Timothy George Dutton was born at home on September 2, 2013 at 5:25 in the afternoon – a Labor Day baby (go figure!). He weighed 6 lbs 14 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.
And the following is the rest of the home birth story…if you don’t like birth details, then the above is all you need to read. 🙂
Labor began one week before Timothy actually made his appearance. This was exactly how my labor began with my first child. The contractions were easy and manageable. They were also coming 4 minutes apart … day-in and day-out. They didn’t keep me awake, nor did they interrupt the regularly scheduled program I had in place to complete before baby arrived. I continued doing homeschool preschool with my toddler, washing the remaining clothes, preparing freezer meals, and doing some last minute cleaning, shopping, and blogging. Plus my mom wasn’t in town yet, and I wasn’t really keen on having this baby without her here to help post birth. She was scheduled to arrive on September 1.
During our 38 week checkup with my midwife, we went over last minute home birth supply needs, answered remaining questions, and even determined the station of our baby. I did not want to “be checked” for dilation. I didn’t want to know “how far I was (or not)” and I wanted to continue to let my body do its thing without intervention. When I was “checked” with my oldest, I went into active labor later that day. I wasn’t ready to take my chances or rush my body into labor.
My midwife told me she could just tuck her fingers under my pelvis right below my tail bone to check for station of baby. I agreed, and we discovered baby boy was already at station 3. My contractions were not in vain (not that I doubted it)! My midwife said she had never felt a baby so low and a woman not be in full blown, active labor before. In her 30+ years, this was a first for her. Lucky me! Let the waddle continue…
Throughout the weekend the contractions continued and even grew more powerful. They still didn’t hurt, but I described them to my husband as powerful. I could feel my uterus muscle working and could even feel the opening of my cervix. I was very aware of the sensations, but continued about my business. I still wasn’t in any pain, but found myself swaying through contractions on occasion. But I still hadn’t felt “that” contraction.
We spent the day Saturday walking around the air park and thoroughly enjoying our time as a family of three. We watched airplanes fly overhead and even witnessed a couple of crazy guys jump out of a helicopter in celebration of Labor Day weekend. The air show is an annual occurrence in our town and my boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I loved being outside and walking around felt really good.
On Sunday, we went to church together and I was pretty uncomfortable during the service. The contractions continued to be powerful and four minutes apart, but still not “that” contraction. I could sense our time drawing near though and told Mark it wouldn’t be much longer. That evening my mom arrived and after dinner, I asked if she would go for a walk with me. We made several laps around my neighborhood, and I couldn’t get over how great it felt to just walk! When I grew tired, I retired to bed for a good night’s sleep.
The next morning I woke up with contractions four minutes apart and still yet more powerful, but nowhere near painful. I made pancakes with my toddler and started some homemade bread. I insisted on going to the grocery store for some last minute groceries we had run out of. I didn’t want to have a baby without eggs. Looking back, I can see just how irrational I was, but in the moment, I wasn’t interested in my husband going to the grocery store for me. I was totally fine and perfectly capable of grocery shopping. I assured him the contractions still did not hurt, and I would be fine.
Halfway through the grocery trip, something changed. I could no longer walk through the contractions. They required my full attention, but I still would not say they actually hurt. I could feel their power, but pain was not in the equation. I went ahead and text my midwife. She called my husband back by accident. They discussed how stubborn I was and she exclaimed that she could shoot me for being at the grocery store (or something like that). They knew I was very near full blown labor, and I was still insisting we had some time left. They both told me to wrap up and get home.
While talking with my midwife though, I also mentioned that I was ready to do something to get the show on the road. I was growing weary and mentally I was ready to have this baby. She instructed me to use my breast pump for twenty minutes on each side, then take a nap. I agreed to this natural way of speeding up labor while loading groceries onto a conveyor belt. My mom and the checkout lady bantered about me being in labor and how we’d have a baby very, very soon. Little did we know just how soon at this point!
I got home and set my bread for a second rise. Mark put Samuel down for rest time. I made a salad and attempted to eat it while I hooked up the breast pump. However, I wasn’t interested in food and pushed it aside. I pumped and then went to my bedroom to lay down. In the meantime, I asked my mother to clean our bathroom just in case I did go into active labor (how much more naive can one get?). I knew I wanted to use the shower to cope with labor pains and wanted to be sure the environment was clean just in case I wanted to stay in the shower to deliver my baby.
I laid down and rested for about ten minutes. I was just about to fall asleep when my eyes popped open and I asked my mom to get Mark. Something had changed again …
When he came into the room, I told him that I could no longer be “point man.” My mind was muddled and I couldn’t think clearly about anything except the contractions. The contractions still didn’t hurt, but they were requiring my full attention. I could feel a change, and he needed to be point man from now on. I wanted to be left alone. He left the room to call my midwife and she agreed she needed to start heading our way.
I continued to lay in a restful state for about five more minutes when I yet again said, “Mom, can you get Mark? That one was for real. I’m going to need his help soon.” I managed about five more contractions lying down and then requested the shower to be readied because laying down was no longer working for me.
Before getting into the shower, I peed and lost my mucous plug. It was shocking and actually startled me. It was a gush of blood, and I was so grateful my husband was with me. He was so calm. He told me I had just lost my plug and it was totally normal. I remember saying, “but that was so much blood.” He said, “I know it, but it is normal. You’re going to meet your baby soon.” I love my man!
I moved to the shower, which was glorious. I leaned forward with my hands on the sides of the tub and just let my belly and muscles sag while allowing the water to beat on my low back. When a contraction hit, I let every muscle relax, focused on the steady falling of the water, and swayed my hips. Eventually, I started humming in low, rhythmic tones with each contraction. It was just loud enough to block out every other noise around me and helped me to fully relax into each contraction. It was so peaceful. The contractions came in steady waves with time to rest in between. I would feel them coming, they’d mount, crest and then slowly recede. Relaxing, submitting, surrendering made each contraction possible to endure. I felt no pain. I was focused, submitted, and without any fear.
Soon my midwife arrived, checked the heart beat of my baby, and asked a few questions. She then left me to do my thing. I enjoyed laboring in the shower alone, but was ready for my husband to join me. He got his swim trunks on now that he had everything ready for our midwife and joined me. I hung on his shoulders and allowed him to talk me through relaxation exercises. Eventually the hot water ran out, so we moved to the bedroom (after I donned a gown) and onto the birth stool my midwife had prepared for me.
Contractions continued to come and go with plenty of time to relax in between. I chatted with my midwife, and even joked that we needed to get the cards out. Contractions were managed with complete submission, surrender, and relaxing every single muscle in my body. I was still free from fear and actually enjoying the entire process (yes I realize how crazy that sounds).
About this time, Samuel got up from his nap. He found mama sitting on a stool, Daddy kneeling beside her rubbing her back, the midwife kneeling on her other side preparing compresses, and Nonnie standing in the doorway of her bedroom. He was confused for only a moment and then total recognition fell over his face. We told him his brother or sister was ready to be born! He smiled, climbed into Nonnie’s arm and settled in for the show. 😉
I continued to hum in a low, rhythmic way during contractions. The birth stool wasn’t nearly as comfortable as the shower, but without hot water this was my next best option. I wasn’t interested in the bed or even standing. I wanted to rest my legs. By this point I had been in active labor two hours and only out of the grocery store for two and a half. Crazy!
Contractions became much stronger and required a lot more attention. I moved to the shower to “finish it off” as my midwife said. I was skeptical we didn’t still have hours to go. Once we ran out of hot water again, I moved back to the birth stool and found warm compresses on my back to really help manage the pain. I continued to submit, surrender, and relax, which allowed the contractions to work fully – moving my baby down. By God’s grace, I continued to have plenty of rest in between, which helped me manage the contractions easily. This was not the case with my oldest (almost continual contractions and a lot of back labor), so this was a nice surprise.
Together I worked with my baby, until the overwhelming urge to push came. At this point, Nonnie had taken Samuel to the play room and was building lego towers. I wasn’t nearly as quiet, and the low, rhthmic hum became a full blown groan … and grunting wasn’t far behind. All jokes were off!
Once I got to the pushing phase, I was overwhelmed with the pain of moving a baby out of the comfort of his first home and into the world with the rest of his family. With my first, I pushed a few good times and out he came. This was a painful sensation that I did not expect. We adjusted my position slightly after 10 minutes of pushing. My husband and midwife worked hard to keep me focused and coaching was essential to get me to push effectively. My water broke at this point nailing my unsuspecting midwife. I apologized later … the next contraction down right ticked me off (just being honest) and it took everything in me to not stream out every cuss word from my dark past. Instead I’m pretty sure I looked up at the ceiling and said, “Jesus, you better get this baby outta me!” True story.
The midwife called for Mom and Sam. I pushed a couple of more times when I felt little hands on my back and I heard, “God please help Mommy. Mommy, you can do it!” Somewhere in here I think Mark prayed too. As Samuel walked around to the front of me, I pushed one final time and out came our newest addition.
My mom exclaimed, “It’s a boy!”
Our midwife laid my screaming baby on my chest and I said, “Ohhhh, you look just like your brother!”
I don’t know what happened after that. I just sat staring at my new baby – relieved to finally meet him, relieved to finally know it was a HE, and thankful that all pain had now ceased.
I heard my midwife say, “I love this part. They go from total angry animals to sweet kittens when they get their baby in their hands.” Oh how true it is.
We moved to the bed where I attempted to get baby boy to latch for his first nursing session. Unlike his brother, he did not latch on and start sucking immediately. Instead, I worked with him for the next hour to learn to suck and eventually to latch. He nurses like a champ now.
The placenta eventually came and it actually looked like The Tree of Life. It was really neat … and beautiful (sorry if placentas gross you out…I think they are incredible!).
The cord stopped pulsing and Daddy cut it while Sam watched and took it all in. Then he was ready to go outside to play. When they got outside, they found a rainbow right over top of our house – a sweet promise from God.
Timothy George Dutton entered this world after one week of “easy” labor and 2.5 hours of active labor. I still can’t believe it was only 2.5 hours, and even more cannot believe that it was an easy process. It was manageable and beautiful until the pushing phase, which was hard and painful work. Samuel got to be a part of the most important parts of the birth, even praying for his Mommy. Mark was my crutch and earthly strength, playing his part so beautifully. I could not have asked for a better midwife, who managed the entire labor with such joy and care.
Overall, I couldn’t imagine birthing anywhere but my home, and I so enjoyed giving birth to this sweet new bundle of joy. This experience was so different from my first. Sam was a fast and furious labor, which is indicative of his personality. Timothy was fast and rhythmic, and I wonder if it has any bearing on his personality? It will be neat to see.
Timothy George is named after Timothy from the New Testament, and I believe the Lord gave me the words humble and compassionate to pray over him (Samuel’s words are strong and courageous). George comes from my side of the family. My granddaddy, dad, and brother are all George (along with several others before them). These are men of strength and great character. My brother is currently serving in Afghanistan (again) so it was my secret prayer for the Lord to give us a boy to carry his name. Our small way of honoring him. Plus boys are sweet on their mamas! 😉
And with that we are a family of four!