Large Family, Motherhood

My Second Unassisted Birth

Hello! It has been a while since I have updated this page. I thought I would finish this post out and then next time I will send out an update on what has been happening here. Hope you enjoy the story of the birth of my 6th child!

After having our 5th baby unassisted, when I got pregnant with our 6th child, we decided to try it again. We had moved to a new state and there were women in our church who were experienced and educated in prenatal care and childbirth. I asked them if they would be willing to meet with me each month to do a prenatal visit and of course they were so excited to help. My first unassisted birth I did not have any monthly prenatal care. I did weigh myself and took my blood pressure, but that was it. This time I had my blood pressure taken, weighed myself, discussed diet and how I was feeling, checked baby’s heart rate, and had my tummy palpated to feel babies position. It was a fun time to interact and build a relationship with the women who helped.

The pregnancy was uneventful. Everything went smoothly and was normal for me. I did not really have an official ‘due date’ with this pregnancy. My cycle was weird and I could really only determine within a couple weeks when to expect baby to make his appearance.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I was busy sewing tiny cloth diapers for my new babe to use. I hadn’t ever cloth diapered a baby from birth and was really excited to try it. Most cloth diapers are really too small for an average sized newborn, let alone a 5 pounder, which is about what I was expecting since all of my previous kids had been tiny. So I set out to make some teeny tiny diapers that I could use until baby fit into the larger ones I already had.

As we neared time for baby to be born, I went to see a midwife for a checkup. I like to do that towards the end of my pregnancies to make sure baby is head down and everything looks good. She was helpful with newborn screening and said she would do it for me if we wanted to have her do it, but she ended up just giving me the cards so that we could do it at home ourselves if we did not feel up to driving the next day.

My husband decided to take a week off when I was very close to having baby. We both knew that he would be arriving anytime so he stayed home to help me get some things finished up and to help with the other kids. On Tuesday, April 14th, we decided to send the kids to grandma’s and grandpa’s house because we were sure baby would come anytime. We figured that even if they needed to stay at their house for a few days, they would enjoy it and it would give me some time to just relax and rest.

I was having some irregular contractions during this time, so I texted my friend who had helped with my prenatals and asked what I could do to get things going. I had tried everything I knew to try so I was looking for something new. She told me that she had a midwife friend with a special drink that always started labor. The drink consisted of 2 ounces of juice, 2 ounces of vodka, and 2 ounces of cod liver oil. So, off I went to find my ingredients. The look I got when I walked into the liquor store asking for vodka was priceless.  I found everything I needed and headed home. After I gulped down the drink, my husband and I hung out and enjoyed a quiet night together.

The next morning when I woke up, all I could smell was fish. My fingers smelled like fish. I texted my friend back and told her that I smelled like fish and her response was hilarious. “Oh No!!! I think you were supposed to drink castor oil, not cod liver oil!!!” After a good laugh and a shower, we headed to the grocery store, picked up some castor oil and then went to breakfast at a restaurant. I poured a little castor oil into my orange juice and drank it with my breakfast.

After we ate, we ran a few errands then went home. By the time we got home, I was really hungry so I warmed up my left over breakfast and sat down on the couch to eat it. But I could not stay awake! I was literally falling asleep while eating and sitting on the couch. Finally I put my food away and told Austin I was going to lay down for a nap.

When I woke up, my fantastic husband was cooking beans and hamburger to freeze for easy meals after baby. I also was having some regular contractions. They were consistent but I can’t remember how often they were coming. I also spent a little time on the toilet, but it was nothing like what I thought it would be. I had heard horror stories of women drinking castor oil, so I am really thankful that I didn’t have to endure anything like that.

My labor started at about 2:00 in the afternoon. It was Wednesday and I had forgotten that church would be happening next door. I had texted one of the women who helped with my prenatal visits telling her I was in labor because I had asked her to come to the birth and help with cleaning up, etc. I told her she didn’t need to come yet but she said she would head over and she sat outside in her car in case we needed help. Around 6:15 she texted to tell me she was headed over to the church and to let her know if I needed her.

Early Labor
Early Labor

By this time, I was laboring pretty good, and I was even able to lay down for a short nap. Around 7 I felt like something should be happening. Baby should be dropping or crowning or something. I texted my friend and asked her to come over. Austin checked me and said that he could feel something still on baby’s head, which was keeping him from coming down farther. After consulting with my other friend over the phone, it was determined that there was a lip of cervix still caught on baby’s head. I moved and squatted and rocked and rolled trying to get that cervix to move, but i was unsuccessful. Finally I went into the bed and laid down for a minute. I had a few contractions while laying there and then one hit me. It was really hard, long and painful. As it started to taper off, I felt baby drop down into the birth canal. So I jumped off the bed and squatted down. I yelled to Austin that they baby was coming and bared down, pushing. Slowly his head popped out. Austin was laying on his back so he could see underneath me and after baby’s head emerged he told me to stop for a minute and let his head rotate around. As soon as the next contraction started, I pushed, having to be reminded to slow down a little because I was just ready for it to be over. Out he came into Austin’s hands at 8:15 pm. I sat back and he laid him on my lap.

We were both overjoyed to learn we had another son. He was bigger than all the other kids, weighing in at 7 pounds 3 ounces and 21 inches long. He was about 2 pounds larger than most of the other kids! We couldn’t believe how big he was. After we sat for awhile on the floor, the cord was done pulsing and the placenta had come out. I needed to move somewhere more comfortable so they helped me out to the couch where I snuggled and nursed my new son. My friend who attended the birth was so helpful! I am very thankful we chose to have her there and that she was willing to do whatever we needed. She stayed for about 2 hours after baby was born to clean up and make food for us. Austin and I were both exhausted and I am really glad he got to just sit and relax with me.

Proud Daddy with his baby boy
Proud Daddy with his baby boy

The rest of the night was great. When everything was cleaned up, all the adrenaline had worn off and we were ready for bed, Austin helped me move back to our bedroom and get settled with Kendon. We fell asleep and woke up pretty rested the next morning.

The next day for lunch, the other kids, my in-laws, Austin’s grandparents and brother came over. They brought all the food, did the cooking and cleaned up. It was fun to see how excited all the kids were to meet their newest brother.

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