This is shared by Jessica Young. The determination and faith she (and her husband and midwife) practiced during her pregnancy and long labor are very inspiring! Thank you for sharing mama.
Jeremiah’s birth story really starts with his big brother’s birth. Jonah’s birth was an absolutely unnecessary c-section. I had a wonderful pregnancy and felt great, even at almost 42 weeks pregnant. My water began leaking and my midwife said to come to the hospital. When I got there I was told my water was defiantly broken and I was about 3 centimeters dilated. We were so excited. We were going to finally meet our little baby!
Contractions weren’t regular enough, so pitocin was started. I was doing great and was pretty happy when they told me I was at 10!! After a few hours of being made to stay in bed while pushing, I could see Jonah’s head, but it wasn’t good enough, and off for a section I went.
4:48 PM on Labor day Jonah Christopher was born! We couldn’t have been more thrilled, yet I was still disappointed that I had missed out on birthing him.
After almost three years of trying to conceive, we found out we were expecting again! I couldn’t have been more excited! There was no doubt in my mind that this little one was going to be born at home. I was not going to have a c-section again!
We found a wonderful midwife and I again had a wonderfully healthy pregnancy. On the Sunday before Jeremiah was born I started to feel really hot and was kind of tired. I decided to lie down for a few minutes. When I got up to use the bathroom I had bloody show. I was almost 39 weeks pregnant and I found this to be pretty exciting because it meant baby was on the way. I told my husband that maybe we should speed up a few projects because things were starting to happen.
I called my midwife and she said to give her a call if anything else changed. I thought things would happen soon, so I began to finish cleaning and sorted through some baby clothes. During this time my water started leaking. It was really more annoying than anything, because I wanted to get a few things done before bedtime.
My emotions were all over the place. I was happy I was going to find out if I had another baby boy or a sweet little girl. I was sad to think that it was going to be the last day with just Jonah. I was also a bit anxious because I wasn’t having many contractions.
Around dinner time I had finished most of my “to do list” and decided to call Laura to let her know my water was leaking. She said great and to give her a call when I wanted her to come over. I was surprised thinking I might have a few days of this and she said things will most likely pick up when I rest. I was too busy during the day so the baby would probably wait until we settled down.
I took a long time putting my Jonah down for bed, because I thought for sure that it would be his last night as an only child. My husband and I told him that the baby would be here soon and he was pretty delighted.
I finished putting baby clothes away and my husband and I settled down to watch a movie. We went to bed thinking that we’d get woken up at some point with contractions. Well, I woke up when my husband’s alarm clock went off quite surprised that I had slept that long without anything changing. He went off to work with his cell phone on and in his pocket, ready for a phone call. I stayed in bed and cuddled with Jonah, drifting in and out of sleep.
My midwife called asking what was going on because she was really surprised when she woke up and had not heard from me. I told her nothing was happening, but a few mild contractions here and there. She told me that could happen. She advised me to sit on the toilet when I would get a good contraction and to try nipple stimulation.
I spent the day distracted, but kept myself busy cleaning and playing with Jonah. When I would get a contraction, I would dutifully squat down or get on the toilet, but nothing picked up in frequency or intensity. I couldn’t leave the house because my water was leaking and the risk of infection, so I felt a bit trapped.
I went to bed Monday night disappointed that things were not moving along and I was starting to worry. I did not want to go to the hospital, because I knew we were going to have to fight for me to even get a chance at laboring. My husband and midwife were so supportive and said we will cross that bridge when we get there.
Monday night I got woken up with strong contractions that I would have to breath through, but nothing consistent or even often. Tuesday morning my husband went off to work again leaving me wondering if things started to pick up, would he make it on time. My midwife called again in the morning and said she was going to stop by to check things out.
She came over and everything was good, blood pressure, urine, fluid levels and fetal heart tones. We talked about a few ways to get things going. I expressed my concerns about not wanting to go to the hospital and she was very calm and reassuring. I felt better after she left, but was still not at ease that things weren’t picking up.
I talked to my baby and told s/he that it was time to come out, we were ready to love him or her! I called my husband and sent him to the health food store for blue and black cohosh tinctures and a bottle of castor oil, just in case.
I was becoming more distracted with my son and felt bad our last few days together were with me not being 100% there for him.
I talked with my midwife again in the afternoon. I told her I was afraid Mark wasn’t going to make it or even worse she might not make it either! She told me that whoever is meant to be at a birth will be there. She assured me again that we’d do everything we can to make this baby come out before we would go to the hospital.
I went to bed that night still very pregnant and still very much anticipating labor. I couldn’t help but be worried and felt like I had a c-section hanging over my head this entire time. I never worried about it through out my entire pregnancy and now it was looming over my head constantly. I prayed and cried and prayed some more. Through the night I was awoken by hard contractions about every half an hour. I was so excited! It was slow but it was starting. I woke my husband up before his alarm went off and told him to stay home things were picking up! I got up and made a loaf of bread and picked up the house. I soon realized that an hour had gone by and I hadn’t had any more contractions.
I laid down on the couch to rest. I drifted in and out of sleep. I woke up to the phone ringing and it was my midwife again. I didn’t talk to her this much through the entire pregnancy and now we were talking several times a day! She asked what was going on and I could start to hear concern in her voice. That troubled me and I felt my stomach plummet. I did not want to go to the hospital. She encouraged me to start the herbal tinctures and to squat with contractions.
My husband was home so he took care of Jonah while I tried to rest. I really tried to not dwell on my lack of labor, but it was consuming me even though I was keeping myself busy. Laura called again in the afternoon and asked if we minded coming over, she wanted to check the baby again. We didn’t mind and I was excited to get out of the house.
We dropped Jonah off with Mark’s parents so we could talk with Laura and not have any distractions. The tension in the car was so high. I just dreaded the thought of having to go into the hospital. We had waited so long to have another baby and the thought of a natural birth being stolen for me was heart wrenching. I just kept praying for this baby to come on out!
We made it to Laura’s and as we waited for her to answer the door, I saw my profile in the glass. My hugely pregnant belly was low and full of life. I was a bit sad that things were going like this because I felt like I had no control.
Laura really wanted to listen to the baby to make sure he was holding up okay. She had me move into different positions and listen to his little heart. He was doing just great. She did a vaginal check and I was only about 2-3 centimeters and about 50% effaced. She said things were quite rigid. She stretched my cervix, ouch! But, I did begin to leak more water.
We sat and talked about my fears and she again assured me that we would only go to the hospital when there was a problem. We talked about how we would do it and that she would stay with us the entire time. We also decided that taking the castor oil would be a good idea. I had a hard contraction while we were talking and she listened to the babe. She said everything sounded good.
I felt better leaving her house knowing that she was with us 100% percent. I also felt reassured that the baby was doing well. I made my husband stop at McDonald’s, because that sounded good to me and I called my mom while I waited for him in the car. I had a really hard contraction and was really frustrated to be in a small car. All the way home, about every 15 minutes I’d get a long, strong contraction. I was pretty encouraged and enjoyed my completely unhealthy cheeseburger and fries.
We got home and my in-laws were making dinner for everyone. Jonah was excited to see us and I was excited to see him too. I decided to lie on the couch, because I was pretty exhausted at that point. I had some good contractions that I had to breathe through. Jonah came down to watch a movie and I got up to pick things up and walk around. The contractions I was having were hard and I got down and squatted with each one ,but they were still really far apart. I decided to go for the castor oil, because I was not going wait any longer for this little one to make his appearance.
I filled up a shot glass, downed the oil and chased it with cherry coke. It wasn’t that bad, so I asked Mark if he thought I should take the third ounce and he said “why not?”. Little did we know how things would progress.
Not very long after shooting down my castor oil, the effects started to kick in. Loose stools, vomiting and heavy contractions all at once were very overwhelming. I could hardly sit on the toilet. Everything that was left in my body, with the exception of the baby was out; I got in the shower and then rested on the couch. I knew I was going to need the rest because labor was imminent.
I settled down on my side and from there I was on a ride like none other. The contractions started about five minutes apart and were very intense. I was having difficulty focusing and had to moan through them. They quickly picked up to 2-3 minutes apart and I was loosing it. I thought I was at the beginning of labor and there was no way I could do this for hours! I was rubbing the side of the couch to get through each one, moaning loudly.
In my mind I was trying to formulate how I was going to get the hospital to get an epidural, because there was no way I was going to continue to do this for hours! By the time I had my plan hatched out, my husband came down. He didn’t really know I was so far into labor and I was in too much pain to yell for him. He really couldn’t help me anyway. I was on this ride alone.
After a bit, I told him to time the contractions and call the midwife. I was shaking uncontrollably and wanted her there. My husband being the calm, mild mannered man that he is, called and let her know about the contractions. He was SO calm. Laura assumed I was doing okay and had awhile to go yet. She told him to get me up and sitting on the toilet and they would back off a bit…I was just feeling the castor oil.
When he came down to tell me this, I was so devastated that she wasn’t coming. That meant I had awhile to go!! It took me awhile to be able to get up and I had to stop to handle the contractions. I decided to get in the shower, because there is a bench in there I could sit on that would resemble the toilet. I didn’t want to sit on the toilet because it hurt! I was already hurting!!
My husband got the shower going and I told him the baby felt really low and there was a lot of pressure. He told me the shower would help and the contractions will back down. I was skeptical, but trusted Mark and Laura. The warm water felt great, but I was still in a lot of pain. I was afraid I was going to wake up Jonah, because my moaning had taken on a guttural moan/yell. Mark asked if I minded if he lay down in the living room, because it was around 4 am and we hadn’t gotten any sleep yet. I didn’t mind ,because he couldn’t help me. I couldn’t communicate and really needed to dig deep to pull myself together.
I don’t think he even sat down before I decided that the baby was coming NOW. Once I tuned into my body I realized my body was pushing the baby out. I yelled for him that the baby was coming and to help me. He came in and said he needed to call Laura. He woke his parents up and had them call her.
He came asking about the birth kit and old towels. I told him there was no time for that and to just use the bathroom towels. I didn’t care at this point how white those towels stayed, I didn’t want to be alone. I tried to squat down, but that hurt so I got on my hands and knees with the shower on my back. That felt good.
I finally was able to relax, because I realized my baby was coming out soon. It did not even occur to me this was going to be a VBAC or have concern over rupturing. I silently prayed and wanted to start pushing.
I was fixated on the thought that my husband was going to drop the wet baby and kept repeating how slippery the baby was going to be when he came out. Mark put a towel down and assured me he wouldn’t drop the baby. The poor guy had no chance to process anything, but he was my rock and I felt calmer with him there. He had to take his glasses off because they were so fogged up from the steam of the shower. It was the blind leading the blind at this point!
Four pushes later out came the baby. He let out a little cry and Mark handed my sweet baby to me and he fell right to sleep. My beautiful baby, with a head full of hair was nestled on my chest. I looked at Mark…we both laughed and then cried. What a blessing to have a healthy baby!! All of the frustration of not conceiving and Jonah’s birth was over and we had another sweet baby to raise.
Mark got us bundled in towels and went to tell his parents to call Laura. I held my sweet little one, amazed once again at just how wonderful a blessing it is to snuggle a squishy newborn. Mark came in and I asked if he had looked to see “what kind” of baby he was. He hadn’t, so we looked together to discover we had another baby boy! We had two names we were debating on and we quickly agreed that he was going to be Jeremiah.
Laura arrived and I was very much ready to deliver the placenta and get in bed with my baby. The sound of her car pulling up and of the door opening was music to my ears. My bottom was sore and the shower floor was getting quite annoying. She came in with a big smile saying “Congratulations!”. I was so happy to have her there! Mark cut the cord and Laura helped me get into bed.
Her care was nothing more than spectacular. She was efficient and loving. When Jonah woke up to crawl in bed with us, he discovered his new brother and she took wonderful pictures for us. She got us settled and looked over the baby to proclaim him healthy and adorable. He was a little peanut at 7 pounds 2 ounces and 20 ¼ inches.
I had a small tear that didn’t require any stitches.
After she made sure we were tucked into bed she gave us all hugs and told me to call if I needed anything. She would call back sometime that night and stop over the next day to check on us both.
When things settled down and Jonah had some breakfast and I had some toast, it was time to rest. I had made a few phone calls to my family and friends and was ready to sleep. The baby had nursed and nestled by me. Mark crawled into bed with us and was asleep before his head hit the pillow. I think he was more tired than me!!
I couldn’t fall asleep right away. I was flying high. I did it! I had a natural birth! Four days after my water broke we delivered our sweet boy by ourselves, AT HOME! I am almost 100% sure that if I had been at the hospital I would have had another c-section. With loving, competent care from our midwife, I had a vaginal birth. Her calm presence and trust in a woman’s body to do its job allowed us to be sure we had made the best choice for our birth.