If you would have asked me 4 years ago whether I’d even be open to the idea of a home birth, my answer would have been ‘absolutely not!’ The birth of our firstborn was actually the catalyst that started me down a more natural way of living. He was and is a blessing in so many ways to our family.
With our first, I gave birth in a hospital, with an OB, an epidural, all of it. I honestly didn’t even look into any alternatives and thought that those who did anything differently were weird. Why on earth would you choose to go through an experience like that and feel every bit of it?! I thought those kinds of people were crazy.
Fast forward to our second born. We decided to do a birthing center birth. I was more open to more natural options and was more confident that God created women to give birth, that our bodies are wonderfully made and know how to carry and give birth to a child without medical intervention. (Of course there’s exceptions to this but with having an easy first delivery I knew my body was capable.) The birthing center we chose to deliver at offered a natural birthing class that was required for first time parents but optional for the rest. We opted to take the class since this was the first time we’d be birthing unmedicated. That class was a game changer. I honestly don’t know why they don’t have every new mom take it before deciding how they want to deliver their baby. It gave us so much peace and confidence to know what to expect all along the way. We learned that the point in my contractions that I got the epidural with Asher was the peak of contractions and had we waited maybe 10 more minutes he would have arrived naturally. We also learned how best to manage the pain; breathing techniques, positions that are best, even ways that Chris could help massage my back and hips to help me be as comfortable as possible. It was so empowering to be given every tool possible to allow us to enjoy the beautiful experience of bring our child into the world. We gave birth to Solomon at 12:30 am and were back home a couple hours later. No overnight stays with medical staff disturbing us throughout the night. Asher woke up to his baby brother and we were able to settle in to life as a family of 4 right away. It was such a gift.
Right around the time that we found out we were pregnant with our third, we also found out that they were going to be closing down the birthing center which is the only birthing center in our area. We knew we didn’t want to go back to a hospital environment so went on the search for a midwife who could deliver our child at home. Chris wasn’t 100% sold on the idea of birthing at home. He found comfort in the birthing center being next to the hospital and our home is not located near the hospital. We scheduled an initial meeting with a local midwife to ask questions and go over the process since this would be new territory for us. By the time we were done Chris was feeling as confident as ever and we were excited for this new journey together.
April 28th came and went and we had no signs of baby Noah. But I wasn’t worried. Both our other boys didn’t arrive until past their due date as well. From day one I was telling people we’d probably have a May baby with how cozy my babes like to stay inside the womb. I think one of the biggest disappointments for a new mom is going past her due date. I know it was for me. But since then I’ve realized that a due date is really just a guess and baby will come when baby is ready to come. Sometimes that means early, sometimes that means late, but very rarely are babes actually born on their due date. So we waited. And the waiting was actually easier than with the other two boys. Maybe it was the time of year. Sunshine can do wonders for a soul in waiting. Or maybe it was the fact that I had two littles to care after and not much time to worry about when little Noah would arrive. Either way I was confident in waiting.
May 1st, 2020. I began having contractions around 2am but nothing that was getting me out of my cozy bed. By 4:30am I decided I should probably get up and see where we were at with everything since they weren’t allowing me much sleep. They went back and forth between 3 minutes and 7 minutes apart. The general rule of thumb is you want contractions 4 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute in length, and this staying consistent for one hour. That’s about the time you call the midwife. But my contractions have never been normal with either of my other boys. So we called the midwife when the contractions started getting more intense. That was around 5:30am. She arrived a little after 6am, checked mine and baby Noah’s vitals, and started getting the birthing tub ready. I had a lot of back labor with both Asher & Solomon and getting in a warm bath helped tremendously with both. Solomon was actually born in the tub at the birthing center. I knew I wanted to birth baby Noah in the tub as well. It helps to ease the labor pains and can help with tearing too.
My mom came and got the boys around 7:30am and brought them over to her house. This is one of the many blessings of living next door to my mom. I went back and forth on whether or not to let them watch. I know often times this is the case for families birthing at home. We decided we’d just send them next door. We weren’t sure how the boys would respond and didn’t want Chris to have to tend to them while I was in labor.
By 8am the contractions were pretty consistent and intense and I was ready to get in the tub for a bit of relief. As soon as I got in that warm bath the pain eased and I felt more comfortable. At 8:38am baby Noah arrived. It’s amazing going through the birthing process naturally because you realize how much your body is designed to give birth. Your contractions get more intense and then all of a sudden you have to push. Not as in the midwife telling you to push but your body physically is pushing your baby out. It’s pretty amazing. When I had to push, I pushed. And 2 pushes later our sweet boy was here. It was pure magic. I rested in the tub for a few moments and then moved to the couch where he and I lay skin to skin until he quickly made his way to my boob and started nursing. The way newborns search for their mama right away is just the most precious and beautiful thing.
I shared on Instagram that I’d be writing up Noah’s birth story and a friend asked about bleeding and tearing. To give a little back story, I had a second degree tear with Asher. The stitches weren’t done properly and healing was difficult. So was sex afterward, for that matter. I thought the painful sex part was due to the fact that I had just given birth 6 weeks prior but I learned that it was more to do with the stitches not being done properly. Solomon was born in the bath at the birthing center. I had a minor tear with him and only needed 1 stitch. This time around I didn’t need any stitches. I think the big difference between the Asher and the other boys had much to do with being in the water as well as not having an epidural. I was able to push when my body told me to push and as hard as my body told me to push rather than relying on an OB telling me when to push based on a read out of when my contractions were happening. Like I said before, I believe God created a woman’s body to give birth beautifully. My bleeding was totally normal. I stopped bleeding consistently about a week after he was born. From there I bled off and on for about another week and a half or so. Nothing major, by any means.
The boys arrived back soon after and were able to see Chris cut the umbilical cord and our midwife showed them the placenta. It was really sweet. They were quietly taking it all in. Soon they were asking if they could hold him. And they haven’t stopped since;)
It’s been a month now since he’s joined our family and we are just as in love with him as we were when we first met him.