Thanks to Megan for sharing the home birth stories of both Silas and Luke. These boys were born at home in Campbellsburg, Kentucky.
My husband and I were blessed to have both of our children at home. Here is the telling of them both.
The night my labor with Silas began, it was the beginning of spring and a thunderstorm was rolling through. Todd and I laid in bed debating who would go out and tighten down the greenhouse. I was restless anyway and as I went out into the night I knew our baby was coming with the storm. I laid in bed laboring, unable to fall asleep, and telling myself to rest up that this was just the beginning. But the contractions kept getting stronger and closer to the point where I had to stand and rock to cope, so I called our midwife and she wanted me to time them for twenty minutes and call back. The contractions were five minutes apart, lasting for a minute and every contraction brought uncontrollable shaking and blood. I was becoming anxious. When we called the midwife she told me not to worry and that she wanted to come out and check on us (she later told me all she needed to hear was the tone of my voice to decide it was time).
Todd built a fire, and I swayed during the rushes and tried to rest in between. The contractions were getting a lot closer together and I was tensing against them with worry. Then our midwife arrived. She came in and hugged me strongly, rubbed me a little and sat with me. She saw my worry and my tension and she looked me in the eye and told me, “I have seen so many different kinds of normal births, this birth is no exception. I am not worried and you shouldn’t be worried. You just need to be with your baby and your body and let me do all the thinking.” Right then and there I let go. The power of those words at that moment was beyond description. For the next two hours I labored. I labored in the shower until the hot water ran out. I labored on the couch listening to the wind and looking out the window into the peaceful night. My Silas was working with me, he was steady and insistent in his descent. I felt grateful for his help and joy that he was so close to joining us.
Todd was right there with me, and our midwife was silent except for the occasional praise or encouragement. I noticed our other midwife’s arrival and calm presence. I started to feel my legs shaking and my strength being really taxed, and I knew our baby was close to crossing over into this world. Around that time, I heard my mother’s voice. She had made it just in time to see her grandchild born. My husband handed our baby to me and I couldn’t believe it. I kept asking, “Is he ok?” and finally convinced, I said, “There he is.” Then I looked, and sure enough he was a boy child! We all cried, the whole room of us. Silas was born at 4 in the morning, surrounded by his mama, papa, aunt and grandma in front of a roaring wood stove with a light spring snow falling outside.
Our son Luke’s birth took place over two beautiful days in January. The weather was typically grey with a sprinkling of snow and chilly. My husband, our one and a half year old, and I went into town to visit some family knowing it wouldn’t happen again for some time. We ate and walked and the baby began his transition into this world. Contractions kept up strong and regular into the evening, and that night I just rested, full of too much anticipation to sleep.
At 4:30 in the morning, I got up to get a drink of water and my water broke. I shuffled around the house getting our son’s things together for his sleep over at grandma’s, getting the fire stoked, and stopping with the contractions to focus on our work. I called our midwife and she made her way out to us. I woke up Todd and he came downstairs dressed like he was going out to work in the fields, shirt already dirty, and we belly laughed about that. I told him he might want to put his cozies on for some baby snuggling. After looking at the fire for a while I got into the shower until the water went cold. I went back into the toasty living room and labored on the couch. Our midwives had arrived and Todd woke and dressed our son and brought him in to kiss me before grandma whisked him away for a day or two. Within the next hour our second child was born. Again we all cried we were so happy. Todd couldn’t wait for me to see and blurted out that it’s a boy a few times. We kissed and hugged and cried and our baby just snuggled in, so beautiful and calm.
During the next hours we talked and rested and nursed. Todd made food for everyone and our midwives cleaned, straightened, weighed and measured Luke, and sutured where a momma needed sutures. It was so magical. To be able to be in our home, with our family and wise women attending us, to do such intimate and precious work was a blessing beyond words. I can’t think of the births of either of my sons without thanking God for everything, including the devotion and knowledge of our midwives for making our births possible.