Pandemic Homebirth at 41 weeks, 5 days

After just one short year of moving from Toledo, Ohio her hometown to Houston, Texas Von Lane and her husband decided to try for a family right before the pandemic hit in Jan 2020. Prior to getting pregnant Von started to do a ton of research: reading books, trying to gain knowledge from YouTube, following whoever she could related to pregnancy on Instagram and also listening to her favorite podcast, The Birth Hour.

After a month of trying to conceive, she decided to try everything possible from tracking her BBT, mucus, and using ovulation test strips and they conceived in April of 2020. Two days late for her period, she decided to take a pregnancy test and it was positive! She was beyond excited although concerned because it was the middle of the pandemic and no one knew how long quarantine would last.

Being pregnant in the middle of a pandemic left Von feeling that her options were very limited, but all of that research paid off when she knew 100% that she wanted a homebirth. She did a quick Google search for midwives in Houston and there were plenty of midwives but not as many black midwives she wanted. She knew that she wanted to hire an all black birthing team.

After just four interviews she found the perfect midwife for her—France Coleman. They did a phone interview after just about 60 minutes of chit chatting and getting to know one another, she decided that Frances was the best fit for her and her family. Now all she had to do was find the perfect Doula. Again after a quick Google search she finally found someone by the name of Anya and she was absolutely amazing. Little did she know, Anya and Frances were friends and had worked together on quite a few occasions which made the decision even easier for her.

Pregnancy was fairly easy for Von and her first trimester flew by with no nausea, just mild food aversions and headaches. During her second trimester she decided to get out in the world to work as a nail technician. Getting out in the world means exposing yourself to COVID-19 so of course she was scared but she knew that after being quarantined for 90 days she needed a little bit of socialization. Her second trimester flew by with no complications. Third trimester for her went along the same way and at 38 weeks Von decided to stop working to rest before Baby came. At her 38 week check up she was two centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. She started eating dates and drinking her red raspberry leaf tea and also started curb walking.

At her 39 week check up, her blood pressure was high and her midwife was worried about preeclampsia but there was no protein in her urine so she was advised to start taking magnesium and go home and rest. Von was told to take her blood pressure every few hours and record it. If nothing changed in 24 hours her midwife would come and they would try to do everything natural possible to have a baby. They did nipple stimulation, curb walking, eating dates, midwives brew, castor oil, sex and at 40 weeks they did her first membrane sweep.

During the membrane sweep Von was dilated to 3 to 4cm and she had contractions for a few hours so she decided to get in the tub but the contractions stopped. She was devastated. Her Midwife told her to relax, take her time, and allow for baby to come when baby is ready. Luckily, her blood pressure was regulated and under control so they were back in the safe zone and had time.

At her 41 week check up, Von decided not to do another membrane sweep and to try to get baby to come on her own. That didn’t work and she was back in at 41w+4d and she told her midwife to do all the things. They tried clary sage essential oil and another membrane sweep and before she could walk out of the building she had three contractions.

That night January 12 at 2am she realized she was in full fledged labor and reached out to her doula, Anya, letting her know that she was having contractions that were lasting one minute long for one hour and were five minutes apart. Anya told her she was going to get ready. Von decided to wake her husband and went into the next room to let her best friend and her father know that she was in labor.

Anya arrived at the house at about 5am. By that time Von was nearing the transition stage. She started throwing up at about 4am and from then it never stopped! By the time her midwife arrived at 10am Von was 9 1/2 cm dilated. Baby was not in the best position so they had her doing some mile circuits to help baby move down into the pelvis a little better. At 11am, her midwife broke her water. She was GBS positive so this was the best scenario for starting antibiotics. At 12:30pm it was time to push and Ramsei Quinn Lane arrived at 12:54pm. She came out with her hands by her face, causing two tears in the clitoral hood and labia. They shared the golden hour together and they waited one hour before cutting the umbilical cord.

Postpartum for Von was long and she struggled with breastfeeding and vaginal healing. At two days her milk came in and that’s when she realized her baby was lip tied and tongue tied. By day five she reached out to a lactation consultant, Leah Whitley, who saved her life. She confirmed that baby girl Ramsei was tongue tied and lip tied. She gave her some recommendations and by four months old she got the procedure done to release the ties.

In the meantime, she was able to successfully breastfeed with Leah’s help with and without a nipple shield. She never had any issues with her milk supply; a few clog ducks here and there things started to look up for her. Her vaginal healing finally healed completely at around six weeks postpartum.

Around six weeks postpartum she also started to experience anxiety and she went back to work at 12 weeks. Von recognizes that for some people, going back to work causes more anxiety but she needed to be out in the world and socializing again and work is her happy place just as much as home. Finally, when baby was seven months old, she felt like herself again.

By 10 months she was pregnant with her second baby due July 2022. She is planning another homebirth and using the same team. She hopes to be able to share that story some day as well!

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Von Lane Bio

Von is from Toledo Ohio and moved to Houston in 2018 just one year after after being married to her husband, Charles. Charles is from Seattle and a navy veteran. They have a daughter, two dogs Astro the pit bull & Yogi the English bulldog, and are expecting their second baby. Connect with her on IG @Von__Lane, via TikTok: von__lane or listen to her podcast – Anchored Podcast.

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