We planned the home birth with the midwives program. We already had a home birth with Leo (my second one) and it was awesome.
The week before the due date, the midwives told us that due to the COVID rules (this was end of March 2020) they didn't know if they could come to our home. So I was told that for the next 5 days, if I was to start labour, I had to go to the hospital (which was 1 hour from home). This was not a possibility for us. I didn't want to go to the hospital, or leave my other 2 kids at home at that time. So the next 5 days felt very weird..
After that, we had the appointment at the midwives clinic and they told us that they suggested we go to the hospital, but they also said they can't refuse to come to our home if we asked for. This was good enough for us. My husband also asked what he should do in case of an emergency and the labour was too fast, so they give him some suggestions. We then rented the birthpool, and mom arrived 1 day before the lockdown so we were ready.
March 31th around 11pm the contractions began. They were not regular, so after 2 hours I told my husband to go back to sleep and I went in the tub. I remembered that a midwife in Italy 6 years ago told me that if you want to understand that you are in labour, go in the tub. If the contractions continue, labour has started. If not, it was just braxton hicks contractions. So I stood in the tub for 2 hours until the water was cold.
Alone, I went in the living room in front of the fire, and that's where everything started. It felt like I was in a limbo.. Eyes closed.. Trying to imagine my baby boy starting to go down. I massaged my lower back alot since it used to be very painful with the other births. After 30 mins, I heard the boys wake up. I went there and had a very powerful contraction. My husband looked at me and said "Ok, i'll call the midwives and your mom downstairs." It was 6.30am.
I went in the bathroom and everything happened very fast. Francesco (my husband) entered in the bathroom and said that the rules change the day before and the midwives will not come. They called the paramedics in case we wanted to go to the hospital. When the paramedics came, they told us that they never saw a birth so my husband told them to stay in the living room and if we needed them we would call them.
I was sitting on the toilet and my husband brought towels and other stuff.. He is the most amazing midwife ever! In 20 mins my 3rd son was on my belly. The first hands that said hello to him was his father's hands - Awesome! He didn't cry, just stared at us two. The paramedics just waited until the placenta came out and then they went away. I am very happy about what happened!
We kept the placenta attached to him and we took care of it. After the first day, we put the placenta in a towel and carried it around with him. Everyday we could clean it, changing the salt and putting fresh salt and flowers on it to help with the drying. A beautiful thing to tell is that when we cleaned and touched the placenta with warm water very gently, he started to smile.. Like if we were touching him. It was so nice to see..
After 3 days everything was dry and with a little kick, Michele (my son), chose that he didn't needed anymore. This summer we'll plant it under a tree. We still have to decide which one :)
5 mins after the birth my 2 other sons and my mom came to say Hi to Michele. It was just magical. We all stayed together. It's just so natural and so important if you have other kids too. The day after giving birth, we went to the midwives and everything was perfect like we thought.
For my other 2 births, I never used any epidurals or medicine or anything. I think that we are born to give life, so why put something between mother nature? We just have to understand that and connect with our strength. Every woman has it, they just have to trust in themselves.
Valentina is an Italian photographer living here locally in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her husband and three boys. The intimate pictures shared in this story were all taken herself! (She has also done all of my maternity and postpartum family pictures!) She shared how she recently bought a farm and has a big project there with lots of beautiful locations for sessions. Currently she is traveling the province in an RV with her family - such an adventure! Valentina has a holistic view on pregnancy and birth and hopes to become a doula someday. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful birth story with us, Valentina! You can find her on Facebook or Instagram at More Than Pics Photography.
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