After our second child was born I knew that most likely the next baby would be free birthed. (I dislike the term unassisted birth because I was not unassisted. I did not, however, utilize a healthcare professional for prenatal care or during her birth.) We both had prayed about this option after she was conceived, we read books and articles, talked together, and ultimately decided that free birth was the best option for us and her.
Her birth was wonderful. It was the most relaxing and calm labor and birth I had up to that point,
I had contractions for a couple of weeks leading up to her birth. They were sporadic and did not ever get progressively closer or longer. I was pretty tired after a couple of near sleepless nights. We went to a pumpkin patch in town and when we got there I thought how funny it would be if we rode in the tractor that pulled us to the pumpkin patch and I went into labor. That is exactly what happened. All the bumps triggered something in her and she decided it was time to come out.
They were so mild that I did not pay too close attention to them. When I called Jordan on the way home to tell him, he dismissed it because we had thought I was in labor a few times before.
Jordan was teaching piano that night and after we hung around the house together. I was hoping that if it was really labor that I would be able to sleep until about 1am and then wake up and have her by about 6am. Not too much to hope for.
I did wake up at 1 and noticed they were still there but was able to go back to sleep until about 2:30. I laid in bed for a little bit then I decided that I could either get up and see if movement would stop them or speed them up. If they stopped, I could go back to sleep. If they sped up I could have her soon!
I walked around our room for awhile and then decided to walk up and down our stairs a few times (I wasn't counting--it seemed like a lot of times). Then I walked around the living room and sang hymns while keeping and eye on the clock to time them. They were coming about every 5 minutes. I assumed this was the real thing and at about 4am I woke Jordan up. He was really excited. We decided that the boys should probably leave because I wasn't sure how much longer I would be in labor. My dad and stepmom came over quickly and picked up the boys. They had a fun day together.
The contractions stayed between 3 and 5 minutes and Jordan had been timing them. I would occasionally ask how quickly they were coming. Eventually I asked him to stop telling me when they were coming because I did not want to focus on that anymore. This was the best thing I could have done! Usually contractions continuously speed up and get longer. These never did. Once I reached the 3-5 minute mark, they stayed like that for the rest of the labor. Really weird. I am glad I did not watch the clock and I am glad Jordan never told me--I would have felt so discouraged.
I labored in the bath for a little bit and while I was in there I could feel a woman sitting in the room with me. I felt peace. The bath was not the best place for me and once I got out Jordan mentioned that he felt like there was a woman in there with me so that's why he didn't come in. Talk about a man holding space! He is so in-tune.
After I got out, I laid against him for some pretty tough contractions and I think feeling his calmness helped me feel calmer. It was also nice to sleep while resting against him. Eventually I ended up standing beside the bed leaning over onto a pile of pillows while swaying my hips. This was where I was for most of the rest of the labor.
Jordan continuously put hot cloths on my back and that felt amazing. He does so well with me during labor. He does everything that I ask him to do, keeps my space to me unless I invite him in and his presence is so calming.
During transition I cried. I did that with Fredhead's birth too. I just cried to cry. I couldn't tell where the tears were coming from but I kept hearing a woman's voice telling me that it was transition and I was almost done. I also had a very distinct thought that all the pain I was experiencing was completely worth it to bring one spirit to the Earth. There was no other person who would bring her to Earth, and I know that it was part of the plan for me--to raise her as my daughter and to create a body for her. Having these thoughts during transition were comforting and helped me feel even more powerful.
I moved to the end of the bed. We had a shower curtain laid on the ground and I felt like I needed to lift my leg up and rest it on the bed during a couple of contractions. I did that and then my water broke. I felt like my body was starting to push and I had wanted to let it push on its own until her head was out. I could not completely resist the urge to push.
After a few small pushes during contractions I sat on the ground with my arms behind me and gave a push. Jordan said he could see her head and I asked if it would be out on the next one. He answered no but that he could see it and that was a good sign! I had the thought "her head will be out on the next one." We waited and then during the next contraction I pushed her head out. Right before the last contraction I felt her body rotate and I pushed her out. This was the first time I felt a baby rotate to be born.
At 10:02am she slid fast into Jordan's hands and he handed her to me. There was a very strong spirit in the room and we were both so happy she was on earth. Through tears, Jordan gave her a blessing and that moment bonded us. She started nursing immediately and about 40 minutes later my placenta delivered.
Her birth helped free me in many ways. I listened to my body more then I ever had in my life. I ate well, walked a lot, and did yoga as I wanted to. Her birth helped me remember the power I had inside me. The power to know my body, care for my body, and give birth autonomously to a lovely girl. This is power that I believe each woman has and can remember for herself. This power is something I hope my girls always know.