Freebirth of Christopher Thomas

First UP/UC, First Son (Third Child) born on 8/6/2008

At the time, we thought our due date was the 23rd of July, but when I was measuring 40wks for 3 weeks I decided to check my dates again just to be sure. Sure enough, I had miscalculated and my EDD was actually the 30th.

Contractions began on July 13th (at 37½ (ish) weeks, but I thought I was almost 39(ish) weeks). They came and went several days and would be between 3-11 minutes apart but would cease after a few hours.  I declared and trusted that they were all prep for the delivery that would come in God’s perfect time.

With lots of prodromal labor, the 26th came with more prep, the 29th brought “bloody show,” our EDD of July 30th came and went, and August 2 brought more progress that left me at 2-3 cm dilated.

As August 5th came and went, even more prep occurred: a quick progression from 3cm to 5cm and a smaller gap between contractions but all this ceased to continue by evening. This left me joking on August 6 that I’d never have this baby and the Lord put Isaiah 66:9 on my heart to which it reads: “Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God.” I chuckled at myself and again trusted in His perfect timing.

As I labored all day on the 6th, contractions varying between 4 and 20 minutes apart, I talked with my sister all throughout it to keep myself distracted. We laughed and she kept me accountable to continue to trust in God’s plan.

At around 5pm the contractions were getting quite uncomfortable and achy and I wanted to be alone so I left my husband in the living room with the kids and laid down, still chatting with my sister on the phone. I was still able to talk through the second half of it after the peak past and we’d enjoy conversing and preparing for delivery until sometime after 6. We talked about videotaping it, perhaps using the tub, things to keep in mind after baby came, considering emergency situations and the like.

Following 6pm, the contractions went from lasting a minute or so to lasting closer to a minute and a half and I could no longer talk through any of it but they were still varying between 4 and 20 minutes apart and I decided that when they were more regular (around 4 and 5) that I would fill the tub. Nearly 7pm came and I had a couple of “great” contractions that left me wondering if I should try to go to the bathroom but still 7 minutes apart. Then another came that left me claiming the promises of God for a pain-free birth.

I then let my sister go and went to the bathroom to have a bowel movement. While I sat there, I noticed trickling warmth and thought, “is that my water?” I had the urge to push and have another bowel and so I went with it (because it hurt when I held back) and more fluid pushed its way through. I hollered for dh down the hallway to tell him that my water had broke and he said “Wow, that’s convenient!” It was now 7:30 and I had him call my sister back to let her know that my water broke and I wouldn’t be calling her back right away. He also got our two and four year old daughters into their beds.

I continued to feel the urge to push and as long as I was, I felt no pain. I figured it would be in the next day or two that this baby would be joining us and began to get very excited! And then I realized my urges to push were not to have a bowel movement!!

I hollered dh back in to let him know that I was feeling pushy and asked him to get the shower curtains that were earlier prepared, onto the floor so I could transition from the toilet to the daybed. I checked my cervix and while doing so, I dilated from 5 cm to 10 and began effacing. I again hollered for him to come back in.

I told him “I’m pushing and I think I’m just going to stay here.” He laughed and joked how his baby’s first experience would be a swirly. I laughed and shook my head at his silliness. “On the floor goober!” So we laughed and he came to help me to the daybed but the contractions were on top of each other and moving my legs were out of the question (as long as they were propped up on stools in a squatted position and pushing, I felt no pain). I explained to him that I was waiting for the contraction to end but it wasn’t happening. He exclaimed how fast that was as he rushed to keep our two and four year old daughters in their room (I’m sure they were antsy and wondering what the commotion was).

Suddenly my water burst and baby’s head was fully engaged and crowning – it was time for babe to come OUT! I hollered for dh to come back, that the head was right there. I got up to sit on the floor, and dh came running in and helped me and asked if I wanted a pillow. He ran back out to get a pillow, only for me to holler that the baby’s head was coming out – there is NO TIME!!! He ran back in and threw the pillow behind me. Propped up on one hand I was in tears and laughter at all of this coming together. I felt the baby’s head bulging through and I was tense against it in a moment of fear and then reminded myself to relax. As I did, without even a push, the head started coming out and before my husband could finish telling me how great I was doing, my body gently eased the baby out and the head came through. Dh was in utter shock at how easy that was for me! I propped myself up with both hands and I again relaxed and felt the rest of the baby slide out like jiggly jello into Daddy’s hands. I heard my dh exclaim how much faster that was than our previous births.

Our sweet baby’s soft cry permeated the air around us.

We rested the baby’s bottom on the floor (that was covered in a sheet and a puppy pad) as I held the upper body in my hand and we looked at each other at the craziness of what just happened. It was all in a matter of 30 minutes (but felt like 5), and we were holding our baby in just 5-10 minutes after we “knew” it was time. I realized I didn’t know the gender and reached down. I looked up and said “It’s a boy!” and we both cried and laughed at the amazement and awe of all of what just happened. I held him close as my husband got the girls up to meet their brother. We were all so excited and laughing and celebrating. I wiped him down and rubbed his back as his color got brighter and then massaged the vernix into his skin.

Dh then helped me to the daybed and we loved on our newest addition to the family. I then nursed him as dh called to let all the Grandparents know as well as my sister, his brother, our cousin, and his aunt, that we just delivered our SON.

About an hour later I delivered the placenta into a bowl and I got into bed and nursed him again still in utter awe that God had blessed us with a son. When he was 2 hours old and the cord was no longer pulsating, we cut it and got him all snuggled up and cozy. “I can no longer say ‘the girls’ when referring to my children!” I whispered. We were nestled together for another hour before I laid him in his bed and he drifted into a quiet sleep. I couldn’t sleep… I was so in awe and so I got up and called my sister. We were both amazed at how fast it all happened.

It was a BEAUTIFUL experience; raw, real, personal, and fun. No poking, no suggestions, no tests, no monitors… We were immediately made comfortable and got plenty of rest that night.

<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#3>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#4>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#5>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#6>>

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Freebirth Story of Kathryn Martha

Second UP/UC, Third Daughter (Fourth Child) born on 7/13/2011

My EDD was July 21st so when Monday, July 11th came and labor began, I anticipated it to be prodromal labor like with my last baby. After an uneventful pregnancy, I had 2 hours of good contractions about 10mins apart. I got excited that contractions were taking place and progress was being made.The following day, I woke up to some good contractions that were 10-12mins apart and monitored them throughout the day. They stayed approximately 10mins apart for most of the day until later in the evening when they became 8mins apart. As bedtime came, I attempted to rest between contractions 5-8mins apart. Some back pain and pressure began in the early hours on the 13th and it made it impossible for me to sleep. I sat on the birthing ball come 3am as it was the least uncomfortable place to be.I awoke my husband around 6am to let him know he should stay home from work. I don’t know how I knew as I felt very sleep deprived and we were still a week away from our EDD, but I told him that I was either going to have this baby “today” or “tomorrow.” I reasoned with him that the contractions were very uncomfortable and I would like an extra hand with the kids. He took the day off and the contractions maintained 4-8mins.

I was 4cm dilated and anticipated going through another night of contractions. I switched between the toilet where I felt myself opening up and the birthing ball where I’d have my husband rub my lower back during contractions.

I had a few contractions, 7 mins apart, and I laughed at how my first UC went – that after a couple contractions 7 minutes apart, I went to the bathroom and had the baby within the half hour and how funny it would be if it happened like that again! I made my way to the toilet and I had a contraction right away. I breathed and moaned through it. Somehow through the fog, I felt as though it was time to get the bed prepared and I told my husband. He got it ready and came to help me to the bed.

I began to cry as I felt lots of pressure on my bum and perineum. In my exhaustion, I became fearful and began telling my husband that I wasn’t sure that I could do this, especially for another week. He could see that I was in transition and reminded me that I could and to come to the bed. I told him I’ll just do what we did with our son and have him on the floor next to the toilet but He encouraged me to the bed as it was right there and attempted to get me in a squatting position.

My body was not okay with the position because of my SPD through more tears I asked him to help me to get on all fours. I kept thinking how I couldn’t do this for another week (completely unaware that I was in transition). It hurt to push and it hurt not to push… my cervix was farther back than with my first UC so with each push I could feel it bear down on my bum and perineum and became fearful that I would tear. I did my best to massage and take my time with the pushing and calm my emotions. I felt her head at the opening and fought the urge to push hard (reminding myself to relax so I wouldn’t tear). I pushed and in one big swoop and lots of twirling, all of sweet baby #4 came spilling out of me as the bag of waters burst and baby pooped; blood, meconium, and water flooded the bed as I held my 7lb beauty in my hands in shock and awe.

I unwrapped the cord from around the back of the neck and stared at this little darling still in a daze from the experience that brought me to that very moment. My husband prompted me about the gender and then is the moment I saw – GIRL. I wiped her face down and laid her on me as I laid back on the pillows. I don’t even remember anything else… I was so happy that she was there and that I had done it… I had overcome all the obstacles to get to this very sweet success ~ I had pushed through and held another beautiful baby – born into my own hands, in my home, and on my bed. What a beautiful and empowering experience.

<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#3>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#4>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#5>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#6>>

Freebirth Story of Craeghar Timothy

Fourth UP/UC, Second Son (Sixth Child) born on 12/25/2015!

We were so thrilled to learn that we were expecting our sixth child on April 4th 2015! I had no clue I was pregnant but took the test just for fun. We shared the news with our friends and family after surprising the kids with the news. It was a lot of fun to see the expressions on my kids’ faces and to hear everyone we told be excited with us. Here is the video of us telling the kids:

I determined by what information I had that I was due around December 5th. The pregnancy was full of emotional healing and growth from other  events in my life as we enjoyed doing my own care ourselves. The pregnancy went very fast for the most part and I enjoyed watching my belly grow.

Once I reached 38wks pregnant, I began to get a bit antsy but was determined to continue trusting in the Lord and allowing my body and my baby to do what was needed to prepare us for the day our newest blessing would be in our arms.

The following weeks leading up to the birth were a mix of high spirits and meltdowns. I did my best to stay positive and had an amazing support system surrounding me who were compassionate and understanding, yet helped me focus on the benefits of being patient and laying my life down for my child(ren). I can’t say I didn’t have bouts of fear, but I can say that knowledge and wisdom, and most of all God’s peace, overcame each of those bouts.

At 42 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I woke up to a very strong and sharp pain and an intense contraction followed. In hindsight, I realize that the baby flipped from posterior to anterior. From there, active labor began.

The night before that however, I had a mini freak out. I told my husband that maybe we should head to the ER and get an ultrasound just to be safe that baby can in fact be born. He had not engaged in my pelvis, I wasn’t dilating nor effacing, and he kept floating in my uterus. He was still moving, so we knew all was well, and the Lord constantly spoke to me through those last few weeks, reminding me that He is near and that all was well. It was a walk of trust and faith that pushed me to my ultimate limit. My husband reminded me of all these things about the Lord and he encouraged me to rest and prayed over me and the baby, for our protection and for the Lord to lead our steps in wisdom and prompting.

As I slept through the night, I dreamt of a rural community that was united and loving and each person came to me and encouraged me and helped me to push the baby. I woke up with contractions that were more intense than they had been but still not engaging the babe. I practiced bearing down and moving my hips around with each contraction and I heard the Lord tell me that the people in the dream were all the people who were praying for us. I asked the Lord what I should do and I felt led to rest. I prayed hard that He would continue to lead me…

When I awoke the next morning to that strong pain, at 7:45am, it was sudden and I startled my husband awake. Contractions were 3-5mins apart and really strong. We began to prepare that this was it. From 8-9am, I sat on the ball and rotated my hips and felt lots of pressure with each contraction. I got very hopeful that baby was finally able to engage and was coming down. At 9am I got into the tub and the contractions got even stronger but I got a bit of relief from floating… but then it got to be too much.

When I got out of the tub, I was a bit discouraged because I checked to see if any dilation had occurred. Baby was still high, no dilation or effacement had occurred but thankfully there was a bit of bloody show to indicate that the baby was coming within the day or two. I got back in bed around 9:30 or 10 and continued working through the contractions that were now 1-3mins apart and lasting over a minute long. My husband was amazing, we watched the show American Pickers on his phone in between contractions (or I rested) and when each contraction came, he tracked each one and told me how much longer I had to go… I listened to his voice as he said, “20 more seconds babe, you’re doing great. These are doing great work. 10 more seconds… and 5 and then it’s going to start coming down. You’re doing great. Great job babe. 2 more seconds…”

11:15 came and I felt the need to pee so I went to the bathroom. I couldn’t go at first and was overwhelmed at the intensity of the contraction that came next. My husband could tell the time was coming because I began bearing down with the contraction and he encouraged me to come to bed, but I couldn’t… I was staying in the bathroom. haha I checked my dilation and while my cervix was low, I was completely closed and not effaced. I became concerned about the fact that my body was pushing. I told my husband that I can’t push because I could tear through. He reassured me to listen to my body and relax, that God was in this and I can do this. I listened and focused on doing what felt right and didn’t rush or fight it. I couldn’t stop the sensation to bear down. I pushed hard but tried to go slowly and I felt my cervix opening as the baby’s head pushed through it. I told him the head is coming…

I never fully dilated nor did I fully efface. The baby came out in the anterior position and flew out with just one swift push, so fast I nearly dropped him on the floor. At the same moment, because I was standing and the cord was short, the cord snapped and blood went ev.er.y.where. LOL On the walls, all over the toilet and floor, all over the baby and I. We were in shock as all the kids swarmed the doorway. I looked and saw he was a boy… we were all so elated and crying. He was HERE!

1:30am, December 25th, 2015, approximately 7lbs, dark brown hair, and the most content and peaceful baby I’ve ever seen. He didn’t have any vernix on his body so I wiped him down and I sat back on the toilet. Within minutes I felt my placenta coming and it accidentally plopped in the toilet. haha We marveled at the newest member of our family as the kids cried and laughed and expressed how cute and little he was and that they had a new brother. About a half hour later, I got into bed and I nursed him. After he was settled in and cozy, we tied the cord that was now cold, white, and limp, and trimmed it down. From the moment I woke up to the moment he was born was a little over 3½ hours.

We are so in love… and as I’ve said to him, many times now, it really was worth it… all that waiting and difficulty surprisingly was all worth it… to be holding him and knowing him… I can now say I have sons along with our daughters. When I had my second daughter and could say daughters instead of just daughter… sisters… it was such a sweet moment! And now I can say boys, sons, and BROTHERS! ❤ We are so blessed…. 6 children! Unbelievable. I would never have known that this would be our life, 12 years ago when we made our vows to share our lives together in the will of the Lord…. but it’s full and blessed and enriching. I’ll take all the difficult and challenging for this beauty I get to live with these beautiful little people to share it with. ❤

<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#3: Christopher Thomas>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#4: Kathryn Martha>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#5: Kimberlyn Mariann>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#6: Craeghar Timothy>>

Anxious Thoughts…

TRIGGER WARNING: Talk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss (not my own)

First of all, my baby is doing well. I don’t want to mislead anyone with the trigger warning. I just wanted those who may be affected by reading about such losses may not want to read this entry. The beginning of this pregnancy was my most difficult… when I first learned of my pregnancy, I was of course so in shock and elated! However, once the news settled in my spirit and I began to wrap my mind around it, after I shared with friends and family, after the normalcy of it began… I began to feel anxious. I didn’t understand why, but I began to deal with some fear – fear of the worst case scenario.

During my last pregnancy, I felt a strong sense that something was wrong and I prepared my heart and spirit that I might lose my baby. I was so ready, knowing I couldn’t fathom such a loss but knowing God is bigger and He’d help me survive. Being at this place, it came as a sudden and devastating shock that someone near and dear to me lost her baby (she shall remain anonymous as I don’t want to share her story without her permission). I watched her grieve and I grieved alongside her. My heart was broken and I didn’t understand why. I cried out to God – why her? Why not me? My heart was ready for such awful pain… but not this… not having a child inside me continuing to grow while someone so precious to me now had an empty womb. I obviously didn’t want to lose my child… but I was so confused and hurting.

So I think because of that experience and watching this beautiful person go through such a painful journey of healing, that when I settled with the idea of my pregnancy, I began to experience anxiety about the potential of it happening to me. I pushed through those first 12 or so weeks, saying to myself that it would be better once I could feel my uterus. Then, after I could feel my uterus, it would be better once I could feel the baby move… week 19, week 20, then week 21 came and I still hadn’t felt the baby move and I reached out to several women to keep me encouraged… it was hard when I watched another woman experience the loss of her baby. And then another… and more. I determined to support these women in such an awful and devastating time as best as I could as I processed through the fear of this becoming my own story.

Week 24 came and I finally felt little flutters in my belly. I was so relieved… but still nervous. Now I could feel this baby… and what if this stops? What if their precious and beautiful life ends? I began looking forward to the kicks. We discussed baby girl names in case we have a girl (we already have a boy name chosen) and I found myself struggling to connect. I became anxious… am I afraid to connect in case this precious baby doesn’t make it. What if I become one of these women with this experience. I’ve never lost a child… I continue to pray I never do.

Being at week 29, I now feel kicks and the older children all enjoy feeling the baby with their hand on my belly. I read another story today of a woman losing her baby. My heart is breaking for these women… and at the same time I want to turn off my computer and hibernate away from them. How does one balance the support for the heartache in the world and at the same time not being terrified of it becoming their own story? Thoughts of having a miscarriage was scary enough, awful enough, devastating enough… but to lose a baby at 20 weeks, 39 weeks, 40 weeks, one month old… how does anyone survive these experiences?

My mind has been prepared for such experiences… I’m just not sure if I could ever prepare my heart for it.