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Having experienced 5 births and 2 miscarriages with my beloved wife, I must admit that I thought some of the awe and wonder of the miracle called birth must be gone by this point. Nonetheless I was daily overcome with the reality that we were indeed being remarkably blessed with what would be our 6th child. She never has and perhaps never will understand my attraction to her while with child, but can think of no more beautiful site than my dear bride carrying this unique and specific gift from the Lord. We were attempting yet again for a home delivery and had been in prayer for its success. We had to transfer to a hospital once before when Sacha's water broke but contractions never began. We both were hoping not to do that again. We both knew that if we were fortunate enough to deliver at home it must be better than anything we had experienced before. We (at least I) had no idea.
Kathy, our midwife, came by for our scheduled appointment and everyone was doing fine. We were right at our EDD and so we opted to let Kathy check Sacha's cervix for any progress. Sacha was quite in denial that there would be any. I was suspecting she was further along than she thought. Generally speaking I believe Sacha knows her body better than anyone else on this side of Glory, but I have been watching her and seeing the signs... From all I had seen I was deducing that she would progress much faster this time and with less warning. That is really saying something considering how fast her labors usually went anyway. In almost if not all our hospital births the medical staff was racing to catch the baby in time because they were unprepared; thinking they had more time. In their defense, 9 out of 10 times they would've been right, but they are my children after all and can't be expected to conform nearly that much. It was no surprise when Kathy said 3cm and 50% effaced.
We discussed the likelihood of when labor would start based on history and current conditions. We opted for Sacha to e given a natural aid called prostaglandin (sp?) She had been taking a vitamin C supplement gel and other herbs. None of these 'causes' labor, but does aid in its onset and supposedly makes it smoother/quicker. Kathy figured we might have a middle of the night baby and sleep in on Thanksgiving morning. I'd be lying if I didn't think then that we wouldn't go that long.
Kathy left after observing for a while (safety precaution after the supplement in case she went immediately into labor). Little by little it seemed as if Sacha was progressing through early labor. When it became apparent to me (I think more so than her) that hr discomfort level was rising rapidly I began asking if she wanted to call Kathy to update her. Sacha was concerned we would call her too early and have her sitting around our house half the night for nothing. I think perhaps she was in a bit of denial as to how quickly she was progressing.
The contractions were very close, as in 3 min or less apart but light in intensity according to Sacha. I was pretty certain we should call Kathy but of course defaulted to Sacha's wishes...for the time being. We began filling the inflatable tub. The kids got in on the action helping me fill the hose. Sacha was taking a warm bath in our regular tub and it was obvious to me it was time. I called Kathy and her daughter/midwife partner answered. I explained the situation, but when she heard Sacha in the background the tone of voice made it crystal clear to Jennifer that it was go time. She said they were on their way.
We had prepared the children as best we could. Sacha had discussed with them that she would likely be crying and maybe more but that was normal. They had seen a few videos of births and heard the women screaming so we were reasonably assured they would be alright. Caty, our oldest was to take them all downstairs (to minimize the audio) and watch them in the family play room. Since Sacha was needing my immediate attention through each contraction (and very specific about where to apply pressure on her back, etc) I had Caty posted in the living room to let Kathy in when she arrived and sent the others down to play.
Definite change in intensity with each contraction as she moved around the inflatable tub searching in vain for some level of comfort. Kathy arrived to see Caty knelt in prayer in the living room begging God's graces on mom and baby. We are blessed to have had both Kathy and Caty's support.
Kathy assessed the situation and immediately said we needed more water in the tub. Since the utility tape I was using to attach the hose to the sink faucet wasn't exactly water tight, Caty was called in to hold it while we filled the tub more. It was because of this that she wound up with a ring side seat. She was sweet throughout. Sacha was doing her best not to frighten herself or the children and instead of uncontrolled screaming rather sounded like a meditative singing. She was doing extremely well though in lot of discomfort and getting more.
When it got to where she could no longer hold still Kathy was about to check cervical progress when out pops a baby's head. I don't think Sacha actually believed it when we told her. With the next contraction out came a beautiful baby girl all at once. Start to finish was about 4 hours. The last hour or so the building melody of Sacha's coping mechanism built to a powerful crescendo to announce the birth of Aria Gail...a melodic storm.
I cannot in hind sight do justice to the wonder it truly was both in birth itself which is truly one of God's amazing designs, and the difference in having a home birth. Accepting that some people are in risky situations with any number of health issues of either/both mom and baby, let me say everybody else should have a home birth! The mystery of life unfolds before you with none of the irritations of a hospital. (please take no offense if you are a medical type but let's face it...you don't hang out there unless you are sick, severely injured, or getting paid...Sacha was none of theaforementioned ; she was blessed) Forget what I said earlier...seeing my beloved wife holding this precious little one...there's nothing more beautiful than that.