Isaac's Freebirth Story
"Shall I bring to the birth and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD"
Isaac was born at home Wed morning April 28th at 2:48am.
I started having contractions 1am on Tues. I woke up overheated and had to cool off with a damp rag. I lost a tiny bit of brown mucus plug (first time) and when I lied back in bed, noticeable contractions started coming on. I went to sleep assuming they might fizzle away but I would wake up noticing they were still consistent. When Steven's alarm clock began going off 5am, I went ahead and told him he'd need to call out of work, and around 6am he did. We slept in and when I got up, sure enough with all the hassle of the morning and taking care of my other 4 children, the contractions went away. I thought right away, the baby would be born that night once the kids were in bed.
I made an effort to eat alot of eggs for breakfast, and minded to only eat easy-to-digest food for the rest of the day (apples carrots, cucumber, mostly raw milk) We decided to take the kids fishing at the lake nearby and doing so, my contractions came back about 7 minutes apart. Nothing painful, just noticeable. After fishing I ran into the grocery store. The rest of the day I stayed relaxed, cooked dinner for the family, and sat out on the porch until evening watching the kids play.
8pm after we put the kids to bed, we sat in the living room. I was yawning so much I told Steven we better just go to bed to get some rest, so we did- 9pm.
A little after 11pm I woke up and I was in active labor. I timed them on an app I downloaded to Steven's tablet. They were coming on average 2 1/2 minutes apart lasting about 40 seconds. I called my mother telling her I was going to have the baby that night, to get on the road.
I got in a routine: between each contraction I would walk to the kitchen and drink red raspberry leaf infusion I had prepared in the fridge & raw milk. Then I would head back to the bedroom and wait to start the timer again for another contraction. My tall dresser by the door (not pictured) became my focal point where I had the tablet and my diffuser going with Clary Sage.
12am I started poking Steven to get up but didn't really ask him to seriously get up until about 12:30am. I asked if he could help tidy up and get me a bowl of ice water with rag which I put on the dresser. I was starting to feel overheated and Steven plugged in a fan. I dressed down to just sports bra & skirt. The contractions were still easy to get through, though they were getting more intense. I stayed on my feet moving, walking, swaying around the bed posts. I never desired to sit or lie down. I just knew they would be more painful if I slowed up.
Steven fixed him some coffee and asked if I wanted to hang out with him on the porch for a while, so I did. He brought the tablet to keep timing me, and I noticed my contractions were more spacey like 4 minutes apart and I just didn't feel right, I wanted to go back to the bedroom.
I put a jar of chilled RRL tea in the bowl of ice water and stayed in the bedroom. I asked Steven to start bringing me chunks of frozen goat colostrum. I loved nibbling on it between contractions, gave me energy, electrolytes, probiotics, and kept me cool & calm. When my piece got small, Steven would bring another. (colostrum pictured below)
1:30am my mother showed up. She headed straight for bed in our guest room assuming I had hours to go. I left my bedroom to go talk to her. During that time, my contractions spaced out again. I had to stay in the bedroom, that was my zone. Back at the dresser, my focal point, I found myself pulling on the top drawer, bearing down on it, swaying & rocking from heel to toe. Steven attempted to apply counter pressure, but it didn't feel good, I asked him to stop. I had made comfrey oil for Steven to massage me, but for some reason I had this small voice in my head "comfrey closes up, it doesn't open up" so I didn't want to try it. I didn't want to be touched anyway.
2:09 is a specific time because it is the last time I logged a contraction on the app. It was getting intensely painful. I switched to youtube and quickly chose an Elizabeth Cotten playlist of songs. I didn't care about the timer anymore. I thought about trying to sit on the toilet as I had learned it helped alot of women dialate/or find a little more relief so Steven followed me with the music into the bathroom. I sat through one contraction and it was much worse. I became emotional, gently crying for a minute. I thought of my grandmother who passed away the previous year, the pain she went through, and that i missed her.
It was like I was on the edge of a door swung open into a very dark space, facing my fate. accepting it.
"Though God slay me, yet will I trust in Him"
Steven asked if I was okay. "Yeah, Im okay".... I got up, back to the dresser.
I began moaning "woah" through the contractions. I remember making eye contact with Steven, he saw it was getting more serious. He laid out the tarp between the dresser and bed without me prompting him to. I asked him to go get my mother and then I decided to get down on the floor, on the tarp.
At this point, nothing was making labor 'manageable'. My mother came into the room, say about 2:30am to see me scrounging around on the tarp like an animal trying to find any position to ease the intensity: sitting up on my knees, on my side, all fours, etc. I told her "Mama I can't do this" to which she replied nicely, "well if you need to get an epidural..." (in her defense, she assumed I might have hours to go. I hadn't prepped her well enough to know what transition looked like) After hearing her say such a thing, I snapped out of my self pity-ness, gained some grit and told her "No, thats not it!" and crawled over to the bedpost. Steven chimed in "You got this, you know it's almost over, you've done this before" and yes, that's what I knew.
So, I clinged to the corner bedpost like I was on a storm tossed ship hanging on for dear life. I started wailing out "help me God, please" I asked for the fan, which was thankfully plugged in where it could reach, and I pulled it in front of me, leaning it up against the bed, grabbing back hold of the bedpost. "help me God, please" Then I moved my grip over to the edge of the bedframe, bearing down. After that contraction I told them "The baby is coming" very soberly. Steven & my mother cheered me on.
The next was just a few pushes. I felt my water break, and baby emerged some but went back in. I could feel him, everything, the way he was turned. This was the ring of fire, but I welcomed it, It was a different type of pain-a good distraction, it was the breakthrough. Half his head came and they saw him blink. Next, came his head. Then it just felt so easy to push out his body and he was out! Steven caught him. 2:48am
A second later he cried a little. It was over but it wasn't that feeling of complete relief, the pain was still there. I felt complete exhaustion like I could go straight to sleep. I went down on my hands from clinging onto the edge of the bed, thanking God, gaining composure as Steven held the baby, his cord was short, he told me.
After a little break, I sat back taking the baby between my legs. Because his cord was short, he could only rest on my lower stomach. They put a towel over him. Bleeding was very little. I asked for a cup of Ground Ivy infusion just to ensure the placenta would come & no hemorrhage. Painful contractions rolled in, as expected.
I asked for a pillow & laid down on my back. I expected I might feel woosy, but I felt good, just very sleepy...very grateful. They offered me sips through a straw of warm Red Raspberry Leaf infusion. It was a while, lying there like that and my back started to hurt and I wanted him to nurse. The cord was limp and white, so we made the decision to go ahead and cut the cord because it was short. I then brought Isaac to my chest. Steven helped me get up into a chair, he laid a towel down on and I nursed Isaac, getting my first really good eye contact with him. He was perfect. After nursing a while, I asked my mother to hold him so I could try sitting on the toilet. Isaac was peaceful and content. Steven helped me up and walk to the bathroom, the cord dangling. As soon as I sat down and gave a gentle push, out plopped the placenta. Steven later retrieved it for me to 'examine' because that was the very first time I ever got to look at my placenta and well, I think it's a woman's right to know what a placenta looked like. I asked my mom if Isaac was still content. He was, so I decided to get in the shower. The hot water felt so good. I felt so good.
And that's the end. I got out of the shower, dressed up and got in bed to cuddle & nurse Isaac. I drank raw milk & the remaining tea infusions and had plentiful milk. The homemade Comfrey oil I made worked wonders for the afterbirth cramps & massage. I also had no tearing (unlike my coached births), and experienced my best postpartum recovery yet (and calmest baby). Thank you Lord.
This pregnancy was definitely a test if I would 'stick to my guns.' Isaac was technically born at what I (and everyone who knew my due date) thought was 44+6 weeks pregnant! Based on LMP of June 18th, I set my date at March 25th. I'm not one to normally 'name & claim' a due date, but March 25th is Steven's birthday, so it just had to be meant to be, right? Haha. I even read the Bible cover to cover from Jan 1st to March 25th, I was ready! But as March 25th rolled right on by and so did April 25th, I broke down to God asking for peace and confidence that I can trust in Him with this birth. If anything were wrong, please show me. But everything was perfect. I shouldn't have set a date based on whacky cycles (June 18th was the first and only cycle that returned while breastfeeding a 17 month old). Based on when I got my first Positive Pregnancy Test, Aug 6th, Isaac was probably about 41+6 weeks when he was born. Who knows. Doesn't matter. I felt wonderful and Isaac was active. He was born right when he was ready to. My body knew. Just like it knew to hold off on labor until it was dark & quiet and children were in bed, like I needed. God will direct your steps, just acknowledge Him.
My freebirth was by far the best, safest, least risky birth I've experienced. It was straightforward and was as birth should be...for me. It was amazing to really 'know' what was happening compared to my previous briths where I relied on someone else to check & tell me what was happening. It took a lot of research, birth courses, podcasts etc during this pregnancy to gain the confidence and knowledge. Most risks associated with birth are instigated by being disturbed, stressed, controlled, or deprived of nourishment. I do not believe God expects more than a mother & father, who conceived their child, to bring forth their child. If you want a midwife, great but women do not 'need' a midwife if they are not comfortable with one. Mothers & fathers can take back birth. After this birth it will be hard to convince me otherwise!
If you're interested in learning more about freebirth, I recommend the video "The Advantages of Self Directed Birth" by the Matrona: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLM2WEk2umI&t=754s
Thank you for reading!