**Before I start the story of our home birth I just want to say that though we advocate for home birth that does NOT mean that it is for you and your family! Before you decide to home birth please check with your Midwife or OB to make sure that you and your blessing are healthy enough to have a home birth!**
Some people call me crazy, some call me amazing. I'm not sure which it is or if it's either but just a little over 24 hours before going into labor I was on a field trip with our home school group a little over an hour away from Heart Land. For me if I am well life goes on, that is just me!
Wednesday for most of the day I was tired and a little uncomfortable. This is actually the way I felt the day I went into labor with Bubba a little over 8 years ago. I wanted to rest. I am so thankful that God has blessed us with the awesome JClan who work together, obey, and will let Mama rest on those days when she isn't up to doing much else!
Since we had not started school yet the JClan went about their day doing their chores, playing with each other, and taking turns watching movies. The first part of the day I was fine, up and going around about our day. After lunch time all the J's amd Mama had rest time.
About 2pm I called Daddy and told him that I wasn't feeling so good and we were getting closer to welcoming our Little Blessing. He left work a little early that day. Around 4pm I was having very mild early contractions so I decided to take a shower. This helped a little, but once I got out and laid in the bed they got worse. That is when Daddy contacted the Midwife for the 1st time.
My prayer during our whole pregnancy for our birth was that it would be not only safe but that it would take place while the JClan was sleeping so that they could be at home, but not make it so we had to focus on taking care of them. I started to be a little worried when it was early evening and I was starting early labor since our last blessing was born in less than 3hrs from the start of labor. I continued to pray that God would help our birth be the way we wanted. That it would be smooth, safe, not so fast that we couldn't enjoy welcoming our Little Blessing into the world, that we would be confident in birthing our Little Blessing at home even if the Midwife didn't make it in time, and that the JClan would be able to be apart of the birth without running around Heart Land.
After laying down and the contractions getting worse I figured I would get on the birthing ball. My Beloved was awesome! Keeping the JClan together, making sure they stayed out of our bedroom unless I was o.k. for them to come in, and feeding us all supper. While I was on the birthing ball my contractions were every 8-10mins apart. I was still able to talk, most of the time. I stayed in contact with our Midwife through texting. I also decided since I had some time to myself that I would finish all my "Thank You" notes from the baby gifts we had received. This was actually a very relaxing time!
By 9pm my contractions had gone back to being very mild and only happening 2-3 times an hour. My Beloved and I watched a little t.v. (while I was sitting on the birthing ball), talked, stayed in contact with the midwife. About 10:30pm my wonderful Beloved went and cleaned the kitchen for me, as I do every night before going to bed. I got up and my contractions were back to being every 10mins. I decided that a bath might be comfortable. Now I am not a bath person and we decided to not get the birthing pool because we thought it would be a waste. So I wasn't sure if this would make me feel better or just fustrate me.
I lit my candles and dimmed the lights. It was soothing and pretty nice, for awhile. My contractions seemed to calm down once again, so I thought maybe I could sleep. That just seemed to kick them back in full force so I got in the bath again. This was around midnight. But I decided I'd rather be on the birthing ball, the water was starting to annoy me. So that is where I stayed for awhile. When my Beloved had finished the kitchen he came in and we continued to talk. It was sort of like our "date night" for the month!
A little before 1am things were really starting to pick up and I just kept praying God would let me know when the right time was to tell the Midwife to come. About 5mins later I finally told my Beloved that I needed him to tell the Midwife to come. She was now on her way!
This labor had now become my longest labor. But I have to say it was also the most enjoyable labor I have been through. I was not stressed, I did as I pleased and felt like doing, I knew where my J's were and what they were doing. Nothing had to change just because we were having a baby! It was amazing and a wonderful feeling!
While we waited on the Midwife we continued to talk. My contractions were stronger and sometimes I was unable to talk. During this time I put in to practice the few things I had learned about "HypnoBirthing". To relax and breath, to focus on what my body was doing and let it do it instead of fighting it. This was actually pretty easy at first and by doing it at first made it easier later on.
Close to 3am the Midwife and her assistant got to Heart Land, it was wonderful. As my Beloved said later on it was nice that we were at home and didn't have to do anything for them. We had already planned with them, so they knew where everything was located. Not to mention my "organizing freak self" had put everything that wasn't part of our daily life needs for our birth in my "Large Utility Tote" from Thirty One ( wink wink ). The Midwife came and checked on me and our blessing while her assistant set up all that needed to be set up.
I had finally found a way to be comfortable and the doppler reading for our Little Blessing's heartbeat was great. My Beloved, the Midwife and I just sat there talking. When I would have contractions that were to tough to talk through I just closed my eyes, laid my head back, relaxed letting God do what He had made my body to do, and my Beloved would pour warm water over my belly. (That was amazing! It felt so nice!) After awhile, closer to birth our Little Blessing no longer liked me being in the position I was in, so I had to find a new way to be comfortable that our Little Blessing would like.
I don't know what time it was anymore after the Midwife got to Heart Land and I'm not sure what time it was when I had to move to make our Little Blessing more happy, but it didn't seem to be long after that that my contractions picked up very quickly and my water broke during a contraction. This set things in motion for the birth of our Little Blessing.
I had a hard time pushing during this birth at first. It was very different to be in the tub, not laying on my back, and not having a doctor telling me when to push. I knew I had to listen to my body and do what it was doing, but I still had trouble figuring it out on every contraction. I don't know how long it took, I know it was longer than any of my other births. (Still only minutes though) I remember that I knew I was where I wanted to be, but I just needed to know when to push. The Midwife said something, but I don't remember what it was. I just know that what ever it was it was what finally helped me be able to listen to my body. Once I did that it was a very short time before my Beloved became a "baby catcher"! And at 5:28am he did!
At this point I still had no idea if our Little Blessing was a boy or girl. I was suprised when my Beloved called our Little Blessing "he". We had both thought very much that our Little Blessing would be a girl from the way I carried this time. We did not care what God gave us, boy or girl, but it was weird to hear the word "he". In a matter of seconds I was holding our Little Blessing.
Once I was ready my Beloved, the Midwife and her assistant helped get me into dry clothes and get in the bed with our Little Blessing. We were both wrapped in warm towels and blankets enjoying looking at each other. He was sounding a little raspy in the chest so we did some things to break up whatever it was and with in 15mins he was cleared up. The next 2hrs flew by as we waited for the cord to stop pulsing, my Beloved got to cut the cord, I delivered my placenta, nursed our New Blessing, both of us got cleaned up (he decided to poop while I was nursing him, lol) (We did not give our New Blessing a bath, we just massaged the vernix into his skin.), and we got the suprise of a lifetime when our New Blessing was weighed (10lbs 11oz). It was actually very funny watching our Midwife, who is shorter than I (@5'5"), stand on her tippy toes and have her arms stretched way over her head to weigh our New Blessing.
At 7:30am our New Blessing had a full tummy and his 1st diaper on when the 1st JClan Member came sleepily into our room to find out if her new baby was here. Sissy was the 1st to find that Brother had been born. She was a little upset that it was Brother and not Sis (she was the 1st and most determined that our Little Blessing would be a girl), but she quickly was o.k. with it and ran to wake the rest of the JClan. Minutes later the whole JClan, even Bug being toted by Bubba, was marching into our room to see Brother. They all had a great time looking at him and asking about his birth.
The Midwife was done and she was ready to let us have family time. We hugged good bye, knowing we were all good, knew what to do if something seemed wrong, and knew she would be returning the following day to care for us.
This was the most wonderful birth!!! It was fairy-tale-like!!! Even though this labor was my longest labor, a little over 12hrs, it was the most magnificant!!!! No one questioned me about why I was doing my birth or taking care of my child the way I decided to, no one was rude or negative about us giving birth to our 6th child, and no one acted like they knew better how to care for our child than I. For the first time it was a positive experience that was not a fight, not having to be on my guard or any of the things we have endured through our first 5 J's! It was awesome for the time my Beloved and I got to spend together, if nothing else it was well worth it for that time and connection we made during the birth of our Little Blessing!
We don't know if the Lord will bless us with anymore J's, but if He does we plan to go with a home birth again! Unless God gives us a reason to not be able to birth at home, we will never turn back to the insitutional ways of hospitals!