Allison's Birth Story

Of course, the full story always starts well before the actual day and this one is no different. Before I even got pregnant this time around I had decided that I didn’t want to know the due date in hopes that when I got to the end it would help me to not get so antsy to have a baby around the due date when I most likely would go past it anyways. Unfortunately, my logic was flawed. Even without knowing the date I still was hopeful each evening and then disappointed each morning when I woke up still pregnant. Not knowing didn’t keep me from going crazy in the end but it was still really awesome during the pregnancy to focus more on my body and baby than the calendar. This time around the only thing I tried to do to get labor going was pumping. I started probably a month before she was born but I never really had any contractions from it so I eventually gave up. The day before labor started a friend of mine, who was expecting a baby the same time as me, had her baby. She told me she took a half dose of castor oil and it seemed to do the trick. I have never tried castor oil in any other pregnancies for fear it could potentially cause baby to release meconium but I had never actually researched it. So when I saw it work for my friend I had to actually look into it. I decided to give it a try that night. I took a half dose of castor oil in a smoothie after dinner and sat down to watch a show with my hubby. I expected to feel something but I felt absolutely nothing. No gurgles or contractions so we went to bed. A couple hours later I woke close to 2 am needing to use the bathroom but still no crazy poop or upset stomach from the castor oil. I had a couple of contractions while I was up but not quite labor ones yet. But as a lay down I began having strong ones every 5 minutes or so. I didn’t want to stay up for nothing so I stayed in bed until they lasted for half an hour then I decided to get up and take a shower. My husband heard me getting up and got up too to get the house ready in case it was labor. In the shower the contractions picked up to the point where I knew this was really it. I was finally in labor. I had ocean waves playing to calm me down at first that I had listened to my whole pregnancy. I loved the visual of each contraction being a wave with a peak and then gently rolling away as it released. I also started talking to Jesus and telling Him thank you for each contraction. I checked my cervix to see if I could feel anything different than all the other times I’d checked myself the last few weeks. It was the most amazing experience to feel my cervix open to about 5 or 6 cm and my bag of waters was bulging out! I was so encouraged knowing my baby would be here soon! ] I got out of the shower after a while and checking in with Chris. For every other birth I had relied heavily on him and always wanted him near for every contraction. This time though I had felt that the Lord wanted me to lean on Him more. So after seeing what he was up to I went back to my bedroom and changed my music to a birth playlist with worship music. The songs that I had picked all had something about waves in them and trusting in God through hard times. It was so beautiful to sit on my birth ball and sing to the Lord with each contraction. This was the most special time to me as I felt Him helping me through some very strong contractions and I learned to release my body to Him and His design. About 3 hours into the labor things began to get more intense. It wasn’t yet transition but almost as intense. I started feeling the contractions only in my back which I had never experienced before. My back usually hurts in labor but not like this. By this time Chris was with me again and soon my older daughters woke up and came to be with us in our room. My eldest rubbed my back for me in just the perfect way but I still was in so much pain in my back. I rocked on hands and knees and leaning on the birth ball. Eventually the sensation was so overwhelming I felt like a caged animal; I just didn’t know what to do. I started crying and moving erratically. Meanwhile Samantha kept on rubbing my back completely unphased. The girls and I had watched so many birth videos, so they weren’t moved by my tears but instead recognized them as perfectly normal. Moving hurt but staying where I was hurt too. I decided I wanted to get back in the shower because things seemed so much easier there. I slowly got up and made my way to the bathroom to get in the shower, but I could tell Chris didn’t like that idea and I wasn’t so sure about it either. I needed Chris to be in the shower with me but its so small we hardly fit in there together. I also knew a friend was on her way to help and I knew Chris would be so uncomfortable being in the shower with her there. So I stayed in the doorway for a bit not knowing what to do. Then transition hit. I started crying again and feeling that wanting to escape feeling. Just then, our friend arrived. I fell into her arms and sobbed. I didn’t know why I was crying or why I reacted so strongly to her being there but whatever the reason the release helped. I started leaning over the bathroom counter through contractions which really helped me calm down. I could tell baby was moving down. By this time I realized that I wasn’t feeling the contractions in just my back anymore. So I think that standing up and moving to the bathroom must have helped baby to move to a better position. Baby had been posterior the couple of weeks prior so it wouldn’t surprise me if she had been in labor and finally moved. I had a few contractions leaning over the counter and started feeling pressure. I kept feeling like I should squat but I was afraid to because I knew the intensity would increase. I wrestled with myself through about 3 contractions and finally I gave in and squatted. Immediately I felt the urge to push. I wanted my body to push baby out so I let it take over and didn’t try to force her out. I reached down and felt baby’s head coming. I wanted to catch her but I must have needed support because I put my hands back up on the counter and muttered that she was coming. She didn’t come out super fast like some of my others did but she did come out in basically one contraction with a gush onto the floor. I vividly remember seeing her little body with her arms flailed out in pool of clean water on the floor. I grabbed her under her arms and pulled her up to my chest. I then realized that I had never even taken my clothes off! I was wearing a skirt and tank top the whole time. It all happened so fast I never even thought to take them off! She was so perfect! She made a small cry soon after birth and pinked up nice and quick. Shortly after my younger kiddos woke up and came sleepy eyed into the bathroom to see the new baby. My big girls ran outside to call in the midwives who were sleeping in the their truck in the driveway. We wanted to have an unassisted birth this time but had them on call in the event we needed them…and for the clean up ha! Although, we were all pleasantly shocked with how clean of a birth it was! There was hardly a mess to clean up! Even the baby hardly needed any wiping. I sat on the floor for a little while taking in all the baby goodness and offering her my breast for the first time. I wanted to birth the placenta before going to the bed so after shifting around a little it was ready to come out. Then we moved to the bed where Amachai got to cut the cord! This was so special to me. When planning the birth we knew we wanted the big girls to be there but we didn’t want the little kids there as they are a bit more needy and I didn’t want Chris to have to leave my side to have to take care of them. But I also didn’t want them far away and it was Amachai’s turn to cut the cord. Since the birth was in the night the littles slept and the big girls instinctively woke up and then they were all there to enjoy the baby together right after she was born. This birth was very special to me. While I wouldn’t say it was my easiest, although it does come in close second, it was very healing for me after my last birth. With Abigail I was so sedentary during her pregnancy and I had so many discomforting issues. Once I finally went into labor I wasn’t in a good place mentally and was already feeling sorry for myself. I prayed in labor for help but I wasn’t fully looking to the Lord for help. But this time, I prepared with the Lord a head of time. I trusted Him and knew He was in control. I trusted in His design of my body and the strength He has given me. I rocked this birth because I leaned on my Rock. I needed space and that is what I had. I had the freedom and ability to do literally anything I felt I needed to. My birth became an act of precious worship to God as I cried out to Him, thanking Him for every contraction. Thanking Him for the discomfort because I was trusting that He would use it for His good. It was like walking through life with Him in these very short hours. I’ve always trusted my body in birth but this time I trusted it because I trusted the Lord and what HE was doing through my body. We talk about the power we feel in birth and how it empowers women to be mamas. But this time I recognized it not as my power but as the power of God working through me, through the body he created and gave me. And it was all so very beautiful! I still frequently think back to those sweet moments with the Lord when I was alone in my room. And the power rushing through me as I pushed her through my body onto the floor. Birth is so amazing and the Lord is so very good. I do not know if this will be my last birth but if it was it was definitely a great birth to end on. Justine is a birth videographer and photographer serving the Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado County. areas. Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Granite Bay, Folsom, Sacramento, Orangevale, Placerville, Antelope, etc

Allison's Birth Story