Homebirth & Motherhood

5 Things Homebirthing Is NOT

Being pregnant with my fifth child and with the same plans of having an unassisted pregnancy and birth, I couldn’t resist writing this post. It comes from the depths of my soul and the heart of many moms who choose this route (or one similar).

It may seem comical as you read through the points I share, but there is also a level of appreciation for those on this journey. Enjoy!

Homebirthing IS NOT Abuse

This is something that I seriously cannot believe people actually consider saying about mothers who choose to have their children at home. On one hand the home is supposed to be seen as a safe haven, a place of refuge, and a place of utmost comfort for children.

However, when embracing that home as a reliable place to bring a child into the world, all of a sudden it is seen as abuse. In all of my homebirthing experiences I can confidently say that none of my children have been abused in the process.

Homebirthing IS NOT Neglect

It’s quite the opposite actually. I don’t want to talk about the cases of neglect that have happened in those places that are considered “more safe for childbirth”. Having a child in the comfort of your own home is far from neglect.

In every experience I’ve had (and from stories of other homebirthing mamas), the child has always been welcomed into a loving, joyful, and beautiful environment. The baby is typically greeted by excited siblings, and shortly after by extended family. That doesn’t sound like neglect to me!

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Homebirthing IS NOT Prideful

Although there are different philosophies, methods, and styles floating around the natural birthing community – and one may try to elevate itself as being better than another – overall, homebirthing is not prideful.

I’ve seen the experiences of homebirthers be made to seem like pride – “Oh, you think you’re better than me because you birthed at home?” That mindset does exist, but we have to be careful to not let others project their insecurities on us, and vice versa. The confidence of a mother who chooses to birth at home should never be made to seem like she is exalting herself.

Homebirthing IS NOT a New Trend

It excites me so much to be able to say that I come from a line of homebirthing women. My mother had my brother and my sister at home. I was the only unfortunate one who was born in a hospital… and yes, her experience was one that was not pleasant. When they wanted to strap her to the bed for labor, she resisted and demanded that she be able to walk out her labor.

When they wanted to pump her with drugs and medicine, she opted out and “took the pain.” Needless to say, she expressed that she’d never do it like that again… especially after having two homebirths (even with one resulting in a doctor having to walk in 2 feet of snow to “save” my sister)!

Having children at home (shucks, even in the wild) is not a new thing. Scripture even speaks of having midwives, nurses, and maidens. What has made this seem like a trend, or a new movement, is the rise in modern medicine convincing people that without a hospital, nothing health and wellness wise can be accomplished.

Homebirthing IS NOT a Force to be Reckoned With

I’m ending with this one because it’s both true and powerful and encompasses all the previous points made. Some women will never understand why others choose to birth at home. They may forever think we’re crazy. The truth of the matter is regardless of what others think, homebirthing is truly a force that cannot be reckoned with.

The way our bodies have been created to conceive, create/grow, and birth another human being goes far beyond what any science can prove. We have what is observable and repeatable, and all throughout history we can see that having children naturally (and at home) has withstood the test of time.

If you’re a homebirthing mama, you are awesome, amazing, and wonderful. If you’re not a homebirthing mama, you are awesome, amazing, and wonderful! Regardless of how you choose to bring your child into this world, the fact that you are a mother – YOU ROCK!!!

CHIME IN: Share your experiences in the comments below! I’m excited to hear from you!


Psst… Looking for support for your homebirthing journey? Feel free to reach out to me. I’m only an email/message away!

Homebirth & Motherhood, Spiritual

The Birth Story of Mordekai

The journey started early Spring with a faint-positive pregnancy test, and yet another surprise from Abba. My husband and I had mutually agreed that we would not prevent conception, although we are not planning either. It’s funny to see people’s faces when they ask how many children we plan on having, and we respond with however many God blesses us with! 🙂

From the conception of our daughter five years ago, our research to all-natural births started. This took us down the path to everything from homebirths and midwives to natural remedies and doulas (and everything in between). We are forever grateful for this journey because with each pregnancy, labor, and birth – it gets better and better! Not to mention, our faith grows stronger and stronger!

Most people think we are crazy. Others think we are being irresponsible. And there are those who actually express their deep desire in wanting to experience a natural childbirth, but couldn’t for whatever reason. Regardless of what others think, we know that our choice to do homebirths is for us. Our choice to have an educated, unassisted pregnancy and homebirth is for us.

Yes, you read that right… an educated, unassisted pregnancy and homebirth. It is not for everyone. Without going down the path of stating the obvious, there are many reasons why some women have to utilize modern medicine care (regardless of the reason), and that’s okay. You will not read any mom-shaming here. Quite frankly, this isn’t about anyone else but our family, and our choice to birth how we see fit.

Okay…. at this point you are probably wondering, “so how did the birth of Mordekai go?” It went like this….

Braxton Hick’s contractions were my best friend since the second trimester. They were nothing new and I knew they were prepping my body for the grand finale. As weeks went on, my body definitely showed it’s age (thirty-something LOL), but I attempted to embrace that as well. I must admit that I didn’t workout near as much as past pregnancies, and I actually enjoyed my late night cookies and milk snacks.

As the due date of December 4th approached, I grew more and more anxious at the thought of my bundle arriving “early, as expected, or late”. You see, my first born was a planned induction (I will NEVER do that again) at 38 weeks…. our daughter was a successful homebirth at 40+2 and actually ended in a transport that resulted in a DNC to get the rest of the placenta out that caused PPH (too much midwife intervention)…. and our second son was a successful and perfect unassisted homebirth at 39 weeks (the midwife didn’t make it to the birth in time)….

Thirty-nine weeks came and went. Then forty weeks came. It was 7ish in the morning on  Monday, December 4th when I started having contractions that seemed to stick around. Not like the prodromal labor I experienced last pregnancy, but more like the progressing “real thing” that I experienced with our daughter. One after the other, I was convinced that this would be the day that we would finally meet our baby.

I attempted to go about the day as normal but finally told my husband that I needed to be able to just labor. Instantly, he kicks into super Dad mode and takes over the kiddos. They were surprisingly AMAZING at watching me labor (as I needed Daddy to squeeze me hips with each contraction as they grew stronger). They took turns rubbing my back and talking to me, although my oldest (10 year old) was a little shocked and partly upset that he couldn’t understand the pain.

As contractions progressed, it actually worked perfectly because as I approached transition, the kiddos were laying down for their naps. At this time, it’s about 11ish AM and I had been relaxing and riding the waves in a bathtub full of warm water for about 30 minutes. This helped ease the contractions some, but I looked at my husband and told him to get the pillows and towels because I was getting out. In my mind, I was determined to start riding these waves with the thought of meeting our bundle sooner rather than later. In other words… I was going to start pushing.

And I did.

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The next wave came and I totally relaxed everything and “beared down” as most would say. From there, it was the point of no return. The next wave sent me into an army crawl position (which is funny because afterward, my husband asked where I was going, LOL). Then back up on all four’s I went with another couple of waves and pushes. That’s when Dr. Dad said he could see the baby coming and “it” (at the time we didn’t know gender) appeared to still be en caul. He tried to break the bag then but couldn’t get a grip. I reached back and instantly realized how slippery, but tough the sac actually was. I got a good grip of baby’s head and pulled while pushing the baby out into Daddy’s arms. By the time his body was out, the sac tore open.

“IT’S A BOY!!!” Bryan cried out. I sat back in instant relief and started to enjoy the fact that we just had our bundle of joy. Lots of questions went through my head about his color (which was normal), his size (which was normal), his lack of instant crying (which was normal), and so on…. but Bryan reassured me that everything was okay and went to get the things we needed to finish up (umbilical cord ring, scissors, bowl, etc.).

While waiting for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing, baby and I hopped back in the bathtub to relax and start the process of nursing. At this point, I was incredibly relieved but still knew that I had to deliver the placenta… which is something we had not done by ourselves before (yet). Sure enough, by the time the cord stopped pulsing and we got the ring on his umbilical cord, it was time to push again. I delivered the placenta with grace and ease into a bowl and felt even better.

The rest of the story consists of a shower, freshening up, and basking in the fact that we just had an amazing educated, unassisted pregnancy and homebirth!

It’s amazing how our bodies know exactly what to do. They are truly designed and made to function in ways that far exceed anything that can be understood at times, and I’m thankful for trusting YHWH to guide us during such an incredible experience.

It took us a few days to finally decide on a name and get stats, but here they are:

 

CHIME IN: I hope you have enjoyed reading the birth story of Mordekai. I’d love to hear your birth story too! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! I’m not a doctor, and don’t claim to be; however, any credible info I have, I don’t mind passing along!

 

Special thanks to the Unassisted Pregnancy & Childbirth Facebook group, In His Hands Birth Supplies, and Herb Lore for your generous and gracious support throughout our journey!

 

Until next time, be blessed!

Homebirth & Motherhood

My Top 7 Must-Have’s for Labor & Delivery

You may have been able to deduce from previous posts that we are a homebirthing kinda family. So as we prepare for our third homebirth, I wanted to share my top seven must-have’s for labor and delivery.

Even if this labor and delivery goes just as fast as the last one (30 minutes from transition to holding baby), the items I talk about below will definitely come in handy!

Music

I love music, and I love what it has added to my last two labor and birthing experiences. I don’t necessarily make a special playlist; however, I do have a couple of apps ready with music that I listen to frequently.

Last baby, I actually went through two days of prodromal labor… so every time it kicked in, I kicked on the music and allowed it to help me relax through the intense waves. Something that is pretty funny, though, is after a certain point of labor, the music has to go! LOL! But up until that point, it is definitely a relaxing and comforting aid for me.

A Warm Bath

It’s so funny how you can plan things out, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will happen exactly how you plan it. Case in point…. last baby, hubby started to run the bath water, only to deter to get ready to catch the baby!

I didn’t actually get in the tub until after the birth, but it was nice to have it there waiting for me and baby! Not sure how it will happen this time, but best believe there will be a warm bath involved!

Essential Oils

My go-to essential oils are lavender, geranium, and frankincense. There are lots of others that some mothers choose to incorporate; however, these three are good enough for me. Again, it doesn’t mean that I’ll be able to use them like I want to but to have them on hand is awesome.

I use lavender to support a calming atmosphere. Geranium is used on my abdomen to support a nice transition from birthing baby to birthing the afterbirth. Frankincense is used to “anoint” baby.

If you are interested to learn about the essential oil brand we use here. Psst… save $10 on your first order (you’re welcome)!

Towels

For my first homebirth, three years ago, our  midwife gave us a list of things to have prepared for her. On that list was no less than 10 towels. I laugh about that now because two births later and we have still yet to use even more than two.

Last birth we only used one… the one my husband wrapped in the baby in after he delivered him. Towels aren’t too far out of reach, but once the action starts, I’ll definitely have at least one in arms reach.

Cord Clamp/Tie

Cord clamps are a must for us when cutting the umbilical cord. We like to leave the cord unclamped until it has turned white and stopped pulsating. This lets us know that our baby has received all the blood and nutrients the placenta had to give.

I am strongly considering going the homemade tie(s) route as many of my homebirth mama friends have said not only is it sentimental to make for baby, but it is also less likely to snag on diapers, be bulky, and cause infection issues.

Maternity Pads

These are a must for sure! Yes, they are bulky. Yes, they remind me of boats. Never the less, they are needed for several days (sometimes even weeks). I am opting in for a couple boxes of Natracare because they have organic cotton cover, are perfume and plastic free, biodegradable, and made of natural materials.

Stretch Briefs

These are LIFE! At first, I didn’t know that these were washable and reusable! This time, I know better and will hang on to these awesome briefs! Basically, these are mesh panties made from nylon material. I’ll have at least 3-5 pair of these on hand.

Where to Find These Must-Have’s

There are several places you can find these items; however, I like to do all my shopping in one place. In His Hands Birth Supply is where I conveniently shop online for everything I mentioned above (except for items I have on hand at home). Ordering these items at least 4-6 weeks out will guarantee that you’ll receive them before the birth of baby!

This about sums up my “in-arms-reach” list of items I like to have on hand for my labors and deliveries. Keep in mind that there is preparing for baby to arrive (click here for that post), and there will be postpartum things to do as well.

CHIME IN: What are some of your must-have items for labor and delivery? Where do you purchase them? And, how do you prepare for your labor and delivery?

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Homebirth & Motherhood, Spiritual

Our Journey to Homebirthing

Mention the word homebirth, and you may catch a few side eyes. But in most recent days, I have found that more and more people are actually supportive of it!

Funny thing is, four years ago when we decided to have a homebirth with our precious baby girl, the resistance was through the roof. We were questioned from all angles – as if there wasn’t already enough doubt and wonder about the possibility.

Coming From Trauma

When my husband and I conceived, I knew I was ready to be a mother again. You see, almost seven years before, I had a very traumatic experience… one that left me scarred, damaged, and saying “hell no” to having more children.

The pregnancy of my firstborn was pure bliss. It was everything and more. I was healthy, taught gymnastics, and worked in the school system up until 3 weeks before having him. I was a happy preggo lady.

On the other end of that happiness were the “normal” doctor visits, all the tests, ultrasounds, and doctor-led coaching (so to speak). What I mean is that I didn’t know what I was doing, nor did I know what to expect… so naturally, I went with the flow.

If the doctor said I needed a test, I took the test. If he said yay, I said okay. When it came close to the end, the doctor laid the suggestion of having a “planned birth” on the table. I even remember him mentioning about being out of town around my due date and the possibility of another doctor delivering my baby.

I didn’t question it and actually found it cool (at the time) to be able to pick my son’s birthday. Since all but one of my nieces and nephews were born on the 3rd of a month, I thought “how cool would it be to plan for my son to be born on the 3rd of a month too?”

I didn’t know at the time that I was making the biggest mistake of my life. I chose November 3rd which meant he was going to be taken two weeks early.

I didn’t know that what was talked about as something normal, and that happens all the time, would end up in me being put to sleep, having an emergency c-section, bleeding severely from where he cut me open, and my 6lb 14oz son being put in the NICU with breathing trouble and a feeding tube.

I didn’t realize that it would be almost 20 hours before I’d hold my son for the first time because I was too doped up and weak to walk. I didn’t take into account the missed first moments, being able to breastfeed, and the natural flow of childbirth gracing my body… until four years ago.

From Traumatized to Empowered

Four years ago, I became empowered. I became educated. And I became aware.

First and foremost, I was empowered to understand the natural side of childbirth from a biblical point of view. Then I wanted to hear other success stories, and talk to midwives and doulas.

I became educated about the truth behind the statistics we are fed in hospitals by doctors who, let’s be honest, see a lot of dollar signs behind pregnancies, labors, and deliveries… especially the ones that put even more money on the table. For the record, I’m not saying that every doctor is like this… but I’d be a fool to think that most aren’t.

Then, I became aware of what my body could do. It’s a fact that my body could have a natural vaginal birth after a c-section. It’s a fact that my body knew exactly what to do during labor. And it’s also a fact that my baby knew what to do through the natural birthing process.

As with any journey, you live and you learn. With my first HBAC, it all didn’t quite go how we originally planned. We were new to this whole thing, and we trusted (and still do) the direction of our amazing midwife.

Yes, I was still hanging on to some fear from the first birth. Yes, I was nervous. Still, I got my homebirth. And I also got deliverance from the hidden emotions that were still holding me from the first traumatic birthing experience.

Second Homebirth Bliss & Third Homebirth Peace

My second homebirth was truly a piece of cake. I had prodromal labor for a couple days so by the time little man was coming for real, I didn’t have time to freak out. The midwife didn’t have time to get there, and my husband slipped into Dr. Dad without thinking twice. He delivered our son on our bathroom floor with no complications what so ever. It was beautiful. Simply beautiful.

This go around… I don’t have any plans. I don’t have a set way it needs to happen, and I’m not going to make any. If I learned anything from the last two homebirths its this: choosing the natural way means releasing everything you think should happen and go with the flow of how things will happen. I remind myself of that any time I feel like I need to dream up a way this labor and birth should happen.

Nope. Stop it. To choose natural means just that… let everything happen naturally. It’s all the intervention, preconceived notions of how something should be, and all the coaching of how it will happen a certain way that leads moms to freaking out about childbirth and seeing it as a medical procedure versus something that Yahweh blessed since before creation!

So… yeah… that’s our journey to homebirthing in a nutshell.

CHIME IN: what are your thoughts about homebirthing? Biased or not, I want to hear from you! What are your experiences with it? Do tell in the comments below!

Support for Your Journey

Are you embarking on the homebirth journey? Whether it’s your first, second, third (or more) time having a homebirth, support is key. I’m available to serve you in several capacities and would love to link arms with you!

If interested in my mentoring and consulting services, fill out the form below and I’ll contact you within 24 hours!