I love this birth story- postdates! healing! home birth! faith! It is absolutely beautiful and a testament to the female body and how wonderful birth can be-
We had the most amazing Christmas Eve. Daisy Anabelle Suzanne was born at 10:54pm after weeks of early labor and about 5 hours of active labor.
I'm going to give you ALL the info on her birth, so if you DON'T want to know about things like bloody show, then this is not the post for you! :)
On Thursday (the day before Christmas Eve) I went to an acupuncturist to try to stimulate active labor. It was my first experience with acupuncture and I was a little surprised by how it felt. The needles themselves didn't hurt, but once she worked them for a few seconds it felt like an electrical shock in my hands, back, legs and feet. During the treatment I felt really hot and sweaty, which she said was my body releasing heat and it was a GOOD thing.
That night I woke up probably every hour or so with contractions that were hard enough to wake me up, but easy enough that I could go back to sleep when they were over. At 2am I woke up feeling deeply hot and overheated. It was more than just physical heat - it felt like the same internal, energetic heat I had felt during my acupuncture treatment. I turned on the fan and eventually fell back to sleep.
I woke up Christmas Eve realizing that my contractions had changed. Although they were 20-45 minutes apart they had turned the corner and were HARD labor contractions. I had been losing my mucous plug for over a week, but that morning I had bloody show. At this point I KNEW things were progressing and Daisy would be here by Christmas. I tried to rest as much as possible, but spent some time on the ball and walking around the house and the neighborhood.
We had planned to go to my Mother in Law's house for a family Christmas dinner at 3pm, but by the time it was time to leave I realized that I was IN labor and, although it would probably still be a long time till Daisy was born, I couldn't just get in the car and go to a party. So, we stayed home and timed my contractions. They were still 10-30 minutes apart and Joe called Mary (our Midwife) to let her know where we were at.
At about 5:30pm Mary decided that she was going to just come check me. She got here about 6pm and I was at 8cm! My contractions were still far apart and irregular - I was seriously shocked that I had progressed so much. At that point everything changed. I got shaky and a little scared and my contractions started coming at about every 5 minutes. I got in the pool that we had set up in our room and Mary gave me some herbs to help me calm down.
My dad and brothers kept the kids occupied on the other side of the house. They watched movies, had dinner and played while waiting for their sister to be born. At some point I was overwhelmed with loneliness and asked to see Aravis. She came in and checked everything out, kissed me and asked questions and that really helped. It was healing to be able to see her during the birth - to know that she was safe and happy. Judah came in after that and he was a little stand-offish, but really wanted to play with the water in the tub.
For most of the birth Mary and my mom stayed in the hallway while Joe sat with me in the bedroom. It was so, so redemptive to know that Joe was HERE - both physically and spiritually. He was attentive, aware and present. I didn't want him to touch me, but I was able to rest in the knowledge that he was HERE.
Not long after that my contractions started to feel overwhelming. I started to feel like it was never going to end and it was too much for me. I remember thinking that every woman who talks about a "pain free" childbirth was full of shit. I tried to tell myself that it wasn't PAIN I was feeling, but PRESSURE. That helped for about 3 contractions and then I couldn't make the words mean more than the sensation anymore. So, I cried, I prayed, I begged for it to end.
Here's where things were REALLY different between a home birth and a hospital birth - Mary had told me early on in my care that there was no need for me to push Daisy out. She said that my body would do that for me and I would know when it was time to join in. She wasn't lying.
My contractions changed again. They started coming 3 at a time - right on top of each other - and felt like nothing I had ever experienced ever before. They were WILD. It was the most physical pain I have ever felt. Ever. They were hard and consuming and I felt certain that Daisy was never going to come out. I was begging to God to make it stop - to just give me relief. Mary told me to tell them when I felt her and I thought she was insane - I was nowhere near getting her out.
And then I felt my water break... and the ring of fire. Daisy's head was right there, crowing, the moment the water broke. I, somehow, told Mary I could feel her and immediately Mary felt for her head. She applied counter pressure and told me to push when I was ready. This was not what you see in the movies, or maybe even what you have experienced yourself. I didn't breathe and push. I didn't wait for the next urge. There was no need to try to move her down - she was THERE. I pushed probably 3-4 times to get her head out, while yelling and screaming, and then another 3 pushes to deliver her body. And then there she was.
I sat back in the water and held my daughter. For the very first time I felt joy the INSTANT I held my baby. There was nothing else in the way. No lights, no doctors, no interventions. Just me and the baby I had worked for, prayed over and truly BIRTHED. I heard Aravis say, "Judah, it's DAISY!" and realized that they were in the room. I looked up at Aravis' ecstatic face and was SO happy that she had seen her sister being born.
When I was ready I moved up onto the bed and waited for the placenta. This was another totally new experience. I had never pushed out a placenta without pitocen and it was ... different. :) Mary checked me and I had barely torn - not even enough for a single stitch. She said I had eased Daisy's head out so carefully that everything looked perfect.
Daisy was born just over an hour before Christmas Day. She was 7 pounds and 10 ounces, 20 inches long and perfectly pink. The best part is - she looks like me. She definitely has her daddy in her (no Moors kid can escape the Moors head), but Daisy looks like every newborn/baby photo of me I have ever seen. This was a small gift from Jesus for me.. :)
Those are all of the facts, but I want to say that so much more happened during Daisy's birth. I had experienced so much sadness in my previous births and had even experienced opposition from other people before Daisy's birth. I KNEW what God was doing in me by providing a home birth. I KNEW what God was doing in giving me an opportunity to cry out to the Healer and Redeemer. I knew that my expectation of what was coming would not be disappointed. I knew that I was on holy ground as I approached Daisy's birth. But there was certainly doubt that needed to be wrestled with. There were words of discouragement disguised as practical (even Divine) wisdom.
I am so, so thankful for the Spirit of God that surrounded and sustained me. I am so thankful that I did not give in. I am so thankful that my hope was rewarded with reality. Daisy was born naturally and at home. And I was healed. Things that had rattled around - undealt with - have been set right. I experienced so much more physical pain than I was prepared for, but not even a moment of emotional pain. In suffering and struggling I found peace. I met with Jesus in the deepest, saddest place I could. There is no healing like the healing that takes place when you face your deepest wound.
I have spent the last few days soaking in the joy of God's gift to me this Christmas. Daisy Belle is finally here. Her birth was beautiful and excruciating. Healing is settling into old, raw spaces. And I am recovering with my family - enjoying every second of our new life.
Happy Birthday Daisy Belle!