Today we are sharing a beautiful story of a magical home birth. So supernatural, in fact, that this mother could’t believe what the midwife discovered upon arrival.
The Birth of Lucienne
By Kirsten Kelly
Our home birth was sincerely epic.
Even though we are approaching two years since my first, and thus far only, birth I still remember it so vividly. It was early December, I was 4 days past my guess date and Sean and I were SO very anxious to meet the sweet, sweet life inside of me, Lucienne. We had the birthing tub set up in the nursery and all of our supplies lined out and ready to go. The previous 2.5 months had been something close to the birth equivalent of training for the Navy Seals. I made it my utmost goal to do everything I could humanly (and heavenly) do to create the peaceful, natural, beautiful and spiritual birth experience I’d dreamed of.
The two biggest tools in my arsenal were Hypnobabies (HB) and Supernatural Childbirth. Hypnobabies applies science-based practices to the way we think about and experience childbirth pain. It changes our language toward birth, retrains our association with the expectation of pain, and teaches how to “turn off” pain receptors in the brain. This all is working toward the goal of a pain-free or minimal pain birth. Supernatural Childbirth applies God’s promise for what Jesus did for us on the cross. He died for our sickness, suffering and pain and that includes childbirth. Everyone has a different birth experience, but I know that I know that I know between the daily (more often, hourly) practice of these methods- I absolutely had the birth of my dreams. After all, we are mind, body and spirit. I am so thankful I was able to equip all three of those facets of myself for the most intense and incredible thing I have ever done.
Now, let’s get to the birth.
I woke around 1 am to use the bathroom and discovered I had slight cramping and red blood in the toilet. My first response: total excitement. We let our midwife know immediately, but I knew that there could be a very long road ahead so I kept my cool as “cool” as possible. We went back to bed to get as much sleep as possible before the real deal. I slept until 8 am and woke up surprisingly refreshed too much, much more intense birthing waves (HB for contractions). The shower was high on my list for pain management so I hopped in a warm shower and allowed the heat to keep my muscles as relaxed as possible to let my body do its job. I began using my HB techniques to stay focused and calm. I should probably include that I am stress/anxiety/panic prone, especially when I am out of control or cannot change my state. I can’t express enough how DIFFERENT I was during this process because of the HB tools, never once out of control or panicky!
Around 9:30am things had progressed greatly so I moved to a birthing ball and Sean helped soothe me. I remember looking up at him and saying “Babe- I do not know if I can do this.” My thought was “If it’s THIS bad now, how bad is it going to be in 5 hours?!?”
Right around that time Whitney, my life-saving doula, arrived. When I think back on my birth I think “That one time I birthed a baby and Whitney carried me all the way through”. I genuinely don’t know how women give birth naturally without a doula. Like, is that even a thing?? She knew how to position me to progress labor, ease pain, used essential oils to tame my nausea- all things I would NOT have been prepared for even through all of my preparation. I labored in the bathroom for (what felt like) quite some time and “emptied out”. Thank God because I was about to get into a personal indoor pool and did not need any of that in there with me! During this time (not the pooping, just the bathroom labor in general) I distinctly remember Sean walking by saying “Guys, I really feel the Holy Spirit right now”. I really loved that moment.
Then, around 11am my midwife arrived. Now, this being my first birth she (and I) expected it would be a lengthy one. I moved to the bed for her to check my progress. She just looks up at me and says “We are about to push this baby OUT. You’re 10cm dilated!” This is the moment I realized that I had just been through the toughest part of the journey and didn’t even know it! I couldn’t imagine it getting worse because I had just experienced the most intense part of labor! The light at the end of the tunnel was so, so very close. I had a whole new energy and excitement come over me. All I remember saying is “ARE YOU SERIOUS?!”
This is when the birthing tub came in. It felt so wonderful! The buoyancy, the warmth- all of it was so nice. Whitney continued to aid by pressing on my hips and poured water over me, sometimes hot and sometimes cold depending on what my body was doing at that moment. The contractions had slowed in time but not intensity. My midwife and her team could not believe how well I was handling my first birth. They said my ability to remain calm, the way I was breathing and had peace was more like a 4th birth! (This was because of my HB techniques) Another hour of moving positions and primal, deep moaning and then it came. My body’s urge to push. I am so thankful I was able to experience the power and intuition my body possesses. I had no idea what to do and yet…it did.
The pushing began and I remember thinking in all the intensity and chaos “Am I even doing this right?!” and then a little soft head was visible. So yes, yes I was doing it right. Lu’s head was born after roughly 45 minutes of pushing. And then there was trouble. Her shoulders were stuck. I had been pushing sitting with my knees pulled back, so the crew helped move me to my hands and knees with my daughter’s head sticking out! After about 2 more minutes, lots of pushing and kind of freaking out… She was here. My baby girl was born. Perfect and fat and magical. All 9lbs and 21 inches of her was absolute beauty. Sean cried and was in awe of what just happened. He was a father. I held her and just stared! I couldn’t believe she was real and she was mine. I finally saw the face that I had longed to see for 9 months! Then there was birthing the placenta which was about as difficult as sneezing after what I had just done. So, there’s that.
We were ushered into our bedroom (the best part of home birth- straight away to your own bed!) where Lu was weighed, cleaned, measured and tested for all the normal things. She was still perfect. After we were semi-settled, Whitney sat on the bed and said to me “You realize that was a supernatural birth, right??”
From the start of active birthing time to the moment Lu was born was a total of 5 hours. I am not genetically prone to quick births. I cannot say it was a painless birth but it was completely manageable and beautiful, and I know that the next time around, through more practice and faith building, it will be even easier than the first time. I truly believe that preparing my mind, body + soul and the blood of Jesus totally delivered. (See what I did there?) I can’t imagine what my birth experience would have been without so many of the vital components in my story- my husband, my incredible midwife, Angel Wings Whitney, Jesus, Hypnobabies and my desire and drive to commit to making it what I wanted. I am truly, truly thankful for the grace I experienced the entire way through my birth journey and will absolutely use all the same methods for our next baby!