05 Aug My Birth Story ~ Sweet Sarai
One week ago today, with the strength of The Lord, I gave birth naturally and at home, to a beautiful little girl.
I can’t believe it’s already been one week!
I wanted to document my birth story, not only to remember the details, but also as a reminder of God’s faithfulness. But, to be honest, I was hesitant to create and share a blog post. I was afraid it would be too long, or if I shortened it too much, I would loose the intricate details of the day.
As I was writing and rewriting, I realized that there is no way for me to fully articulate my experience. It was truly one of those “you had to be there” experiences. But, this is my attempt to highlight some of the intimate details.
In the beginning…
In 40 weeks and 2 days, we went from anticipating the usual hospital birth, to a new idea being birthed within us; This idea of having a natural home birth.
Not only did we feel led in this direction, but after doing our research, we discovered that this opportunity to birth in freedom and faith would be more in line with our family values.
For 40 weeks and 2 days we prayerfully prepared for the 3 hours of labor and delivery I would experience.
With each prenatal appointment, my faith was stretched. My knowledge of the women’s body was increased. Our family bond was strengthened. With each appointment I grew as a woman; and not just physically.
Our midwives spent time with us, educated us, laughed with us, and encouraged us. Their care for our family was admirable.
Having had long enough to watch birthing videos, ask questions, and talk with people who had experienced the natural birthing process, I felt I was as ready as I’d ever be.
Friday, July 27th I was able to visit the chiropractor for an adjustment. Saturday, July 28th, I was “Walking it out”, and Sunday, I was preparing to have a day of rest.
Little did I know, the Lord was preparing my body to kick into full speed and give birth.
On Sunday, July 29th, at 4:54am, I was woken abruptly by discomfort. Not wanting to get mine or anyone else’s hopes up, I went to the bathroom and was preparing to go back to bed. That was until I wiped and saw blood. Considering the fact that it could be more of my mucus plug (which had been slowly coming out for a couple of weeks now), at 4:56am, I decided to text my midwives a picture just to confirm there was no reason for concern.
They explored for any areas of concern and assured me that this was normal. While texting, I began to feel some “cramping” in my back, which apparently was more like contractions.
We made a plan for me to try to go back to sleep, and ignore the contractions until they demanded my attention.
By this time I began to have the urge to poop, but nothing was coming out. I thought, “I sure do hope I’m able to have a good poop before I go into labor!”
Still sitting on the toilet in a bit of denial, the contractions began to demand my attention. Not super demanding, but demanding enough to make me feel like I better start timing them. By 5:30am, I was waking my husband up, requesting that he time my contractions on his app.
Yes, there’s an app for that!
Still able to talk through each contraction, we decided I should try to take a warm bath. Having had weeks of on-again, off-again contractions, I was still in disbelief. False labor was still my assumption.
Thinking this couldn’t be the real thing, I got into the bath expecting to get out and go back to bed.
Because I had watched so many natural home birth videos, I imagined having all the time in the world. In my mind, I’d be sitting on my birthing ball and having some breakfast. Maybe climbing our stairs a few times, and being “touchy feely” with my husband.
By 6:45am, the contractions were gaining consistency. I hadn’t gotten out of the tub yet, and they were gaining in intensity as well.
This wasn’t part of the plan! I wasn’t ready yet. Well… at least I didn’t think I was.
So here’s where my story gets real. Where my reality took a curve. What I saw in the videos wasn’t what was happening. My “dreams” were not my reality.
While having contractions in the bath tub, I began pooping.
I know, too much information.
But, I want to be real honest here.
In disgust and pain, I got out of the tub and tried to sit on the toilet. I wanted to clean out the tub, but the pain wouldn’t let me. Bless my husband’s heart, like the trooper he is, without hesitation he began cleaning out the tub and running me new water.
Now that’s love!
Meanwhile, the pain increased and I could no longer sit on the toilet. I ended up on the floor in front of the toilet, on all fours.
Towel down, I continued to pee, see more blood, and even a little more poop.
One of our midwives arrived and I was no longer saying anything, but riding the waves of contractions. One after another. No break. No down time. I was all in. She monitors the baby’s heart rate, and everything sounds great!
By the grace of God, I was able to get back into the tub.
Our other midwife, midwife student, and photographer had arrived. With my praise music in the background, I completely zoned out from the things around me. I was breathing, groaning, and praying my way through.
At one point I remember praying to God, asking for a break. Then I remembered at 37 weeks, telling Him I was ready. With the pain increasing, I just wanted to give birth already. So, I said, “never mind Lord, let’s do this!”
Then I remember thinking, Father, why would you tell us to do this! What is the purpose? As her head remained visible, but feeling as though she just wouldn’t come out, I got to the point where I said, “I can’t do this!” The pain was like nothing I had ever experienced before.
Unlike giving birth at the hospital, there was no way out. No epidural to run to. I truly had to turn to the source of all my strength.
What felt impossible at the time, truly was possible. I was pushing and listening to my body.
I heard, “we see the head!“. With the next few pushes, it seemed as if her head was stuck there. The pressure and pain were so real! In my head, I asked the Lord for help. I could feel and hear my husband and my midwives cheering me on.
With the next few contractions, in my heart I believed I would meet our little girl soon. Finally, I gave it one good push and could feel every part of her body escaping mine.
I then heard, “it’s a girl!”
My husband reached down and grabbed her. She was finally here! As he laid her on me, I remember looking up to the Lord thinking, you told us she would be! We did it Lord!. With relief, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. What felt unbearable, I was able to bear.
She was absolutely, beautifully perfect! She is His masterpiece.
With the help from God and my amazing birthing team, WE DID THAT!
The presence of the Lord was so heavy. It felt as if we conquered the world, and I now had the greatest prize ever! I felt amazing.
There was pain, poop, pee, blood and more. But, in the midst of it all there was beauty beyond words. An experience beyond priceless. To be honest, one week later, I’m still in awe.
If I could sum up my experience in two words, those two words would be “AMAZINGLY INTENSE”.
People ask me if given the opportunity, would I give birth this way again. After careful thought and consideration, I’d have to say yes. The care I received throughout my pregnancy, in labor and delivery was second to none.
After giving birth I did have some complications with bleeding, but my midwives were educated and well prepared. We followed our emergency plan, and they remained with me until things got better.
Looking back on the entire experience, I’m thankful I didn’t need to go to the hospital for anything, but I was always open to that option if absolutely necessary.
So yes, I’d do it again, and I’d recommend this route to anyone with a low risk pregnancy. I recommend praying about it and doing the research. Make an educated decision and do what is best for you.
That same afternoon, a news article popped up on my phone titled “US moms are dying in childbirth as hospitals ignore simple safety protocols, investigation finds”. The article mentioned concern about the amount of blood loss some moms experience after birth, and hospitals lack of attention to this.
I found this very interesting, considering I had lost so much blood.
I’ve had two hospital births, and in no way intend to criticize one option or the other. My hospital births were pleasant, and not knowing of other options, I would have done it a third time.
Baker Family of 5
There were a lot of people who were scared for me and tried to persuade me into having another hospital birth. I am so thankful that I trusted the Lord and trusted my body throughout the process. I knew that with God, I could do all things. This experience increased my faith in Him, and gave me a confidence in myself that I never had before.
I could not have done any of it without the support and encouragement of my husband and birthing team. My midwives, parents, mom in-love, and photographer were incredible gifts from God.
Joined together by God… The A-Team minus one (behind the lens).
In sharing my story, I hope to increase awareness, and make this option more accessible to others. I’m also happy to answer questions for anyone considering home birth.
Sarai Koryn –
Born July 29, 2018
Time: 8:05 am
8lbs 14oz; 20 1/4 in.
Midwives: MSK Midwife
Photographer: Lane B Photography