*We are not recommending to freebirth a large baby at home. If you choose to have an unassisted birth, be prepared and have back up plans. Unassisted birth can be wonderful, but is not for everyone.*
Location: Home, Unmedicated, Water, Unassisted
Child’s Name: Declan Liam Wark
APGAR 1: 8
APGAR 2: 9
Weight: 11lbs 8oz
Head Circumference: 14.75″
My labor started at about 4am on the 6th and was very mild, I wasn’t really sure it was labor and was able to sleep off and on until about 11am. I then went downstairs and played around on the computer for a while. Around that time I also called my Doula because I knew she was a few hours away at a training, she was able to get on her way to me as soon as we talked.
I started having to work through the contractions around 2pm, they had been 2-6min apart and 30-120sec long from the start, but just were getting painful. By this time Mikaela (my 10 year old) had blown up the birth pool and we started filling it. Ethan and Cayden (sons 6 and 2) were playing and running around and as soon as the pool was filled they wanted to start playing in it so Mikaela took them out to play.
I finally got in at about 3-4pm and it was really nice (everyone kept telling me to get in sooner, but I wanted to wait as long as I could). I ended up with neighbors in and out during the whole labor. My doula also showed up about the time I was in the pool (time wasn’t in any context for me).
I was able to almost sleep in between contractions and was breathing/moaning through them. Shem (my partner of 8 years) was up next to my head by now and stayed there for the rest of labor.
About 6pm I was able to feel a bulging sac and felt like I was just about complete…I know my doula was next to me and then 3 of my female neighbors were in the room along with 1 male neighbor, they thought is was funny I was able to sing during a song that came on the radio (Shinedown’s “Simple Man”) I had now lost all sense of time also.
I started getting contractions that put a ton of pressure and started pushing through the peak before almost falling asleep again. After a few contractions my water bag came out and after a contraction or 2 it popped and kinda scared me! It was the oddest feeling because with my other 3 my water was broken early in labor.
I stared getting stronger contractions and needed to push with more of them. I could feel his very hard head inside and with each contraction it came down a little further. Finally half his head was out and I could tell he was face down, in the next contraction I was able to help support and his head came out all the way, I could then feel him turn back and forth to get his shoulders out (it felt like it took a long time) and with the next contraction my neighbor was able to reach in the water and help pull him out.
He took a a little bit to take a breath, but after I sucked out the water in his mouth/nose with my mouth and started rubbing his back and blowing on his face, he started grunting and then let out a cry! He also pooped about the same time. He was born at 7:14pm after about 20mins from my water breaking!
He had a very short cord so I had Shem start draining the pool so I could sit up with him. We got him covered with blankets so he didn’t get too cold and I waited to deliver the placenta because with how short the cord was there was no way I could have gotten up even if I had wanted to.
Finally almost an hour later it came out and we put it in a bowl. I handed him to Mikaela and she sat on the couch while I got help up and got a robe on. I was also finally able to feed him (as he wasn’t able to reach the breast). After feeding I handed him to Daddy and went and took a shower and got dressed. It was so nice to be in my own house!!!
We then got his cord tied and Mikaela cut it.
We weighed him and got 11lbs 8oz, 22″ with a 14.75″ head!!!! At his Dr he was 10lbs 15oz at 3 days old and 10lbs 14oz at 6 days old so he is doing great!
He did end up getting down to 10lbs by 2 weeks old and didn’t gain any weight for 2 more weeks when a great LC found he was Tongue Tied. It was cut by his Dr, but he still didn’t gain so I started pumping. I saw another LC who found he was still very Tongue Tied and at 6 weeks he had it cut by an ENT and has been nursing ever since and now at 5 months old is almost 20lbs!
My little guy is now almost 9 months and 22lbs. He is intact and still breastfed.
Crystal - Prenatal Coach
Awww beautiful birth story, thank you for sharing!!
SO SWEEEEET BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SO SWEET PLUMPY LIPS!!!!!!!!!!CONGRATS ON THE SUCCESFUL HOMEBIRTH!
Beautiful! I’m planning my own home waterbirth for July (baby #9). I love reading such positive loving birth stories! Your Mikaela sounds just like my 10 year old. Little mommy 🙂 congrats on your new precious one <3
=) Congrats!! My little man had almost the same length/head circumference, but only weighed 8 lbs 6 oz. He was skinny, but gained back his birth weight at 6 days!
Beautiful birth story…very inspiring!
Awesome! My son was 10lbs. 8oz….such a monster! He’s 11 months now and is at least 25 or 30 lbs. Lol. Also thanks for respecting his right to a whole body! 🙂 You rock, mama!
That is awesome. I wish my baby weighed that much but she is 6 years old and only weighs 25lbs.
I love the story, but why the disclaimer at the beginning about large babies? How is one supposed to know what size her baby will be when there is no accurate way to measure baby before birth???
The disclaimer is there, not just because of the size, but also because it is an unassisted birth. 🙂
You are one brave, brave woman! Good on you!
YAY! I love this story! Thank you for sharing!!!
Thank you so much for sharing these awesome photos and your beautiful story <3
My babies never looked like this until months old. So lucky to have such a sweet baby!
Ina May Gaskin
Sucking the fluid out of your baby’s nose and mouth—good move, that! I think it’s instinctual.
* sheepishly worshipping *
Is this the real Ina May?
I know that feeling of the baby wiggling itself free, it really freaked me out when it happened, unlike anything else you’ll ever feel for sure! Thanks for sharing your beautiful story!
Congrats! He is so precious! 🙂 Look at those lips soo cute!My little one was only 6lb 15 oz and 20 in when he was born.His head is still only about 15.5in but he was 26in and 18 lbs at his 4mo checkup lol he was a little guy and he’s grown alot 🙂 he is now almost 5mo and has gained quite a bit more. I really look up to women like you that can do that unmedicated and unassisted! I would love to try it but with me being so petite, if my baby was that big there is no way I would be comfortable with an unassisted unmedicated birth, i would worry too much:( But if my next baby is little like Atticus was, I am definitely planning to try a homebirth 🙂 Congrats again! So cute 🙂
Great story! I had a midwife water home birth to a 11.2 girl:-)
What a sweet squishy! Oh those lips! You at one awesome mama. I wish I had had unassisted home births. That had to be an amazing feeling of accomplishment.
I’ll be sharing this one with my patients. Thanks for your courage and your magnificent validation that nature, our babes, and our innate wisdom allows for the appropriate instinctual movements to occur in absence of any intervention. The part about him wiggling his shoulders and your sucking the fluid from his resp. passages is pure innate genius. Thanks so very much for sharing as it is so inspiring and deeply appreciated.
Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy! I needed to read this today, so thank you for sharing your story.