My Second Homebirth Story


Oh, how grateful I am to be able to write not just one, but a second homebirth story. My first homebirth, which you can read all about here, was a beautiful and peaceful, yet rather long story. I had an easy pregnancy, despite sciatica pain during my last month, and practiced self-hypnosis with the Hypnobabies Home Study Program. I was so thankful I had self-hypnosis to help me through that marathon birth. I never felt pain, just intense pressure, but was utterly exhausted by the end.

This second pregnancy was not nearly as easy for me mentally, emotionally, or physically. You can read more about my first trimester here. I felt pretty good physically during my second trimester, but had a few emotionally challenging times during those months that required a lot of inner strength to stay positive and stress-free for the sake of my sanity and the baby’s health. Then I had pretty intense lower back, hip, and pelvic pain during my entire third trimester. Thankfully prenatal massage and chiropractic care brought on great relief, but didn’t make it go away entirely.

Even though I still had a positive experience with my first home birth, I was definitely less confident this second time around. I was mostly worried it would be just as long, but I wouldn’t be as mentally prepared as the last time. I wasn’t able to study Hypnobabies nearly as much as I should have because my 2.5 year old son, L, at the time had a month-long nap strike after we returned from vacation, which made it much more difficult to find the time to mentally prepare. I just kept praying for strength to trust that my body and mind knew exactly what to do and that God would not give me anything I could not handle.

The night before my second birth began, I broke down in tears to my husband expressing all my fears about the upcoming birth. By the end of our talk, I felt much more at peace and remembered I had a similar experience the week before my first birth. The next morning, I was supposed to have my 38 week visit with my midwife’s assistant, who was also at my first homebirth and would be taking over for my main midwife while she was on vacation for the month. She was also pregnant in her first trimester, but was not sure if her nausea was from that or a stomach virus, so she wanted to wait another day to come over, just in case. My girlfriend Meghan called and we ended up discussing details of both our homebirth stories which again led me to be much more at peace with what my upcoming birth would bring.

After I hung up the phone, I put L down for his nap, ate some lunch, and decided to lay down on the couch to rest. I looked up restaurants in town to make a reservation for that weekend for one last date night with Matt and continued reading a book on healthy baby sleep habits, determined to get better sleep this time around! All of a sudden, around 2pm, I realized my Braxton Hicks contractions were no more as they required my full attention. I felt a stretching-burning sensation wrap around my back, which I knew full well from last birth was an actual pressure wave (PW – Hypnobabies term for the word “contraction”). They lasted about 30 seconds and were about 15 minutes apart. Around 3pm, my son awoke from his nap and I decided I should text my midwife and Matt to let them both know something was happening. Knowing my last birth’s history, I told them both it was probably nothing but prodromal labor, and I was fully convinced I would be feeling these sensations for the next two weeks. She told me to keep her posted if they lasted 60 seconds and got closer together.

I downloaded a contraction timer app on my phone to keep better track, and played with my son in his room. Each PW continued to require my full attention, and I even needed to change my breathing through them. Still, I was convinced it was nothing. Shortly after 4pm, Matt called to say he was on his way home and asked if I was still planning on going to my prenatal yoga class. I told him I wanted to, but it probably wasn’t the smartest idea to drive by myself since I had to close my eyes and focus during PWs. I was in complete denial that I was actually in my birthing time. He said he would shovel snow off the deck and turn up the hot tub when he got home in case I wanted to relax in it, and would take care of our son so I could rest or do whatever I felt I needed to do. My midwife also checked in around the same time, so I sent her a screenshot of the times on my phone app. PWs were about 60 seconds long and 5 minutes apart. I told her I still didn’t think I needed her to come over, since we both knew how long my last labor was, it still may be awhile. She reminded me that my body had already passed a baby through it’s bones, so it would probably go faster this time. I was still in complete denial.

I laid down in bed and began listening to my Hypnobabies birthing affirmations. During this time, around 6:15pm, my other midwife called to check in. She lived almost an hour away and wanted to gauge how much time she had to give herself to drive here before the baby was born. I told her my PWs had slowed down to about 8 minutes apart, but during the less than 10 minutes I was on the phone with her, I had two about 4 minutes apart, and I had to stop talking to her and breath through them. She mentioned this and asked if I had any bloody show, which I had not seen any yet. Once I hung up with her, I decided to go to the bathroom and there it was, bloody show! I told Matt, and asked him to text the midwife to let her know it was actually happening and to come over. I was finally admitting to myself I was going to birth my baby!

Then I moved back to the bedroom, sat on my birth ball listening to Hypnobabies’ “Easy First Stage” track on my iPod, while Matt and L helped set up the birth pool. He tried several times to get a hold of Meghan who was planning to come help during the birth but there was no answer. He said he was calling one last time, and then he would call his mother to come help with our son, but thankfully she picked up the last call with the feeling I was maybe in labor! My midwife arrived, we made some small talk in between PWs about 3 minutes apart and getting things ready, while Matt put L down for bed. My son really wanted me to say prayers with him before bed, so we all prayed together, while I was breathing through PWs. I was so thankful he insisted on that! While Matt read him books in bed, I went and laid down in my bed to rest. My PWs seemed to slow down again so after he was done putting L to bed, I called Matt in to lay down with me for a little bit.

After some time, I wanted to go to the bathroom to empty my bladder to help keep everything moving along. Once on the toilet, my PWs picked up in time and consistency. I hung my arms over Matt’s shoulders so I could better relax my pelvic floor while sitting on the toilet. I remembered being in that exact place during my first birth when my water finally broke and my body began to push, so I wanted to stay there for awhile. Matt innocently asked if I wanted to go lay down again since it seemed to be less intense in that position, and my midwife and I both exclaimed, “No!” And she explained that intensity was good and we wanted to keep the birth progressing at that pace.

During this time, the other midwife arrived around 8:30pm and Meghan arrived around 9pm, after needing to shovel her car out of the snow. She tried to help calm my son who was laying in bed crying out for me, “Mama, lay down 5 minutes!”, but he would only tolerate Matt, and I didn’t have 5 minutes to spare, so they took turns being with me in the bathroom.

The birth pool was finally full enough with warm water for me to get in so I walked to the bedroom trying to explain to Matt where my one specific hair clip and bra was that I wanted to wear while in the pool. I had almost everything laid out in preparation but not those items yet! I had one more PW while they helped me get undressed, and then I got into the pool which felt so good. I had another PW in the water and realized my body had started pushing! I was so surprised. I had no idea I was that far along already, I thought I had to go though transformation (transition) still! This is how manageable everything was up to that point. My midwife agreed that my body was probably ready to push and I would be feeling my bag of waters bulging soon, and once it broke, the pressure would be much less intense. I was so excited! In between PWs I kept telling everyone how nice it was to be so present and not utterly exhausted this time. I could actually feel the sensations of my baby moving down and out. It was amazing.


Finally my water broke and the excitement in the room grew even more, knowing the baby would join us any minute. I was so relieved when it finally happened because a lot of the pressure then disappeared. My midwife noticed some vernix, the waxy substance that coats newborn babies skin, floating in the water noting that the baby maybe had more vernix than my last since he was coming two weeks earlier.

I laid with my back against the side of the pool, with my left hand in my husbands and my right hand in Meghan’s, not squeezing at all, rather using their beautiful positive energies to help me relax every muscle in my body. My body was shaking in between contractions, which my midwife told us was my hormones simply trying to help me relax my muscles, so it reminded me to take a deep breath and go “limp and loose” like Hypnobabies teaches, but since I wasn’t in deep hypnosis during this birth it didn’t happen as naturally. I let go of all tension in my body and the shaking would stop and the baby descended a little further. While I was pushing, Matt was going in between our bedroom and our sons bedroom, tending to him as he continued to call out for me this entire time. I contemplated just having him come in to our bedroom to watch, but I wasn’t sure if it would make it worse or not, because he really was just exhausted and wanted me to lay down with him. Later, Matt said he wondered the same thing, but he didn’t want to cause any stress for me by having him in the room if he didn’t really want to be there. I joked afterwards that we were both yelling out together.

Once my baby’s head emerged, everyone almost cheered with excitement. It all was happening rather quickly and seamlessly, and just so calmly. My body knew exactly what to do without any interventions and it truly was a natural, normal, healthy life experience. I definitely felt the “ring of fire” much more this time without the deep hypnosis, but I just tried not to focus on it, knowing it would only last a moment and my baby would be here. It was incredible to then feel the baby start to turn to come completely out. My midwife asked if I wanted to get my hands ready to catch my baby, but I wanted Matt to experience it this time since he wasn’t literally holding me up like last time.

One more push and our baby was earthside! Matt caught our baby while our midwife gently unwrapped the cord that was loosely around the baby’s neck, not cause for any concern. Then he and I brought our baby to my chest while Matt moved behind me. The midwives and Meghan were all surprised how much they thought the baby resembled my son, but I immediately saw all the differences, especially the nose!


I’m pretty sure I said, “Hi Baby!”, and immediately asked for someone to please go get our son from his room since he was still awake and calling out for me. Matt brought him to our room and then I put the baby on my legs so we all together could see if it was a boy or girl, and a boy it was! We all were shocked. Everyone thought it was a girl but God knew a baby boy, a little brother for our son, was exactly what our family needed at this time! Big brother immediately asked to go back to bed and he fell fast asleep knowing all was right in his world.


I asked what time it was when he was born and was shocked to hear it was only 10:07pm, just 8 hours from the first time I felt pressure waves begin! I really wanted an 8 hour birth or shorter this time, and God provided. Once the cord stopped pulsing, Matt cut it and then took off his shirt so he could hold our baby boy skin-to-skin against his chest while I got in an upright half-squatting position to better birth the placenta, which came out about 20 minutes after birth. I was then assisted out of the tub and into a robe and moved to the bed for lots and lots of snuggles.

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The midwives did all the routine newborn checks and everything was perfect. Even being two weeks early, he was surprisingly bigger than his brother! He was 19 3/4″ long and weighed 7lbs 4oz.



We called and/or Facetimed with our parents, waking some, to share the good news. Everyone was shocked he came two weeks early. My parents were still out of town on vacation and Matt’s mom was coming down with a really bad cold, so unfortunately it was several days before they got to finally meet him! The weather also turned bad so we were holed up on our own for the first couple of days postpartum, which wouldn’t have been so bad had Matt not thrown out his back the very next day, leaving us both in pretty rough shape, especially when trying to care for a very active toddler too!

I decided to have my placenta encapsulated this time, as well as tinctured, and also had an art print made from it as a keepsake. It was something I came across during my first pregnancy, but ended up just burying my sons placenta under a tulip tree a friend gave us to plant. So far I have had good results. Maybe one day I’ll write about it here. For now, thank you for reading my second son’s birth story!


My Birth Story Part II: Big Guy’s Home Birth


Birth Pool

Today Big Guy turns 1 year old. I’m sobbing inside. To make matters worse, I will now tell you about his beautiful birth story. Side Note: If you are interested in my journey to choosing a home birth, you can read all about it by clicking here.

Short Version:

My birth story all started on July 22, 2013 around 11pm and ended on July 25, 2013 at 6:28am.

Long Version:

To start, I practiced the Hypnobabies (HB) home study program in lieu of traditional birth classes, which had me refer to words and phrases such as labor as my “birthing time” (BT), contraction as “pressure wave” (PW), pain as “discomfort”, transition as “transformation”, and due date as “guess date” to help relieve any negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions that often accompany the birthing process. I truly believe Hypnobabies helped me have a peaceful and pain-free birthing experience!

I felt my first pressure wave on Sunday, July 22, 2013 around 11pm as soon as I laid down to sleep. They felt similar to my worst menstrual cramps when lying down, so I sat upright in a rocking chair in Big Guy’s room instead. They were pretty regular, lasting about one minute and around 4 minutes apart until about 3-4am before they started slowing down. I started listening to the “Easy First Stage” HB track to help me fall asleep, which I did, while waking at least 1-2 times an hour with intense PW’s. At around 5:15am I decided to try to sleep sitting upright on the couch which made the PW’s much more manageable and I eventually awoke for the day at 7:15am when my husband woke up. I was so glad I didn’t wake him during the night, as he had no idea I was up all night!

PW’s started again around ever 15 minutes but were very manageable. I called my midwife then who advised I try to just rest, take a walk if I’m feeling antsy, but don’t exert too much energy by trying to make them stronger. She said something along the lines of, “It sounds like you are one of those women who are affected by melatonin levels, so your contractions are stronger at night, and slow down during the day. Maybe we’ll have a baby in the next day or two though!” The thought that it could take another day was exhausting. Little did I know it would take much, much longer than that! I listened to my “Birthing Affirmations” track while making granola and doing some payroll work at home. PW’s continued all day every 10-15 minutes, but slightly more intense than the night before. I had my husband set up the birthing pool before left for work that day just in case things sped up while he was gone. Later on I listened to the “Easy Childbirth” track to help me relax and nap a little, and then listened to soothing music. I remember my husband texting me that he heard Duchess Kate was apparently in labor at that moment too. It was also a full moon so I had high hopes!

Monday night I was up all night again “sleeping” upright on the couch when PW’s slowed down again by Tuesday morning. My husband decided to stay home from work hoping we would have the baby soon. PW’s were the same as the day before so we took a walk hoping something would happen and just to get out of the house but nothing changed. I had very little appetite during this time also. The rest of the afternoon we watched movies while I breathed through PW’s. A thunderstorm rolled through later on taking our power with it. I texted my midwife about it and she replied, “This may be true Amish style!” My husband drove down the road to find the electric guy and asked him to fix our power first since I was in labor. The guy agreed and the electric came back on around 9:30pm just as we were about to go to bed and had lit candles. That evening, PW’s got much more intense and more like 3-5 minutes apart, but still completely manageable while listening to HB tracks. At around 1:30am we called my midwife and she advised we call again if I felt I needed her. I think we called her around 3am and she came over to check on me, but around 5-6am PW’s started slowing down again, despite my husband covering our windows with black sheets!

Birth Pool with Dog

At that point my midwife received a call from another client who was bleeding so she asked if I felt comfortable with her leaving to check on the client. I figured she might as well since things were slowing down for me. She said she’d send over her assistant in an hour or two if she wasn’t able to get back right away. Her assistant did show up later that morning while my PW’s finally picked up again around 10am Wednesday. I listened to my HB while changing positions and my husband began re-filling the birthing pool. It didn’t seem to be filling up, and then I heard my husband leave the garage in our four wheeler, so I knew something was up. The assistant told me he was checking on the well, but everything was fine and not to worry, that I was doing great. Eventually he was able to re-fill the pool. He told me our well ran dry so he had to go to the creek for some water and literally poured it down the well! We have a UV filtration system, so it was clean enough. Then he called and ordered water to be delivered so we wouldn’t need to worry about it again for the next couple of days at least. At some point that afternoon my midwife returned, and I thought I overheard her telling her assistant that her client ended up being in labor and delivered her baby already! I made myself ignore it and pretend I didn’t hear correctly so I wouldn’t get discouraged. In the end, I heard right. I was wearing my bathing suit top while in the pool, but eventually it was really bothering me during PW’s so I took it off. I definitely didn’t plan to be naked for my birth, but alas, I was and didn’t give a shit at the time.

Birthing Time

I labored between the pool and toilet all evening until about 1:30am when my midwife asked if she could check my dilation and the baby’s positioning since it was taking so long. Up until this point, I had not had one exam through my entire pregnancy. I agreed, but she knew already that I didn’t want to know how dilated I was because earlier I had told her, “I’m scared you’ll tell me I’m only at a 5, and I’ll just get discouraged!” She told me that 5 wasn’t bad, but in my head it was. I took my headphones off while she checked me and she said, “Well, you’re not a 5!” I told myself that she meant I was at 7cm dilation. Still not great in my head since it had been so long already, but still manageable. She then advised me to remain out of the pool for a little and try new positions to help the baby descend. I was willing to do anything at this point since I was so exhausted and it had been so long. From this point on my PW’s got much stronger, partially due to the positions I was doing, I stopped listening to my HB tracks, and I being too tired to focus easily.

At one point, I asked the assistant if she knew how much longer it would take, as if she was God or something. Obviously she didn’t know, but she told me to let out a good cry if that’s what I needed and it felt good. So next PW, I bawled my eyes out, but I definitely think that release of tension helped move things along! It was more than likely me going through transformation. Shortly thereafter, I decided to go to the bathroom again and while sitting on the toilet and holding on to my husband, I had a very intense PW. The assistant said if it felt more intense, that was a good thing and to try going through some more PW’s sitting on the toilet. I think I had about 4 more PW’s when I told her I felt a lot of pressure to push and she said to do so if it felt right. I then responded by telling her I was scared to get hemorrhoids from doing so! Then all of a sudden, my water finally broke. It was like an explosion over the toilet and my husband gasped and jumped thinking the baby came out! I immediately told the assistant I did not want to have the baby over the toilet, rather in the pool so her and my husband helped me waddle back to the pool.

My husband said I pushed for about 1.5 hours. I put on the “pushing track” but eventually it was just repeating what we all knew so my midwife advised to shut it off. At first I tried simply breathing through pushing PW’s as I always envisioned, but they were so overwhelming as if I didn’t know what to do with them! That’s when my midwife woke up from napping on the couch (it had been a long few days for her too), and she advised I center my pushing toward my pelvic area, and moan through them if it helped. It did seem to make a big difference! I remembered her telling me once that most women make this broken-up, stuttering, groan, and I let that very sound happen which also seemed to help. I started by floating on my back in the pool, but eventually switched to a squat position leaning over the pool side while holding my husbands arms. Once the baby finally started to crown, I turned my back toward my husband while he held me under my arms and I squatted and felt I could better relax the bottom half of my body. I remember have all sorts of random thoughts during the pushing phase. I remembered a friend telling me she thought the baby was going to kill her when coming out and I didn’t feel it was that bad at all. It was super intense, but nothing I couldn’t live through. The quote, “I am woman, hear me roar.” seemed to stream through my mind a lot. Then when I finally felt “the ring of fire” as the baby’s head began to emerge, I told myself it wasn’t that bad, not to focus on it, and send my “natural anesthesia” to the area. The assistant urged me to feel the baby’s head, but for some reason, I absolutely did not want to.

After that I didn’t feel anything, and all of a sudden I pushed the whole head and body out all at once which I think surprised all of us! The assistant announced, “There’s your baby, grab your baby!” and I remember thinking, “Oh yea, there is a baby!” I had been so focused for so long on the actual birthing process and was so exhausted, I had forgotten the beautiful gift I would receive in the end! I held him for a few minutes while trying to wrap my head around what just happened and catch my breath before I asked to check for the sex of the baby. I told my husband I wanted him to check, and then we all saw that it was a baby boy! My husband began to cry which was so endearing. I myself couldn’t believe it, since my entire pregnancy we both had thought it was a girl, until the last week I all of a sudden changed my mind and thought we were having a boy.

Just Gave Birth

Big Guy was finally born on his actual “guess date” of July 25, 2013 at 6:28am weighing  6 pounds, 9 ounces, and 19 3/4″ long. A tiny guy who made up for it in one week by gaining almost an entire pound! I ended up being too exhausted and weak to push the placenta out in my current position while holding the baby, so the midwives ha dme hand him off to my husband to hold so I could get in a squat position. I felt very lightheaded and they told me not to take such deep breaths anymore since I was no longer breathing for two beings. I squatted and then the placenta easily came out with a little pushing, but it didn’t hurt at all. The assistant helped me out of the pool and into bed to relax, while she checked the baby out and my midwife cleaned up the pool area. At some point the assitant helped me into the shower to clean up which felt awesome, but strange at the same time.

Just Gave Birth

Once the midwives left, we laid in our bed together snuggling our sleeping baby boy. He hadn’t yet nursed, rather slept. Once my mom got out of her hot yoga class, she heard the news and immediately came over to meet her newest grandson. I think I was still topless and wearing a Depends diaper without a care in the world. She vaccuumed for us since it had been a long few days, while we all napped for about 4 straight hours. I think after we woke up is when Big Guy nursed for the first time, and it was such a strange feeling for me! It was incredible to watch his natural rooting ability though. Then our parents all came over that evening to visit with him while I relaxed in bed. I was still pretty shaky and weak after running the longest marathon ever: 79 hours total. The next day my midwife came back over to check up on us and I told her, “I’ll get my 4 hour birth next time!” She laughed and was glad to hear I wasn’t too traumatized by the long and hard labor to not want to do it again.


If one day I am ever blessed to do it all again, I would probably change a few things, but who really knows when you’re “in the moment”? I think I will plan my birthing outfit a little better. Maybe a wireless bra top and sarong. I can hardly show any photos because I was completely nude in all of them! Speaking of photos, I will make sure we get a full family photo where you can see the baby’s face after I have cleaned up and am clothed, and one of just me and baby. I do not have either of those with Big Guy unfortunately. My mind was obviously elsewhere and no one else thought to take one! I will definitely do Hypnobabies again, and try to listen to it the entire time to help me better through transformation. I will plan to do more laboring on land while changing positions frequently before getting into the pool. I think I may have been too relaxed for the early stages. But maybe not!

Newborn Photo

One of my most distinct memories is hearing the birds singing as dawn approached and my baby finally came Earth-side. To this day, it is a such a beautiful memory and I am so grateful to have been able to experience such a peaceful birth!