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I’m a mother, wife, educator, speaker, traveler and absolutely obsessed with God’s creation.

I'm ashlee!

holistic lifestyle

Becoming A Mom & My Birth Story

Whenever I got pregnant with our baby boy, I couldn’t believe it since we been dealing with infertility for four years at that point. It wasn’t until I was 4 months pregnant that I finally believed I was pregnant. Even then, the only reason I believed it is because I heard the precious heartbeat of this little miracle from God. Here’s my birth story.

I knew there was one thing I wanted when I got pregnant, I wanted to have a home birth. Not only would I be annoyed, frustrated and on guard at a hospital, the staff would probably want to rip their eyes out as well haha. I’m big on informed consent, medical freedom and natural birth so.. that doesn’t always go over well with mainstream medical doctors and nurses. I don’t stand down either so, it would have been a battle the entire time.

“Dim the artificial lights please”.

“No I will not lay in a bed the entire time”.

“Yeah, no, I need snacks and lots of water during this birth”.

“Don’t come in unless I invite you in, this is an intimate time and I don’t want to be interrupted”.

“How about you don’t put any of those creams, ointments, needles anywhere near us. Thanks”.

Holistic Home Birth

The due date

I’m sure you can imagine how it would have played out haha! I – of course – knew there was always the chance of a hospital transfer so I did pray for peace if that was the case. My satire would have been set aside if that was the case because I understand the importance of going into a situation with an open heart. It would have been just as beautiful but I definitely would have been on my guard.

I’m not a big due date person because 1) due dates are not evidence-based, 2) women rarely ever have their babies on their due dates 3) God will bring the babe into the world when He’s ready. So, I never planned for the due date. I just planned to have the baby when it was time and make sure everything was ready by about 35 weeks.

On the morning of January 22 (my due date), I woke up and had a normal day. Whatever breakfast a pregnant woman can fit in her squished stomach, walked the trail at our house, hung out with Tommy and Gilligan and realized “wow, the baby could come any time now”. Sure enough – that evening around 5 – my “water broke”. It didn’t really break though, it was just a steady stream of a pinkish fluid that continued after I was done peeing. This was accompanied by cramping way down.

Holistic Home Birth

Going into labor

My midwife thought it may just be increased discharge. I took the litmus paper and tested the liquid, the strip turned green (meaning it was amniotic fluid and discharge). Quickly, I hopped in my car and drove the road until I got service so I could send a photo of the strip to my midwife. She said it was definitely amniotic fluid due to the color and that the contractions should start up soon. My membraned had a large leak rather than me having a gush of amniotic fluid.

We ate dinner, walked and just hung out until 7 when the contractions began. We waited for them to be timeable for an hour before calling our midwife. It was great because we played 5 Crowns and had our last “just the two of us” date night until I could no longer focus. Tommy’s dream came true and he FINALLY got to setup the birth pool. He’d been waiting the entire pregnancy for that! The midwife was on her way and arrived around 830. My contractions never really eased in; they came with intensity from the first one. When my midwife arrived she checked me and I was already 8 cm dilated. How long I was there, not sure! But I was there now and I was definitely in labor.

Going into labor at home

My mom, brother and mentor arrived around the same time the midwife did so everyone was there and ready. Gilligan (our pup) is a major mama’s boy so we weren’t sure if he’d get anxious or not so we had a backup plan for that but he did amazing. Throughout the entire birth he would come over and check on me, give me a kiss, paw at me and then go back to sleep. Around 9/930 I got in the birth pool and labored in there for about four hours.

The birth pool

I got sooo hot (hormones, already warm body temp + hot water) that I had them turn off the heat in our house. Looking back, I feel bad for everyone who was probably sitting there shivering on that freezing January night. Tommy sat with me and rubbed my shoulders and applied counter pressure on my low back when a contraction would come. The counter pressure took the intensity from over the moon to almost non-existent. He sat outside the pool holding up my body weight for 4 hours without moving. He never left my side (even though he had to poop so bad haha).

Birth pool for our natural unmedicated home birth

I’m a go to bed by 8 p.m. kinda girl so, when my midwife told the other midwife to track fetal heart rate with the time of 11:41 p.m. Tommy and I were like “oh gosh, really?”. Time really does stand still but that doesn’t keep you from getting exhausted. I was tired. My body was getting ready to deliver this baby and I could feel every sensation. My midwife told me I could push whenever I felt like I needed to so, I tried a few times but wasn’t really feeling it. I also didn’t really know what I was doing so I had to get into the swing of things.

I remember a period of about 5-10 contractions of completely slipping away into my own little world. The exhaustion and intensity took me somewhere else and I just remember being gone for a little while, just me and God. I was in the ocean and I was literally riding the waves of the beautiful water. There was still an awareness that I was in labor but I just slipped away for a little while. I was singing worship songs and praising God for my body and strength and then I came back to the room.

Making progress and changes

After that and a couple more pushes, I knew I needed to get out of the birth pool. The water had gotten cold, the heat was off (oops) and I couldn’t stretch my legs which was making them cramp up whenever I would try to push. It was interesting, when the cramps in my leg set in, the contraction would completely go away which meant I couldn’t push! I also started to experience intense pain in my low back which I hadn’t been feeling before. The birth pool didn’t have a lot of cushion and our floor is extremely hard so that was a problem. I just remember rolling around in the pool and telling my mom “I need to get out, my back is in so much pain”.

Total surrender during a natural home birth

Before getting out, I gave one last push and completely collapsed into the water. Labor is intense and my body was working so hard. In between contractions, they quickly dried me off and I got into the bed with Tommy behind me so I could rest on him. There was such a relief and I felt so much better in there. I felt supported and like the baby would come anytime. Gilligan came in and laid his head on my belly while I went in and out of contractions. Shortly after getting in the bed, I had strong urges to push. This is when my body took over. There was this sense of intuition and complete instinct that kicked in and I wasn’t mentally doing anything. My BODY was pushing and knew exactly what to do. God created me for this exact moment.

Seeing baby

They showed me the babies head and I thought “are you kidding me?!”. I thought it would be further out by then! I pushed for ~30 minutes from start to finish. When babies head came out, I saw that it was still in the amniotic fluid. So, I definitely did only have a tear and not a complete water break. My midwife ruptured the membranes and asked if I had anything left in that contraction to push out the body. I didn’t know but I gave the hardest push because I knew that would mean no more contractions. I felt the baby emerge and quickly reached for it. After 7 hours of labor, baby was born early that morning and we finally had “it” here with us.

Welcome to the world, baby boy

We didn’t know the gender so I asked “wait, what is it??” and my midwife said “look yourself!”. We had our baby BOY and he was perfectly perfect and had the most beautiful healthy color and was covered in vernix. He was wide eyed, alert and so beautiful. Tommy and I bawled.. after 4 years, we had our baby. He latched on right away and nursed for an hour while we did skin-to-skin. I delivered my placenta shortly after and it was gigantic! That giant thing held our baby for 9 months. How incredible.

I hope you enjoyed my birth story and know you are so so capable and strong. Follow more of our journey here.
– Ashlee

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Pain-free cycles, peaceful pregnancy, healthy clear skin and actually feeling warm were far off dreams for me just 3 years ago. I couldn’t even imagine having a glass of raw milk or enjoying a bowl of garden salsa (it made me bloated just thinking about it!). Worst of all, I was unsure if I’d ever get to start a family. From being passed out on the bathroom floor from the pain of rupturing ovarian cysts to a vibrant and healthy mom.

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