9:34p on Saturday night, our street was quiet and peaceful. The stars were peeking out above the warm, breezy Kansas City skyline.
Unbeknownst to anyone, save Jesus, the great cloud of witnessess and our amazing birth team, little Ms. Teryn Adelaide made her grand, yet humble appearance beneath the twinkling Christmas lights I had hung around the perimeter of our bedroom. She is PERFECT!!!
In truth, the story of the Lord's perfect leadership over my EVERY step spans well beyond my lifetime and yet I am delighted to share a small portion of how the Lord lead me to have a beautiful home birth with our fourth baby.
Last fall, as I was contemplating the desire in my heart for a fourth baby, I began reaching for information on home birth, local midwives, testimonies and all the practicalities of insurance, etc. My AHHMAZING doula from Shayley's birth, sent me links to some beautiful home birth videos and referrals to a few great midwives in the area and off I went!
At Shayley's birth, I had experienced laboring in a large tub at the hospital and my labor progressed amazingly. The hot water did wonders helping me relax through each contraction, and basically as soon as I hopped out of the tub... I was pushing my baby out within the hour. It left me yearning to know... what if I had just been able to give birth in that tub...??? Water birth is not allowed at any hospitals around me, nor around you I'd be fairly certain to say, and although it is allowed at some birth centers on some occasions, I just figured, if I'm gonna give birth in a "fake bedroom"**, why not just give birth in my own?
(**many birth centers furnish their rooms to look and feel much more like a home, and I'm sure it is a wonderful option for many women :)
A few months after my maternal gears were turning around having baby #4, lo and BEHOLD, I found out I was pregnant! Surprise! When I calculated the due date, I was stunned to see how perfect it was! My first two, Rowin & Kenley are two years and two months apart... nearly to the day. My second set, Shayley and Teryn are two years and two months apart... nearly to the day! I also love how all our birthdays in the family go around the calendar (starting in October) from oldest to youngest! AND I was just BEYOND excited to have another sweet little life join our family! Prior to getting pregnant, I would walk around my home, making dinners and counting heads, and I had always felt like someone was missing... I was now delighted to know the secret that he or she was on the way!
As we plugged into the new year, I began prenatal care with one of the midwives I had interviewed - actually... the only one I interviewed... because after our first visit, I just loved her so much and felt lots of peace about hiring her! Little did I know that just a few months later, worldwide pandemic would strike, national lockdowns would ensue, disrupting everyone's plans (weddings, graduations, births and vacations) and affecting everyone's situation uniquely.
Through it all, I felt the Psalm 91 peace of dwelling in the shelter of the Most High, and resting in the shadow of the Almighty (read my blog about my response to the Covid-19 virus here), and I was amazed how the Lord had led me to pursue home birth especially after hearing how this pandemic was affecting hospital birth families.
I liken each of my births to a love story... which they very much are. Each is so unique, intricate, precious and woven with memory. Each has deepened my trust and dependence on Jesus and my confidence in His goodness and His leadership. And this one was very special to our whole family. Even my midwife, who has attended over 500 births, remarked how smooth and peaceful this birth was and how when Teryn came out, she was one of the happiest, most attentive babies she has seen in those first moments after delivery.
After getting in the tub, I let the kids come in to say "hi" to Mommy before things got crazy. Shayley, who is a BIG FAN of bath time, was so ready to jump in to join me! Another sweet memory was in those hard moments of transition, my doula came in with a note from Rowin, he had drawn me a picture and written "hey mom, how's it going?" which totally made me laugh and encouraged me to keep going. Two hours after my birth team arrived and I hopped in the pool, I was holding my baby, so relieved and laughing with joy that she was in my arms!!! Two hours after that, I had eaten some delicious homemade chicken noodle soup, shared the moment of weighing baby with our kids & parents who were able to be there to watch the kids, and was tucked into my own cozy bed... it was heavenly. I told Michael, the only thing my hospital birth experiences had on home birth was the huge remote control to position the bed!
My dad jokes how I've done it all and am just trying to "one-up" myself with each consecutive birth... first a c-section, then a v-bac hospital birth, then a hospital birth with a jacuzzi tub to labor in, and now a home water birth. He's convinced that if I have another, I'll just hike out to the woods, bite on a stick and bring the baby home strapped to my back. Maybe I'll jump in a hot spring in the mountains instead!
I hope by sharing, I have stirred up faith and thanksgiving in your heart, not just in regards to birth, but in the Lord's leadership over EVERY aspect of your life and story. And of course, if you would like information about home birth, pregnancy or how I prepared for this birth, I would love to connect!
May Jesus bless you abundantly in whatever season you find yourself~