My 5th freebirth baby is 6 months old now! He’s such a happy boy and we’ve been really enjoying him as he grows. I love to watch the slideshow of my labor with him… such a precious gift from my friend that allows me to really recall the events of that day. Thanks to everyone for understanding that we’re a little busy these days, but I hope you all will continue to reach out for any support or information as needed. If I’m unable to do the research, I can always post for others to offer suggestions, information, personal research, and good places to start for further understanding on things! Enjoy your summer!
Fifth UP/UC, Third Son (Seventh Child) born on 01/07/2018!
Despite being our seventh babe, the pregnancy came as a surprise. Once the original shock wore off, we were so thankful for the newest babe growing in my womb. We shared the news with my oldest daughter first, who then wanted to tell her siblings through the game hangman. As they solved the puzzle, their faces lit up with excitement once they learned the news. Another babe was joining our family!
It was an uneventful pregnancy but I got quite big and it was more and more uncomfortable getting around. By the end of it, I had gained over 70lbs to my dismay. I took a poll asking friends to guess the reason for my extra large belly: lots of fluid? big baby? twins? haha
At 2:56pm on January 6th, I noticed a change in the contractions I’d already been having for a couple weeks. The intensity was changing and began taking my breath away and made it a little more difficult to talk or walk through. I watched them for an hour, asking my husband when he’d be home from work, and informing him that the contractions were 7-15mins apart and increasing in intensity. I made a guess based on history that he should be home in under 4 hours to be on the safe side and I’d let him know if anything changed that needed him to come home sooner.
Not much changed by the time he got home so we just hung out. I let my friend know that it might be the real thing and to keep her phone on. I went to lay down around 8 to see if the contractions would stop or wake me up when I laid down. Each one woke me every 7-15mins over the next hour. It wasn’t comfortable so I got up and went to sit with my husband in the living room. I decided to call my friend and let her know that she could come in about an hour or so but that it could still subside at any time. She came and we chatted between contractions.
About 3am but while they were increasing in intensity, they were still 7-15mins apart. Since she lived close by, I suggested she get home and we get some sleep and I’d call her when I thought it was time. I went to bed and woke up with each contraction, still maintaining about 10mins apart and chose to get up around 6am as the contractions were too much for in bed. My husband also got up to help with the kids as I worked through the contractions and rested. My friend joined us around 10am or so and we enjoyed each other’s company between contractions. With each contraction, depending on where my husband was, I’d call to him and he’d sit with me as I breathed through it.
I would begin to question whether I was truly in labor, and then I’d have a strong and intense contraction and we’d all laugh that it obviously was. I noticed with a couple of the contractions that my body began bearing down so I was trying to decide where to ultimately labor and birth the baby. In the past, I’d ended up in the bathroom and that was where I stayed until baby was born, but I was a bit apprehensive of the intensity and wanted something a bit more comfortable. My husband brought our mattress into the living room and covered it with the shower curtain we had bought, to protect it. I climbed onto the bed and started out on all fours for several contractions and then turned around for a bit. As I labored in a sitting position, my water broke at 1:45pm. Lots of water kept coming and coming, so my friend helped my husband to get some towels underneath me.
I decided I wanted to be on all fours again and turned around. I labored there and more water kept coming. It was quite surprising just how much water there was, actually. haha I continued to labor and the intensity was too much for the strength I had left. My legs were shaky and I chose to turn around. I am unsure whether I regret this or just think it would have been easier if I just held out a little longer. I didn’t know at the time that baby was going to be born very soon.
I sat on my bottom and had my husband sit behind me so I could push off on him. With each contraction, now much closer together, I allowed my body to bear down as my husband reminded me to breath and follow my body. I could hear myself hollering and roaring with each push so between contractions, I looked to my 13yo daughter to remind her that I was okay and not to worry. Her and my 11yo daughter was present, awaiting the arrival of their youngest sibling.
I checked to see if I could feel the baby’s head and I felt it, all squished and coming down. I continued to bear down, and felt myself poo. I was thankful that I was covered in a blanket for my personal comfort of modesty. It was around this time that I could hear voices surrounding me and I realized someone was praying. I found great comfort in it and I was so thankful that I had my friend and her daughter along with my two daughters present. I continued to push and felt the baby descend, I could feel the baby’s head all squished as it crowned and asked my friend to check to make sure it was the head and not the bottom (though in hindsight, labor would have been more intense for my back and hips if that had been the case). She assured me it was the head and I relaxed despite the burning sensation.
I heard myself say to my husband that it was too hard and he encouraged me and reminded me of what I’m capable of. I began to roar again and pushed the baby’s head out. I was shocked how big his head was, as it was bigger than the size of the birth canal. I said the head was out and was facing down. I breathed and continued following my body’s lead and pushed the rest of the body out with another roar, feeling arms crossed at the chest. I breathed a sigh of relief for a moment before uncovering the baby from under the blanket at 2:20pm. I saw he was a boy, noticed poo up his back, then I saw his arms flop, and his face was purple.
I noted to my husband that he was purple and I needed a towel. I wiped his face, wiped his back, and rubbed his back and chest to encourage him to breath. Ready to take the next step, he made a little squeak and his color began to pink up, then he began to cry.
I looked up at that point to see everyone tearful. He was here. He was here after 24hrs of labor, all 11lbs of him with that 15″ head! I laid back with him and could feel all the work I had done and felt tired. Not long after, I delivered the placenta, thankful to find that I hadn’t torn at all. My husband then cut the cord, helped me wash up, and cleaned up from the birth, then helped me to bed so I could sleep and nurse the baby. I slept for the rest of the day and through the night as he took care of the rest of the kids.
Chelubai Theodore (whole hearted gift of God) has been nursing like a champ and is a sweet addition to the family. It’s as if he was here all along. Life has been pretty normal considering another person being added to our crew. The Lord knows good gifts and this boy is a great gift indeed.
Here is the slideshow of my fifth freebirth, the birth of my seventh child, Chelubai. Birth story to come… Enjoy!
This goes along with the question of “What if something goes wrong?” As I’ve already said in other articles, the simple answer is that the mother will handle it. Many freebirthers prefer to think of complications as ‘variations of normal’ that happen during pregnancy, labor, and birth. While the majority of pregnancies are low-risk and very safe, not all are completely uneventful. If they become too severe, the mother should of course see a doctor or midwife. However, many of these issues can be managed at home by a well-informed mother. There is no reason to panic!
Preeclampsia is pregnancy-induced hypertension or, in other words, high blood pressure. It is also called toxemia. It is common in first time mothers, teenage or multiple pregnancies, and women over 40. Smoking, drinking, and other unhealthy lifestyle practices can increase the risk of preeclampsia. There may also be a genetic factor. It occurs once the pregnancy has reached 20 week gestation. It happens in only 5-8% of pregnancies, and those with healthy lifestyles are very unlikely to be affected by it. Preeclampsia can cause low birth weight babies by depriving the placenta of blood. It can develop into eclampsia, which will cause seizures, but this is very rare–especially for those who recognize the condition and treat it.
Mild preeclampsia will cause high blood pressure, water retention, and protein in the urine; you may swell more than usual and notice your pee is cloudy. Severe preeclampsia causes headaches, blurred vision, light sensitivity, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, and shortness of brush. When a mother suspects preeclampsia, she should take it easy and get lots of rest. There are many things she can do to help lower her blood pressure. These include limiting salt intake, drinking more water, and avoiding unhealthy foods and substances like fried foods, alcohol, and caffeine. Exercising 30 minutes a day will also help. Preeclampsia is rare in those who do this regularly, so these methods are great for both prevention and treatment of this complication.
Bleeding is common during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. As many as 20-30% of women bleed early on, and only half of them have miscarriages. Bright red bleeding or gushes of blood are signs of trouble. Do not wear a tampon if you are bleeding, and stop douching and having sex. Bleeding can be caused by miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, or placental problems such as previa or abruption. Miscarriage is the most common, occurring 15% of the time. Ectopic pregnancies happen in about 1 in 60 conceptions. Molar pregnancies are extremely rare and end in miscarriage. Treatment should include lots of rest, as well as palpitating the stomach for placental location. In this situation it would be very wise for a woman to see a doctor or midwife in hopes of diagnosing the problem and treating it. In many cases, miscarriage cannot be prevented, but in late pregnancy, a C-section could save the baby’s life. Bleeding should be taken seriously.
Gestational diabetes is temporary and is cured by delivery of the baby. For some reason, during pregnancy, the body may stop producing enough insulin. Other names for it include glucose intolerance and carbohydrate intolerance. It occurs most often in older or overweight women, and there may be a genetic factor. Only 2-5% of all pregnancies are affected by gestational diabetes. It can cause macrosomia (or large birth weight). This increases risk of labor complications, like shoulder dystocia. The newborn may have hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, which usually clears itself up in a few days after a few breastfeeding sessions. The baby may be hungry, shaky, sweaty, dizzy, tired, weak, or more prone to crying, but he should recover quite quickly without any serious side effects. It could also cause jaundice, which also clears up on its own.
If a mother feels very thirsty, is peeing more often, is tired or nauseated, develops many infections, or experiences blurred version, she may have gestational diabetes. She can confirm it with a simple blood test, done at home if she likes. If gestational diabetes is suspected, it is best to err on the side of caution and begin treatment. A healthy diet is the best treatment. The mother should limit her intake of simple sugars and carbohydrates, get lots of rest, and exercise. Natural sugars, such as those found in fruits, are much safer. Snacking on healthier foods will make a big difference. Like preeclampsia, a healthy lifestyle is both good prevention and good treatment.
Severe nausea and vomiting can be a sign of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and multiple pregnancy. However, it does not always mean something is wrong. Some women just have very bad morning sickness that lasts throughout the pregnancy. A mother suffering from this should keep her eyes open for signs of a complication without worrying herself too much. Eating more, sticking to foods she can keep down, and ingesting lots of ginger can help her deal with it. Sleep-deprivation can be linked to these symptoms, so mothers should get lots of rest. Drinking lots of water will prevent dehydration and may help with the nausea.
Carrying multiples isn’t really a complication, but a variation of normal. It can make for a more difficult pregnancy and increase risk of certain afflictions. The average woman has a chance of only 3% of naturally conceiving twins. Fraternal twins are more common, and triplets occur in only 1 in 8,000 births. Twins are more likely to occur in women who are taking fertility medications, eat lots of conventional foods with additives, have had 4+ pregnancies or already delivered twins, or are overweight. A family history of twins increases that chance, as does cultural background, for African Americans are more likely to conceive multiples. The percentage increases every few years for women over the age of 30. Yams and high dairy diets can make twins more likely, too. The risks of preterm labor, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and severe nausea and vomiting, and breech birth are increased.
The quote below is from the site http://cells4life.com/cord-blood-banking-overview/legislation/ as it discusses the benefits of cord blood banking. I heard about this from another site and had to find it for myself because I wondered if it actually said this as they quoted it. So upon finding it, I wanted to share it here with you. This is an attempt at manipulating someone’s perception of what’s the best option; this is not informed consent.
Usually is the key word. It doesn’t let on that the majority of the people who are throwing away cord blood, are doing so because we’re told it’s not important or necessary to delay cord clamping so as to wait until it’s done pulsating. The cord is clamped by the majority of doctors as well as some midwives, almost as soon as the baby is born. However, there are great benefits in allowing the blood to go directly to the baby and to delay the clamping of the cord.
Instead, this quote suggests that storing the cord blood so it won’t be thrown out and wasted, indicates that storing it is the alternative to throwing it in the trash – but it’s not. Delayed cord clamping is. Also stated on the site is that “cord blood is a waste product” as it defends the ethical decision to donate the cord blood, but it further manipulates the reader to perceive the alternative is to store the blood, because it’s waste/trash. It should express however, the highly valuable benefits of allowing the baby that the cord blood belongs to, in receiving it all before clamping and cutting the cord… but the number of people who would donate their newborn baby’s blood if they knew would likely drop.
There is an alternative to throwing cord blood in the trash and naturally, it’s delayed cord clamping. If someone is interested in cord blood banking, that option is there as well, but the alternative isn’t for it to be wasted.
Freebirth is not illegal. It’s also not illegal to practice self-care and to only utilize the medical community when there is a need. Last I checked, it’s also not mandatory to seek a medical perspective for matters regarding health (aka well child check ups).
That being said, please spread the word so people stop reporting families to CPS for having a freebirth, for taking responsibility for their own health and the health of their children, and for seeking the assistance of a medically schooled individual only as a need arises.
Furthermore, just because you disagree with someone’s personal health choices, still doesn’t provide reason to report a family to CPS. If you’re truly concerned, take a minute to get to know the family yourself and IF there is further concern (true neglect, abuse, an unsanitary living situation according to the appropriate standards of that is considered unsafe) – and they are uninterested in learning better, healthier, and safer ways of caring for their family, then take further action. CPS is not to be the first call you make. It’s the lazy call – and it is devastating for families that are not doing anything illegal or harmful with their precious little ones.
My family dealt with CPS in 2013 and the fear alone of the power they have made my husband and I a mess for months despite our case being closed almost immediately – one social worker has the authority to determine if children are to be removed immediately and further investigation to be had… and not all social workers take action based on the appropriate standards.
I know women afraid to not take the advice of her doctor out of FEAR that they will report her to CPS. This is WRONG. Doctors are not gods! We are our children’s parents and it’s legal and SMART to get second and third opinions to determine our best options to care for our families.
Please consider this before picking up that phone and calling CPS. I’ve heard of more cases of CPS involvement where they shouldn’t have been than in cases where they should have been. All too often, I hear stories from people about how they should have been removed and no one did anything or the opposite, they were removed and the entire family dealt with trauma as they fought to prove their innocence and get their children back.
CPS can be a great asset to families in need and to hurting children. Let’s utilize them where they are needed, please, and stop harassing families that do things differently than you. Thank you!
The article below is probably triggering for some but what I have to say is only stirred by the article, so don’t read the article if you don’t feel you can.
What stirred me is the first sentence in the article, “Midwives have dropped their decade-long campaign for ‘normal birth’, saying that it made women feel like failures.”
I find it so important that we as women are encouraged, and that we encourage other women, to trust our intuition and be educated. Then, we are in pursuit of a healthy and empowering birth that we are in control of. When we are educated and confident, reaching out for assistance is only part of that and not a mark of failure. We are intelligent, strong, loving, and powerful creatures!
Ladies, you are precious, beautiful, amazing, capable, and strong. Pregnancy and birth is an incredible journey that marks bringing forth our children from our womb, and an awesome responsibility and gift to do so. Having a birth you desire, where you are safe and cared for, where you’re left loving yourself and knowing you did all you could is priceless. Transferring in an emergency, and seeking medical assistance to provide the care that is needed in any given moment, is a part of your success. You did what you were empowered to do and sought a helping hand to ensure you continued to be safe and cared for.
That is ONLY success. ♥
<<To read the article I’m referring to, entitled “Midwives Are Backing Down On Natural Childbirth”, click here>>