Sharing my birth story for my fourth home birth today! I’m so glad she’s finally here. If you’ve followed me on Instagram then you know we were waiting for this baby girl to get here. She was just taking her sweet time! When I finally gave birth, she was 41 weeks and 1 day gestation. However, the midwife said after looking at the placenta that she wasn’t overcooked at all. I guess often she can tell when a baby has been in there a little too long by how the placenta looks. While my official due date was February 3rd, 2022, the ultrasound tech did say at my 20 week ultrasound that I was measuring more for February 7th, which would have only put me a few days past my due date. Regardless, Sadie Florence made her entrance at just the right time and we couldn’t be more overjoyed!
Sharing My Birth Story For Baby #4
*I’ve shared all 3 of my other home birth stories on the blog, so if you’re into reading birth stories, I’ll link them all at the bottom of this blog post. I personally love reading birth stories and always feel so empowered after reading them.
So first off if you’re reading this and trying to get labor going, I’ll share a few of the things I tried. I’m not sure what will work for you as I’ve found so many things are different depending on the baby and person. I honestly thought I would have her early, not early as in weeks early but just a few days early like my last two. But clearly she had other plans!
Here are the things I tried to get labor moving:
- Walking- might seem obvious. I walked over 2 miles and would have some contractions, but nothing lasting. I started to think she enjoyed all the walking!
- Eating Dates- They say dates can help get things moving- didn’t for me. But they sure were tasty with some peanut butter!
- Ball Exercises- My sister had sent me some YouTube videos with some bouncy ball exercises and so I would do them over and over again. However, I didn’t feel anything from them. I even sat at my desk on the bouncy ball as I read that can help, versus sitting in a chair. Check out the exercises here.
- Spicy Food- I ate spicy food. They say spicy food can start things, but again nothing for me. It just gave me heartburn!
- Walking Stairs- I walked my stairs for 15 minutes several times at night to try and get things moving but I would just get out of breath and sweaty. 🙂
- Bear Crawling- I even bear crawled the stairs. A friend had mentioned doing that. I did do the bear crawl up our stairs when I was in labor with SJ and it totally helped to keep labor progressing. But it didn’t move the baby for me this time.
- Chocolate Cake- My sister in law has said that both times she ate chocolate cake, she started to go into labor. So I made her flourless chocolate cake recipe the day I went into labor. I technically was already having a few contractions when I ate it, so not sure this was the kicker, but I’m thinking Sadie probably loved it nonetheless!
- The Miles Circuit- Now I could totally be wrong and labor could have just started because it was time but I think The Miles Circuit helped to kick start things personally. I had several people tell me to check it out from Instagram and so I had looked up what it was. Truthfully it looked like a lot, especially being so pregnant. But I thought why not give it a try. I started with the first movement. It was so uncomfortable and you had to hold it they suggested for 30 minutes- my sister was there and after 5 minutes I said, well that’s all I’m going to hold it for! Check out the exercises here. But literally an hour later I started to have contractions!
What Got Labor Moving
So if you read through the things I tried to get labor moving you’ll know that The Miles Circuit really helped to kick things into gear. I mean not even the whole circuit, but literally one movement. Before doing The Miles Circuit I had no contractions that day at all. Once I did the first movement, I started to have contractions an hour later. It was about 3:30. I was in my office getting a couple things wrapped up for the blog and felt a lot of wetness down under. I had already been losing a lot of mucus for a week, but this was definitely a lot more.
My hubs came in and asked if I wanted to go for a walk and I said sure, and told him I thought labor was going to happen soon. I had been having contractions here and there and like I said was losing some mucus but this was definitely different. I don’t know if other mamas have this feeling when they’ve had multiple babies, but you kind of just know when birth is going to happen and when the contractions are really going somewhere. That’s how I felt.
My hubs was like, “Come on!” He was ready- well we were all ready! So we took the kids for a walk. I felt a few more contractions, but it wasn’t getting more intense. Even after the walk I stopped to talk to my sister and brother and wasn’t feeling anything around 5 pm. I was a little disappointed but then as soon as I started to make dinner I felt more contractions and more mucus and bloody show down under. I was getting excited!
I didn’t say anything to my two older girls, who are 7 and 5. I didn’t want to get their hopes up and wanted to give it more time to see where it was going. I didn’t even say anything to my hubs until after dinner was done and cleaned up and we were about to put the kids to bed and he asked if I was feeling anything still and I said yes. It was about 7 pm and I had just gotten a text from my brother asking for a haircut. Yes, I still cut hair for a few family members. I told him he better come tonight because I thought I might have the baby soon. Needless to say he came right over.
It was around 7:30 when I started to cut his hair. I was having contractions while I was doing it. Not a ton. Probably 3 total, but they lasted for about 30 seconds to a minute it felt like. It was 8 pm when I finished and we were still talking and I was still having them. I started to time them to see how close they were. They were coming about every 10-12 minutes. My brother ended up leaving around 8:45 and I told my hubs about the contractions. He was getting concerned I hadn’t called the midwife.
New Midwife For Birth
Backstory- our midwife was going to be the same midwife we had for my previous son’s birth but then when Sadie was so late, it ended up not happening since she left for vacation. I knew this was a possibility when I started to see her for care early in my pregnancy but thought there was no way that I was going to be late…haha! So I decided to go ahead and stick with her. That was one of the reasons I wanted to get things moving with labor initially was to have her before my midwife left. But that didn’t happen. I actually wasn’t too alarmed. I knew that her back up midwife would have to be good as well. It felt like a relief in way once I knew I wasn’t having her, just so I wasn’t in limbo.
Side Note: Once my first midwife left, I was still in the mode of trying to get baby out but didn’t feel as much pressure. We have a lot of birthdays in our family in February so I knew that there was a possibility of having her on someone’s birthday, but I realized I really couldn’t control it either way, so had to let it go. She actually ended up being born on my older sister’s birthday! So they now share a special date together.
Anyways, back to the main event. My hubs was concerned I hadn’t called the midwife since I hadn’t met her yet and she was an hour and a half away. I didn’t want to bother her since I knew my contractions weren’t that close, but my hubs also had a good point that it might be nice to give her a heads up that I was in labor and that something could happen soon. So I did call her and introduce myself! It might sound weird to have someone deliver your baby that you haven’t met, but it really wasn’t. I could tell over the phone she was a good fit and so she said to call me back once the contractions got to 6 minutes apart.
After talking with the midwife I also talked with my sister who is almost 2 hours away and my mom as well. I called my sister in law too. I always have a crowd at my births and love it! I have 3 sisters who always come, my sister in law and my mom. Plus, my hubs. It’s totally a family affair and wouldn’t have it any other way.
After talking with everyone it was 10 pm and my contractions were coming faster, they were now 3 1/2 to 4 minutes apart. My hubs was a little concerned the midwife wasn’t going to make it in time. I wasn’t. 🙂 They we’re definitely coming quicker, but I knew things would really have to speed up to have a baby in an hour and a half and I just didn’t feel my body was there. I called the midwife since I was already past the 6 minute contraction mark she had originally said. She was literally on her way she said.
My mom and sisters showed up too, as well as my sister in law because my hubs had text them to come over. I think he was feeling like he needed support since things were picking up so quickly. I was surprised that they had picked up so quickly. Typically my births are a little longer and my labor doesn’t happen that quick. I might start having contractions, but they don’t progress that fast. It usually takes several hours. But on the phone the midwife had said baby #4 is always a wild card, so I knew it could be totally different than my previous 3 births.
We set everything up to have the baby in our playroom. It’s a large bonus room and has enough space for everyone to sprawl out. Plus, there’s a nice cushy mat on the floor that my kids use that I knew would be nice to have underneath my knees when I was kneeling. My hubs put down a tarp and old sheets and got things ready. The contractions were still coming every 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. I even had some that were less than 3 minutes apart.
I started to just get down on my knees and let my body hang over the bouncy ball. This always feels the best for me. I started to have back labor too and my hubs would press down on my back during contractions. It always helps to relieve pressure in an odd way while the contraction is happening. Needless to say my back is always sore after giving birth, but that’s what helps!
The contractions were lasting for a minute and started to come every 2 minutes around 11:30. I would occasionally have a 3 minute gap between contractions, but most were around 2 minutes. My hubs was keeping track on my phone with the app called Contraction Timer. The midwife got to my house at 11:30 and started to set up everything for birth. I would get up and walk around several times in my hallway and go to the bathroom. Sitting on the toilet always helps me to get things moving if I feel like they’ve stalled at all. Plus, I usually have to go the bathroom. I did try a couple positions that the midwife suggested too. One was straddling the couch with one knee on it and the other knee on the ground. This felt like it did keep things moving but was uncomfortable. She also had me lean up against my hubs and he was basically supporting me. You’ll see what this position looks like from the photo.
I ended up sticking with my faithful over the bouncy ball position mostly and resting on it between contractions. Then when my contractions got more intense I was kneeled down with my knees on the gourd and my arms on the couch. This is pretty typical for me too. I could tell I was getting close to transitioning and that it would be time to push. I heard my hubs say is she close to the midwife but didn’t hear her response, and later my hubs told me she said, “Yes, her butt is starting to flare!” We both had a good laugh about that!
Transitioning In Labor
I started to moan, and wail. This is all par for the course with me as I get near transitioning and pushing. I also start to sweat and get pretty warm when things pick up. I had asked my hubs to get me a cold washcloth. I felt like I was getting close but I wasn’t quite there yet to where I could push. Then finally I started to feel the pressure and contractions come together and I knew I could start to push. I pushed the first time and nothing really happened. I knew I needed to really work with the contraction and let it build up in me, really give my best push then.
The next time I did just that and her head came through. It felt so intense right then. The ring of fire as some call it definitely was in full effect. I knew I had to really give it another push to get her out completely. The next contraction I gave it everything and out she came. It felt like a longer period of pushing for me, even though it wasn’t. The midwife had said later that I only pushed for 13 minutes. Typically I don’t push for long periods when I birth. The sweet relief after she came out is indescribable. My hubs said according to the contraction app, I had over 100 contractions until pushing!
Things that Helped During Labor:
- Having my hubs put pressure on my back. Especially for back labor.
- Thinking about how every contraction is bringing me one step closer to meeting my baby. I heard on a podcast to think of the uterus as the strongest muscle in your body, with each contraction it’s doing exactly what it is meant to do.
- Remembering woman all across the world are laboring at the same time.
- Relaxing my whole body, starting at my head and working my way down as the contractions come.
- Remembering this is such a small window and that it will be over sooner than I think.
- Thinking how natural the process is. This helps me a lot. I think my body was created to do this, so I know I can do it.
- As the contractions come thinking about swimming. My sister in law taught me this and I’ve used it in each birth. I imagine myself swimming as the contractions happen, and then once it stops I can rest. It oddly helps!
Delivering Baby Girl
I just took a second and let out a cry of relief that she was finally here. My hubs caught her and they handed her to me from behind. The cord actually had been wrapped around her neck but the midwife was literally a ninja and just quickly got it off before anyone knew what had happened. Thankfully it didn’t affect her. My midwife was shocked how long my cord was. She said it was the longest she had ever seen. She thought that helped it not affect baby girl. I held her in my arms and it was so amazing to meet her for the first time- Sadie Florence!
She was covered in vernix and looked so squishy. They had me climb up to the couch while the cord still pulsed. I started to nurse her right away and she caught on instantly. Once the cord stopped pulsing, the midwife helped Finley, my older cut the cord. She had been declaring she was going to cut the “invisible cord” many weeks before birth and I wanted her to if she was ok with it.
*Side note: they had woken Finley my oldest daughter up a couple hours before I gave birth. She had wanted to be there and we felt like she was old enough. She is 7 years old, but very mature for her age. She did great! Not every child is ready but she definitely loved experiencing it.
Oldest Daughter Cuts Umbilical Cord
Once she cut the cord, I started to have some cramping again and it was time to deliver the placenta. It came out easily and my midwife examined it and was showing Finley and talking to her about it. She said Sadie wasn’t overcooked at all, even though she was 41 weeks and a day late. The placenta didn’t look aged she said, which was great to hear. I continued to nurse Sadie and lay on the couch. Then my sister brought me some yogurt and granola and water. I always eat something right after labor since usually I’m pretty famished but this time I didn’t feel like it as much. But the midwife said I had to eat something. She said I might not feel like eating but the body needs nutrients after labor and it helps to balance things out with blood loss. So I ate and drank and did feel better.
Then she helped me get up and shower. I didn’t feel too bad. I was just tired as it was around 3:30 am by then. She weighed her and she came in at 8lb.15 oz. and 22 inches in length. Such a little squish! Although that might seem large, she’s actually the second smallest baby I’ve had. My oldest daughter and SJ both were bigger! I climbed into bed right after showering and the midwife continued to do the baby checks right there on the bed. I was starting to feel really tired. It was finally around 5 am that the midwife left and I was laying down with Sadie. I was tired but also wired from birth. This is typically always how I feel. So blissed out that it’s hard to come down from such a high but exhausted all at the same time.
I remember just laying in bed thinking I was so thankful she was here and just relieved I was able to have a home birth with her as well. If you’ve been following me you know I had a low lying placenta that they had discovered at my 20 week ultrasound. After monitoring it, they still weren’t sure how close it was to my cervix until they did a vaginal ultrasound. Thankfully it was far enough away and I was able to have my home birth! If it’s too close then you would have to have a c-section.
Just SO grateful that wasn’t the case. Sadie was definitely my fastest labor of my four babies. We are officially done having kids and it feels great to know that but also bittersweet. Giving birth and having babies never gets old! It’s such a special experience. If you’ve thought about home birth I highly encourage you to look into it more. Being in the comfort of your own home and surrounded by the ones you love is amazing. Now, time to get back to snuggling my babe!
Have you had a home birth?
If you liked this home birth story, be sure to check out my other 3 home birth stories below: