Happy Home Birth Story #4 – Sara’s Homebirth Story


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Every year on my children’s birthdays, I republish their happy homebirth story. This is Sara’s birth story and she’s six today!!

It’s been FIVE years now since my last child was born. I plan each year to share her home birthday story, and each year comes and goes with no post from me. This year, I am finally making it happen.

Happy 5th birthday Sara

I’ve reflected many times on my reluctance to share Sara’s birth story. She was born beautifully and uneventfully at home, in what can really be described as an easy birth – after only about an hour of active labor. I think my unwillingness to write down her story stems from what happened weeks, months, and a year after her birth – severe sciatic pain almost immediately after her birth that ended with a ruptured disk and back surgery for me when Sara was four months old. My feelings of abandonment by my midwife due to her legal trouble {stupid legal trouble from stupid doctors, but enough trouble that she was not able to provide care to the end of our 6 week post-partum period and I found no one else to take her place}. And also, Sara’s diagnosis at 15 months with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip – not life threatening at all, but a horrible diagnosis that has already resulted in three surgeries and will most likely mean more in her future. These three events have really clouded my memory of her beautiful birth, and that’s not Sara’s fault at all, or very fair. I guess, it’s high time that I put all of these unpleasant memories aside and record her birth story before I forget it altogether. I’ve already forgotten so many details.

Pregnancy #4 pic collage

Two days before Sara’s birth was Anna’s first dance recital. I love the pictures we took that day. I had one huge belly, friends. I quit weighing myself several weeks before she was born, but I always put on an enormous amount of weight with each baby. I’m pretty sure I gained more than 100 pounds with Sara – an all time record for me. Yikes!

Sara’s pregnancy was quite a lot different my other three, in that she went well past my “due date” and the others were born either before or right after. Her pregnancy gave me a new appreciation for post due women. Until I experienced it myself, I never understood the huge psychological drama that the ESTIMATED due date can cause. I home birth, so the natural process is very important to me, including letting the baby influence the birth date. I think it’s dangerous and unethical *most of the time* for doctors to induce women. I do realize that there are extenuating circumstances that make some inductions necessary, but I believe them to be the exception rather than the norm and I’m really concerned by the staggering number of women who experience induction for really no good reason at all.

pregnant trampoline jumping

Still though, after going over my due date by more than a week, I developed a real understanding for the mental anguish that the due date causes. I felt as big as a house. I thought the baby would never come. I was quite tired of being pregnant as the weather got muggier and hotter.  I tried most everything to naturally speed up the process. My first midwife’s mantra had been sex, swings, and trampolines and you can bet we tried all of those things – including jumping on the trampoline with all three of my kids at the end of pregnancy – for which I was reprimanded by Sara’s midwife.

precious baby

I will admit that I had to go back to facebook to remind myself of a few of the details surrounding Sara’s birth. Here’s what I can remember of her birth. Like I said, I was overdue according to my EDD (which wasn’t overly accurate due to poor record keeping on my part). I measured small during most of my pregnancy so my midwife wasn’t concerned about the looming numbers believing them instead of be an inaccurate EDD. Sara had been breech for several weeks around 30 weeks, I believe, but at some point toward the end of pregnancy, she turned and was head down for her birth. Interestingly, breech births are a risk factor for DDH, but since she was born head down, I never really considered that. To this day I wonder about that connection.

Happy Home Birth Story #4 – Sara’s Homebirth Story

Each of my other three births involved a full night of annoying contractions and I honestly can’t remember if I had that with Sara’s birth. I do remember that I felt strange the day before she was born so I was fairly sure her birth would be soon. My mother in law took my three older children on the Monday morning of her birth, so I must have been having contractions of some sort. The weather had been really nasty hot and muggy early in May and we had the air conditioning on already.

minutes after birth

On that Monday afternoon, Dan and I went to Target, most likely for last minute baby supplies, though I’m not sure what we might have needed. I think I merely wanted to walk somewhere cool to help progress the labor. And I know that it helped because I remember horrible contractions in the car on the way home. Once we got home, I got in the shower to labor in water while Dan filled up the birth tub we bought for Cora’s birth two years before and we waited for our midwife to arrive. I remember being on my bed when she got there later in the afternoon. Five years later, my memory is so fuzzy, but I think my water may have burst in a big gush like you see on TV. I really should request my birth records and go through the details.

water birth

Anyway, I got in the water birth tub shortly after Kathy arrived and according to my status update on facebook, Sara was born after about an hour of active labor – though I think that may have been a slight exaggeration. My friend and chiropractor, Angie, showed up right before 6 pm and I remember her knock on the door and freaking out about who may have been behind it. I was in transition when she arrived and I remember the anguish of transition time and not thinking I could go through with another birth. However, at that point there was really turning back, and pushing arrived pretty quickly thereafter. Sara required more pushing than her sister Cora had, but I don’t think it was more than 4 or 5 pushes total. Also different for me with Sara’s birth was that I did not tear much at all and I did not need any medications for hemorrhage! For the first time, we weren’t concerned about the excessive bleeding that landed Anna and me in the hospital after birth number one.

baby exam

Sara was born in the water at 7:07 pm on May 24. She was my third smallest baby at 8 lbs, 13 ounces and 19.5 inches long. I mentioned on facebook that we thought she would have red hair. And she does. Our other children’s names started with A, then B, then C, so a lot of people thought we might choose a D name for her. I wanted to choose Z, as I knew that she would be the last. But she ended up with an S name. So our children are named ABCS. 🙂

family of six And that’s the story of Sara’s home birth, what I can remember of it anyway, and how we became a family of six.

Happy Birthday to my lovely youngest child. I can’t imagine life without her.

Here are my other home birth stories, if you’re curious:

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. Thanks for sharing such a personal story. I always have to ask my husband how things really are because I think the adrenaline can fog things up. I’ll have to check out the other stories now.

  2. Love your post; it is so reminiscent of the same night and day, three years earlier, when my fifth entered this world, at home, more or less peacefully. It was hot, muggy, and he was 11 days “overdue.” The pool had been set up in the sunroom for two weeks by an overly nervous husband, candles were lit, it was lovely. I am so sorry for the enormous amounts of pain and anguish that followed, but I bet you are grateful that the beginning was like this. Peace, friend, a job well done!

  3. You have a beautiful family. I’m a redhead so I have a weakness for red headed babies. Thank you for sharing! God bless. =)