It only took me one year to write it up! (third child problems 🙂 )
I spent a lot of time focusing and envisioning the exact home birth that I wanted. I prayed a lot that God would allow me to have the exact same birth at home as I experienced with Tristan! I focused and prayed that I would have no surprises and would deliver on my cozy bed (instead of the bathroom floor). I am humbled and happy to report that’s EXACTLY what I got.
I spent this pregnancy practicing my hypnobirth breathing techniques (kind of like a swimmer wanting to lengthen his time under water). I knew the deeper and longer I could flow that breath, the more relaxing I would feel during my surge. I also practiced breathing the baby down since I remember specifically thinking during transition with Tristan that I wish I had practiced it more!
So it begins…
At 41 weeks on Sunday evening, June 2nd, I became determined in prayer and began natural attempts to initiate labor. I was inevitably scheduled to go to the hospital in the morning for the dreaded fetal non-stress test and because of my first birthing experience (where I was unexpectedly told I had to stay and be induced despite receiving a 10/10) I was committed to having this baby TONIGHT. I looked at my hypnobirth book for natural ways to spur on labor and thought, “these have stood the test of time… what have I got to lose?” So we put the boys to bed and I tried all of them (pictured below).
After my bath, I decided to do the final step of cleansing my bowels with castor oil. I’ve heard horror stories about the use of castor oil to induce labor, but in those cases the mother had downed the whole bottle! Instead, I used the recommended doses in my hypnobirth book.
I was having mild surges but nothing very significant. I text my midwife just an “FYI but probably nothing” and Blake and I headed to bed around 10pm. I went to my cool, cozy bed wearing the same nightgown I wore delivering Tristan to further the mindset :). I also text some close friends and family saying “pray, just in case” 100% out of excitement rather than actually believing all of my natural inductions methods had worked! But I was still hopeful…
Around 11am, I was breathing through mild surges while I let Blake sleep as much as he could. I knew he would need to be well rested if I had a newborn in my arms and two excited big brothers in the morning. I used an app on my phone to track the time between my surges but the intensity and duration/frequency was so inconsistent. The frequency of each surge from 11pm-1:30am ranged anywhere from 2 minutes apart up to 11 minutes apart! And the duration of each surge was an average of about 1 minute, 20 seconds. To determine if it was true labor, I was following the 4-1-1 rule: when contractions come every 4 minutes, each lasting 1 full minute, and have been that way for 1 hour. No such luck yet.
Until… around 2am, something shifted.
My surges started becoming much stronger. Micah decided he was ready to meet us! I woke Blake and text my midwife that she may want to start making her way here. I focused on my breathing techniques and Blake magnified the excitement in the room by reminding me I’ll be holding sweet Micah soon.
Sidenote: It wasn’t until this point that I realized he was coming TONIGHT. I think It’s so interesting how these night-time, hypnobirth-led home births have me so relaxed, in and out of sleep, and basically totally out of touch with reality!
Around 2:30pm my midwife, Michelle, and birthing assistant, Meredith, arrived. It was a calm greeting of whispered hello’s and wide smiles in the dark as we all knew this feeling of anticipation well. Michelle checked my vitals and Meredith started prepping the room (pulling out the chux pads and compression cloths if needed from the birth kit – you don’t need very much to have a baby!). At this point my surges were 2-3 minutes apart and relatively strong. Blake occasionally spoke affirmations to relax even more as I envision my cervix opening up like a flower, softly and delicately. I tell you, there is power in visualization.
Michelle and Meredith waited in the living room, giving me the space I requested to focus on my breathing and affirmations. I even wore earplugs to block out any extra noise as it took an incredible amount of focus to relax my body and allow my cervix to open naturally and slowly. My hypnobirth breathing techniques significantly decreases how strong the surge feels. The deeper the belly breath, the less intense the surge.
Blake sat, watched, and waited. An hour later my surges were incredibly intense and still about 2-3 minutes apart. I was continuing to drink water, empty my bladder (having surges on the toilet occasionally), and even talking some and smiling with Blake in between each one.
At 4:15am, I had one out-of-this-world intense surge with deep guttural sounds in the bed and my water broke! As the membranes release, I managed to get out, “he’s coming!!!”.
Blake jumped out of bed and ran to Michelle and Meredith and said calmly and excitedly, “It’s go time.”
At 4:19am, as Michelle was getting the monitor to check the baby’s heart rate, I had one VERY powerful surge (as Blake reminded me to focus on breathing him down) and out pops his head! One more surge and his entire body is out.
I had to REALLY focus on my breathing and staying in complete control of my body. The last two surges were so incredibly strong.
The cord was wrapped around his neck and arm, but Michelle gently unwrapped it. Micah was then laid directly on my chest – a feeling straight from heaven. I was an array of pride, excitement, awe, and overwhelming love.
After the “golden hour” of snuggling, he was weighed in at 6.15lbs, 19.5in (the smallest baby of the three). This was also the quickest recovery of all three, and like my previous home birth, not a tear in sight. There wasn’t even any swelling! Maybe one can attribute that to his small size, I’m sure that’s part of it, but I believe breathing the baby slowly down the canal (versus a forceful voluntary “pushing”) allowed me to gently open with Micah, at his pace.
Oh, how grateful I am that Micah came just a couple hours before the doctors would decide if we should induce!!
The name Micah derived from the Hebrew mīkhāyah meaning “Who is like God”. We chose David as his middle name (which is Hebrew for “beloved”) after a dear family in our church that has selflessly loved and served our family this past year, the Davidson’s. We pray Micah, and our older two boys, will one day give generously their time, money, and devotion to others in the same way.
Micah’s life verse:
…that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:17-19