A Birth Story: Julianna Sohler
My home birth was for sure not at all how I planned. One thing is for sure…be careful what you pray for. I prayed for a fast home birth and I got it. I didn’t expect it to be that fast. My births are usually 12+ hours. This birth? Less than 4 hours.
God had this day all planned. Earlier that day I had given my car away and my daughter Cassidy went to her first sleep over. I think that feeling of “relief” really just set my body into labor mode. I was headed to bed and my son went to sleep.
I texted a friend at 11:54 PM saying that I thought I was in labor. I started to track my contractions on my phone app and they were still inconsistent. I texted my midwife and doula that I thought I was in labor, but that I’d time my contractions. I gave my birth team a heads up as well just to let them know that it might “be time.” I was also trying to get a hold of Mario (the baby’s father), but he is never able to be reached. I finally got a hold of him and told him to come over. He was the first one to come to the house.
I was pretty much laboring in my living room on the birth ball, in the bathroom, or in my room. My son Elijah woke up maybe 1-2 times, but I just laid with him as I was contracting then got back up and went to the bathroom or living room. Mario was really tired and was resting on the couch while I labored. I didn’t want to be touched at all or massaged. Soon, the contractions started getting more intense and painful. I called my doula, she stayed on the phone with me and thankfully started heading my way.
I was getting to the point where I didn’t want to do this anymore and wanted to go to the hospital. I even told Mario, “I don’t want to do this anymore I want to go to the hospital and get an epidural”. He just kept motivating me saying I could do this. With each contraction I was squatting because it felt good. Laying down made the pain worse and walking helped a little bit. I kept hydrated with water only and didn’t get a chance to use my honey sticks or anything from my birth kit. I only used my rescue remedy and that didn’t help much.
I had a labor play list set up and only listened to like two songs. The whole time I was in labor I was PRAYING! With each contraction I literally called out to Jesus and would say “Oh God! Give me strength” or “Oh Jesus I can’t do this help me please…make it fast Lord make it over already!” LOL It really helped a lot though because He heard me, and He for sure answered me.
Eventually, all my moaning from contractions woke up my oldest daughter, Sophia. She came to the bathroom and said “Mom, are you in labor?!” I tried to be nice and said “Yes!!” When I noticed she was awake I was quick to get out of the bathroom and went to her room. Her room was nice and dark and not close to my room, so I didn’t have to worry about Elijah waking up. I was on the floor in Sophia’s room now and Sophia came in and asked if there was anything she could do. I just said, “No.” Then Mario came in unsure of what to do and said, “Do I just leave you alone or what do you want me to do?” I just told him to leave me alone as well. I just wanted my doula there because I felt like I needed the coaching and help with the pain.
I told Mario to start setting up the birthing pool and he was quick to get it started. But as SOON as he left the room to set up the pool I had probably two more contractions and then I felt like I had to pee. Then my water broke and I could feel the baby was about to come out. I didn’t know what to do so I screamed “MARIO! COME HERE! THE BABY IS COMING!” He ran in freaking out, he was like “Okay! Hold it in, don’t push yet!” LOL But that didn’t help, I HAD to push! And with two pushes or so the baby came out and she dropped on the floor. I was kind of squatting but on my knees and my hands were on the floor as well. As that happened, I could see my doula running by the window. She got there RIGHT as the baby came out! Thank GOD!
I was in such shock I didn’t know what to do. I was just squatting there looking at my baby with my mouth open and my baby on the floor crying. Renea (the doula) came running in and she instructed me in what to do and grabbed the baby because I was not able to. I was in too much shock. We ended up just setting up in Sophia’s bed and she put down the pads on the bed and baby and I made our way to the bed. She called my midwife to come over and she rushed over within minutes. Finally, when she got there she checked us and got baby dry and cleaned me up a bit. I think Mario was a bit traumatized seeing that happen because he didn’t even come into the room. He was in the living room the whole time.
Rush to the Hospital
Things settled down and everything was fine. Then my placenta came out rather fast as well and things started changing. My midwife was concerned about my bleeding and tried to make it stop. I started shivering and was really cold. Nothing seemed to help and my body temperature shot up; she said I needed to go to the hospital. I was begging her not to take me but she knew what was best. So she called the ambulance and they came within minutes and took my vitals. When they took my vitals they said I seemed fine and it was up to me if I wanted to go.
A part of me wanted to stay because that was the whole point of doing a home birth. But deep down I knew I should have gone as well. So I went. I left the baby Melody, with my mom so that she didn’t have to be admitted as a patient. Since she was healthy and fine, there was no need to have her admitted. It was SO hard to leave her. My son had also woken up and hearing him crying for me was hard also. I was an emotional WRECK and felt so helpless. I was angry, sad, mad, shocked, and all of the above.
I finally go to the hospital and got admitted to L&D (Labor and Delivery) right away and they gave me all sorts of stuff including shots and meds. They also had to manually scrape out a chunk of my placenta that had been left inside of me; that was the reason why I was bleeding so much.
Finally, the bleeding had stopped and around 10-11am I got to go to high risk postpartum. Eventually I needed a blood transfusion due to the amount of blood loss. They kept a close eye on me and after the transfusion until I began to feel better. I was so emotional still because I just wanted to be home and with my kids. That was the whole reason why I paid to have a midwife. I HATE being away from my kids and in the hospital.
Thank GOD for the people that took care of my kids. I really saw who was there for me and who I could count on. Anyways, I got to go home the next time. I was determined to go home. I was about to sign the AMA (discharge against medical advice) and just leave. I wasn’t about to stay in the hospital two nights when I felt fine after the transfusion. But God took care of it and I was able to go home early.
So yeah…my home birth was not at all how I planned. I even told my doula “We didn’t even get to use your oils!” I was looking forward to having a really laid back peaceful home birth with my music, her essential oils and in the birthing pool. BUT it didn’t happen that way. I still had Melody at home though.
The doctors said that what happened to me happens all the time. Even if I gave birth in the hospital, it would have happened because my body gave birth so rapidly. I wouldn’t have even made it to the hospital if I planned on having the baby there because she came so fast. I would have been one of the moms that gave birth in the car or something LOL! So that was reassuring to me.
Now, Looking Back
In the Bible the Israelite women always had fast births…they always seemed to birth before the midwives even got there. I had prayed for a fast birth like the Hebrew women…but didn’t think it would be exactly like that. I wanted my midwife there. However…what’s done is done and I can either be upset about it or I can just be thankful that everything is fine. I mean I did still get my home birth after all. It’s kind of more exotic to say “I had my baby on the floor all by myself” LOL! So I guess that’s a plus side to it.
I even heard the Lord speak to me as the paramedics were taking me from the ambulance to the hospital. He said “Would you still praise Me & love me, if things didn’t go your way?” He said it in the most random time and the most random place. Totally caught me off guard. I was just like “What? Of course I still love you” so that put me at peace that I was totally in His hands and so was my baby and other kids. I’m thankful for His protection and that I didn’t decide to stay home when I had the chance. I really could have said nope I’m not going to the hospital…but then what would have happened? I don’t want to know, but it was for sure God telling me to go to the hospital.
He said “Would you still praise Me & love me, if things didn’t go your way?”
Now everything is fine. Baby was bigger than I thought she would be but she is perfectly healthy and so am I. The nurses kept telling me that it might take months for my milk to come in since I lost so much blood and had a blood transfusion…but again God has the last say in this and my milk had already come in on the 3rd day and I was making MORE than enough. Wooooooh!
I’m thankful for the milk that was donated to my baby when I was in the hospital. I was NOT wanting to give her formula and thankfully am part of an amazing breastfeeding community. My midwife called her connections and within a few hours my freezer was full of liquid gold. Thankfully we only needed a little bit & I was able to give the rest back for another mama and baby in need.
So overall my experience in home birth was unexpected but good. The well known Midwives were not joking when they said “Squatting with give you a fast birth” I did squatting and I did some belly dancing as well and those two really helped the baby slide down. I’m pretty sure having my son 17 months prior to this baby was another reason why I birthed so fast, and my third trimester tea. Not sure which was the most effective. But I’m glad my body handled this all and is recovering rather fast. All glory goes to Jesus <3
In case you were wondering:
If you’re interested in learning more about Donor Breast Milk, check out the guest blog post on Breastfeeding 601: Donor Milk