Sunday, February 13, 2011

My First Unassisted Homebirth

Susanna was born Tuesday October 19, 1999, at 11:58 pm. She was 8lbs. 10 oz. - 20in. What made her birth more special than many others is that Susanna is a tubal reversal baby, and if that wasn't enough, she was born at home, into her Daddy's hands!

On January 18, 1999 Wendy had a tubal reversal. Although the doctor was probably the best surgeon in the world, the glory goes to the Great Physician, Who is really the one who enabled a total healing in her body. Six days after surgery, Susanna was conceived. The pregnancy did not start out very well. There was the healing from the surgery and Wendy was exposed to a horrible case of the flu. Once she was over that, morning sickness started - something she had never experienced to such extent in her past pregnancies (back in the old days!) Maybe old age has something to do with it! Or more likely, a lesson in humility. Before the morning sickness ended, came another bout with some virus.

The second trimester was wonderful. No sickness, no swelling or water retention. Plenty of energy - well, as much as could be expected for someone who hadn't been pregnant in 13 years! The third trimester brought exhaustion and the threat of preterm labor. A couple weeks were spent in bed, until we knew it would be safe for the baby to be born. We expected it to happen early, but God's timing is always perfect.

Labor started at midnight on a Monday morning. Contractions were every 3 to 5 minutes for 12 hours. From that point on, it slowed down. Tuesday evening it picked back up. By about 8:30 pm we were pretty sure that was going to be the night. At 9, contractions became regular. Wendy took warm baths to get more comfortable but didn't want to have the baby in the water. She got out of the tub while Gary set things up in the living room. At this point, the contractions were coming one right on top of the other and she had a hard time making it to the living room. She stopped twice and Gary coaxed her to continue on. She finally made it and dropped down by the couch. On her knees, she faced the couch and rested into the cushions. (If you can call it rest.)

We aren't exactly sure of the time, but hard labor didn't last all that long. Gary coached Wendy on amidst prayers being lifted up by both. Praise music was playing in the background. At one point, Wendy asked Gary what he said and he replied, rather huffily!, that he was praying. Shortly after that, Gary said the baby had crowned. He went to Wendy's side to offer her encouragement. She told him he better get back because the baby was coming. Gary moved to his place. Out came the baby's head, and the rest of her along with it, in one push. It was an awesome moment. The baby screamed as soon as she hit her Daddy's hands, at which point Daddy named her. The world must have heard the praising that was going on. Daddy handed Susanna to Mommy and whooped and hollered some more, while Sarah, Jacob, and Rachel came to meet their new little sister.

While waiting for the cord to quit pulsating, Gary went outside to enjoy a well deserved cigarette (well, a bubblegum cigar would have been better, but...) that was moistened with tears of joy. After the cord was cut, we waited for the rest of the placenta to be delivered. We later realized that all of the placenta was out; it was just the membrane that was left. But not knowing for sure, Gary decided to have a midwife come check things out. So, by Tuesday around 3:00 pm, that was finally dealt with.

The midwife was wonderful. We were truly blessed to have her, as our state is not midwife friendly, and she was really going out on a limb coming here without even knowing us. She is truly a credit to her profession.

As someone who does not generally go to doctors, Wendy felt so tremendously blessed by the health care professionals the LORD led her to. God was fully in control of this pregnancy and at our house through it all. Yet, there are no words to describe how strongly we felt His presence during those moments He was bringing Susanna into the world. To Him belongs all the glory.

"Farmer Zan" at age 2

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