Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blake Lee (my sister writes about home birth)

I read little Blake's birth story last week and just thought it was too cool not to share.

Edith (better known as Aunt E) is my sister and one of my best friends; we talk almost daily and she is such a special part of my life.  She's beautiful and funny and married to Bronz, her farmer husband and mom to two little farmer babies, Kamie and Blake.

I tell her that her life is like a happy Tim McGraw song with her big white farmhouse, hardworking man who loves her, cherry tree across the driveway and tractors and cows and cornfields.  


{and leave her some comment love :)  }

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9

“I can’t do it”

--that’s what I told Bronz when he suggested a home birth.  My reasoning being if something went wrong, I would blame him, and our marriage would fall apart or be forever ruined by bitterness.  He didn’t necessarily agree, but listened, and consented.  Then God started working… Showing me that not only was I not trusting Bronz, but I really wasn’t trusting Him.  Did I trust God to take care of me, baby, and our marriage?  Could I take the risk?  Not meaning that home birth is a more ‘spiritual’ option, just that in my case it happened to be a trusting God issue.  After about a week, I brought it up to Bronz and agreed to plan on finding a midwife. 

Enter Homebirthisphere

“I don’t fit”

--I really don’t know how many times I whined that.  But really this home birth group was a subculture I’m familiar with, but they aren’t ‘me’. I like coffee and chocolate and cold cereal and nutella and….  First visit with midwife had her going over what I had eaten the day before, her face lit up when she saw pistachio dessert… “Oh pistachio’s!”  Umm… keep reading. 

I started reading blogs – cloth diapering, baby wearing, co-sleeping… (In which all kids sleep in bed with mom while dad is relegated to couch) mentally going –scratch- scratch- scratch

So I figured that I couldn’t possibly be the only reluctant homebirther out there.  Surely the world wide web had someone like me, whose husband had cajoled them into trying it “just once”… So I googled… And found… Nothing. Zip. Nada. There was quite a bit on convincing your husband – not my issue, including one lady who was willing to divorce her husband over the issue.  Now that’s taking it to a new level.

Then there was the fact that I was extremely phobic (if that’s a word—if not, you get the picture) about what everyone else must think.  Because if I thought we were borderline crazy everyone else must think we actually were.  

So yeah, I gave it to God, and gave it, and took it back… and gave it again.  And cried on the phone to my sisters… and played the martyr with Bronz… And gave it back to God.  Just being honest here.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? ~Psalm 56:3-4

Through it all God showed me that he held our future in his hands…

We had an extremely emotionally tough winter, with bizarre family issues happening weekly if not daily.  Things I never, ever would have dreamed we would go through.  Midnight phone calls, police, hospitals, court dates.  The court dates were the worst, I would feel contractions, and know I couldn’t do anything about it, and pray that God would watch over our baby.  I didn’t have the option to stay home, as there was another innocent involved.  God protected.  God would still have been good had I miscarried… Yet instead he allowed me to be pushed right to the edge and held me through those rough months.

Finally a week before my due date a friend and I were driving home, and hit a deer, I watched it fly up and thought it was going to land on my windshield.  Instead he did a flip off to the side, but smashed in the friends hood pretty good.  The odd thing was that the airbags never went off. $3000 worth of damage, dead center of car, and no airbags… While the baby probably would have been okay, it certainly couldn’t have been good to have it be hit by the airbags.  It could have been coincidence, but it felt like God was showing me that He could take care of everything.

Be still & know that I am God.

Baby Birth Day

After labor started and stopped the day before… And I had felt all the nausea early labor signs, I really didn’t think I would go into labor on Saturday since I felt so terrific.  So I planned to go on a picnic after church on Sunday and called a Strawberry U-Pick-Em Farm to make sure they were open.  I cuddled with Kamie and happened to fall asleep for two hours.  I woke up at 4:45 and had a contraction, 15 minutes later another one, then they started coming every 2-3 minutes with strong ones being about 8 minutes apart.  I called Bronz who was working on fence out in our pasture and told him that I was having contractions for twenty minutes.  After another 20 minutes I called our midwife who was camping  and was going to be at least 2 ½ hours out.  I didn’t want her to have to drive over here if it was a false alarm, but then I really didn’t want an unassisted birth either!  I got my family team to come over and pick up Kamie. – Who was busy using my distraction to dump out birth supplies and fill the toilet full of tp.   Now I’m an extrovert, but when it comes to labor, I get very quiet, and have to concentrate… So I kept thinking that I had all these people I wanted praying and just couldn’t call them.  I called a doula friend… She had put me in touch with my midwives, and so I thought I would do her a favor and let her observe a birth. I’m funny about who I want around me, they have to either know me so good that I won’t feel dumb, or need to live up to their expectations –or- not know me well enough that it really doesn’t matter.  Tracy fit into the not know me very well category.  Was I in for a treat, she was closer than the midwives so got here first and was so amazing, calming, supporting.  Bronz and I were so thankful that we had her with us.  About  8:30 I got in our whirlpool tub, and just loved the water. Bronz was showering and getting last minute details done. 

Midwives arrived at 9:00, and helped Bronz fill up the birthing pool – which was really cool.  They said I could deliver in the tub, but I wanted to have the option of the bigger space and Bronz to be able to get in and support me. 

Around 9:30 my midwife examined me and said I was at 6 but could go really fast.  Then they told me that they really wanted me to walk around and maybe do some stairs.  Bronz was still filling up the pool, so I waited till he was done, cuz I knew I would need his support to get through any harder contractions. 

Sure enough I stood up walked into the next room, had about two contractions and went into transition. I promptly laid down on the floor. I remember hearing Keith Green & The Imperials playing in the background and thinking that I really was feeling like a little more calming music… That, and why did Eve have to mess up and give us all this pain in childbirth thing.  The assistant midwife told me I should get into the tub. I did and the contractions immediately became more manageable.  My Mom came in and asked if the water slowed labor, I figured it did and didn’t really care.  Midwife shrugged, then asked me if I felt like pushing.  Two contractions later and I did.

Blake was a big boy and it took about ½ an hour to get him out. I didn’t have any desire to deliver the baby myself, or even have Bronz do it.  But when it came down to it, being able to feel progress as I went through the incredibly painful part was fantastic.  When he slid out and they untangled him from the cord (Around his neck, arm and leg!) and I lifted him out of the water… That was the most amazing experience ever, laughing, crying, praising and thanking God.  
About that time my supportive husband almost passed out…Which created a small crisis in which everyone tried to get him off the side of the birth tub so that he wouldn’t fall in. (Now that’s a new risk to homebirthing!)  He was so embarrassed. “I pulled a calf last week!” (The difference my dear, is that I am not a cow.)
I like to be clean and reasonably pain free before cuddling in, so Bronz had the first hour to hold Blake and rub the vernix in.  I guess my Dad showed up for a peek at his grandson. This is getting to be quite routine for him, not only is Blake the 11th grandchild, but his fifth grandson born in ten months.  That’s what happens when you raise eight kids, and pass on a love and awe for life.
Then it was my turn, and I think I’ve pretty well hogged him ever since!  So amazing, incredible. What a gift.  Having such an emotionally difficult pregnancy deepened the joy of the baby. 
So, Mr. Blake Lee
All nine and a half pounds, twenty –two and a half inches of you,
God can care for the sparrows, he has taken care of you. 
And your mama can’t wait to see what He has planned for your future.
Love you

My recovery has been amazing.  Totally different than Kamie’s, but then I’ve been drinking this raspberry leaf tea with nettle and alfalfa, and taking liquid kelp. Oh, and comfrey tea in my bathwater, and I have seaweed sitting around.  I even eat spinach if I make it into a green drink.  Still not using cloth diapers, and Blake has slept in his cradle two whole nights.  Maybe I need to set up a natural mama blog… after I finish my coffee.
 The verses used were ones I looked up before a court date, when I literally didn’t didn’t know how I could pull through. I printed off multiple copies, and hung on to them for the next couple of months. 
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
(Psalm 23:1-3 ESV)


  1. Love your story! My third daughter Adrianna was also born at home.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing! What a wonderful, miraculous experience! :)

  3. HB stories. Thanks for sharing, Hayley/Edith! Enjoyed the details!

    Thankfully we can each pick our own level of "crunchy" and run with it. ;-) Loving the freedom found in Christ's overwhelming love... <3

  4. Love it. So sweet and special. Beautiful family.

  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! So fun to relive the blessed event through your telling of it. Blessings to you and your family! signed, your doula friend :-)

  6. What a beautiful family.

  7. Loved reading your birth story, Edith. Congratulations on your sweet baby :)!

  8. Oh Edith, Thank you so much for sharing! Much love, Laura!

  9. Aww Congrats!!:) what a wonderful story!!

  10. what a beautiful description. had to laugh about Bronz- sounded so much like Justin when he said he could just deliver our babies himself! God bless!

  11. Thank you so much for taking time to write your story! Would you mind if I shared this with others?

  12. Thanks for the kind comments! I hope our story encourages you to trust God with whatever he leads you to. And thanks Hayley for giving our little life an audience:)

  13. I love reading your birth story. And I love seeing God work in people's lives... it shows that He can do anything if we trust Him enough. Quite the journey, isn't it?
    Congratulations to you all!

  14. Aww...I'm soo thankful everything went well and that God has again blessed you with a little precious gift of life!! :) SO happy for you Edith!! Much love, Katie