The weeks are flying by and I can’t believe it! As I look through these maternity pictures, I feel like this photo session was just the other day. Amber Coker did the most amazing job at capturing what I wanted for this session and I cannot wait for our next one. She is going to come and take pictures of us as a family now that Mercy has joined us Earth side. We just have A LOT going on right now (and I will fill yall in soon, when I can discuss it publicly) so Amber is being patient with me until we can get together.
I know that I’ve been promising to share Mercy’s birth story and I am sorry for not getting it together sooner. Every time my midwife has visited us, I’ve wanted to capture a few pictures with her to share since she made the experience so wonderful but the weather wasn’t in our favor for picture lighting. Vanessa is such a wonderful person and I cannot imagine my homebirth without her. If we do decide to have another baby (way, way, wayyyyyy in the future) she will be here when we do! ANYWAY… here’s how it all went down!
You can read more about why I decided to have a home birth by clicking here.
Nolan and Harper both came two weeks early and Scarlet Reese came a week late according to my due dates. Mercy’s “due date” aka guess date was July 8th. I can say with 100% certainty that due dates don’t mean anything and when the baby is ready to come, he/she will! She was born July 11th at 12:00am on the dot. My midwife, Vanessa, made several trips to Florence to check in on me before she came. She even spent the night twice! I felt so bad for the false alarms that happened before Mercy joined us but Vanessa reassured me she would rather be safe than sorry with those false alarms. Her office is in Murrell’s Inlet, SC and that’s a ways away from our house. I did travel to her office during my pregnancy until the 38 weeks mark and she took pity on my pregnant self after that and came to us!
A few weeks before I gave birth, Vanessa came to my house for a prenatal visit. During this trip, she brought all the home birth supplies including the birth tub and medical drugs (to have just in case I were to need them) and showed Derrek how to set up the birth tub if she wasn’t here when I went into labor. Thankfully she came the day that I did go into labor and was with me for that entire day and night. I went into actual labor around 4pm and the contractions were mild but they wouldn’t progress. Around 10:30pm on July 10th, Vanessa decided to check me since I wasn’t progressing with my labor. I have never had long labors so we knew something was up when my contractions were not becoming more intense. When she checked me, she found that Mercy’s head was tilted and that’s why I had not progressed with my labor. It does make me wonder that if she had checked me earlier I might have had Mercy sooner.
During the entire labor process, I was in and out of the birthing tub and I did labor a little while in my bed. I really enjoyed being in my own space during labor and I feel like it was the most relaxed I’ve been during any of my four labors. Vanessa and Derrek were both so kind and I am so thankful that I had them as my support team. They gave me my space and only came close to me when I asked them to or when it started getting real with labor. The birthing tub had a heater in it so I never became cold and it was big enough that I could lean on the side in between contractions and rest. Ya’ll, I am not kidding when I say that after Vanessa fixed Mercy’s head… the real deal started happening!
I had gotten back into the birthing tub after she checked me and it was very soon after that I had the urge to pee. I told them that I needed to get out of the tub, so Vanessa and Derrek tried to help me get dry with towels and head to my bathroom. I quickly changed my mind after standing up because I felt less like peeing and more like pushing! The pressure that I felt made me realize that my water was about to break and after a push, it happened! Immediately after my water broke, my body went into full blown labor and it didn’t take long for Mercy to come out. I felt the urge to push again so I did and Vanessa said “her head is out!” At that point, I said to myself “I might as well push again.” When I pushed for the THIRD time, it hurt like hell but it worked. Mercy was in my arms and I was in sheer disbelief at what just happened.
I birthed my fourth baby in my home, in a birthing tub in my bedroom. It was not as primal as it sounds, it was actually the most amazing and empowering experience I’ve ever had. I was crying and shaking afterwards, holding Mercy in my arms and saying “I just can’t believe it!” over and over again. I stayed in the birth tub with her for several minutes after birth until I had calmed down a little then Vanessa and Derrek helped us over to my bed. They covered us with warm towels and we laid skin to skin for 30ish minutes and then I had to birth the placenta. Definitely not my favorite part of labor but I knew it had to happen. We did delayed cord clamping and a lot of skin to skin in the next few hours before finally falling asleep.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about my home birth and having Vanessa as my midwife. I recommend using her services if you are in my area and if you are not, looking into the midwifes in your area. I would suggest only having a home birth if you feel led to do so and feel comfortable with the midwife. I loved my experience and I wish I had been able to have all of my babies at home.