The birth of Lucinda Adalynn Francis

Ten days before my due date off and on all night I had braxton hicks and woke with real contractions at 3:30 in the morning. I finally got up to walk around and sit on the exercise ball for awhile to see if they increased or intensified.  I waited until a little after 5 to tell Kenny and he told me to call the midwife.  I felt a little anxious calling her so early in the morning even though I knew I was supposed to. 

She didn’t answer her cell phone so I called her again at home and her husband answered so I was a bit worried she was at another birth. She called me back and was actually just finishing up at a birth! I was so relieved and thankful!  She told me to see if a warm bath would calm them down and if it didn’t to call her back in an hour. The contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and were 30-60 seconds long.

They didn’t go away and seemed to get worse so she came around 8:30. She called her assistant around 10:30.  So I labored and they set everything up in the bedroom for delivery because we thought this would happen quickly.  I went from the bathroom, toilet, to the exercise ball.  Kenny finally convinced me to get checked around 1 because the contractions were getting more painful and intense.  I had been putting it off because I was so worried about being disappointed.  I guess I just had a feeling.  I was feeling so much pressure and pain so I was worried yet hopeful that maybe the pressure meant I was getting close.  I wanted my second baby to come fast!  So they checked me and I was only 4. The midwife stretched my cervix and moved it from back to front. I was so disappointed that I wasn’t any further along.  I moped around outside for a little while with Kenny.  He was holding me as we walked around the house.  He helped amp me back up!  It hurt so badly but I held on and lifted my chin up and tried to walk a little faster. 

I came inside because my legs were getting tired and then my water broke an hour or so later in the only room in the house with carpet!  So we started walking outside to help keep the contractions moving. The contractions were varying back and forth and not staying consistent especially when I got into the tub to ease the pain a little so I had to keep walking.  They also gave me something to hold under my tongue that burned to help bring on the contractions. The contractions were very painful and intense, pretty much all in my back. 

When I came in I sat on the toilet because it intensified them and they had me lay down for awhile which intensified them but I still managed to fall asleep haha!. I tried getting on my hands and knees to help stretch my back out and the assistant midwife put hot compresses on my back but it didn’t help and the compresses hurt more than helped.  Then I got on the birth stool and would stand up to bring on a contraction and sit down to go through them. They were almost unbearable so she checked me and I was finally 9! Yay!  I was getting ready to have a sugar crash so they got me fruit and orange juice which tasted amazing.  This was especially important to me because I had a sugar crash during labor with my son at the hospital and I had a nice nurse that had to sneak me some snacks. 

I never felt the ring of fire with my son because the doctor at the hospital numbed me because I was going to tear.  But damn I felt it with her! 

I was so tense in my pushing.  The midwives had to keep telling me to relax my forehead and my shoulders.  I was pushing on the birth stool with my hands and was creating the wrong kind of courter pressure.  My hands and legs went numb and tingly.  I kept shaking my hands trying to get feeling in them in between pushes.  It was the weirdest feeling ever.  I think my legs were numb because of how I was sitting on the birth stool but no idea about my hands. 

I started pushing at 5:05pm.  It only took 6 pushes or so to get her out which ended up being 7 minutes. So she was born at 5:13pm.  She was posterior and turned on the way out then turned again. Then it felt like the midwife had to push her back in but I think what happened was she rotated to the right direction and I felt relief.  Then she came out and straight to my arms and she actually latched on to nurse with 15 minutes! We waited for the placenta and Kenny cut the cord. I got to lie in bed and eat fruit. It was amazing, completely wonderfully amazing. She took 14 hours.

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The Birth of Mason Andrew

I want to share the birth of my 5th child while it is still fresh in my mind. He turned 20 months old this month. The birth was my 2nd home birth and my 1st water birth. It was also after 3 c-sections!

I found my midwife through word of mouth. From the first time I met her, she was understanding and generally interested in my pregnancy.

My pregnancy was as normal as any women could hope for. I had morning sickness, swelling, everything that happens in pregnancy. My last pregnancy went 41 weeks and 3 days so I was prepared to go past my guess date. I wasn’t however prepared to go 3 weeks and 2 days past my guess date!

My midwife was awesome in making me feel safe and that everything was going to be perfectly fine!

I had been having contractions for 2 weeks on and off. They would last hours, get closer together but never get more intense. I was at the end of my rope! On Dec 3rd 2011, I had another pre-natal appointment. I asked my midwife to check my cervix to see if the contractions were doing anything at all. Laying on my bed with my then 2 year old little girl she checked my cervix, (my little girl wanted to help. Literally) I was 4-5 cm! Baby was low, and I asked her to break my water. That was around 4:00 in the afternoon. My older girls cleaned the kitchen while my hubby ran around and gathered supplies and set up the birth pool. We called our dearest friends, they also are our videographers. They headed our way with their son and pizza! I remember sitting on my birthing ball waiting on contractions to start chatting with all the people I love the most. Around 5:30 (I think) contractions started, they didn’t mess around! I didn’t even get to eat! I remember how wonderful the water felt in the pool, I settled in and got to work. It is all a blur, but I remember I didn’t labor long before I felt the urge to push. I also know I didn’t get a break while pushing, it felt non-stop. Our little baby was born within 26 minutes into my own hands and it was incredible! My husband announced the gender, a boy! My middle daughter cut the cord. Within an hour I was in my bed with my entire family of 7. I can’t imagine giving birth any other way. And now that I am expecting again, the first person I called was my midwife. We consider her a part of our family.
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Even though this is just a short compacted version of my son’s birth story I hope it shined a little light on our beautiful experience. I can’t wait to do it again. 🙂

It is hard to fathom that I switched to homebirth after 5 kids born in the hospital.   Yet that is the path I took.   All of them were born in the same fairly natural childbirth friendly hospital.   However while the hospital was moving toward more baby friendly and more natural childbirth friendly it seemed the OBs were moving the other way.   There was an awesome CNMW who delivered my youngest daughter in 2006.  However with my 5th child he was born at 35 weeks so I risked out having the midwife deliver him.

I felt from the get go that his birth was early because of how medically managed his entire pregnancy was.   It seemed like every time I turned around they were trying to tell me I had this issue or that one and it was stressing me out.

So when I was pregnant again I really debated if I should attempt a homebirth.   I saw the homebirth midwife that would attend his birth and felt that was the route to go then freaked out and went to see if I could see a CNMW.   That one visit convinced me the homebirth was the way to go.   I had heard there were shots I could take to lower my risk of another preemie.   I was told not only did they not think the shots would help but that I would NOT see 35 weeks pregnant.   I was told I had no choice but to see the OB I didn’t like.   I asked if I could transfer to the CNMW at 36 weeks I was told no and again told I would not see 35 weeks pregnant.   I thought with that type of negativity they would be right so I ditched the thought of the hospital and committed myself 100% to a homebirth.

I admit as 35 weeks approached I worried about having my baby early.   As 36 weeks approached I breathed a sigh of relief.   After this point every appointment the midwife and I laughed at the notion I would not make it to 35 weeks.   As 40 weeks approached I started to feel like I would be pregnant forever.   ESP since I had made it almost 5 weeks longer than it was predicted I would.

The night of July 13th I knew I needed to relax and chill out.   I felt like a watched pot.   I took a long bath and planned for a good nights sleep.   The 14th was my EDD and after all babies don’t typically come on their due date so it wouldn’t be that night.   I took a nice long bath.   As the water was draining I felt like I had a few contractions.   I had a history of false labor that would stop with a bath so I refilled the tub and when I still contracted I figured this was the real thing.   I told my daughter and told her I was going to try to wait 30 minutes to make sure it was real before calling the midwife and my husband who was working nights.

It was not five minutes later when I knew waiting was not an option.   I called the midwife but told her to wait to come over (I was worried about calling her too early) and called my husband.   I tried to drink some water after every contraction. I also had my son get the birth pool ready.    It was not long before they were so intense I had no desire to drink water.   I started to get angry at my husband what was taking him so long to get there.   Little did I know he made the 45 minute trip in about 20 minutes.   It felt like 2 hours to me.   When he got there I admitted it was time to call the midwife.   I still tried to act like oh this is no big deal.

We head to the birth area I had set up downstairs and I confide I better be in transition or I am in trouble.   I sent my girls who were so supportive out of the room into my bedroom.   The. Is wife’s apprentice arrives first.   She talks me through a contraction which was great because I was certain I couldn’t do this at this point.   The midwife arrives and she checks my blood pressure and then asks to check dilation.    I agree but debated begging her not to tell me if I am less tha. 7 but then I figured if she didn’t tell me I would know I was that dilated and would get defeated.  So when she says “oh about 9 1/2” I got so excited.  I know knew I could do this.   I tell y daughter to call my mom and my husband to call his parents.   The midwife says I can get in the pool and I practically ran and jumped in.

My husband returned to me after calling his parents and my daughter went back to my room.  Right when he got back I had to change position.   I couldn’t figure out how I wanted to but I knew I had to shift.   As soon as I moved I felt the urge to push but couldn’t figure out how to push till I found the right position which turned out to be squatting.   I was freaking out about could I push effectively when my water was still intact.   Well that was answered.   I started to push heard an audible “pop” continued to push and next thing I knew my baby was born.   My girls were in the next room on my bed literally a few steps away.  They both jumped up when they heard the pop only for one to see my son born and the other to see the midwife lifting him out of the water,  I had my water break and my son born in 1 push!

It was only later I learned that my son was posterior.   It made me laugh because with my preemie the OB that delivered him said if she had known he was posterior she would have done a c-section because posterior babies can’t be born vaginally.   Here not only had I given birth to two posterior babies vaginally but one of them in just one push.

Total labor from start to finish was about 55 minutes.  And it seemed he did not get the memo that babies aren’t born on their due dates cause he was born on his due date.   By the time his grandparents arrived he was about about 30 minutes old and we laughed because my husband’s. mother had brought a book to read while she waited and she didn’t even get to open it.

The birth of Gideon

My birth stories are a little out of norm. I have two kids, neither of which were born in a hospital setting. My daughter was born at 38 weeks 100% healthy into my husband’s arms after 4 1/2 hours of labor. We had no midwife. Where we lived at the time had no midwives serving the area, so we decided to trust nature and go for it. We prepared all we could for the moment and read anything and everything we could get our hands on.
When I became pregnant with my son, I didn’t feel quite as comfortable with that situation since we were much farther from the hospital. I was able to find a wonderful midwife who helped to alleviate worries and answer all my questions, no matter how dumb.
Given how short my labor was with my daughter, I was a little worried about what to expect with #2. During the last month or so of my pregnancy, I ended up having a lot of Braxton hicks contractions, which really just served to worry me more. I spent weeks thinking he may come early, then when my due date came and went, I spent a week worrying what I’d do if he decided he didn’t want to show up!
12 days past my due date, I got up to use the restroom only to have my water break as soon as I stood up. Not long after the contractions came. They were strong, but not too bad, so I woke my husband up, then called my midwife. Not even a minute passed after I hung up that I had a powerful contraction. As soon as it ended I knew my baby had decided he not only was ready to come join us, but he was determined to as soon as possible! For about an hour my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. We had a birthing pool from our midwife, which I took full advantage of as soon as my husband got it filled.
Not long after I got in did I have the urge to push. It wasn’t until he was crowning that my midwife showed up! It was really perfect timing, because that was about the time I was losing it. She really helped me stay focused for those last couple minutes.
Once I had my baby in my arms I just felt relaxed. Since I haven’t had a hospital birth, I can’t really speak too much, but I just couldn’t imagine trying to relax with all the commotion that comes with a hospital.
My baby boy was a whopping 7lbs 2oz. Everything went perfectly. Once all the measurements were done and everything was cleaned up, I was able to crawl into my own bed with our new family member and get some much needed rest.
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The Birth of Lilah

This is a short account of the 2004 birth of my third and last child. Her older brother was born in Bloomington Hospital, her older sister was born at home in 2002.
  I am thrilled to announce the birth of my new daughter Lilah. She was born at home last night at1:12am (9/8/04), 8 pounds even, 19.5 inches long, APGARs of 10 and 10!

 The short version of the birth story:

My midwife stripped my membranes for the fourth time (oy) the afternoon of the 7th. I took black and blue cohosh. Labor started (again) at around 3:30 or 4pm. Hubby came home and the midwives came over. A friend came over to watch the two older kids.

Labor was not that hard to deal with, but I wasn’t (as it turned out) dilating. The kids went to bed. Hours passed. I went upstairs to try to rest and our friend went home. I spent a couple of hours zoning out between contractions and listening to DH snore. During contractions I would dream of an epidural and a c-section. 🙂

Suddenly my water broke, I was in excruciating pain, I wanted to take a shower and I was miserable beyond imagining. I got in the shower and a few moments later started to push. After a few very intense moments, she was born. I got to cut her cord myself and check her parts. I was surprised enough to discover that she was a girl that I rechecked again a few minutes later. 😉

We should have realized when I got all freaked out and incoherent and crazy that I was in transition, but I was too far gone to think, myself. After all, from reaizing my water had broken to holding the baby took about six minutes!

She’s gorgeous!