I came to know Janice when she took childbirth classes from me while she was pregnant with her first baby. We have become friends since and work together in our local ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) chapter. I also had the privilege of being present at the birth of her third baby which was also her second VBAC. For me it was a special birth because of our friendship. It happened on early on a Sunday morning. I got home just in time to shower and go to church. I had a special spirit in my heart that entire day as I reflected on the birth I had just witnessed. Thank you Janice for sharing your birth story with us. -Robyn
Supported by Angels
In Spanish they say “dar a luz” – to give light. I have always thought this is a beautiful way to describe bringing new life. I very much prefer it to terms that are common in our culture today. Early in December Joel Richard Madsen was born. The stats: He was born at home at 4:30am on a Sunday morning. He is my smallest baby and also my shortest gestation time (40 weeks 5 days, compared to Eeva at 42 weeks 1 day and Heber at 41 weeks).
The Beautiful Birth Story
2 weeks before Joel was born I started having contractions. I had lots of contractions all day, every day. This was a difficult 2 weeks for me and full of a lot of emotions and fears. I really struggled through these 2 weeks wondering if my birthing time was near or still a long way off. I struggled to eat and sleep and take care of myself. My mom took my other kids for a few days and nights as I worked through this time.
Looking back I am very grateful for these few weeks because they gave me the chance to prepare and really be ready both physically and emotionally. It gave me the time I needed to work through my fears so that when the time really came I was able to surrender to the experience and put my full trust in my Heavenly Parents.
On Saturday night at around 9pm, I felt like the contractions I had been having were getting more regular. I called the midwife to give her a heads up and decided to try and sleep. I rested in bed for a few hours but I wasn’t getting any sleep. The contractions kept coming but weren’t too much different than what I had been having. At 12am Heber woke up and he stayed up with me all through the night while I labored.
One of my biggest fears was having to labor through the night. I was afraid that I would just be too tired to get through it. I was also afraid that Heber or Eeva would wake up and need my attention. In actuality it was a very peaceful, quite time to labor. Eeva slept peacefully until right before the birth and Heber was a great help. Around 1am I decided to get out of bed because I wasn’t sleeping and was getting really restless trying to lay down through contractions. Heber got up with me and sat quietly near me while I labored in the living room on hands and knees and on the birth ball. I loved that Heber sat with me. He didn’t say anything or do anything but just sat quietly with me. His presence was very calming. I let Ben stay in bed because I wanted him to get all the sleep he could.
Around 3am things started to get a lot more intense. I woke Ben up and told him I needed his help. We called my friend Robyn who was coming to the birth as my doula. I told Ben he needed to call Kathy, our midwife, right away because she had over an hour drive to get to our house. Ben wanted to time some contractions first just to see where we were. I practically yelled at him to stop timing and just call her because this was serious and I most defiantly needed her to be there soon.
A little while later Angela (the assistant midwife) arrived. She lives in my community and arrived before the midwife. Angela came and got a few things set up and Robyn got there shortly after. Ben was helping me relax through contractions that were pretty intense and close together. Robyn suggested the Ben fill up the pool so I could use that. She helped me through some contractions while Ben worked on the birth pool but after a few minutes it was pretty obvious that there wouldn’t be time to get it ready.
It’s so interesting how birth works. This part of labor was really difficult and looking back it was so obvious that I was in transition. At the time I thought I had hours to go. I kept saying how I was so tired and I wanted to be done. I didn’t want to do this anymore. Robyn was really helpful in reminding me that it was almost finished. She also reminded me that I was not alone and I could get through this. I felt the support of angels and heavenly messengers bearing me up as I labored. The difficulty and struggle was not taken away but I was strengthened able to get through it.
I was ecstatic
I got up to use the bathroom. Immediately and uncontrollably started pushing. My body completely took over as I pushed. It was such powerful feeling that I missed with Eeva’s birth. After the first big push I remember feeling really overwhelmed and scared. I kept saying “I don’t what to do this”, “I don’t like this part”, and “This is really hard.” Kathy (the midwife) was not there yet but I didn’t feel the least bit of concern about her absence. My baby was about to be born and I was almost finished! Kathy arrived after a few pushed just as the baby was crowning. Eeva woke up all on her own just it time to see the birth.
One more good push and the baby was born. I was ecstatic. I just gave birth on the bathroom floor and I felt like superwoman! The rush, the excitement, the joy – it was incredible!
After a good long time sitting there and enjoying the moment, I got up and got cleaned up. Ben and the kids got to hold and meet our new little baby.
This birth was amazing. I would do it the same way a thousand times again (or at least once more after a few years time).