We have had a recent addition to our little family. <3

And bringing this little man into the world was very different from what we had originally planned.

James Arthur Simmons was born at home on December 22, 2018, 11:14 PM. Weighing 7 lbs 8 oz and crying so hard from being born with his hand up by his face and the cord wrapped around him quite a few times.

We started labor at about 4 AM that same day. I had gotten up to pee mid sleep for the third time that night and on my walk to the bathroom I thought I hadn’t made it to the toilet in time. A huge gush of liquid filled my underwear and quickly spread down my legs to the floor.

I was so EMBARRASSED for like three seconds thinking I had peed my pants. But as I woke up a wee bit more, I realized that was way more liquid than my little bladder could hold that far along in the pregnancy.

So I called my midwife to report my water breaking and see what we do next. I didn’t have my water break with our first, Annabelle, and technically I was only about 36 weeks and 4 days along with James so I wasn’t sure if we would be ok to deliver at home still. Though, in the two ultrasounds we had he was measuring ahead of time so we anticipated him coming a little early. But was this too early?

Just to be safe, our midwife suggested we go into the hospital to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and breathing and maybe run some tests.

So I woke Bradlee, called my amazing mom to come sit at our home so Annabelle could keep sleeping, we packed a pretty pitiful “hospital bag” cause we didn’t know what you take to the hospital when giving birth, (#homebirthprobs) and I text my doula to let her know before we headed out.

Here is where having a doula came in extra handy. My doula, Whitney, gave me a call while we were on our way to the hospital. She let me know that when I get to the hospital and if everything checks out fine with baby, that they are going to say that I can’t leave the hospital when in reality I can. I would just have to sign a form saying I was leaving against medical advice. 

This brings me to the first difference between a hospital and home birth. Making the birthing mother believe they don’t have a choice.

We walk in the hospital entrance, and the moment we say my water broke they bring out a wheelchair. I laughed and said, “Do I have to?” And the nurse was funny and said, “No, but if anyone asks I fought you real hard on this…”

We go upstairs to the labor and delivery suites and they have me change into a hospital gown. I asked again, “Do I have to?” And they said, “Well you need to be naked for us to check that it was actually your waters that broke..” So I reluctantly changed into them, though I know my waters have broken. From this point on I ultimately just did everything they said so I could get the clean bill of health for me and baby and then go home to birth.

That was the goal. And luckily for me, it worked out that way!

Had it not, the nurse and our back up doctor (who wasn’t even at the hospital) were going to start me on Pitocin straight away. For what reason, I have no idea, since my body was starting to contract naturally and we had plenty of time to get labor going on its own without intervention.

So when we monitored baby’s heart and breathing for about an hour or so and everything was fine we said we were going to leave, they told us we couldn’t, to which we replied yes we can, so they brought us the papers to sign and we were on our merry way.

Bradlee was especially happy to be leaving. From the few hours we spent at the hospital we could tell we would have had to object to a LOT of interventions. And by the fact that they didn’t want to run tests that our midwife was asking to have run, we could tell we had very little power there anyway.

We were home birthers in the middle of the hospital world. The nurse looked genuinely concerned that we were leaving. As though our lives were at stake. But we had prayed about this and knew in our gut that this wasn’t an emergency, that our little baby boy was just coming a little earlier than we thought. Fully grown, strong heartbeat, consistent contractions and I was already dilated 2 centimeters.

Our first born came a bit early too, so I was pretty confident that was what was happening the second go around. We came home, relieved my sweet mom from sitting at home while Annabelle slept, called my midwife and I tried to get some rest in between the subtle contractions.

The day went on pretty average. I tried to just preoccupy myself, waiting for labor to pick up. Annabelle was a good distraction, and Bradlee was cleaning like a mad man with all the time on his hands, and I would have a contraction every 5 to 10 minutes… Nothing progressing really, and it was testing my patience once 4 PM rolled around.

By then, our midwife Betty had arrived and Annabelle had gone to play with Grandma. So I asked if she would check me to see if I was progressing along from the morning check at the hospital.

When she did, I was at 3 or 4 centimeters I think.

This was irritating, and made it hard to keep positive.

Everybody had told me that birth with your second child is a breeze, EVERYBODY. That the baby pretty much slides out. Labor is short and less painful and things go by so fast. This wasn’t the case, and I was super bummed about it. SO discouraging.

So Betty asked if I wanted my membranes to be stripped to help dilate. I said yes please. Though this hurt like hades, it helped! I dilated to a 7 quickly after that! Here we go!

Right?! Wrong…

We waited and waited, tried oils and different positions and a shower and blasting The Greatest Showman and I even went through transition, but I was stuck at 8 centimeters.

This is where Betty just knew something was up. Baby’s heartbeat was fine, contractions were getting intense and I was progressing in every way but dilation.

She checked me again and felt baby. He was posterior. So we turned him with the rebozo and different positions, and Betty told me to start pushing at 8 centimeters.

This was the most difficult thing. My lower back felt like it was tearing apart. But I’m so glad I got the strength from the heavens and those who were by my side coaching me cause I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.

I was able to push him out not long after initially starting to push, though it seemed like a lifetime. And it was only then that we discovered it was because of his arm being up by his face and the cord wrapped around him like overalls. But he came out screaming and breathing and so brave and aware!

And though it was tough, and a second very hard labor at home, I wouldn’t have changed anything about it. I just hope to never do it again. Pregnancy and birth are both hard on my body. For some, it’s just easier to go through the process of reproducing, and it’s amazing that there are women out there capable of having 2+ kids! But I just don’t think it’s for me.

I feel so blessed with these two kiddos, anyway. They complete me more and more each day. And I know that having a home birth for both of them was my perfect way of me becoming reborn into motherhood time and time again.

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This Lost Mama

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