We found out that we were expecting baby #2 on June 19th, 2012 and that baby was due to arrive around February 28th, 2013. We were so excited to be adding another little one to our family and for our first daughter to have a sibling. From the start of the pregnancy I thought we would be having a boy. I was feeling different and was experiencing a lot of nausea. Shortly after we discovered we were pregnant we started making the decision of where we would like the birth to take place. After having a successful natural birth with our first in the hospital, we felt a homebirth would be an amazing option to birth our new child. We decided to meet with several homebirth midwives to help us make a decision. We chose the midwife I was most comfortable with – this was not an easy decision because choosing her meant I would travel around an hour away for my appointments in the thick of winter. We also made the decision to continue going to the hospital midwives as well until I reached 20 weeks of pregnancy and had an anatomy ultrasound to confirm we were at low risk for homebirth. We found out at the ultrasound that we would be having another precious baby girl and we chose the name Lillian Faith.
God blessed me yet again with a wonderful pregnancy. I was able to continue to keep active throughout the pregnancy and I gained 33lbs. I had a few complications such as vulvular varicosities and lower back pain. I was concerned that the varicosities would be a complication during the birth process but my midwife assured me that they wouldn’t be a problem. Despite having such a healthy pregnancy, I found myself being fearful about having a homebirth. At times it was also difficult to feel confident in my decision when others would question our choice to have a homebirth. I had to spend a lot of time in prayer asking for the Lord to grant me peace. I kept this verse close to my heart to help guide me through my fears.
Philippians 4:6 &7: “Do not worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
When I put total trust in this verse, the Lord was faithful to His word and granted me complete peace about our decision. I never looked back or doubted our decision again. I tried to tell myself to expect a March baby, but for some reason when I reached 37 weeks I thought that Lillian would come at anytime. Much to my surprise, the day before I was going to be 37 weeks I started experiencing contractions in the late evening. The contractions were 5 minutes apart and lasted for 2 hours when they suddenly stopped. For the next 3 weeks after this I had stop-start labor every few days. It was difficult and discouraging thinking each time that it could be the real thing. Imagine how I felt when my due date came and went. I started to become consumed with wanting labor to start. I had to keep praying for the Lord to grant me patience and trust in his timing for our sweet new daughter to arrive.
Finally, 2 days after my due date on March 2nd, 2013 I went into labor. When I woke up that morning, something felt different. I was having some intense lower back pain as well as consistent Braxton Hicks contractions. I was thankful when my husband agreed to allow me to get a manicure and pedicure to help me keep my mind off the fact that I was overdue. It was wonderful to be pampered and to spend some close time with my friend who joined me. I remember texting my husband during my pedicure and jokingly saying that I felt that it was going to be the day and that he better get busy setting up the birth pool…
When I got home from being pampered around 4pm I realized that the light contractions that I had been having were not going away. I decided to relax on the couch to see if they would stop or if this indeed was the real thing. After resting, the contractions were still coming. I gave my parents a call to arrange for them to keep our daughter overnight just in case I was going be giving birth that night. I also called the midwife and my best friend who was planning to photograph the birth and let them know that I would probably need them at some point during the night and that I would call if things picked up. My husband and I continued to rest on the couch as well as watch a few shows on TV. The contractions started to slow down and I began to get discouraged that it was another bought of false labor.
We decided to head to bed around 10pm. I went about my bedtime routine and finally laid down around 1030pm. Around 11:30pm the contractions really started to pick up and I was no longer comfortable to rest. I had my husband call the midwife and let her know that I would need her. I also texted my best friend and told her to head over. We began to fill the birth pool and I labored on an exercise ball. My friend arrived around 12:15am. When she got there I was laboring on the exercise ball and had my Pandora radio set on Kari Jobe station to stream Christian worship songs. I also had a few candles lit and the lights dimmed in the dinette area where the birth pool was filling. We started to boil a few pots of water to keep the pool water warm.
Finally a little after 1am the midwife arrived. I was eager to get in the birth pool as contractions were getting more intense and I felt I needed something to take the edge off the pain. The contractions were mainly in my back, similar to the labor I had experienced when my first daughter was born. Back labor can be a sign that the baby is posterior or sunny side up. My first daughter was posterior during labor but I was able to turn her by flipping from hands & knees position in the birth tub to relaxing laying on my back & doing that continuously. (No one told me to do that it just felt right & I let my body take the lead.) We were unsure if Lillian was posterior as well.
My midwife wanted to check and make sure that I was progressed enough to get in the pool as sometimes getting in the warm water can stall things. When she checked me, to my surprise, I was at 7 cm and was given the okay to get in the tub. Getting in the warm water was wonderful and helped me relax and get through the intense contractions I was feeling. I kept reminding myself when the contractions were getting very difficult that my body was created to give birth and that I could get through it. I also kept repeating the verse Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.” Contractions continued to pick up and the back labor was getting very intense.
My midwife was such a blessing and massaged my lower back each time a contraction would come. This was so helpful in allowing me to relax and focus through the contractions. My husband was also a huge blessing as he stood by the stove boiling pots of hot water to keep adding to the pool and his encouraging words gave me confidence to keep powering through. I also found that humming in a low tone helped me to get through the contractions. I remember during a few difficult contractions the song Here by Kari Jobe came on and it was the very same prayer I had been praying in that moment. I sang along and it gave me so much peace.
Around 3:30 am I got out of the pool to walk around, use the bathroom, and change positions. I labored on the couch for some time and then requested that my midwife check to see how far I was dilated. When she checked I was 8 cm. I found this very discouraging and my confidence took a dip. I began to request that she would break my water, as at that point it was still intact. She encouraged me to let my body take its course and that the bag of waters was beneficial in helping baby get in a good position as well as aide in further dilation. Shortly after I decided to get back in the pool. At around 4:30 am I got out of the pool to again use the bathroom and change positions. My midwife checked me and I had progressed to 9cm. I was continuing to feel discouraged as labor was getting very difficult and in my mind things should have been progressing faster. I had to regain my focus and continue praying for strength. I labored on the couch for a little while. My midwife tried a few techniques to help turn Lillian’s head into a good position. I remember asking her over and over why it was taking so long and that I wanted it to be time to push. She was so patient with me and kept reminding me that it would be soon.
I decided that I wanted to get back into the pool to be ready for the pushing stage. The water felt so soothing and helped me regain focus to get through the last centimeter of dilation. My midwife again tried some techniques to get Lillian in a good birth position as well as break the bag of waters. The amniotic sac was very strong and difficult for her to rupture. I was in so much pain and desperately praying that it would be pushing time. My midwife attempted again to break my water and finally it released. She knew that with the next contraction I would be feeling the urge to push. As soon as the next contraction started I pushed without waiting to feel the urge. This overwhelming feeling came upon me that I can’t begin to describe. Before I knew it, I had pushed Lillian’s head out and I reached down and felt it. With another push I birthed her shoulders and pulled her onto my chest. I could not believe that it was over! I pushed for 2 minutes! I stared at my beautiful new daughter in awe and wonder! My husband leaned over and kissed me and we continued to marvel over our new miracle! Thank you Jesus I kept repeating. I was so grateful that he granted us our desire to have a home water birth. I thanked my midwife for the blessing that she was and for the amazing support she had been to me throughout the birth process.
Lillian and I continued to rest in the pool as we waited for the cord to stop pulsing. My husband cut the cord and then soon after I birthed the placenta. We got to take a close look at the placenta and explore how uniquely God designed it. We got out of the pool and transferred over to the comfort of the couch while my midwife assessed Lillian. She measured her at 21 ¾ inches long and weighed her at 9 lbs even! I could not believe that she was 9 lbs! I had thought that she would have been around 8 lbs. After her assessment, Lillian was happy to nurse for the first time and latched on beautifully. My midwife began preparing an herbal bath for me, which was wonderful and soothing.
Lillian Faith was born at 5:55am on 3-3-13 at home in the water!
We had a beautiful birth and continue to be grateful that the Lord provided us with such an amazing experience.
Looking back it is so amazing to see God’s hand guiding me through the decision process as well as leading me to trust in Him during my times of fear and doubt. Psalm 37:4-5 “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the LORD, Trust him and he will help you.”
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