As I sit and begin to write our story, I am still amazed that it is actually ours. I have to pinch myself sometimes because the birth of our third baby, truly was a dream. I had always thought that delivering my babies would be a breeze, so when I had my first two children I was shocked to experience everything except what I imagined. After an extremely long labor in the hospital my first daughter, Moriah, was born. The day she was born we were told she may not live because of what they assumed to be an aggressive strep-B virus. We praise God for His goodness as after 7 days in the hospital under antibiotic medication, she was well enough for us to take home.
Almost two years later our second daughter, Shiloh, was born by cesarean section after an attempt at induction with pitocin and ruptured waters. After the c-section my doctor advised us not to try for another child until after about a year, 3 years being all the better. I was so worried that I would have to go through another c-section or traumatic experience, that it would be 5 years until we became interested in having another child. In that five year time span I had experienced the loss of my mother and I almost didn’t want to have any more children that would never know her. We then moved into my childhood home, also the place where she died, and my daughters came to run the halls. After 6 months of prayer and trying we were pregnant with our third child.
I had never considered out-of-hosptial birth as an option until I began hearing birth stories from other families that had had home births. I was encouraged to check out books and research v-bac (vaginal birth after cesarean) on the Internet. After much prayer and discussion my husband and I decided to leave the care of a local nurse midwife and doctor who shared the responsibility of our care, and continue on with Beth Overton. It seems that right after we made that decision all Hades broke loose.
My third baby was supposed to have arrived July 7th, but we were quite surprised to awake at 3:30 a.m. June the 14th, to find my waters ruptured. At first my husband thought that the water was from the ceiling fan where water leaked after a good rain. I told him that this water was quite warm and kept coming out so we quickly called Beth. She was surprised too, and wasn’t sure about how we would get the antibiotics since it was a Saturday and Laura was expecting them in on Monday. She made a few phone calls and the antibiotics were all lined out and came over about 10 a.m. At this point I had not experienced any contractions since the waters broke. We called Mom and told her what was going on and Duane (who was supposed to have met his dad at 5:30 that morning to go fishing) quickly explained how he couldn’t come out to play:)
At about 10 or 11 that morning Beth and Laura came over. I was a bit concerned that since my waters had ruptured we would be on a tight schedule for delivery, but Laura assured us that 95% of women whose waters rupture deliver their babies within a 72 hour period. Whew! I am sure my cervix really relaxed after hearing that:) I was to say the least relieved. So now on with the show… Laura got the heplock ready and the meds and when it came time to insert the needle my veins went on strike. No vein anywhere, poor Laura finally found one and it changed it’s mind and we couldn’t use it. No need for fear the calvary is coming! Beth calls Jessica her daughter/apprentice/vein charmer to the rescue! I was and am so grateful to Jessica for coming to help, as her son was fresh out of a surgery and her at home with him during recovery. She was only there all of 10-15 minutes and I was all set with my IV heplock thing and ready to go. We thanked and hugged Jessica and she was off. Beth said we had better get going too, she encouraged Duane and I to go for a walk and run last minute errands to try and get labor started. She would be back at 10 pm that night to give me my next round of meds and if labor had not kicked in we were to try the castor oil:)
So having said our good-byes Duane and I go on to a graduation party where I proceed to have brisket, potato salad, cake and ice cream. We scared the quests at first though to say the least as I informed them that I was in labor. WHAT? That’s the beauty of homebirth I said with a smile:) More hugs good-bye and off we went to the bayfront to walk a mile. We parked at the Emerald Beach Holiday Inn and went towards the Coliseum. Again strangers stared at the pregnant lady who escaped from the maternity ward. No contractions. Back in the car and off to H.E.B we went. Excuse me, where is your castor oil? Back in the car and home again. By this time you would think… but no contractions. Beth and Laura came back and gave me the next round of meds and said to take the castor oil and call if labor kicked in before 5:30 a.m. I was a little intimidated because I had heard it tasted really bad. Laura said the cold rootbeer mixed with it made it palatable so I tried it and it honestly wasn’t bad at all. I took a shower and laid down to rest. Or so I thought. I had to go to the bathroom. After all the brisket, potato salad, cake and ice cream were gone, contractions started coming. It was about 12 am or 1 in the morning. By 3:30 am we were on the phone to let Beth know we were in established labor. She came over and checked the baby and did the blood pressure thing and said to try and rest and she would do the same.
I really feel like the rest of this time in between went so slowly. Beth said it was because you go from contraction to contraction. I thought at some point I would surely have to go to the hospital, hence the look of suspicion every time Beth would say the baby is just right there:) Sure she is I think to myself, and I’m having a home birth without any complications–right? That was right. She was talking about pushing when I felt the urge. I wasn’t sure. I pushed one time out of impatience and it pinched me. I was encouraged to bear down only on the urge, not to rush because the cervix might have not gone up over the lip of the uterus fully. I tried different positions, on my side, on the birthing stool, but on all fours with my bottom in the air seemed to suit me. When I felt to push it seemed like my whole body went into a ball, like someone punched me in the stomach and I doubled over. I couldn’t really control it either,I had to push. I felt a contraction coming, I pushed, took a breath and pushed some more and felt a pop. I felt hands moving in circles around the baby’s head? Really? OK next push. I pushed took a breath and kept pushing and something slid out from me and all of the sudden I was flipped around staring at my beautiful baby! I was in disbelief. I didn’t have drugs? Okay this is too much!
I held this baby in a towel crying and white with vernix, and was full of peace. “Is it a boy or a girl?” I asked. “Well open your present mama!” said Beth. I opened up the towel. ” I don’t have my glasses on, I can’t see anything!” I said.
There are so many wonderful moments I will always remember about that day, funny, scary, emotional. But what I will always remember is the peace of God in my heart, the love of God expressed in the hands of His servants and the joy of life that God allows us to experience in birth. What He must have felt when His only son was born on that beautiful day and how the world seemed to still at His birth. God is so good. On Father’s day, June 15th, we all held our breath as our baby girl–Micaiah Lynn Baker was born.
If you are wondering if homebirth is for you, I can only say, Let God be God, and allow a faith stretching to take place in you, He will never leave you or forsake you,
God bless–Duane, Sarah , Moriah, Shiloh & Micaiah