"Childbirth is power in its purest and most natural form--it is wild and uncontrollable and takes us on a journey of surrender. Birth is about so much more than babies being born. It is about a mother finding her inner strength at her most vulnerable and powerful moment, which begins her unique and lifelong journey of mothering that child." --Brianna Kauer (in Midwifery Today, issue 103)

Russell's Homebirth 2014

Russell's Homebirth Story

Born 10-22-14 @ 10:15 am

 10# 10 oz. 21 ½ in.

     It finally started! Labor! 12 a.m. and contractions started coming in mild little waves up and down in my uterus. I had dreamed of this moment for weeks now, ticking off 38, 39, then 40 weeks of pregnancy. Finally, at 40 weeks and 5 days, my labor began. My fourth labor started off much like all three of my others, in the night, and at this particular week in pregnancy. I’d had so many Braxton hicks contractions and cramps for weeks, I just wanted to feel a real contraction, to know that this journey of pregnancy would be over soon.

     I generally do love being pregnant, but this one, this pregnancy, expanded my ability to be patient, to learn to wait. Just the physical pressure and the tiredness is enough to make any pregnant woman desperate towards the end. It was only by the grace of the Lord that I woke each morning, thinking I could get through another day of pregnancy, that it would be over soon. This pregnancy was one of my hardest for sure! We had such a crazy year full of blessings-we had moved twice in one year, built a house, started homeschooling, and all the while growing a baby and taking care of three little ones besides. By the end of pregnancy, I was feeling so tired. In the midst of all of that though, I felt loving arms around me often, from my husband, my mother, my friend Amber, and friends at Church, constantly encouraging me and praying for me. I literally felt like my arms were being held up for me when I was so weak!

My Mom put this prayer board together with Scripture quotes and prayers for peace from the ladies at church!

 My own prayers over the past months for this labor and birth were typical of my others; I prayed for a fast and peaceful birth, where I would be giving thanks and worshipping God through it. I especially prayed for that moment in labor that I feared the most, transition, and I prayed that I would be able to face that moment without fear, and be victorious in laboring without losing control. I didn't want to fight the pain and be in fear about it, like I had with my first two births. My third homebirth had been so much easier when I labored in a meditative, worshipful state, and that is what I was aiming for in this birth as well. That I could remain silent, controlled, and at peace through each contraction. Surrendering to the flow of birth and the contractions and staying at peace, really seems to be the only way that labor is not as painful for me. It's still hard work though and very tiring to stay completely relaxed and meditative while my body does it's work!

39 weeks and so ready to have my baby!

     I felt much more prepared from the get-go, this labor started off so beautifully. It was just me silently breathing through mild contractions from 12:00 a.m. Monday morning on. I dozed between long contractions, looking at the clock whenever I woke up. By 2:00 a.m. I still felt contractions coming and I was so excited that this seemed like the real thing. I let my husband sleep, but I texted my midwife at 3:00 a.m. and told her that I was contracting and would keep her up to date if they got stronger and closer together. When I wasn't sleeping between contractions, I prayed to the Lord for wisdom and direction about how to labor efficiently. I specifically asked Him if I should go ahead and get up and move around with the contractions, or continue to lie in bed. I felt led to stay in bed and labor on my side as much as possible at this point. They seemed very intense when I laid on my side, and whenever I did get up to use the bathroom, the contractions would weaken and get farther apart. I texted my midwife around 5:00 and said I'd like her to come. I had had bloody show and was sure this was the real thing! I continued to stay in bed and sleep and pray between the contractions until about 6:00 a.m. My midwife was on her way and arrived soon thereafter. I was so encouraged to be led by the Spirit about how to birth this baby, about how to labor efficiently. I prayed often in between the contractions at this point, and started lifting my hands in worship when the sun came up. I knew this would be a glorious day!

     When my husband Timothy woke up, I told him not to go to work, that he would probably see his new baby born today! My mom came to our house soon after that and they both took care of getting my little ones dressed and fed. I stayed in my room the entire morning, just in the zone, worshipping and resting with the contractions. My midwives arrived soon after everyone was up. They came and checked on my blood pressure and the baby’s heartbeat every so often, and they waited in the living room in between checking on me, as I prefer to labor alone mostly.  But as the contractions got more and more intense, I called my friend Amber to come, to be my doula, and seeing her face come in the door was such a relief. It was about 9:00 a.m. when she got there and I had started to sit on the bed for all the contractions. I found that lying down made the contractions way too intense, and that I could breathe through them easier when I just sat up. I tried standing up for a few contractions, and they were almost unbearable. I felt at peace just to sit and rest with the contractions from then on. Sometime after that the contractions picked up speed, I asked to be checked and was at 7-8 cm. I was greatly relieved to know that I only had a little bit more to go before I would see my baby! My mom came in once and prayed with me and Amber. Then a little later, my dad arrived, and when he came in I remember him laying his hand on my head and praying over me as well. My almost six year old, Claire, came in for a few minutes and stayed with me. There were so many sweet moments. Everyone respected my need for space, and it was just Amber and I in there for several hours it seemed.

      I was getting very tired and ready to be done, and Amber jumped right in and picked up where my prayers left off. She worshipped with me through the rest of the contractions and held my hands every time. We both prayed and thanked the Lord for this baby, this labor, for strength. We raised our hands in worship knowing that the Father was helping me to endure and keep going in peace and strength.  Her prayers felt so powerful, and I felt so at peace, I just couldn’t believe that it would be over soon!!!!
Amber, my friend and doula for this birth with me a few weeks before Russell was born!
     Something shifted, and I felt a bit of panic start to rise in my soul. The moment was coming- transition. The most difficult part in labor for me was starting. Amber relayed to my midwives that I was feeling the urge to push, and it seemed in an instant everyone was in the room. My husband and mom, my midwives Doran and Jodi, a student midwife named Samantha, and Amber all surrounded the bed. Everyone in the room said I didn’t show much loss of control, but I sure was starting to feel like I was losing it inside. I felt like I had wild eyes, that I had to escape. I can't adequately describe how intense the last few contractions were right before delivery. I wondered how much longer I could go on, I was starting to feel desperate inside for it to be over. In the midst of the most intense contractions, I heard the voices of my midwives praying over me, Mom proclaiming Scripture, and Timothy telling me I was almost done. Their voices lifted me up, reassured me, and helped me get through the most difficult moments. I felt the Lord’s presence in a real way during this labor and birth, it’s a remarkable feeling! It's so amazing to think that the God of the universe wants to be involved in and lead us through something so beautiful as the birth process that He created, and He wants to help us get through those hard moments of birthing!

      I remember uttering at some point that I want to be checked again and the midwives said they didn’t need to, that I was about to crown, and that I should be thinking about where I want to birth. I couldn’t believe we were almost done! I had delivered on a birth stool with my first two babies, and I was standing up in front of the toilet with my third baby (her labor was long, but delivery was fast! I didn’t make it back to the bedroom before she was born!) and I was determined to be on or near the bed to deliver this baby, for comfort!

    I got down beside the bed and was on my knees leaning over the bed but I wasn’t very comfortable. In an instant, Timothy and I connected without words and he leaned over from the other side of the bed, and we grasped arms. That enabled me to pull on him for support while leaning over the bed on my knees. It’s a bit of blur, but I remember pushing a bit and I felt my water break after that. I knew I was so close! I consciously tried NOT to push, because I didn’t want to rush through it and tear, I’d rather my body do the work and let the contractions push the baby out. I heard my midwife Jodie say that the baby was crowning, that the head was out, and that the baby was looking at her! Then time stood still. I wasn’t sure what was going on. My other babies delivered fast and there was never much of a pause after the head came out. With Russell, my midwives said emphatically that I needed to push. In a weak voice, I said that I didn’t want to push! They told me he was tight and that I need to really push and get it done.
     I felt like my pushes were kind of weak and ineffective because I was so tired. They coached me a bit and told me to lift my left leg up and to the side. Oh that was hard! This pushing was hard, I was on the cusp of time, it felt like forever, and finally he came out all the way! I gave out my one and only yell that entire labor, just as I finally felt the rest of his body coming out! I turned around, Timothy came over beside me, and they handed my baby to me while I was still on my knees. He was so quiet, so peaceful! They told me to rub him and talk to him, I thought there was a problem or trouble with his breathing, though there wasn’t, he was just very peaceful and quiet and didn’t cry for a whole half hour or more. While holding him there, I suddenly remembered that we needed to look and see what he was (we didn’t find out the sex during pregnancy) and I got to shout it out! It’s a boy!!!!
Russell a few minutes after birth

       I guess there was a reason for the pause after Russell’s head came out, he was a big boy! My biggest baby so far, 10 lb. 10 oz. 21 ½ in. with a 15 in. chest and 14 in. head ! He was born around 10:15, a total of 10 hours from start to finish for this labor. My labors have gone from 3 days with my first, to 2 days with my second and 16 hours with my third and then 10 with Russell.
Amber helping me with after pains
    The third stage of labor went smoothly, and I delivered the placenta and nursed my darling baby right away. His first cry came when they were doing the newborn exam and getting him dressed for the first time! I had the least amount of blood loss with this birth, and no tears to speak of! I fainted a bit after walking to the bathroom, but other than that and a bad cough I had had for several weeks, there were no other issues.

After the third stage and nursing him some, they did the newborn exam

Timothy weighed Russell; 10 # 10 oz.!

Midwife Jodi checking on Russell

Lots of hair!

Time to snuggle!


      I had the best support team. My husband, my midwives, my family, and my dear friend! I was so grateful it was over, that the Lord had brought us through yet again! To give birth to another little boy, and to have such a big boy at that, was amazing! It literally was icing on the cake of a really hard but glorious year. He was born on the December 22nd, just in time to celebrate the special birth of our Savior just three days later. Glory to God!

Mom holding Russell for the first time

Daddy and Russell

A picture by my Midwife Doran

This is the day after his birth.

 The children got to see Russell right away after the birth, and I thought is was so amazing to show them their new little baby! They were pretty stunned, Claire looked excited!

My prize!

Midwives Jodi and Doran at Russell's 3 day home checkup

Christmas day

A blessing from the Lord, a reward from Him! Psalm 127:3-5

In his special shirt

I love tiny baby feet!

My sweet mom holding Russell! She's been here through it all with us!

Claire, almost 6
Wesley, 4 1/2
Violet, almost 2
Baby's 1st Christmas!

Our blessed family of six! I can't believe it hardly!
We love you Russell! Psalm 22:9-10

Thanks for reading our story!





1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful story and a beautiful family! Glory to The Lord forever! Dad and I are so proud of you momma!