Our darling Dahlia Florence (Dolly) was born swiftly and peacefully, in the comfort of our own home the evening of December 8th. I’m sharing my story for those who enjoy birth stories. There are real and raw images of me laboring, and just after baby is born.
I went to bed on the 7th giddy. I had a strong feeling she’d come the 8th. No reason why. Nothing was different or out of the ordinary. I did wake up with soft contractions much like I’d had for weeks, but I actually asked DJ if there was any chance he could stay and work from home. He was going to be home with the kids during my midwife appointment, anyways. I had a feeling these were different contractions and just truly felt in my gut like it was the day.
I went to my Midwife appointment (around noon), breathlessly said “I’m so ready,” and left feeling encouraged and excited after chatting with them and knowing, no matter what, she’s coming soon! Went and ran a couple errands, kid-free, and ended up leaving my cart at Trader Joe’s because I was starting to feel pretty uncomfortable. Drove home, then laced my shoes for a walk. I was feeling restless. I usually take my kids for walks, but today I just really needed to be alone and pray. I’ll never forget the stunning Fall foliage all around our neighborhood. The treetops were filled with amber and golden leaves, the air dewy and crisp.
My contractions definitely picked up in intensity during my walk. I didn’t overdo it, but was certainly feeling some mama instincts to push through, pray specifically over baby Dolly, our labor and birth. I was back home around 3pm and just rested on the couch with the kids playing all around, DJ still working (on his computer in the living room), and contractions didn’t stop at all. I knew they wouldn’t. I also knew I wasn’t in active labor by any means, but I was sure this was the real deal at this point. I knew she was going to make her arrival this evening.
Around 5pm when DJ was done working, I went and laid in our bed. At this point, I was just kind of wanting to rest, without fully stopping progress happening, but also knew I would want to have some quiet for labor and delivery (aka after the kids went to bed). I didn’t want to do too much to spur things on quicker. DJ made the kids a simple dinner, we tidied the house, the girls made comments about mommy wobbley-walking and breathing funny… “Mommy’s having contractions… baby Dahlia might really be coming finally! Just like we prayed!” And Rudy climbed over to me and hugged my belly saying “I love baby Doll-ya!” 😭♥️
It took a while to get the kids all down and settled for bed. At 7pm my midwife called me to see how I was doing. She had a feeling baby would be coming tonight, too and nixed her dinner plans. I had a couple contractions during that call, and was able to breathe and also talk and walk through them so didn’t think much of it. I thought I still had a ways to go. I told her I was fine, and would let her know when I can’t talk through them or they got closer together. (They were 4-8 mins apart, and lasting 1.5-2 mins at this point). I was pacing around my house, keeping my hips swaying and loose, leaning forward… DJ was so helpful with the kids, I was just in my own little world. I also made brownies at this point. Yes, I baked brownies as active labor was likely taking place. 😂🙈
By 8:30 they were really intense, but I couldn’t remember how much more intense it would be, so I just kept breathing and moving through them, around the house. I had a few moments where I couldn’t stop crying. I was just SO happy to know she was really coming. There was no questioning it, I was in labor now. I fell to the floor sobbing with gratitude… literally praying and thanking God for this gift of life about to enter into our world. We’d been longing for this day, to hold and welcome this baby!
I had some minor bloody show, my contractions were less than 5 apart, and I could barely catch my breath in between. I was beginning to naturally do some really low meaning through them. I was still texting in a group chat with some of my closest friends, telling them that I was fluffing my couch pillows and in denial it was really happening. I put my labor playlist on, and around 9pm I finally texted my midwife and doulas that maybe they should come (this is the point where you’re supposed to *call* but I was still in denial that we were that close). I tried to get a bite of my brownies but didn’t really have time in between the waves. DJ was putting Rudy down for the second time. (That sweet boy just wanted in on the excitement!)
Right before my midwife got there, DJ had been able to leave Ru asleep in his bed, and started blowing up the birth pool. My contractions were about 3 mins apart when my midwife walked in (about 9:30ish), but I greeted her with a smile, was about to show her some things around the house, when another one came over me. She went to our bedroom where DJ was, and I followed when I was done getting through that wave. She checked me quickly between contractions, and said “honey, don’t waste your time setting up the pool at this point. You’re at a 9. Baby girl is just about ready!”
I was shocked. How was I already so dilated?! But praise God! I was so happy. DJ was surprised… but also not… he thought we should have had her come like an hour or so sooner…. But I just felt like we needed to wait until all the kids were in bed (even though we wanted them present for the birth). I knew if they knew the birth team was coming over, they’d never go to sleep, and I really wanted them somewhat rested. Plus our house is tiny, so the less moving bodies during labor and delivery, the better.
Baby’s heart rate continued to be great through each wave. I was just following my body’s lead and moving however felt natural in that moment. Everything was peaceful. No interruptions. It was just such a *really* sweet night.
My sweet doulas (@thefirsthellodoulas) arrived around 10. Jenny immediately put candles on, and got oils diffusing, made the bath pretty and had me try it out since we nixed the birth pool. Jacy put counter pressure on my hips during contractions. Jenny grabbed my camera and immediately started grabbing all these shots. I was laughing and chatting completely normal in between and literally asked them how this was possible?! But we’d actually prayed for moments of joy and laughter through labor, so I truly just see God’s kindness in that. Such a precious gift!
My legs were too long and I couldn’t get comfortable enough to find a good way to deliver baby in our little bathtub, so I did labor a few times but then hopped out and walked down the hall into our room.
I stood over our bed for a wave or two, then got on my knees on the bed and had my arms over my pillows for a few… and had one specific moment where I felt immense pressure and felt a strange urge. I quickly climbed off the bed, into a low squat, and my water broke onto the floor. I stood up, hearing barely coherently my team trying to figure out how I could safely deliver in that corner… and also that Rudy had just joined in. I subconsciously hopped back on the bed, and my body pushed my baby out. (I just rewatched the video to make sure I was not imagining this… her whole body slid right out, there was not head first, waiting, then shoulders… her whole body came right out without me pushing at all).
I had tried to slow her down, I panted and tried to keep her in because DJ had just walked away to wake the girls. She was coming and coming fast! Out without pushing, my body expelled her, into my hands and onto my chest, PRAISE GOD! But I was in complete and total shock. I literally could not believe she was already born. I didn’t even push. I prayed that my body would do that, and that I could experience the fetal ejection reflex.
I could not believe she looked *exactly* the way I had been imagining her. I had dreams of her, and the baby I was holding looked exactly like the baby I had dreamed of. I just could not fathom that this was real life. And my husband and son were standing there witnessing it all unfold, the girls were quickly woken up and brought in as well. I was in shock. My eyes were huge and could not believe this experience. I was so blessed, and God truly was just so kind in all these details. 😭♥️
She weighed 8lbs 13oz, 21.5 inches long. Born at 11:13pm on December 8th. Her due date, according to my cycle. Weeks and weeks of prodromal labor. I made it through several sicknesses before she was born, and our whole household was healthy and illness-free before she made her perfect arrival. So many answered prayers and blessings! She latched and nursed right away. We were able to watch the placenta stop pulsing before DJ cut the umbilical cord. The midwife walked the kids through each different part of the placenta, and they were enthralled with it! Homebirth turned homeschool lesson 😉
My team was incredible. My midwife + midwife assistant (@special_delivery_tulsa) were just the sweetest, wonderful, perfectly hands-off and also so encouraging through my pregnancy and delivery. My doulas went above and beyond to make our experience beautiful and what we wanted. Such amazing physical labor and postpartum support, and even helping get the kids settled back down after all the excitement, and bringing me bone broth and coconut water before leaving into the wee hours of the next morning.
Being far from family, we were not sure what to expect from this birth. We didn’t know how it would all work out. But God 😭♥️🙌🏻 He went before us, and laid out the perfect plan, in the perfect timeline, with the absolute sweetest, amazing support team we could have asked for. Our hearts are immensely grateful.
Our darling Dahlia’s homebirth was everything we prayed for and more, and she is the absolute best gift that could come from it all. 🌸