Born January 26, 2017 at home
9 pounds, 6 ounces / 22 1/2 inches
Background: If you're not familiar with Judah's marathon home birth transfer birth story, you can read about that here- Judah's Birth Story
After that birth experience, and then our next pregnancy ending in miscarriage, we certainly had a choice for his pregnancy. Throughout this whole pregnancy, God really taught me to choose JOY and speak life over my pregnancy and birth. ["For God didn't give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love,"] was a verse I claimed every day, especially in the first trimester. And from the beginning of this pregnancy, I brought my desires for this birth to the Lord, and believed they would be so. ["Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her." Luke 1:45] Specifically, my dream birth requests were that my baby would be born during the day, in the sunlight; that my labor would be under 12 hours; that I wouldn't have back labor; and that there wouldn't be any meconium present.
Throughout my pregnancy God reassured me over and over. In the last month, one day my belly was itchier than normal. I put all the oils and all the butters on it, and it got increasingly worse by nighttime. I started to panic, seriously afraid it was PUPPPs again. I sat in the bathtub sobbing while Karl prayed over my belly, and within minutes the itching completely stopped. I was also nervous near the end about baby's position. I didn't want another posterior baby/labor, and Sawyer's position wasn't ideal. But the Lord assured me that the baby would be in the perfect position he/she needed to be in. I trusted and believed that it would be so! ["You split the sea so I could walk right through it; you drowned my fears in perfect love."]
Birth Story: On Wed 1/25, I had little contractions during the afternoon. They picked up a little by dinner, and kept up all night even with rest and a bath. I thought, "Its early labor, yay!" I went to bed that night at my normal 9pm, but couldn't fall asleep. I tried to rest as much as possible but just couldn't get comfortable. At 2am I got up to eat a snack, and the contractions were still steady. They weren't crazy hard, but had gotten longer and stronger since dinner. I *almost* called our doula, but wanted to get a little more rest first. So I prayed- ok God, if this is labor, kick it into gear. If it's not, please let it stop so I can get some rest. Then I closed my eyes ... and woke up the next morning.
On Thursday, 1/26, when I woke up I was so peeved. I had been up all night for nothing?! No baby still. All those contractions for nothing. And mostly I felt dumb- a birth worker who didn't know her labor was prodromal. Embarrassing.
So I complained a little, cried a little, and then started my day like any other day. Karl took Judah to school, I got dressed and headed to Stone Creek. I did my usual routine: forward leaning inversion, walk, stair climb, and stretches. I even facetimed Sarah and Hannah from the treadmill and told them all about the night before and how annoyed I was. After I was done with my routine, I took a shower and got dressed. I had been losing chunks of mucus plug and bloody show for a couple days, so I put a pad on (thank goodness). I was sitting on the chair/stools doing my hair, and then stood up to put on mascara. As soon as I stood up I felt a small leak. (11am) I knew it was my water, but waddled to the bathroom just to check. Sooo I grabbed my stuff and met Karl in the cafe. He was heading to pick up Judah from school, and I was heading to Ericas to get adjusted. (I already had an appt for noon but told them I was coming in a little earlier ham expected!) I waddled in, got adjusted, waddled out, leaking a little more here and there. Meanwhile I was texting my friends Hailey, Jenny, Nicole, and Sarah asking them to pray that contractions would start soon. I wasn't expecting to start labor with ruptured membranes and didn't want my water to be broken for too long. I also didn't want any vaginal exams during labor, especially after my water was broken, but I wasn't sure if my curiosity would be able to really handle that...
When I got home around noon I ate lunch and got Judah ready to go to Giselle's house. I said goodbye to my first baby 😭. Then I started diffusing some labor oils, sat on my ball, and hooked up to the breast pump to try to get contractions going. Well, about a whole 2 minutes later, I felt and heard a huge pop and knew it was my water bag. (Thank goodness I had put a chux pad on the ball haha!) It was totally, completely clear! 🙌🏼 I hopped in the shower so I could just let it flow and not worry about it, and started having a few contractions. Yay! I was so glad, but still not convinced anything was really happening. Elizabeth had already planned on stopping by to borrow something around 1, so I got to talk to her for a few minutes and take a selfie. Around that time (I think), I went ahead and called Katy and Corrine and told them I was contracting so they could come whenever. Not too long after that, I needed to breathe and concentrate through contractions and was leaning on karl from in the shower. I remember Katy and Corrine getting there (around 2?) and being excited that it was really labor!
I really had not wanted to get in the tub too early and then have to get out, but soon after contractions started I just wanted to get in anyway. Karl went to start filling with water. I was waiting and waiting in the kitchen what felt like forever. Karl was doing something with a filter 😑, so I told him to forget it and just get water in there! Then I just hopped in and told him to let the water run on my back while it was filling. I labored in the tub for a while, but I really had to pee. Corrine tried to get me to pee over a little bucket (lol) but that wasn't working. So i said grab the peppermint and let's head to the toilet. Once we were in there I really wanted to poop too. Neither was coming out 🙄 I just wanted to pee and poop so bad! I tried relaxing, I tried pushing- nothing. (When we were in the bathroom I thought that labor was actually moving along and that I was in active labor, so I said we should call Sally and have her head over. She was getting off the interstate on our exit and would head straight to our house.) Then I suddenly just wanted to be back in the tub. I guess I thought if nothing was coming out, I'm getting back in the water. So I high-tailed it back into the tub. This is when I really felt like I was losing it. I for sure wanted an epidural (lol), and I knew I could not keep going like that for too much longer. It was so fast and intense and I couldn't get on top of it. I felt like I couldn't get into a rhythm, I couldn't cope, I couldn't think. Even though it was hard, and overwhelming, I wasn't afraid. I *was* trying to assess what was happening and doula myself, but that wasn't happening 😂 As a birth worker, it was nuts to not know what was happening with labor. I really had no idea when I was in active labor, when I was in transition, when I was actually pushing a baby out. At some point I even asked Katy and Corrine how much longer, and called them liars when they said not much longer haha.
But thennnn, I started pooping and it was actually working! I was so excited and told karl to get the net. I'm telling you- I had no idea this was baby pressure. I honestly just wanted to poop 😂. For some reason right at that second, I just reached down to check myself (not sure why), and I felt baby's head about an inch or so up. WHAT 😳 Pretty sure I yelled, "where is Sally?!," and right at that moment she walked in the door. Next thing ya know I could see hair floating out into the water! Sally got the mirror in the tub so I could see while I pushed, and it was awesome. After head came out, for some reason I stood up out of the water. I could feel baby's shoulders trying to rotate but they were getting caught. Sally had me hop out the tub, do a deep lunge to make more space, and push. And then I looked down and there was a baby! It happened so fast (to me lol) and I couldn't believe it. Karl said, "it's a-" and then stopped himself so I could look and see for myself. So I got to look and say, "it's a boy!" Born at 350, 2-3? hours from my first contraction! (5 hours from my water leaking) I hadn't specifically prayed for a smaller baby, but I knew this one would be. A pound and a half smaller than Judah! Sawyer was so tiny, and born with vernix! He was perfect.
After Sawyer was born I was bleeding a little bit more than usual, so I popped a piece of placenta in my mouth, drank some placenta smoothie, and got some oils on my belly. We started talking about which drug I was gonna choose to stop the bleeding, but then -voila- it stopped and I didn't have to do any drugs. Thank you, God, for placentas! 🌳
God blessed me with immeasurably more than I ever desired for this birth. It was perfect and beautiful and redeeming in every way. It was incredible to scoop up my own baby; to hold him and do skin to skin as long as I wanted; to leave him attached to his placenta until we were ready to cut the cord, which was hours later; for Karl to skin to skin him while I was being assessed; to go to sleep in my own bed hours after having a baby! We've had a couple unexpected hiccups postpartum, but I can still say that this experience has been beyond better than the first.
["Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24]