Six Months!

My 5th freebirth baby is 6 months old now! He’s such a happy boy and we’ve been really enjoying him as he grows. I love to watch the slideshow of my labor with him… such a precious gift from my friend that allows me to really recall the events of that day. Thanks to everyone for understanding that we’re a little busy these days, but I hope you all will continue to reach out for any support or information as needed. If I’m unable to do the research, I can always post for others to offer suggestions, information, personal research, and good places to start for further understanding on things! Enjoy your summer!

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Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#7

Fifth UP/UC, Third Son (Seventh Child) born on 01/07/2018!

Despite being our seventh babe, the pregnancy came as a surprise. Once the original shock wore off, we were so thankful for the newest babe growing in my womb. We shared the news with my oldest daughter first, who then wanted to tell her siblings through the game hangman. As they solved the puzzle, their faces lit up with excitement once they learned the news. Another babe was joining our family!

It was an uneventful pregnancy but I got quite big and it was more and more uncomfortable getting around. By the end of it, I had gained over 70lbs to my dismay. I took a poll asking friends to guess the reason for my extra large belly: lots of fluid? big baby? twins? haha

At 2:56pm on January 6th, I noticed a change in the contractions I’d already been having for a couple weeks. The intensity was changing and began taking my breath away and made it a little more difficult to talk or walk through. I watched them for an hour, asking my husband when he’d be home from work, and informing him that the contractions were 7-15mins apart and increasing in intensity. I made a guess based on history that he should be home in under 4 hours to be on the safe side and I’d let him know if anything changed that needed him to come home sooner.

Not much changed by the time he got home so we just hung out. I let my friend know that it might be the real thing and to keep her phone on. I went to lay down around 8 to see if the contractions would stop or wake me up when I laid down. Each one woke me every 7-15mins over the next hour. It wasn’t comfortable so I got up and went to sit with my husband in the living room. I decided to call my friend and let her know that she could come in about an hour or so but that it could still subside at any time. She came and we chatted between contractions until about 3am but while why were increasing in intensity, they were still 7-15mins apart. Since she lived close by, I suggested she get home and we get some sleep and I’ll call her when I think it’s time.

I went to bed and woke up with each contraction, still maintaining about 10mins apart and chose to get up around 6am as the contractions were too much for in bed. My husband also got up to help with the kids as I worked through the contractions and rested. My friend joined us around 10am or so and we enjoyed each other’s company between contractions. With each contraction, depending on where my husband was, I’d call to him and he’d sit with me as I breathed through it.

I would begin to question whether I was truly in labor, and then I’d have a strong and intense contraction and we’d all laugh that it obviously was. I noticed with a couple of the contractions that my body began bearing down so I was trying to decide where to ultimately labor and birth the baby. In the past, I’d ended up in the bathroom and that was where I stayed until baby was born, but I was a bit apprehensive of the intensity and wanted something a bit more comfortable. My husband brought our mattress into the living room and covered it with the shower curtain we had bought, to protect it. I climbed onto the bed and started out on all fours for several contractions and then turned around for a bit. As I labored in a sitting position, my water broke at 1:45pm. Lots of water kept coming and coming, so my friend helped my husband to get some towels underneath me.

I decided I wanted to be on all fours again and turned around. I labored there and more water kept coming. It was quite surprising just how much water there was, actually. haha I continued to labor and the intensity was too much for the strength I had left. My legs were shaky and I chose to turn around. I am unsure whether I regret this or just think it would have been easier if I just held out a little longer. I didn’t know at the time that baby was going to be born very soon.

I sat on my bottom and had my husband sit behind me so I could push off on him. With each contraction, now much closer together, I allowed my body to bear down as my husband reminded me to breath and follow my body. I could hear myself hollering and roaring with each push so between contractions, I looked to my 13yo daughter to remind her that I was okay and not to worry. Her and my 11yo daughter was present, awaiting the arrival of their youngest sibling.

I checked to see if I could feel the baby’s head and I felt it, all squished and coming down. I continued to bear down, and felt myself poo. I was thankful that I was covered in a blanket for my personal comfort of modesty. It was around this time that I could hear voices surrounding me and I realized someone was praying. I found great comfort in it and I was so thankful that I had my friend and her daughter along with my two daughters present. I continued to push and felt the baby descend, I could feel the baby’s head all squished as it crowned and asked my friend to check to make sure it was the head and not the bottom (though in hindsight, labor would have been more intense for my back and hips if that had been the case). She assured me it was the head and I relaxed despite the burning sensation.

I heard myself say to my husband that it was too hard and he encouraged me and reminded me of what I’m capable of. I began to roar again and pushed the baby’s head out. I was shocked how big his head was, as it was bigger than the size of the birth canal. I said the head was out and was facing down. I breathed and continued following my body’s lead and pushed the rest of the body out with another roar, feeling arms crossed at the chest. I breathed a sigh of relief for a moment before uncovering the baby from under the blanket at 2:20pm. I saw he was a boy, noticed poo up his back, then I saw his arms flop, and his face was purple.

I noted to my husband that he was purple and I needed a towel. I wiped his face, wiped his back, and rubbed his back and chest to encourage him to breath. Ready to take the next step, he made a little squeak and his color began to pink up, then he began to cry.

I looked up at that point to see everyone tearful. He was here. He was here after 24hrs of labor, all 11lbs of him with that 15″ head! I laid back with him and could feel all the work I had done and felt tired. Not long after, I delivered the placenta, thankful to find that I hadn’t torn at all. My husband then cut the cord, helped me wash up, and cleaned up from the birth, then helped me to bed so I could sleep and nurse the baby. I slept for the rest of the day and through the night as he took care of the rest of the kids.

Chelubai Theodore (whole hearted gift of God) has been nursing like a champ and is a sweet addition to the family. It’s as if he was here all along. Life has been pretty normal considering another person being added to our crew. The Lord knows good gifts and this boy is a great gift indeed.

<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#3>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#4>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#5>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#6>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#7>>

Birth Photography

“Pizzas are delivered, but you birthed your baby!” – Debra Pascali-Bonaro

Alyssa’s HBAC of Brooklyn Hope

It all began the night of Saturday, May 25th. I had supper at my grandmother’s house with my family and then headed home. Once home, I felt really good with energy to spare which was definitely unusual because the past few weeks were full of body aches and fatigue. I was in a great mood, put the music on and cleaned up the house! Looking back I realize that I was hit with “nesting.”

Around 3am, I woke up and wasn’t able to fall back asleep. I kept having this feeling that the baby hadn’t arrived yet because she wasn’t in the best position for birth. I decided to go back on the Spinning Babies website and research some more techniques for getting baby in the best position for birthing. I then got out of bed and tried the Inversion position (kneeling on couch with arms/head on floor). Within a few minutes I began having contractions that were starting in my back and wrapping around to my front. Much different than the Braxton Hicks I had been having. As Paul and I were chatting, the contractions continued and were five minutes apart about 45 seconds long. I was hoping that labor would finally be starting!

As the night (well technically morning) dragged on, I was unable to sleep. The contractions would wake me up from my sleep. Morning came and I sent my girls to the beach with their grandparents so I could continue to labor. Paul and I walked up and down our street trying to keep things progressing. I also messaged my midwife Kristin to give her a heads up. Then as afternoon arrived, the contractions distanced themselves out. After being every 5 minutes for many hours, they started being erratic, going from every 10-30 minutes apart and weaker. This frustrated me and I was afraid it had all been false labor and that I’d be pregnant for another 9 months. (haha)

Then around 4pm on Sunday evening I decided to do the Inversion position yet again along with a few other little things recommended by my good friend Breanna. (we texted back n forth throughout the day, she has had 2 home births) I still had a nagging feeling that labor was stalling due to position. Within minutes of doing the Inversion, my contractions started back up consistently 5 minutes apart again. I drove over to my grandmothers to enjoy another supper with my family. On the drive over, the contractions were definitely getting strong again. After supper, my family suggested we go for a walk to keep labor going. I decided it was time to head home with the kids and my grandmother had a fit about me driving while in labor, it was quite amusing. I told her I’d try not to hit too many mailboxes. I kept teasing her that I also wasn’t going to tell the midwife or Paul when it was time and just have the baby by myself, this made my grandmother frantic.

Once home with my girls, I read them some books and put them to bed. As I was lying in bed around 8:30pm, I had one doozy of a contraction. It hit me with intensity and my body began shaking/trembling. Breanna mentioned it might be transition and I freaked thinking I *might* be further ahead than I thought and home alone. (payback for teasing my grandmother? haha) I felt flushed, nauseated and felt like baby dropped lower. I messaged the midwife “I think I may need you now” with shaking hands. She called me back and said she was on her way and would send her birth assistants right over as well. I then called Paul and he came home as well.

Within minutes, Paul was home and one of the birth assistants arrived. Paul called my mother to come get Jordyn for the night. Madison however was asleep in bed and really wanted to be a part of the birth so we let her continue sleeping. I had the desire to be left alone therefore I went back into my bedroom to labor. Once my midwife and other assistant arrived at 9:30pm I felt much calmer. Kristin asked if she could pray for me, checked my vitals, checked baby’s heart rate then left the room. My bedroom is where I stayed most of the entire night. As the night went on, I walked in my room, swayed my hips, listened to worship music, rocked, used birth ball, prayed, tried to sleep and showered a couple of times. I told Paul to go to sleep because he would need his energy later to help me through the delivery. I like my space and being alone. Kristin periodically checked on me and at one point encouraged me to try the birth pool but I wasn’t comfortable in it or in the living room with an audience so after a few minutes I went back to my room. At 2am, they brought me pretzels/apples but I was very nauseous and didn’t eat much. As morning arrived I was losing my energy and very tired.

Around 5:30am, Madison woke up and I told her the baby would soon be here. She gave me a hug and headed to the couch to watch her kid shows. At 7:30am, I lost my mucous plug. Labor began picking up but still manageable.

At 7:53 my water finally broke. Contractions were every 2-3 minutes lasting 90 seconds. Labor wasn’t so fun anymore because I knew what was ahead! There are not many words to describe transition, it was incredibly intense. Kristin applied pressure to my hips/back to help me through them. She told me if I felt the urge to push to go ahead and push but I didn’t want to push unless I was absolutely ready so at 10am I asked her to check me (first and only check of pregnancy) and she said I was 10cm.

After that I tried out a few different positions for pushing and none seemed to work well. My hips were throbbing and my lower body felt like it was going to break in half. I began dreading each contraction, knowing how painful they would be. Each time I would think to myself “oh crap, here it comes again!” The contractions made me feel like I couldn’t breathe and like I was going to vomit. I called for Paul during each contraction. I wanted him and an assistant to squeeze my hands so it would distract my mind from the labor pain. The assistants kept bringing cold wash cloths for my head too. At this point, I wanted to escape the pain and run away from my body. I also hit a mental block with pushing. I just did not want to push her out. I wanted it all to stop. I kept fighting the urge to push and kept repeating “I can’t do it” and everyone would say “you ARE doing it!” During all this, Madison sat on the end of my bed helping Kristin with the doppler. Such a wonderful little assistant! She even brought me a spoonful of honey when I was feeling weak.

After a long time of pushing, I finally got my head in gear and realized that I needed to work with my body and push her out or this pain would drag on and on. I finally started putting in real effort and worked with my body. The power and intensity of pushing was terrifying to me. When I pushed with Madison’s birth, the pushing brought relief. This time around, the pushing did not bring relief. I pushed regardless and honestly didn’t care if I tore, I just wanted her out and to be DONE. And out she came at 11:15am.

She was immediately placed on me. I had never held a baby fresh from the womb before. She was so warm, alert and looked right up at us. I was so thankful it was all over! Madison texted my family that Brooklyn was born and to come meet her. My family showed up but was unable to hold her because she was still attached and my placenta had not been delivered. After a while, we sent them away to focus on getting the placenta out. I was very hot and had an irritated feeling so I asked for the cord to be cut at 11:35. The painful contractions came back and I finally delivered the placenta out at 12:12pm. Then once they got me up to pee, they noted that I was losing a decent amount of blood and Kristin gave me some medication and they took turns massaging my uterus. I also had a shot of Pitocin just to be safe. Unfortunately I did end up tearing and needing a few stitches.

Around 3pm, Kristin weighed and measured Brooklyn and we decided her middle name would be Hope. Seemed fitting after the year we had. She was 7lbs 12oz! My biggest baby! I showered and nursed Brooklyn in my bed. Paul brought me a meal and Kristin gave me some Motrin. The midwife and her assistants all headed home around 4:15pm and left our little family to rest. My family came back over after dinner and was finally able to hold Brooklyn. It was wonderful being able to sleep in my own bed that night with my sweet little nursling!