S and J started care with me at 18 weeks along in their pregnancy. They were welcoming their sixth baby into the family. S had five typical, mainstream hospital births in the past. For multiple reasons, S and J wanted to do things differently with this baby. On the morning of June 16th, I woke to a text at 4am from J, stating that S had been contracting regularly for a couple hours and they were progressively getting harder. S has a history of quick labors, so we did not want to give too much time waiting and seeing what her body was doing. S did not want me to come yet, but fifteen minutes later, J text that S was having bloody show. I dressed and headed out the door, praying baby would not beat me! Little did we know what kind of labor journey this sweet little one was going to take his mama on! I arrived a little before 5am, and found S sitting on her birth ball, chopping fruits and veggies. S has a very hospitable heart and she did not want the birth team to go hungry! Contractions were coming every 4 minutes, just shy of a minute long in length. About thirty minutes later, we did our initial cervical check. S was 3cm dilated, 70% effaced and baby was hanging out high at a -2 station. S was encouraged and went back to preparing snacks on her ball, stopping every 3-4 minutes to breathe and sway through a contraction. Through the five o’clock hour, the birth team began trickling in. S had chosen to have a wonderful doula to be part and help her through her labor journey as well as an awesome friend who had a home birth with me a year prior. S was surrounded by women who loved the Lord, loved her, and loved and trusted birth. As 7 am approached, S requested to sit on her ball and watch “Monster In Law.” She wanted to laugh. Her doula applied counter pressure and applied en essential oil blend to S’s back to help with the back pain. Through the 7 o’clock hour, S alternated between sitting on the ball and standing, pacing the living room. Through the hour, S stated the contractions were much harder. We began to prepare the birth pool. S got in as the clock turned 8am. 45 minutes passed, and S decided to get out of the pool. She requested a cervical check and found her to be 4cm dilated. S was feeling upset and discouraged that this labor was not going anything like her past labors. I encouraged S and J to to rest, talk, pray. S was concerned about everyone sitting around the house. She did not want to keep anyone from their family’s. After talking, S decided she would like the birth team to go get some breakfast while she and J napped. We returned just shy of noon. Contractions were roughly every 5-6 minutes now, shorter and not as strong. S requested she would like to do some herbs to help active labor to begin. We began doing some tinctures to bring on more frequent contractions. As 1pm neared, we helped S wrap her belly to help baby engage, and tried homeopathy to help with the cervix. S walked around the house. Discouragement was building. As 2pm came, we discussed a plan. I talked with S that she could take a couple benadryl to quiet her uterus and get some sleep. S just wanted to hold her baby. We talked about artificially rupturing her membranes, discussing the serious risks and possible outcomes. S and J talked and prayed and they decided they wanted me to break her water. At 2:50pm, we broke S’s water. Mom and baby did great. The desired affect happened almost immediately. Within minutes, S was in active labor. Contractions were every 3 minutes, over a minute long and clearly hard. We quickly got the pool filled up again, and S anxiously got into the pool thirty minutes later. S did amazing at listening to her body. She shifted between sitting in the pool, hands and knees and reclining back to her husband. Worship music played on the computer, and the birth team sang worship songs over S. My favorite song on her labor play list was this song. What a perfect song for the labor journey! S began feeling pushy. She pushed some with a couple contractions, feeling upset that the baby wasn’t here already. I asked S if she would like me to do a check. She was 7cm dilated, 80% effaced and baby was at a 0 station. Great change in the 90 minutes since her water had been broken. With every contraction, we encouraged S how amazing she was. When she doubted she could do it, we reminded her that she was doing it. The contraction had passed and she would never need to do that one again. We gave J some essential oil blend designed for calming in labor that he applied to S’s neck and shoulders. Shortly after 5 pm, S’s doula stated, “I think I see the head.” I felt a clementine size amount of the head sitting on the perineum. S began spontaneously pushing. The next minute, the head was crowning. The head birthed the next minute, and the body birthed a minute later. Baby and placenta both gave us a few hiccups in the first hour postpartum, but soon baby transitioned beautifully, breathing well and lungs clear, and mama birthed that stubborn placenta. This poor mama had endured five episiotomies in her hospital births. JJ was her biggest baby and she did not tear! Mama also struggled with breastfeeding in the past, and this little guy latched like a champ! So blessed to have been given the opportunity to work with this amazing family. Welcome to the world sweet Jonathon Joseph, born earth side on June 16, 2014 at 5:08 pm, weighing in at 9.10#, 20.5″. Such a peaceful, gentle birth into the water and to mama’s arms. JJ is so loved and cherished by his mom and dad and five older siblings.
Winter in Scotland
It has been a while since a new blog post, but with good reason, as it has continued to be a busy