My husband, Jeff and I found out we were expecting our second child when our first was only 6 months old! We were so very excited. With the long, crazy, uncomfortable, delivery (not to mention the unnecessary induction!) with my first I decided to switch to a midwife.
Jeff and I are missionaries who travel around the US raising support to move to a foreign field (Namibia to be exact). When I was at 28 weeks gestation I went shopping with a pastor’s wife and a few other missionary women in a city about 7 hours away from home. That evening I began having contraction 6 mins apart and they were awful! After a few hours of it we went to the hospital to make sure I was not actually in labor. I wasn’t!
The rest of my time pregnant was not any fun! The contractions never went away and I was on bed rest until I was full-term (9 weeks!!). I could not tell you how many days felt like “The Day.” My due date came and went and I decided to quit guessing if the contractions of the day were going to result in delivery. 9 days after my due date I had contractions all day, they were bad, but just like they were every other day so I tried to ignore them and play with my daughter.
While I was planning dinner the contractions jumped from 6 minutes apart to 2 minutes apart and alternated between 2 mins and 1.5 mins apart. I called my husband and he suggested I call the midwife. I did, and we had a conversation for several minutes and I had several contractions without stopping the conversation (natural labor is a million times more tolerable!). When she asked if I could still talk though contractions I was worried I may not be in labor.
We drove to the birthing center (a *long* *bumpy* 20 minute ride!) and I checked out at 7 cms!
That was at 6:30, and almost immediately I went into transitional labor. I was so hungry from skipping lunch I ate a granola bar between contractions and paced the floor (I opted out of the IV and LOVED the power to choose my own medical care!).
The contractions were painful, but I was able to manage them on my own with my husband, best friend, and sister close by. Everything was relaxed and I did not feel the need to look at the clock every few minutes like in the hospital. At some point I asked the midwife to check me because I thought I felt like pushing. I was almost fully dilated and they let me choose to push or wait (SO unlike the hospital!). I choose to push.
I believe it took between a half hour and an hour of pushing. That was the most difficult part of all! The *ring of fire* is real! I saw the midwife’s assistant bring the oxygen tank and some supplies closer and I just assumed it was protocol and stayed in my own little world.
After my son was born one of the first things I heard was the midwife saying, “Oh my! You have a three-month old!” She was right, he was big, and he decided to keep his hand on his face during delivery and wait until he was halfway out to turn into birthing position! Stubborn boy ;)
We decided since he was big like Daddy was to name him Jeffrey Jr (JJ from here on out).
Soon after his first nursing session he had his newborn exam, on the bed he was delivered on with me present! I loved that about having a midwife, no secrets from mommy and no taking baby away privately! I took a shower and we left.
My birthing center birth was not easy, but it was SAFE, and it was AMAZING! I showed up at 6:30 pm in labor, and was in my own bed at home by 12 AM. No one pressured me into making decisions and I delivered a 9 lbs 12 oz baby without any interventions.
If the Lord grants me another baby, I will try to have him or her at home!