Josiah is two months now! I suppose that is long enough to procrastinate writing another blog post and his birth story. His birth was quite unexpected and different from the others…
We had just finished a long week of VBS at our church. To top off the busy week, Isaiah (the second oldest) just had his 12th birthday. Finally, I thought, now I can relax and get ready for this baby. At 39 weeks along, I honestly didn’t think it would be another few weeks, since I have a track record of being almost two weeks late.
At 2am though, my water broke. Completely surprised, I jumped out of bed (about as quick as a 9 month pregnant mama can get) and ran for the bathroom. Had my water really just broke?! This never happens to me, I kept saying to myself. Excitedly, I told Aaron. He groggily responds, “Are you sure?” Yea, I am sure :) I phoned the midwife, hoping not to wake her. She was at another birth and responded that she would call me back when she was done. Since the contractions weren’t painful or regular, I just went back to bed.
A couple hours later my midwife calls back. She’s finished at the other birth and wanted to come over. I figured she could just rest here instead of driving all the way home and then coming back out again. So, over she came. It was a little bit of a blur. We all just tried to get some rest. When the contractions became too uncomfortable to sleep, I got up and walked around. I was at about a 7 sometime early that morning. The kids were waking up, and we needed to get the birthing pool ready. My labor kind of fizzled out and started to slow down. I think being preoccupied with everyone else’s needs didn’t help the progression. After getting all the kids out the door to a good friend’s house, I felt like I could relax, a little. Throughout the labor, I felt very watched and on a time clock. When your water breaks at home, midwives are under a lot of pressure to take you to a hospital after 24 hours if you don’t deliver. With my labor stalling out, I was getting a little worried.
In my haste to hurry things along, I tried doing herbal tinctures, some oils, massage, walking, praying, anything I could think of to get my labor going again. Nothing seemed to work. Finally, very discouraged, I went to bed and tried to take a nap. After an hour or more, contractions were back and I was ready to get this baby out!
We refilled the pool again and tried to keep the temperature just right. For some reason though, I just didn’t have the urge to push. That urge is caused by adrenaline which is produced by the adrenals. Near the end of my pregnancy, I had been experiencing adrenal fatigue. I didn’t realize all this until after the birth. Looking back now, I can see how having your body systems in top shape is so critical to having a natural, healthy birth – especially at home.
After laboring in the pool for a while, I gave up and got out. All those Swedish Bitters I had tried to get my labor going were taking serious effect :/ After laboring in the bathroom for a while, I wandered around the house, trying to find a good place to birth. Since the pool was too dirty and cold now, I couldn’t birth there. I had no back up plan! After trying different positions, I gave up and went to my bedroom. Still feeling a lot of pressure to hurry up and birth this baby, I think my emotional system was incredibly stressed and without the adrenals to help with the stress, I just couldn’t remember how to push this baby out!
Thank God for my sweet midwife. One of my dear friends suggested to her that she put pressure on the place where I need to be focused on pushing at. That did it. She only had to place her fingers down there with slight pressure for me to know what I had to do. With a couple of good pushes, little Josiah finally came out. Now all the after birth hormones were going nuts, and I was delirious, happy, in pain, unbelieving that I actually pushed a little person out of my body. God’s design just takes my breath away.
I started to bleed a bit too much; so my midwife had Aaron give me a shepherd’s purse tincture. It stopped the bleeding almost immediately. I believe the bleeding was caused by doing too much of the black and blue cohosh (one of the herbs I was trying to get my labor started again). Won’t be doing that again. I had read a long time ago that shepherd’s purse stops internal bleeding and had a bag of the herb on hand, intending to make a tincture out of it. I still need to do that, but I am so thankful that my midwife had one on hand!
Josiah Adin (meaning God saves, and pleasantly – both of Hebrew origin), as we named him (after 8 days), was just beautiful! Weighing in at 7 and a half pounds, he was almost 2 lbs smaller than my last baby. I was elated that he had finally arrived and I was not 42 weeks along!
I learned much from the birth experience: like the importance of being relaxed and laboring in your own way, at your own pace, and on your own terms. I also have been working on building up my adrenals and other body systems that were weakened this time around.
Here are some of the ways I am nourishing my body back to complete health after baby #8:
- praying for God to resolve and heal certain organs and areas of weakness
- drinking homemade broth, 3-4 time a week
- taking probiotics daily
- taking fermented cod liver oil (Green Pastures)
- taking 4 tsp of Moringa powder each day
- juicing 1-2 times a day
- eating a diet of mostly raw foods (including dairy, nuts, etc.)
- enjoying sourdough bread and gluten free grains in moderation
- having limited amounts of natural sugars only (like sucanat, or coconut sugar) – using mostly raw honey for sweetening
- eating my main caloric intake during the early afternoon, and not in the evening
- taking food enzymes as needed
- using essential oils topically to strengthen various problem areas (Orange on pancreas, Lemongrass for lymph, DiGiz for stomach, Myrtle for thyroid, Lemon for gallbladder/liver)
It is a slow process and I need to learn to be patient with myself as I continue to heal and regain strength again in all areas. Once my baby fat starts falling off like crazy, then I will know that my body has repaired and no longer needing to reserve all energy for healing. Holding on to stored fat is a sign that the body is in a healing crisis and needs to restore its body systems to a reasonable level of functionality. In my case, it’s a combination of my thyroid, stomach, pituitary and pancreas that have to get it together before I am able to shed the extra pounds from the pregnancy.
I also experienced some serious panic attacks a week or so after the birth. I believe this was from the weakened state of my pancreas and adrenals combined. I prayed for God to heal me in those areas and release all anxiety, replacing it with trust, peace, love and joy. He is ever merciful, showing me what I need to do to heal and restore this temple back to its original design. Truly, we are fearfully and wonderfully created – knit together with such love.
Thank God for another wonderful blessing to add to our family. I am grateful and humbled by the great task that lay before me in preparing another soul for His kingdom. Welcome to Our Father’s World, little Josiah.