Tiny Love’s Birth Story {Water Homebirth}

Big Love + Me = Tiny Love {photo by Life’s Little Blessings Photography}
Today is a special day, it’s Tiny Love’s 1st BIRTHday!  Wow, this year has gone by so fast, I can’t believe she’s 1!  Thank you to all of my loyal readers who shared so much support during my pregnancy and postpartum … I promised I would share her birth story, and here it is finally.  This is my story, the homebirth of our daughter. 
 
If you chose to comment here, please keep comments respectful.  This story is very personal and dear to my heart.  It’s my personal experience.  I know homebirth is not for everyone, but it was what was best for me and my baby. 
 
“OUR CHILDREN WERE BORN AT HOME”
The sticker given to us by our midwives … it hangs proudly in our home.
 
Homebirth is so special to me, both of our girls were born at home.  I cannot imagine giving birth any other way.  My two homebirths have been the most amazing experiences of my life.  Birth is so sacred … for me, being in my own home doing what I need to do without interruption is important.  Being in my own space, wearing what I want to wear, eating and drinking what I want and trusting myself, my body, my baby, my husband and my midwives is all I need.  Knowing that after my labor, I will have a beautiful gift in my arms, and I will be able to get into my own bed and rest … there is just nothing like it. 
 
8 months pregnant {photo by Life’s Little Blessings Photography}

TINY LOVE’S BIRTH STORY
 
I started preparing my mind for labor and the birth of Tiny Love in December.  I collected birthing affirmations, I envisioned the birth I wanted before I fell asleep each night {in exact detail, up to the placenta coming out intact}, I started preparing and gathering things for my birth alter, I watched homebirth videos on YouTube, I read children’s books about homebirth to Little Love at night, I re-read parts of my favorite pregnancy book that I read during my first pregnancy, and on and on.  I did my absolute best to make sure I was prepared for this birth.  

 


Two of my dear friends Kim and Moi, hosted a Mother’s Blessing for me.  This was so sacred and really added to my emotional preparation for birth.  I highly recommend this to other mommy’s-to-be … it’s so amazing being surrounded by beautiful friends that truly care about and support you.    

Blessed be this gathering with the gifts of the East: communication of the heart, mind and body; fresh beginning with each rising of the sun the knowledge of the growth found in sharing silences.  Blessed be this gathering with the gifts of the South: warmth of hearth and home; the heat of the heart’s passion; the light to illuminate the darkest of times.  Blessed be this gathering with the gifts of the West: the lake’s deep commitments; the river’s swift excitement; the sea’s breadth of knowing.  Blessed be this gathering with the gifts of the North: firm foundation on which to build; fertile fields to enrich our lives; a stable home to which we may always return.” – Mother Rising: The Blessingway Journey into Motherhood


I envisioned that I would place some birth affirmations on the walls surrounding where the birthing tub was so I could read them during my labor.  I thought I would light a candle during my labor and light another candle that Little Love made for me after Tiny Love was born.  I decorated my birth alter with beautiful crystals, sea shells that my husband and I found, a picture of Little Love and a picture of her after she was born, a picture of Tiny Love from my only ultrasound, inspirational words that I painted on wood {Trust, Believe, Goddess, Gratitude, Blessings}, the beautiful birthing necklace made from charms and crystals from my dear friends and the big sister necklace they made for Little Love, the special birthing bracelets that bonded us all together at my Mother’s Blessing, the rock that Kim painted for me, and other little treasures that Little Love gave to me to borrow.  I hung beautiful silks on my wall from my dear friend Jennifer.  I made sure I had everything ready for my homebirth kit.  I stocked my pantry and refrigerator with the necessary labor and birthing foods like coconut water, Tropical Recharge, pudding, raw honey, cheese, Medjool dates, crackers, etc.  

“Awakening Transformation” painted rock from my dear fried Kim
 
 
I honestly thought I was all prepared … 
 
The holidays passed by, I was loving my pregnancy and my beautiful baby bump.  Everything was going well and then my sweet Little Love got sick.  The flu hit her hard – fever, no appetite, and a nasty, nasty cough.  Luckily, my Little Love is a trooper.  I fixed up as many natural remedies as I could and she got through it quick.  Thank goodness for my Elderberry and Rose Hip Syrup, this kept me healthy through 4 colds and the flu that passed through my house.  But then, I ran out of my syrup.  Within a week I was hit hard with the flu too.  It started with a fever and that nasty cough that Little Love had.  It was yucky, yucky, awful, HORRIBLE.  I drank lots of Hot Garlic Lemonade, took homeopathic belladonna for my fever and eventually had to purchase a natural cough syrup that is safe for pregnant moms.  I could not get that darn cough to quiet.  Before I knew it, not only was I having awful coughing fits, but I started to have contractions – but since it was 2 weeks before my estimated due date, I wasn’t sure if I was in “real” labor or if it was just happening because of the coughing.  Little Love however was sure, she kept telling me, “Mommy, I really think you’re going to have her.”      
 
Little Love + Me {photo by Life’s Little Blessings Photography}


I decided it was a good idea to call one of my midwives.  I was having frequent contractions, had an awful headache, fever and constant cough.  Lets just say, I wasn’t feeling my best.  I decided to take a hot bath while I waited for my midwife Rachel to get to my house.  The hot water helped me feel more comfortable during the intense contractions.  

My midwife came to check me out.  She recommended rest and hydration along with Skullcap tincture to calm the contractions.  I was barely dilated at this point, so we talked about calling her later if I needed to.  My darn cough was so aggravating and causing deep coughs that made me bend over, so it was still really hard to tell if I was in early labor or just experiencing contractions due to the coughing.  

Sure enough, I had to call my midwife Rachel back.  I was having stronger and more frequent contractions.  I had dilated a bit more, but not a whole lot.  We talked about continuing the Skullcap tincture, continuing the fever reducers, hydrating myself as much as possible, trying to rest and get some sleep, and again, to call her back if the contractions got stronger or closer together.     

I tried to move on with the evening, rest seemed impossible and was.  My contractions were so intense and painful {I say painful because they did cause a lot of pain, but I do and did view it as life-giving pain, so I did not feel the pain in a negative way}.  I tried to go on with our usual normal routine.  My mom and I text from time so I could let her know how I was doing.  I continued coughing like crazy and having major intense contractions.  Finally, my husband and I decided to go to bed and get some sleep {he slept, I tried to rest}.  For about 2 hours I was in bed lying on my left side squeezing the life out of my husband’s hand while he slept {our midwife advised him to get some sleep if he could so he could be fully available to me if Tiny Love decided to come} during my contractions.  All of a sudden I couldn’t take it anymore, I was shaking and the pain was so intense.  I woke my husband up and I said, “I feel like I need to push, call the midwives.”  I was short on words not wanting to talk, so I knew this was the real deal.  My husband jumped out of the bed and called Rachel.  I don’t remember anything about their conversation, I just remember turning inward and focusing on getting through the pain.  I wanted to push so bad and I kept telling myself, “Just hold off until they get here, you can do this”.  Rachel got to our house at 2:25 a.m. and I was still in bed lying on my left side having strong, crazy intense and frequent contractions.  [Side Note: Here is where everything I envisioned went right out the window ... I never looked at my birth alter, I didn't light the candle, I didn't read any birth affirmations, etc.  Things may not always go as planned, but they are beautiful none the less, however they unfold.]  I remember telling Rachel I wanted to get into the birthing tub.  She had started filling the birthing tub with hot water but it would take a while to fill since it’s a large tub.  I remember watching her get her birthing apron on and set up her stuff.  She had told my husband that he should use the bathroom now so he can be available to me.  I kept asking Rachel, “Can I get in yet?” and she so sweetly kept saying that it wasn’t quite ready.  At 2:55 a.m. Rachel asked if I needed to use the bathroom before getting into the tub so I got up and she helped me to the bathroom.  She went back to the tub and tried to pee.  My contractions were so painful, I said, “I need somebody,” I braced myself with my hands on both walls and pressed them so hard {in my head I was thinking I am going to break these walls down because I am pushing them so hard}.  Rachel quietly said some words of encouragement to me and I got through that contraction and was able to pee, followed by a crazy intense contraction and I pushed a little which released my mucus plug and my water broke and came exploding out of me and shot out of the toilet with force.  I said in a worrisome tone, “Rachel it went everywhere” and before I could say anything else, Rachel said it’s okay, your water broke and she’ll clean it up.  She came into check and my waters were clear.  I remember hearing my husband come back upstairs and hearing my other midwife Tosi in the room.  I remember hearing Rachel say she’s doing great and her water broke.  I told Rachel “I need to push” and my husband helped get me into the tub at 2:58 a.m.  I put my head down on the edge of the tub as I kneeled forward and was becoming very vocal, moaning loud from the pain.  I felt Tosi come up and quietly say, “Tosi’s here” which were such calming words {because to me, Tosi is so special and is like family to me … all of my midwives are like family … it was really special having both Rachel and Tosi and both of my births, I was so grateful Tosi made it before Tiny Love was born}.  I told Tosi I was so glad she was here and I grabbed her arm.  She whispered some encouraging words to me and I joyfully cried a little.  My contractions were so painful and intense.  I knew I needed to push.  At 3:02 a.m. I attempted my first push.  At 3:03 a.m. Tiny Love’s head was out and Tosi told me to feel her head.  I reached down and felt the hair on her head.  My husband was able to see her head from behind as he was partially in the tub behind me.  He was able to see her little face.  At 3:04 a.m. our beautiful Tiny Love was born.  My husband caught her as she came out and he gently guided her through my legs.  I picked her up and brought her to my chest.  I was so overjoyed with love.  She gave out a brief little cry and then was so content.  I turned my head around to look at my husband and he told me he loved me and we kissed.  We spent those few minutes just soaking in this blessing.  At 3:09 a.m. they all helped me out of the tub and into the bed.  Tiny Love tried to latch right away and I gazed into her eyes as she looked at me and went to sleep.  

Minutes after Tiny Love was born … a very tired mommy and daddy watching Tiny Love sleep.


At 3:19 a.m. my placenta came out intact and I had minimal bleeding.  My midwives cared for me as all of this was going on, but all I really focused on was falling in love with Tiny Love.  At 3:38 a.m. Tiny Love’s cord was clamped and my husband cut the cord.  By 3:55 a.m. Tiny Love was nursing like a pro.  I was on this incredible babymoon high that helped my fever go away and calmed my cough for the time being.

My midwives prepared a beautiful plate of food for me {fruit, cheese and date-almond-coconut rolls) with a purple candle in the middle.  They sang Happy Birthday to Tiny Love.  It was so special, and that fruit and cheese tasted better than it ever had before.      

Enjoying our time with Tiny Love.

One of the amazing things about homebirth is my baby was in my arms the whole time after she was born.  She wasn’t taken away from me and we stayed together for over an hour and a half before her baby exam.  This is true bliss.  At 4:45 a.m. my midwives did her baby exam.  She slept through the whole thing. 

Tiny Love getting gently weighed, she slept through the whole thing.


My midwives took care of cleaning everything up and making sure I was cared for and had everything I needed.  Tiny Love was nursing well and sleeping and everything else was fine.  Around 6:30 a.m. they made sure I was tucked into bed and left.  My husband and I stayed up for a while talking about our amazing experience.  We lovingly stared at our daughter and enjoyed every little move and coo she made.               
        

Tiny Love … just minutes old
Little Love meeting Tiny Love, she was so dear holding her so gently.
Little Love was so excited and loving to her sister.

 

“Tiny Love’s Placenta” Art by my midwife and Tiny Love’s dried umbilical cord
 
The newest member of Recipes to Nourish … Tiny Love.

 

Homebirth is not for everyone, but home is the only environment where the woman can control everything – how she births and what she wants to do.  My hope is that young women and women at least know ALL of their options, do their own research and don’t take one answer as the end all answer.  Women are strong and capable, and our bodies were designed to birth babies.  It’s a woman’s right to decide how she wants to give birth to her baby.  It’s also a woman’s right to have ALL information available, so SHE can make a decision based on awareness and knowledge, not based on fear.


For more information on Homebirth, how to find a midwife, and info on VBAC’s, check out Little Love’s Birth Story {see the end for specific information}.  

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Filed Under: Holistic Health, My Life

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Emily,

    I finally had a moment to read your beautiful birthing story. Thank you for sharing. You had me in tears. It brought back memories of both my deliveries.

    I had a regular (horrible and traumatic) hospital birth with Skylar (my oldest) and I had a natural water birth (here in Davis) with Ethan.

    I can honestly say, the experiences were night and day. I am also an advocate for natural home births (or birthing center facilities). It was like being at home at the Davis birthing center. We lived in Sac at the time, and drove to give birth with midwives. It was awesome. The best experience of my life. So empowering to deliver naturally, in a bath, surrounded my supportive midwives and my husband. It was awesome.
    Same philosophy…baby stays with you the entire time.

    After Ethan was born he floated up from the water. He rested on my chest for about 30 minutes until the umbilical cord stopped pulsing. They delivered the placenta later when I was on a bed. He took right to breastfeeding. It was all very quiet, relaxing, and so, so peaceful.

    I get a little sad about Sky’s traumatic delivery. But I look at it as a learning experience and we went in better prepared for baby #2.

    Anyway, you had me walking down memory lane. Those memories are so powerful – so filled with emotion. I love how special your midwives made the post delivery (with the yummy food and the sweet birthday song).

    Thanks again for sharing, Emily. And Happy Birthday to Tiny Love.

    xo,
    –Am

    • says

      Thank you Amber! I’ve heard such great things about the birthing center in Davis. I’m so thrilled to hear you had such a wonderful experience there. Thank you for sharing about your experience, I love reading/hearing birth stories, they always bring tears to my eyes too. xo

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