I’ve birthed 7 babies. 6 of them I experienced an over medicalized birth in a mainstream hospital maternity ward. Each and every 6 hospital births were a push of interventions. Little options were given. “We are giving you an IV.” “We are keeping the monitor on.” “We can’t let you submerse yourself in water since your water has broken.” “We are going to start pitocin.” “Here’s your hospital gown.” “We are cutting the cord now.” “We need to deliver your placenta sooner than later.” “Don’t push yet.” “Push harder.” I could go on....
Finally I submersed myself in research. Choosing to free birth our seventh baby and freeing us both from a medicalized birth AND pregnancy. After all this time I researched and realized, I was meant for this. I don’t need interventions. My body and baby know what to do. Choosing free birth is not choosing the unknown.
Choosing to free birth is informing yourself, empowering yourself and arming yourself with the knowledge and confidence that every woman should feel on this journey. Pregnancy and childbirth is not a disability. I realized that my only doubts or fears were in those who may disturb my process. How you survive trauma is not how you heal from trauma. I was determined to bring our baby earth side freely, without the use of any medical intervention what so ever. My journey along this process was so much more of a growth experience than I had ever realized it would be. I’ve always been doubtful of myself. Of my decisions and paths I choose to take in life. This journey has been freeing and taught me that I am strong. I am powerful. I am capable. I am confident. I don’t need to doubt myself. I am worthy of the birth I deserve, the birth I am perfectly capable of. With that came our seventh baby. This is my birth story...
As expected my water broke this time. My last four babies have arrived between 35-36 weeks. This time I was 36+4. I was elated to have made it past the 36 week mark. My water broke around 9:30 on 11/25 when I was in the bath. I got out and sat on my ball for a while and called Cody upstairs. We were both super excited! We decided to go on a walk around the park across the street to see if we could get my contractions more consistent. I had been having some but nothing really regular. After we came back home I got into a warm shower and Cody ran to the store to get me some good snacks and last minute supplies. The contractions came on and off all night and I tried sleeping in between. Still nothing super consistent. By morning I had taken a couple baths and the kids were beginning to wake up and come check on me. By 11 we decided we would take the kids across the street to the park so we could walk around more. I think they were more anxious than I was feeling :)
I didn’t even make it all the way and the contractions were coming. They began to feel more intense and closer spaces over the next hour or so before we came home. Cody fed the kids lunch and I went upstairs for another bath. As the waves were coming I closed my eyes and swayed side to side imagining I was being held in ribbons that I glided through to meet my baby. During rest time for the kids Cody came upstairs and my Mom had called and checked on me and said she was on her way soon. The next several hours Cody loved and supported me through every contraction. I was having back labor like I couldn’t believe and not much was alleviating the pain. I went from the bath to the bed and then back to the bath again. The water felt so good.
My Mom arrived and took the kids to the park, lifesaver! They were definitely getting anxious for the baby to arrive too. Around 4:15 I started wondering how close he was getting. I didn’t feel like I was making progress. I think that was my only moment of true doubt. Cody talked me through it, encouraged me and reminded me of how I’d be nursing our baby skin to skin before long. Afterward he said that by that point my contractions were so close and he knew it was going to be soon. I had been doing well maintaining my mindset through most all of my contractions doing what they call “horse lips” I really felt like it helped keep everything relaxed and open and not tense.
Once I was in transition there was no break anymore. I felt like I was in a spiral and began screaming at that point. I had two contractions back to back and started pushing with the first one. I felt him descend quickly. Cody was really doing great being supportive and especially during the final minutes. I’m so thankful for him!
After the second contraction at 4:47 pm Cade was born in our tub at home into my hands. He arrived so peaceful without any crying. Because he was a bit early I was sure to really watch his respirations, response and heart rate. It took a few minutes for him to adjust while I kept him skin to skin and I did suction out his mouth and nose with my own to clear his airway. His color was great within a couple of minutes and he was just so content. Cody and I have just been in awe. We did it! We welcomed our baby unhindered together, just him and I.
I gave birth freely. NOT on my back, NOT attached to machines, NOT while being traumatized.