The Birth Story of Carolyn Hosanna
Who doesn't love a beautiful, inspiring birth story? Read on to see how one mother welcomed her eigth baby at home in water!
"Having another baby sounded like a good idea until I was sitting in my bathroom counting lines on a pregnancy test. It wasn't until that moment that I was hit with the reality of facing labor again. My last two births had been long and hard. I'd felt very trapped in a labor that was never going to end when I was having Solomon. I was so exhausted and there was no end in sight. Then it was finally time to push! It was finally going to be over! But then he got stuck. He was probably only stuck for a minute. But it felt like forever. I definitely didn't want to be in labor again. I wanted to change my mind about the whole thing! But it was too late for that. From that minute I started praying that this birth would be faster and easier. (And that I wouldn't have another giant baby!)
Every single day for the entire pregnancy I asked for another birth like I'd had with Bethesda. I told myself that my midwives would have suggestions that would make this labor easier. And they did! At my very first appointment, before I even brought it up, they had a whole list of things to do during the pregnancy and when I was in labor. I did all of it! But while I was confident that all those things would make a difference it wasn't enough to turn off the fear and anxiety. That grew a little bit bigger every month. My older children were so excited about this baby. My oldest was looking forward to being at another birth and talked about it all the time. But some days I didn't want to talk about the baby. Or think about the baby. And I definitely didn't want to talk about the birth. There were several times I wanted to change my mind and give the baby back. But then I felt awful for being willing to give her up to save my own self.
Two years earlier we had picked out a girl's name and a boy's name. And we had a baby boy. For two years I held onto that girl's name without knowing how perfect it was going to be. Carolyn means "a song of happiness" and Hosanna is literally a cry for salvation. This was exactly the tug-of-war I was having. Nothing could have made me happier than to have another baby girl. But I definitely needed saving. As she grew bigger and her due date got closer the anxiety got worse. She would move in just the right way or I'd have some little pain that reminded me of labor and instantly my heart would race and my hands would shake. I knew my midwives were praying for me and reminding myself that I wasn't in labor and I didn't have to do that yet helped for a while.
In the last couple weeks before she was due I had several false alarms thinking I was in labor but then things would fizzle out. I'd psych myself up and be ready to face labor and get it over with only to have it go nowhere. One day was particularly hard. I was kind of ok as long as I was busy and distracted. But the very second that I wasn't distracted anymore I was not ok at all. Never before had 7 children not felt like enough busyness and distraction! All the praying and all the things I knew to do were not helping. I was impressed with some specific people I needed to text and ask to pray for me. After that all of the fear and anxiety was gone and it never came back!
February 28, 1 day past my due date, I spent the day rocking my sick 1 year old and sanitizing my house. My husband and children had been passing around the flu for a week. I prayed I wouldn't get it and wished that if she wasn't going to come out I could at least quit being so uncomfortable! My mom and sisters texted to check on us. Someone said I should have a baby the next day on my brother's birthday. I told them that I had tried to have a baby on his birthday twice before and it hadn't worked! My sister responded with, "You know what they say about the third time!" Around 5:00 that evening I realized that some of those cramps I'd been ignoring all day were really starting to hurt. And I was getting really annoyed with my children talking to me during them. I texted my mom, my sisters and my midwife. I started timing them and made dinner.
After we ate I asked my sister to come over and walk with me. We only did one lap around the circle at the end of the street before we decided it was way too cold and we'd never convince Carolyn to come out if we stayed out there. So we went to Target. We walked laps around the store and contractions got harder and closer. Mom joined us eventually. After a while we found some lawn furniture to try out while I rested and saw what the contractions would do. They got lighter and farther apart. And I thought this was going to be another false alarm. But then they picked back up and I decided it was time to go home and have a baby.
Joel had gotten everything cleaned up and the kids in bed by then and he and Merry were waiting to see what we would be doing next. By the time I decided that this was really it things moved quickly. It was never too hard. I was never too tired. The end was always in sight and it was never very far away. From start to finish it went more perfectly than I dared to hope for. It was fast, it was easy (as easy as labor can be anyway). It so closely mirrored Bethesda's birth, just like I'd prayed for. She was born in the pool in the living room, just like Bethesda. And minus 4 ounces they were even the same size! 8 pounds even and 21 inches long, with more hair than any baby I'd ever had! I had hoped she'd be born in February since we already had 4 babies born in March. But my sister was right. Third time's a charm! Carolyn Hosanna was born at 2:19AM on her uncle's birthday!" -Lisa, home birth mom of 8
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