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Charlie Is Born: What a Home Birth Looks Like

When I first decided I would have my third child at home I was nervous. After having two children in a hospital via induction and epidural, I wasn’t sure how well I’d handle the pain. I have a vivid memory of having a very painful contraction at the hospital and asking the nurse what I was dilated to.

The answer: a two. A TWO? I had expected a seven, maybe even an eight. But a two?

Needless to say, I got the epidural.

It was the memory of that contraction that haunted me throughout all the months leading up to our son’s birth. If a two blew my mind, how could I even think I could make it through an entire birth? But I kept thinking that millions of women before me have experienced childbirth and if they could do it, so could I.

Turns out, I could do it. I did do it. And it was awesome.

More on what a home birth feels like later. For now, here’s what a home birth looks like. Just a couple photos from the birth of our son, Charlie Maximus Bielanko.

*Note: It all happened so fast we didn’t really comprehend I was actually in labor. Up until about two hours before his birth, we thought that maybe I was experiencing false labor. By the time we finally realized it was the real deal everything was happening so fast we forgot to take photos. So, there are no photos of me in labor, which might actually be a good thing. Considering what the “Ugly Cry” photo looks like, maybe the world doesn’t need to see me in labor.

  • Meet Charlie 1 of 16
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  • Where Charlie Was Born 2 of 16
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    Where all the action went down.

    Image: Monica Bielanko

  • The Living Room 3 of 16
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    I had him in the birthing pool, moved to the couch and then went up to my bedroom within an hour or so.

    Image: Monica Bielanko

  • The Ugly Cry 4 of 16
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    First photo after Charlie's birth.

    Image: Monica Bielanko

  • He’s Here 5 of 16
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    When he was born I pulled him up to my chest and my midwife put a towel and hat on him.

    Image: Monica Bielanko

  • Just Born 6 of 16
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    Minutes after Charlie's birth.

    Image: Monica Bielanko

  • Latched on the First Try 7 of 16
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    I'm so lucky that he's a nursing champion so far.

    Image: Monica Bielanko

  • Relaxing On the Couch 8 of 16
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    We moved from the birthing pool to the couch to nurse him for the first time.

    Image: Monica Bielanko

  • With His Namesake 9 of 16
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    After moving up to my bedroom my midwife weighed Charlie, checked his vitals and all the usual stuff pediatricians check out upon the birth of a baby. That's our dog Max up there monitoring the situation. Charlie's middle name is Maximus for our dog. Yep.

    Image: Monica Bielanko

  • The Best Midwife in All the Land 10 of 16
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    This woman rocks my world. Made the pregnancy and birth so unbelievably cool.

    Image: Monica Bielanko

  • Boy Bonding 11 of 16
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    Dad gets in a little skin on skin time with his boy.

    Image: Monica Bielanko

  • Proud Dad 12 of 16
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    Proud pop of two boys!

    Image: Monica Bielanko

  • Meeting Little Bro for the First Time 13 of 16
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    Like Christmas morning, they woke up saying "Charlie's here!" They slept through the entire thing.

  • Big Brother 14 of 16
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    Eyeballing his little bro for the first time.

    Image: Monica Bielanko

  • We Did It 15 of 16
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  • Three! 16 of 16
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    Call for reinforcements! I now have three kids!

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