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Julie's Pregnancy Journal

Birth Story ~ 38.5 Weeks
~ The birth of Jireh Blaze - It's a Boy!

Jireh Blaze
(You say his name "J-eye-r-uh", it means Provider)
8 lbs, 8 oz; 21 inches
Born January 30, 2004, 11:20 am

As I sit down to write this entry it's a little hard to hold back tears. Our beautiful baby is here safely and wonderfully and at the same time our homebirth was an absolute success in every way - I find it hard to remember a time I felt more grateful or blessed. God is so incredibly good to us.

After working crazily the past four days on getting the baby's room painted, and running last errands/appointments with Logan trying to be prepared in advance, I had fulfilled my commitments and was planning on finishing the last coat of paint Friday on the baby's room. Apparently the baby knew that this was the only day "open" and planned for arrival. And so it began . . .

My eyes quickly opened and I lay in bed for another minute unsure of what really woke me up. Ahhh, the familiar need to go to the bathroom so I lumbered up and headed off in the dark noting it was 2:30 am. After going to the bathroom I was a little confused because I thought it was bladder pain that woke me pressing me to take care of things but that couldn't be it . . . and then again that pain - it was familiar in that "once felt, never forgotten" kind of way. 2:40 am. Well, after considering my options I laid back down to sleep again - taking no chances after a 34 hour labor with Logan, I was determined to sleep as long as humanly possible in preparation. But alas, 2:50 am and there it was again - and this time it hurt enough to not be able to stay still. Darn, no sleep for me.

Getting up I headed upstairs to let Evan sleep as long as possible and to see if a little position changing was all I needed (Real labor? Couldn't be . . .). I sat in the living room timing the contractions . . . 10 minutes apart lasting about 40 seconds. By 4 o'clock I was breathing through them with focus and they had sped up to about 6 minutes apart and almost a minute long. At 4:30 I went downstairs to make Evan move to sleep upstairs because our bedroom was the only room I wanted to be in and I needed to be able to be a little loud at this point. So upstairs he headed, a little skeptical that I was in labor, but willing to leave me to it . Left in a comfortable place. the contractions went to every four minutes lasting a minute. The general rule for our midwives are if contractions are four minutes apart lasting a full minute for an hour you call them, but I put it off for a little longer to give them a chance to sleep and then called at 5:45.

JirehLinda answered the phone sounding half asleep and I explained about my contractions - she told me that I needed to go in to "get them stopped" . . . and I kind of sat there thinking, "What??" and then she must have woken more and said, "Wait, how far along are you?" Me: "38.5 weeks." "OH! Well let's have a baby at your place then!" She asked if I thought I needed her to come right away or not. I left it up to her but after listening to me labor through two contractions during our conversation, she said they sounded pretty serious and she would get my chart and be up. I believe she came about 7:00 (Evan got up about that time as well) but I am not sure . . . either way she was a welcome sight and it made me feel more relaxed that she was here and I had some labor-company. She set up her things in our bedroom and we just chatted in between contractions. The only comfortable place that I had been able to find was sitting on a particular chair in our room so there I stayed and labored.

JirehI had to head upstairs to get a few things for Linda and while I was on my way I had a series of very close and painful contractions. When I came back downstairs she asked if I would like to be checked. I said no at first but the contractions were pretty strong so I decided what the heck. After checking me she said, "Would you believe you are 7?" I about yelled with joy! Seven centimeters was as far as I ever got with Logan's labor at home and here I was at a 7 with relatively limited pain! The contractions were painful but if I wasn't having a contraction I felt like I wasn't even in labor . . . it was a wild combination and a pleasant surprise. At that point we called our friends and family to let them know that if they wanted to head over to our house it would probably be a good time. I was very encouraged.

JirehAround 10:00 the contractions got more serious and I was having to really relax and hum pretty loudly to work through them - at this point I stopped chatting and kept my eyes closed to concentrate. Linda checked me again and I was 9 cm. By 10:30 I was starting to feel like pushing and the contractions had jumped in intensity again; I had to lean on Evan and sway with him while I sat on the bed. He did a great job watching for my signal that another contraction was starting and being at my side (yay Hunner! ). We changed to reclining on the bed and started pushing with the contractions while Linda held back the last lip of cervix. This was pretty painful (because of the last bit of cervix) and I was starting to doubt my ability to work with my body and push successfully. (Thankfully this was the only time during my entire labor that I doubted). Being on my back felt wrong so after I switched to a hands and knees position, the baby really began to move down. It was only 8 minutes and 3 contractions later that the unbearable need to push took over and his head was out. His hand was firmly lodged under his chin so he didn't rotate out and Linda had to pull while I pushed as hard as I could to birth the rest of his body. Because of his hand (and thus arm flexing out as he was birthed) I tore quite a bit but it hasn't bothered me at all (testament to my midwife's suturing ability). I can't believe how awesome it all was!!

Here he was, our second son, born surrounded by our family and best friends - he was born into a room filled with love for him already, it was so awesome. No bright lights, no cold room, and no strangers, nothing harsh - I could not have imagined a better place for him to be born. It wasn't what I expected but it was exactly what I needed. It was the most AMAZING feeling to push him out . . . never in my life have I felt so powerful, powerless, primal and passionate all at once. When he was born I swear I felt like I could do anything. I don't think I'll ever doubt my ability to do what I'm made to do again . . . it's hard to explain exactly but the feeling of overwhelming success I think is mine forever. (I promise I'm not being overly dramatic either).

We called my parents (my Mom was taking care of Logan and my Dad was at work; they are not comfortable with homebirth and did better keeping busy) and my Mom brought Logan back. He loves his little brother so much and kisses and kisses him until we make him stop; we are so glad! He isn't happy with us at this point but he's adjusting slowly but surely; he's going to make a great older brother.

Since the birth, Jireh has gained 8 oz (in 7 days) and is a very happy baby. He has his moments like any baby but he is relaxed and sweet. I am recovering about 80% better than I did with Logan's birth and although I have a slight fever (for some reason catching something is my standard post-baby routine . . . not sure how), I feel very good. Please think of us in the next weeks as I adjust to being a Mom at home with 2 - Evan goes back to work Monday (agh!).

As I close this journal I want to thank everyone for reading and allowing me to share. Blessings!
~Julie, Evan, Logan and Jireh

Julie, Evan, Logan and Jireh

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