Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Second Unassisted Homebirth

Announcing the Arrival of

Josiah Samuel
September 29, 2001 ~ 2:24 am
8 lbs. 4 oz. ~ 20 in.

Our fifth labor, one we expected to go quickly, ended up to be the longest. Wendy was in and out of prelabor for several days, before the real thing hit. Labor began around 3 am on September 28. Contractions were strong and regular all through the morning. As the day went on, they continued in intensity, but fluctuated in timing. They'd be just five minutes apart and then get as far as twelve minutes apart. By evening, Wendy was beginning to wonder how many days this would continue, and decided to go to bed. Gary was too excited to get any sleep.

All through this pregnancy, Gary and Wendy were both strongly led to pray that the baby would be in the proper position and that there would be no cord problems. Before Wendy laid down, she realized the baby was posterior, with his back against her back, and was probably why labor up to this point had been so unproductive. She knew the baby needed to turn and thought about doing things to make him turn, but decided she was leaving this in the LORD's hands. She figured the best coarse of action was prayer and rest.

Around midnight, Wendy got up, put on the same praise music she had playing at Susanna's birth, and laid on the couch. When the contractions started to get more intense, Gary began reading scripture to give Wendy something positive to focus on. This helped immensely. Wendy had previously chosen verses that applied to labor, birth, and trusting in the LORD. After awhile, Wendy asked Gary to fill the birthing pool. After much thought, both had decided Wendy should labor in the pool, but get out of it for the actual delivery. The warm water was soothing to the contractions, which by now were very regular and getting closer and closer. It was comforting to her to have Gary behind the pool, offering both emotional and physical support.

Over the next hour, the contractions got stronger. Wendy got out of the pool to use the bathroom and decided to lay on the couch for awhile. Gary read scripture again, giving Wendy the comfort she needed. Wendy decided to get back into the pool. She wasn't in there too long, before the contractions started to come one right on top of the other. Thinking there was still going to be hours of this (as there had been no signs of labor other than contractions) Wendy prayed that the LORD would give her just a few minutes of rest. That wasn't to happen though.

Around 2:00, Wendy asked Gary to help her out of the pool and to the bathroom again. When she sat down on the toilet, it felt like the baby's head had moved down and she decided she better go back to the family room. She hobbled to the family room, through the kitchen, with Gary's firm support, and sat down on the couch. Not knowing how long this was going to take, whether or not she should get back in the pool, or just lay on the couch, she decided to have Gary make a pallet on the floor. As Gary was fixing the covers, Wendy felt the baby's head move lower yet, along with a gush of water. She dropped to the floor, before Gary had gotten a chance to lay the disposable sheet on top of the comforter. (At least this time we have wood floors!) Wendy could feel her body pushing the baby down and pushed along with it. Gary realized what happened and told her she needed to turn, to allow the baby enough room to be born. He kept yelling at her to turn and she kept yelling back that she couldn't. Finally, Gary grabbed the edges of the comforter and turned her.

Sarah heard the commotion and came downstairs. She was going to turn the computer on, to be watching the clock on it, so she'd know exactly what time the baby was born. She realized it was probably going to take too long to boot up, so she went into the kitchen. After she got into the kitchen, she could see into the family room and happened to look just as her newest sibling was making his entrance into the world.

Gary said the baby had crowned and almost instantly, his little head popped out. Wendy heard Gary gasp, and not knowing why, thought she better push again, right away. Another push, and out came his body, with the rest of the water. He got a little choked, but was fine within moments. It wasn't until Gary called him "Josiah" that we knew what his name was going to be - which was actually what Gary had intended to be his middle name.

After the cord quit pulsating, Gary clamped and cut it. Once again, the afterbirth got hung up on its way out. After prayer, we decided to wait till daylight to see what was going to happen. Rachel came down to meet her little brother and both she and Sarah took him upstairs to meet his big brother, Jacob. After they brought him back to Wendy, they decided to call it a night. Gary went to lay down but Wendy thought it would be more comfortable for her on the couch. Josiah nursed contentedly and slept in her arms.

When Gary got up, less than two hours later, the decision to call the midwife was made. He let Wendy choose which midwife to call, and she felt the LORD wanted them to call the one who had acted as an assistant to the midwife after Susanna's birth. Gary got her pager, and she called back quickly. She was in the middle of supporting a woman who was undergoing a c-section, but said she'd come out just as quickly as she could. Once again, we felt the LORD's hands strongly upon us. The midwife arrived in record time. She not only took care of the afterbirth situation, but explained everything as she was doing it. She was very thorough, yet gentle, a true blessing to women in a state whose regulations are so against women choosing to birth the way they feel is best for themselves and their children.

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