My Home Birth Experience
The Birth of Sidney Roze Thompson
April 29, 2021
Birth Story of Sidney Roze Thompson
Thursday April 29, 2021
*Disclaimer*-This is not meant to be medical advice, this is simply my experience with having a successful VBAC and home birth. I share these stories with a tender and honest heart, and am grateful that God showed me a better way to birth.
With my first baby I labored for many hours with an epidural in the hospital. I will tell you I was very unprepared. We did take a birth course to prepare for her delivery but I didn’t really prepare myself in any other way, and I’ll just say that there are a lot of things they don’t tell you. I labored for so long that the doctor eventually said that we should think about a caesarian section. There was no lets try this or let's get in this position, it was basically straight to the C-section. Well, I still spent several more hours in labor, not making any progress. Eventually I did give in to the C-section. I was exhausted, I didn’t want to push anymore and I was uncomfortable.
With my second baby I had a similar experience. After receiving an epidural at the hospital, his little heart rate dropped significantly and I was rushed to the E.R for an emergency C-section. I really didn’t even know what was going on, I was so nauseous from the epidural medication and I just followed the protocol, and trusted my doctor.
After having these two experiences I realized when I was pregnant with my third baby, I wanted a DIFFERENT experience. I wanted more control of my birth in a more sound environment. I knew there was a better way. I wanted to birth my baby the way God intended, and so after praying a while about the matter I decided to proceed with a home birth.
After that initial decision I knew I was being guided as I picked a midwife, (whom I love and adore so much) and I started to prepare my mind, body and spirit for this experience.
I think that sometimes to change our hearts God has to change our circumstances as well. He has to open our eyes a bit. So my eyes were opened and I was willing to learn a better way.
I had a rollercoaster of emotions at times. But, I wanted to put my faith ABOVE my fear. I will be honest and tell you that at times the fear was real. I had moments of doubt, I am human. I caught myself saying, “what if this could happen” or “this could happen,” ect. Which, in reality lots of things can happen, no matter what you choose, “things” can happen. But ultimately, I didn’t want the fear of “what could go wrong” to control my decision. Instead, I placed it in the hands of God and moved forward with faith, and in my heart I knew he would take care of me.
I love the story about Peter in the New Testament. I thought about one particular circumstance often during my pregnancy.
The night that Christ’s disciples saw him walking on water probably changed their perspective.
Matthew 14: 25-31 says..
25. “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26. “And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30. And when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, "Lord, save me."
31. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
Initially his disciples cried out of fear when they saw Jesus, and he reassures them to be of good cheer and to not be afraid. Then, when Christ invites Peter to “Come, unto thee on the water.” He comes, but Peter loses his focus on Christ, and see’s the wind (or the worldly pressures.) Peter starts to sink but Christ IMMEDIATELY stretches forth his hand to catch him.
These passages of scripture were such a big reminder to me that I needed to keep my focus on Christ throughout my pregnancy and during my birth. The moment Peter becomes distracted from the boisterous wind (aka..worldly pressures, or the “what if’s” or the subtle craftiness of men) he sinks. But Christ, with his loving kindness and compassion was there to pull him up.
I had a depiction in my mind of Christ pulling me up. Literally grabbing my hand and pulling me up. Every time I had doubts, or felt I was weak, or not capable enough to do it, I thought of his hand pulling me up, strengthening me and reminding me to be filled with faith and not fear.
We can very easily “sink” from the distractions of the world if our focus isn’t on Jesus Christ. Notice also that before Christ stretched forth his hand, Peter cried out.. “Lord, save me”
Peter ASKED for the Lord's help. We also must ask for the Lord's help.
My preparation for this birth was very different than my previous births. I wanted it to be that way. I prepared mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I took it very seriously and I knew my preparation would be a key factor to my success. At one of my last appointments before the birth I remember my midwife Richelle telling me that birth was all about surrendering, and letting go. She explained to me that I had prepared and done all I could and soon it would be time to let go and let your body do what it is intended to do. It was also important to surrender to God and to your faith. I have thought about this so much in my postpartum period and in life-I always try to do my best, but some things just aren’t in my control. I have to “let go,” to give them to God. To surrender my will to His. That might mean feeling sad, or grief. It might mean letting go of people or beliefs that I’ve held onto for so long, and giving them to God and trusting he will take care of what I can’t handle or control.
I was also very concerned about how I would control the pain in my labor. First and foremost, choose a provider or midwife that will support you in all aspects of your birth. This helped me tremendously. My midwife helped to give me the tools I would need to use to prepare for my birth. I was worried I would freak out about the pain, or lose control at some point or just not be able to bear it completely. Here is what I learned now that I’ve had an epidural and have had it naturally with no medication.
This part of birth does take some preparation. It’s mostly mental preparation. I wanted to train my mind to know that when the pain increased or got worse, I wasn’t going to give up. There are also many ways to control pain in a natural way. Positive affirmations, and soothing music, applying pressure, and even being in water were all things that helped me control how I was feeling. Don’t get me wrong, natural childbirth is tough, and hard, every muscle of your body is working to get your baby down and through the birth canal. But don’t let fear stand in your way. Stare it straight in the face and tell it to go away! The other thing is that I feel like we have been trained in our society that as soon as you feel one ounce of pain in your body that it should be suppressed and taken away immediately. Oftentimes, pain is a signal or a symptom telling our bodies that we need to change something. In childbirth there is something about really FEELING pain, feeling each contraction is an important step in childbirth. That pain is for a purpose. Understand your purpose and you’ll overcome your pain better. With each contraction I said pain is my friend, keep going, each contraction is bringing me closer to my baby. I’m about to experience true joy. True joy isn’t comprehended without true pain.
I realized after my birth that I was a lot stronger and way more capable than I gave myself credit for. So, my point is to trust your inner strength. Our bodies were built by God to bring babies into this world. One quote that I had on my vision board during my birth was…
I didn’t want the pain or fear of the pain to prevent me from birthing the way I wanted to. I was going to trust in God and push myself to do something that was difficult.
Morning of April 29, 2021:
Two days after my due date.
I woke up about 4:30 am, went to the bathroom. I immediately felt something come out, I looked down and saw some blood so I assumed it was my plug, I gasped a little saying, ”I think this is it?” (haha) It was enough to wake up my husband, oops. I wasn’t having any pain or contractions . I got back in bed thinking it could still be far away. It was hard to tell. I got excited though, baby was coming, or soon to come!
About 20 minutes later I felt some small period cramp like contractions. It was very light and I just continued to wait, relax, and get a little more sleep. Well, that didn’t happen...as time went on I could feel the contractions getting stronger. After about an hour I could tell they weren’t slowing down and I got on my birth ball and just rolled around. The contractions were about 10-12 mins apart and still very bearable. I could feel them progressing so I called my midwife. After my midwife Richelle arrived at my house the contractions got more intense. It’s like my body was telling me it was go-time! Time to have my baby! Sidney was ready to join our family. I knew this was it! I also called my family to tell them I was in labor, as it was my Mom's birthday that day. I told her that she was about to get the best birthday present ever! My mother in law picked up my kids and everything was taken care of. It was a special time. I had prepared myself for this moment for 9 months. Honestly, I was ready, I felt prepared and calm.
About 2 hours in, I really had to breath through each contraction and my husband was pushing on my hips during each contraction to ease the pain. It kept feeling like I needed to use the bathroom a lot so I labored a bit on the toilet. After that my midwife had me get in a couple positions, I labored in those positions for a little bit and that helped the baby’s head to engage into the pelvis better. By 9 am I was fully dilated to a 10! I was so excited, and exhausted but was grateful I was progressing well. By about 9:30 am I got into the birth pool. It felt so good to labor in the water. We did run out of warm water so my husband started to heat up water in our cooking pots on the stove just so I would feel comfortable. Bless his soul, it was a little bit of a funny moment looking back, but we survived, and I labored in the warm water.
It was almost 11 am and I had been pushing for a little over an hour. Pushing helped me feel a bit more relieved, honestly. I could feel I was so close to holding my baby. I reached down and felt the crown of her head often. She was right there! At 11 am I felt the “burning ring of fire,” it wasn’t for very long though. After about 3 big pushes, she was out. Complete relief came over me and my body. I sat in the water and just held her close and stared. My hubby was weeping a bit, he was so proud of me and what I had accomplished. I remember him saying, “You did it, you put your mind to something hard and accomplished it. Sidney was beautiful, she was our perfect little girl. My birth team did an amazing job taking care of me. I ate in my bed, I felt comfortable, and calm. I did have a 2nd degree tear (which that’s another story in and of itself) but nonetheless, I was so grateful for how far I had come and what I accomplished.
Birth is so beautiful. Those moments are never to be forgotten, and instilled in my head and my heart. I felt so grateful to my loving Heavenly Father for his beautiful miracles and for bringing Sidney safely into our home. This passage of scripture rang so heavily in my mind during my pregnancy with Sidney, it reminded me often of the true love that a mother and a child have.
In 1 Nephi, when Nephi inquires about the meaning of the tree in Lehi’s vision of the tree of life, the angel shows him a “Mother, bearing a child in her arms.” That Mother we know is Mary, and the child is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Immediately, Nephi knows and realizes that the tree symbolizes the love of God. Why? Because God so loved the world that he sent his only Begotten son to the earth to fulfill an earthly mission, and to do the will of his Father. I love that a depiction of a mother and a child was what helped him recognize God's love.
After reading those passages and being pregnant this time around it helped me to see that birth is a significant way in which to feel God’s love, why? Because just as God sent his only Begotten Son to the earth, so does he send us these perfect babies from above that he trusts us to raise and love and to help them eventually become what God wants them to become. It is truly an extension of God’s love for us as Mothers and as women. And it is the “most desirable above all things and the most joyous to the soul” (1 Nephi 11:20-23) That’s exactly how I would describe it.
Sidney's birth helped me remember why I became a mother. On the days that seem the most difficult we give our souls and our will to God and he multiplies our efforts. He takes our efforts and makes them so much more. He gives us grace. “His grace is sufficient”
January 5, 2022