I can’t believe it’s been 5 weeks since my sweet baby boy made his entrance into the world. I’ve been taking the new mom thing an hour at a time. It’s overwhelming, beautiful and spiritual all in the same moment. More about this in my Postpartum Mom Care and 4th Trimester post coming soon. Overall we are healthy and feeling good. I want to take a moment and thank y’all for the sweet messages I’ve received on Instagram. I appreciate all of the love, support and community of moms that have reached out.
Let me first start out by saying, my birth was the most intense, empowering and loving experience I’ve ever gone through. As I’ve mentioned many times before, what I decided to do, worked for me. Everyone is different and should follow their own path. Through blogging about this, my intention is to be transparent with my journey, in the hopes of helping you all in yours.
If you have read my Birth Plan post, you know I was planning on having a home birth. And that, I thankfully did. Having my child on my own terms, in my home, was such a gift. Luke and I created a safe, welcoming space to have our baby boy. No loud noises, monitors, bright lights, drugs and medical staff saying “you HAVE to do something”. OH and it was NOT glamorous either – no makeup, lashes, and professional photographer. Real and raw is what you’re going to get here. It was just Luke, my Midwife, Erin, and I. It’s taken me a minute to write this post as I have felt overwhelmed with emotion. And by that I mean, happiness, gratitude and love. It comes with the territory of becoming a new mom – hormones are on HIGH, y’all! Today, I am ready to share…
As I have mentioned before, I never thought I had the physical and mental power to birth naturally and second, to even think about doing it outside of a hospital. Even after going through months of preparation and saying I was going to do a home birth, I still surprised myself. I think about my experience and feel grateful for my mind and body during this process. It is SO incredible what we are capable of. I listened to myself, no one else during my pregnancy, and I am thankful I did so. I know many of you that may be pregnant have NO idea where to start. This is why I’m sharing. When I found out I was expecting, I too had no clue what my options were. Read my Birth Plan post if you want more info about how/why I came to make this decision.
The third week of November came, I had hit 40 weeks and still no sign of baby. I was getting extremely uncomfortable, yet I took it a day at a time. He would come when he was ready. I did not want to get induced. Many asked me how long my Midwife would let me go until I would need to do such a thing and/or go to the hospital. By law in Idaho, a Midwife can deliver a baby up to 42 weeks. With that said, I was not looking forward to the next TWO weeks! I kept thinking to myself, how do I have any more room?! Thankfully my water broke 2 days later!! I was also frequently asked how much I was effaced and dilated. In my Midwife’s practice she does not check for these things unless she feels it necessary. With that said, she did not do this to me. I had no idea how far along I was and this is what I wanted. Through my pregnancy and birthing time, I decided not to birth by numbers. I felt like if I knew, it would mess with my mind. As many of you know, a woman can be dilated any amount, even 8/9cm, and still not progress for hours. Everyones body is different and I wanted mine to relax and do what it was going to do!
It was about 10PM and I was standing next to my bed about ready to get in, and boom, just like that, water began streaming down my legs. Labor had begun… The funny thing is, hours earlier, Luke and I were joking about if my water would break! You never know when it’s going to happen. AND yes, I did EVERYTHING to try to induce labor: spicy food, squatting, ball moves, sex, tea and exercise. On this day, I did everything! LOL It worked! 🙂
When my water broke, I was only feeling very mild pressure waves (what most call, contractions). The adrenalin and excitement was running through my body. I was thinking, I am going to meet my baby boy very soon! First, I got into a warm shower to relax my body and once I was out, I started my Hypnobabies tracks. I had been preparing with hypnosis for the two months prior. I mean, I was attempting to do this NATURALLY and needed tools to help me!! If you’re interested in what Hypnobabies is, check it out in my Third Trimester post.
About 45 min into my birthing time, my pressure waves were getting closer and closer together. And when I say that, I mean about 1 minute on and 1 minute off. Since this was my first time in labor, I was thinking I was not far along in dilation. Like, there’s NO way I went from 0 to 9 in an hour – right?!!! Everyone says you birth for hours and hours, even days! I looked at Luke and said, “I don’t think I can do this”. He calmly responded, “This is what you want. You can do it”. Unbeknownst to me, I was about to have my baby very soon! At this point, Luke had spoken to Erin a few times and she was on her way over. Luke’s job was to help support me through my contractions and fill up the birthing tub. When Erin arrived, about an hour and half into Labor, I was feeling pushy. My progression was happening extremely fast. So when I say it was intense, it was!!
I continued to “try” to get in the zone with my hypnosis but the pressure was SO extreme that it was hard for me to focus. I was doing everything in my power to stay calm and keep my body relaxed. At about two hours in, I got in the tub and started to push. If you’ve never been through labor, this is something you can not stop. Your body automatically triggers it. I read that many woman find this part of the birthing experience a relief compared to the contractions. I felt the same way. My body began to push. While I was in the tub Luke talked me through it, again calm and loving. Erin continuously checked the babies heart rate to make sure everything was ok. As I was nearing the end, Erin asked me to get out of the tub and get onto my bed. This is something we had discussed prior just in case she needed to assist getting him out. His heart rate had slowed and Erin did this as a precaution. Once they helped me over to my bed, I pushed a few times, and his head was out. There was no sound, so I asked, “what was going on”… then one more push, and he was out. Calm, quiet and looking around. I grabbed him and put him on my chest immediately. I looked down at him and his eyes met mine. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever experienced. I was looking at my son and he was looking at me. Luke came right over and embraced the both of us in his arms. We were a family of 3.
Ford Jones Dixon arrived at 1:20 AM on November, 28th 2019, Thanksgiving morning. He was 9lbs 9oz and 22 inches long. A big boy! Luke and I could not be more thankful for a healthy baby. And ya, I was in Labor for 3 and half hours!!
In the next 15 minutes, we held each other. There was no “cleaning” of the baby. We patted the vernix into his skin. I then felt another contraction. This meant my placenta was ready to come out. I got on my hands and knees, one push, and into a bowl it went. This was THE most wonderful feeling. All the pressure was GONE!! We then let the blood flow through the umbilical cord from the placenta to the baby for about 30 minutes. Essentially this is giving the baby a ton of nutrients and cleans his blood. Once this was complete, Luke cut the cord.
My body was shaking for a few hours after do to all of the hormones – very normal. After the baby had fed, Erin and her assistant (who had arrived when I was pushing) cleaned me. She then examined me for tears. There was no cutting during birth, also called an episiotomy, which happens frequently in hospitals. My body was going to do what it was going to do, and in the end, would heal much faster because of this. I had two small tears but no stitches. It was Erin’s suggestion to let them heal naturally, and I am SO glad I did. I have never felt so cared for.
While I was being looked after, Luke and baby boy were having skin to skin time. After I was all checked, we weighed and measured Ford. As I mentioned above, he was not small! LOL I can’t believe I birthed a human and not to mention, a large one!!
Luke then cooked me food and brought it to me in bed. I was starving. Birthing is NO joke! Scrambled eggs, avocado and buttered toast have never tasted SO good!
It was such wonderful experience being in my home during and after birth. I felt incredibly calm. At about 5AM everything had settled, we were all fed and snuggled into bed. Erin left and would be back the next day.
On Thanksgiving morning, with Luke next to me and Ford on my chest, we fell asleep as a family. I could not have asked for a better birth. I will forever be filled with gratitude for my husband and Midwife’s support in allowing me to have this experience in MY own way. As I mentioned above, I have never felt as empowered. It’s truly remarkable what women can do.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. I am always happy to help. As I mentioned above, I will be sharing a Postpartum Mom Care and 4th Trimester post soon. I believe this is a conversation that is lacking in our culture. We NEED to support and nurture new moms during this time. I will discuss what my midwife did for me, what I emotionally went through and things I recommend.
Below I’m sharing a few unfiltered, REAL pictures from the day I gave birth.
*If you are interested in using a midwife in the Idaho area or want more information about Erin, check out her website here.