I love birth stories. They’re all so unique and messy and raw and beautiful. I just love hearing how women are used as vessels to bring life into this world.
This is a birth story with all of the pregnancy details that you didn’t ask for. I promise they’re included for a reason – I’m not just rambling. They all help with the big picture. But if you just want labor details, feel free to jump down to that part below.
This was not an unexpected home birth – but the precipitous labor, and unassisted / freebirth part was. I almost had a baby over the toilet. It was wild. It was fast. And I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.
confirmed pregnancy – May 2021
I finally got a positive test some time shortly after Mother’s Day. I remember this because I thought it would be fun to share with my husband and son on that day. But, my test that day was negative. I ended up not showing a positive until about a week later.
I didn’t contact my midwife right away because we were living about an hour outside of the city at the time. I wasn’t sure if she was still taking clients at that distance or if I needed to explore other options.
We loved our midwife but Matt and I even joked early on about not even having a midwife this time around and having a freebirth. I felt pretty confident in it but I do enjoy having others with knowledge and experience overseeing everything. And it’s really nice to have a team at your home cleaning up the afterbirth!
estimated due date – or was it?
So when I finally met with my midwife, we chatted about my LMP. I couldn’t remember exactly when it was because it had been inconsistent for a few months. I had already decided I wanted to forego any ultrasounds this pregnancy so we took our best guess on an estimated due date. Based on our calculations we landed on January 11th.
I was pretty relieved because my midwife was going on vacation for the whole month of February. Babies are on no one’s timeline but their own. But at least that gave about a three week or so buffer in case I went a bit past my due date.
another Christmas baby?
The beginning of this pregnancy was a tough one. I was nauseated, tired and unlike my first where I could rest when needed, I was now chasing a toddler around at all times. Once I got a little past the first trimester and gained some energy back, physically wise everything was pretty smooth.
My first baby was born on Christmas Day. So with an EDD of January 11th, I was fully expecting my second baby to arrive on New Years Day or one of the other close holidays. But they all came and went and I was still pregnant.
I had been measuring about 1-2 weeks behind but that was typical for my body comparing with my first pregnancy. My midwife was comfortable with me going past 40 weeks as well. The end of a pregnancy is the biggest waiting game. You have absolutely no control of timing and no idea how anything will play out. It’s a place of total faith and surrendering.
His ways are higher
A woman from our church who is like family to us wanted to be at this birth to support us and just pray when needed. She has been like a mom to me and I knew her presence would be comforting. However, on January 9th she received an unfathomable call that her youngest son had tragically passed away. On top of that, a few hours later she tested + for c-vid. Even though my guess date was 2 days away, I had a strong sense that my baby wasn’t coming any time soon because I knew this woman was supposed to be a part of this baby’s birth.
41 weeks pregnant: more decisions to make + back up plan
I arrived at my 41 week appointment and my midwife calmly informed me that we had some decisions to make going forward if I didn’t go into labor soon. Baby appeared healthy but we had to make a plan for if I would make it to 42 weeks.
She suggested that I should have an ultrasound. I hadn’t had one yet and I really didn’t want to have one at all this pregnancy but I reluctantly agreed to schedule one. We needed to get a more accurate estimated due date.
She also offered to sweep my membranes if I wanted to but I knew I didn’t want that to happen. And, something in me told me that wasn’t an option I needed to even consider at the time.
We also needed to devise a back up plan for if this baby decided to not make an appearance until February. My personality is not to get stressed very easily, but not knowing if I would have my midwife available for my baby’s birth definitely tried to make me feel uneasy with all the unknowns.
the ultrasound I was never meant to have.. or was I?
At 41ish weeks (or so we thought) I drove myself to the hospital for the ultrasound, crying the whole way there. At the beginning of this pregnancy, I felt the Lord was encouraging me to forego any ultrasounds. I began sensing He was asking me to apply “faith when I couldn’t see.” (This was something He was prompting ME for this pregnancy. I believe ultrasounds have pros and cons and are useful in certain scenarios).
I took this literally and felt like I had failed when I made it to that appointment not yet in labor. The ultrasound was routine and baby showed to be perfectly healthy. But, according to their measurements, my EDD was February 5th. I walked right back out and continued crying.
I was so thankful for a healthy baby. But my mind was not comprehending why I still hadn’t given birth yet. And on top of that, I had to start accepting that my midwife–the one who knows my body and my birthing history–wasn’t going to be at my side during labor.
backup midwife + prayers for people at this baby’s birth
I spoke with my midwife after the ultrasound that Friday. She had found another midwife who had agreed to take me at the last minute. We set up a FaceTime call so we could at least meet over the phone and talk through some things.
So, here I was with an ultrasound dating me over a week out for an EDD. My midwife was leaving town in a couple of days. I lived an hour outside of the city. And we were in the height of snow season.
From the moment we found out that I was pregnant, we began praying that everyone that was supposed to be at our baby’s birth would be there. So, I knew that ultimately I would just have to totally surrender all of those details to the Lord. I had to allow Him to work out everyone’s plans according to His will.
January 30th, 2022
I woke up on January 30th, another day pregnant with no signs of labor. We planned our day as usual; just hanging out as a family, eating breakfast and slowly getting ready for church. At one point, I thought I may have some bloody show, but nothing prominent so I didn’t think too much about it.
2:00 PM – 7:30 PM
We went to church and my dad had invited us over to his house for dinner. We ate as the boys watched football. As I was finishing up eating, I began to feel the urge to just get up and walk around. I made a few trips to the bathroom. And then I began using my dad’s island to do some deep squats.
I honestly couldn’t really remember what contractions had felt like with my first labor but I knew something was happening. I joked with my dad that we better head home or else we might end up having the baby at his house.
We started our 45 minute drive home. I immediately went inward and was having to breathe through the contractions. Matt turned on my birth playlist for me so I could elevate my mindset. I didn’t want to keep my eyes open but I decided to time a few contractions on my contracting timer app. They were showing 45-55 seconds long at three minutes apart. The app was urging me to “pack my bags and head toward the hospital!”
I couldn’t really make sense of what was going on. The contractions were feeling SO intense but I think I just chalked it up to being in the car. I had no idea that I was already in transition.
Thankfully, my son was asleep in the backseat for most of the ride. When we got home though, he woke up crying for me to put him to bed. I told my husband that there was absolutely no way that I could carry him downstairs.
So, while they went inside and got ready for bed, I slowly made my way to them pausing during the contractions that kept coming. My focus was on getting my son to sleep quickly so I could get into a hot shower to relieve some pressure.
I nursed my son to sleep in bed and praise God he fell asleep again within 10 minutes or so. That short time in bed with him was extremely intense. Nursing through contractions, during transition (when you don’t even realize you’re in transition!), all while trying to keep quiet so your toddler stays asleep is not for the faint at heart.
As soon as I could, I got up and ran straight to the toilet. My husband popped in to let me know that he had made a call to our midwife to fill her in. She asked some questions and told us that she would be by her phone if we needed her. I remember thinking, “I do need her. I need her here now.” But again, I thought that I just must not be handling things very well. I really did not remember things being this intense so soon.
My husband had gone up to shut our chickens in the coop and let our dog out. I quickly messaged a close friend to let her know that I was in labor and to ask her to keep me in prayer. Meanwhile, as I was hovering over the toilet, I suddenly felt a loud pop and let out a loud yell. My water broke, Hollywood movie style and I will never forget that sound or sensation.
My son busted through the bathroom door as my husband ran in on the other side alarmed. Baby’s head was descending and I was still over the toilet! I had only managed to pull one pant leg off. My husband quickly called our midwife back. She heard me hollering in the background and simply told him, “You’re about to have a baby over there.”
She instructed him to get me into a different position than over the toilet. He grabbed some towels from my birth prep and laid it out on our bathroom floor. I got down on all fours for the next contraction when her head fully came out. The fetal ejection reflex that I didn’t experience with my son’s birth was in full effect.
My husband and son got to see our precious little V’s head making her grand entrance. In that moment everything seemed to slow way down. We lost cell service and connection with our midwife on the phone and panic tried to creep in.
My husband was yelling at the phone asking if he should be doing anything because the baby wasn’t moving (our son now does a great impression of this). My focus broke for a moment wondering if something was wrong. I felt my body give a little bit of a manual push to try to get the baby out. But, I knew we just had adrenaline pumping through us and I have to get my mind back in check.
I just waited for the next contraction. All of the contractions up until this last one seemed to come so quickly without any reprieve in between. But this last one (approx 2.5 min in between) seemed to take forever.
I suddenly felt my body take over and slide my baby out. My husband caught her and shouted “It’s a girl!!” As soon as she was out, we heard a knock on the door.
In my laborland haze in the car, my pastor’s wife had excitedly messaged me to see if I was experiencing any labor signs. Her and the woman from our church that I had invited to come over once labor started were both waiting for the green light. I had let her know that I was pretty sure I was in labor but wanted to get home and get settled before anyone came over.
Thankfully, the Lord had prompted them to go ahead and make the 45 minute drive to our house. They had gotten there just a minute shy of her being born. But I was SO thankful they were there to immediately celebrate with us.
They both jumped right in and helped me get situated on the bathroom floor. With my previous birth, I had hemorrhaged. We couldn’t really tell how much blood I had lost but it looked like a lot. I felt totally fine but didn’t want to move until the placenta came out and my midwife arrived. I had Angelica and Shepherd’s Purse on hand if needed.
I was still upright on my knees just holding my baby girl taking in her features and trying to process what had just happened. My first labor was 17 hours and this had all happened in just shy of 2 hours – about half of that being in the car.
My midwife’s team arrived about an hour later and quickly began assessing my blood loss. She told me I had lost more than she would have liked me to but definitely not as much as I had previously. Baby V was looking pink and beautiful and just relaxing in my arms.
They wanted to get me situated in bed but as I started to sit up I instantly felt light headed. I’ve never ever passed out but in that moment I was feeling really close to it. My pastor’s wife walked past me she began speaking life over me and praying for strength over my body.
I slowly made my way to a stool in the shower and let the warm water run over me as I focused to stay present. Matt was holding V and doing some skin-to-skin bonding. To prevent me from passing out they had me crawl from the shower to the bed so I could stay low to the ground. It made for a good laugh and it definitely helped because I stayed present.
Once I got situated in bed, Matt brought me an adrenal cocktail and we got some time to sit and relish in poring over our sweet and perfect baby girl. My midwife and her team were charting some details outside the room. Sheppard was upstairs with the lady from our church making us a snack plate.
I think we all stayed up until about 3 or 4 am just processing what had happened and savoring the sweetness that was our baby girl.
reflecting on all the little details
This was the last night before my midwife was going to be going into vacation mode to pack for her trip. Our baby girl had come at the very last minute. The Lord allowed the people that he wanted to be there to get there exactly when they should.
My son was awake to witness his sister being born.
My labor was short and pain free.
My husband caught our baby girl.
I didn’t hemorrhage and had no other complications.
Our baby girl was beautiful, pink and healthy.
I couldn’t believe I just had an unassisted birth with precipitous labor. The whole labor from start to baby being born was just shy of 2 hours. And almost half of that was in the car on windy country back roads.
The birth room that I had set up with my birth tub, birth affirmations and all my birth supplies was left pretty much untouched.
I’m still uncovering why the Lord allowed it all to happen the way that He did and for us to have an accidental unassisted birth. But if I knew beforehand how it would have played out, it probably would have terrified me. I had to surrender that trust and allow Him to work out all the details exactly the way that He wanted them to be. And I would do it all over again in a second! Well, maybe not a second… 3-4 hours or so would be great 😉
Veila Yves | January 30th, 2022