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Home » Home Birth, Cloth Diapers, Breastfeeding

Xia’s Homebirth Story: Part One- Labor & Delivery

Submitted by on July 27, 2009 – 6:48 pm 24 Comments
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I’ve decided to tell this story in two parts, as there is a LOT to tell and too much to write all in one post!

For all of these months I have been so curious about what I would be writing on this page. I could only imagine what this story would be like. And I’ve been anxiously waiting to see how it would all unfold, praying for the best. I give all of my praise to God for such a wonderful outcome to an incredible morning.

Thursday I kinda had a good feeling that Xia would be coming soon, though I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I was finally satisfied that I had finished everything on my list of “To-Do’s” before baby was born. Everything was clean, laundry was done, frozen dinners were all prepared, and I was even able to give myself a nice pedicure. I knew she would wait until I was ready for her.

I started getting Braxton Hicks early in the morning, and they continued throughout the day. I didn’t say a word to anybody though, for fear that this could go on for days. I went about my usual business; catching chickens, picking rotten tomatoes from the garden, and chopping branches to make perches for the chicken coops. I hoped all of that activity might inspire true labor!

I cleaned the kitchen extra well that night, and went to bed.

At midnight I was awakened by the contractions. But this time, they were much stronger. I knew it was time. I laid in bed for quite a while, trying my best to sleep while I still had a chance, but the excitement was just too much. I guessed the contractions were something like 5-10 min. apart, but it was hard to tell and I couldn’t see the alarm clock from my side of the bed. I decided to get up and start timing them.

(2:54 am) Without waking my slumbering husband, I crept into the kitchen with a notepad and started writing down each pain. Three minutes apart. I straightened up the house a little in between contractions. I even weighed myself one last time for a final weight gain total before she was born (37 lbs).

The contractions stayed consistently three minutes apart for thirty more minutes. I still wasn’t sure how long this would last, but I thought I’d better call the midwife just to give her a heads up. I called Amy at 3:17am and woke her out of a nice sleep. I told her that the contractions were three minutes apart, but that I felt like I could do this for a while still. She told me she’d call the other midwife to be on her way, and to give them a call again when I feel like they need to come.

I decided it was time to wake up Jerry. Poor guy! He had no idea whatsoever that any of this was happening! I patted his arm and said, “Hey Cutie, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve called the midwives. They might be here soon. I didn’t want to wake you up yet ’cause I’m not sure how long it will be, but I didn’t want you to wake up to a room full of people not knowing what was going on!” He was very surprised, and got up and quickly dressed. I told him to lay back down and I’d tell him when it was getting closer.

I continued timing for another hour. The contractions stayed three minutes apart. I told myself I’d wait until they were two minutes apart before I called Amy again, but they started coming on stronger and stronger and I began to rethink that strategy. (It’s a good thing, Amy later told me that sometimes you never get to 2 min. apart!)

At 4:23 am I started getting “the trembles”. My legs were shaking uncontrollably. I remembered having this with both of my other labors, and knew I was getting close. I called Amy and told her that they were still three min. apart, but that they were very strong and that I had the shakes. She told me that was a sign of Transition. She said, “I’m on my way.”

I let Jerry know that the midwives were on their way. I was having to really concentrate and breathe through each contraction. I was proud of myself for how I handled them this time. I totally hyperventilated during Jada’s birth, and I got the epidural before I was at that point with Titus, so I wasn’t sure how I’d do this time. I really tried to control myself better. When the painful cramping began, I would make a low humming noise, taking deep breaths in my mouth and letting them out through my nose. It worked well.

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At 4:30 am Amy and the other midwife, Vicky, arrived. They came in and went straight to work getting all of the supplies in order. I was sitting on the bed when they came in, working through the contractions. Vicky checked out baby’s heart rate, and then checked mine. Everything was great. Amy offered to check how far dilated I was if I wanted to. I told her not yet, I was afraid I was still like 4 cm. or something! She said, “No… I bet you’re probably an 8 by now.” I hoped so!

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Once they were finished setting everything up, Amy suggested that I get up and change positions if I could. I stood up and walked around for just a minute; the contractions really came on strong then! I had to lean against the bed and really breathe and hum through them, rocking my hips side to side as I stood. As they got even more intense my “hum” turned into a louder moan, but still very controlled.

As my volume began to increase, Amy called to Vicky to start filling the tub. She said to me, “It won’t be long now!” I really hoped she was right! It took a little while to fill the tub. I asked Amy to check me before I got into the water. I wanted to know how far I had to go. She guessed I was between 8-10. I was really glad when she held up her fingers and told me I was at 10 cm! Yay!

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(5:38 am) I got into the nice hot bath. Not too hot… but just right. It felt so relaxing, just like I’d thought it would. I continued to labor in the water. My contractions were extremely intense by then. I had to really work through them. Then, without warning, my moan transformed into a deep grunting. I heard Amy call to Vicky, “She’s pushing!”

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At some point I felt a big “pop” in the water. Amy said, “Her water broke!” They both leaned over the tub to catch baby when she came out. I gave a few more good pushes and let out a few good yells! Everyone was encouraging me, “Common’ Kendra! You can do it! Just a little more. You’re doing great!” One more good push and I heard them all saying, “There’s her head!! Great job! Just a little more and she’ll be out. Push!”

(6:05 am) I was so happy her head was out! One more good push and she’d slide right out into the water. I pushed as hard as I could. I pushed again. But something wasn’t right. Her head was out… but the rest of her was not coming.

Suddenly there was a sense of urgency in the midwives voices. “You need to push hard Kendra.” I pushed as hard as I possibly could, but nothing happened. Amy immediately pulled the plug to drain the water and instructed me to get on all fours. That was really hard to do with her head already out. I did as she said to do and tried pushing again. Still nothing happened. She told me to stand up and push again. I did. And as I was pushing she reached inside of me and tried to assist the rest of the baby’s body out. I screamed!

Still nothing. The tension was rising. I heard Amy say, “Get her out of the tub!” I was like, “What? Me?” I wasn’t sure how I would do that with her head out! Jerry and the ladies helped me get out and laid me on the floor beside the tub. Somebody put pillows under my head. They told me to push again.

Baby Xia’s arm was up by her face, and she was stuck in the birth canal. She had what they call Shoulder Dystocia, a rare complication that occurs in less than 1% of births.

I felt so helpless! I was pushing as hard as I could and nothing was happening! But the midwives were working fast. As I pushed, Vicky was pushing on my stomach trying to help baby out, and Amy was reaching inside of me helping that stuck arm to come out. It seemed like forever, but in just a few seconds they had her out. What a relief!

But the drama wasn’t over yet. The midwife was saying, “Common’ baby, breath!” Little Xia was not breathing. Her color was diminishing and she was listless. Amy turned to get the Oxygen while Vicky tried to get her breathing. I prayed outloud, “Oh Lord, please let her breath!” After Vicky did three startle drops, Xia took a breath. Thank goodness! She didn’t have to get oxygen.

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It all happened within seconds. I quickly felt baby’s slippery body placed on my chest, and I held her there while they waited for the placenta to be delivered. Amy said, “Now that is why I am not a fan of unassisted births!” Wow, yeah, that would have been really bad had I not had help there!

Once the placenta had been delivered, and had stopped pulsating, they clamped the cord and let Jerry cut it. Amy took Xia while Jerry and Vicky helped me up and got me to the toilet to get cleaned up and dressed.

Boy, was I glad that was over!! The Lord is SO GOOD!! Our baby girl was finally here, and I was overjoyed to be holding her in my arms!

To be continued: Read Part Two- Welcome To Our Family

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24 Comments »

  • You are very blessed. I had a homebirth with a severe shoulder dystocia and my little ones sustained lifelong injuries due to it (as did I, but nothing compared to him). Be aware that once you have a s/d, you are at risk to experience one again. Know the red flags and that seconds count. And praise God that all was well!

  • Haylie says:

    Thanks for sharing:) I’m a new reader… I was balling!

  • Kimberly says:

    HEY! I just happened to find your blog today through Keeper of the Home, I think. Drawn to the Living on One Income article…we live the same way and then I saw you had snow on Christmas Day 2010 like we did here and I wondered where you were located….then I thought I would read your birth story as I love to read them and then I saw your midwife’s name was Amy (so was mine for my homebirth on 2/17/10) and then I saw that the other midwife’s name was Vicky (OH MY GOODNESS – I then knew that we had to have had the exact same midwives!!! Yep, I see from the pics that they are!) They were so awesome! I know it is a small world, but the internet is definitely not a small world; so to find an almost neighbor online by chance is so ironic! I love your blog by the way. Natural and frugal and homemade always draws me in.

  • MichelleC says:

    Oh my goodness! I was biting my nails while reading this..Even though I knew the outcome! Yikes!

    What a beautiful ending though, and Baby Xia is just the sweetest thing ever! She lights up the whole room with her smile!

  • Lorie says:

    Thank you so much for posting this story and the pictures! I can’t think of anyone I know who’s done it natural and I am planning to so this gave me confidence and inspiration!

  • Kimber says:

    I love your story. I actually had a shoulder dystocia with baby number 2 in the hospital and was lucky to have a midwife who knew exactly what to do and got him out safe and sound. Scared me to death, but let me tell you, I love that little boy of mine.
    Love your blog.

  • Debbie says:

    Thats such a beautiful story, I almost cried. Congrats my beautiful friend!

  • Shelli says:

    WOW! You guys did a great job documenting all of this. Almost Made me feel like I was there. And I have to tell you, you sure did look great.

    Congrats on your famly’s new blessing!

  • Rachel R says:

    So glad all went well. My sister had this happen with her first baby, but the rest (3 more) were fairly easy births. And my best friend had a hard to deliver baby that would have gone C-Section has she not been at home – her 3rd baby and first home birth. He was just shy 11 pounds and had a very big head. Nothing at all small about him!

    She is a real beauty. Congratulations.

  • Kellie says:

    You are amazing, Kendra! Aren’t women strong and wonderful and amazing!!! God made us so beautifully and wonderfully. I’m so proud of you! Xia is beautiful and we’re all so glad to share the world with her!

  • Lisa says:

    My daughter (and last child) got “stuck” with her head out and the nurses at the hospital ended up on my belly pushing (there was 2 or 3 on me) to get her out. They never told me what the problem was other than she wouldn’t come out, but it sounds like what you described. When this happened my husband was made to move from the area beside me and I remember I could see him across the room looking at the baby that was stuck. He told me her head was a dark shade of blue (so was his). You know, they never really tell you anything in a hospital and even when you ask directly you get a vague answer.
    I told Sophie your story (she’s 8)and let her see your pictures. She was amazed you could have babies at home. I am hoping to get that seed planted in her head early so later in life it will be something she knows about and is not scared of so she can have this in her life too.
    Sophie asked did I know you. I said I know you from what you let us know. The human connection is so wonderful that we feel for each other, are brought to tears by you or laugh with you just from what you write down. We, as your readers, also care for you and are interested in your life. If not we wouldn’t check in to see what you’re up to. But it’s kinda weird at the same time. Technology has changed the way we form friendships. Sorry, I got side tracked, feeling extra comment-y today.
    You and Jerry are so lucky to have been able to have this experience and I’m so glad you and new Baby Xia are happy and healthy.

  • Stephanie says:

    Kendra! Congrats on your beautiful baby and thank you for sharing such an intimate time with us! You are a wonder woman! You looked so peaceful and beautiful in all of those pictures!

  • Mimi says:

    I am soooo proud of my little homestead grandaughter!! It is unbelievable what you had to go through. Thank our good Lord up above for his intervention in bringing our little Xia to us safely.
    Please thank our two precious midwives. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    You are truly our WONDER WOMAN Kendra!

  • Jessica K. says:

    That’s why I would never want an unassisted birth either! Thank God everyone is fine and you had experienced midwives there to help!

  • Debi says:

    What a start to life, nothing like an adrenaline rush! (of course I say that after everything turned out well) It brought tears of thankfulness to my eyes as well. I too am thankful for wonderful midwives and for the blessing and assistance from heaven!

    I’m excited to hear the rest!

  • Narelle says:

    So thrilled the Lord brought you both through it safely! You brought tears to my eyes! I’ve had two homebirths too. Praise the Lord for great midwives! How much did she weigh? BTW I loved your pics! Modest yet telling the story well!

  • DramaMama says:

    YIKES – I can’t believe there’s a second part! We are praying for your family =) Praise God Xia is here! Good work, staying strong and not freaking out =) Can’t wait to hear part 2…

  • Jill says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, and with pictures too, that is so strong of you! Your litle one is just darling and I am so glad that everything turned out okay! I’ll keep you all in my prayers and I can’t wait to hear the next part of your story and the many updates on Xia in the future!

  • Nancy M. says:

    Wow! Such an incredible entrance into the world! I can’t believe how calm you were. I don’t know if I would have been able to handle it if they were pushing on my belly and pulling the baby out with no pain medicine. You are really strong! Can’t wait to hear the rest!

  • Jessica says:

    Congrats again. She is a beautiful baby! I am glad you both are doing well. I am curious to find out the Jada and Titus slept through the whole birth.

  • Allison says:

    WOW! What an exciting birth, thank you Jesus for grace and mercy and LIFE!!! After my first birth I thought I could do this at home, but I had such a nice hospital experience. I had my next child 14 mons later. I waited 11yrs for the last one. I was glad to be in hospital for that as it was overwhelmingly FAST! You’re such a good mom, planning meals and cleaning the house before the baby comes, and you’re such a good and caring wife letting your hubby sleep while you’re laboring away…you are a great example of what God wants us to be, loving, caring and a little obsessive compulsive. God Bless You!!! My little one turns 2 in October. Baby girls are such a wonder, if I had another I would use your darlings name!
    ENJOY!!! I certainly enjoy following your stories.

  • AmyG says:

    Wow! Xia is beautiful! And you looked so calm. So glad to hear it all ended well! Look forward to hearing the rest of the story.

  • Nicole says:

    Congrats! What a beautiful story. Welcome to the world little Xia!

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