As we celebrate Harper’s first birthday today, I figured I would write her birth story for the blog.
From conception to her birth, God taught me so much regarding hearing His voice and trusting Him and His perfect plan. Such a testimony and one I love sharing. All glory to Him.
Kyle and I felt guided for me to birth unassisted, (having no medical team present for the birth).
It wasn’t one we took lightly. We truly and earnestly sought God. I could write a whole other post about this journey and all that God taught both Kyle and I, (and perhaps I will eventually).
Without further ado….
Unassisted Birth Story of Harper Joy
April 24th Kyle set up a babysitter last minute for us to go out on a dinner date. We decided to go to target first to pick up a few things we needed. While walking around I had a very mild contraction followed by another at check out. I didn’t say anything to Kyle until we got to our restaurant as other signs were appearing. I didn’t want to get too excited as contractions were very mild and sporadic. I also figured this could still be a few days or another week until baby is born. I did contact my two sisters who were my birth support team just to keep them updated. We talked names for the baby just about the entire dinner as we were waiting to find out gender at birth and still didn’t have a name. It was there that the name Harper Joy came to Kyle, When he said it, I just knew that was it! Again, we didn’t know gender but the feeling of her being a girl was so strong. We discussed boy names for a few minutes but were still empty handed.
When we arrived back home my sister came over so I could show her where all the birth supplies were just in case things went quickly. However, things slowed down tremendously once I went to bed. I had consistent contractions for one hour in the middle of the night that even woke me up but those too slowed down.
Monday morning came and I was no longer comfortable laying down. I got up and went walking around outside in my backyard. I began to pray for me, the baby and the birth. It was so peaceful. Just the early sound of the birds and feeling so close to God.
We went on with our day like normal. My good friend Ali came over to hang out. She was going to be our birth photographer and I told her about the night before. Explaining that it could still be another week give or take. I had a few mild contractions while she was over and would have to even stop talking to breathe through them. I even tried to just ignore a few.
As the day went on they did become more intense. I had to get in the bath mid afternoon to help with them. I then took a nap with my older two. Once we were up I had a little burst of energy. I went on to prep meals that I wanted to have on hand for after birth, (though I technically didn’t get to finish said meals) and make dinner. Again, would have to breathe and dance through each contraction when they came.
|The kids and I were outside when Kyle arrived home from work. I was outside rocking on the patio chair while kids were playing. I told him about how my day was. Explaining the rushes I would have but adding that this could go on for a while.
As the night went on I had to get in the bath again to help relieve the pressure from the contractions. I also tried to do some stretches and exercises to try and help relieve some of the pain. I did some lift and tucks from spinning babies to try and get baby in a better position. I shed a few tears by this point and prayed that this please not go on for a week or so.
By 1030 pm I was exhausted and was ready for bed. I, thankfully, was able to fall asleep and get some rest for a few hours.
1230 am in mid sleep I jumped out of bed because I had such an intense contraction. I leaned over the wall swaying and breathing through it. Once it passed I laid back down and fell back to sleep until the next contraction came. This happened three times until I decided I would go get in the bath. When I went in to get ready for the bath I realized that my water had perhaps started leaking. I woke Kyle up to inform him. He joined me in the bathroom while I sat in the tub. He wanted to start timing the contractions and I was fine with that. I know it helped him feel like he was doing something. I also needed him to rub my back during the contractions. The contractions were roughly 10 minutes apart. After a while we decided to go ahead and inform the birth support team who included my two sisters, mom and my good friend, Ali, who would be taking pictures. Because my last birth with Nolan was so long we figured this one could be too and told everyone not to rush over. That we would let them know when it really started. Thankfully, one of my sisters, Kristen, decided to come on over. When she arrived the contractions were already getting closer and I was getting more vocal with them. I was ready to get out of the tub as it was getting really uncomfortable but the water was helping so much. I told Kyle to go ahead and prepare the birth pool. I remember thinking that I hope I didn’t regret requesting the pool just yet in case everything stopped and it wasn’t time for the baby yet. I was clearly still in denial. While Kyle was getting the birth pool set up, Kristen stayed with me and would rub down my spine during each contraction. We would talk a little between each contraction.
Once the birth pool was ready I got out to move to it. I had to stop half way there and had a good contraction by my bed. More water began leaking. I remember thinking the pool looked so far away though it was just a few steps away. Once I got in the pool, I felt so much better. The contractions were still coming, even closer and intensifying. That’s when I accepted and knew we would be meeting our baby very soon.
It also is here when fear tried creeping in. All the what ifs started filling my thoughts. What if something is wrong? What if baby gets stuck? What if I can’t do this? Right then, Kyle turned on some worship music. It’s exactly what I wanted and needed. It was like he was able to read my mind. The song “It is well with my soul” was playing. I began to sing along and then praying. Remembering the promises God had spoken over me during my pregnancy in regards to this birth. Kyle then began praying over me, the baby and the birth. Words can’t describe the amount of peace that came over me.
I told Kyle to go ahead and contact the photographer. A few more contractions after requesting that, my body began to bear down. I didn’t say anything but just followed my body’s lead until it became serious urges to push. I then vocalized that my body was pushing. Kristen encouraged me to listen to my body.
I pushed with the first real urge and the head came out. Two more pushes and Harper Joy was born into daddy’s hands at 2:11 am on April 26th. Kyle announced it was a girl. I knew she was a girl. My dreams and intuition was right.
I turned around and Kyle placed her in my arms. Harper gave a little cry and then peacefully just rested on me. She was so serene.
Anna and Nolan woke up soon after. They came in our room and saw me in the birth pool holding their new baby sister.
My friend and other sister arrived shortly after as well. We all couldn’t believe how fast she came.
I sat in the pool for about 30 minutes. I kept trying to latch Harper on the breast to encourage the placenta but she just kept sleeping. There looked like quite a bit of blood was in the pool as well so that’s when I decided to get out so we could manage the blood better and get Harper to latch. I got in the bed and blood was doing fine. It was clear that my placenta must have detached. I then told them I wanted to get on floor and squat to help the placenta. I was in squat position for maybe 5 minutes when my placenta came out.
I got back in bed and we allowed Harper to stay attached to it for a while longer. I also inspected the placenta to be sure it was whole. All was good and we just all sat around talking while Harper nursed.
Kyle made me some eggs and cut up some cantaloupe.
|Nolan helped and brought me food 🙂
My friend snapped some photos and my sisters and Kyle cleaned up the birth space. We all were just talking and laughing. I couldn’t stop talking about how shocked I was that she came so fast and how everything went so smooth. I couldn’t believe how great I felt.
It was the birth of my dreams. Of my prayers.
I was able to take a shower as Kyle did some skin on skin time with Harper.
We weighed Harper at this time and I couldn’t get over how little she was- 6.10 lbs. (We forgot to measure her but did a few days later and she was 18 in. long😉)
By 530 am we were all back in bed and resting. Now as a family of 5.
|First family photo after Harper was born a few days before 😉