Seth’s Birth Story

So, here, for those of you who’ve asked or wondered, and even for those who haven’tย  – the first in a series!

{TMI Alert} This is Seth’s birth story as written in my journal after he was born. I have edited it for
the blog, but it may still be Too Much for you. You have been duly warned and invited to hop over and read some archives if you like. ๐Ÿ™‚

{Background} 3rd Baby, due July 25th, planned water birth at home.

I love how each time I’ve been pregnant the Lord seems to prepare my heart for the sex of the baby, enabling me to welcome the child as the special gift that he or she is, and feeling like I ‘got just what I wanted’.

So it was with Seth. I tried to tell myself I didn’t care, but all along I knew I wanted a boy. Then, as my due date of July 25th came and went, I began to let myself hope that my going late meant there was a boy in there who wanted to bake a little longer.

The newly installed tub

I was having early labor all week, so much, in fact, that Jeremy worked 13 hours straight one day, till 11pm to ensure the tub in our new bathroom was ready. Then he had to stop working on our remodel ’cause the next step was laying tile and that would mean we couldn’t walk through the room for 4 days. Meanwhile, one of my birth team was out of town and I really wanted to wait ’till she got back. So, we waited, and I grew in longing for a boy.

Saturday, July 31st, my father-in-law (who is also our pastor) came buy for something and as he left I asked him what he was going to preach on the next day because, I jokingly said, “I don’t plan on making it to Church”. I was hopeful that the afternoon’s bike ride would kick me into labor that night, and I wouldn’t be in church ’cause I’d be welcoming a new baby.

Bike riding – works every time

Sure enough, that night as I went to bed, I was having contractions, but they were light enough to sleep through. I think it was about 1pm when I woke from them and wondered if this time they were active labor. I went downstairs and bounced on my birthing ball while browsing online. Then I took a warn bath to see if I could slow them down and get some more sleep. Despite the relaxing effect of the water, the contractions persisted, yet in a funny pattern – 3 min. apart, then 4, then 7, then 3 min. again. I’ve since learned that this is a very common pattern.

Finally, around 3am, I just felt it was the real thing. I woke Jeremy, called my friends who were joining us for the birth, and began baking the muffins I’d soaked for breakfast. I figured Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes would make a yummy after-the-birth breakfast, and turned on the oven at 3:30. My friends arrived to the smell of coffee and fresh-baked cupcakes. I was bustling around, making them feel at home and tidying the kitchen and found the contractions were slowing down. I was suddenly annoyed ’till someone explained to me that it was probably all the excitement, and I should just go lay down. Sure enough labor was indeed in progress and within an hour, I asked Jeremy to start the tub.

By the time it was ready, I was very grateful to sink into the soothing water. The contractions were strong, productive, but not intolerable, and I was enjoying chatting with my friends in between them, savoring this rare chance for fellowship, though it was the middle of the night. We checked heart tones and my blood pressure occasionally, but otherwise the atmosphere was very relaxed. (#1 Reason I love home birth – I don’t have to go anywhere and I can just relax in my comfort zone!)

It was around this time that someone reminded me that there was going to come a threshold when I would know that crossing over would mean stepping into a more intense phase of labor, beyond the point of no return, and that when I felt that come, I needed to “cross over the line” – to even consciously picture a line and envision myself stepping over it with determination. I agreed to embrace progress and was so thankful for such excellent coaching. My birth team was so intuitive and right-on with their encouragement and support, I knew it was the Holy Spirit working through them.

I was in and out of the tub – exploring what was the most comfortable yet active place to labor. I found that rather than slowing things down, like at Claire’s birth, the warm water seemed to be stimulating labor, so that at times I felt I preferred bouncing on the ball, or standing up instead of being in the water. That’s when I received some more great advice, as a friend gently reminded me, “wherever you are least comfortable, that’s where you should labor!” I laughingly agreed and climbed back into the tub.

I was out again a while later to use the bathroom and for us to check heart tones, and that’s when I went through transition, or so Jeremy told me. I never would have guessed and nothing seemed different to me, but my birth team all agreed heartily! I was relieved to have sailed past it without incident (I threw up at that point with Jesse’s birth, and almost did with Claire).

After that I stayed in the tub and Jeremy took up position at my shoulders. I love to have his hands to hold on to and feel his strength – makes me feel like I’m not doing this alone, but I have a team member.

Claire’s visits Mommy in the tub

Around 7am we heard the kids wake up. For some reason this didn’t bother me too much, though my ideal plan was to labor at night so I wouldn’t have to worry about childcare for them. But it was fun to see their sleepy little faces and to tell Jesse with all certainty that today New Baby was coming for sure. We took a few photos of Claire visiting me by the tub, then someone took them downstairs, fed them breakfast, then put them in my old bedroom with a Baby Einstein movie (their favorite). It was just in time, for though up until that point I wasn’t worried about disturbing them, when I began to push I did get a little, well, growly, and I was glad I didn’t have to worry them hearing me.

I will remind myself of this in the future – that the really tough part didn’t last longer than a Baby Einstein video. It was about 7:30 when I was encouraged to start pushing when I felt like it. The prompting seemed to clue me in that it was, indeed, time. A few half-hearted pushes with the next few contractions, and then there was no stopping – my body took over and I concentrated on giving my best effort while assuring myself it would all be over very soon now!

It was not as quick and easy as Claire’s – she was so small (7/6, and Jesse had been 9/10), she had slipped right out with just two pushes. I had to work a little harder for my Seth boy, but he was worth it. The thing that helped me endure was that someone mentioned to me the idea of catching the baby myself. I hadn’t realized this was an option, but loved the idea of it – of being that engaged and intimate with my baby at the very moment of his birth. So, through the final contractions, I reached down and felt his head crowning, knowing we were close. At the last, all 4 in the room were encouraging me to relaxย  – I needed that reminder with every breath – and finally, out came his precious head.

I felt, even as someone exclaimed, “The chord!” that he had two loops around his neck and Jeremy and I quickly looped them off, he turned his little shoulders, and the rest of him was born and I was holding him – holding him – holding HIM! I saw he was a boy and my heart thrilled. Then there was all the excitement as what had been 5 people in a room suddenly became 6 and he was making noises and we were taking pictures and I was so relived it was over, and someone was giving me chlorophyll to sip…

And I had my Seth Franklin.

His color was bit off, but soon we realized that thought he appeared blue, it wasn’t lack of oxygen – the rest of him was nicely pink – it was just his face, which appeared slightly swollen. We decided it was probably due to the chord loops and my blood sugar issues – his little face was bruised and swollen but it faded within days. Meanwhile, I called him my California Raisin Boy.โ˜บ

The kids got to come in the room even before I was out of the tub or the chord was cut, which I loved – I was so glad they could bond with him so soon, and that they could be part of the miracle. I was so proud and excited to present their new brother to them.

Then the after-birth cramps started, and clean up, and seeing if my little tear needed stitches (it didn’t), and all that not-so-fun stuff which is so endurable because of the happy after-glow of the birth. I had my little, scrunched-faced baby and I would, indeed, miss Church! I was happy.

A soothing herbal bath

They made an giant batch of herbal tea for me and baby to bathe in – it was the first time I had the pleasure of giving my baby his first bath myself, and he loved relaxing in my hands in the water. Then we were all bundled up, clothed in clean pj’s, and put to bed.

bonding with baby together

Seth was 8 Lbs and, well, I don’t know how many ounces. Somebody told me, but I’ve forgotten. Does it really matter? He had dark hair, big, wild eyebrows from me and, once again, a peaceful, easy-going nature from his father. There was all of 5 hours of active labor, just like Claire’s birth. It was smooth, relaxing, exciting, and only the last 20 min. were something I’d rather not remember. โ˜บ

breakfast in bed

The following days were filled with sighs of contentment, lots of snuggling as a family, visits by a few close friends, and lots of yummy food. I’m passionate about pampering new mommies because I get absolutely spoiled in the days after I have a baby. With Seth it was really nice, because we had stairs and I wasn’t allowed to do stairs for a week! All the dishes, laundry, and cleaning are all downstairs, and I was stuck upstairs. Not a bad deal. ๐Ÿ™‚

so happy to be right here, right now

Friends brought meals, did laundry, loved on my kids, and Jeremy got the week off and continued to work on projects around the house while he pampered me.ย  The best part may have been watching Jesse and Claire bond with their little brother. It was a wonderful season, and I thank God for the opportunity to birth at home, and for my safe birth and healthy baby boy.

If you have questions about my home birth experiences, will you email me personally? What I have included in this post is all that I am willing to share publicly. Thank you!โ˜บ

8 responses to “Seth’s Birth Story”

  1. Maria Avatar

    That picture of Claire and Seth . . . sigh . . .

    When I grow up and have babies, I want to have the kind of home births like you have.

  2. Erin Avatar

    So glad you shared, Trina. Can't wait to hear Jesse & Claire's stories.

  3. Tanya Avatar

    sounds like a lovely way to enter the world

  4. Penn and Janet Avatar

    What a beautiful birth you had! I almost had tears in my eyes while reading it. Homebirths truly are special. How wonderful that God has given you 3 of them.

  5. Kristina Avatar

    Oh good. I am looking forward to reading them! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Jessica Avatar

    Beautiful post Trina! While I didn't have Avelyn at home, we were very fortunate to have a nursing team that night that was completely OK with letting me do what I wanted (they had a screamer down the hall they were more concerned with). I totally second the yoga ball…I sat on that thing, bouncing up and down, for 4 hours on Halloween night, trying to get my labor to progress. (I can share with you my birth story, if you're interested).

    I don't think I'll get that relaxed, natural birth this time….we'll just have to try again, after these 3 are born, to have another pregnancy so I can do that again ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Trina Avatar

    Yes, Kristina, Jesse and Claire's stories are in draft. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Kristina Avatar

    I was so happy to have homebirths. It is sooo nice to be in YOUR comfort zone. I love it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I really would have loved to have a water birth but we only have showers here at our house! So glad that you shared your story! ๐Ÿ™‚ Will you be sharing the other 2?

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