Birthing from home
Updated: Mar 4, 2021
One week ago today, Leia was born. That week went by so fast. I wanted to share her birth story & shine a positive light to normalize home birth.
From the moment Kai was born in 2019, I knew that I wanted a more positive birth experience free from unnecessary medical interventions and discomfort that hospitals often impose. Pregnancy and child birth are physiological processes and are GOOD. They are a miraculous blessing that should not be treated like a medical condition. Thank the Lord Almighty, my pregnancy and baby Pence 2 were healthy as can be throughout.
I also knew that what you feel during birth is GOOD and means your body is working to bring you your baby, once again, a miracle. I wouldn't even call birth painful, though it is intense FOR SURE. But, if you don't give in to fear and tension, and you surrender to the process, it's truly a positive experience. There is a divine blueprint for labor that comes from above and though I had to jump through multiple insurance hurdles (imagine that) I found the perfect provider at 36 weeks and got the home birth I always dreamed of, thanks be to God hearing my prayers and petitions, for His will to be done. We also chose to do a surprise gender this time, which was such a fun experience throughout my pregnancy.
Everything started to fall into place when I met my Doula, Jojo (www.blessedbirth.life). My sister referred me to her when I sought a doula with similar beliefs as me. Jojo and I instantly connected and God gave me so much peace about her. She then connected me with my midwife @midwife360 and instantly I felt more peace and switched providers. I have to say, Jojo was there for me in so many ways and I am forever grateful!
On 2/17/2021 at 41 weeks and 4 days pregnant, contractions were on and off all day. Jojo talked me through it all. When the contractions fizzled out around 5 pm I became discouraged, thinking labor had stalled out yet again. I was so anxious to meet my baby. I had so many loved ones near and far and even strangers praying for me (thank you @itselizaray!). And thank you to everyone who prayed specifically for my birth and baby. Thank you to my mama @rosyjuan1014 and sister @the.miles.tribe for every single sacrifice you made for me for the last few months. Prayers came true with early labor starting around 9pm.
I was able to listen to my @christianhypnobirthing affirmations and continue preparing my home and relaxing. Around 11:30 pm-12:00 am contractions picked up and while I rubbed Kai's back in our bed. Soon after I realized I was getting to the point of not being able to "talk through" my contractions as all my effort and energy went to allowing each contraction to do its job. I can't express how much more comfortable it is to labor at home! When I realized things were getting real, I called my mom to come lay with Kai and we called Jojo. 40 minutes after calling Jojo, Joey called our midwife to come.
Jojo arrived quickly and her guidance through each contraction really made ALL of the difference. Just 45 minutes after her arrival (while my mom was snoozing with Kai) my contractions intensified and the primal sounds started coming out of me! I remember telling myself "I surrender!!" Until that moment I was in denial that I could have the baby any time soon because Kai's labor was *30* hours long, and I had only been in active labor this time since 11:30 /12am, and it was only 1:30-2am!
I went to our living room, as our beautifully lit up birth tub was filling and knelt on the floor while resting my head on the couch. Jojo continued to tell me I was doing a great job, and to sink into it, release. Before I knew it, I felt my baby drop into the birth canal. I could barely wrap my mind around it, it happened so fast. I let my body take over and felt my water break. My midwife was almost here, but not quite! I should mention, Jojo is a trained birth assistant and also has a year of midwifery school under her belt, in addition to being a birth doula. So to say I am blessed is an understatement! Jojo knew it was time - helped me take my pants off, checked me out, saw the baby's head, and called Joey over. I stayed on my knees near the couch as it was most comfortable, and the birth tub wasn't even in my line of thought.
In what felt like 2-3 pushes (my body just went for it, I didn't even have to think) our surprise baby GIRL, Leia, was born into her daddy's arms (like we had planned for him to do) at 2:15 am on 2/18/21, shouting loudly for the world to hear her. I'll never forget how Joe said, "it's a GIRL!" Instant relief that my baby was here and overwhelming joy to meet her. Jojo conducted all of the necessary checks and supported me and baby girl while our midwife arrived. My mama in law also arrived, and then my sister, minutes after Leia's birth, and helped my birth team with the whole process. This is the village that they all tell us about. More beautiful things occurred in this time, including active prayer during my birth by Jojo.
My baby was attached to her placenta for over an hour while they took care of me and I could shower and get comfy in bed with our baby. Mind you, Kai slept through it all! I couldn't be more grateful for how it happened, or our health. I am healing amazingly, and a week later hardly feel like I have given birth (physically speaking, compared to last time). Post Partum hormones are in full force now. I attribute our incredibly beautiful experience to my birth team and family supporting me during labor and postpartum. And being in the comfort of my home with no medical interventions.
Above all, I thank God for his love and involvement in every detail of this birth and our lives. He planned this long ago and put it in my heart to take this route and I feel so honored to have experienced it. Shout out to my amazing husband who absolutely championed every moment of my pregnancy and labor, supported every desire of my heart, and fought along side me against the grain. I love you so much.