Crain’s Birth Story is one that needs to be shared. I feel that our family and friends need to hear why Crain was born at home and hear how amazing that Saturday Morning was for us. Tyler and I had to make so many decisions with Crain’s birth; decisions that are not accepted by many, but in the end were the right ones for us and Crain.
There are two subjects that I do not share my opinion on with many people and those two subjects are religion and birth. If you are close to me you know how I feel about these two, but even so, I feel that people have the right to worship how they desire and women should be able to birth how they desire (medicated, un medicated, hospital or home).
In this birth story I am going to open up about my views, some will learn from the words that I write and the natural tendency of others will be to pass judgment, but either way you will hear the story of Crain’s birth and hopefully gain an understanding of our beliefs on birth.
Tyler and I enrolled in hypno-birthing classes for Crain’s birth. Julie was once again our guide during this pregnancy, and we learned so much in our classes. I did my Hypnobabies homework religiously and I feel that Crain’s birth benefited greatly from my hypno studies. I had been in the care of Dr. Stafford for this pregnancy. Dr. Stafford delivered Preston and I truly admire Dr. Stafford and I am very grateful to be in the care of such a hands on, awesome physician. But with all that said, Dr. Stafford cannot control hospital procedures and there was something in me that really did not want to fight to have the birth I wanted. I knew in the hospital, I would have to battle to have a true hypno birth, and so after going back and forth on the “homebirth idea” Julie set up a meeting with Carey Collins, our soon to be midwife. We connected with Carey from the beginning and I felt calm and at peace about the homebirth idea after meeting with her. Carey is extremely knowledgeable about birth. So it was decided a Homebirth for Crain! We were excited and at peace with the idea, however; kept it a secret because I did not want to hear all the negative comments.
So May 7th (Crain’s guess Date) came and no baby Crain, and boy oh boy how it made people mad that he was not here. I was determined to let Crain choose when and how he came into this world. But it was hard to be out of control and it taught me the first lesson of being a good parent, PATIENCE, and most of all it made me closer to my faith. I knew God was watching over us and I knew I was doing the right thing. I read quotes and scriptures every day and had faith I was making the right choice. Julie and Carey walked us through this wait and made me feel that it was normal when most everyone around us were asking when we were going to be induced, and when were “they” taking the baby, and don’t forget the people sharing with us why you should not carry your baby past it’s guess date. It was a long 14 days for many reasons, but looking back I am so proud of us for having faith and waiting on Crain. If I would have delivered in the hospital, I would have had to been induced and I am so happy I did not do that. Thank you to Tyler, my Mom, and my sister Laura for really talking me through those 14 days and being so supportive of me.
On Friday, May 20th, I started feeling some Pressure waves, that’s hypno talk for contractions. I went to acupuncture and had a nice relaxing session. I texted Julie and Carey and told them that I was having some pressure waves. In the meantime, my parents came up (I had not told them I was having pressure waves because I did not know if it was truly labor). That evening, the pressure waves still came and went; I listened to a Hypnobabies script before bed and decided to get some sleep. At midnight, I got up and walked around, got some water, and tried to go back to bed. Once again I listened to my easy first stage Hypnobabies script. At 2:00 am, I got up and was definitely feeling more intense pressure waves. I woke Tyler up and told him that they were getting a little intense. I got into the tub as Tyler timed the waves. Oh yeah, they were close together and getting stronger. Tyler stood by my side and he does not even have to say anything to me during birth, he looks at me and I regain focus, and I instantly feel calm. Tyler is my strength when I run out of it in labor.
We called Julie, but told her that she did not need to come yet and that we would call her back in an hour. Tyler woke my parents and they took Preston to Tyler’s parent’s house. My Mom knew of the homebirth, but I had just informed my Dad that evening when I thought I was in labor. I knew he would worry, but once again my Dad surprised me and handled it beautifully. I guess he trusts his “little Miss Magic”. At 3:00 am Tyler called Julie back and told Julie to call Carey. Julie had already gotten her gear together and was on her way. My Pressure waves were strong and very close. I hummed during waves, yes I sounded like a dwarf from Snow White [note from Julie: the "hi-ho, hi-ho, its off to work we go" song], but you know that is what I love about a natural birth, if you let yourself go and let your body lead you, it does things to get you through birth. And my body apparently wanted me to hum, and so hum I did. I told Tyler to get my “Birthing Outfit”. Yes I like to look cute when I deliver! My birthing attire was a knit skirt and tank and most important my Nike’s.
[note: notice the wall behind her is covered with birthing affirmations]
Julie came in a little after 4:00 am. She just saw I had my Nike’s on and I remember she said “Oh you are ready!” I wore my Nike’s during my labor with Preston and would have delivered in them if the hospital would have let me! So with my outfit on and Nike’s laced, I was ready to go. [note from Julie: When things got intense with Preston's birth, Brady ritualistically put on her Nike's. I knew when I saw them on her feet, we would meet a baby soon. I got on the phone with the midwife and told her to hurry!]
I had had the urge to push a little right before Julie arrived. Now the urge was uncontrollable. Crain’s birth took over my body and of course my body knew just what to do. I remember feeling like I was just watching myself birth. You go to this whole entire different realm, or at least I did. It one of those experiences in life where you are not the driver, but the passenger and you let your body drive and have faith that it knows what to do.
I think my water broke at 4:45am or so and I remember saying “that felt great.” Crain’s birth was moving really fast and Carey was not there, but I was not scared, I actually felt very calm. I had Tyler and Julie there, and it was really calm and peaceful. My pressure during pushes became really intense, so intense, and so difficult. The only position I was comfortable in was standing up. When I pushed it took over me and literally lifted me onto my tip toes (good thing I had that extra support from my Nike’s). I felt burning, and knew that Crain was coming, but it was happening so fast. I remember telling Tyler and Julie that I felt burning. I reached down and felt Crain’s head, and saw Tyler place his hands below. I pushed again, and my beautiful Crain was caught by his father’s hands, and my world stopped.
Crain laid in my arms and talked, instead of crying he talked and talked (you know baby cooing). He apparently had a story to tell me about where he had been for the past 40 weeks and 14 days. Carey arrived within seconds. Julie and Carey took great care of me and Crain in the hours to come.
So why did we have a home birth? On May 21st, 2011 at 4:53 am, Tyler caught our 9lb 6oz son with his strong hands in the comfort of our home. I had no nurse chasing me around trying to check me. I was free of wires and IV’s. I was able to have a true, calm Hypnobabies birth. I was not met with paperwork to fill out nor did I have a nurse counting for me while I pushed. I was able to place Crain directly on me after birth. Tyler and I did not have to fight for anything we desired for Crain’s birth. It was a calm, beautiful, safe birth. We have been asked if we worried or why we would take a “risk” of having Crain at home. To answer those questions yes, of course I worry. I worry about both my children, constantly. Did I worry about birthing him at home? No! I was in safe hands and I knew neither Carey nor Julie would ever put me or Crain in an “unsafe” situation. As far as risk, you take a risk whether you are at a hospital or at home. Ironically, if you do some research and listen to other birth stories, sometimes hospitals and their many interventions put you and your baby at more risks. Tyler and I weighed the benefits and risks and in this situation; and the benefits outweighed the risks. Tyler and I educated ourselves and surrounded ourselves with birthing professionals. It saddens me that instead of excitement after Crain’s birth, most everyone’s first reaction was that of worry and judgment. I understand that this is not the “norm”, but to those I say open your minds to a new yet old way of birth, do some research on natural hospital births in the US, and have faith that people make decisions for all the right reasons, and be okay with women who choose to not be the “norm” when they birth their children. I certainly do not judge other woman on how they choose to have their child.
The coolest part of Crain’s birth is that I felt so connected to my faith. They say that God is present with every birth and by having Crain at home, and being surrounded by calm, supportive people, I felt the presence of God. It was truly the most incredible experience. I am so happy that I trusted my gut and stayed true to who I am, and had Crain the way Tyler and I wanted to. I look at Tyler and feel closer to him than I ever have; he truly is a great birth partner, and even a better husband and father. I know that I am a stronger wife and mother. I am proud of Crain’s birth, and do not look at his birth in any negative light. I look at his birth as a gift. Both of my boys gave me the gift of birth and I discovered if you open your body and mind to birth it is truly life changing. On May 21st, 2011 at 4:53 am as Crain entered this world something in me changed, just as it did when Preston was born. I cannot describe the change; it is just the most amazing feeling, and I know it was because of how we brought both Preston and Crain into this world. I will never forget either one of their births, but especially Crain’s birth. I grew that day, and I am so glad that I experienced the gift of birth. Thank you to Dr. Stafford, Julie, and Carey for supporting us, and helping us through this pregnancy. Without you guys I would not have had the experience I had, and for that I am forever grateful to all of you.
Crain still “talking” to his mama an hour after his birth:
[Note: Brady and Tyler made the challenging choice to change care providers and birth location at around 36 weeks. If your intuition is telling you to explore other options, it is never too late.]