I’d say the birth story of our newest sweet addition to our family goes all the way back to before Michael and I were even married. I vividly recall sitting in the living room of the townhouse I shared with 3 friends the year before we got married and the conversation about the fact that Michael’s mom had a home birth somehow came up. I said something to the affect of “I’m never going to have a baby without an epidural, let alone have a home birth”….
HA! Oh how the Lord changed my heart in so many ways over the past 6+ years and this was just one of them.
Needless to say, while pregnant with Cale (our first), I became interested in the Bradley Method after watching an episode of “19 kids and counting”. This was halfway through a pregnancy in which I still fully intended to have an epidural. After moving to North Carolina, we signed up to attend this class with 9 other couples and learned so much about birthing the natural way and with my husband as the main coach in the birthing process. Such a beautiful thing!
After a long and crazy labor with Cale, I had a beautiful, natural labor with my second, Gabe, in the hospital, but with a fabulous birthing team. Once I had this great experience with Gabe’s birth, I felt more prepared to have a home birth and, while it still slightly freaked me out, I knew deep in my heart that I wanted to experience it with my third baby.
Our third baby was another unplanned little blessing just like with Gabe. We had just decided to make the across country move to Bozeman, MT from Raleigh, NC. Our first two were 14 months apart and this little one would be 18 months younger than Gabe. And did I mention I also work from home teaching for LU Online?
… Needless to say, finding out I was pregnant for the 3rd time in 2 years slightly rocked our world 😉
I had a pretty uncomplicated pregnancy with a few exceptions. We moved from NC to TN when I was 12 weeks pregnant so that we could live in missionary housing while building partnerships to support us starting a church in Montana. I began seeing a midwife in Tennessee that we loved and set up an appointment for our mid-ultrasound. At this ultrasound, we saw something that could be an issue with the baby and I had to have a few further blood tests done to see if I had contracted CMV during the pregnancy or not, which could produce some negative side effects for the baby. Thankfully, we found out that I had already had it prior to this pregnancy, but we still prayed our hearts out that he would be healed if it was another issue or that it was nothing in the first place.
Other than that and a few stomach viruses along the way, I had a pretty boring pregnancy 😉
At the end of October, when I was 28 weeks pregnant, we moved to Bozeman and began the search for a midwife. Let me just say that the Lord took care of every detail with this in the most perfect way! I told Michael that I couldn’t have imagined a midwife that was a better fit for us. An incredible blessing from the Lord. Not only has she been a midwife for 35 years and has a wealth of knowledge, but she is a believer and loves the Lord and this just overflows from her and she has taken care of me and our little guy so well.
Now to the actual birth story….
Having had intense contractions (some of which had to be stopped with a bath and rest) since I was 35 weeks and Braxton Hicks since 20 weeks, I had expected to go a little earlier than my due date, but lo and behold, I passed it and then passed the longest I had gone with my previous pregnancies (41 weeks) and was approaching the scary 42 week mark. At 10 days past my due date, I made a visit to my midwife who did a membrane sweep, gave my some homeopathic options to induce labor, and mentioned starting castor oil either that day or the next. That evening, I started having intense contractions again, but didn’t mention it to anyone but Michael because I still expected they’d stop again like every other night. They kept up for about 6 hours so I decided to rest about midnight and ::surprise surprise:: they stopped again. However, at 7 in the morning, after a full night’s rest, they started back up and were even more intense then the ones the night before. I knew this was the real deal so I had my mother-in-law (who had been in town since I had been 6 days late fully expecting to meet a week old baby) take the boys out of the house for the morning. These contractions continued and got closer together until they were 5-6 minutes apart for some time. Then, at 10 am, they spread back out to 15-20 minutes apart. To say that I was upset is an understatement. Take note that this starting and stopping had now gone on for almost 7 weeks.
My midwife had me come back so she could check to see if any progress had been made and, thankfully, I was 4cm and 100% effaced at this point. But my contractions were barely coming. She told me my body was probably just giving me a break and they would start up again and I’d have a baby by that night or the next morning. Either way, she said my mother-in-law and sis-in-law would get to see a baby before flying out at 5am 2 days later. I’ll admit…. after dealing with this starting and stopping for so long…
I had my doubts.
She advised me to eat well, rest, and possibly take a small walk that day. So I took her advice and Michael and I grabbed lunch and I went home and took a nap at 1:30. At 3pm, I had a contraction that woke me from a dead sleep. And the second contraction after that was so intense and my water broke with that one. I went to the bathroom and texted my midwife to tell her. She asked how far apart the contractions were and I told her I hadn’t timed them yet. I’ll admit, I was brushing my hair and fixing my makeup. Why you do that before a natural labor is beyond me ha!
I sat down with my birthing ball and timed them. They were 6 minutes apart. I texted to tell her and by the time she responded with “Let me know when they get closer”, I had to respond with “The last 3 were 4 minutes apart.” She then sent back asking if she should come now and, by the time she sent that, I told her “Yes, they’re now 3 minutes apart and I’m shaky.” I was literally shaking at this point and knew that I was in transition so I could guess that I was most likely 7-8 cm and this was all within less than an hour and a half of my water breaking.
She then called Michael because I was at a point where I couldn’t talk or anything through contractions and they were 2.5 minutes apart and lasting at least a minute. She asked what I meant by shaky and he told her it was DEFINITELY time to head our way. I was in the shower because that is the best thing for my achy back while in labor and it really helps relieve some of the intensity of the contractions for me. This was around 4:30 or a little before.
My midwife and one of her assistants arrived at my house close to 5pm and the first thing she said was that she wasn’t ignoring me, but had to get everything set up. I think she knew he was close to coming even more than me. Thankfully, Michael had the birthing tub set up in our room and ready to go. My midwife asked if she could check me and the pain was too much for me to even get up on the bed. I had already felt the urge to push for at least a few minutes at this point. I got into the birthing tub and the urge overtook me and, within less than 10 minutes, and no true pushing, he was born into the water at 5:34 pm, about 35 minutes after my midwife had shown up and only 20 minutes after her apprentice arrived.
Our sweet little Judah Luke David Tyson (who wasn’t named until he was 3 days old) was here with a full head of dark hair, weighing 8 lbs. 7 ounces and 21 inches long! He nursed right away and I can’t tell you about how wonderful and truly relaxing it was to be in our own home and just enjoy him in a place we were all so familiar with.