Berlin Alice Martin – The Birth Story

She’s here! Born at home December 10 at 12:50 AM. Seven pounds, 12 ounces… same birth weight as her big brother.


We had the perfect (although excruciatingly painful) home birth.

The Story

40 weeks, 4 days. I had a midwife appointment at 1:30 pm. I REALLY wanted to avoid induction this time around. Bennett has a pretty epic birth story but I wasn’t that interested in reliving the experience. The midwife did a “stretch and sweep” (sorry if it’s tmi, but this is a birth story).  I had been at 1 cm and 0 % for two weeks so nothing seemed promising.  I left the appointment in tears thinking my moms scheduled flight for the 15th would depart before our baby girl arrived.

Around 6 pm I started feeling cramps, they weren’t that bad but I started timing them to see if there was any sort of rhythm to it. They were about 8 minutes apart and 45 seconds long. We had dinner and cleaned up, I stopped timing contractions around 8 pm.

I poured a glass of red and jumped in the bath. Contractions continued while I tried to relax. Just before 10:00 I told my mom I was definitely in early labour. I skipped this stage with Bennett so I didn’t know if it would last a couple of hours or a couple of days. I told her we were just going to bed and we would let her know if anything happened.

We put on the movie, Trainwreck, I’d been saving it as my “labour” movie since it came out on demand. I only got through about the first 15 minutes before the contractions became too distracting.  I started timing them again, 2-3 minutes apart, about 1 minute long.  The midwife told me to call when I could no longer talk through a contraction… I could still talk through the contractions, but they were getting really close together. Around 10:40 I called anyway. She called me back at 10:50 and decided to make her way over. She wasn’t really in a rush or concerned because I was still in good spirits.

Midwife: “I am just hesitant because you are still laughing.”

Nicole: “I am just excited!”

She arrived at 11:30. I was still able to talk through contractions but I couldn’t sit still. The student midwife was trying to get my vitals but I had to get up and lean over the bathroom vanity every 2 minutes or so.

Check: 4 cm

Nicole: ***profanities***

I thought for sure I would be further than that. I didn’t want to get discouraged, but my heart sank with the realization that sh!t was about to get real. These contractions were nothing compared to what was coming.

Back into the bath. The warm water helped a lot. Jeff was applying counter pressure to my lower back which was also a huge help. I was mentally prepared for back labour but sometime in the last 3 weeks she must have turned around. I have no idea how long I was there for. The midwife asked if I was feeling pressure/urge to push. Nope. She recommend changing positions.

I remember thinking:

This is the point I would beg for an epidural.

The only way I am going to the hospital is in an ambulance.

Two kids IS enough.

There is no going back now.

Why did I do this?

Let’s get this over with.

The midwife said every time I changed positions the contractions would get more intense. For the next 10 minutes (or 20?) I tried to change positions for every contraction in hopes of just getting it over with.

The pain was bad. Worse than I remember with Bennett. I just kept telling myself: You get to meet your baby soon, try to relax and let your body do the work.

Surprisingly it wasn’t long before I was feeling like I had to push. The back up midwife wasn’t there yet, I was worried my midwife would tell me to wait but she didn’t. She very calmly asked me where I wanted to deliver.

The bed. It was all set up. I think I was on my knees facing Jeff. It all happened really fast.

I asked my midwife why this hurt so bad. Her response was, your water hasn’t broken yet. She suggested I try to break it… What? How?

I tried… I can’t explain how, but it worked. My water broke and I felt an instant (although brief) relief of pressure. I think this also freaked everyone out a bit… I just broke my own water.  Freak. Time to push.

Three pushes and, “reach down and grab your baby”. Probably the most incredible feeling of my entire life.

Born at 12:50 AM, December 10, she was absolutely perfect.

Having a home birth was one of the most amazing experiences and I feel so grateful to have gone through it.




2 thoughts on “Berlin Alice Martin – The Birth Story

  1. A beautiful family and beautiful birth story! My daughter was born face-up and so I know those excruciating back pain contractions. I’m hoping this second one will be positioned the normal way. Thanks for sharing.

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