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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Birth Story #3: My first Home Birth & Boy (16 years ago)

My oldest boy is 16.
March 19, 1996, I gave birth to this amazing bouncing baby boy! He was a strapping 10lbs 12oz. and 23 inches long!!! Yes 23! I gave birth to a 3 month old. hee hee!


After giving birth to my first 2 children in 2 different hospitals. (both girls) I was courageous and bold enough to step out and have a home birth. After all, the doctor missed the second one because it happened so fast.

 We had a few apprehensions however, we were particularly concerned because our first child had had a hard time breathing; something they called TTN. (part of her story that I will share at another time) That may happen a gain?!? and "what would we do?" We shared these concerns with our midwives and their explanations of how they would respond satisfied both my husband and me.

The discovery of my pregnancy with Chris Jr. was such a joyous moment for me. My grandmother had just recently passed away and we all, my husband and daughters, grandpa, parents, brothers & sister, were all experiencing such grief from her loss.
Throughout her rapid battle with cancer my heart ached to be pregnant. I was sure that the wonder of feeling a new life growing inside me would help me heal from the desperation of seeing her sweet life fade physically before my eyes. I prayed "Lord, if it is your will, please let me have a baby. And let it be born close to the anniversary of her death. I know what a hard time that will be for all of us and how awesome it would be to be holding a new life as we share our memories of her." As I prayed this during her last days I wasn't really processing the reality of 9 months of pregnancy and that the timing for my prayer to really be answered meant 3 months of waiting with an empty womb. The time went by and I had forgotten about how specific I had been in my prayer. But God hadn't.

Like Hannah weeping for a son, Eli answered in the name of the Lord, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him."

My grandmother passed away on March 29, 1995 and my son was born March 19, 1996; 10 days before the anniversary of her death.

Our God answers prayer!


Birth Story #3- Our first Home Birth & Boy
        (taken from the pages of his baby book written while he was a toddler)

I went to the Dr.'s office for a pregnancy test after I knew I was pregnant just to get it on record. I was unsure about having a home birth and I wanted to get through the first months of the pregnancy under a "doctor's" care before I transferred to the midwives. My husband was very apprehensive so I knew I was going to have to be patient and help warm him up to the idea.

By about 5-1/2 Months along I was ready to make the switch. My Dr. was very supportive since he has experience how quickly my labors move and I began meeting with the midwives every 3 weeks. This was such a treat! I felt so well taken care of. They spent an hour with me at every visit, chatting and asking how everything was going. Listening to the heart beat, feeling the position of the baby. Everything was done at such a relaxed pace and peaceful atmosphere. They really tenderly care for expecting moms.
My main concern was how do they deal with huge over due babies? Can they, do they, induce? I was so used to some kind of intervention when it came to bringing on labor, I wondered if there was anything natural I could do. They shared with me about a few herbs and homeopathic remedies that often help women deliver close to their due dates. Evening Primrose Oil, a natural hormone balancer and prostaglandin, the Homeopathic was called Caulophyllum. I began treatment with these natural substances around my 36th week of pregnancy. They said that a high percentage of women who use these do not go past their due dates. I was ready! We could tell around 36-38 weeks that the baby was already over 9lbs. My first 2 babies were 9-1/2 lbs each. I was a little worried about how my body would handle a 10lb+ baby. The Midwives and the Doctor were quite confident that I had plenty of room in my pelvis for a very big baby and tried to reassure me.

Every Tuesday night while I was pregnant I went to Choir rehearsal. It was alumni group made up mostly of Singers from Santa Barbara High School, directed by Ms. Zimmerman. I loved every minute of it and I could tell that the baby did too! I loved feeling the way he would move as we sang the different kinds of music.

We had a concert scheduled for March 16th which was my ultrasound due date and I decided that if I wasn't in labor, I would be there and sing in it. Well, the day arrived and I wasn't in labor. Although I wanted to be. I arrived at the church a few minutes late and everyone was already in position at the front. They all clapped for me; it was quite embarrassing but I got over it, got into my place and started to sing.

Looking at my boy now I can see what an effect my singing had on him. He had rhythm and vocal abilities even as a young boy.  Now that he is a Teen he has developed into a wonderful musician; teaching himself to play the guitar and learning drum techniques from his grandpa.

Two days later, on the 18th my due date, my husband was sick and so he stayed home from work. I was getting worried about the size of the baby again so I called my midwife and asked if there was anything more aggressive we could do to bring labor on. She encouraged me that we would discuss that more seriously in a couple of days but for now I was to try to enjoy the last few moments I had with my husband and 2 girls. She said, "Just relax and enjoy the fact that the baby isn't here yet and that you only have 2 children for a very short time." She was right. I would have a baby in my arms soon enough and things would never be the same as they were that day. That was such sweet advice. I have held on to that attitude in many areas of my life and remembered to do the same while I have awaited each new blessing.

Chris and I went out that afternoon to k-mart and I bought myself a new night gown to labor in. We also went to TCBY  and got some frozen yogurt and visited a friend. Last, we stopped by our favorite Chinese restaurant and got some take-out. Kung Pao Chicken. yumm! I went to bed content.

At 2am I had my first contraction. I tried to sleep thru them every 7-15minutes, we made it to morning with a little rest. I called my mom, a friend and my midwives. They all come over as the morning progressed. I remember someone brought donuts which I had no interest in and I went for a short walk down the street. It was so quiet and relaxing. Such a mellow experience. Everyone was there for me and I was able to set the tone and atmosphere.




My little sister came and was able to play with my daughters and keep them content. At one point my 18month old came in and rubbed my foot. It was so sweet.





Finally, around 1:45pm I needed to stay on my bed and just breathe. My husband and I had created a great rhythm thru the contractions. We would hold hands and as a contraction hit I would grasp, breathe deeply and pull. He could tell how close we were to transition based on how hard he had to work keeping the tension and how long pulled.



At about 2pm I needed to push. It moved so quickly. First push, and his head was through. The water never broke and the midwife had to break it to show his cord wrapped around his neck twice! She was able to untwist it and I pushed the rest of him out. It was great! My girlfriend took awesome pictures. I had never seen a birth before so it was so neat to get a visual of my own experience.


Christopher was not breathing as well as he should.

Once he was out and began to cry I was given some special tea, (pennyroyal and shepherd's purse) to encourage cramping and the delivery of the placenta. Once the placenta was delivered I began to bleed.... too much. One of my midwives said "Maggie, tell your body to stop bleeding" in a very calm but firm voice. My mom, dad, brother, and sister were there and praying. I allowed my midwife to give me a shot of "pit" in the hip and everything settled down and I stopped bleeding. All was well, for me at least.



One of the midwives kept watch over me after I was out of danger, while the others were concentrating all their energy on the baby. He was still being given wafts of oxygen on the bed next to me. It took about 20 minutes for him to be able to assimilate to room air.

What an amazing difference this experience was compared to the hospital one. Such calmness and peace. No panic.....

Seriousness and determination....Yes

 But fear and "emergency" craziness..... No.



Soon he was back in my arms to nurse and hug and kiss.


 All Pinked up and ready to be kissed!!


10lbs 12oz!!

16 1/2" head
16 1/2" chest
23" in. long


He slept 10 hours that first night!! I had the best night of sleep on my stomach! Ahhh rest!

Here you go Honey!! 

You have your 3 children before you turned 30 years old! 2 girls and a boy.

Little did we know that this was only the beginning......









3 comments:

  1. I remember that day - I believe I photographed some of those images for you...and I remember Mary telling you to make the bleeding stop. That was an amazing moment. Congratulations on such a wonderful healthy family Maggie.

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    1. Yes, You were 'that' friend so many years ago taking all the photos. Thank you again for being there and being a major support and encouragement in my home-birthing experience. I will be writing up Timothy's birth eventually here too and you were there for his as well. Keep a look out for the awesome pics. ;-)

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  2. Thanks for the birth story I really enjoyed reading about the home birth. I had always wanted one but couldn't afford it. Sometimes I wish I could do things over again differently. I guess we live and learn.

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