Category Archives: Personal Experiences

My First Unassisted Birth… 11 Years Later

First UP/UC, First Son (Third Child) born on 8/6/2008

At the time, we thought our due date was the 23rd of July, but when I was measuring 40wks for 3 weeks I decided to check my dates again just to be sure. Sure enough, I had miscalculated and my EDD was actually the 30th.

Contractions began on July 13th (at 37½ (ish) weeks, but I thought I was almost 39(ish) weeks). They came and went several days and would be between 3-11 minutes apart but would cease after a few hours.  I declared and trusted that they were all prep for the delivery that would come in God’s perfect time.

With lots of prodromal labor, the 26th came with more prep, the 29th brought “bloody show,” our EDD of July 30th came and went, and August 2 brought more progress that left me at 2-3 cm dilated.

As August 5th came and went, even more prep occurred: a quick progression from 3cm to 5cm and a smaller gap between contractions but all this ceased to continue by evening. This left me joking on August 6 that I’d never have this baby and the Lord put Isaiah 66:9 on my heart to which it reads: “‘Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?’ says the LORD. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?’ says your God.” I chuckled at myself and again trusted in His perfect timing.

As I labored all day on the 6th, contractions varying between 4 and 20 minutes apart, I talked with my sister all throughout it to keep myself distracted. We laughed and she kept me accountable to continue to trust in God’s plan.

At around 5pm the contractions were getting quite uncomfortable and achy and I wanted to be alone so I left my husband in the living room with the kids and laid down, still chatting with my sister on the phone. I was still able to talk through the second half of it after the peak past and we’d enjoy conversing and preparing for delivery until sometime after 6. We talked about videotaping it, perhaps using the tub, things to keep in mind after baby came, considering emergency situations and the like.

Following 6pm, the contractions went from lasting a minute or so to lasting closer to a minute and a half and I could no longer talk through any of it but they were still varying between 4 and 20 minutes apart and I decided that when they were more regular (around 4 and 5) that I would fill the tub. Nearly 7pm came and I had a couple of “great” contractions that left me wondering if I should try to go to the bathroom but still 7 minutes apart. Then another came that left me claiming the promises of God for a pain-free birth.

I then let my sister go and went to the bathroom to have a bowel movement. While I sat there, I noticed trickling warmth and thought, “is that my water?” I had the urge to push and have another bowel and so I went with it (because it hurt when I held back) and more fluid pushed its way through. I hollered for dh down the hallway to tell him that my water had broke and he said “Wow, that’s convenient!” It was now 7:30 and I had him call my sister back to let her know that my water broke and I wouldn’t be calling her back right away. He also got our two and four year old daughters into their beds.

I continued to feel the urge to push and as long as I was, I felt no pain. I figured it would be in the next day or two that this baby would be joining us and began to get very excited! And then I realized my urges to push were not to have a bowel movement!!

I hollered dh back in to let him know that I was feeling pushy and asked him to get the shower curtains that were earlier prepared, onto the floor so I could transition from the toilet to the daybed. I checked my cervix and while doing so, I dilated from 5 cm to 10 and began effacing. I again hollered for him to come back in.

I told him “I’m pushing and I think I’m just going to stay here.” He laughed and joked how his baby’s first experience would be a swirly. I laughed and shook my head at his silliness. “On the floor goober!” So we laughed and he came to help me to the daybed but the contractions were on top of each other and moving my legs were out of the question (as long as they were propped up on stools in a squatted position and pushing, I felt no pain). I explained to him that I was waiting for the contraction to end but it wasn’t happening. He exclaimed how fast that was as he rushed to keep our two and four year old daughters in their room (I’m sure they were antsy and wondering what the commotion was).

Suddenly my water burst and baby’s head was fully engaged and crowning – it was time for babe to come OUT! I hollered for dh to come back, that the head was right there. I got up to sit on the floor, and dh came running in and helped me and asked if I wanted a pillow. He ran back out to get a pillow, only for me to holler that the baby’s head was coming out – there is NO TIME!!! He ran back in and threw the pillow behind me. Propped up on one hand I was in tears and laughter at all of this coming together. I felt the baby’s head bulging through and I was tense against it in a moment of fear and then reminded myself to relax. As I did, without even a push, the head started coming out and before my husband could finish telling me how great I was doing, my body gently eased the baby out and the head came through. Dh was in utter shock at how easy that was for me! I propped myself up with both hands and I again relaxed and felt the rest of the baby slide out like jiggly jello into Daddy’s hands. I heard my dh exclaim how much faster that was than our previous births.

Our sweet baby’s soft cry permeated the air around us.

We rested the baby’s bottom on the floor (that was covered in a sheet and a puppy pad) as I held the upper body in my hand and we looked at each other at the craziness of what just happened. It was all in a matter of 30 minutes (but felt like 5), and we were holding our baby in just 5-10 minutes after we “knew” it was time. I realized I didn’t know the gender and reached down. I looked up and said “It’s a boy!” and we both cried and laughed at the amazement and awe of all of what just happened. I held him close as my husband got the girls up to meet their brother. We were all so excited and laughing and celebrating. I wiped him down and rubbed his back as his color got brighter and then massaged the vernix into his skin.

Dh then helped me to the daybed and we loved on our newest addition to the family. I then nursed him as dh called to let all the Grandparents know as well as my sister, his brother, our cousin, and his aunt, that we just delivered our SON.

About an hour later I delivered the placenta into a bowl and I got into bed and nursed him again still in utter awe that God had blessed us with a son. When he was 2 hours old and the cord was no longer pulsating, we cut it and got him all snuggled up and cozy. “I can no longer say ‘the girls’ when referring to my children!” I whispered. We were nestled together for another hour before I laid him in his bed and he drifted into a quiet sleep. I couldn’t sleep… I was so in awe and so I got up and called my sister. We were both amazed at how fast it all happened.

It was a BEAUTIFUL experience; raw, real, personal, and fun. No poking, no suggestions, no tests, no monitors… We were immediately made comfortable and got plenty of rest that night.

 

Postpartum: New Life; New Baby

So often, when one becomes pregnant, a lot of the focus is on growing a human inside the womb, birthing that human, and then raising that human.  Sometimes we can forget that there is a transition period between birth and the new life with a baby. This period of time is called postpartum and it’s a transition for healing, adapting, and discovering your capabilities; learning to trust oneself in this role of motherhood.  As a Postpartum Doula, my job is to encourage women to do these things – to see their power, to know their body and their baby, and to trust their instincts. It’s an honor to be a part of this support that surrounds women during such a time when we are tired, hurting, and taking the time to take care of ourselves while also caring for a newborn.  Not all women want or need a doula, but for those of you that do, there are wonderful benefits in doing so. Could you share with me what some of the things you wish you had help with from a doula after you gave birth to your baby? What would you have appreciated as you transitioned and adapted to your new life with a new little person to care for? What is something you had that you are grateful for? I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts as I prepare to begin doula work and find ways that truly benefit women.  Thank you so much for sharing your experiences via email (cornerpillarsofapalace), IG @cornerpillarsofapalace, facebook (https://www.facebook.com/cornerpillarsofapalace/), and here at this blog.

Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#7

Fifth UP/UC, Third Son (Seventh Child) born on 01/07/2018

Despite being our seventh babe, the pregnancy came as a surprise. Once the original shock wore off, we were so thankful for the newest babe growing in my womb. We shared the news with my oldest daughter first, who then wanted to tell her siblings through the game hangman. As they solved the puzzle, their faces lit up with excitement once they learned the news. Another babe was joining our family!

It was an uneventful pregnancy but I got quite big and it was more and more uncomfortable getting around. By the end of it, I had gained over 70lbs to my dismay. I took a poll asking friends to guess the reason for my extra large belly: lots of fluid? big baby? twins? haha

At 2:56pm on January 6th, I noticed a change in the contractions I’d already been having for a couple weeks. The intensity was changing and began taking my breath away and made it a little more difficult to talk or walk through. I watched them for an hour, asking my husband when he’d be home from work, and informing him that the contractions were 7-15mins apart and increasing in intensity. I made a guess based on history that he should be home in under 4 hours to be on the safe side and I’d let him know if anything changed that needed him to come home sooner.

Not much changed by the time he got home so we just hung out. I let my friend know that it might be the real thing and to keep her phone on. I went to lay down around 8 to see if the contractions would stop or wake me up when I laid down. Each one woke me every 7-15mins over the next hour. It wasn’t comfortable so I got up and went to sit with my husband in the living room. I decided to call my friend and let her know that she could come in about an hour or so but that it could still subside at any time. She came and we chatted between contractions.

About 3am but while they were increasing in intensity, they were still 7-15mins apart. Since she lived close by, I suggested she get home and we get some sleep and I’d call her when I thought it was time. I went to bed and woke up with each contraction, still maintaining about 10mins apart and chose to get up around 6am as the contractions were too much for in bed. My husband also got up to help with the kids as I worked through the contractions and rested. My friend joined us around 10am or so and we enjoyed each other’s company between contractions. With each contraction, depending on where my husband was, I’d call to him and he’d sit with me as I breathed through it.

I would begin to question whether I was truly in labor, and then I’d have a strong and intense contraction and we’d all laugh that it obviously was. I noticed with a couple of the contractions that my body began bearing down so I was trying to decide where to ultimately labor and birth the baby. In the past, I’d ended up in the bathroom and that was where I stayed until baby was born, but I was a bit apprehensive of the intensity and wanted something a bit more comfortable. My husband brought our mattress into the living room and covered it with the shower curtain we had bought, to protect it. I climbed onto the bed and started out on all fours for several contractions.

I then turned around for a bit. At 1:45pm, as I was laboring in a sitting position. Lots of water kept coming and coming, so my friend helped my husband to get some towels underneath me.

I decided I wanted to be on all fours again and turned around. I labored there and more water kept coming. It was quite surprising just how much water there was, actually. haha I continued to labor and the intensity was too much for the strength I had left. My legs were shaky and I chose to turn around. I am unsure whether I regret this or just think it would have been easier if I just held out a little longer. I didn’t know at the time that baby was going to be born very soon.

I decided I wanted to sit on my bottom, so I turned to do so and I chatted with my husband. He always knows just what to say to make me laugh. I was sitting on towels now, because of the waters that had poured out onto the bed. The contractions were difficult in that position with no support behind me, so I had my husband sit behind me to lean on him.

With each contraction, now much closer together, I allowed my body to bear down as my husband reminded me to breath and follow my body. I could hear myself hollering and roaring with each push so between contractions, I looked to my 13yo daughter to remind her that I was okay and not to worry. Her and my 11yo daughter was present, awaiting the arrival of their youngest sibling.

I checked to see if I could feel the baby’s head and I felt it, all squished and coming down. I continued to bear down, and felt myself poo. I was thankful that I was covered in a blanket for my personal comfort of modesty. It was around this time that I could hear voices surrounding me and I realized someone was praying. I found great comfort in it and I was so thankful that I had my friend and her daughter along with my two daughters present. I continued to push and felt the baby descend, I could feel the baby’s head all squished as it crowned and asked my friend to check to make sure it was the head and not the bottom (though in hindsight, labor would have been more intense for my back and hips if that had been the case). She assured me it was the head and I relaxed despite the burning sensation.

I heard myself say to my husband that it was too hard and he encouraged me and reminded me of what I’m capable of. I began to roar again and pushed the baby’s head out. I was shocked how big his head was, as it was bigger than the size of the birth canal. I said the head was out and was facing down. I breathed and continued following my body’s lead and pushed the rest of the body out with another roar, feeling arms crossed at the chest. I breathed a sigh of relief for a moment before uncovering the baby from under the blanket at 2:20pm. I saw he was a boy, noticed poo up his back, then I saw his arms flop, and his face was purple.

I noted to my husband that he was purple and I needed a towel. I wiped his face, wiped his back, and rubbed his back and chest to encourage him to breath. Ready to take the next step, he made a little squeak and his color began to pink up, then he began to cry.

I looked up at that point to see everyone tearful. He was here. He was here after 24hrs of labor, all 11lbs of him with that 15″ head! I laid back with him and could feel all the work I had done and felt tired. Not long after, I delivered the placenta, thankful to find that I hadn’t torn at all. My husband then cut the cord, helped me wash up, and cleaned up from the birth, then helped me to bed so I could sleep and nurse the baby. I slept for the rest of the day and through the night as he took care of the rest of the kids.

Chelubai Theodore (whole hearted gift of God) has been nursing like a champ and is a sweet addition to the family. It’s as if he was here all along. Life has been pretty normal considering another person being added to our crew. The Lord knows good gifts and this boy is a great gift indeed.

So thankful for you, Chelubai…

Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#6

Fourth UP/UC, Second Son (Sixth Child) born on 12/25/2015!

We were so thrilled to learn that we were expecting our sixth child on April 4th 2015! I had no clue I was pregnant but took the test just for fun. We shared the news with our friends and family after surprising the kids with the news. It was a lot of fun to see the expressions on my kids’ faces and to hear everyone we told be excited with us. Here is the video of us telling the kids:

I determined by what information I had that I was due around December 5th. The pregnancy was full of emotional healing and growth from other  events in my life as we enjoyed doing my own care ourselves. The pregnancy went very fast for the most part and I enjoyed watching my belly grow.

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Once I reached 38wks pregnant, I began to get a bit antsy but was determined to continue trusting in the Lord and allowing my body and my baby to do what was needed to prepare us for the day our newest blessing would be in our arms.

The following weeks leading up to the birth were a mix of high spirits and meltdowns. I did my best to stay positive and had an amazing support system surrounding me who were compassionate and understanding, yet helped me focus on the benefits of being patient and laying my life down for my child(ren). I can’t say I didn’t have bouts of fear, but I can say that knowledge and wisdom, and most of all God’s peace, overcame each of those bouts.

At 42 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I woke up to a very strong and sharp pain and an intense contraction followed. In hindsight, I realize that the baby flipped from posterior to anterior. From there, active labor began.

The night before that however, I had a mini freak out. I told my husband that maybe we should head to the ER and get an ultrasound just to be safe that baby can in fact be born. He had not engaged in my pelvis, I wasn’t dilating nor effacing, and he kept floating in my uterus. He was still moving, so we knew all was well, and the Lord constantly spoke to me through those last few weeks, reminding me that He is near and that all was well. It was a walk of trust and faith that pushed me to my ultimate limit. My husband reminded me of all these things about the Lord and he encouraged me to rest and prayed over me and the baby, for our protection and for the Lord to lead our steps in wisdom and prompting.

As I slept through the night, I dreamt of a rural community that was united and loving and each person came to me and encouraged me and helped me to push the baby. I woke up with contractions that were more intense than they had been but still not engaging the babe. I practiced bearing down and moving my hips around with each contraction and I heard the Lord tell me that the people in the dream were all the people who were praying for us. I asked the Lord what I should do and I felt led to rest. I prayed hard that He would continue to lead me…

When I awoke the next morning to that strong pain, at 7:45am, it was sudden and I startled my husband awake. Contractions were 3-5mins apart and really strong. We began to prepare that this was it. From 8-9am, I sat on the ball and rotated my hips and felt lots of pressure with each contraction. I got very hopeful that baby was finally able to engage and was coming down. At 9am I got into the tub and the contractions got even stronger but I got a bit of relief from floating… but then it got to be too much.

When I got out of the tub, I was a bit discouraged because I checked to see if any dilation had occurred. Baby was still high, no dilation or effacement had occurred but thankfully there was a bit of bloody show to indicate that the baby was coming within the day or two. I got back in bed around 9:30 or 10 and continued working through the contractions that were now 1-3mins apart and lasting over a minute long. My husband was amazing, we watched the show American Pickers on his phone in between contractions (or I rested) and when each contraction came, he tracked each one and told me how much longer I had to go… I listened to his voice as he said, “20 more seconds babe, you’re doing great. These are doing great work. 10 more seconds… and 5 and then it’s going to start coming down. You’re doing great. Great job babe. 2 more seconds…”

11:15 came and I felt the need to pee so I went to the bathroom. I couldn’t go at first and was overwhelmed at the intensity of the contraction that came next. My husband could tell the time was coming because I began bearing down with the contraction and he encouraged me to come to bed, but I couldn’t… I was staying in the bathroom. haha I checked my dilation and while my cervix was low, I was completely closed and not effaced. I became concerned about the fact that my body was pushing. I told my husband that I can’t push because I could tear through. He reassured me to listen to my body and relax, that God was in this and I can do this. I listened and focused on doing what felt right and didn’t rush or fight it. I couldn’t stop the sensation to bear down. I pushed hard but tried to go slowly and I felt my cervix opening as the baby’s head pushed through it. I told him the head is coming…

I never fully dilated nor did I fully efface. The baby came out in the anterior position and flew out with just one swift push, so fast I nearly dropped him on the floor. At the same moment, because I was standing and the cord was short, the cord snapped and blood went ev.er.y.where. LOL On the walls, all over the toilet and floor, all over the baby and I. We were in shock as all the kids swarmed the doorway. I looked and saw he was a boy… we were all so elated and crying. He was HERE!

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11:30am, December 25th, 2015, approximately 7lbs, dark brown hair, and the most content and peaceful baby I’ve ever seen. He didn’t have any vernix on his body so I wiped him down and I sat back on the toilet. Within minutes I felt my placenta coming and it accidentally plopped in the toilet. haha We marveled at the newest member of our family as the kids cried and laughed and expressed how cute and little he was and that they had a new brother. About a half hour later, I got into bed and I nursed him. After he was settled in and cozy, we tied the cord that was now cold, white, and limp, and trimmed it down. From the moment I woke up to the moment he was born was a little over 3½ hours.

We are so in love… and as I’ve said to him, many times now, it really was worth it… all that waiting and difficulty surprisingly was all worth it… to be holding him and knowing him… I can now say I have sons along with our daughters. When I had my second daughter and could say daughters instead of just daughter… sisters… it was such a sweet moment! And now I can say boys, sons, and BROTHERS! ❤ We are so blessed…. 6 children! Unbelievable. I would never have known that this would be our life, 12 years ago when we made our vows to share our lives together in the will of the Lord…. but it’s full and blessed and enriching. I’ll take all the difficult and challenging for this beauty I get to live with these beautiful little people to share it with. ❤

<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#3: Christopher Thomas>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#4: Kathryn Martha>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#5: Kimberlyn Mariann>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#6: Craeghar Timothy>>

Our Freebirthing Journey

What led my family to the decision to pursue self-prenatal care and planned homebirths without a midwife? Well, it’s not something we can really explain in the depth of where it started and emerged to the surface, but here is a general idea of one family’s journey. Trigger warning, I share my hospital birth experiences. ♥ If you prefer to instead just read our freebirth stories, you can find them here: Our First UC, Our Second UCOur Third UC, and Our Fourth UC.

The journey to freebirth began for my husband and I well before the story begins, but I’ll start from the morning we discovered we were pregnant with out first child. We were so very excited and embraced the idea of not rushing to the hospital for “what if’s” and “just in case’s”. We knew the Lord as the great Physician and trusted Him.

However, after 20 weeks we fell to the pressures of the few of those around us who were concerned (they felt we needed a plan B in case our plan to trust God was more like testing Him). Looking back, that sounds silly… but we went to see the OB. After numerous doctors’ visits, several unnecessary tests, 5 pointless ultrasounds, and needless worry about the size of our baby, we finally got to hold our 7½lb sweet little girl in our arms.

My labor with her was amazing. I didn’t even know that it was “it” when the contractions were coming. I walked around, enjoyed conversation with family, and then as they started to become what seemed to be “unbearable” we left for the hospital. They were 1 minute apart but slowed down when we got to the hospital. They told me that I was already 6 cm dilated, even still, at 7-8cm dilated my doctor felt things weren’t progressing fast enough so she wanted to break my waters. It was what I had seen to be normal in the birth stories and videos I researched beforehand and I was very excited to meet our little girl so I agreed. As time progressed, I found myself in transition, saying the famous “I can’t” like they said I would and in my head I knew she was coming soon. We had a healthy baby girl just moments later. From the moment I got to the hospital until she was born, the amount of time was a little over 3 hours.

Once the time came where we believed we were pregnant with our second, and confirmed our suspicions, we were so excited. Upon request of our OB, we started the doctors visits at 12 weeks. My pregnancy was longer than I could’ve imagined and quite impersonal. Again, numerous doctors’ visits, several unnecessary tests, doctors not believing me when I said something was wrong (and then being prescribed a dangerous treatment that causes miscarriages for the infection I had), 5 more completely pointless ultrasounds, requests for more in order to put her on antibiotics fore the next 5 years of her life (and an angry doctor when I refused both), and needless worry about her size… let’s just say, I found myself quite impatient near the end. A week before my due date I ate raw licorice, something claimed to be a “natural inducer” and tried to get things going. I believe I did just that, but before my litte girl was ready. For the next week I had strong contractions getting her engaged into my pelvis (and perhaps trying to turn her from a posterior position- but to no avail).

The morning before she came (right on her original due date), I awoke to painful and unbearable contractions. I timed them and when I could no longer take them any longer, we headed to the hospital. The contractions were the worst, most painful thing I had ever experienced. We arrived at the hospital for them to inform me that I was 7 cm dilated. “Praise God!” I thought. This was it! The contractions were right on top of each other, I was 7cm dilated, it wouldn’t be much longer! However, I was in soo much pain… I cried and I screamed in pain and begged for something to ease it… and taking that medication will be another one of the many things I regret doing during her pregnancy/delivery/postpartum care.

I threw up all over myself, fell asleep between contractions and had no control over my body. I was a slug and felt completely out of it. After several hours of long hard pushing, my 7½lb daughter (who was in posterior position) finally entered the world and was placed in my arms. Due to the stress of labor however, she was born with a hole in her lung and they wisked her away and she was hooked up to machines and she was also given several x-rays while my husband was not allowed to hold her hand. He was barely allowed to touch her afterward as well…

Thankfully, the hole in her lung healed very quickly… but the bonding time was already effected.

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I struggled with my emotional attachment to her but it wouldn’t be for several months that I’d realize I was suffering from postpartum depression from the traumatic experience of birth. Despite that, my sweet little girl brought such joy in our lives and has changed me in ways I couldn’t begin to list. ❤

We began educating ourselves on limiting doctors’ visits and the possibility of a home birth. We concluded that we desire to have the intimacy of new beginnings to be shared with each other – without the distractions, concerns, fears, demands, probing, and constant reminder of “how LONG” pregnancy is. We wanted to enjoy every moment and embrace each as God’s perfect timing. We wanted to surround ourselves with people who would inspire us to be healthy, happy, and trusting in Jesus. We wanted to experience faith, freedom, and serenity. And we have!

When my second daughter was around 15mos old, we were blessed with another little love and were so excited! This time however, we decided to look for a midwife but couldn’t find one who didn’t have legal restrictions that limited their ability to avoid interventions. As time progressed, we learned more and became more comfortable with the idea of freebirth and decided that was what we’d pursue.

I experienced several weeks of prodromal labor and I began to dilate 2-3cm by August 2nd and to 5cm and back to 3cm by August 5th. Tired, I joked that I’d never have this baby and the Lord put Isaiah 66:9 on my heart and I laughed and continued to rest in His timing.

My water broke! And 30 minutes later, before I had time to move to the daybed, surely before I’d have had time to get things together to get to the hospital and certainly before a midwife would have made it, our first son was born into my husbands hands – right there, on the bathroom floor. We laughed, we cried, we ooh’d and we ahhh’d, and we had the girls come and meet their brother. It was a BEAUTIFUL experience; raw, real, personal, and fun. No poking, no suggestions, no tests, no monitors… We were immediately made comfortable and got plenty of rest that night.

After our first two experiences with pregnancy and birth we saw impatience and dread encompassing much of it, and with our third, it was very very different. We were so thankful for our joyful, healthy, safe, and exciting home birth in patience and love.

When I was pregnant with my 4th child (pursuing my second freebirth/UC), I was SO excited!!

In preparation, I began seeking out informative sites and blogs to educate myself even more about medical problems that can arise during childbirth and what needs to be done, what alternative options there were and what risks we weren’t willing to take. I was quickly reminded of how radically opposed some people are to those who choose homebirth – especially without a midwife.

Views and statements that seemed to be popular were:
“Planning a home birth? Sorry, but you’re just selfish and reckless.”
“It’s irresponsible to not have a midwife.”
“Unassisted childbirth is just plain careless.”
Selfish, reckless, irresponsible, and just plain careless….
Many of the views suggested that people who home birth are hippies, mystic, religious freaks, or what have you. It is believed that home birthing families (shall I say, “we”) are selfish and irresponsible people who only care about our comfort and are careless with the life of our children. That we refuse to see the dangers that come with pregnancy and birthing, and that doctors are our enemy! How dare we not just obey the doctors!

I want to clarify that my decision to home birth started initially with little having to do with my faith, little to do with my trust or lack thereof in doctors, and little to do with the comfort of birth. These things have their parts but I am not anti-doctor nor am I afraid of them or their demands. I am not anti-hospital and I wouldn’t avoid them in the event of an emergency. I am not selfish and thinking only of myself when I choose a homebirth. Ultimately, I sought out if it was Biblically supported, but my decision was based on it’s safety AND comfort.

Many women freebirth… intelligent, capable, and confident women. My husband and I have taken careful steps in making this decision and we’ve only ever encouraged others to educate themselves and discover what they are most comfortable with based on the truth and not just what they’ve been told. That is not to say that I know better than a doctor… however, I do believe I know different things that many doctors don’t. They are more educated in sickness and treatments of drugs and/or surgeries… I am more educated in health and alternative self-care options. Additionally, the doctors that I and others I’ve spoken with over the last 9+ years, are arrogant and narrow minded to any other possible routes and get offended or mock when we question their tactics, knowledge, methods, and especially when we refuse the recommendations they give. Doctors are not our health police. They are a resource for information with a genre of specific education. We have every right to decline their suggestions and every right to refuse their treatments.

I seek to make an informed decision, and while the majority of our culture has become dependent on the views and care provided by doctors in several areas of our lives (medication for instance, both preventative and as treatment), I refuse to join in the belief of the lie that childbirth is innately dangerous and harmful to ones health. I’ve not based my research on biased information. I’ve searched far and wide and compiled my views based on my own rational and logical thought along with evidences I’ve found.

While in labor with my fourth child I was quite tired because I had stayed up too late and ended up starting my labor just a few hours later. So come time for preparations to be made, my instincts took over. I wasn’t due for another week and yet I got the place ready and had my husband stay home from work. Again, my contractions intensified and following a handful of contractions 7-10 minutes apart, my husband helped me on my bed and I gave birth to our third daughter.

You see, pregnancy is not a disease that needs continual monitoring and probing nor is it to be frightening and stressful. Childbirth is not an inevitable death sentence without the hand of a doctor. What pregnancy is, is a natural part of life – as waste elimination, breathing, blinking, and swallowing… It’s occurred as long as humans have existed! Yet we don’t contact the doctor upon the need to have a bowel movement, even though the rare chance of it malfunctioning can take place. No we take action when there IS a problem. Childbirth is not without the potential of dangers, no matter where you are. Babies and mothers die in and outside of the hospital. While some feel that they would rather have a doctor present for the “just in case” events that may arise, many feel just as strongly that they would rather be home to be free from the interventions that cause many of the events that people want a doctor present for. A dangerous situation arising during birth is not the norm for most. This is not idealistic or hopeful. This is the truth.

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30wks

When I became pregnant with our 5th child, we were overwhelmed with the responsibility and the excitement! We excitedly prepared for another UC. When 4am came on October 5th and contractions began waking me up from my sleep, I wondered if this could be it. I became increasingly uncomfortable and headed to the bathroom. Something wasn’t right… and I knew it. My contractions were 10min apart and they were incredibly intense. I paused and knew I needed to get into the lunge position. I put lots of pressure on my bum and my perineum and I pushed hard but breathed when I felt too much pressure against my hand. My baby was posterior, so her head was pushing toward my bottom. I felt and heard a pop as my hips opened up more to enable her to come through the birth canal. As her head came through, I heard crying! But the doctors and every online source I’d ever read said (and says) that this is impossible since her chest can’t yet expand until she emerges from my body! And yet, here she was, CRYING with her body still inside of me. I knew she needed to come out, so I focused, and I pushed the rest of her out. She was beautiful, healthy, and just wonderful. Our FOURTH daughter and FIFTH child! How blessed we were!!

 

I am not afraid of the doctors. In fact I appreciate them when there is a need. However they have no super human powers. They are educated in their field and under certain circumstances. I too am educated and I know my own body better than anyone ever can. I know my limitations and I know when I need help – and I am not afraid to ask for it. I would never allow my pride to interfere with the life of my child. If a need arose and we needed a doctor to save me or my baby, we would see a doctor – without a moments hesitation!! However, in the situation of my fifth child, would I have torn if I wasn’t allowed to move around? What if I was so focused on fighting for my rights to be in a lunge position or unable to determine that is what I needed to do because of everyone else taking charge of MY birth? What if I felt too embarrassed in front of everyone to put pressure on my bum? See how there are what if’s with hospital birth too? It’s very likely that if I was in the hospital, laboring on my back, that I would have torn from my bum to my birth canal opening because of the intense pressure with the counted pushing that OB’s often practice. Or, that I would have gotten a c-section because my baby was stuck on my pelvis.

We were so thrilled to learn, just a year and a half later on April 4th, that we were expecting our sixth child! I had no clue I was pregnant but took the test just for fun. We shared the news with our friends and family after surprising the kids with the news. It was a lot of fun to see the expressions on my kids’ faces and to hear everyone we told be excited with us. Here is the video of us telling the kids:

I determined by what information I had that I was due around December 5th. The pregnancy was full of emotional healing and growth from other  events in my life as we enjoyed doing my own care ourselves. The pregnancy went very fast for the most part and I enjoyed watching my belly grow.

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Once I reached 38wks pregnant, I began to get a bit antsy but was determined to continue trusting in the Lord and allowing my body and my baby to do what was needed to prepare us for the day our newest blessing would be in our arms.

The following weeks leading up to the birth were a mix of high spirits and meltdowns. I did my best to stay positive and had an amazing support system surrounding me who were compassionate and understanding, yet helped me focus on the benefits of being patient and laying my life down for my child(ren). I can’t say I didn’t have bouts of fear, but I can say that knowledge and wisdom, and most of all God’s peace, overcame each of those bouts.

At 42 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I woke up to a very strong and sharp pain and an intense contraction followed. In hindsight, I realize that the baby flipped from posterior to anterior. From there, active labor began.

 

When I awoke the next morning to that strong pain, at 7:45am, it was sudden and I startled my husband awake. Contractions were 3-5mins apart and really strong. We began to prepare that this was it. From 8-9am, I sat on the ball and rotated my hips and felt lots of pressure with each contraction. I got very hopeful that baby was finally able to engage and was coming down. At 9am I got into the tub and the contractions got even stronger but I got a bit of relief from floating… but then it got to be too much.

My husband was amazing, we watched the show American Pickers on his phone in between contractions (or I rested) and when each contraction came, he tracked each one and told me how much longer I had to go… I listened to his voice as he said, “20 more seconds babe, you’re doing great. These are doing great work. 10 more seconds… and 5 and then it’s going to start coming down. You’re doing great. Great job babe. 2 more seconds…”

I never fully dilated nor did I fully efface. The baby came out in the anterior position and flew out with just one swift push, so fast I nearly dropped him on the floor. At the same moment, because I was standing and the cord was short, the cord snapped and blood went ev.er.y.where. LOL On the walls, all over the toilet and floor, all over the baby and I. We were in shock as all the kids swarmed the doorway. I looked and saw he was a boy… we were all so elated and crying. He was HERE!

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11:30am, December 25th, 2015, approximately 7lbs, dark brown hair, and the most content and peaceful baby I’ve ever seen. We marveled at the newest member of our family as the kids cried and laughed and expressed how cute and little he was and that they had a new brother. About a half hour later, I got into bed and I nursed him.

We are not careless. The decision we made to home birth, as with most home birthers, is not without its preparation, which includes preparation for what needs to be done in the event of an emergency or an area of concern. And my only desire in sharing what I have experienced and learned along the way is to keep a log of it for myself and for my kids, and to share with those who are interested in expanding their own knowledge by one woman’s experiences. It is never to judge… even despite my very contrary views.

I’ve not made the decision to freebirth at the risk of my babies lives. I’m doing it to add to the quality of their life and to the quality of our relationship, to ensure the best possible outcome for them and not just that they survive. I want the best for them… from day one.

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And just for the record, if it came down to it and there was a real medical emergency, I would get the c-section. I’d just rather be educated and avoid it at all costs if it is possible without endangering my life or the life of my child… because in most cases, it is avoidable and preventable. C-sections have risks too! We all need to weigh the risks and ask ourselves what we personally want to live with. No one else can make that decision for us.

 

Read my freebirth stories in full at the links below!
<<Kristi’s Birth Story of Baby#3>>
<<Kristi’s Birth Story of Baby#4>>
<<Kristi’s Birth Story of Baby#5>>
<<Kristi’s Birth Story of Baby#6>>

 

Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#5

Third UP/UC, Fourth Daughter (Fifth Child) born on 10/5/2013!

On the morning of October 4th, before heading out for the day, I went to the bathroom. I was bleeding and had to force myself not to jump immediately to “baby time!” Afterall, I still had a week left until my EDD, so I dropped DH off at work and went about my day.

Nothing exciting really happened as I was able to do regular things so I got DH that night and went to visit a friend after the kids were in bed. We chatted it up until about 1am and then home I came. I got a few things situated “just in case” although I still had 8 days before I was “expecting” the arrival of our babe. I said goodnight to DH and propped myself in bed like my usual set up was (pillow under belly, between legs, and behind my back – laying on my left side and slightly elevated). I had to sleep exactly this way each night to avoid an aching back and hips in the morning from the SPD and to avoid the torture of heartburn. hahaI got woken up to a few contractions so I finally looked at my phone. It was 2:50am. So I started using my contraction app to time them. I would feel it, push the button, get through it, and go back to sleep. What felt like hours later, I looked at the app to see how far apart they were and realized it was only an hour later and they were 10 mins apart! I messaged a couple close friends online, had DH get the bed ready, and talked to another friend who was awake online until about 4:30am. I decided then that it was time to get some more sleep. I messaged another friend to let her know this might be it so she could pray me through it and to sleep I went.I was able to get broken sleep in between contractions for the next couple hours. At about 6:30, the bed was more and more uncomfortable. I tried to sit on my birthing ball but the pressure on my bum during contractions made it undesirable so I went to sit on the toilet. Contractions were still 10 minutes apart but were quite intense, yet I was completely lucid in between. I tried the birthing ball and bed again but I just couldn’t find relief. I put down the plastic in the bathroom as this was the only place I could get into a comfortable position during contractions. I sat back on the toilet and waited. The ten minute break in between left me twiddling my thumbs! haha Then a good and painful contraction came and I began to panic a little because I didn’t know if DH would hear me if I called for him (he was asleep so that he would be ready when I needed him). I calmed myself down and told myself it could still be a while. It was only a brief moment of panic but as soon as I was relaxed, my water broke.I called for DH and I asked for him to come. He came to my side, ready to be my hero.  With each contraction, he provided counter pressure. I began to feel like something wasn’t right and I had to process what to do while husband was near my side, waiting for my lead to take action. I felt intense pressure with each contraction on my bottom as if I had to have a bowel movement but when I reached down, I could feel the baby’s head pushing against the rectum wall. I was really concerned and knew that I needed to be doing something different.

Thankful to be so clear headed, I called a UC friend of mine who I felt would have some wisdom to offer. We worked together in between contractions that were still 10ish mins apart and came to the conclusion that the baby was posterior so it was going to hurt like heck but that I had to keep pushing. So, concerned I would tear, I put a glove on and proceeded to provide a barrier with my hand against the baby’s head from my bottom to encourage it to come through the birth canal while pushing with my body and also massaging my perineum. I’m not really sure how I did it… so don’t ask. haha But because of the angle and my inability to explain what was happening to my DH, I awkwardly did this myself while he provided me the support so I didn’t fall over.

I pushed hard with each contraction and my friend was right… it really did hurt like heck. haha

It didn’t feel like the head was able to move in the right direction so I regained my footing and then finally, during a contraction and pushing, DH and I heard a funny noise and I felt the baby’s head shift forward and I could feel the babe coming through the birth canal. I pushed with the contraction and the head came out. As soon as it did, we heard crying! Baby was face up with body still inside and CRYING! haha! I exclaimed, “What?! The baby is crying!?” In that same moment, I processed that I needed to get babe’s body out quickly and pushed only slightly and the body slid through. We did it! DH looked to see and that’s when we saw she was a GIRL!

DH called back our friend who had helped us in between contractions to let her know the news. It really happened quite quickly considering she was posterior. It was about 30-45 minutes from my water breaking! I also didn’t tear!!

Once a couple people were informed, DH went to get the kids who were just waking up and a couple were at first disappointed to learn that it was a girl but as soon as they saw her, DS was ooey gooey over her and DD1 cried happy tears. DD3’s face was priceless when she realized I had a baby in my arms – she immediately wanted to lay on her and DD2 said “YOU HAVE FOUR DAUGHTERS!!!

We all got ourselves into my bedroom where DH helped me to the bed while I waited to deliver the placenta and the kids all watched a show on my computer. I nursed my new baby and rested while my body continued to work. About 30 minutes later, I delivered the placenta and we cut the cord about 40 minutes after that. DH cleaned up the mess, which was easy because of the plastic shower curtains we had laid down. He just rolled it up and threw it away. I climbed back into bed with new baby and slept off and on all day.

It was perfect timing as DH had just begun his two weeks of vacation and since I was quite sore from all the pressure on my bum, he was able to pamper me for a week while I rested and took things slow and caring for the kids. We were also extremely blessed by the abundance of love from our church community and friends who cleaned our home, brought us meals, clothes, and groceries, and spent time visiting with us and loving on us. It was absolutely overwhelming to receive such blessings!!

Our favorite part was getting to enjoy sweet baby girl for and extra 8 days more than we expected!!

<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#3>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#4>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#5>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#6>>

Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#4

Second UP/UC, Third Daughter (Fourth Child) born on 7/13/2011

My EDD was July 21st so when Monday, July 11th came and labor began, I anticipated it to be prodromal labor like with my last baby. After an uneventful pregnancy, I had 2 hours of good contractions about 10mins apart. I got excited that contractions were taking place and progress was being made.The following day, I woke up to some good contractions that were 10-12mins apart and monitored them throughout the day. They stayed approximately 10mins apart for most of the day until later in the evening when they became 8mins apart. As bedtime came, I attempted to rest between contractions 5-8mins apart. Some back pain and pressure began in the early hours on the 13th and it made it impossible for me to sleep. I sat on the birthing ball come 3am as it was the least uncomfortable place to be.I awoke my husband around 6am to let him know he should stay home from work. I don’t know how I knew as I felt very sleep deprived and we were still a week away from our EDD, but I told him that I was either going to have this baby “today” or “tomorrow.” I reasoned with him that the contractions were very uncomfortable and I would like an extra hand with the kids. He took the day off and the contractions maintained 4-8mins.

I was 4cm dilated and anticipated going through another night of contractions. I switched between the toilet where I felt myself opening up and the birthing ball where I’d have my husband rub my lower back during contractions.

I had a few contractions, 7 mins apart, and I laughed at how my first UC went – that after a couple contractions 7 minutes apart, I went to the bathroom and had the baby within the half hour and how funny it would be if it happened like that again! I made my way to the toilet and I had a contraction right away. I breathed and moaned through it. Somehow through the fog, I felt as though it was time to get the bed prepared and I told my husband. He got it ready and came to help me to the bed.

I began to cry as I felt lots of pressure on my bum and perineum. In my exhaustion, I became fearful and began telling my husband that I wasn’t sure that I could do this, especially for another week. He could see that I was in transition and reminded me that I could and to come to the bed. I told him I’ll just do what we did with our son and have him on the floor next to the toilet but He encouraged me to the bed as it was right there and attempted to get me in a squatting position.

My body was not okay with the position because of my SPD through more tears I asked him to help me to get on all fours. I kept thinking how I couldn’t do this for another week (completely unaware that I was in transition). It hurt to push and it hurt not to push… my cervix was farther back than with my first UC so with each push I could feel it bear down on my bum and perineum and became fearful that I would tear. I did my best to massage and take my time with the pushing and calm my emotions. I felt her head at the opening and fought the urge to push hard (reminding myself to relax so I wouldn’t tear). I pushed and in one big swoop and lots of twirling, all of sweet baby #4 came spilling out of me as the bag of waters burst and baby pooped; blood, meconium, and water flooded the bed as I held my 7lb beauty in my hands in shock and awe.

I unwrapped the cord from around the back of the neck and stared at this little darling still in a daze from the experience that brought me to that very moment. My husband prompted me about the gender and then is the moment I saw – GIRL. I wiped her face down and laid her on me as I laid back on the pillows. I don’t even remember anything else… I was so happy that she was there and that I had done it… I had overcome all the obstacles to get to this very sweet success ~ I had pushed through and held another beautiful baby – born into my own hands, in my home, and on my bed. What a beautiful and empowering experience.

 

<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#3>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#4>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#5>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#6>>

Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#3

First UP/UC, First Son (Third Child) born on 8/6/2008

Contractions began on July 13th (around 37wks). They came and went for several days and were between 3-11 minutes apart, but lasted only a few hours. The prodromal labor continued on the 26th, the 29th with bloody show, our EDD of the 30th came and went, and August 2nd brought more progress that left me at 2-3cm dilated.

As August 5th came and went, a quick progression from 3cm to 5cm and a
smaller gap between contractions occurred but again, ceased by evening. This left me joking on August 6 that I’d never have this baby, but the Lord put Isaiah 66:9 on my heart which reads, “‘Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?’ says the LORD. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?’ says your God.” I chuckled at myself and again trusted in His perfect timing.

As I labored all day on the 6th, contractions varying between 4 and 20 minutes apart, I talked with my sister all throughout it to keep myself distracted. We laughed and she kept me accountable to continue to trust in God’s plan. When 5pm came, my contractions became achy and I wanted to be alone so I laid down, still chatting with my sister on the phone. We talked about videotaping it, perhaps using the tub, things to keep in mind after baby came, considered emergency situations, and more. I was still able to talk through the second half of each contraction after the peak passed.

Following 6pm, the contractions went from lasting about a minute to lasting about a minute and a half and I could no longer talk through any of it, but they were still varying between 4 and 20 minutes apart and not very painful. I decided that when they were 4-5 minutes apart that I would fill the tub. After an hour, I had a contraction that left me wondering if I should try to go to the bathroom but was 7 minutes following the last one. Then another came that left me claiming the promises of God for a pain-free birth.

I then let my sister go and went to use the bathroom because of the pressure I felt. While I sat there, I noticed trickling and noticed my water broke. I had the urge to push and thought I was eliminating waste so I relaxed and allowed my body to push (because it hurt when I held back) and more fluid pushed its way through. I hollered for my husband down the hallway to tell him that my water had broke and he said “Wow, that’s convenient!”

It was now 7:30 so I told my husband to call my sister back to let her know that my waterbroke and I wouldn’t be calling her back right away. He also got our two and four year old daughters into their
beds. I continued to feel the urge to push and as long as I was, I felt no pain. I figured it would be in the next day or two that this baby would be joining us and began to get very excited!

Suddenly, I realized my urges to push were not to have a bowel movement!! I hollered for my husband that I was feeling pushy and asked him to get the shower curtains onto the floor so I could transition to the daybed in the living room. I checked my cervix and while doing so, I dilated from 5 to 10cm and began effacing.

I again hollered for him to come back in and told him “I’m pushing and I think I’m just going to stay here.” He laughed and joked how his baby’s first experience would be a swirly. I laughed and shook my head at his silliness. “On the floor goober!” So we laughed and he came to help me to the daybed but the contractions were on top of each other and moving my legs from the squat position was the only time I felt pain.

I explained to him that I was waiting for the contraction to end but it wasn’t happening. He exclaimed how fast that was as he rushed to keep our daughters in their room (I’m sure they were antsy and wondering what the commotion was).

My water burst and baby’s head was fully engaged and crowning – it was time for babe to come out! I hollered for my husband to come back, that the head was right there. I got up to sit on the floor, and he came running in to help me to the floor then  asked if I wanted a pillow. He ran back out to get one, only for me to holler that the baby’s head was coming out – there is no time!!! He ran back in and threw the pillow behind me. Propped up on one hand I was in tears of laughter at all of this coming together.

I felt the baby’s head bulging through and I was tense against it in a moment of fear and then reminded myself to relax. As I did, without even a push, the head started coming out and before my husband could finish telling me how great I was doing, my body gently eased the baby out and the head came through. My husband was in utter shock at how easy that was for me! I propped myself up with both hands and I again relaxed and felt the rest of the baby slide out like jiggly jello into Daddy’s hands. I heard him exclaim how much faster that was than our previous births as I felt the relief of having just given birth to our baby.

Our sweet baby’s soft cry permeated the air around us. I
I rested the baby’s bottom on the floor (that was covered in a sheet and a puppy pad) as I held the upper body in my hand and we looked at each other at the craziness of what just happened. It was all in a matter of 30 minutes (but felt like 5), and we were holding our baby in just 5-10 minutes after we “knew” it was time. I realized we didn’t know their gender and looked down. I looked up and said “it’s a boy!” and we both cried and laughed at the amazement and awe of all of what just happened.

I held him close as my husband got the girls up to meet their brother. We were all so excited and laughing and celebrating. I wiped him down and rubbed his back as his color got brighter and then massaged the vernix into his skin. It was at this point when my husband helped me
to the daybed where we loved on our newest addition to the family. I nursed him as my husband called to let all the grandparents know as well as my sister, his brother, our cousin, and his aunt, that we just welcomed our son into our arms.

About an hour later I delivered the placenta into a bowl and I got into bed, nursing him again, still in utter awe that we had a son. When he was 2 hours old and the cord was no longer pulsating, we cut it and got him all snuggled up and cozy. “I can no longer say ‘the girls’ when referring to my children,” I whispered to my husband as his face was close to mine. We were nestled together for another hour before I laid him in his bed and he drifted into a quiet sleep.

I couldn’t sleep… I was so in awe. I called my sister back to tell her all about it and we both marveled at how fast it all happened. It was truly a beautiful experience; raw, real, personal, and fun. No poking, no suggestions, no tests, no monitors… we were immediately comfortable and got plenty of rest that night, now a family of five.

<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#3>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#4>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#5>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#6>>