Three weeks ago I gave birth to our fourth boy and our fifth baby!
It was a hard but beautiful experience that I want to share it with you. John Paul was born at 41 weeks completely natural and in a birthing tub.
I started getting contractions on and off for about a week but the real labor started Sunday night and I labored at home until I had him on Tuesday morning. I went in for a check up on Monday night to see how things were progressing and I was about 3/4 cm centimeters dilated but they said I wasn’t ready yet, so I went home to finish laboring. I tried watching a movie, slept a little and took a bath until I decided it was time to go in. We met our midwife at the birthing center at 5:30 AM on Tuesday, January 7, where I labored some more and then delivered him in the birthing tub.
All my boys were a week or two late so that was normal for me but this was the first time it was 100% natural without any interventions. With my other kids, I had the doctor or midwife break my water to help get things moving and this time we really wanted to see what my body would do on its own. My water bag eventually broke right before I delivered John in the tub. The cord was wrapped around his neck but the midwife fixed that ASAP and I had no idea that happened until after he was out.
I delivered my little Johnny at 9:29 AM, weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces. (My biggest baby.) At first he had a hard time taking his first breath (which is more common in water births) so they used a suction cup and he was totally fine. Now, that boy can cry and knows how to get our attention. My kids can’t believe how loud babies can be sometimes. Ha!
My first thought when I saw him, was that he was the CUTEST thing that I have ever seen in my whole life and I couldn’t stop staring at his sweet face. That feeling of seeing your baby for the first time is unreal. It feels like a little slice of Heaven came down to earth.
I don’t know if it was because I didn’t have any medications in me, but I was way more aware and present right after delivery. I just kept staring at our new son in total awe and amazement of God’s work.
Then I held him as we stepped out of the bathtub (with help) and walked to the bed so we can let the umbilical cord continue pumping and then deliver the placenta. I wasn’t timing it but it seemed like 10 to 20 minutes of pumping before my husband cut the cord, which is way longer than the 30 seconds to 2 minutes at the hospital.
We started skin to skin immediately and started breast-feeding right after that. We did two hours of skin to skin with me and then two hours of skin to skin with my husband. He wasn’t rushed out of the room for testing weighing, and bathing. He was in our arms being welcomed into this world, peacefully.
My mother-in-law was able to pick our kids up from school and bring them to the birthing center around 1:00pm that same day. Our other four kids were beyond excited to see their newest sibling. The 10+ months of being pregnant seemed like an eternity for them, and they couldn’t wait to tell everyone they knew about their new brother. They were all able to hold Johnny, and of course, Andrew took his shirt off too so he can enjoy some skin to skin time with his new brother.
That same day, we all left the birthing center, together, as a family. We were able to rest and recover in the comfort of our home. Our midwife came the next day to check on us, to do his hearing test, and other vitals.
We are completely enthralled with him and I can seriously look at him for hours and hours. He’s already brought so much joy into our lives and I’m still in shock that he’s here in my arms, and that God have him to us. We are beyond blessed. ️
I’ll continue more about labor and recovery in a future post.