My First Home Birth|Birth Story Baby #6

When we moved to Las Vegas I met an amazing group of ladies at a place called Pink Peas.  It was a wonderful non-profit organization for moms. I am so sad they had to shut down last year due to lack of funds. Pink Peas was the home of 2 midwives who did home births. I decided to finally have the home birth I really wanted when pregnant with #6 in 2012/13.

Unfortunately a little over halfway through the pregnancy my husband lost his job and we no longer had the funds to pay for the midwifery services. Our insurance covered nearly 100% of the cost of a hospital birth, and I was very depressed thinking that I wasn’t going to have the home birth that I wanted. I was commiserating with my best friend at church, and tossing around the idea of an unassisted home birth, when she informed me that another woman at our church was a midwife.

I spoke to Tiffani about my thoughts on unassisted home birth the next Sunday and asked for her input. She was so incredibly supportive. She talked to me about the risks as well as about my previous births and told me she thought I was the perfect candidate for an unassisted home birth. She also told me, however, that if I needed her for any reason to please call as she only lived a 5 minute walk around the corner from me.

Jack final belly

A few days before baby arrived my other kids all went to my moms house in St. George, UT. It was so peaceful with just me, my husband, and my youngest daughter at home.

On April 3rd at about 9pm I felt a little pop and had a small gush of water. It was just a trickle, so I was a little confused, but still pretty positive it was my water breaking. I went to bed just knowing that I would be holding a baby in a few hours. But baby and my body had other plans.

For the next two days my labor would start and stop several times. I would be having contractions every 3 minutes then they would suddenly just stop. I walked, I slept, I sat on my birth ball, I read, I did stairs. I was emotionally completely drained. I called Tiffani at about 4:30 pm on April 4th and expressed my frustration. My previous labors were all fast and furious. This was a completely new experience and I didn’t know what to do! She verified that I didn’t have a fever, I was feeling healthy, and baby was moving as normal. She reassured me that baby and I were both perfectly fine at home with just a small leak. She explained to me about the two layers in the amniotic sac and about how you can have a leak from the outer bag rupturing while the inner bag is in tact. She told me that she was at her daughters softball game and that she would swing by on the way home to check on me. In the mean time she advised me to try out some different positions, including hands and knees, to try to get baby in a better position for birth.

After I got off the phone I jumped on the Spinning Babies website and did some reading about labors that start and stop. One thing it suggested was that baby may have gotten engaged in the pelvis with a less than optimal head position. One thing they suggested was to be on your knees with your chest to the floor through a few contractions to get baby to disengage, then sit on the birth ball and rotate hips to get them to re-engage in a better position.

Well it worked. After a few contractions on my knees I once again sat on my birth ball and felt as his head dropped into my hips. Contractions immediately started increasing again and I chose to move to the bathtub. I told my husband he could stay in the living room with our daughter watching Wreck it Ralph and I would cal for him if/when I needed anything. He told me I wouldn’t need to call. He could always tell when I needed him because I would say “OWIE OWIE OWIE!” like a three-year old every time I was about ready to push. I had never noticed that about myself before!

I had the lights off and just a few candles. As I sat there alone in the dim room in a tub of warm water I was so incredibly at peace. It was beautiful. I was able tot make time to truly breathe through each contraction and connect with my body and my baby. As my husband had predicted about an hour later, around 7pm, I hollered out “OWIE!” and he came in. He helped me move into a squatting position in the tub and delivered our perfect baby boy in 2 good pushes. Rachel, still watching Wreck it Ralph, was a prefect little angel and barely even noticed what was going on. When she came in the room a few minutes later she looked genuinely confused as to where on earth this yelling little creature had come from.

bright eyes low

As I sat back in the tub I was amazed by what we had just accomplished. The feeling of peace and intimacy between me and my husband was beautiful. Together we had brought this life that we had created into this world on our terms, in our home. It was truly the most empowering and amazing experience of my life at that point. After a few minutes of snuggling I told Cameron “Well better text Tiffani and let her know he’s here!” She said that if it was ok she still wanted to stop by and check us out. She did the weighing and measuring for us and checked me out for tearing. Everything was perfect and she left us alone to enjoy our time together.

Daddy and Jack low

I can not even begin to describe the emotions I felt. 46 hours of labor. Frustration, sadness, anxiety, were all so completely washed away when I gazed into that little face and into the eyes of my husband. This is what it means to be a woman. There is absolutely no other way for a new life to enter this world except through the sacrifice of a mother. Being a part of this process is something truly miraculous. I was amazed to discover a whole new level and depth of my womanhood as I went through this labor in a peaceful, natural setting rather than a sterile hospital. I felt so intimately connected to the generations of mothers who had done this before me. The connection to my baby without all the nurses and doctors poking and prodding the two of us was beautiful. I can’t say I will never have another hospital birth, I believe in making that decision with each individual pregnancy base don my needs and wants at the time, but I know there are certain things that I will do differently if I am ever giving birth in their world again.

Jackie Boy low

If you’re interested you can read the rest of my birth stories here on the blog as well

Baby 1

Baby 2

Baby 3

Baby 4

Baby 5

Baby 7

Baby 8

Why I am not Afraid of Kidnappers

A few days ago my kids were playing outside. They had been in our yard for about 20 minutes when I walked out the back door to check on them. As I did two women stepped off my front porch and came down the driveway to talk to me.

“We just thought you should know that your kid was riding their bike in the street.”

We live on a dead-end street. If we see more than 5 cars drive by, it’s a busy day. It is very normal for them to play outside without me while I clean up, write a blog post, or just enjoy some quiet. There are plenty of windows for me to check on them, and they know to come get me if they need help with anything. We ride bikes in the street most sunny days. I gave her the polite “and….?”face.

Not afraid of kidnappers|smithsquad.com|riding bikes outside|free range kids|homeschool|unschool
I got this mom!

The woman then continued “You know people will walk right into your yard and snatch these beautiful children. You better be careful!” I was floored. I had prepped myself to explain why we weren’t afraid of cars. I kind a stuttered “yah wouldn’t want that.” then they gave me a religious pamphlet and were on their way.

Why is it that we as a society are so afraid of child snatchers?

Here are a few stats for you:

Number of children, age 2 – 14, killed in car accidents as passengers: 1300
Number of children killed each year by their family members and acquaintances: About 1000
Number of children abducted in “stereotypical kidnappings” in 1999, (the most recent year for which we have statistics): 115.
Number of children killed by their abductor: About 50

(Read more at Free Range Kids Crime Statistics)

Your child is over 11 times more likely to be killed in a car accident than kidnapped. They are 26 times more likely to die in a car accident than they are to be murdered by a kidnapper. Why is it that we throw our kids in the car every day without a second thought, yet we are paralyzed with fear over the thought of them being kidnapped? They are 20 times more likely to be killed by you or another family member than killed by a kidnapper. I bet you still ask your family to babysit and trust your spouse with your kids.

Statistically my husband and I are bigger threats to our children than kidnappers. There’s a reason they investigate the family first when a kid goes missing.

So what about the ~800,000 children reported missing every year? Well most of those are either teen runaways, believed lost due to inadequate communication and found quickly, or abducted by a family member. This means that stereotypical kidnapping represents only one hundredth of one percent of missing children! Your child is FAR more likely to run away than be kidnapped. I bet you still let them go to their friends houses.

That number is old you say, it’s probably rising, right? Nope, quite the opposite. Between 1997 and 2011 the FBI reported a 31% decline in missing children’s cases. The numbers on all other crimes against children have been dropping as well.  (5 Myths About Missing Children)

I refuse to live in fear, or teach my children to be afraid. I teach them caution. I teach them boundaries. I teach them when to run and yell for mom, but I will not keep them indoors on the ridiculously slim chance that the boogeyman is going to snatch them out of my yard while they play. I arm myself with facts to keep the fears at bay and let them be free.

What do you do to combat the fears of motherhood? What other fears do you have for your children?