I have taken 8 months to write this story down for the world to read. I have told it more times than I can count, but could never find the right words to describe this experience in a way that wouldn’t make all y’all on the interwebs literally run the other way whenever you hear about a home birth!
Where do I even begin?! The entire pregnancy was mostly uneventful. I was severely anemic, so I received a total of 4 iron injections that literally changed my life. If you have low ferritin (the iron storage in your liver), like below 50 or 100 during pregnancy, and you feel sluggish and tired, go to a hematologist. You’re welcome.
After a full on breakdown close to the midpoint in my pregnancy, I received a calming, peaceful feeling that this sweet little girl was going to be my Grace, hence her middle name. Prayers of uncertainty on whether I could really be a good mom to seven babies quickly changed to prayers of gratitude that the Lord felt I was up to the task of raising seven babies.
Saturday night July 27th, Declan, my firstborn son, prayed for her to come. I had already been slowly dilating for a couple weeks and was at a 3.5/4 (oreo sized opening). I was only 37 weeks, so I was hoping I could get a couple more weeks of life and summer in before she came. Nope…. Her siblings were too excited for her to come so they could meet her!
During the night I had to go to the bathroom more than normal, she had mostly dropped, so each bathroom visit brought uncomfortable contractions, bu she was low, so I was certain that was why. I had been texting my midwife off and on for a week or so, letting her know when I felt changes, but I decided to just wait until my water broke to text her again. This could go on for days!
Some time after 4 or 5 am I finally alerted Spencer and my midwife that my water had broken and the pressure was increasing. I was laboring on a yoga ball in the shower when she got there. it only took a couple hours to get from 4 cm to 8/9 cm. Then… the most excruciating pain ever. I remembered this pain from a cervical lip I had during my last two labors, but I just shifted positions, pushed through them and had a baby. Not this time.
The sweetest moment happened when my midwife, Spencer and I were in the shower praying over my belly that Naomi would be safe and come into this world healthy and strong and that my body would be able to do all it needed in order to make that happen.
After HOURS of trying to push through that pain of having the baby’s head facing the wrong direction, a part of my cervix (TMI?) being stretched with each push, and her NOT lodging into the birth canal, we had a decision to make. Was I going to take that 30 minute drive to the hospital for that dang epidural, or try more positions?
Side note: I had been extremely active my entire pregnancy, I worked out regularly and lifted weights until the last week or so of my pregnancy. This is why I had the stamina to endure this labor. God is in the details, y'all. He knew I would need all the energy and stamina possible. The iron injections gave me my energy back, so I was able to work out until the end. This was the difference between a high risk (anemia), c-section delivery and a natural one for me.
We decided to wait. I didn’t want to have a baby in the car and the idea of being trapped in a car through that pain was worse than laboring longer. She was perfectly chill in my belly, her heart rate was beautiful, so I decided to take a break from pushing and being in every single position known to labor and take a warm shower.
That is where I lost it. I cried, I swore, I prayed, and I was pleading for that Grace He talked to me about. I needed that grace NOW. So I come out of the shower, and as soon as my midwife sees me she says, “close your knees.” Say what now?! Did I just…. was that…. are you serious?!
She tells me to try it and to trust her. Later she told me she had been praying while I was in the shower, and the Lord literally put that thought into her mind. Remember how at that exact moment I was praying for grace in the shower?!
So then I sit on a birthing stool, and tell Spencer to help me close my knees because I just can’t figure out how to do this with all that downward pressure of Naomi’s head!
This is getting so much more intimate than my other birth stories... I know... Just... it's almost over.
So a few contractions of this and my knees finally touch, and the pain is instantly gone. Y’all, this was the money pose. Because she was backwards, having my knees close helped push her back and stay where she needed to be instead of popping back up in between contractions.
Then I feel it....
This is where it gets awkward and real. My midwife had stepped out to grab a cookie, I had recruited the midwife in training to push on my back while Spencer pushed on my knees… And I feel the sudden urge to go to the bathroom…. Im just gonna say it…
I had to go poop, y'all.
But I don’t care how much pain I am in, I hate messes. So I insist on going to the bathroom.
Then the midwife in training (who has been an L&D nurse like my midwife) tells me it is probably the baby’s head. Girl, it is BOTH! So I bolt to the bathroom, and this right here is what took me so long to write. Spencer went with me. I hoped I could quickly go between contractions, clean up, and then go back to the birth stool, cuz I vowed never to give birth over a toilet. The midwives were all, just poop on the chucks pad, we can clean it up…. uhhh… hell. no. Let me keep my dignity… but also let my husband join me in the bathroom while I poop, and try not to also poop out the baby. Can’t make this stuff up, y’all.
But…. this is where it gets really real…. As soon as I am done, she descends the birth canal as quickly as she entered and her head starts crowning. At this moment my mom announces her presence, my midwife gets back in the restroom (it is a party in there), and I just motion for everyone to be quiet. There is no holding back now. We just went from 9 cm for hours to knees closed for a couple contractions to crowning. She spent like 2 contractions in the birth canal… I beg Spencer to not let her touch the toilet. I don’t know if I said that out loud, but I trusted him to make sure. And as soon as he announces there is a head, I feel like her whole body just slips out of mine.
She was beautiful and cheesy and tiny and amazing and not covered in anything besides amniotic fluid and vernix (the cheesy, white stuff)…. I just had to clarify because I know y’all were wondering.
After the dust settled, and while I am cleaning up and they are taking care of the baby, I just kind of wonder why it doesn’t feel like I just had a baby. I was on such a high, and my body literally did not feel like I had just delivered a baby. For someone who has had a few, I know what it feels like to push a bowling ball out of my…. you know… so why didn’t I feel that way now?? This is where everything starts to piece together.
Remember the breakdown? The grace? Do we ever stop to consider that sometimes hard things are part of the grace? Because Naomi was posterier (backwards but still head down), and she didn’t spend more than 3 minutes in the birth canal, my body healed quickly! No tears, no complications. She started sleeping through the night from the beginning, 6 hour stretches…. Which allowed me to heal even quicker. What took 6 weeks or more normally, only took me a few weeks.
Then, my help was gone because my mom had to go be with her mom after she had a stroke, Spencer had to go back to work, and I had to be back to being homeschool mom after a couple weeks. Life literally did NOT slow down because I had a baby. The blessing was that I had just the right labor and delivery, so I could bounce back as much as was needed. That is Grace.
Sometimes grace means that gaps are filled and needs are met, but the process is not always ‘graceful.’Tweet
Miss Naomi Grace Hall is our favorite little baby, and she knows nothing but love and laughter. She has brought our family together in ways we didn’t know we needed. She brings light and joy to everyone around her. She is the kind of baby that fools other people into having babies. She is easy, happy, beautiful, and loved. Oh so loved. Being the 7th and the baby means you have lots of people that love you right out the gate. She is living the life, y’all!
At the end of the day, having her at home wasn’t so bad after all. I had the best support system, and my wonderful nurse midwife deserves SO MUCH credit for listening to the Spirit in that moment of need. This is why I picked her. She is God-fearing, and she was wise enough to suggest the hospital when I started getting tired. She made sure I felt safe, and that the Spirit could be in the room with us. Without her faith in me and in God, this story would not have ended as well as it did! I will tell you what though, if you have a posterior baby, and you are at a hospital, get the epidural, trust me.