In July of 1992, we discovered that we were expecting another baby. After two easy hospital births, we had had our third baby at home, unassisted. At that time, our main reason for having an unassisted birth was the lack of medical insurance, which caused us to seek out God's will for us concerning the place of birth. We felt God leading us to just stay home and birth the baby into his daddy's hands. Now, we still didn't have any medical insurance, but even if we did, I knew that home was where I wanted to birth my baby. We prayed and asked God to lead us differently if we were not to do the same again, but He never led different, so we prepared as we did before.
My pregnancy progressed normally, with us doing our own prenatal care. We would keep a record of my B/P, my pulse, the fetal heart tones, my fundal height, my weight..., everything that an OB checks, except for blood and urine tests.
Toward the end of my pregnancy my husband would periodically check for any changes in my cervix. Using my LMP date, I estimated the due date to be around March 8. Two of my previous babies had been a week late, one was two weeks late, so I was not surprised when March 8 came and went. When I got to be 2 weeks "late", I was starting to imagine all kinds of possible reasons (there are a few deformities that have post-dates as one of the complications).
While the baby's head was not engaged in the cervix, my Braxton-Hicks contractions were increasing every day and my husband was noting slight changes in the cervix. We continued to ask God to bless with a healthy baby, and so I tried to be patient and not fret about being so "late."
Signs of Labor
On the evening of March 26, I noticed some pinkish mucus and had dh check. I was slightly more effaced than I had been the night before, and a lot more 'mucusy'. After a couple of hours, I realized that my contractions were getting closer together, so we called for my mom to come get the kids. Also, my friend, M., came to stay the night, in case things picked up. My sister opted to stay home, with the promise to come first thing in the morning if she hadn't heard anything from us.
As it was still very early labor, dh went to bed, after telling me to wake him if anything changed. M. went to sleep in our recliner rocker, but I was too excited to rest for long. While the contractions were coming at regular intervals, they were still 10 minutes apart with no engagement of the head. I knew that I should have been resting, but I wanted to see if I could get my labor going by walking around. By morning, there was some dilation to about 3 cm. with contractions averaging about 8 min. apart. Now I was very tired with a lot of labor left to go. After my sister arrived, our mother called, expecting to hear news of a baby.
Engaging the Head
At 4 p.m. I was only at 5 cm. and had been there for a couple of hours. I was very tired after not sleeping all night, but was not able to rest now. The baby's heart rate was still good, so we weren't worried about the length of time. Dh could feel that the baby's head was still not engaged in the cervix, and we figured that that was why it was taking so long for my cervix to dilate. There was no direct pressure on the cervix to push it open. (We could feel that this baby was smaller than my previous babies. Both of my boys had been over 9 lb., so I was hoping this baby was a girl.) We decided to try to get the head to engage by pressing down on the top of the fundus during a contraction and holding it there. After doing that for a few contractions, we found that we did push the head lower. Dh checked the heart-rate, and it was still good. After a second attempt, we succeeded in getting the head to engage. We held it in place for about 4 contractions to make sure it wouldn't go back up. The baby's heart-rate remained good.
A Swift Delivery
After this, the contractions really started to pick up. They were soon coming one on top of the other. Around 6:30 p.m, dh checked and found me to be completely dilated. (I probably had been for some time, but he had been giving computer technical help to someone over the phone, and only came to check after being informed he was desperately needed to help deliver a baby.)
After setting out our supplies, he rigged up a sort of "birthing stool" in the kitchen, and had me sit so I could deliver upright, with the help of gravity. All this time I had felt no urge to push, so he told me to go ahead and give a little push to see what would happen. I gave a little push, and the head moved down some. Then he said to push a little more, so I did. I'm glad M. was ready with the camera, because this time the urge to push came, and the baby started to come real fast. Dh was shouting "Stop pushing! Stop pushing! Breathe! Breathe!," but I couldn't stop. My body just took over. Suddenly, the baby shot out, along with the amniotic fluid from the sac breaking. Dh almost dropped the baby, because he came shooting out so fast. He was unprepared for such a quick delivery.
Welcome, Little One!
At 7:11 p.m. on March 27, 1993, we welcomed our fourth baby, and third son, Jonathan, into the world. He weighed 7 lb. 8 oz., my smallest baby. He was very vocal about his long hard day. We have a wonderful series of photos taken of the whole thing, showing the gush of fluid over the baby's face, and of daddy's quick catch. After examining me for tears, and finding none, Scott scolded me for pushing when he said to stop. I explained that it wasn't me, but my body was just doing what it was supposed to do. We clamped the cord, and this time I got to cut it. The placenta came soon with no problems.
After a visit with the Well-Child Clinic, it was discovered that he had a club foot. We were referred to Children's Hospital, in Seattle, and his foot was corrected using casting and a brace. At first we were told that he had a 50% chance of needing surgery to fully correct it, but Praise God, he didn't need surgery after all. We filed for his birth certificate and S.S #, and thanked God for another blessing born into his own father's hands.
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