Posts Tagged ‘Birth Stories’

A Star is Born…

Ah, where to begin!  These last few weeks have went by so fast!  The last few weeks of pregnancy seemed like an eternity…but the first weeks of babyhood have gone in a blink.  We have been so enjoying our newest little blessing from God and trying to enjoy every moment.

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Last Pregnancy Pic

I’ll start by answering the questions everyone seems to keep asking, then I’ll get into a few more details about Stella’s birth.

  • Yes, we did have a home birth and No, the midwife didn’t make it in time.
  • Are we planning on another home birth if we are blessed with another child?…Yes!
  • Did we regret having a homebirth since it turned out to be an un-assisted one?…No!
  • Did Don pass out?…He didn’t even flinch!  He was praying hard though!!!

Now on to the details…

Monday November 25th started out like any other day.  I was 41 weeks and one day pregnant and had finally decided that I was going to be pregnant forever, and that I should just get used to it!  I had finished all my to-do’s for weeks now and had just been waiting on this baby to arrive.  I was so convinced I would have the baby the week before, we didn’t have school that week.  The day before I decorated the church for Christmas,  I had stocked the pantry 3 times, unpacked everything from the big move, organized everything…I had been nesting for a month, and still no baby!  We had just a few days left in the harvest and I had already decided that this baby must be waiting on Daddy (the Farmer) to be on his winter furlough.

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Stella, just minutes old

We had a midwife appointment that morning, so I got all the kiddos ready and we dropped them off at moms and headed to Jonesboro.  My check up went great,  I was dilated to 4 and really thinned out, she stripped my membranes, and told me to go chase the elderly women around in the mall.  We went to the chiropractor first!  Then we had a nice lunch, a last meal of sorts, then we went to the mall.  By then I was really crampy and had had several contractions.  At one point I could barely walk and thought Don was going to need to pull the van around to get me!  We made it, however, and started back to get the kids.  My contractions stopped somewhere between  Jonesboro and Blytheville, but me and the midwife had a little something up our sleeves.  When we made it home I took a dose of a top secret tincture that was supposed to get my contractions going again.  I took a dose at 6 and another at 7.  By then I had really strong contractions about every 17 to 20 minutes.  We were up-stairs watching a movie with the kids and we decided I wouldn’t take any more until morning.  That night we were supposed to get ice and I didn’t want the midwife to not reach us in time if I was to have the baby overnight. (HA HA!) Contractions kept going, like clockwork, every 17 minutes.

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Proud Daddy

We had Family Bible Time and put the kids in bed. Contractions were still very intense but still 17 minutes apart.  Contractions every night was not unusual, this had been happening every night for over a month now and they would always stop around 10.  Don wanted to call the midwife and give her the heads up, so he did at around 9:15 pm.  She said to watch one more contraction and then call her back.  We did and boy it was a doozie, and came in 16 minutes this time.  She said she was on her way.  Don started to fill the birth pool, by this time I was on and off the toilet and it was getting hard to stand during a contraction, I told him he didn’t have time to fill the pool, just run water in the bath.  I thought I’d never make it in the bath!  I got in at around 9:45, by now contractions were 10 then 5 minutes apart.  Don called Mom and Dad and they arrived a little after 10:00.  Don told them I was in the bath and they stood around in the living room.  I checked myself after Don came back in the bathroom and I told him I could feel my bag of water.  Shortly after that it popped and I checked again after that contraction and I felt the head.

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The big weigh in

I was trying to let him know every thing that was happening so he would realize the midwife wasn’t going to make it!  I think he got the idea.  He told me later he was praying she would make it and then when he realized she wasn’t, he started praying that God would give us what we needed to do this on our own.  With one more contraction, I told him I was going to push and out came the head.  We both grabbed her little head and I pushed with the next contraction to get out the shoulders.  We lifted her out of the water and laid her on my belly.  She had so much vernix on her she looked like she had been rolled in flour!  I bean rubbing her back to stimulate her to breathe and she started crying.  What an emotional experience to actually see this precious new life take its very first breath.  I just remember looking at Don and thinking “We did it!, We really did it!”  Mom and Dad then ran in the bathroom because they heard a baby cry.  They were shocked to say the least!  I suctioned out her nose and cleaned off her face with a rag.  Somewhere in there we checked to see what we had…Its a GIRL!

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We called the midwife to tell her Stella was here, and she was also very surprised!  She told us how to cut the cord and she said she would be there in a little while.  We waited about 20 minutes after birth to let the cord finish pulsing then Don clamped and cut it.  About 20 minutes later I delivered my placenta and Don helped me get out of the bath and get my robe on.  I got in bed and nursed the baby again, she got good and full this time.  While I was nursing the midwife and her assistant arrived.  They checked out the baby and weighed her.

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Don and the midwife gave Stella a little bath and I diapered her and got her some clothes on.  They cleaned every thing up after checking me out, I got a snack and a shower and they left around 2 am.  Mom and Dad left around that same time.  We snuggled in bed and slept well! We absolutely loved the home birth experience…even though the midwife didn’t make it!  We wouldn’t have done anything different and it I’m sure will be one of our greatest treasured memories.  I was so thankful to share this special moment with only my husband and the Lord.  I couldn’t have done it without them.  Don was calm and reassuring and I knew that God was with us and our little one!

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Stella Rose was lovingly born into our home and our hearts November 25, 2013.  She weighed 8 lbs. and 12 ounces and was 20 1/4 inches.

 

Whats in a name? 

Stella was named after her Great-Great Aunt Stella Johnson and her Great Grandma Wanda Rose Tims.

 

Now to answer the last question burning in your minds….

ARE WE DONE HAVING CHILDREN now that we have 3 boys and 3 girls?

I like how Don always answers this one “I sure hope not!”

I would have to agree!!!

 

 

Announcing Our Newest Blessing…Our Homebirth Journey (Part 2)

Read PART ONE here if you are just joining us…

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PART TWO

There are many reasons why we chose to do a homebirth.  Number one is because God led us to.  We try to live out our life by staying in step with what He wants for our life and we seek His direction in everything!  We know that where He calls, He provides and He is always with us.

Here are the other reasons we chose a homebirth…

2. To be close to our kids.

Hospitals don’t always encourage kids to be involved and they sure wouldn’t permit them to stay overnight!  Some are more strict about visiting hours and ages.  Fortunately we have been blessed, in our hospital births, by the kids being as involved as possible.

3. To have a more family oriented birth.

It’s not like I want the kids to watch me give birth, but I like knowing they are there in the next room and can come see me and the baby whenever we choose.

4.  That’s how its been done for thousands of years.

Its not a new thing!  Births have been done this way for thousands of years.  It has just been in the last 100 that things have dramatically changed for the worse!

5. I prefer a midwife’s care over a doctor.

I have been there and done both and the care you receive is totally different.  There are some great Doctors out there, I know, and when I am having a difficult pregnancy, I hope to find one.  While things are going good, I will choose a midwife any day.  Care is more personalized, a woman understands a woman, and there is far less interventions!

6. I prefer birth to be treated like a natural process instead of a disease.

Babies are not a disease to be gotten rid of and a woman who is pregnant is not sick!  In most cases there is no need for risky tests and countless evaluations.  There is no need to be hooked up to a variety of machines to evaluate your progress and there is no need for fluid and iv’s and catheters.  Every time a woman goes into a hospital and signs on to a little intervention, like an iv or being strapped to a bed to be monitored, she gives up another right, and increases her risk for a C-section. 

Here’s the hospital drill, in case your not familiar…

  • First comes the gown (to make you feel like a patient)
  • Then comes the IV
  • Then monitoring (blood pressure and belly strips that immobilize you and force you on your back, which causes your labor to slow down)
  •  If you miss a contraction, then comes the Pitocin (to keep you on the “labor curve”), it continues to be increased.
  • If your not progressing fast enough for the hospital’s timetable, then your water is broken (which could cause damage to your baby if it is to high in the pelvis)
  • You are hurting so bad now you have to get an epidural (which further slows your labor because you sure can’t walk now, much less push properly when the baby is ready to be born) or you are given a narcotic which could suppress your babies breathing after birth and makes you feel like a psycho in the process.
  • The strength of the Pitocin is masked by the pain meds and they can turn it up even higher.

Now you are at a fork in the road…

  1. You will either have your baby…
  2. Or the increased Pitocin could make the baby have heart decelerations on the monitor (because of the un-natural constant contractions with little rest periods), so they will have to do a C-section (instead of turning down the pump) because the baby is “not tolerating” labor.
  3. Or your labor will stall, and they will do a C-section due to failure to progress, because you have been laying on your back with no food for 23 hours.  You agree because you are exhausted and hungry and weak, you don’t wan’t to look like an un-caring mother, and you just want to hold your baby!
  • If you are lucky to have your baby vaginally, you will wind up with a tear, because labor was forced so fast, or your scissor happy Doctor will give you an un consented episiotomy to “save” your most precious organ!  Then he can be home by 5:30 for supper! :)

7. I prefer to bring our baby into this world into our home instead of an institution.

8. It stretches our faith, a little.

As I have said before this was not an easy decision and was a definite stretch of faith!

9. I felt like I was out of control at the hospital.

I signed on to so many interventions at the hospital, most of them totally unnecessary, and never was I told of any risk that might be involved.

10. It is just as safe, maybe more than a hospital, l when attended by a responsible midwife.

My house is cleaner!

11. You are not put on a timetable for delivery at home.

Baby comes, when baby comes, there is no need to rush things!

12. Minimal interventions.

I don’t think walking, Pelvic rocks, Raspberry tea, Hot baths, Evening primrose oil, stairs and position changes would be considered interventions!

13. Constant support.

A Midwife is “with woman” not looking at a monitor or with countless other patients.

14. Decreased risk of C-section and infection.

Because of faulty monitoring, timetables and constant dilation checks.

15. Baby and momma stay together.

Rooming in is a guarantee!

16. Baby transitions into family life easier.

Baby is born literally right into the family home.

17. No separation of the family and no packing of overnight bags!

There is no need for all that packing and sleeping arrangements that have to be made for all your other kids.  Which is very difficult when you have a large family!

18.  You wont have to be hassled by collection agencies or be charged twice by the hospital!

We have always arranged a payment schedule or paid before we left, and we have still been hassled by collection agencies after bills were paid in full.  With one kid we were approached a year later and told we never paid our bill!  Fun, fun!

There are many more reasons, but these are the ones that stick out to me right now, I’m sure I could add about 100 more!  Don’t think because of my sarcasm that I hate hospitals!  There is a definite need for them!  I have also had really great care givers and nurses and I am very thankful for their support during and after all my births!  We have had good experiences along with our bad, we just chose another route this time.  Hopefully the rest of my births will be home-births as well, but if something unforeseen happens or in case of a real emergency, I am thankful there is a hospital nearby with a caring staff of professionals and wonderful nurses and friends!

Now on to PART THREE the reason you are still reading all this…the Birth Story of our 6th child…

Announcing Our Newest Blessing…Our Homebirth Journey

PART ONE

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Our new “home” still in construction (we have since settled in)

As I stated before, we decided on a homebirth this time.  My midwife moved her practice and we really had no options of finding another one since our local hospital thinks they should only employ Doctors.  I was told by the CEO that midwives only practiced in extremely rural areas, not big metropolises like Blytheville! I did manage not to laugh, aren’t you proud of me!

We began praying about a homebirth after we knew our midwife was gone.  This was something totally out of our comfort zone.  I have a lot of faith, but not that much!  I was really more scared for Don’s sake at this point!  If this was what God wanted us to do, could he be okay with this.  It’s one thing having a baby, but its another thing to watch the woman you love have a baby.  What if there were an emergency?  What if the midwife didn’t make it?  What if, What if?  As with all things in life, that God calls you do,  you have to either trust and say “Yes, Lord” or live in fear and go your own way.  We committed to serious prayer and I began research.  At this point we thought we were just being tested and God would let us go to the hospital.  Then strange things began happening.  We went to a Maxwell Conference in the middle of fall.  This was un heard of, going to anything during harvest, our busy time.  We had committed to homeschooling, however, and we wanted to meet others like us, we thought this would be a good opportunity, and boy it was.  We only carried 3 of the kids with us.  Lee, Grady and nursing Clara, because we didn’t know if any other kids would be there and how the little ones would do at a 2 day event!  We were shocked and excited to see other families there, big families!  God so ordained this trip, and we have made lifelong friendships out of it!  Praise the Lord for His leading!

We met several families there and heard several homebirth stories!  I was so excited, maybe this is what the Lord wanted for us!  The one’s that really stood out to me at the time were Stacy’s stories.  She had 4 previous C-sections and because of her commitment to the Lord for her family size her 5th, 6th, and 7th births were all at home!  What faith, I thought!  One breech in her garage, and one delivered by her husband before the midwife arrived.  What a woman!  I shared these stories with Don and I was sure to get her midwife’s contact info, along with hers before we left.  You can read her Birth Stories at There’s Room For More.

We had such a great time at the conference and were so blessed that many great friends came out of it.  We were also blessed how God began speaking to our hearts in the coming days and weeks.

A few months later I found myself pregnant and I did a little research.  I found a midwife in Jonesboro, Cape Girardeau, and I also checked on Stacy’s reference Lynda.  Because of recent changes in laws and us moving to Missouri soon, she was unable to attend our birth!  I was so disappointed!  But I was not going to give up.  If this is what God wanted, he would open a door!  We then made an appointment with Tressia to find out more about this home birth thing!

We left her house so excited about the potential of a homebirth and decided to call her back and set up a pre-natal appointment and get things started!

PART TWO…Tomorrow

Clara…Blessing Number Five

For all other Baby Week Birth Stories…click here.

Clara is a bundle of joy!  She was early to start talking and late to start walking, but it never slowed her down.  She babbled all the time like you were supposed to know just what she was saying when she was so tiny!  Now she is sure to keep your attention by “dancing” and her newest thing is to run and “jump” and then fall down, very ungracefully.  She is just like her big brother Eli and thinks it is her job to entertain us and make us laugh…we now have 2 class clowns.  She never has acted like the baby…she seems to think she is just a big as her biggest brother Lee, who is one of her best friends.  She is baby crazy, she spots baby pictures even on our toilet paper.  I’m sure we will have a hard time keeping her little fingers off the new baby, because she will think it is hers!

 

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Clara Abigail…Blessing Number Five

With Clara we were blessed to use the same midwife we had used with Eli and were excited to have another wonderful pregnancy and birth!  Clara was due April 20th and she arrives on April Fools Day 2012!

Her delivery started a little unusual for me!  My water broke when I rolled over in bed at around 12:30 in the morning!  I was shocked!  I jumped out of bed, because I thought I had peed on myself and felt another gush and heard water hitting the floor.  I woke Don up and told him my water had broke.  He was still half asleep and didn’t really react.  I told him again and he shot out of bed! 

My contractions never really started, but he was fully dressed, shoes on, any way, so I rested on the couch and he in the recliner for a few more hours.  I went back to bed sometime in the night and at 8 am we called the midwife to tell her we thought my water had broken.  She said I better come in and check because the doctors would want me to deliver within 24 hours if it had.  She knew I didn’t want a C-section and that if contraction didn’t start soon, she had better start Pitocin. 

At 9:30 am I was dilated to 2 and 50% effaced, I walked some and then she started Pitocin at 10:55.  By 12:50 I was a 4 and 75% effaced.  At around 1 momma brought all the other kids in and we were able to visit a while, also some of the church family dropped in to visit.  All this happened on a Sunday.  I had joked the previous Wednesday night that I was going to play some good April Fools Day jokes on Sunday.  I hope they didn’t think Don was joking that Sunday morning when he called and said I was in labor! They all went to the waiting room a little while later and I was checked again at 4:40 and I was at 8cm. 

At 4:49 with 2 little pushes, I pulled little Clara out, just like I had Eli.  The midwife didn’t even have to ask me if I wanted too, I just did it!  No pain medicine!  I couldn’t believe it I actually did it!  With Clara we didn’t want to find out the sex of the baby till it was born.  After I pulled her out I almost forgot to look!  Everyone said WHAT IS IT!  So I lifted up her little leg and shouted, “It’s a Girl!”  Don couldn’t take his eyes off of her, he said she was so beautiful, he cut her cord, I nursed her and then wiped her off good.  I made 2 little hats, one pink and one blue, and told the kids that would be their clue to whether our baby was a girl or boy.  When they came in they saw the little pink hat and were so excited!  Eli just kept laughing at her, I think he was in shock!

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5lbs 14 oz & 18 inches long!

Whats in a Name?

Clara was named after my Grandpa Clarence Cornish.  We really wanted to have a child named after him, as a tribute to what he means to us, and we wanted to be sure and do it while he was still on this earth with us!  Grandpa is a fine example of what a Christian Servant should be, he was a faithful Pastor for many years and continues to live out his faith daily.  He has been blessed to hold revivals in the Philippines and God had miraculously spared his life so many times.  He has written several books despite only having an elementary school education.  He is one of the hardest working men I know and he uses every opportunity he has to be a witness for the Lord.  He is the reason I wanted to marry a farmer, and I am so blessed that God called Don to preach too!

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Grandma & Grandpa Cornish & Clara

Abigail came from the story of Abigail in the Bible.  I have always been impressed with her virtue and fortitude, despite her circumstances and can see how King David must have been impressed with her as well!

Eli…Blessing Number Four

For all other Baby Week posts…click here.

 

Eli was our first Quiver-full baby.  We call him that because after we had Jo Anna, God began working in our hearts and led us to trust our fertility to Him.  We had gone off of all forms of birth-control and trusted God to give us a child whenever He saw fit.  All of our other conceptions we “tried for” and our other births were “planned.”  This is harder said than done!  It was easy to go off all forms of birth-control, what wasn’t easy was not “trying” for a baby, not watching the calendar for those fertile days.  Lets just say, I sometimes failed, I took countless pregnancy tests, and I was always let down!  Questions ran through my mind like…God why aren’t you giving us a baby!  We said we would take one!!!!  Is this all He wants us to have?  Are we being tested?  Thankfully I have grown up a lot since then and these challenges, though they are still present sometimes, don’t have the same effect on me.  I can say that now I have truly learned to trust my Father and His will, and His timing!

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Eli…Blessing Number Four

With Eli we had found a midwife that we really liked and had a really great pregnancy and birth story!  My due date with him was November 12th and he came a little early on October 21st, 2010.

I began having contractions that morning around 8am and went to my midwife’s office mat 10am.  I was only dilated to 2 1/2.  She told me to walk around a while and come back to the hospital if I kept having contractions.  We did and after we were admitted we walked the halls for about 45 minutes. 

She checked me at 2:30 and I was dilated to 4 and she broke my water.  At 3:10 I was at 6 cm dilated, at 3:35 I was 8 cm dilated.  I was doing pretty good until that point.  Before that I played Tetris (A game I’m famous for at the local hospital) all through contractions, but at that point I had to put it down to totally focus on relaxing during a contraction.  By 4:15 I was still 8 cm but contractions were increasingly becoming unbearable. 

By 5 I was laying on my side breathing through contractions, they took my total concentration, I was in transition and didn’t even know it.  I said I needed a shot!  I took it at 5:25 and rolled over and said OH, NO! the baby’s coming.  I was so afraid of  a repeat problem like Grady.  Once again, I never would have taken a narcotic so soon before my baby was to be born!  The shot, I guess due to adrenalin, never even made me feel crazy, and I began pushing.  That’s when the midwife did something I never expected and changed my wishes for birth ever since… 

…She asked me if I wanted to feel my baby’s hair!  I said “CAN I? ” So I did!  The next contraction I asked her if I could feel it again and she said sure!  It made birth so exciting!  Don was probably freaking out!  He had always cut the cord, but he didn’t want to participate any farther than that!  The midwife and I had previously joked about him “catching” the baby and he wanted no part of that either!!!  With the next push his head was out and she asked me something even more shocking…

…she said “do you want to deliver your baby?”  I said yes!  She had me push a little to get the arms out and I reached down and pulled little Eli out of my body with a little push.  It felt so strange his little legs knocking around in my body as I pulled him out!  and Don didn’t pass out!  It was such a special experience with our first quiver baby!  Don cut the cord while he was laying on my stomach and then cut my gown so I could begin nursing!  I vowed then and there to never use another Doctor again…a midwife was for us!

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8lbs 13 oz 21 1/2 inches long!

What’s in a Name?

Elisha Jackson was named after Don’s granddaddy E.J. Northcutt.  We had just found out that E.J.’s daddy’s name was Elisha Coy, So that’s how we got his name and his initials.  The Jackson came from a man named Clifford Jackson who is accredited for helping Don to get started farming.  He was partners with Don’s dad in Cooter Farms and he helped get it arranged so Don Jr. could buy out his partnership.  Both men were hard headed and hard working business men and liked to be in charge, and that’s little Eli to a T.  He is a fun loving guy, but he likes things his way and he is definitely not afraid of a challenge.  Let’s just say, he is all boy!  Watch out world…here he comes, ready or not!

 

 

 

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