This is the Story of an all-natural home birth...
Well, December 15 came and went without a new baby. It is the old game of Hurry Up … and Wait. How very military of our new youngster! As we went through the week following, I worked hard with the boys to keep laundry up, get the house clean(er) and basically set up so that when the time actually did come things could still run fairly smoothly without Mom and Pop having to be the driving force.
|Christmas 2014 picture with The Widmife at Sunday's two-day-old check up|
I didn't take the time to look at the list of "things to have on hand for a home birth" that Jennifer Rector, AKA: The Widmife (a title given to her by Buttercup), gave us until around the 17th. (Might be something a little too laid back about my approach for some people's feelings of security, hmmm?) Finally looked at that list and had to go out to pick up a few things. So we hit Target up, and I went to get groceries to make sure we were stocked up. I had only been getting two or three days at a time up to that point - don't ask me why. The impending birth of a child was just not putting much of a sense of urgency on this seasoned Mama.
|Remember this Guy/Gal?|
Meanwhile, I was still stuck with a chest cold - coughing, difficulty breathing, post-nasal drip, stuffy head (and the accompanying headache) - the works. So I was using oils for those too: Rosemary and Peppermint to clear my sinuses, RC, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus Blue on my back to open my airways (didn't want to have it on my chest so that when the baby came I could have skin-to-skin contact without the smell of the oils in his - or her - face), occasionally Peppermint way back in my throat to help quell coughing, Thieves in water to boost my immune system as much as I could and knock the cold out, and Lemon and Orange in water to keep me drinking more and to stay hydrated.
|Meet the Family… Papa|
What did I check on? I took things more slowly, I suppose, though it did occur to me that if I carried enough laundry up and down the stairs it just might help get labor into gear. I looked at what oils I might want handy, of course, and what I was missing that maybe I could beg and borrow and trade from other local friends… I guess I was just feeling pretty set for our first-ever expected home birth.
|A quiet moment|
Along came early, early, early (0300, people, did I say "early"? Not enough times!) Tuesday morning. I timed mild-to-medium (i.e.: noticeable, but not painful) contractions for three solid hours at ten minutes apart. So I texted The Widmife just to keep her advised. I hadn't sent her any word about anything in several days, just because there was nothing happening so no need to text, right?
|maybe 30 minutes old|
Went back to sleep. Woke up to a plateau and disappointment. Sent The White Knight on to work, went about my day. *Sigh*. Wednesday… nothing. Go to work, White Knight.
Thursday morning… The White Knight's birthday, contractions hard enough to be quite painful across my back. Yay! (I know, weird thing to be happy about, huh? Just call me Morticia Adams.) All through the day I had these fairly hard contractions - but they were just hard, not time-able. There was no rhyme or reason to when they were going to come. Anywhere from 10 minutes to 40 minutes apart. What?? Messaged The Widmife that morning and she sent back, "Have a glass of wine and try to rest." I like that advice. No problem.
|Meet the Family… Bruiser|
Meanwhile, I was oiling up because the pain was shooting from my hips (Sciatica) across my back and all the way down to my knees! Ow, ow, ow. I put PanAway on, then Deep Relief (my go-to favorite Essential Oil Blend for pain), then Peppermint on top of those. It helped. Our priest came by at one point to get some things from me and he said, "It smells really good in here!" It was the oils!
Finally at around 8 pm, I called The Widmife and told her what was going on. She said, "You know, I was just praying about you, and I got the really strong message that you need to go in (i.e.: to the hospital) and get checked. I don't know why, but I did. I want you to hang up, and talk to The White Knight, and pray about it and call me back with what you want to do."
|So Excited to Have Him Here!|
When you're working with a home birth midwife, and this is what you get at the zero hour, you feel a little deflated, I have to say. I was in somewhat anxious anticipation as it was - of pain, not of baby - and so I sat down and prayed. And we talked about it, and I texted and talked to my Mom (sometimes only a mom will do!) And knowing that if I went in to the military hospital the likelihood that things would a) go the all-natural, no-intervention way I wanted them to and b) that I would be going home again before that baby was born were both pretty low. So instead I asked The Widmife if she could come over and listen to the heartbeat and check me out. She agreed and said, "I was just coming to that conclusion myself."
She came over, baby was way, way down, I was partially there for dilation but not quite ready, heartbeat was good and there were no red flags, so we all decided waiting it out was a safe option. She went home, I went to bed as much as I could, and we waited. Around 4 a.m., I called her back to tell her that the baby was not going to be much longer and please come back.
|Meet the Family… Buttercup|
I started putting the oils on my back (same ones, with the addition of Lavender) as well as down both legs for the sciatica and back labor. I had The White Knight put a hot washrag on my back after putting the Peppermint and Lavender on. That was so soothing! The contractions were still hard but the oils made them more bearable. I love the smell of Frankincense so The White Knight had burned some of the resin earlier in the evening, and I put some Frankincense Oil on my wrists to smell when I needed an extra boost as well. I put Clary Sage on the backs of my ankles to possibly help speed things up.
In short: whatever I could do to make things easier in a non-medicated way, and to speed the process up, I was going to try.
|Meet the Family... Chef|
In the meantime, the ancient dog was pacing on feeble legs; The Widmife had arrived and was setting things up in our bedroom; older kids were sleeping peacefully and blissfully unaware of the excitement in the next room; my Mom was texting me funny spirit-builders to look at in between contractions (wasn't able to see them until after the birth); and The White Knight was able to just be there for whatever I asked him to do.
What we did not have to deal with…
There was no need to call a friend out at oh-dark-thirty to keep five kids, no need to make a hectic race to the hospital in the cold night air, hoping that everything we might need or want was in the go-bag, and that I would make it to the base, and through the gates before the baby came… Just a calm, do what is needed now atmosphere. No stress, no monitors, no papers to fill out, no need for an internal check, no Hep Lock IV "just in case of hemorrhaging" because of my over-35 "advanced maternal age."
|Meet the Family… Maestro|
The Widmife allowed things to happen as they did on their own, and stayed back to let The White Knight be my primary support, and she stayed as a back up plan. I heard The Widmife quietly talking to "someone" at one point, but I didn't know who - it was not until after the baby was born that I met her midwife-in-training/assistant. Another super-nice person (Bridgette) who did a great job helping with everything.
The baby was born at 5:30 that morning, the first of six children that The White Knight actually got to catch (at the encouragement of The Midwife) - 7 lbs, 7 oz., 20 inches long, and our fifth Boy, leaving Buttercup to remain the Lonely Only Girlie.
|Meet the Family… Mr. Magoo|
The Ancient Dog peed on the floor not long after, so Maestro (bless him) got up to clean it, and got to see the new baby first. As this is #6, it was 5:45 in the morning, he had stayed up late the night before with the sleepless toddler (Mr. Magoo), and he was only up to clean up dog urine… it is fair to say he was less than impressed at that moment. But he was first.
Just like Mr. Magoo, this baby did not want to eat at first. He didn't even attempt to eat until he had peed and pooped, so he also drank a good portion of his amniotic fluid - an excellent diuretic, apparently. He took to nursing like an old hand right after though. I took my usual two spoonfuls of Organic molasses, which is iron rich, to keep me from becoming anemic (The Widmife said it was gross, ha!)
An hour or so later - around 7 or 7:15, in comes Buttercup at her usual good-morning time. She raced out to tell Chef so they were 2nd and 3rd. When Bruiser saw him, he decided that because of the baby's hair being somewhat curled around and marble-y from still being wet, that his head looked like a marble, so the nickname "Marbles" was bestowed upon him by his big brother and will be used here on the blog.
I used Myrrh on his umbilical cord three or four times and it fell off cleanly after two days. I used Frankincense and Myrrh in coconut oil to keep dry skin off after his first bath a few days later. (Very Christmas-y, don't you think?) I used the same oils for crampy pain in my back for a day or so afterwards as well, and added Geranium to slow up residual bleeding.
|Using The Widmife's scale|
And his older siblings, right up to the oldest, have been fantastic about helping out, wanting to hold him and bond with him, and excited about a new little one being in the house. It has made for a very nice and relaxing Christmas season. The Widmife came back to look at the baby again on Sunday, and Marbles was still quite healthy. The Widmife left behind a vegetable lasagna for us to use for dinner as well. A few days later, we got the paper in the mail certifying his live birth, and a second letter from The Widmife addressed to Marbles. It was a lovely little letter to him about his birth-day events and the events of his birth year.
I am grateful and so glad at the turns of events that brought us to decide on a home birth. The Widmife put her thoughts on her Facebook business page on Christmas day, and it was such a beautiful way to express her thoughts and feelings about being a midwife, and her calling as a midwife, that I wanted to share them here (and go permission to do so). She wrote :
Sitting in front of the fire, thinking of all the amazing families I have helped over the last 13 years. The babies who have been born and those who have passed.The moms who have had their perfect, candlelight water birth and the moms that we have transported in ambulances. Dads who have caught their babies, dads who have broken down sobbing, dads who have just looked at me stunned. Siblings jumping on beds while mom is laboring, siblings giggling quietly around the corner because they are supposed to be in bed but they are too excited! The smell of a newborn baby and the look they have as they first open their eyes. Midwifery is a job but it is more than that. It is a feeling in my heart, it is the voice in my head, it is listening and only doing when necessary, it is the stillness of the night, it is lightning cracking across the sky, it is strength and gentleness. It is standing aside. It is standing in the gap. It is laughter in the rain. It is shifting your energy into another woman to give her more to run on. It is coffee in a corner, huddling. It is spooning with your assistant who becomes your best friend. It is joy and sorrow and pain and ecstasy and exhaustion...all rolled into one. I am forever blessed.
Meet The Widmife at The Village Midwife, LLC via her FaceBook page, especially if you're local to the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area. She is chock full of good advice and information and an all-around good person with a good family.
To get more information about the various oils mentioned in this blog post and that I used before, during and after Marbles was born, please feel free to contact me to ask questions, get into a 101 class, or to get your own Whole-Health Makeover Oil Set, which includes 11 oils and the diffuser. You can find me on Facebook as well, at Young Living: E-Scents of Peace or at my Young Living Page.
Disclaimer: While this blog post isn't specifically about Essential Oils, because I used so many of them during this birth, and mentioned them here on the blog, I must add the standard disclaimer: I am just a mom who uses these oils for my own benefit and that of my family. I am not a medical doctor with fancy letters after my name. Therefore, the information in this blog post is for education and suggested-use purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any disease. It is your responsibility to educate yourself on matters of health and well being. If you have medical needs, please seek the advice of your doctor or other health professional.
And just because I've been told these things are useful somehow - though I am still learning how and where to use them: Hashtags…
#homebirth, #naturalchildbirth, #essentialoilsinchildbirth, #essentialoilsinlabor, #drugfreechildbirth, #midwife, #homebirthmidwife