I wrote this birth story 3 years ago shortly after my sixth child’s birth. It was the “BIRTH” or our Birth for His Glory Audio. At the time I had named it “Faith Babies”. I had to share this before sharing the birth story of our seventh child since this is the story that has now become a part of Surrender Birth.
10 days before my due date, Cole and I woke up with a sick stomach, a lot like the flu. We spent the morning throwing up. Then another boy fell sick. Then Brynn. Around 2pm I literally felt the contractions that had been happening since I was about 18 weeks pregnant, Braxton Hicks, move to the bottom of my belly and they became pretty bothersome. I started to feel a little better and when Justin came home, also still feeling sick from the day before, I ran to the grocery store to make sure we had some food to eat in the house, crackers, sprite, etc. While there I continued to feel those stronger, lower contractions. I was suspicious but not sure yet. They could easily go away. I mean, what were the chances I’d have this baby this early? I had never considered it.
We set the kids up in our room to sleep, since they still weren’t feeling well. I tried to settle in to sleep but those darn contractions were still bothersome and I thought maybe something was happening. Plus I couldn’t really sleep through them at this point. So, I got up at about 1am went to the office and began filling my phone with my birth music and the Faith Babies recording I was trying out (I hope to maybe put it together and make it available for other mothers someday). I was having to start breathing through the contractions some but the pattern was pretty erratic. They would come and go it seemed.
At about 3am Trace woke up throwing up, a couple of times. I remember walking into the bedroom doorway and looking at Justin with this crazy look and saying, “really, this must be a joke. I’m not actually going to have a baby while my family is puking?” He asked me if I thought it was happening for sure and if he needed to do anything. At that point I told him I wasn’t sure and I’d rather he get some sleep and be rested just in case. I knew we were going to have a crazy morning if in fact I was in labor and the kids were puking. Nothing was really ready for the homebirth.
I put headphones on, grabbed a pillow and laid down on the couch listening to my Faith Babies recording. To my own surprise (considering I was listening to my own voice) it actually relaxed me a ton (I wasn’t sure it would work) and put me into a place where I could sleep some and totally relax. I was still having contractions but I was falling back to sleep in between. It was pretty awesome. It did exactly what I needed it to do. Bring my heart, my soul, and my spirit before the Lord.
At 6am the kids got up, no one had thrown up since about 4am or so. We all got up and I told Justin today might be the day so we needed to get ready. I asked the kids if they would help prepare the house with me and they all reluctantly agreed. We then set about finalizing all the details to prepare the bed, the sling I’d sewn, and so many other things we needed to do.
I had texted the midwife in the night to let her know something might be happening. I then called her around 9:30 and explained what was going on. My contraction patterns were erratic still. Strong and intense contractions but sometimes close and sometimes further apart. She listened to me breath through a few and said she’d come check me in about an hour. We continued to prepare the house and I was on my feet most of the morning. I took a bath and got dressed. While in the bath I lost my mucus plug, that is always exciting. I put makeup on, I was having a photographer after all, one must look presentable, right?!
At 10:30am the midwife arrived and she checked me and I was at 5cm and moving towards a 6. She decided to go get some coffee and breakfast and come back in an hour. We finished up preparing the bed, got the kids set up with a movie, and my parents arrived along with the birth photographer and my friends, Jennifer and Prisilla. Reality set in, we were in fact having a baby TODAY! Wowzer, 9 days early.
When the midwife returned around 12pm or so she checked again and I was almost to a 7. The pattern was still pretty erratic. I had to stay moving to keep the contractions coming. I moved from the birthing stool to the sling in the closet. I sat on the birthing ball. Once I got to the sling I stood through several really hard contractions. I was definitely reaching transition by this time. The discomfort was setting in for the first time really. Also, they began to piggy back, 2 hard ones in a row, back to back then a longer rest in between. This is always a good sign but harder to bare.
After several hard back to back contractions standing with the sling I felt compelled to move towards the bed. I tried 1-2 more standing up and then wanted to sit down. The midwife checked and I was a 9 with the cervical lip. I knew it was time for her to try and pull it out of the way. It’s the worst part of the whole process.A cervical lip is when a portion of the cervix is sort of clinging to the baby’s head a bit and not moving out of the way. That is the best way I can describe it. This was also the first time I hadn’t had my water broken so my water was still in tact and the lip was clinging.
In order to move the CL, the midwife has to reach in as I am having a contraction and attempt to pull it out of the way. So, she is pulling while I’m trying to push a little…let’s just say it’s horrible. I have had this experience every time, so you would think I would be familiar with it, but it’s just as horrible each time I have a baby!It took a few contractions for me to push a little and for her to attempt to pull that CL out of the way…I even swiped her hand out of the way a few times b/c the idea of her putting her hand in while I’m trying to push out was too much to bare. It was a reaction not really intentional. I had put my headphones back on at this point just trying to concentrate and get to the end easily.The first two contractions she tried to move it, it wasn’t successful, b/c of me. I then asked her to break my water, which she reluctantly did b/c she thought it would intensify my contractions.
I was pretty determined for some reason but she ended up being right. The next two piggy backed contractions were pretty intense and on the second one she was able to move the CL. Once that CL was out of the way, my body began to push all on it’s own. I couldn’t stop it or hold it back.One big push and his head came out, then another and his body came out. It was instantly over and he had taken his first breath.
It was wonderful and relieving and amazing all at the same time. Moments before I was crying, which is pretty normal for me to cry right near the end, and saying I might not be able to hang in there (which isn’t true, that’s just an emotion, not reality) and the next he’s in my arms and it’s all WORTH IT!
He was perfect, beautiful, amazing, and the whole thing was over by 1:56pm. Really just 4 hours of active labor and only about 45 minutes from transition to birth. My BEST birth by far. In the comfort of our home. Surrounded by people I love and friends who were praying over me and for me and for all to go according to His will.
As I had reached the subtle pushing stages trying to move the CL, the children had began to gather into the room, my parents were all there along with my friends. The kids were with me and Justin in those final 45 minutes before he arrived and they witnessed the pure perfection of God’s miracle happening.
A NEW life had entered the world and they were a part of it. I’m so thankful for that.We held him, I nursed him, we waited for the cord to slow and stop pulsing, there was no rush. Once the cord slowed Justin cut it and held him while I cleaned up a little. It was relatively clean really, I just needed to adjust some things. I held him for about 45 minutes or so then my awesome midwives weighed him, measured him, and assessed him.
He was perfectly healthy and doing well.I am beyond blessed to have had a husband that supported this home birth, for the experience of having a home birth, and having the people I love and care about around me to support me. The whole thing was amazing.In addition to home birth being so wonderful, and this one in particular going so smoothly,
I was able to shower, clean up, get dressed, take off the dirty sheets with the clean sheets underneath, and settle in with my new baby to snuggle and love, with all my other children and husband around to make the love multiply.My friend Jodi picked up my Placenta on Saturday, which I had planned all along to encapsulate this time. I fully recommend this to anyone interested. I do really think it has helped with my mood, milk production, and my iron levels. I should be exhausted with five other children and a newborn but I’m not really suffering like I expected to. So, props to the encapsulated placenta!
We named him Beau Everett MacIsaac Martin (it’s a mouthful but I love it). He’s perfect in every way. He sleeps, he eats, he smells delicious and the kids ADORE him.
Praise God for this gift. For his life, for my pregnancy that blew all other pregnancies away (very little morning sickness, no issues), and for an incredible birth experience. I’m so blessed to be a wife and mother…it’s ALL I ever wanted and the Lord and Justin have made my dreams come true.
I pray now that I can somehow diligently, in spite of my own failures and short comings, can raise children who will Love and Serve Jesus.Along with that, Jesus provided a relatively “pain free” labor. I would describe it more as intense and uncomfortable (really uncomfortable) but there is always an end in sight which is instantly worth it.
God designed childbirth from the very beginning. Our bodies were made to create life, bring it into the world, that it would reflect the Creator and bring Him glory. And, although sin came with pain in childbirth, Jesus paid that debt on the cross and to fear childbirth is to lack faith in what Jesus has already completed and in God’s perfect design of our bodies. I’m not perfect and I too struggle with keeping this vision in mind as the time of labor and birth arrive, but I am SO thankful to have the support and the truth of God’s word to encourage me to a natural birth. All glory is His!