- hospital midwives, 16 hrs start to finish
- unassisted home birth in water, 3.5 hours. Labor began around 6pm while nursing 22 month old dd. She held my hand & mirrored my swaying side to side and low moans through each contraction until her sitters came to sweep her away for the night. If we'd known it'd be so quick, we'd have skipped this step. We praised God for the safe delivery, bonded and slept peacefully.
- unassisted home birth in water, 6.5 hrs. Labor began around 6pm when granny's flight touched down. I showered and readied myself while dad took the tots to pick up granny. I called a friend to photograph this one and chatted with everyone between these easy contractions. Grandma fed and bathed the children and flipped on Netflix. They checked our progress at will. When I hopped in the water after 11pm to speed things along, my 22 month old REALLY wanted to join me, but was easily bribed away by granny. A short transition later and I pushed baby #3
's head out in her caul, just in time for granny and the kids to see it all. We all praised God for grace to deliver another healthy baby. We celebrated with fruity smoothies and a midnight breakfast.
- unassisted home birth in water, 6 hrs. Labor began around 3:30pm. I'd been cleaning/organizing the garage with the kids and was just taking a break when labor began. Daddy put our 5 yr old dd in charge of Netflix for the younger two and shuttled back and forth to check in on them between contractions. The kids all wanted to join me in the 'swimming pool' as they called it. Daddy shooed them away somehow. And again, a short transition and some tricky pushing later and out comes #4
, who's very round head was like, 9.5 cm. The kids came when they heard one apparently loud mama roar during the last push. They all talk about his birth to this day. Again, we all praised God for a healthy baby and mommy. We ordered in our favorite Chinese and slept happily.
To summarize: Its nice to have a 'sitter' whom the kids love, to help in that capacity so you can concentrate on the one you're laboring with. I've enjoyed the family birthing environment. I take comfort in hearing little voices and seeing the wondrous faces of my littles. They serve as a reminder that I've done this before and I can do it again.