I can do this. At 9:10 the midwife arrived, I was still in the shower but soon after my contractions have changed and my body started to push. It was such an intense feeling that I couldn’t control or breathe through it. I saw some blood and the doula said it’s a good sign! After a couple of pushing contractions, I felt a big pop and my waters broke. Then doula said we should move to the pool and at 9:40 I was in the water, which has just reached the minimum level required, as it took so long to fill it up and my labor has been progressing so fast! It felt so good to be in the water, I felt a big relief. The midwife wanted to check my dilation but I said I can already feel the head and the so-called 'ring of fire'! Lukas said he can find the mirror so the midwife could see better and went to look for it, but within the next minute the baby's head was born and the doula called Lukas to come back asap to catch the baby! After another contraction, SHE WAS BORN, at 9:47! She came into Lukas's arms and the midwife has helped him to put her on my chest. I was in pure shock, that it all happened so fast, that she's already out, that there's a baby on my chest!
I was losing quite a lot of blood as after a couple of minutes the pool water turned into the color of red wine. The midwife has then asked me to step out and sit on a birthing stool to birth the placenta. After a few minutes, the placenta was out, I got the shot of syntocin to stop the bleeding and Lukas cut the cord while saying 'happy birthday, Luka!'
I slowly wobbled to the bedroom, laid on a bed with the baby on my chest, the midwife checked everything carefully, and said that I only had a small tear on my labia and not perineum.
As Luka latched on, kraamzorg has brought me some food, Lukas was sitting next to me on a bed, my lovely doula telling me how incredible this birth was, my midwife being super impressed and surprised that she didn’t have to do anything and assist me in any way during the birth process, that my body did it all by itself... I felt so empowered, brave, loved, I DID IT! And most importantly, our daughter Luka Teresa was finally here with us.
Ieva, Lukas and Luka Teresa