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As I write this, my precious little baby girl is now exactly 8 days old. My midwife had estimated her due date to be around January 20th or so, but I had put the due date at Febuary 8th because my cycles are so long, at 36 days. My body has done 36 day cycles since my 3rd pregnancy. So when I go to calculate a due date I always use an online pregnancy due date predictor that takes into account cycle length. It’s just more accurate.
Here’s one: Pregnancy Calculator
A little over a month before I was due I got the flu, or a stomach bug and it almost put me into preterm labor. That was a bit of a scare because I didn’t know that my midwife would not attend my birth if it was before 37 weeks, and I was not quite there yet. So I was a bit shaken by the possibility of laboring preterm in the hospital. I did have an amazing back up Doctor though. But I’m just not a big fan of hospitals. But as my husband and I prayed about it, and put it in God’s hands, and dealt with our fear. The contractions (which were not painful, but tiring) slowed to a stop and we finally got some rest. When we went to see the midwife the next day she told us I had just probably caught a stomach bug and needed fluids, food and rest. That stomach bug lasted about a week, and then went through every member of our family for the next several weeks up until about a week and a half before the actual birth of the baby.
So, I had really been trying the last month of my pregnancy to take it easy and rest, but to be honest, I was still staying up late at night, and doing more than I needed to be doing. My mom had come to visit and we took the children to the park the day before the baby’s due date, Feb. 7th. It was about 22 degrees that day and I didn’t dress warmly enough so I got a bit of a sinus infection and a sore throat. So I was glad the baby waited 5 days past her due date to come, because then my cold was pretty much gone.
On Sunday night, Feb.11th, I finally got the 1 sign I had been looking for; a faint hint of pink tinge when I went to the bathroom. It was 11:58 pm. I called the midwife and told her about the slight pink tinge, and that I thought it was a “bloody show”. She said ok, but she was going to try to get some sleep and thought I should too. I agreed outwardly, but inwardly I was thinking, she should come right now, this is going to happen quick like the last 4!
I got in the shower and the contractions started pretty strong, and were uncharacteristically crampy. I told Justin to call the midwife back and tell her to come right away, cause it was the real deal. She lives about an hour away, so I knew it would be a little while before she got to us. About an hour and a half or so later she arrived, set everything up and checked me, and said I was 5 cm dilated. I was like, “that’s it?” So I started calling the baby by name and telling her to come out, and how much we couldn’t wait to see her. I also told her that grandma was going to get us a white pony, so she needed to hurry. I was teasing my mom and my husband, because my mom had recently had a dream about white ponies. So I kept telling her it was a sign. Ironically, the midwife heard me say that and said she actually did have a white pony that needed a home because they are moving and that she would be happy to give it to us.
Anyways, I was laboring on the bed at this time with the peanut ball, just trying to relax. I had Justin on one side of the bed, and he would put one of those heated hand warmers on my back whenever I had a contraction, and my mom was on the other side of the bed, and I would hold her hand when I had a contraction and pray, and tell my body what to do, (open up, be elastic, and let the baby through). Interestingly, I would tell my mom and husband to pray in tongues, and to pray in the Spirit. I asked them both repeatedly, and twice when all 3 of us prayed together, the pain just totally would vanish, and I’d feel perfect, like I wasn’t even in labor. Right after that I had the midwife check me and she said I was 10 cm dilated. My husband and mom had a hard time continuing on in prayer though, I think partly because my midwife and her daughter who was helping were from a very conservative background and weren’t familiar with praying in tongues. So I think my husband and mom probably felt a little shy and awkward about it.
So after the midwife told me I was 10 cm I tried using the bigger birth ball on the bed. But I must have looked precarious because my midwife told me to come down and get on her birthing chair, which was really uncomfortable because there was no back, so my husband held me, bracing me from behind. The baby was probably born within 10 minutes of sitting on that. I tried to do small easy pushes to ease her out like I had seen done on the many videos I’d watched. There was one long push, and then she was born. Always such a strange and relieving feeling. Baby Destiny was born at 3:22 am. on Feb. 12th, she was 21 inches long, and weighed 8.2 pounds.
I delivered the placenta within probably 5 minutes, they gave me a piece of a candy bar, cleaned me up and I got in bed. As I nursed my new little baby the afterbirth pains started up super intense. So I told those pains to leave in Jesus’s name and the midwife told me to get up and try to empty my bladder. When I did that, a bunch of blood clots came out and all the pains stopped immediately. My midwife told me that a full bladder often will make bleeding worse and will cause extra pain. So I made sure to empty my bladder often, and it really worked. I did also take 2 tablets of 200 mg (400 mg total) of ibuprofen that first day, and again 6 to 8 hours later. But nothing after that, I didn’t need it. My midwife also gave me some concoction of herbs and some pill to help stop bleeding. I can’t remember what she said it was. I definitely need to find out though, cause that kind of stuff fascinates me, and it will probably come in handy someday.
But I did try a variety of positions to labor in on the birth balls. It was really hard to get comfortable though. The peanut ball was really great early on in labor because my back had been hurting me, and it really helped to open my pelvis, and align my back and spine. I tried to switch my sides every 30 minutes like I had learned from the youtube tutorials I had been watching. I didn’t tear, praise God. And for after the birth I made sure to push down on my belly, and put pressure on my uterus to help it shrink back down and stop the bleeding. My midwife showed me how to do that. The uterus also contracts when you nurse your baby. That’s why you see bleeding after nursing your baby.
Little Destiny is a healthy blessed little girl. At her 1 week appointment the Chiropractor said that both her legs were even, and that usually the babies she saw were born with one leg a bit shorter than the other. When the midwife weighed Destiny, she found that she had gained weight, usually a baby loses weight that first week. But she’s been nursing ALOT. In fact, I could hear her tummy growling that first night. I’d never heard that from a hours old newborn before. And I nursed her as much as I could. She also hasn’t gotten any jaundice. But we had an unusually warm winter day about 3 or 4 days after her birth that felt like it was in the 70’s, where I took her outside and just sat with her in the sun while the other children played. I’m so thankful to God for orchestrating everything so beautifully.
My milk came in this time the easiest it’s ever come in. I had a little bit of soreness, but by the 3rd day my milk had come in already, and I was barely even sore. To me that was a big deal, because that’s never happened before. Every other time I’ve had a really hard time getting my milk in, it comes in, but it had up to this point, always been very painful for me. I had some conversations with God about this, and this scripture really resonated with me: Genesis 49:25 “Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:” I heard this scripture on this youtube recording that really blessed me. It’s called Declarations For a Childbirth in the Glory . I played this over and over. I also did some things differently than I have before, here they are:
- I stopped drinking coffee as soon as the baby was born. I did this mostly because I was afraid that the caffeine would start up those afterbirth pains again. Also my midwife had given me strict orders not to do anything for the week following the birth. Drinking coffee would have kept me awake, and made me feel like doing stuff. So I opted to rest.
- I drank Mother’s Milk Tea, and lots of Chlorophyl in Gatorade, juice, or lemonade made with Stevia. The chlorophyl is to help get your iron levels back up. Though I ended up having to take iron pills 2 days in a row because my iron levels were a little low, even after a week and I was so tired so often.
- Justin bought me these things called “Boobie Bars“. They are like nursing snack bars. The box claimed they increased milk supply by up to 4.6 oz. per day. They had Moringa in them, and tasted like brown sugar and peanut butter. I loved them. They were pretty expensive though. But totally worth it. I’m convinced I need to learn how to make them.
My husband had been really concerned about the weather, and had been fervently praying against every winter storm that was rumored to be coming. I’m sure his prayers contributed to us having one of the mildest and strange winters we’ve had in years. I felt like he was always rearranging the weather, like he does his schedule. He said that this was his favorite birth yet. Of course that’s what we always say.
But all in all the birth was really fast, but not so fast that my husband had to catch the baby all by himself (he was afraid the midwife wouldn’t make it). I didn’t tear or have any injuries or trauma from the birth. The baby was born perfectly healthy, and beautiful. The children were all asleep, so it was pretty quiet and no one had to rush around and organize childcare. And my mom got to be with us for the birth. That was a blessing. The only thing I’d do differently is that I’d get more pictures, video, and maybe even hire a doula and a maid for extra help for that week of recovery. My midwife told me that in her community they make sure any mother having a baby has a maid for a couple weeks after her birth. That’s a great idea if you ask me.
I hope this encourages whoever reads it, and if you want to read more of my pregnancy related posts that include links regarding the birthing ball and peanut ball and how to use them, herbs, supplements, and tips I got from my midwife, and pregnancy “hacks” I’ve picked up along the way. I will list them below.
Be Blessed in your Birth, -Emily