Our 3rd Homebirth!

I was in labor with Isaiah for a long time so his birth story is also long. 😀 I also wanted say that it is impossible to convey to you the gamut of emotions I experienced during labor and delivery. I was in labor for a total of 36.5 hours. The last 6.5 were probably the most difficult hours of my life. But God was with me through it all and I believe He was glorified. In spite of the length and difficulty it was a beautiful birth. We are truly blessed and so thankful for our 3rd precious son!

Beware: I’ve been pretty detailed with this story. I don’t think I’ve been too graphic but I did try to tell the whole story. It was very rough at times.

Labor began at around 11PM on Thursday, October 19th. I tried to keep track of contractions to see how often they were coming. They were coming every 7-12 minutes or so. I let everyone sleep and tried to get some sleep myself. I was SOOOO excited to actually be in labor! When the alarm went off at 4:30AM I got my husband up to go do chores. I told him I’d been in labor all night. I don’t think he really knew what to think. 😆 He went to the barn and I continued to try to rest.

At 7AM I got up and called my mom to let her know I was in labor. We had planned to go grocery shopping that morning for food for the birth and afterwards. I asked her if she minded going alone as I wasn’t sure I wanted to be too far from home. She left about 8AM wondering if she was going to be back for the birth. (If we’d only known then how LONG it was going to be!)

At about 10AM my contractions were 7-9 minutes apart. Around 11AM I decided to call the midwife, Kate, and let her know I was in labor. She wasn’t there so I left a message on her answering machine. At 11:15AM I was still feeling really good. I was getting very excited and prayed for God to give me endurance. (Again, had I only known.) I still hadn’t heard from Kate so I gave her another call at about 2PM. She had just walked in from another birth and hadn’t had a chance to check her answering machine. She said to keep in touch with her. She didn’t want me waiting too long to call her and then have her miss the birth.

Scott headed back to the barn for afternoon milking at about 3PM. My mom and I decided to go for a walk thinking maybe that would help my labor progress. We returned to our house at about 3:45PM. We worked on getting the bedroom more comfortable. It was a cold windy day and we knew the bedroom, which is where I would be giving birth, needed to be nice and toasty warm. We put up storm windows and covered them with plastic. I laid down to rest at about 4:25PM. My contractions were coming every 3-10 minutes and were lasting over a minute each.

I got up and put wood in the woodstove about 5:30PM shortly before Scott got home from the barn. At that point I decided to stay in the living room and sit on the birth ball. It was SO comfortable! Kate called at about 7PM. She said she thought she ought to come out then so she would already be here when we needed her. She arrived at about 8:15PM. She checked my blood pressure which was 130/86. My temp was 99.2. My heartrate was 120! She decided it was too hot in the living room so we moved back to the bedroom. My heartrate went down to 88 after moving. Baby’s heartrate was in the 130’s. She checked me at about 9:30PM and I was 100% effaced and very stretchy but only 3cm dialated. 😦 I wanted to cry. I’d been in labor for almost 24 hours and still had so far to go. Baby was posterior but at 0 station! Kate decided to send my mom home for some much needed rest. She decided to lay down herself. Everyone was soon asleep. excpet me, of course. 😉

Contractions kept getting stronger and were lasting longer, up to 2 minutes each! By 2:05AM contractions were coming fast and furious! I woke Kate up and asked her to check me. I was 7cm!!! I was so excited! I thought I was getting close! NOT!!! 😦 (At this point I stopped taking notes so things get a little fuzzy. 😉 ) Kate called my mom back over and gave the assistant a call. I asked to have the birthing pool filled up. Kate thought I could have the baby very quickly since I’d dialated 4 centimeters in just 5 hours. (I’d never done that before!) She prepped my mom to be her assistant just in case her assistant didn’t make it. (I only wish I’d gone that fast.) After the pool was full, which took awhile, I climbed in. What sweet relief! I think the assistant arrived shortly before I got into the pool. I labored in the water for about 2 hours.

At 5AM Kate said she thought contractions had spaced out again. We decided it would be best for me to get out of the pool and try something different. Kate checked me again. I was still 7cm. It had been 3 hours and I hadn’t progressed at all. 😦 Baby was still posterior so we decided to try a few different things. First was the knee/chest position. After 10-15 minutes in this position Kate tried internally to turn the baby’s head as the assistant tried to move his body externally. It was VERY uncomfortable. Kate got his head to move but he wouldn’t budge his body. (I’ll have to get a copy of birth notes from Kate to remember exactly what happened from here on out. It kind of became a blur after this.) We tried many things both to get contractions to become stronger and more consistent and to get Isaiah to move. Some of them were using the counter to lift the baby up and direct him more towards my cervix, walking and lifting my belly during contractions, lunges while Scott lifted my belly and Kate pushed down on my sacrum (lower back) to give baby more room, homeopathics, black and blue cohoshes, tying a sheet tightly around my belly to hold baby in a more up-and-down position, etc. There may have been more but I can’t think of them right now. It seems that everything we did helped a little.

While I was using the counter to help lift the baby up I almost blacked out. I’ve never fainted or blacked out before but I was very hot and very uncomfortable. It took me a few minutes to recover and then I was back at it again.

I think the lowest point was when Scott and I were walking around outside. During each contraction I was to lean back on Scott. He was to reach around me and help me hold my belly up. It was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve ever experienced. At one point I said to Scott something like, “I know what the Bible says about children but I’m not sure I can do this again.” My heart knew the truth, what was right, but my head and body were not agreeing at that point. Scott was such a wonderful support and comfort to me throughout labor and delivery. Other thoughts came to my mind. I thought about how if I were in a hospital I could be requesting an epidural. But the amazing thing is I never really thought about going. I just knew if I were there I’d have access to something to take away the pain/discomfort. But God gave me the endurance I’d prayed for earlier in the day for which I’m so thankful.

I finally started feeling the urge to push. Kate decided tying the sheet around my waist would be beneficial. I had the sheet tied around my belly for the last hour or so before Isaiah was born. It did seem to help but it was VERY uncomfortable. I was squatting and pushing. After a little while I started feeling light-headed again as if I might black out if I didn’t sit down and try to take a break. We decided to move to the bed. I ate some yogurt and used a wet wash cloth on my forehead to cool off.

Once I was on the bed, Kate checked me. She realized I still had a cervical lip. She had me push a few times while she held the lip out of the way. After that she decided to try one more thing. It’s a little embarrassing but it also helped our precious little boy make his way into this world. Kate explained how an enema was done. She said to try to keep the liquid in for as long as I could. She said the purpose was to irritate my intestinal tract which would in turn irritate my uterus causing stronger contractions. Let me tell you it worked! It was torture (as I exclaimed in the midst of it all) but it helped my contractions become strong enough to get Isaiah out! From the time Kate got the cervical lip out of the way until Isaiah was born was just 37 minutes. That’s longer than I pushed with Noah but nowhere near the 1 hour and 40 minutes I pushed with John.

Isaiah was born sunny-side up as they like to say. We knew throughout labor that he was posterior so being born face up was expected. When a baby is born face up the largest part of the head comes through the birth canal first as opposed to the smallest part first. One of the amazing things is that I tore only slightly and did not need any stitches!!! (With both the older boys I had second degree tears and needed several stitches.) The other amazing thing is that Isaiah did not have any molding of his head! No bruising either which can also occur with a baby born in his position.

When I got to pick him up I could tell he was bigger than our older two boys. John was 8 lbs. 10 oz. and Noah was 8 lbs. 5 oz. I tried to nurse him as we waited for the cord to stop pulsating and for me to birth the placenta. He wasn’t interested in nursing he just wanted to look at me with his wide beautiful eyes. Isaiah’s eyes are blue for now. (His brothers were both born with dark brown eyes.) He was also born with quite a bit of dark hair that is somewhat long in the back. (His older brothers were both born with light hair. John had hardly any and Noah had a bit more than John.) He did finally nurse when he was about 45 minutes old. He latched on very well and has been a champion nurser ever since! 🙂

We called down to the farm and let the boys and Grandma and Grandpa know that the baby was here. Scott ran down to get them and brought them back to the house. Once everyone was here we did all the measurements. Our sweet baby boy weighed in at 9 lbs. 6 oz. He was 21” long. His head circumference was 14.25”. His chest circumference was 15”. He is a handsome little man whose been a very good baby so far! We love him to pieces and are so thrilled that God has blessed us with 3 sons so far!!! We are truly blessed!

A really neat sidenote: Scott and I settled on a girl name weeks before I went into labor. We liked several boy names but had not decided for sure which one we would use. We hadn’t even discussed a middle name! After our precious son was born Scott said, “He looks like an Isaiah.” I’ve liked the name Isaiah for quite awhile so was thrilled when he picked that name for our son. I really enjoy knowing what a name means. While Scott and the older boys were at church Sunday I looked up what the name Isaiah means. (I’d looked it up before but had forgotten.) Can you guess what it means?!?! Isaiah means “God helped me” or “salvation of God”. Isn’t that just the coolest thing?! God DID help me through an amazingly long and difficult labor.

Also it wasn’t long, maybe even just a few minutes, after Isaiah was born that I was already thinking about when our next precious child would be born!!! 😉

I’m sure there are things I missed but I hope this gives you an idea of what Isaiah’s birth was like.

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7 thoughts on “Our 3rd Homebirth!

  1. Thanks for sharing Isaiah’s birth story! Samuel was also “sunnyside up” so I can relate to the feelings and emotions that go along with coming to what feels like “a standstill” and little progress. It was so frustrating because my labor progressed so fast, and then practically stopped! It’s quite exhausting, and even more so for you who had been in labor so long!

    I am glad that everything turned out so well, and you and baby are doing great 🙂 I hope that I can see you sometime soon (and your new bundle of boy of course) 🙂 Take care Leah, and thanks again for writing down your birth experiences for us readers 🙂

  2. What a wonderful birth story. You can see God’s hand in it all along the way. My DH and I were also talking about having our next one within minutes of having our most recent one. The nurses thought we were crazy…another one would make 8 for us. Vongrats again and hope all continues to go well for you guys.

  3. Leah, that was one of the most beautiful birth stories that I’ve ever read! God truly was gracious to you during this extrememly long and hard labor. What an awesome God we serve!

    I can empathize with you greatly on those sunny-side up babies! Not a single one of mine know the proper position that they’re are to be born in. Every single one have either been sunnyside up or breech.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us!

  4. Oh Leah, I am so glad you took the time to write that all out so that we could share in that with you! There is just something about birth stories that women find so appealing! I am glad that you both are doing so well…When I saw you that next day, I thought that you looked amazing! Thanks for sharing…I really enjoyed reading it!

  5. Leah, thank you for writing out your wonderful birth story. It is always encouraging to read how the Lord gives us strength to make it through even the most challenging parts of labor. Of course, we should already know that, but it is sometimes very hard to remember that while you are going through all the emotions, etc! I need to read these encouraging stories because, like you, my third labor was my hardest.

    Again, thank you for writing this out, as well as posting the sweet photo of Isaiah. I think he looks like a mini-Noah! 😀

  6. Leah,

    Thanks for sharing that birth story. I am very much encouraged by it as I am planning my first homebirth for our fourth child due in April. I am wondering about your birthing pool. My midwife said that soaking in water is the midwife’s epidural. Is your birthing pool a plastic or blow up kid’s pool? I know I will need one and am not sure what exactly it is!

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