I absolutely love home birthing
~ Home Is Where Your Story Begins~
Josiah, you light up my life. I’m giddy with delight and bursting with love when I look into your sweet face. I still am in awe of the miracle of the Lord’s hand in forming you so intimately and wonderfully, yes you are wonderfully made. We praise God for you little one, you are truly a blessing to this family.
Well, originally we thought that you would arrive right around Easter. But Easter came and went with no sign of you wanting to make your big entrance. I was surprisingly at peace with this, and had no desire to rush you. I kept feeling that it was not time. I should back up and mention that on Good Friday my midwife came by to check on me. She determined that you were transverse, meaning your head was below my right rib cage and you were spread out across my belly instead of head down! You little stinker!! The midwife was quite concerned and sent us to a naturopathic Dr. that did aversions, meaning he would manually maneuver you inside my belly to position you correctly! I was not too thrilled about this idea, but he said he would do an ultrasound first to determine the true position. Thankfully your daddy insisted on coming with me even though he had just finished working all night and hadn’t slept yet. While we were on our way to Portland your daddy layed his hand on my belly and told you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you were to get into the correct position!
Well, of course when we arrived and he performed the first and only ultrasound we were to receive this pregnancy, there you were- Head down and in the correct position!! The midwife said it was unbelievable! She had done an internal check as well and said there was no chance that this baby was head down! When I told her how your daddy prayed over you, she said “Well- we should’ve done this at home before sending you over! Praise God!”
Ok, so back to your due date. First week past the due date came and went. The only disappointing thing about it was that your daddy took the time off of work assuming you would be here and he had used up all his vacation time. I can’t say he wasn’t happy to get more time off though!! He kept himself very busy with projects around the farm. He started a 70 foot long porch for the front of our home! He purchased some new goats and got new fences up. I even helped him with that!
Day 8 overdue I woke up very early with mild contractions. I got up and around and started timing them. They slowed down though and I didn’t think it was going to happen, but then they reappeared and as my experience in the past has been with the other 6 labors is once it starts it doesn’t end! So….. I called my midwife and said that I just wanted to give her a heads up on her day since I usually have quick labors and wanted to make sure she would be in calling range! Well, wouldn’t you know it but by the time she arrived an hour or so later the contractions just completely stopped! I felt silly since I had her here and I had sent out emails to all my friends saying it was Baby Time! I stayed close to home thinking it would start up anytime. I even went outside and did more work. Funny story- the night before I decided to cut grass. I got on the riding lawn mower and went over every bumpy uneven bit of acreage I could find, and at high speeds too! I was flying all over the place, almost scared myself a couple of times!! I hoped later that I didn’t scare you with that bumpy ride and the loud noise of the lawn mower!!
Well, Tuesday morning I awoke with contractions again, about 4 am. I thought well, here we go again! I got up and timed them for about a half hour. They were about 7 minutes apart. I started picking up around the house, folded some laundry, and cleaned up a bit. The more I moved the more the contractions were slowing down. I layed down on the couch and they picked up again. I timed them for another hour but they were sporadic. Well, altogether a few hours had passed and they weren’t anything regular and they weren’t getting any more intense. I prepared breakfast for the kids who were starting to wake up and my back started throbbing. I was having contractions through my back and around to my middle. I was starting to breather through them, trying to make myself more comfortable. It still wasn’t anything I couldn’t tolerate though. Then like a light that has been switched off, they just stopped! There were no more that day. I couldn’t understand what was going on. I was beginning to feel frustrated. It didn’t help that everyone was calling, with good intention of course, to find out why I hadn’t had a baby yet! Your dad kept asking me to take castor oil to persuade you out!! No thank you!!
I was beginning to wonder if I was keeping you hostage, a prisoner of my womb!! Every time I started to go into what I thought was labor, I would start to panic! I would think in my mind, “Oh no, it’s here! It’s time and it’s going to hurt!!” I felt like I was scaring myself out of labor. I don’t know why I was being such a baby this time! I was having butterflies in my stomach and near anxiety attacks every time I thought of labor! I confided in your father several times about this. That night we sat in bed together and he prayed with me for strength and courage. When he was done praying I joked with him that I was really hoping he might have prayed that rather than strength and courage that he might just grant me a painless birth!!
So, Wednesday morning rolls in. Same story- I am awoken around 4 am with contractions. I fall back asleep for another hour or so. I layed in bed and timed the contractions. Only about every 10-12 minutes. I got up just as the sun was making it’s appearance. The house was quiet and the light that was filtering in made a nice glow. I emailed some friends again asking for prayer. Surely this was it, we had prayed, I felt strong, I felt ready…. I made up a plate of healthy snacks for the midwife and I for after the birth, made myself some Red Raspberry Leaf tea. Cleaned up again around the house. I was jittery with the excitement of knowing it was time.
Well, I should’ve known better by now. I could almost cry at this point. The contractions were gone again. I layed down on the couch, exhausted mentally and physically of this being the third day of going through contractions and thinking I was going to have a baby!
Well, we get a phone call. A friend who was due 9 days after me is in the hospital having her baby! Although I was excited for her, I told your daddy- “That’s it, I’m having this baby today, she IS NOT having her baby before me” I went and jumped on, well ok, more like I waddled over to the treadmill and started walking. Pretty soon I’m upping the speed and the incline. I’m breaking a sweat and for what? For nothing!! Your dad thought it was my fault that the labor was stopping. I said no- I’m ready I want to have this baby! Pllleeease baby, time to come meet your family I kept whispering to the little one within. I experienced some contractions throughout the day, nothing regular though. I kept having a desire to go to Costco, but I was too chicken. I thought that if I went into labor there and had all your sisters and brother with me, and then had to make the long trip home that I might get myself in trouble. So, I waited it out being very lazy this day and lying around a lot. Your Dad kept telling me I should get up and move around but I just didn’t see the point in it. You would come when you were good and ready and nothing I did was going to change that! The Lord knew what your birth date was so I decided just to lay and wait. I felt like I may never leave that bed again until you were in my arms. I kept getting phone calls, I told your aunt Jenny that I was hoping after all these contractions for 3 days that all the sudden it would just be time to push without going through any more labor. Well, fat chance of that!!
The morning of April 19th, I awaken early with contractions again. I layed in bed for only a few minutes before another one hits. Well, I wonder, is this going to be the real thing today or is it another tease? Then like a slow wave coming over me the intensity builds in around my abdomen again. With a renewed sense of hope I hop up. I made my way out to the kitchen, drank some Red Raspberry Leaf tea, and had a half of banana, and a piece of toast. A few contractions later I decided to go and relax in my big tub. I believe it was around 8 am. I was excited but still not convinced since I had done this same thing the past few mornings. I picked out the cd’s I wanted to listen to while I was in the tub and started the water. With such big tub it takes quite a while and in that time I had some more contractions. I knew deep down that this was it. I stopped and looked at myself in the mirror. I looked deep into my own eyes and said You CAN do this, You CAN do this, You WILL do this!! Nothing like a little self-affirmation to boost your confidence! Well, a couple of minutes of that was long enough so I decided to get in the tub and get into a real relax mode. I had heard enough people talk about the calming effects of water in labor so I wanted to get my body real relaxed and calm before real labor hit. I was still having steady contractions, I knew there was no turning these ones off! This was it! Today I would meet my baby!! I was ready!
I lay back and let my body float as still as possible, with my belly bobbing up I needed to change positions to keep myself submerged. I practiced different positions for what I thought would work best when the contractions started to be more intense. At this point I was still enjoying being in the tub and loving the fact that everything was still so manageable. I was listening to a Maranatha Praise CD but it was getting on my nerves and just then your Daddy finally wakes up and comes in. He tells me he heard the praise music and the water running so he knew I must be in labor! I had him put on a Casting Crowns CD and I asked him to get me a bowl of ice and water, a washcloth, and some juice to drink. I put the bowl of ice next to the tub so that I could keep my washcloth cold to put on my forehead. The water was warm and it felt good to cover my face with a cool washcloth during contractions.
The kids were up now and curious as to what was happening. I heard them bustling around the house, eating breakfast, the occasional screams of a toddler not wanting to share, and the pleadings to come and see mama. These are the joyous, welcoming background noises heard at a homebirth. So much more inviting than beeping monitors, gabby nurses in the hallway and loud pages over an intercom system every few minutes.
Sarah, Ben, Grace, and Lily all came in to say their hello’s and curiously watched me being surprisingly calm still in the tub. It was probably after 10am at this time, and the contractions were about 4 minutes apart. One of them told me I was pretty, one of them asked how long until they could see the baby, and Sarah was begging to get in the tub with me. She kept saying, wanna bath mama? Your daddy had them go out so I could focus on relaxing again. My focal point picture was an 8x10 of Grace looking like an angel. I realized though that having a focal point to stare at wasn’t really what worked for me. I had never used one before, and I guess now I know why. I liked to look at it in between contractions but as soon as a contraction would come over me I would turn sideways and hold onto the tub and lay my head against the cool washcloth. I was breathing harder through the contractions now and it dawned on me that I still hadn’t called the midwife. Your daddy, almost simultaneous with that thought, asked if he should call the midwife, Mary. I hesitantly said yes, maybe you should. As he headed out of the bathroom to call her I almost yelled out, well tell her not to hurry though. Thankfully I never voiced that thought because had he waited any longer to call her she may not have made it in time. Daddy comes back to check on me (us) and I’m to the point where it’s hurting enough to not want to be alone anymore. It’s hurting in my lower back though. It’s a sharp intense, gnawing pain that wraps around the abdomen to a sharp point right square in my lower back. I tell him to push harder and then beg him to stop, he’s not pushing on the right spot. Then the contraction passes. Another one comes and it’s not as bad this time. It’s as if the contractions are taking turns like the waves of the sea. A light one rolls in, then a little bigger one, then whoosh, a tidal wave hits. Oh Lord, help me through this one! Then the calm of the storm comes softly and gently and I am renewed with hope that we will get through this. The gentle giant leaves and a tidal wave washes over me, I ask (ok-demand nicely) for more pressure on my back and this one he pushes on just the right spot on my back and it’s a little better. We go through these a few rounds and I notice your Dad is getting antsy. He likes to disappear and come back when he hears me start hollering for him. He is excited and wants to make phone calls. The funniest thing that he did was bring me walkie talkies. I had to include this in the birth story because it is comical now to look back on. He tells me to call him on the walkie talkie if it gets too bad! Ugh!!!! Well, I decide to try to work through this by myself. I know that I can do it. Sometimes being alone can help you deal with it the only way that you know how, and it makes you cry out to God more too I learned! (o: I have lost track of time now, not sure of how long I am doing this. Daddy comes back to check on me and I am just clutching the side of the tub and refusing to move. He keeps telling me I should get out now, that the water is not helping. I argue with him and tell him absolutely it’s helping. Why does he want me out? He doesn’t know why, he just thinks I should. So, I am scared to get out but I am vulnerable in my mind and think maybe there is a reason he sees that I can’t right now that I should get out. I tell him after the next contraction I’ll get out, but I threaten to just go get in the shower. I jump out after the next contraction and realize my bladder is super full. I sat on the toilet through the next contraction and realize I am at the point of no return. This is the part where I start to panic. I am acutely aware of the fact that my brother is on the roof outside pounding away. I am also aware that someone just came down our gravel road and it’s not the midwife, it’s the mail man delivering a package! I have a towel wrapped around me and I pace into the nursery connected to our room. I remind myself of an animal in labor that walks circles madly searching for any form of relief. (Is there such an animal that does this???) The contractions are soooo close, I barely feel a break. I start pleading with your Dad, oh please please, that’s all I can say. I grab onto him and squeeze his shirt in my fists. Then I pace, pace, pace, but for only about 30 seconds and the next one hits. He says he needs to go take a shower before the midwife gets here. I BEG him to hurry, I tried to make him stay with me but he really wanted that shower! I grab onto the bars of the treadmill with the next contractions and I’m just saying Oh God, Oh God, and I’m praying out to God to be with me, to relieve me. I am panicking, I don’t know what to do. All I can think is why didn’t I stay in the water?!!!!! I feel like squatting but I’m afraid to do it. Now I know why, you my son were ready to be born and I was holding you back! I hear the midwife Mary and her daughter Pita come in the house. They follow the noises to the back room. Hurray! I needed some womanly support desperately. As soon as my midwife sees me she tells me to breathe and let my bottom loose. I don’t know how she could tell that I was so stiff and literally all clenched up but she knew the second she walked in. She’s awesome, I guess it comes with all her experience. As soon as she gave me a job, something to concentrate on, I focused on loosing up and letting myself open up. She and Pita were rushing about like busy bees setting up their birthing kit and supplies. Your Dad walks in and says her contractions are pretty close and I yell No! They aren’t stopping!!!! Pita tells me to come over to the bed and I am walking through a never ending contraction. I can barely get on the bed when my back Screams out and I flip to my left side. Right then the bag of waters breaks, the midwife takes a peek and says, oh you can push Bonnie! Mary and Pita have only been here for about 10 minutes. Your Dad comes over and gets on the bed next to me and holds my right leg up and I start pushing. I am so thrilled that it is to the pushing part because I know that the end is in sight. I know that this means within minutes my sweet little babe will be in my arms. I start to push but it feels like it’s literally a bowling ball! You feel too big to come through like there is a block up not letting you through. I just push through the crazy burn and through that wall. I know the harder I push and not give up the sooner the pain will be gone and I will be looking into your dear eyes. I don’t know how long I pushed, probably 10 minutes at the most, maybe less, but I felt that joyous sweet relief as your precious little body enters the world. I look down to catch the first glimpse of my little angel. Oh joy, oh joy, you’re a little Boy! Just what we prayed and both secretly hoped for! I can’t believe I have a new Son!! I reach for your not so little body, but really still so tiny to us. I pull you up to me and take in the moment, etching it into my mind as to never forget our first meeting in the outside world. Here you are, this little one I have known for so long, this little one that I have longed for, this little one that I can’t imagine life without now.
You were surprisingly different than the siblings before you. You have a look all your own. You have this prominent little widow’s peak and these beautiful alert big eyes. You have the cutest little up turned button nose, your face is all squashed up, probably from being so squished coming through. Your hair is dark and your eyes are a dark blue. You are sporting big strong hands. Everyone says he’s going to have to grow into those hands. You look all boy. There is no mistaking that! Even your shoulders are broad, and you had (and still do!) the tiniest bit of dark hair around your ankles. Such a beautiful sight to your mother, you are a baby that I can only dream of. I treasure the days ahead that I can hold you warm in my arms and lay my cheek against the top of your soft head. I love your smell. I wish I could capture it in a bottle before it’s gone.
Well, Dad is oohing and ahhing over you too. Then I realized he’s disappeared again and can hear him out on the phone calling people. He’s such a proud papa that he wants to share it with the world that the Lord has given him a son! As soon as Dad gets back I tell him to let the kids in to meet their new brother. They all come bouncing in, their eyes big and glowing with excitement. All 6 of them climb up onto the bed to get a better look and they are saying how cute you are. Benjamin says “Mama, I want yous to put him down so I can teach him to walk!” Benjamin is so happy to have a brother!! Your sisters are just as equally pleased. Ben tells me that you are his best friend! Lily asks me if she can help me teach you about Jesus? I said of course honey, that would be wonderful.
Born April 19th, 2007 at 12:09 pm
Weighing 9lbs, 8 oz. And measuring 22 ¼ inches long.
You are a blessed joy to your family. We thank God for this awesome privilege of raising you. We praise God for giving you to us. You are so loved.