Josephine's Birth Story
Updated: Dec 24, 2021
Written by Kaela
This homebirth experience was night and day compared to the hospital birth experience I had with my firstborn! My first birth was traumatic, but my second was empowering and peaceful. My homebirth would not have been nearly as wonderful without my husband's support. He was so emotionally and physically supportive of everything that was important to me. He realized that for a safe and positive experience, I needed to lead my pregnancy, labor, and birth.
I was in active labor only 5.5 hours! (my first was over 12) The Hypnobirthing book my midwife recommended really prepared me how to relax, breathe effectively, and think positive thoughts in pregnancy and labor. It also taught me the important connection between our mind and body, and the truth about labor and birth - that it is natural, normal and safe - not a medical emergency (usually. and when treated like a med emerg, that often causes it to be a med emerg) I felt capable, and I listened to my body and changed positions when it felt right, and never asked for guidance on how to labor. I didn't let my head get in the way of my body, I knew this time that God designed me with good instincts for laboring and birthing and it was okay to follow them, and that He also designed my baby with good instincts. Spinning Babies, which Sandra also recommended, taught me how to balance and stretch my body in pregnancy and labor, for a smooth and effective labor, as well as a comfortable pregnancy. I drank lots of water during labor (this was amazing), and I had some honey when I got tired, and I had a healthy, high-carb meal when I was in early labor. I wouldn't describe this labor as painful; hypnobirthing taught me to not perceive it as pain. It felt like extremely intense pressure during every birth wave, some throbbing in my outer thighs, and during birth it also felt like intense stretching. I never forced a push; my body did it on its own. I hypno-breathed and stayed relaxed on my knees with arms over the side of the pool, relaxed hands, relaxed jaw, and a relaxed face as much as possible. Once Josephine started coming out, I had two birth waves (contractions) before she came out. I breathed and stayed as relaxed as I could during and in between.
I didn't feel like I tore, but I did need stitches, because her arm was up as she came out. My midwives did a wonderful job suturing me at home. I was so naturally numb, peaceful, and joyful, that the tare didn't bother me, nor did getting stitches. My midwives used a topical numbing agent, but I never used pain meds for anything after birth or during labor/birth. Josie opened her eyes right away, and lifted her head to nurse shortly after birth!
I created a birth guide for my birth team while I was pregnant so that they knew how to very specifically support me while I was in labor and birth. One of the things I wanted them to do was read scriptures to me that reminded me that God was with me and would answer my prayers, to be confident and hopeful. They also diffused specific essential oils and put some on a cloth for me to inhale. They gave me words of encouragement, and created a calm atmosphere. Throughout labor I asked Sandra how it was going because I needed to know I was progressing from her perspective, since I didn't progress enough with my first birth. During my first labor, I kept my thoughts inside, but this time I made sure I asked for reassurance when I needed it. I was not scared or stressed this time, which made a huge difference. I have God, my husband, and my birth team to thank for that! I felt peace and like I was doing the right thing and like I was in good hands. I trusted my team completely, felt respected, and like I was leading. I knew my birth team (two midwives and a doula) would keep me safe, and take me to the hospital if that was necessary.
It was so wonderful being home for everything before, during, and after - it brought us a lot of peace and security. Labor and birth was intense in the moment but definitely an amazing experience - absolutely life-changing! I am so, so grateful for my birth-story!