Gabe Johnson

Well, my water went and did what they said it wouldn't do.. it broke Saturday night, with not a contraction in sight!  I called Cathy and she said to try to get some sleep, they'd probably start in the middle of the night sometime.  When they didn't, she got me on the electric breast pump in the morning for an hour... when that didn't work, she gave me some labor start-up herbs... when that didn't work, we went for a walk....  meanwhile, Ben mowed the lawn, fixed the battery on his motorcycle, and cleaned house a bit.. he thought that was nice to have some time to finish a few things up before Baby came!  So the last resort was castor oil, which was inexplicably gross but I managed to get it down mixed with orange juice.  Lucky for everyone involved, the castor oil completely cleaned me out right as the contractions started.  They started about 3:45 in the afternoon, at 3 minutes apart, lasting 45sec to 1.5 minutes!!!  I thought there was something wrong - what happened to my early labor??  Good thing we didn't have to rush to a hospital!  Cathy and her two assistants came by 5, and I was walking through the contractions and resting in between... I felt like I wanted to run away from the pain!  I remember thinking I could understand how people wanted meds for that pain, but I reassured myself by thinking of all the people who raised their eyebrows when I told them I was having a natural birth.. I'd show them!  I labored in the tub a little while, which I found very restricting, I probably squirmed around a lot because I still wanted to move through the contractions, and our tub is pretty small.  The one thing they mentioned in the Bradley class that I found was a big deal to me was having very little light on.. I made them turn out every light possible (but I was nice about it!), and Ben said they were taking my pulse by a 15 watt nightlight he brought into the bathroom on an exension cord, hidden behind the tub so I couldn't see it!  Eventually they got me out of the tub and onto our bed.  Cathy had been hesitant to check me too much since my water broke so early and we wanted to avoid any chance for infection, but just as I was thinking "I don't know how much longer I can do this" she checked me and said she could feel the head already, about an inch in!  So I started pushing soon, which was nice because it didn't hurt so much as the contractions.  Plus watching Ben's disgusted face as I pushed relieved some tension!  He was very doubtful that our kid's head was going to end up looking normal..  but he did his job and helped catch the baby and cut the cord while trying to hide how grossed out he was.  He was especially amazed at the amount of blood that came out with the baby.  So once I checked, I saw that we had a baby boy (Ben found out at the ultrasound but I didn't know until then) and was ecstatic!  (really, I would have been ecstatic either way)  So he was out, all 9 lbs, 1 ounce and 21 inches, at 9:11 making my labor a short 5.5 hours!!  I couldn't be happier with the experience, I would never do it another way.  I keep wanting to say I had fun, because aside from the inevitable pain, homebirth WAS fun!  But then people look at me like I'm insane...

Thanks for helping us prepare for this experience, you did a more-than-wonderful job!!  We have been blessed by everyone that has been a part of Gabe's birth, God really had His hand in it all!