My Birth Stories

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Jacob-1984 (Hospital birth with MD)

I was folding clothes at the laundry mat, while Bobby was watching baseball on the TV there. With absolutely no warning, my water bag broke and I was very wet. I called Bobby and told him what had happened. He got very excited, grabbing the clothes out of the dryer, loading the car and then we went home, and called the doctor. I wasn’t yet having contractions, so I was calm and took a shower before we left. I can’t really remember when contractions started, but I know that they were mild or not at all when we arrived at the hospital. Because we had plenty of time, they began “prepping” me with a shave and an enema (or something to make me go to the bathroom.) Thankfully, I think “prepping” in that manner is no longer done. Because having to get to the toilet while having a bowel movement isn’t fun. I also had a monitor on my belly for baby’s heartbeat and my contractions. However it wasn’t working real well, not picking up all my contractions, so the nurses thought I wasn’t even having regular contractions yet. When things were getting rather tough I said I needed something for pain (I thought I was no where near the end since that’s what they thought.) The nurse sort of laughed and said it was too soon. But she decided to check me anyway and found that “Oh, my, she’s nearly completely dilated.” So she ordered an IV and some Demoral (sp?) and called the doctor to come. They took me to the birthing room and began to prepare for the birth. By the time the IV was dripping, it was too late, I was ready to give birth. The doctor came in and was getting ready and would only tell me I was doing fine when I asked if I could push. He knew I was ready, but he wasn’t! Finally he said to go ahead. I think I pushed through two contractions and we had a baby boy!!

Seth-1986 (Hospital birth with same MD as with Jacob)

During my pregnancy with Seth I had listened to a teaching called “Supernatural Childbirth” by Jackie Mize. I don’t remember a lot of what was on that tape, but what I do remember, I’ve recalled many times. She said that the Lord revealed to her that a contraction is just that…a muscle contracting. She said to contract your bicep and hold it…keep holding…it gets really hard to do, not really painful, but hard. A contraction is just muscles involuntarily contracting to get the baby out. Don’t fight against it, try to relax and let the muscles do their work. She said that she also realized that it really shouldn’t take a long time to get a baby out, in her mind two hours was sufficient. (I really liked that idea!) I had taken a Lamaze class during Jacob’s pregnancy and the big thing to remember was to have a focal point. Jackie encouraged having a focal thought that honors the Lord. I chose a song. I had listened to a tape on the way to the hospital, took it into the hospital with me and kept listening to it. It was very worshipful and my focus was worship. As long as that was my focus, the pain was very tolerable. It was an incredible birth.

Labor started as a contraction when I was in the shower. This being my third pregnancy, Braxton-Hicks contractions were very common so I wasn’t sure this was the real thing. But after a couple more contractions I was pretty certain. I had to stop walking during the contraction. We took Jacob to our friends’ house and then went to the hospital. We listened to the tape I mentioned previously on the way to the hospital. Bobby dropped me off at the ER and parked the car. I waited in a chair, trying to remain calm until he came in. Upon his arrival we immediately checked in and were taken upstairs. Bobby went to put on the hospital attire while I was checked. I continued to sing my worship songs quietly through contractions. Once someone asked me if I was needing something, and another person said, “I think she’s praying.“ They soon discovered that I was fully dilated and ready to go. A nurse asked if the doctor wanted to break the water. He said, “No, I’m afraid hubby will miss it.” They asked me if I wanted the birthing room or a regular delivery room. At that point I didn’t care, just wanted to get the baby out. So we proceeded across the hall to a delivery room. On the way out someone came in to get a blood sample. I almost laughed. They wanted to stop and get blood as I was ready to give birth! But I just kept worshiping. When we got to the delivery room Bobby came back in full attire with mask, little shoe covers and all. He sure looked funny. Soon baby was head out. I had a mirror to watch, but mostly had my eyes closed. At one point (while only head was out, waiting for another contraction to push out the shoulders) someone asked, “Are you all right?” I said I was fine, then I realized they weren’t talking to me. Bobby was squatting and putting his head between his legs to keep from passing out. J Soon we had another beautiful baby boy (just about two hours from the first contraction), though since I was in a delivery room rather than a birthing room I didn‘t get to hold or nurse him right away. So…the moral of the story is, always choose a birthing room when you can.

Karena-1989 (Hospital birth with MD)

I awoke in the wee hours of the morning having contractions. When they kept coming and started to gain intensity, I called my neighbor to come and stay with the boys and off we went. The hospital ride was not a comfortable one. This time I was in a nice birthing room. Again, labor was about two hours. When Karena made her appearance, Bobby saw the cord between her legs and though we had another boy (which was absolutely fine) but when the doctor corrected him we were thrilled. Being in the birthing room, Karena was able to stay with us and I held her right away. It was a beautiful morning!

Charity-1991 (Hospital birth with MD)

I should have known that birth was imminent when I went to bed that night as I had several contractions and a bowel movement before bed (not a usual thing for me.) I awoke again in the wee hours of the morning with contractions. We took the children to our friends’ house and headed for the hospital. When we arrived at the hospital and the nurse checked my progress she told me the baby was still high and floating, so I said, “Oh we came too early.” Bobby said, “I’m just glad we made it here.” A few minutes later I had a hard contraction and actually felt the baby drop and the water broke. We called the nurse and she seemed a little panicky, called the doctor and then began preparing for birth. She kept telling me not to push, though she knew I was fully ready. I tried not to, but couldn’t stop the birth of a little baby. She just sort of squirted out. My doctor didn’t make it to the hospital, but one who was passing by in the hall was called in and literally caught Charity. He did a lot of suctioning and seemed a little concerned, but told me she was fine. My doctor made it in time to deliver the placenta and explained what had happened with Charity. The reason for the nurse’s panic and not wanting me to deliver before the doctor arrived was that there was meconium in the amniotic fluid which can be a problem if any gets into the baby’s lungs. The doctor assured me that she was breathing well and there was no reason to worry. Labor was again around 2 hours.

Josiah 1993 (Hospital birth with MD)

I awoke to go the bathroom around 4:00 or 5:00 I think and heard our out of town guests, the Somersall’s arriving and going up to bed. About 15 minutes later, just as they were settling into bed, I had a gush of water! What timing. Paul S. stayed with the children. Linda went to the hospital with us. We had about a 30 minute trip to the hospital and had to go over a drawbridge. Bobby called to make sure the drawbridge was not going to be up and cause a problem. He was told the bridge was not scheduled to raise. So off we went, fast with hazard lights blinking, Linda following in her car. As we neared the bridge the sign told us that indeed it WAS scheduled to open in about 30 minutes. But we made it with no problem, got into the hospital just in time. I was nearly ready to deliver. By the time they actually got me in the delivery room and set up (which was real quickly) and I was told to push, I did not have the urge to push. The doctor asked me if I’d forgotten how? He told me it was rather like having a bowel movement…(not really) but I guess for a man that’s the closest he could come to a description. With the next contraction I began pushing. Big head, but it was coming out. Then those big broad shoulders! We had a big 9 lb. 3 oz. boy. Linda was able to cut the cord. She so enjoyed being there. It took about two hours from the first contraction to the birth.

I left the hospital later that day, choosing not to give Josiah any of the immunizations they try to give at birth in the hospitals now. We did have him circumcised that day. I would have rather waited until the eighth day but didn’t really have any idea of how to go about doing that. They told me that I couldn’t wait, it had to be done before we left the hospital…I was naïve and ignorant.

Olivia 1995 (Home birth with midwife)

Finally a homebirth! It was wonderful. Before Olivia was born, I was a bit fearful thinking of the what ifs, but the Lord gave me a beautiful dream. In the dream I was giving birth while sitting in the lap of Jesus. After that my fears subsided. When I went into labor (again in the early morning hours) we called the midwife, her assistant and a friend who wanted to come. The assistant lived close and arrived right away. The midwife was about an hour away and barely made it to our house in time to catch the baby. Our friend arrived just after the birth. Another birth in about 2 hours. Oh the wonderful joy of being at home in my own bed with all my children able to come in and not have my baby taken for ANYTHING! She was examined right there, no bath was necessary. The vernix that is naturally on a newborn is really very good for their skin, a natural moisturizer so we just rubbed it in. The smell of a newborn baby before a bath is so sweet. Olivia also weighed around nine pounds.

Elisabeth 1998 (Homebirth with a daddy delivery, midwife missed it)

I got up with contractions coming fairly regularly but not really very hard. I called Alalia (midwife) She kept me on the phone for a while as I had more contractions. She said she was going to shower, then call again and come if needed. I went upstairs, had a bowel movement (a sure sign that I recognized by now) and the water broke. So, we called Alalia and she hopped in the car. She had about a 45 minute drive. We also called Mom, Wendy and Julie since we lived in IL for this one. Bobby woke the older kids and asked them to pray for me as I was about to deliver. I decided I’d better get on the bed, thinking I might have a little more time and Alalia might be able to make it if I quit moving around. But that didn’t really help. When Bobby realized that he was probably going to catch on his own, he went back and asked the children to pray for him. (Remember his nearly passing out several babies ago.) Bobby was able to get everything from the birth kit ready and was VERY excited, anxious, nervous. As the head emerged he franticly began to look for something to break the water bag as it was over baby’s head. I reminded him that the water already broke and he just need to remove the sac from baby’s face. “Oh, yeah” says he. Elisabeth was a tiny little 7 lb. something baby and slipped right out, no problem. Less than two hours from the beginning to the end. Everyone arrived soon after she was born. Bobby had Alalia on the phone just after the birth, so she was giving instructions and arrived very soon after. I believed the Lord had given me the name Levi, so I expected this baby to be a boy, so we didn’t even have girl’s name picked out. She was nameless for a couple of days.

*The placenta took a while to come, though, as has been the case with all my homebirths. In the hopsital they don’t want to wait, so they tug and pull on the cord, often ripping the placenta from the mother causing a lot of bleeding. As a matter of fact, I had a lot of bleeding after most of my hospital births and warned the midwives of that and with every homebirth where the midwife knows it’s better and waits patiently for the placenta I have had very little bleeding. So when delivering in the hospital, I suggest you get aggressive and insist that the doctor NOT help your placenta out by pulling the cord.

Levi 2000 (Homebirth with midwife-IL)

I awoke to go to the bathroom and discovered I was bleeding. I called my midwife and told her. She exclaimed, “BLEEDING?!” She asked a few more questions and headed to my house. By the time she arrived the bleeding had pretty much stopped. I may have been having mild, infrequent contractions at that time, but I don’t remember for sure. When she arrived she checked me out, consulted by phone with another midwife and said she believed everything was fine and in place and she really wasn’t sure what had caused the bleeding. Her initial thought, placenta previa, was not the problem and we made the decision to stay home. Baby’s heartbeat was strong and regular. This was my longest labor, though the hard part was pretty short. After several hours of mild to medium contractions Alalia wanted me to move in a hula manner to hope to get things moving along. I don’t remember if it was the hula that worked or just walking around, but pretty soon, contractions picked up in intensity and frequency. After some time, I said, “I can’t do this anymore.” Alalia said that was her sign that I was probably ready. (By the way, she rarely checks for dilation…just knows how to read a mom…pretty amazing) She wanted me to get on my knees beside the bed. Very soon after that I felt something move and said, “Something happened.” Something came out, no one was quite sure what it was. Next, I think the water broke and then the baby began emerging. So, Levi was born on the bedroom floor beside the bed. The entire labor was probably 5-6 hours, but the hard part was only a couple of hours and the delivery itself only a couple of contractions. When Levi was first born, he didn’t breathe right away. Alalia told Bobby to rub his back and talk to him. She did not panic at all. He was still getting what he needed through the cord. Levi soon started crying, oh what a precious sound. When Alalia examined the something she discovered it was another sac and she determined that early in the pregnancy there had most likely been a twin. So, we tell Levi he probably has a twin in heaven. The breaking loose of the extra sac is likely what had cause the mystery bleeding.

Matthew 2001 (Homebirth with midwife-VA)

A few days before Matthew was born I had an appointment with my midwife. She was uncertain of the position of the baby and since I was so big she wanted to make sure there wasn’t a twin hiding in the back. After a lot of trouble (because of our midwife and homebirth plan) I finally got a referral for an ultrasound and on Friday morning Karena and I went to the hospital to see our baby! I really haven’t had many ultrasounds. This was a treat for me. It was confirmed that baby was in birth position and there was only one of him. Whew! What a relief. It was so sweet to see that little squished up face. Then I said, “Ok, God, now I’m ready.” Prior to that I had an uneasiness and just didn’t feel ready for birth. The next morning at around 10:00 am I was sitting at the dining room table eating breakfast that the girls had prepared. Bobby, Jacob and Seth were golfing. I felt a little internal pop and said, “Oh, something happened.” I moved around and little bit, didn’t feel anything, said, “maybe not….(then a gush of water)….oh yes.” I called Bobby. He didn’t answer. I left a message, called the midwife and sat on the bed without moving, per her instructions. She lived about an hour away if the traffic wasn’t heavy. Well, everybody got there with time to spare. Just as the midwife arrived I had my first hard contraction. I then started walking around and soon couldn’t do that anymore, so went to the bedroom. After several hard contractions, she told me I was ready to push. Matthew was my hardest baby to push out. He had a very round head vs. the other’s with elongated (egg-shaped) heads. That round head was a lot harder to get out. And the fact that he was over 10 pounds might have been a factor. He emerged on a Saturday morning. My midwife said it was a beautiful birth. I said something about it not feeling too beautiful, but he was sure a beautiful, big baby!

Jaaron-2003 (homebirth in IL)

With Jaaron I had my first false alarm. I had regular contractions for quite a while. Alalia even came, thinking she’d be sure to make it for this one, but after being here a couple of hours the contractions really fizzled out. So everyone went home and to bed.

I’m not sure how many days later the real birth happened, but it was late evening and I was playing Scrabble with Karena and someone else, can’t remember who. I got up to go to the bathroom and when I was almost finished urinating I had that familiar “pop” feeling and then a little trickle of water. I wasn’t 100% sure it was the water sac, since I was urinating anyway, but I thought it probably was. I called Alalia and she told me to sit on a towel and move around and see if it gets wet. Not much, but a little, so we surmised it was “Time!” She left right away. Contractions began to be consistent very soon after that. We called, Mom, Wendy, Julie and a friend, Nikki, from church who lives nearby and happens to be an OB nurse. Mom arrived first. Things were getting intense by then. This was probably only about an hour after the water broke. Mom and Bobby got the birth kit ready and I continued to progress quickly. I could feel the head descending and told Bobby so. He looked and said he didn’t see anything, then, “Oh, yeah, there it is!” Another Daddy delivery assisted by Grandma! Though Jaaron weighed over 11 pounds he slid out as easily as little Elisabeth (7 lb. 6 oz I think.) Jaaron had a nice egg-shaped head! Easier birth. Yeah for egg- head babies!!

Adin 2005(homebirth in IL)

Things are getting really blurry. Jaaron and Adin were born in the same room only a couple of years apart and I just cannot recall the details of Adin’s birth. I’m almost certain that labor began during the wee hours of the morning and I’m pretty sure that Charity was Bobby’s assistant on this one. It, also, happened too quickly for Alalia to get here. Adin was another just over 10 pound baby, but had no trouble getting out. Not as eggy as Jaaron, but not as round as Matthew.

Eli 2007(homebirth in IL)

Eli was the only one (so far) born in our new part of the house and with his birth being the most recent I think I can remember it pretty well. Let’s see, Bobby dropped me off at the door of the church on a Sunday evening, so it was a little before 6:00. I was just inside the door. Elisabeth was near me. My water broke and gushed! I grabbed Elisabeth’s arm, told her what happened and turned around and headed out the door. All the kids were in the church already, but somehow, the word got out and soon we were all in the van on the way home. Bobby nearly killed that poor van and all of us, just trying to get us home before a birth. I kept telling him that I wasn’t even having contractions yet, please slow down, but he didn’t listen. There was a strong, hot smell coming from the van when we got home. Burning rubber or something.

We quickly got into the house. We’d made all the phone calls on the way home and left instructions for Dad and Mom when they arrived at church to come to our house. I think contractions started right after we got home. We got everything ready and waited. The contractions weren’t too hard for a while, but when they kicked in, I began to be impatient. There were more hard contractions than I was used to. Alalia was taking soooooo long. She really wanted to make it, but I just wasn’t wanting to wait on her. Turns out she took a wrong turn and after a few phone calls she got back on track, but it took her about 2 hours. She got here and I was fully ready and pushed little 9 pound Eli out! Eli had a really short cord. Most of my babies have had super long cords, sometimes wrapped around baby’s neck. This one was so short that I could not get Eli up to my face to kiss him right away.

We, especially the children, were hoping for a girl this last time. Well, four boys in a row seemed enough, but I will tell you that no matter what you think you want, when that baby is born and in your arms, you want nothing different than what he or she is! It’s your baby and you just love him or her so much it doesn’t matter.

Summary and advice…I have been very blessed with wonderful pregnancies, labors and deliveries for which I am so very grateful to my Father, God. Baby weights ranging from 7 lb. 6 oz. to 11 lb. 2 oz. Length from 19 to 21 inches (I think--it‘s harder for me to remember the length for some reason.) Longest birth was between Betsy (I didn’t write her birth story, but I had an epidural, an episiotomy--totally unnecessary, and was sedated, didn’t really feel anything. Healing was much slower because of the episiotomy) and Levi. I know Betsy’s was 6 hours and Levi’s about the same I think, though most of his was easy and irregular. Jacob’s was about 4 hours from water breaking to birth. All the rest were 1.5 to 2 hours from first signs to the end.

Ensure that your doctor doesn’t do unnecessary episiotomies and don’t let the doctor pull your cord to get the placenta out. And ask him about that before you go to the hospital.

The day after the birth write everything you can about this most blessed event so that you will never forget, even when you’re 47 and things get blurry in your mind.

When I was young, before babies, I used to want to see God perform a miracle such as a blind person be given sight, or a cripple to walk, but after I had a baby, I knew God performs miracles everyday, (as a matter of fact, about every 10 seconds!) and there is no greater miracle than giving birth to your own precious child, part of you and your husband. It’s just beyond words.