Abigails Story


My Home Birth

–woke to use bathroom.

—snack and quiet time (psalm 22), trying to fall back asleep

—contractions 10 minutes then 5 minutes apart. 4 or 5 in last hour. Stronger and crampier in lower back. Called Judith to come

—contractions 5 min apart, 50 seconds; Judith calls and says she’ll be another ½ hour b/c she hit a coyote and can’t drive her car. Waiting on Sha to pick her up.

—small gush with contraction

—Judith and Sha arrive. Contractions immediately get stronger and I start crying. (Judith later said I then could let my guard down once they arrived.) On hands and knees rocking during contractions. Judith suggested I sing a favorite hymn through contractions. “There is a Fountain” (but didn’t know all the words!) Then Martin suggested “Holy Holy Holy.” Martin working on filling up baby pool. Hose from hot water heater wasn’t working to fill pool, so he filled up pot after pot of hot water.

—got in baby pool. Praying through contractions, against fear primarily and for patience and the Lord’s timing of this labor. (please have it go fast!) Judith suggested either “Thank you, Lord” for dealing with the pain and fear or “It doesn’t matter.” I used “Thank you, Lord” for the majority of the time until pushing when I nearly couldn’t take the pain. Then it was “It doesn’t matter!” (let’s get this baby outta here! Oh, I should wait for a contraction I guess!) Boy did it hurt. The pain up until I started to push was definitely uncomfortable but manageable. The feeling of water helped—Martin pouring hot water into the pool and it felt good swirling under my back. I would move my arms back and forth in the water, and that helped me relax. I could pee if I had to, fully trying to relax my body and not resist the contractions. At one point I had to use the bathroom and had to get out of the pool. That was bad, so after that I decided if I had to go, I’d go in the pool. (hee hee)

A couple times I felt the urge to push and wasn’t sure if it was needing to “go” or if it was the baby. Judith said to see if I could feel the baby’s head. The first time I couldn’t. The next time she suggested it I said “I don’t want to.” I think that was transition (irritability!) I was wondering what Judith and Sha were doing—just watching—and how much longer this was going to take. At one point I asked Judith something to the effect of “OK, what’s next here?” (She actually said…”Aren’t you going to do something?”)  I was wondering if she was going to check me—I was getting nervous that we were far away from being done. She said if nothing happens in 20 minutes she would check me. Later she told me she could tell by my voice, my face and body movements that things were indeed very close. I was thinking things were slowing down because I was in the water.

So I kept trying to pray and focus on each contraction, not fear the future. Sha and Judith kept saying I was doing a good job  and that each contraction was getting me closer (I looked at Sha like, “Really? Are you lying—this is probably going to take forever, isn’t it?”). I felt the baby moving—down probably—a few times. A couple times I felt pressure and had to push, but it was a bowel movement, and so I said “Pooping!” so everyone would know what was going on and that I actually might be mistaken and a baby might be coming out. Several times Judith said to “blow it off” to the urge to push.

— Judith suggested I move to my knees, leaning my arms over front of pool (I think partly to relieve the intense back pressure). The next couple/few contractions were more intense and I was starting to lose my focus. Martin tried pouring water on my back—and I definitely did not like that. J said this was transition!. Martin rubbed my back through one contraction and I told him where to rub for the next one. But I suddenly felt intense pain and pressure and I guess I started to push—he must’ve moved down quickly with the change in position. I don’t remember what all happened next too clearly. It went so fast.

—first push on knees. Head starts to crown to 50%. Judith tells Martin to  puts his hand down there to touch baby’s head. It was hurting really badly and that’s when Judith again suggested the “It doesn’t matter” phrase. She said I gave her a “you are crazy!” look. But then I took it and said it with all my might! I started to raise up and out of the water to move away from the pain, Judith said to stay down and helped me by holding my shoulders.

—second push, full crown and baby comes right out with a little extra push.  Martin had his  hands on baby’s head, felt the crowning and was there behind me as Judith and Sha were in the front catching the baby and pulling him up close to me right away. Definite tears of joy for Daddy and me saying, “Am I done? I’m done—I’m done! Ohhh.” They gave the baby to me as  Judith worked to get the cord unwrapped. Thankfully it was a long cord, but it was around his leg 1.5 times and around neck. He was purple.  Sha helped me get my wet T-shirt off  so we could have skin contact and keep him warm. A few minutes later everybody helped me stand up and move over to pallet on floor. Baby on my chest, Judith checking him out and Martin rubbing his feet. Baby starting to cry! Sha checking my bleeding and pulsing of cord.

—we listed this as birth time. (I think the clock was 3 minutes fast though)

–Long minutes later Martin cut the cord.

—delivered placenta

—baby latches on to nurse

Judith did measurements, didn’t have scale until Sha returned with her car around 11:00.

By then baby had had two big poops and weight was 8 -15 so we rounded it up to 9 pounds. 21.25 inches long.