Our girl Tyler Jane was born at home on September 16, 2022 at 12:11pm. We were up in the air about a home birth from the beginning since our insurance didn’t cover home births. However, it was always on my mind. We transferred to home birth at the end of my pregnancy when I realized a positive birth experience was priceless.
Early in the week, I started noticing some things to indicate that labor was soon. Baby girl had dropped so low, and period-like cramps were pretty constant. My husband was scheduled to be in South Bend at river rescue school instructing for the week. I felt pretty anxious with him being that far from me. I imagined myself being home alone with two kiddos in labor. Thankfully, he was able to be with me all day on Thursday to help with the kiddos, and that night, labor began.
I remember having period-like cramps upon going to bed. I woke up around 3:00am or so with some pretty strong contractions. I sat on the exercise ball for about a half hour before going back to sleep. I woke up around 7:00am. My husband took care of the kiddos, so I could get into the bath. I texted my mom and sister to come over since they had a two-hour drive. I knew intuitively that day was the day.
I had texted my midwife on and off, letting her know my progression. I believe she arrived at my house around 9:00am and started setting up with her doula/RN. I only timed contractions a few times to see if they were getting longer. My contractions never have followed a schedule well. I knew by the intensity, not the timing that things were progressing. I was in and out of the shower several times. My midwife’s doula/RN helped me with some positions to support baby’s position and progression. I was laying in bed when my water broke. It was then when I felt the urge to start pushing. I wanted to be in the floor for some reason after that. I was leaning over the laundry basket, but then felt like moving to my side. After a few set of contractions, the pushing power increased, and my midwife said she could see baby’s head. She told me, “I think she could come with your next contraction.” I thought in my head, “Let’s do this.” I was tired of contractions and ready to meet baby girl. Sure enough, the next contraction, baby’s head was out. We waited for another set for her body, and then baby was laid on my chest. I took a big breath of relief and soaked in seeing her face for the first time. She was perfect.
I was thinking about what has made my home births successful. I think it comes down to being committed to the process, trusting my body and realizing through God, I had everything I needed. When scripture talks about being lukewarm in our faith, it’s because being lukewarm won’t lead you to greatness. If you want the best possible experience, you have to commit to it beforehand.
I was committed to my positive home birth way before I was in labor. I trusted my body’s ability to deliver my baby intervention-free way before I felt my first contraction. If you go into labor thinking, “We will see what happens,” you typically won’t be successful and you will fall into other’s plans to bring you most comfort. I set my own path of success. Pain-free doesn’t translate to meaningful. I wasn’t checked once. Baby was born three or so hours after my midwife arrived, and it was smooth. It was intense but good. It can be both. I understand if your body has other plans for you, but for me, commitment from the start led me to have a beautiful homebirth.
I prepared for this birth in a way I didn’t know to prepare for my others. I received consistent chiropractic care and ate pro metabolically. (Both were such game changers to my postpartum journey.) I also made sure I prepared my mind well.
Here are some ideas I meditated on leading up to my birth:
Allow yourself to feel everything.
Hum with the contraction
Your brain doesn’t birth your baby. Go mammalian.
Contractions are holy.
He can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.
Quality of breath.
Lift your arms.
You belong in this room. (Every door god opens for you).
Partner with your body. Work with it, not against it. Surrender.
You can breathe without thinking about it. You can birth without thinking about it.
Peace beyond all understanding.
Release all tension.
Your body knows how to birth your baby. Get your mind out of the way.
A reflection I have realized through this experience that I didn’t have the perspective for during my other deliveries was, the intensity, exhaustion and fullness of the experience was a gift. God’s blessing isn’t always pain-free. It’s with extreme intensity and sacrifice where your resilience is realized. I wanted to work for this. God will always choose building your resilience over your comfort. And now I understand why we can consider it pure joy when we face trials. Trials make life meaningful. I’m grateful I worked my butt off for this precious girl. And I have granted permission to my precious daughters and nieces to do the same, seeing gods mighty hand through it all.
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