This lovely mama shared her birth story with me and I’d love to share it with all of you! Enjoy =)
After my first home birth, I knew there were some things I was going to strive to do differently. I knew I would always want to birth at home, but learned much from my first experience. Although it was beautiful and amazing… there was much that went differently than I had wanted. The biggest factor was that my labor with Asher was very long, and I spent most of the time having labor happen to me instead of just being able to listen to my body… I didn’t move around like I felt I needed to, and I was taking advice on positioning instead of just letting my body guide me. This lead to fighting feelings of self pity throughout my 46 hours labor.
The news of Shiloh’s pregnancy came as a bit of a surprise. Asher was only 12 months old when we got the news, and still felt so much like a baby to me… I remember counting the months, they would only be 20 months apart… I hoped even then that they would be best friends. I laughed A LOT those first few days and took many deep breaths knowing the long journey that lay ahead of me.
This pregnancy was filled with transitions as we were in the process of moving across the country… but were doing it in stages. Months were spent living in one house and then another as we transitioned back to our home in Colorado. After all of the transitions, I found myself meeting my new midwife, and prepping for baby at 32 weeks pregnant.
The end of pregnancy flew by… With Asher, I had gone 42 weeks and 5 days gestation, so I always had it in my mind that I would not be having Shiloh before 42 weeks (it’s in my genes… my mom, aunts and sister are the same way). I really felt great even at 42 weeks. This time I was seeing the chiropractor once a week, and made zero plans to try and make labor happen. If there was anything I learned in my pregnancy with Asher, it was that there is nothing you can do to “naturally” induce labor. I am thoroughly convinced that the pressure points, spicy curry, castor oil, herbs, “walking the baby out” etc are all shear acts of random coincidence that just happened to coincide with when baby decided it was time. They lead to MUCH frustration for me… because it was a false sense of control and lead to feelings of failure. I now know that all of that negative energy, frustration and self-doubt inhibits all of the necessary hormones to start labor… so this time, I was living in peace with the natural process.
Deciding not to have any cervical checks, setting my mind to refuse the temptation to try and start labor, while keeping my mind set on going over 42 weeks and my body aligned at the chiropractor, is what I attribute still being “happy pregnant” so far into the process. I had surrendered to my birthing process months before it came time to labor for and deliver Shiloh.
When I woke up that Saturday, I had this feeling that it was the day, but didn’t expect labor before bedtime (most women start labor at night while asleep due to oxytocin levels being higher)… I didn’t focus on my premonition, just let the day run it’s course like any other. I was 42 weeks exactly and thought it may just be my anticipation finally starting to show.
I woke up to a few light contractions that night/Sunday morning at 2am sharp. They were no different than some of the prelabor I had been experiencing for the last few weeks, but still I took the opportunity to pee (pregnant ladies… you feel me)… as soon as I stood up, I had a contraction that made me think it could be a real one… So I picked up my contraction timer for the first time this pregnancy, just in case. I had 3 contractions 10 minutes apart that required me to breath a bit through them… I wanted my husband to sleep as long as possible, as I was expecting a marathon after my 46 hour previous labor.
I took the opportunity to sit in the dark, and prayed prayers of my surrendering my birth to God. I asked for His peace and for strength in my mind to just flow with it and not try to control it. The next 3 contractions were 6, then 5, then 4 minutes apart and noticeably stronger… I just kept releasing them and asking for labor to get stronger. However, when the next contraction came at 3 minutes, I thought it was time to wake up Aaron to set up the birth pool and to call my doula and midwife. It was 3:45am… and I thought a shower sounded nice. My Midwife and Doula on their way, Aaron prepping… and my mom now awake and monitoring contractions, I hopped in for a luke warm shower. I still felt so at peace with my labor, rocking, swaying and humming through each contraction… it felt so beautiful. My worship music was playing, all of the candles were lit… it was a perfect place in time… exactly how I wanted labor to be. No one telling me which positions to take… just me, my God and my baby, working beautifully together.
Contractions were now less than 2 minutes apart and lasting over a minute… but I was in a bit of denial… I thought there was no way I was in late labor already! It had only felt like maybe a half hour. My midwife and doula arrived around 4:20am… I was getting out of the shower, still working through each contraction successfully. Baby’s heart rate was perfect…. and my team knew better than me that baby was coming soon. I was just in a state of fully surrendered peace.
I leaned into our bathroom counter in a half squatted position, as this made each contraction stronger. I would hum and let the contractions wash over me while the music soothed my spirit. My Doula, Sarah was there now, praying for me as she gave me the most amazing hip squeezes. I started to get pushing contractions…
Rewind one week… I was sitting in my awesome midwife Tiffany’s office. I had been thinking through Asher’s birth… and one of my biggest questions was about pushing… with him, I started out with my body pushing him out involuntarily, but once I started actively baring down and pushing, the process seemed to draw out… So I had talked to Tiffany about not getting checked before pushing, and just allowing my body to do what it knew how to do…. She said she not only was comfortable with it, but encouraged it….
So there I was, awesome hip squeezes, perfect atmosphere, feeling my baby descend naturally. I still was in shock of how I seemed to be going through transition, even though it seemed impossible to be so far into the process, but I just stayed in tune and surrendered.
There was enough water in the birth pool now, but it was HOTT…I decided to try it, but it was literally burning me. I was in the middle of a super strong contraction with the baby descending… my amazing husband just grabbed my arms and pulled my huge pregnant self right out of the water like a super hero…. I naturally went straight into an all fours position in the middle of the floor…
Rewind to 2 weeks ago, I was reading my favorite pregnancy book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth”. specifically the section on large babies, Ina was sharing how the best position to birth a large baby in was all fours, because this is when the pelvis is the largest… I had a gut feeling that Shiloh was bigger than his 9lb 12oz brother… and so I made a note in my mind to try delivering in this style this time…
So little did I know that my husband’s heroic maneuver would put me in the exact position I had planned on but was too far in the process to communicate. The next contraction came, and my body pushed Shiloh all the way to crowning… I took over for this delicate part and did one controlled push…. about 2 minutes later, Tiffany said she needed one big push… without a contraction I bore down for the first time and delivered the rest of my baby. 3 pushes, only one of them did I command. It was amazing!!
I was still so in shock… it was 4:55, not even 3 hours since I woke up to cramps… No one had told me how to do anything. It was just me, God and Shiloh surrendered to a perfectly natural and flawless process.
There was perfect peace as my midwife and her team flawlessly handled my severe post partum hemorrhage. There was no fear… just capable hands doing what they knew to do. I had my brand new squish in my arms and was riding on the high of that perfect moment. The team had me in great shape… and this is when it was Shiloh’s time. They weighed and measured him. I laughed out loud as they announced that he was 10lbs 14oz…. Just shy of 11lbs!! He was 22 inches long, of pure handsome, brawny perfection.
He was nursing right away, and has truly shown us already that his name “The one who brings peace” is EXACTLY who he is. His birth was so healing for me… after spending 46 hours feeling lost in contractions and not in a good place in my mind… to tearing second degree and having a very rough recovery. Now having the birth of my dreams, exactly as I had envisioned home birth… peaceful, progressing and perfect… Now here I am “babymooning” with our new little love… over joyed, feeling fantastic (even with the blood loss)… I am just in awe of how perfect of an experience it was.
Here I am with my 2 boys, amazing husband, snuggled up in our house. Never having to rush out, or feel anxious… or pack up and take him out in the snow. Just pure love and peace from beginning to end… and I truly could not ask for more.
I met Sarah after her and her husband were stationed here from N. Carolina. It was a blast getting to know her in her interview and the last few weeks of her pregnancy, though our prenatal time was brief, I was looking forward to meeting her little one!
Sarah’s husband called me around 4:00am letting me know that Sarah had been laboring since 2:00am and felt her labor was moving quickly and was ready for her midwife! I was excited as she was 42 weeks and 1 day and was scheduled to go in for an NST the next day! This was no surprise to either of us as she went to 42 weeks and 5 days with her last baby so we were prepared this time! Her last labor was over 48 hrs so she was surprised things seemed to be moving as quickly as they were! I arrived to her home around 4:30am and found her just getting out of the shower. We exchanged a hug and I listened to baby (who was doing great) and clearly she was well past transition and heading towards pushing. She changed positions frequently before settling on her hands and knees on the floor. Between contractions, I raced around the room trying to get my supplies together and preparing the room for baby! Finally, as it became clear the delivery was nearing, I settled on the floor next to Sarah. She labored beautifully (and truly made it look easy)! With each contraction, Sarah growled baby down to her pelvic floor and I could see the top of his little head. As he was crowning one of my assistants arrived and I hollered for her to grab a flashlight (the bathroom was dark). It was clear she was not going to be able to get in the tub, this was going VERY fast! Finally, with one strong push his head delivered. With the next contraction, his shoulders delivered but then everything seemed to bungee backwards 😉 He had the cord wrapped around his neck twice and it wasn’t quite long enough to allow his hips and legs to deliver so I folded his head up towards moms belly and he was able to summersault out for complete delivery! This is called the summersault maneuver for a reason! I unwrapped little one from his cord and we helped mom reposition so she could put baby on her chest. Everything happened so fast and only 25 minutes after I arrived! It was such a smooth and fast labor and delivery that I think we were all in shock! We finally had a chance to weigh this sweet chunky baby and he came in at a beautiful 10#14oz! Sarah was so strong and beautiful, she made delivering this juicy babe look so easy! It was such an incredible blessing to be able to be a part of this awesome delivery! Thank you sweet Shiloh!