“I had what would be my last prenatal appointment on Wednesday, September 14 at about 41 weeks. Jennifer thought I was very close to going into labor, which was encouraging.
Thursday, I had a chiro appt and she tried to hit some pressure points for me. I just had a feeling that it was going to be the night so I cleaned the house so that I would have the most peaceful environment possible and tried Jennifer’s suggestions for encouraging labor. It worked because contractions started at 1am. They weren’t painful and about 20 mins apart so I was still skeptical. I woke my husband up at 2am and we eventually called Jennifer when they were about 15-17 mins apart. She told me to call again if it changes at all. I had some at 6 mins-10’mins apart and she said she and Tara were hitting the road.
I called the photographer and my mom as well. Everyone got there between 4-4:30am. I had some intense contractions but they were pretty manageable for the most part. It did get to a point where I really needed hip squeezes, which Tara showed my husband how to do, and in hindsight, I figured that was transition because most of the contractions were less intense after that. I really felt like I needed to lay down since I’d only had an hour and a half of sleep, so that’s what I did. Things got quiet for a while and I started to get in my head about how tired I was and why I didn’t feel things picking up.
Jennifer eventually said she thought I had been at a place for quite some time where I could have started pushing and tried to figure out if I had any fears holding me back. I probably did, but I also never had any urge to push, which was much different than how things went with my first birth. It was starting to get light outside and was taking much longer than I expected since my first was such a quick delivery. I started to get discouraged because I knew that exhaustion was sometimes a reason that homebirth moms decide to transfer to the hospital and I just felt like I needed to sleep. I went to the bathroom and decided to check and see if I could feel anything. The bag of waters was bulging, so I finally had some indication that I was making progress even though I hadn’t felt anything changing, which was all the encouragement I needed.
I came back into the room and told l Jennifer, and everyone started getting supplies ready. She told me I could really try pushing into the contractions even though I didn’t feel the urge, or we could wait around a few more hours for the fetal ejection reflex. I was grateful that she presented both options. She and I both knew I wanted to be done laboring. After I tried pushing a few times, she realized the baby’s chin was not tucked and told me that it was going to take some work to push him out. She coached me through a few contractions and finally told me I was pushing right where I needed to. I definitely had some fear holding me back at this point but I trusted Jennifer to help guide me through. I never thought to myself that I can’t do it, I just wondered how I was going to do it, but my worship playlist kept reminding me to lean on God for strength, and I knew I was in the absolute best hands with Jennifer.
It was extremely difficult but my water broke while I was pushing through a contraction, and I realized that what I was doing was working. I was getting the hang of it and said out loud that I could get the baby out within 5 more pushes. Everyone agreed which gave me the confidence I needed to keep going. I felt the head come down and felt fearful again but Jennifer wouldn’t let me give up -thank goodness – and she kept telling me to give it everything I’ve got. The head came out, but then the next contraction came and I still couldn’t get the baby out. Jennifer determined the shoulder was a little bit stuck and she expertly manipulated him while I continued to push. I finally felt the rest of the body come out and heard crying as Jennifer placed the baby between my knees on a towel.
Every plan I had for my husband to announce the gender went out the window because I immediately looked down and said “oh my gosh it’s a boy!” We were completely shocked. I’ll never forget the look on my husband’s face, and I’m so thankful that I was able to stay so present so that I could see his reaction this time and take it all in together with him (during my first birth I was still too far off in labor land for a few more seconds to even realize there was a baby in the room).
Tara and Jennifer handed him to me to soak him in for a few minutes before they helped me get off the floor and into my bed to nurse and snuggle him. The cord pulsed for quite a while and the placenta came about 30-40 minutes later. After about an hour Jennifer checked him over and weighed him. I will also never forget the look on all of their faces when the scale read 10lbs 8oz!
Somehow, I only had a small tear, no stitches, and recovery was much easier than with my daughter, even though her delivery was easier.
It felt AMAZING to be in my own bed afterward and get some sleep without anybody bothering me or my baby. My daughter got to meet her little brother immediately and I didn’t have to spend any time away from her, which would have been really sad and stressful for me. As difficult as his delivery was, I am extremely grateful to have done it in my own home and could only imagine how much more difficult it would have been in a hospital. Jennifer told me that because of his position, things would have ended in a vacuum, forceps, and a huge tear, or c-section if I had been in a hospital setting.
People tell me I am brave for having a baby at home, but I tell them that, knowing what I know now, it would take more bravery to choose to have another baby in a hospital! I am so thankful for Jennifer and the care she provided throughout my entire pregnancy and birth and for making this amazing, beautiful experience possible for me and my family.“
?: Aleena Sepp Little Light Films