Summer’s Birth Story…
Our story starts out two babies before Summer was born. I didn’t know anything about having babies. Well, I didn’t think I knew. I had my first two beautiful baby girls in the hospital. I was like everyone else I knew going into the office, sitting for an hour or more, and receiving maybe 3 minutes of face time with the doctor per visit. Between having high blood pressure readings during my appointments from being stressed out, and naturally carrying my babies past my due date, I got the sense they did not like me and I definitely did not like them, ha! I was under the impression I didn’t have a choice but to be induced my first go around and I fought for the day to be 4 days after her due date. So, induction, epidural, have a baby, tear, stitch you up, send you home. That’s what everyone went through, right? The next go around the same thing. I was anxious every appointment. They wanted to put me on blood pressure meds. After my due date came and went, I was told I was going to seriously harm my baby if I didn’t let them induce me (and they expect my blood pressure to be low at these appointments?). Stress test after stress test, this baby came on her own at 41+2. So, epidural (cause that’s what you are supposed to do in a hospital, right?), have a baby, tear and stitch you up, send you home.
Then, we found out about our 3rd baby. I told myself I could do it again. I can argue and stand up for myself and fight the whole pregnancy. I am strong enough. I had started to hear more about homebirth (thank you social media and crazy Covid hospital policies), but it just seemed like a pain to go outside of insurance and I didn’t even know where to start with looking for a midwife. After my second appointment I left so frustrated I promised myself I wasn’t going back. I wasn’t going to put myself or my baby in that position again. That’s when I found Natural Birth KC and my eyes were opened to how pregnancy and birth could be and should be!
I discovered that I was capable and strong. I learned that I was right in not wanting to be induced and the majority of women seem to have their babies after “due dates”. I sat with midwives for the duration of my appointment who got to know me and listen to me. They encouraged me and educated me. I learned things about my body and baby that I had never known before. They made me feel like their favorite patient – which I have no doubt every single woman felt the same leaving there! I was asked how I wanted the birth to go. How I wanted to labor. Who I wanted to catch the baby. It was hard for me to answer these questions because I had never had a natural labor and didn’t know what I would be like or want in the moment. However, I never felt scared or anxious about the birth. I knew I was supported and fully believed in my body and mind that I was capable. God created me capable and strong, and I was ready to meet this sweet baby!
Finally, at 41 weeks and 5 days, I went into labor in the middle of the night. Contractions were strong enough to mean business but they were pretty spread out. I was able to sleep on and off until 5 am or so. I texted my doula and she arrived around 9 am. By this time, I was having to breathe through contractions and couldn’t talk. I found my hands and knees to be the most comfortable position during contractions and got up and walked around as much as I could between them. The midwives showed up between 11:30 and 12 pm. By that time contractions were intense and I was ready for the pool. I probably labored in the pool for about an hour and a half. Gloria would coach me and encourage me to try different positions. Then I was encouraged to go to the bathroom and labor on the toilet for a little while. I’m glad I had read some birth stories about laboring on toilets and knew it was normal and really helped you progress. Contractions on the toilet are intense and really help work that baby down! When I got up to get back in the pool, I had a lot of bloody show and we celebrated the progress being made. Back in the pool things really happened quickly it seemed. My water broke and shortly after that I felt the pressure of the baby ready to be born. My body wanted to be in a sitting position during the contractions at the end. I breathed through a couple, not quite ready to deliver my baby… then I looked up at Gloria, who had the most genuine and encouraging smile, she told me to have this baby when I’m ready. The next contraction I guided the head out, took a couple of breaths, and my baby was born! Gloria then reached in to help guide baby up to my chest and I just sat there in celebration and awe. I remember the contractions coming again shortly after and the slight worry of “oh no, not this again”. Gloria reminded me that the placenta doesn’t have bones, ha!
No screaming, no taking my baby away to be poked and prodded. Just soaking up that time with my baby on my chest. Oh, and we found out we had our third baby girl! As small and squishy as that precious baby looked, she ended up weighing 8lbs 13 oz! Almost 2 pounds heavier than my second. But no tearing. No stitches. It was definitely easier to deliver that chunky baby at home than my smaller babies in the hospital. My two big girls got to come in after that to meet their sister, cut the umbilical cord, ask all the questions, and be up close and personal. My heart was so full having my family all together. At the time, if I had delivered in the hospital, it wouldn’t have been possible.
Post-partum was just as special. It was like I was given permission to stay in bed and cuddle with my newborn for a week, which is much different than hospital protocol. I was surrounded by help and love in the comfort of my own home and it felt just how it was supposed to.
It turns out I really did know how to have a baby, how to bond with my baby, and how to trust my body through the process. I realized how important I think it is for families, especially girls, to see what birth really is. Not a scary time that you need drugs and hospitals for in every single case, but the most empowering time when surrounded by support and love where you feel most comfortable. Giving birth at home was intense, powerful, and so so special for me. I’d do it over and over again. I feel like I finally experienced birth and post-partum how God intended it and I’m so thankful for Natural Birth KC for opening that door for me.
Summer’s Birth Story…