Allison Faith Miles's Birth Story

On July 26th 2009, my husband, Randy, and I, Mandy, went out to meet up with friends. We got home at about 11PM and that’s when I noticed a very, very slow leak that sparked me to think the time was near. I knew it was a significant change, but it was such a tiny leakage that there could easily have been something else going on. So we tried not to get overexcited and followed the common advice to get some sleep. I slept very well that night. Little did I know it was going to be my last time to do so for a while!

At about 10AM I called Cathy, who asked me collect a sample for her to test. I brought it to her around noon and sure enough it was amniotic fluid and vernix. I had no contractions yet. Once we found out it was a premature rupture of membranes, we were very focused on trying to get contractions to start. Just when Cathy tried to see what was going on, there went the bag of waters all over her floor! She gave me several instructions to try to get labor going. I went by Connie’s house on the way home to pick up a breast pump, and Cathy gave me herbs, homeopathies and essential oils to use. I was willing to try it all to get labor started and avoid antibiotics or the hospital if I could, so I drank the castor oil too. By 2PM I was on my way home and called Randy to come home too because we were going to have a baby!

It didn’t take long. My first contraction was at about 3:20PM, but I wasn’t sure if it was a real one. At 4:00, I was excited to feel what I was positive was a real contraction. At that point I was also thrilled with the assurance that things were starting at home and within a safe timeframe to avoid infection, since the P.R.O.M. had actually happened the night before. At 4:20, the contractions were already about 5 minutes apart! I had been so busy with trying to get the labor started, that I really didn’t have a chance to get nervous, and once the labor started, it was strong and fast, so I was completely absorbed in trying to use everything we learned from Karen’s Bradley childbirth class.

It wasn’t long before Cathy and Amanda arrived, and by that time the contractions were about 3 minutes apart and some were double peaking. It was definitely back labor for me, which was surprising to all of us based on how Allie had been positioned most of the pregnancy. There were only one or two contractions where I ever felt anything in the front.

I liked staying upright and leaning forward in labor. I leaned on the birth ball with my face and arms on top and my knees spread wide on the floor, and that huge belly just hanging down, almost dragging the floor. I have always been comfortable with squatting, and that felt right during some of the contractions too. I also leaned over the bed, bathroom countertop and maybe some chairs too. I did not want to lie down at all! Randy followed me everywhere, kept me relaxed, read the Scriptures we picked out, said a prayer (or two or three), and applied a lot of pressure to my back and hips during contractions. The contractions were so close together that he couldn’t really do anything else in between.

I felt so well taken care of by everyone. I knew they were setting things up and doing all they could to monitor and make sure Allie and I were doing well. Cathy and Amanda helped Randy figure out where I wanted pressure put to help during contractions. Cathy said a very loving prayer at some point and it put me at ease. I trusted my body to do what it was made to do. Also at some point I needed to chug a bunch of water because I hadn’t gone to the bathroom enough.

When they checked me for the first time, I was completely dilated! We had planned to try out the bathtub, so it was definitely time to get in the water, which felt glorious... The labor was still very strong in my back and I laid on my left side a bit to deal with it.

Cathy asked if I felt an urge to push, and I didn’t, so she suggested I give it a try. After a couple of pushes I started to get the urge and it actually relieved my back to push through the contractions. Our toilet is right up next to our tub, so Amanda was sitting on the toilet and Randy was leaning over next to me. Around this time it was either Cathy or Amanda who asked what I was thinking about or how I was feeling, and all I could think about was how I had went in the water a little earlier and everyone had seen, but really my modesty was long gone by that point anyways! I think I might have even joked about it.

Then I was told to reach down and touch Allie’s head. She had about 2 inches to go before crowning. It was exciting to touch her for the first time! I touched her again while crowning and it was very encouraging! I was almost crying in joy. I must mention that Amanda was halfway in the tub with me at this time and I was leaning so far away with my right leg up on the ledge, she had no choice but to practically jump in! After the initial burn before crowning, I didn’t really even know when her head was out the rest of the way.

Then a few more pushes and the rest of her body came out and that was an interesting feeling. Even though she came out pretty quickly, I felt like I knew all the details of her little body at that very moment. Amanda, half soaking wet, placed Allie, our first child, on my chest. She was so beautiful! Little Allie started crying and I was again amazed at the sound of her strong little voice. We started learning how to nurse almost right away. I said, “Did I really just have a baby?”

We went to the bed for the afterbirth and Randy got to cut the umbilical cord. Later, Amanda showed us the placenta and it was cool to see what had been Allie’s little home. Upon examination, Cathy and Amanda said it didn’t even look like I had just had a baby. I didn’t have any tears! At some point, I suggested that I thought I could do all this again and that really got everyone going…

Allie and I took a relaxing herbal bath together. My family came in to meet her while she was floating in the warm water. I drank pear juice and my dad fed me some pizza. Everyone was so happy.

I was in labor for about 4 and a half hours and I pushed for 27 minutes. I must include somewhere that the castor oil I drank to try to get labor going did not kick in until after she was already here, oops! We didn’t have time for many pictures or a video, but we got a few snapshots! She was born at home at 7:56PM on July 27th, 2009. She weighed 6 pounds 4.5 ounces and was 19.5 inches tall.

God has blessed us so much and continues to do so. He laid homebirth on my heart over and over again, but it wasn’t until about halfway through my pregnancy that we decided to do it. We didn’t know anyone who had a homebirth and it was hard not having the support and encouragement I needed from my family. I believe He led me to find Cathy, who has been such a wonderful blessing in our lives. Randy and I grew so much in our faith during this pregnancy and birth. We learned how to trust in God all over again. And now we have a beautiful baby girl, Allison Faith Miles!