My Breech Water Birth Story

Wellness Mama Breech Water Birth Story

Looking back over the past decade, I realize that even after giving birth to six children (read all of my birth stories starting here), I’ve never had what would be considered a “normal” birth and this one was no exception as I had a complete breech water birth at home.

The Beauty of Birth

My labors and deliveries have run the gamut, as I’ve had the “typical” hospital birth with all of its interventions, a 26-hour natural labor and hospital birth, a life-saving c-section due to placenta previa, a 25-hour hospital VBAC, a 15-hour breech home birth, and now a 3.5 hour breech water birth.

Some of these birth experiences were not what I wanted them to be, but in hindsight, they were all exactly what I needed at the time, and I’ve learned to be grateful for what each one of them has taught me:

  • My first birth taught me the importance of having a truly supportive birth team and the importance of environment for achieving the birth you hope for.
  • My second labor taught me that I am stronger than I realized and the importance of endurance and relaxation during labor.
  • My third birth was my most difficult, as I never thought I’d have a c-section and it was a scary experience for me and for our son. It taught me that I am not in control and that sometimes the best plan is not the one I wanted or expected.
  • My fourth birth was in some ways my easiest, but it taught me not to have expectations about labor and birth (I was hoping it would be shorter since she was our fourth).
  • My fifth labor taught me to trust my body and fight for my birth choices, and was my shortest labor at the time (also a breech birth).
  • My sixth was my fastest and most intense and taught me that breech is a variation of normal (at least for my body) and that no two births are the same.

My Breech Water Birth

I really thought that after giving birth five times already that I kind of had this labor and birth thing figured out, and I was so sure of that I just “knew” how things would go. As all of our babies have been at least somewhat early (usually around 39 weeks), I fully expected to have this one at least a week or so before my due date and planned on this.

Turning things upside down…

At about 36 weeks, we found out that this baby was breech. I was disappointed but not entirely surprised, since two of our other kids had been breech at this point in pregnancy (one flipped and one was born breech). I started the protocol on spinningbabies.com to encourage her to flip, played music low down on my stomach, put a bag of frozen peas on the top of my stomach, tried acupuncture and all of the other methods that are often recommended to get a breech baby to turn heads-down.

For whatever reason, this little one wanted to enter the world bottom-first as my attempts to turn her were unsuccessful.

Contractions? Or not?

My had a week-long business trip when I was 37 weeks and I wondered if I would have the baby while he was gone. Not surprisingly, I started having contractions three days after he left. They started at about midnight and were strong enough to keep me from sleeping. I timed them and they were 4-5 minutes apart, eventually getting as close as three minutes and lasting up to a minute long.

They were definitely uncomfortable and I’d compare them to 4-5 cm contractions in previous labors. I called the midwife, she came to check on me, and at about 5 AM… the contractions completely stopped.

I’d never had a false alarm for labor before and felt embarrassed, thinking I’d only thought I was in labor. I was grateful, as I wanted my husband to make it home before the baby came but I couldn’t figure out why the contractions had just stopped and I felt bad for calling the midwives before it was time.

The next day, just as I was starting to fall asleep, the contractions started again. And lasted until 5 AM again. And stopped AGAIN.

I chalked it up to the stress of my husband being out of town and the fact that we had gotten 10+ inches of snow and ice and were essentially snowed in. This pattern repeated itself every night. Contractions from around 1 AM until 5 AM each night… not the best for sleep!

My husband finally got home… but the contractions continued each night 1-5 AM like clockwork. They weren’t “painful” but were intense and uncomfortable enough to make sleep close to impossible.

After a solid week of this, I realized that I was having prodromal labor. This is more common in moms who have had 3+ babies and when baby isn’t in the right position (breech) as the mom’s body attempts to move the baby into the correct position. Unfortunately, my body decided to do this work in the middle of the night while I was trying to sleep, instead of normal business hours!

One week of prodromal labor each night and I was exhausted.

Two weeks and I was in tears each night, just wanting to sleep.

Three weeks of prodromal labor and I was doubting my sanity.

After four full weeks of prodromal labor and a full week past my due date, I resigned myself to the fact that obviously this baby was never going to come out and just started obsessively cleaning (not realizing I was nesting…)

Moving on up… or down?

That night, the contractions started like clockwork, just as they had for weeks. 5 AM came… and they didn’t stop. I figured that they had just decided to start lasting even longer to keep me from sleeping ever.

All day, the contractions continued at 4-5 minutes apart and lasting 45-60 seconds. Uncomfortable but not painful as I could still talk through them. I just assumed that prodromal labor was going to be constant at this point and angrily cleaned, cooked, baked and organized (so obvious in hindsight that I was nesting and would soon go into labor!).

By late afternoon, I wondered if labor was starting as I was cooking dinner. When we finished eating at around 6:30 PM, I had the first contractions that were uncomfortable enough that I sent a text to my midwife:

Contractions are getting more like 4-5 mins at this point and more uncomfortable but still not bad. Think it is fiiiiiinnnnnnaaaaallllyyy labor for real but afraid I’ll stall if you guys come too soon. Long way of saying, I don’t need you yet but just wanted to keep you posted…

Still thinking that labor might just be getting started, I cleaned up from dinner and my husband and I got the kids ready for bed. We tucked in the kids at about 7:30 PM and the contractions immediately picked up. They were now about three minutes apart and definitely uncomfortable. Since the midwives were over an hour away, I texted them that it was definitely labor and was glad to get this reply:

Already left home. 🙂 Had a feeling it was time.

Since my previous labors tended to be 24+ hours, I figured I still had a long way to go, but I was also a little bit nervous because the contractions were getting increasingly difficult to work through and the idea of another 20+ hours of them was daunting to say the least.

The midwives arrived just before 9:00 PM I think (time got a little hazy at this point), and I remember saying things like “I can’t do this for another 20 hours” and “Why do I always think this is a good idea? Some of my friends love epidurals,” (note to self- this is usually a sign of transition!).

I also started needing my husband’s support during the contractions at this point, calling him when each one started and leaning on him while moaning through the intensity. I still had pretty good breaks between contractions (4-5 minutes, I think) and was able to talk and even joke between them so I was mentally preparing for the long haul and hoping I’d have the baby before noon the next day.

The contractions continually got tougher and sometime around 9:30 ish, the midwives suggested I try getting in the tub. I told them that I was afraid it would slow my labor down (laughable now) and they responded that they really didn’t think it would at this point.

Oh the Water…

The water definitely took the edge off the contractions or at least provided a welcome distraction. I tried to relax as much as possible and at about 9:45 PM, I felt a “pop” as my water broke (the fluid was clear). This is about the time that I started to have the “doula battle” with myself internally.

After being a doula for several years, labor has become an interesting internal conversation between my rational doula side and my not-so-logical laboring mom side. This time, the conversation in my head was going something like this:

Doula Me: “You water just broke and you are questioning why you don’t get pain medication… you are almost done.”

Pregnancy me: “No, I’m not. Stop trying to get my hopes up. My water broke before labor with my first baby. I still probably have hours of this left. Is food burning in the oven? How did I miss that spot on the grout of the tub when I was cleaning… Ugh… Another contraction.”

I didn’t feel pushy immediately after my water broke as I had with previous deliveries, which is normal when baby’s head isn’t pushing on the cervix. I was encouraged though, because I realized I was at least now in “real” labor but was still in denial about just how far along I was (despite the discomfort of definite transition contractions).

At this point, I also started feeling a LOT of pressure on my pubic bone and front right side. I had absolutely no back labor at all but had the equivalent in my lower abdomen because of her position. I could feel her move down and the pressure on my pubic bone continued to increase.

This was the point I somewhat remember saying something along the lines of “I don’t think I can do this,” (classic about-to-push sign for me).

The midwives suggested that I get in a forward-leaning hands and knees position, which I did with the help of my husband. The pressure intensified almost immediately and I felt baby move down quite a bit. I was simultaneously trying to relax but also having trouble relaxing (a friend who was planning to photograph the birth was still a few minutes away and I wasn’t exactly excited about the pushing phase…)

I also knew (from my previous breech delivery) that it is important to wait until I was completely dilated before attempting to push so even when I started feeling push-y, I tried to focus on calmly breathing (which externally looked more like a mixture of grunting, moaning and cursing… I was totally calm…or not)

My husband sat on the edge of the tub and I was able to lean on him for comfort and support at this point, which really helped me relax.

The urge to push…

I’ve always thought that the term “urge to push” was funny as I would more accurately describe it as” the-overwhelming-and-impossible-to-ignore-reflex-to-expel-a-baby.”

Whatever you want to call it, I felt it.

Having now vaginally delivered a breech baby twice, I can also say that while the desire to push is just as strong with a breech presentation, it also feels much different. Many women describe pushing as feeling like they are having a bowel movement and this isn’t the case (at least in my experience) with a breech. In fact, it felt much more like my public bone was being snapped in half and my hips being pushed out of their sockets.

At 9:55 PM I officially started pushing. I pushed somewhat slowly for a few minutes as I felt her slowly move down. Once the “ring of fire” started, I decided that I’d had enough of this and pushed a lot harder. This part is somewhat hazy, but I remember thinking that I had to actually work a lot harder in pushing her out than I had with my others.

This is the mentally toughest moment of labor for me, in realizing that I’m almost done and at the same time that the only way to make the pain stop is to push through it and create more pain in the short term. I always wished I was like some women (including my mom) who feel some relief during the pushing phase and actually think it is less intense than transition.

With a really hard push, the burning intensified and then I felt some relief as she “rumped” (the word used instead of “crowned” with a breech baby since they present bottom-first). At this point, the midwives were actively monitoring me and baby but not touching her (this hands-off method is often recommended for breech deliveries to avoid startling baby and causing her to raise her hands before they emerge).

Out came her bottom, legs and feet all at once. This is known as a complete breech presentation by definition, not a frank breech as my last had been. This also explained why I felt I had to push harder with her… I was pushing out abdomen, legs and feet at the same time!

Sweet relief…

With another strong push, her hands and head emerged and the midwife lifted her out of the water.

That moment of relief and joy right as she emerged immediately replaced the intensity and discomfort of the previous few hours and I leaned against my husband’s chest, saying “I did it! I can’t believe she is finally out!”

I turned over and was able to hold her for the first time… and 41 weeks of pregnancy, a month of prodromal labor and just over 3 hours of intense labor immediately became worth it in an instant as I stared into her eyes.

Her APGARs were 10 and 10, starting her trend of trying to beat her siblings at everything. (So far, she wins the awards for my longest pregnancy, shortest labor, biggest baby and highest APGARs).

Natural childbirth is definitely hard work, and this is the point at which the intensity and work are worth it. I was able to get out of the water and deliver the placenta and then sit in my own bed with my beautiful newborn.

I was shocked when I looked at the clock and realized that it was only just after 10 PM! I was used to REALLY long labors and was very surprised to realize that the tough part of my labor had only been just over 3 hours! Not only were our other kids still sleeping peacefully upstairs (shockingly after my not-so-quiet pushing phase), but my labor had been so fast that we were even going to get some sleep that night!

I was also extremely grateful for experienced and intuitive midwives who could tell even from my text when it was time, as they wouldn’t have made it if I had waited until I really thought I was in labor to call them. In some ways, this breech water birth was my easiest labor (based on time) and it some ways it was my toughest (intensity and pushing). It was without a doubt my favorite labor so far, as it was the first one where I’ve felt truly supported and completely trusted my birth team.

Shorter Labor… What Made the Difference?

In the days following her breech water birth, I’ve wondered what made the drastic difference in the length of my labor this time around (over 12 hours shorter than my previous shortest and over 20 hours shorter than most of my labors). I think these things all contributed:

  • A Birth Team I Trust– This is without a doubt the biggest factor in my shorter labor this time. Sadly, it took until my sixth birth to have a birth team that I completely trusted and felt safe with. With previous deliveries, I always had circumstances that made labor more difficult (and likely longer too), such as being told I “wasn’t allowed” to get out of bed, even with an uncomplicated natural labor, or being told by nurses that it would be easier on them if I’d just get an epidural and be quiet. This time, I was supported, encouraged, and told that my body was doing exactly what it was supposed to do… and it did.
  • Eating dates – I don’t have any proof of this, but I added dates to my protein smoothies for the last few weeks and there is some evidence that natural compounds in dates can shorten labor.
  • Prodromal labor– The one silver lining of my month of torture (I mean, prodromal labor) is that it may have sped up labor. I couldn’t find any statistics on this, but there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence and women sharing their experience in forums who had prodromal labor but very short active labors. Midwives often say that not all contractions may dilate the cervix, but they are all accomplishing something, and all of those contractions during prodromal labor were likely helping my body prepare to labor effectively.

Did I Use the Peanut Ball?

Another question I’ve already gotten is if I used the peanut ball or not. I wrote about the fascinating research about peanut-shaped yoga balls and their potential to shorten the first stage of labor by opening the pelvis and encouraging baby’s descent, and said that I was planning to try this method and see if it would shorten labor for me this time.

Unfortunately, since she was breech, I was trying to give her time to flip and wasn’t trying to encourage her to engage or move further down until she did. She ended up being born breech so I never had time to give the peanut ball a try, but have had three friends try it over the last couple of months and they had their shortest labors to date.

Was my Birth Illegal?

Sadly, home birth is not a supported birth option in my state or in quite a few other states in the US. It wasn’t technically illegal for me to give birth at home, but Certified Professional Midwives are not licensed in our state (though many are in other sates) and have to work much harder to find access to important supplies, labs and testing for the women they serve. As our state has one of the highest c-section rates in the country (over 40% in our local area), home birth is one way we could work to reduce these statistics (as the World Health Organization has called for a reduction in any c-section rate over 15%).

This year, we are working to pass legislation that would support Kentucky midwives and make it possible for CPMs to be licensed in our state. If you live in Kentucky and are reading this, please consider following the KY Home Birth Coalition on FB here to check for updates and to find out ways you can help!

Other Pregnancy and Birth Resources

If you’re currently pregnant, here are some other resources that might be helpful to you:

I’d love to hear your birth stories! Please share them in the comments below! 

You May Also Enjoy These Posts...

Reader Interactions

It Shouldn’t Be This Hard to Be Healthy…

Become a Wellness Mama VIP member for free and get access to my handbooks & quick start guides to help you detox your home, become a master of home remedies, make beauty products from scratch, and conquer mealtime madness!

Yes! Let me in!

Wellness Mama widget banner

Reader Comments

  1. My first was 3.5 hours of active labour (luckily home birth is easily available in Ontario). I’m now pregnant with my second and I’m terrified of having a surprise “toilet baby”. Or the opposite and the baby being so big or breech i can’t have it vaginally. Did you find that the size of baby/breech position was much harder than a regular vaginal birth or only slightly worse? I had a bit of a run in with a lateral episiotomy with my first at 6lbs,1oz. So I’m actually afraid with this one, whereas i wasn’t at all with my first child.

    • Breech was a little harder, but really only in the pushing phase, and only for a few minutes…

  2. Congratulations to you and your family Katie, loved reading your birth story, so different from my own.

  3. This birth story really touched my heart. I had roughly two weeks of padromal labor with both my boys, and they were both exactly 11 days past due date. With my first, I thought I was crazy and really doubted myself and was not really offered much reassurance from my midwife or anyone else for that matter. My labor with him was 45 hours with immense back labor and 3 hours of pushing. It wasn’t until my midwife was called away to another birth that things picked up. I ended up with the assistant in training (who was absolutely wonderful by the way) and she called the backup midwife. If I would have met her previously she would have been our midwife from the get. Big T was born with one hand on his head mid air in the bathroom as my husband lifted me up from sitting on the toilet backwards.

    For little t’s birth we rented a house so that we could be closer to our now new midwife (the backup from Big T). We had just moved to a town that did not have any midwives, and I had learned the importance of trusting your birth team from my first experience. We rented the house for three weeks (two weeks before the due date and one week after). Needless to say, the rental time was quickly coming to a close and I had been having padromal labor every night starting at 7pm for two weeks. We joked about naming him Seven. 🙂 We were able to get the house for one more night, but still no baby. Stress was a little high. Also, my midwife was leaving in three days for vacation and we would get passed off to the backup (ironically, my original midwife).

    We were misplaced for half a day. My midwife found three possible options for us: a comped hotel room that allowed dogs (they were with us too), a yurt with no running water, or an Olympic gold medalist’s home that wasn’t available for another day. We were waiting for the official word from her over breakfast with our dogs and stuff loaded into our Jeep Wrangler. She finally just told us to check into the hotel. We checked in and as the bell hop was walking away with our stuff she texted and said, “Do not check in. I repeat, do not check in. I have a house for you!”

    We paid the bell hop to bring our stuff back and drove to a beautiful house two doors down from hers. She walked up and down her neighborhood looking for an option for us and found a vacation rental. It was an amazing little house.

    We crashed that night and the next day she set me up with a massage and chiropractic adjustment. I got back to the house at approx 3pm and went upstairs to to the loft master bedroom to try and get Big T down for a nap. As I lay there with him contractions started. I didn’t trust them due to the padromal labor, but things ramped up fairly quickly.

    My husband peeked on us a few minutes later and I whispered, “I think I’m in labor.” He gave me a “thumbs up” and ran downstairs to whirlwind clean up the house. The next time he checked on me I was up and out of the bed. I couldn’t sit still. I wanted to take a shower but was afraid to waste hot water because I wanted to try a birthing tub this time around. My husband texted the midwife that I was in labor and she just said, “Yay!” A few minutes later my water broke on the toilet. He texted her regarding that and she asked about the color. He called at that point, because it was hard to answer that question due to how and when it happened.

    She said at that point that she had an appt to be at at 4:30 and was planning to go, but let her know if anything changed. I decided to get in the shower then because she wasn’t coming yet. Transition hit like a ton of bricks in the shower. Big T was a little worried about me, but Daddy just told him that I was doing a very good job. I told him to let the midwife know this was moving quickly. He did so and she said she would be there in 4 minutes.

    At the next contraction, I looked at my husband and said, “I just pushed.” He said, “We’d better move to the bed.” He helped me out of the shower and to the bed and a few contractions later, Daddy caught little t as my midwife was coming up the stairs. Little t was born at 4:34 (one and one half hour later). She said it was the shortest labor she had ever experienced.

    I wish you nothing but the best. I resonate with you on many levels. Enjoy your new addition.

    ~Dre

  4. Congratulations!!!!! Praying for you and your precious family!!!

  5. Wow! Congrats! I’m 16 weeks with #5 l, this just majorly built my anticipation! Birth stories are so fun to read, thanks for sharing!

  6. That was quite an experience; thank you for sharing it.

    Regarding a breech presentation, you may not be aware that many chiropractors are quite skilled in moves that will help the little one get into the “normal” birth position. You might want to see what is available in your area. Unfortunately, chiropractic is a well-engineered secret.

    I wish you continued good health and happiness with your family.

    • Thanks Ellen 🙂 I was actually at the Chiropractor every two days from 35-weeks on… They think the position of the placenta may have been preventing her from flipping…

      • I am so glad to hear that! You’re a very smart woman to have used that resource. Position of the placenta…..I would like to read more on that issue as it affects a breech presentation. Again, thank you so much for sharing this.

      • I dont have any proof to back this up but as a Sonographer it is really common to see lower placental positions in subsequent births after a c-section . I think the placenta gets quite stuck on the scaring of the uterus and therefore does not tend to be dragged up as the uterus stretches out further with the growing bub. When it is low there is less room for the baby and may be uncomfortable perhaps causing them to stay breech.

        Wish you all the best Katie…my 4th birth was only 1.5 hours after the first 3 been 24 hours… I went into shock with how intense it was and it took a while to get over it. Take care of yourself.

        • Thanks so much Amanda- That’s really interesting, and I’ve wondered about this too. My last pregnancy, I did have another lower placenta, but this time it was high and anterior…

    • Yes I loved my chiropractor! My baby was sunny side up and after a few days of prodromal labor I went in and my chiro was able to get her to turn! Baby was born 5 hours later! (VBA2C home water birth!)

    • Yes, that’s what did it for me at 38 weeks! Go Chiropractic!

  7. Congratulations on your new baby! So glad all went well. I can’t believe you were once told that if you’d get an epidural and be quiet it would be easier, that’s terrible! I delivered all my babies in a hospital, but I guess I was lucky. I always had very supportive teams of nurses and a great doctor. Wishing you and your family well as you all enjoy this crazy, wonderful new phase of your lives!

  8. Love this you’re amazing! Congratulations and great job. I’m expecting my 6th in August. You are very inspiring. My first was a C-section and I’ve had 4 VBAC’s. Unlike you, I have very short but intense labors. My issue is making to the hospital in time and my goal is to have a well supported birth team and a low intervention birth. So glad your 6th turned out the way you “imagined”.

  9. Wow! That was intense! I’ve had three natural births, all in hospital, and each one was shorter than the previous. Reading this, I’m reminded that I get to do this all again in June (yay! not!), but I’ve considered the home birth option. Given the trend of coming out faster each time, I may not make it to the hospital, anyway! LOL! Congrats, Mama! Hope you are getting some well-deserved rest! 🙂

    • I’m due in June with my 4th too and I’m so not looking forward this again! Lol I’m doing a hospital birth though and keeping the epi option open but hoping I have one more natural birth left in me ? Best of luck!

    • My first was 5 hours from the time my water broke until baby in my arms (and an epidural too late really slowed things down), and my second was two hours from the time they stripped my membranes (I didn’t know better at the time) to baby in my arms. So we planned a home birth because we had no idea how quickly number 3 would arrive. I thought I might be in early labor around 5pm, but didn’t know for sure I was in labor until 6:30pm; she was out at 7:15. Yep, would not have made it to the hosptial! Midwife was there for less than 7 minutes and only had one glove on when she came flying out in two pushes! It was amazing. I hope you have a great experience too!

  10. Wonderful birth story! I have never had a breech baby before but all three of my manors were less then 6 hours with the last one being 1 1/2 hours! I never had any pre labor signs or anything either so my labors always came out of nowhere. I was preparing for a 12 hour or more labor with my first so needless to say I was shocked when it was only 4 hours! With my last I was having no contractions when my water broke and after that it was a whirlwind! My contractions started less than a minute apart and I only pushed 2 or three times. My midwife only lived 20 minutes away and that is the only way that she made it in time. Luckily I have had amazing birth teams with all of my births. Home births are very common where I live and I have a lot of midwife friends, we are very blessed by that. Thanks for sharing your story! You are so strong and inspiring.

  11. I had prodromal labor with all 8 of mine and had relatively short active labor with all of them. I have been very blessed in that respect and hope the pattern continues with #9. I would love to do a home birth, but there’s no way my husband will go for it. Fortunately, we have always had wonderful hospital birth experiences.

  12. I had a very similar birth with #3. Not the breech part but I had proverbial labor daily from 36w6d to 41w4d and she was perfect and worth it and it was only hard work for about 2hours.

    I had proximal labor with #4/but opted for AROM induction becAuse he was so big at 40 weeks my uterus was rock hard and I couldn’t breath. Instincts said he needed to be born Asap so we went to a hospital that serves mostly Amish women and they were incredibly hands off. I ended up needing an epidural (stuck with triple peaking contractions for 6 hours and was exhausted from days of night labor). He was asynclintic ( born ear first) 3 hours later after bit of a breather. Wonderful birth.

    It is so wonderful to read other VBAC and “birth isn’t straightforward for me” stories. My births hAve all been crazy different and it is validating to hear I’m not alone. You can do all the spinning babies stuff, eat reAlly good diet, live an active lifestyle…and still have your body take its time and be as unique as the baby you’re birthing.

  13. Congratulations on your new little one!! I loved reading her birth story. It was similar in so many ways to the birth of my fourth, almost exactly a month before your little one! I too think my daughter was trying to set some records, or maybe just drive me crazy trying to figure things out. She was my longest pregnancy (I had my other 3 kids all at 39 weeks and this lo was 10 days late!) fastest labor (2.5 hours), most intense labor, and biggest baby by far! I also had a waterbirth. I contribute my longer pregnancy this time to the magnesium I used daily, which I did not use with my other kids. Just my theory. I also had steady but not painful contractions for a week before giving birth. Maybe this helped shorten my active labor. The night before I had my daughter I slept well until 4am, when I got up to use the bathroom. I had a stronger contraction once I got up and decided to stay up to see if more came. I showered and by 5 am decided these contractions were stronger and closer together, so I called my midwife. We got to the hospital at 6am and had my daughter at 730 am. Very intense couple hours. So happy for you and your family! I hope you have plenty of resting and bonding time!

    Ps- did your photographer make it in time?!!

  14. My birth story started when my water broke at 7pm in multiple huge gushes of fluid at exactly 38 weeks. I had had no contractions prior to my water breaking and in fact I hardly experienced any Braxton hicks contractions either. But, within 45 minutes of my water breaking my contractions were already 2-4 minutes apart and lasting 30-60 seconds. My labor was very intense from the get go and while I initially did not want an epidural I caved 7 hours in and had one. Unfortunately it only took the edge off for about 3 hours and mostly just made me itch so badly that I couldn’t relax! When it came time to push i felt everything. I pushed for 45 minutes before my beautiful baby girl emerged almost exactly 12 hours after my water broke. I didn’t even notice myself birthing the placenta as she laid on my chest. I feel I had a relatively easy birth, but didn’t know exactly what I needed/wanted since it was my first. Next time, no epidural and I am going to move about as I please (sorry if your monitor doesn’t like my position).

  15. I love your story, thanks for sharing! 3 things I experienced myself during my home births: 1) Spinning Babies helped get my transverse baby in position, 2) “Ah the water”….DEFINITELY!, 3) and the hands and knees position to help babies who are having difficulty coming out- this position is essential and so effective! I think it should be mandatory that women try it before a c-section happens (where the baby is lodged, shoulder dystocia…etc. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy!

  16. I definitely think that the prodromal labor makes active labor shorter! I had prodromal labor for a couple of weeks (once, I even called my midwife because after 5 hours of it I was certain I was in labor at 38 weeks!) with my daughter, and she was born in less than two hours. Congratulations on your sweet baby! (And the breech! Student midwife in me loves hearing happy breech stories!!)

  17. I just had our fourth child at home. All of my pregnancies have been completely different also. This last one was the shortest of all of them. The one thing I did different was eating dates the last few weeks due to a post of yours that I read. Also had Pre labor for a couple weeks prior to having her which I’ve never had before. Congratulations on your newest family member. I pray you are recovering well. I think our newest babies have the same birthday! I delivered on February 15th. Thanks for all you do and share on your website 🙂

  18. Wow. Awesome story.

  19. I find it astonishing that in a country where abortion is largely unregulated there are such strict laws regarding how and where a woman can deliver. I used to think labor had to always be awful and then I learned about natural birthing methods and was relieved that it could be a positive experience. Then I learned about the laws and was disappointed. Still not looking forward to pregnancy lol

    • I had a home birth April of last year in a state like Kentucky where midwives are unregulated. I had an awful midwife. Luckily, my midwife’s wonderful assistant was from another state and was carrying Pitocin because I hemorrhaged. With the laws the way they are here, my main midwife wasn’t allowed to carry things like Pitocin. Because of the close call we had, I will have the rest of our babies in a hospital despite negative experiences the first two times. I’m very disappointed as the only natural-minded doctor in our area that delivers at a hospital dropped me as a patient when I decided to have a home birth. So I’ll be stuck with the other C-section pushing Ob/Gyn I had with my first two children.:-( Regulating midwives makes birth safer for mothers.

      • I had all four of mine at a hospital that is not natural birth friendly, the last three with a dr that I’m pretty sure thought I was nuts. My first two I let them push me around, but especially my fourth I had on my terms. You can do it, just make sure you have someone with you that will back you up while you’re in the middle of contractions. My hubby was amazing!

  20. You are one amazing Mama! Giving birth to a complete breech baby! I am so encouraged to read your birth story! I had my first baby almost 14 years ago and as he was breech I was told I had to have a C-section (I was too young, naive and scared to disagree with the Doctor!) my second son was born 22 months later and although I was in labour for 12 hours, he would not fully engage – I was in the hospital and they said he was getting distressed and I needed to have another c-section 🙁 my daughter followed so soon afterwards (16 months later) that I was given no choice and told to have a c-section… fast forward through 10 years of infertility and a Hashimotos diagnosis, followed by a massive change in diet, nutrition and lifestyle as a result of following blogs like yours, and I am surprisingly (but very happily!) pregnant again at 40! I know SO MUCH more now than I did then and I certainly would do things differently if I had my time over again! But I can not do it again, I can just make sure that I do the best for this baby! I am planning (with the agreement of a more naturally orientated Doctor!) a VBAC – although in a hospital (I live in Germany and there are no midwives who would be legally allowed to help me deliver a baby at home after 3 c-sections!) I am learning as much as possible and it is my prayer that this baby will come out the natural way – my c-section scar has healed so much it is positively miraculous – from 2mm to over 1cm thickness 🙂 Changing to a natural way of life has been a blessing in multiple ways! Thank you for all you do and the amazing posts you write, so that I have had the opportunity to learn so much! Wishing you tonnes of happiness with your bundle of joy as you get to know each other over these first few weeks! With much love from Germany!

    • Hi Rachel! I am in Germany too and have a wonderful home birth midwife. Any chance you are in the Ramstein area? My first was a C-section in Japan. Much like you I was just a little young and unprepared in the world of birth. For my second I had all of my pre-natal care at home and then delivered in the hospital. Maybe that would be an option for you. It kept things (and me) a lot calmer leading up to the big event. My third and fourth were born at home….the fourth one being unassisted. Not by my choice, that baby just had to get out! 45 minutes start to finish. Fits her personality now too ?. I’d love to share resources with you if you are in the area!
      Amanda

      • Thanks for your reply Amanda – I am so sorry I didn’t see it until now! I am re-reading all I can as I am due in the next couple of weeks! I am not in Ramstein (I am British and married to a German – not military 🙂 ) we live in Munich and I will be going to a hospital where they are really natural and I also have a Doula to come with me! I am very hopeful of a natural birth 🙂 thanks again for taking the time to reply to me! appreciate it!

  21. Thank you so much for sharing your birth story and so much helpful info 🙂 I’m going to be 36 weeks on Friday and planning my 3rd home birth. My first was 9 hours of super intense labor, several hours of double peaked contractions and a water birth. He was 10 days late and when he decided he was coming he came fast. He ended up being 10 lb 3 oz and 23.5″. My second was 12 years later. I knew I was in labor at 8 pm and decided to try to sleep. Was shocked to wake up at 7:30 the next morning still having contractions and lost my mucus plug as soon as I got out of bed. My hubby and I went for a walk, played cards, watched a movie and made a birthday cake. I think finally about 5pm I started going into “the labor zone” and we called the midwives and the rest of my labor support team and photographer. I think about 8pm maybe my midwife suggested that hubby and I go rest and cuddle and I put my hypnobabies on my headphones. I remember waking up to my first REALLY painful contraction thinking “wtf hypnobabies! You were supposed to “create anesthesia”” lol I got in the labor pool which helped some, but I was still really hurting and felt like I was going to throw up (transition, duh) I had 2 hours of painful labor total. He had his cord wrapped 3 times and it was a short cord to begin with, which is why we think he came down so slowly, and she actually had to clamp and cut it with just his head out to be able to unwrap it. My husband had to pull me up to standing and they had to help me get him out which was a bit traumatic (likely some shoulder distocia). It took him a little bit to take a breath which was really scary, but my midwives were incredible and his heartbeat was strong the whole time. He was my “little” baby at 8 lbs 10 oz and 21.5″, 7 days late. Almost 3 years later I’m about to have my third boy. I know labor is different every time and I feel like I actually have more anxiety this time than I did with my first! I know I have a great team and that my body can do this, but that whole thing about forgetting how much it hurts is a whole lotta hooey 😉

  22. Congratulations on the birth of your precious baby girl! What a beautiful, strong and powerful story. Thank you for sharing. I’m 33 weeks and looking forward to our second home water birth here in Canada.

    All the best as you settle in with the new baby,
    Meagan

  23. I’ve had 4 natural births, and I could not agree more the pushing part is the worst. I can handle everything else but the last phase was always dreaded. The ring of fire killed me everytime.

  24. Do you find your recovery longer or harder from your quick delivery? My 4th child (born almost 1 year ago) was my quickest labor ever. From 1 cm to birth in four hours. I did not have prodromal labor. Labor literally started while I slept, waking every 5-7 minutes for an intense, but not painful contraction for an hour until I decided it was time to walk around and see if this was real or false labor (which I had with baby #3). I didn’t want to embarrass myself (again) with a trip into our hospital with #4. It became very apparent that this labor was the real deal and I transitioned while my husband loaded our children into the car for a quick Grandparent drop off. Let me just tell you how AWFUL active labor is in a car!!! Because this was my first all natural birth (mainly because I didn’t have time for an epidural at the hospital ?) I was extremely surprised at how quiet I was. When I did talk, I whispered. Odd. Anyhow, baby was born (largest baby by 2lbs too) just a half hour after making it to labor and delivery and that sweet amazing relief of delivering was quickly replaced with intense horrific pressure from my OB as she tried to stop me from hemorrhaging. Perhaps it was that after birth ridiculous beating of my uterus that caused such a tramatic recovery, but it took well over two weeks longer for my body to be pain free in recovery. I had read and talked with a friend who had the same experiences with a long recovery after such a quick transition and birth with no hemorrhage.
    Congratulations on your precious little girl!

    • This recovery has been more difficult. I just feel more bruised and sore, though I was surprised because I didn’t tear and my pregnancy was so easy other than the prodromal labor…

      • That’s exactly how I felt, very bruised and sore! Hoping you feel much better now! Congrats again!

  25. Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us. I find pregnancy and giving birth so fascinating; both are true miracles. Much love to you and your family.

  26. So proud of you for keeping natural births eventhough they have never been easy for you at all!!!
    Question, as I was reading in my go to book, The Nourishing Traditions Baby Book, I was reading how 8.5-9 pound babies are healthiest. I had a really healthy 7 pound baby and was wondering what your take was on it. Did you notice that as you have become more healthy through the years that each baby has been heavier at delivery? Thanks!

    • THis one was my healthiest and easiest pregnancy and she was the biggest. My others (other than my preemie) were pretty close to the same size though, even as I got healthier, and were all in the 7-7.5 range…

  27. Your story makes me want another one! I had a home birth with my last baby, and even though he had a shoulder dystocia, I really enjoyed having him at home. The midwives made the experience amazing. I had a lot less pain than my hospital birth, where I was begging for an epidural at 4 cm. I did ask the midwives to take me to the hospital during my labor, but it was literally like 10 minutes before I started pushing lol. Congratulations on the new addition!

  28. I feel certain that dates shorten labor. I ate 6 dates a day from 34 weeks on with my last pregnancy and had such an easy, natural labor. I was only in labor for 3 hours and was not rushing to the hospital at all because it wasn’t “that” bad and I figured that I had more time. As soon as I got to the hospital, I felt her coming out. I was rushed to the delivery room and she was born 8 minutes later without very much effort in pushing. My labor with my first baby was many hours longer and with given pitocin and even an epidural, it was a lot more painful. I am currently 7 weeks pregnant with a surrogacy baby and I definitely plan on eating dates again! It works!!

  29. What a wonderful, healthy story- Congrats! I agree with you the the moments during and after the Ring Of Fire are the hardest for me. I can handle all the pain and intensity of labor, but when it comes to pushing the fear really sets in and I realize the finish line is SO close, but over a giant *painful* hurdle.

  30. Love love love birth stories! All of them so beautiful and unique. My 5th baby was a week overdue. She wasn’t bree much but I also experienced the weeks of prodromal labor and the doubting and the intensity. Very different from my 4th labor! Big congratulations again. So blessed <3

  31. Congratulations to you! I am no longer able to become pregnant and reading your experience had me on the edge of my seat cheering and brought back wonderful memories of my 2 children’s births~Happy Day to your family!!

  32. Wellness mama… I started following you about 8 months ago when I found your article about castor oil. I have not found anyone out there with such the same beliefs as I have and am so thankful to have found you!
    I had an awful birthing experience a year and a half ago. It was supposed to be a completely natural birth but my water broke early and 3 days at home with contractions and another 24+ hours at the hospital with typical hospital interventions and threats and pushy “midwives” lead to a c section. The amount of fear they put in you is exactly the opposite of what a woman needs in labor and is no wonder so many births end in c section. Id like to one day write a book about it but it has been so long and the amount of mental and physical trauma I experienced Im not sure Id even remember it all.
    I am still dealing with problems physically from the pregnancy and birth and have had multiple surgeries and a new abdominal pain in my upper right that no doctor can seem to figure out.. It is dibilitating and at 26 I am living like an 80 yr old with a little boy to take care of… I know I also have diastasis recti thanks to your blog on that and after my last surgery they found it… I still have to heal that but is it too late?? Im not sure where to even begin with that due to physical therapists pretending they can help me but making it worse and if i were to do the videos Im not sure Id know if Im helping it /making progress!
    Also, I would like to one day have another baby after I figure out what is causing my pain but I am terrified. I dont ever want to relive what happened to me but I dont know how to find the right midwives as Id like to try for a homebirth.. Can you help direct me? Is there a way to email you and further discuss all of this?

    Anyway , thank you for your time and your blog. You have helped give me confidence that my natural ways are not crazy like the medical world will tell you! We are starting the GAPS diet for our son and his eczema thanks to you!

    • Hugs to you! That is so difficult! I just emailed you…

  33. I haven’t read your other pregnancy stories but this sure was a nail biter for me! I am so happy that labor for you was shorter this time!
    How can I find out if home labor is legal in my state? It is so sad that home birth is illigal.
    I am not pregnant yet but I am reading up all I can so that I can feel less scared of having a baby. My hubby and I hope to start getting pregnant soon. The more I read the better I feel about it.
    I am a little concerned because I am 5’1″ and have a small figure and hubby is 5’11”. I want to avoid c section but I don’t know if I can lol.

    • I had my 8 pound baby vaginally and I am only 4 feet 11 inches. Usually your body will not grow a baby larger than you can handle. Of course there are acceptions to this, but don’t worry that just because you are small it will automatically be a problem. ALl the women in my family are short, some of us very short, and most of our combine births have been all natural, or vaginal.

    • I had the same feelings as I am also 5’1″ and my husband is 6′. I naturally delivered my daughter just 2 days before her due date and she was under 8 pounds. I was blessed to have a wonderful hospital team and doctors. You can do it! Lol

  34. Love it!! Congratulations! You are so amazing! It was so fun to read this story and know exactly how you were feeling, for the most part – no breech here. Thank you for sharing your story.

  35. So So Happy for you and you’re family! I am expecting our third in early September and isn’t is so weird how we as women read birth stories and actually DESIRE to have another birth story of our own! You’d think that after doing it once we’d say no way but when your still a while away from it, it seems so exciting!

  36. I had the same time every night of prodromal labor like you with my 3rd but after 2 weeks I was so tired, stressed and body was so exhausted that my blood pressure skyrocketed and had to be induced :/ I’m praying I won’t have that issue again with my 4th, I had pre-e with all three before but could never make it as long as you with the contractions and lack of sleep. Way to go mama! Can’t say I’m looking forward to my birth in June but praying for a faster one and that the dates help! And congrats on baby number 6!

  37. I can’t help but think “Why does she still want to go thru this after 5 kids?!” Sorry, it just crossed my mind. Do you ever think that while in labor? 6 births!!! Wow! You are brave! My mom also had 6 kids and I am the eldest and I HAD to help her with the smaller ones and in the house. I sincerely hope you don’t make your older daughter help you. LOL. Maybe that is why I don’t want a large family myself. My daughter just turned 4 and I am still not ready for number 2.
    Congratulations on your 6th! 🙂

  38. Thank you so much for telling your birth story! You don’t know how comforting and healing it is to hear that you, someone who has had multiple children and is also a doula, also has moments of self-doubt giving birth. So many things you said I can relate so much with. Thank you for being real and open with us, this story has helped me more than you’ll ever know. I had my first baby in back in November, also a water birth at home. Although my birth was amazing, at times I can’t help but to think I was a huge wimp about it. I list my mucous plug at 5pm and had mild contractions for about 3 hours then they picked up in intensity and what I think was my water broke around 10pm, my midwife didn’t think it was my water and she told me to get some rest so I went all night moving around my house trying to get comfortable, rocking and moaning through contractions. By 3a.m. they calmed down a bit and were about 4-5 min apart (I have no idea how long they were I was in a daze) but I was so tired at this point I would doze off in between them. They picked up again around 5:30a.m. So I got in the shower and by 8 I couldn’t stand it so I called my midwife and told her to come. She arrived at 9, checked me and said she couldn’t feel my cervix only babies head, so I was allowed to get in the pool! Yay! I was certain she was going to say oh you’re a 7 or 8 so I was happy I was fully dialated..and then some. The next three hours are a blur, I just know towards the end I was saying I couldn’t do it, I never felt the “urge” to push and my contractions stalled for the last 45 min of labor. I was exhausted. I was almost falling asleep between pushing, which by the end was just me knowing I needed to get the baby out because my uterus had stopped contracting. my midwife had to help the head out with her fingers and it seemed like an eternity to birth just his head. After his head was finally out I told them I couldn’t push anymore and I seriously couldn’t. I tried but I had nothing left. They made me get out of the pool and had me kneel so they could help the baby out. I gave one last push which was barely anything but was enough to get his neck and tops of shoulders out so the midwives could guide the rest of him out. Finally at 12:19p.m. I got to meet him. I had to quickly lie on the bed and they rushed around to get my placenta out. I got a shot of pitocin and some blood clotting pills orally because I was bleeding more than normal. I guess my midwife knew that when I stopped contracting that I was going to bleed. So looking back I was so disappointed that I didn’t have a peaceful birth AT all. I was loud, I said I couldn’t do it and I couldn’t even push my baby out on my own. Then to top it all off I didn’t get to peacefully give birth to my placenta while sitting in the pool holding my baby. For a few months I was disappointed in myself for how I handled the whole birth, but now I am grateful I have a healthy baby and that I had an (mostly) uncomplicated home birth. Thank you again for your story, you are real and that is refreshing. Enjoy your new baby!

  39. Thanks for sharing your birth story. I am SO glad you were able to arrange an at home birth for breech. The art of breech birth is becoming a lost one. I was training as a midwife while I was pregnant with my first baby. I eventually gave it up due to lack of support but it is dear to my heart.

    One more resource I wanted to mention for turning Breech (though it sounds like yours was supposed to come out that way) is hypnosis. Hypnobabies makes a very nice CD but any hypnotherapist should be able to help. It is always good to know about options especially when you are in the birth business. AND when almost nobody “allows” breech birth anymore. 🙂

  40. I truly think dates helped shorten my labor as well! I ate them religiously during the last trimester of my second pregnancy and when I went into labor my son was born less then three hours after arriving at the hospital (compared to 10+ hours with my first).

  41. Love your birth story! I just gave birth to my first biological child in December. I too live in Kentucky and so I didn’t have a home birth. I ended up needing more interventions than I wanted or anticipated. However, thanks to an amazing doula and naturally minded nurses, I still got to have an amazing birth of my baby girl. I had hyperemesis gravidarum during my pregnancy, so I was more than ready for her to be here. I got to use the peanut ball at the hospital and loved it! I went from 5cm to 10 in 2 hours using it. Then, I only pushed 3 times and she was out! I’ll definitely ask for the ball next time!

  42. Just celebrated my 7th child’s 18th bday this evening and it was fun to recount what I had done 18 yrs ago on the Wed. night before he was born (a homebirth also.) So I have birth stories on my mind, and I enjoyed yours. Take care & rest whenever you can. Enjoy your baby girl! I am happy for you & “yours!”

  43. Congratulation! You are very brave!! Thanks for sharing. I just wanted to ask you if you have varicose vein during your pregnancies?

    • I haven’t personally had them, but have good friends who did and am going to share their experience with helping them naturally soon…

  44. Congratulations!!! I now love reading breech stories since my fifth was just born footling breech (and I am also a doula). I had an emergency transfer to the hospital from home and was on the O.R. table but pushed him out before they could operate. Apparently, I’ve been the talk of the hospital since. Most of the residents and nurses in the room had never seen a breech birth! It’s good to have stories like this out there because the skill needed to deliver breech is almost gone in the medical world which is extremely troubling.

  45. Congrats! After reading all your stories I wonder if being in the comfort of your home (AND the dates) had a lot to do with the shorter delivery time. It seems the last two (home births) were significantly shorter than all the others,

  46. I love how different all your stories are! “Illegal” homebirther here with number two on the way. I was even turned into DSS over it. But that won’t stop me this time either! Nothing like getting in your own shower and your own bed after all that hard work. Congratulations!

    • Is it a state law where you live? That seems like the gov’t is overstepping its bounds. After all, at one time all babies were born at home. My “babies” are middle-aged, but my hospital experience with my oldest child was awful. I was knocked out and didn’t even know what day she was born on. When I woke up I was so angry. Other people knew about the baby and saw her before I did. I felt so disconnected that I think it harmed our relationship. … I really enjoyed reading about your birth, Katie (my daughter’s name too). I don’t live in Ky., but I’m close by in Ohio.

  47. What an inspiring story! How big was your baby?

  48. Congrats! You sounded quite calm about your breech birth. I know I.wasn’t with mine. I had a breech homebirth with my 5th baby. I didn’t know she was breech until my midwife arrived and I was in transition. So it was all pretty shocking. But all went well, aside from her initial low apgar score. She passed a lot of meconium during the delivery but I’ve read that’s common with breech birth. My midwife was well trained in the aspects of breech birth,so we were in good hands.
    My 7th baby was breech at 36 weeks but my midwife was able to get her to turn. Interestingly my 2 smallest babies 7#5 oz and 7# even were the one’s that seemed to prefer the breech position. I suppose they just had a lot of room to move around. Lol.

  49. I’m so glad everything went well with your birth.:-) I’ve been waiting to see how it went. I love reading your birth stories. Congratulations on your new addition:-)

  50. I was wondering why you decided not to have your newborns have the eye ointment or vitamin K? Is there something you do instead? I’m 7 months pregnant with baby number 3 and I’ve been looking into having a successful and natural VBAC. I’ve never thought about refusing either of these treatments.

    • I do Oral Vitamin K. This article explains a lot about why I refuse the eye drops… http://evidencebasedbirth.com/is-erythromycin-eye-ointment-always-necessary-for-newborns/ In short, I know I don’t have any STDs that the antibiotics would be needed to treat, so this is unnecessary for my babies. Additionally, as we learn more about the microbial aspects of birth (https://wellnessmama.com/77406/microbes-to-cesarean-babies/ or watch the documentary “Microbirth”), I think we will find that routinely putting antibiotics on a newborn’s face does more harm than good…

      • I’ve heard a lot about the Vitamin K being completely unnecessary and possibly harmful since the baby doesn’t make Vit K on its own for a reason – the newborn body isn’t equipped to process it and it could damage liver and kidneys. Also the dosage they give is like 10X the normal amount for an adult.

      • Serious!!!!
        Am learning alot from your blog.
        It’s almost impossible in my city (Lagos, Nigeria) to have a deliberate home birth. Every one I know does hospitals and C-s.
        I think natural birth is considered excessive stress.

      • Thanks for replying! I did some research after asking this question. I didn’t know why they put eye ointment on babies eyes after birth but now that I do i know I can refuse it for this baby. I’m very greatful for all the knowledge I’ve received just reading your blog! Thank you for all you do! And Congrads on your new baby!!!! God Bless!

  51. I was reading your birth story, since I am pregnant with our 6th child! I had no idea you live in Ky, so do I! I am already in support of the bill and have written my local senator! Home birth is a beautiful thing! Great job!

  52. Congratulations on your baby girl! What an amazing birth story! I hope you and baby girl are finding rest and peace in the time after birth.

    I have 2 children. My first labor and delivery was 5.5 hours from start to finish with only 20 mins of pushing. I did get to the hospital a little early because it was my first and I was scared I wouldn’t make it there (I lived an hour from the hospital and it was a snow storm outside). When I got there I was only dilated to a 3 and my water still hadn’t broke. So I spent 2 hours walking the halls with my extremely tired husband ( He plows snow for a living in the winters and he had been up plowing for 32 hours- so we did not want to go into labor on this day). After 2 hours of walking my contractions got very intense to where I could hardly stand to walk. So they re-checked me and I was 8cm! But my water still hadn’t broke- I was in active labor for sure and baby was pushing down but my water just would not break- so when I got to a 9cm- my doc broke my water and u immediately began pushing. 20 mins later I met my beautiful son. And my husband fell asleep within 10 mins so that wasn’t fun- I just wanted him awake w me but how could I blame the guy.
    My second child came much faster! I had been having Braxton hicks for days, and knew I would go into labor this particular week- I could just feel it. So I went to the salon to get my hair done with contractions that were 12 mins apart and kinda irregular so I assumed they were Braxton’s. I was at the salon for 2 hours. When the stylist was done cutting my hair and washing after the highlights, I realized that they suddenly like jumped to being about 6mins apart. So I called my husband and told him to get home from work and called the sitter for my son. By time I left the salon and got home they were now 4mins apart and I was nervous waiting for husband. It was 7pm-he threw our bags in the truck and we started our hour drive to hospital. My husband managed to make he hour drive turn into a 35 minute drive bc I seriously was worried we wouldn’t make it. We got to hospital and my water still had not broke (for some reason my waters seem to not break on their own). I told them I needes to go straight to delivery bc this baby is coming out any time now. Basically the put me in a bed, my doc came into the room- checked me and I was dilated to a 10 and so she broke my water for me. 3 pushes later my baby girl was out. Easy as pie (not really bc the contractions were insane and it was intense w it all happening so fast). Total active labor and delivery was about 2 hours total. I seem to go quick with my babies and I realize I am blessed for that.

  53. First off… Congratulations!!! So thankful for your successful and healthy birth. I too have 6 children with a much more mildly different birth story for each. My first was probably my most perfect. It was a hospital birth but a very liberal hospital birth that in retrospect I am amazingly grateful for. She was my 3rd shift baby with labor starting at midnight and she appearing around 8:30am. I vowed from the first to be intervention free and my doctors and the hospital supported that. I left it in God’s hands that I was made to give birth which made my attempts to relax and let my body do so much more easy. She popped out with the water after about 3 pushes. SHE was followed by 5 boys. Andrew was my most difficult being “sunny side up” and lasting the longest. Also my most disappointing as the pain (then on 12 hours) made me cave to an epidural which proved useless b/c they also broke my water and he flew out with the release of that pressure and the epidural didn’t take effect until after the birth. Never did that again. Never listen to anyone tell you the 2nd baby is easier than the first. After that I had 2 easy in hospital births. I have used certified nurse midwives for all my 5 boys and used a doula with #3 b/c of what happened with #2. Doula showed up too late for #3…well she arrived 30 min before birth bc no one believes me that my labors go very slow then kick in and are done so she thought she had more time. 4 was completely issue free save he was 2 weeks early and only 5 lbs b/c there was a tight knot in his cord preventing adequate nutrition. He came out eating like a champ though and actually gained weight before going home. #5 was scary… he was delivered by a Dr. walking by down the hall b/c the nurse had left to register me… she returned and there was James… we were in the hospital a total of 20 min… ooops 🙂 #6… My largest and probably hardest “normal” birth. I think I was just old and tired and had to push 30 min… waaaah… I know. Blessings abound with our large families. Our youngest is now 7. We lost one a few years back and I knew that would be it. Sad to end on that note and makes you feel a bit of a failure in some respects but it is what it is. Rest and relax and enjoy your brood… ours are now 20, 16, 14, 12, 9 & 7. It’s a crazy ride.

  54. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your realistic and inspiring story. I love your blog and really appreciate the information and time you’ve taken to gather it.

  55. Congrats!! I love following you on Instagram. My youngest and third child is just 6 weeks old and I share his birth story here. Breech birth amazes me! Have you heard the birth hour podcast? I would love to hear your breech birth stories spoken in your words. You should check it out!

    http://www.cultivatingmotherhood.com/finns-birth-story/

  56. Congrats! I don’t know how you did almost a month of prodomal labor! My daughter was born posterior and I had prodomal back labor every night (from about 9pm-5am) for a week before she was born and it was absolute torture! I was in tears every night with regular, intense contractions and got basically 0 sleep before she was born at 41 weeks. Kudos to you for roughing it out and then delivering breech…that is some hard work!

  57. Congratulations, Katie! I’m a newer reader and usually don’t ever comment, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share in your joy! Wishing you and your family lots of happiness during this special time, and hoping that you’ll find time to rest and recover! Birth stories are so personal, and it was so kind of you to share yours with all of us. Thank you, and enjoy that darling little one!

  58. Hi,
    I am a huge Wellnessmama fan. I had my 3rd child she was breeched, as a c-section. And am pregnant again. My daughter is 6mths. Trying to prepare myself for what i know will be a long haul. I wanted to ask how you felt about the vitamin k shot given to newborns?

  59. You’re truly amazing! My birth experience turned out better than I had planned. I had a midwife, a birth center, and wanted to go natural. He’s my first and now 15 months. Comparatively to my midwives projected due date I was only 9 days late vs their 13 days… I labored mostly at home (not knowing how close I really was to delivering Until I arrived at the birth center 9cm dialated) I never knew I could produce such noises and felt like an animal. I knew it was time to go once I was dropping to the floor with each contraction, but they were not less than 3 minutes apart but once I told my midwife if I didn’t leave I’d need an ambulance to come get us. Once at the birth center they checked me and boy did i not want them to touch down there as I anticipated a contraction to start again and I remember ripping the nurses hand away right as she checked. My husband convinced me to get in the tub even though I was unsure about it. I felt like I didn’t want to have to move and had no idea I’d actually deliver in there. My midwife almost took me out after an hour as she didn’t think I was progressing until I told her I was holding back a little because I felt like I was going to poop, and she said that is a sign to go with the urge and start pushing. Then things sped up and I relaxed more and got into a good flow with the contractions, and at the same time starting thinking about wanting pain meds but knew it was too late and also knew I was transitioning as deep down I really did not want to take any. I’ve never felt so much pain (but a different kind of pain) and been so focused in my life. My water never broke (my midwife felt the bag coming out and could not convince me to touch it, I felt like it would make me panic or something) and he was born en caul which I had never heard about and how rare it is.

    He was out in under 4 hours from arriving there and had a total of about 24 hours labor, first 18 being minimal and was actively doing things.

    With such a great experience I’m nervous to have another, mostly just because of the strength I had to gather to get through the pain. But like I tell other women who are afraid of natural birth, if we are built to do it then we can and need to take steps to get support and make a plan and stick to it as long as it’s safe for mom and baby. Education and support are key!

  60. Congratulations mama!
    Every birth is such a miracle. Each of my 4 births were different. Two at home, two hospital births. They are all grown up now and moved out on their own. I sure do miss those days of youngsters!
    warm wishes to your family,
    Nancy

  61. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you, and can relate-as another mom of 6 children each with 6 unique births! I thought of you and my midwife in Vegas when you mentioned not being “able” to push when you felt the urge. I highly suggest you read Lydi Owen’s Powerbirth. http://www.powerbirth.com/ She’ll change your mind on that idea as she did mine.

  62. Thank you for sharing!!! Though my now 3 month old was not breech, I can relate to parts of your story. And as is true when I read any of your posts, I learned something new about both life in general and myself. Wishing you, your beautiful new girl and all your family all the wonderful blessings life has to offer!!

  63. I had Prodromal labor with both of my sons. My first one was for a week straight and I was hospitalized in a foreign country we were about to get checked out and released as everything had suddenly stopped and I was able to sleep. My water popped at 2AM and my doula coached me over the phone and showed up just as I was getting ready to push. It was barely a 2 hr labor. I did hypnobabies and it was an extremely stressful situation with many people walking in and out of my room and my husband denying them of everything while I paced back and forth laboring with hypnobabies I tuned everyone out and was in a drug light state of bliss. While he managed the front lines. Natural birth is unheard of and I was the first in 10 years my doctor had been there! We even got to use the squatting bar which was unused and freshly still wrapped! With my second I believe my Prodromal labor was for 3 weeks straight. Then I had to get a acupressure massage to actually let me go into labor and then fight the doctor to let me go into the hospital! They were filling up my tub when I suddenly got the ring of fire and I demanded the squatting bars. The doctor was only there 20minutes and I had labored for 45minutes flat which barely made it to the hospital and room in time and very stressful and I don’t put on the usual noise I’m a silent laborer. I told my husband I was going to have the baby in the waterfall out front because I was sitting in a wheelchair and they weren’t going to admit me. My doula was on the phone with us the entire time as well. And we also did baby spinning with my first to move him and my second! They were both preemies or I would have stayed as far away from the hospital as possible. But thank god I had been prepping with hypnobabies I can tune anything out! 🙂 it’s so awesome to hear your story and I’m not afraid of anything but being in labor my entire pregnancies which is what happens with me and I can’t manage to keep them in! Congratulations on your many labors and babies!

  64. I had chiropractic manipulation at 38 weeks when my daughter was breech and she flipped after the very first treatment! I was told it might take 8 or so treatments but she flipped right away. I also labored in water and the hospital made me get out for the birth. The water was amazing relief from pain and I also went all natural. The GREAT part was the water enabled my skin to stretch without any tearing! (8lb 10oz)

  65. You are amazing! I had my first in hospital (almost 30 years ago) and it was a nightmare, whereas my home births (3) were the best experiences of my life. I cherish the memories.

  66. Not that I would ever wish quirky births on anyone, but at least I’m not alone. Baby 1 was the typical cascade of interventions in the hosptial which ended in an unnecesarean. Baby 2 was a failed hospital VBAC turned CBAC. Baby 3 was 36 hour homebirth VBA2C!! Baby 4 was a 6 hour, very intense (WISH I HAD THE WATER) birth. Baby 5 was a wonky birth which started out at home, progressed very slowly and baby just wouldn’t come down. Ended up with interventions but no surgical birth, thankfully (and I would opine more here but I was cross fitting a good bit through this pregnancy and ignoring so many signs of malalignment and not keeping chiro appts!! I believe it was too much stress on me!! Baby was my largest vaginal @ 8.1 and I pushed 2 hours and we had a distocia :(). SO, I’m now 30 weeks with #6!! Taking this pregnancy easy, focusing on good nutrition, my Catholic faith (that’s #1!!!), homeschooling my others (brings so much joy!), alongside great CPMS this time and an excellent chiro I found. My anxiety level this time is SO much lower (I also have a theory on hormones + intense exercise for some women = anxiety!) so I’m hoping things will move right along :-). Thank you for your willingness to share your story. Gives me hope! Just love your blog!

  67. Congratulations Katie!

    Our due dates were really close but alas my Littke Man came early, just like his sister.
    I had him at 36 weeks. We are lucky enough to live close to a hospital that staffs midwives as well as doctors. We had the option of a water birth (he came faster than we could fill the tub) so instead I delivered on the toilet. It was totally my choice! The midwife came into the bathroom and asked if I just wanted to stay there (on the toilet!!) I said “yes I do!!” 4 pushes later, little man was here. We were at the hospital 1 hour before he made his grand debut. I got to labor at home this time and felt completely in control of my birth. It was wonderful! My first labor was not so perfect. I’m hoping to birth at home for our next one.
    Congrats again!!

  68. What an awesome birth, Katie! I love me some short labors:) Enjoy new baby bliss. Xo

  69. I enjoyed reading you latest birth story, each one is a different. Three of my eight children were born breech, including the first of my twins. So I had three breech labours in a row, each one different. However our last three children all presented normally, which was good as our hospital or state had now insisted all breech deliveries were to be by C Section. All my births have been vaginal and no epidurals. With baby 6 I made it to hospital (only a few minutes from home) just ten minutes before she was born. Two hours later I was home again.

  70. Thank you so much for such a beautiful article. You amaze me, in how you are able to share such nice information in such a pleasant way. Wishing you all blessings in your family life.

  71. Your story reminds me a lot of my own with our sixth baby!!!! Our little girl was a week late (after 5 early babies) and we had no idea she was breech. In fact, in an ultrasound the day after she was due, she was head down. I had my first contraction at 9:00 pm and the next one at 9:15! They continued getting closer and more intense, so I called the hospital to inform them that we were on our way. The nurse that I spoke to said not to leave until my contractions were 5 minutes apart for an hour!!! So we waited, but I insisted she wasn’t waiting and that we should probably go anyway. It’s a good thing we left when we did as the hospital was about a 45 minute drive (at least during the day when there’s traffic). But since there was very little traffic at this time (11:30pm) we managed to get there pretty quickly. As we drove up to the front of the hospital, we realized it was in fact “after hours” and we would have to drive around the back to the emergency entrance. It was on that short drive around the corner (and 2 speed bumps) that our baby girl decided that right at that moment she would have to make her big debut! As my husband threw the van into park and headed for the emergency room doors to get someone to help, my body (with no help from me!) just pushed her almost all the way out. She was folded in half and her bottom came out first. When my husband got back to the van, I was holding her and asked him what he thought I should do!!!!! (I know that sounds funny). Very smart man my husband is, he told me “to push”. I hadn’t thought of that ,so I did,and her head and arms came right out! I was told several times afterward that I saved myself from a c-section by having her in our van! Had they known she was breech I would not have had a choice. So, I’m very thankful that we didn’t quite make it all the way inside the hospital! Oh, and by the way, no one from inside the hospital made it out to our car to help until she had been completely delivered. Go figure!

    • Wow! That’s an incredibly birth story… and amazing that she turned so late! Glad that you and she both did so welL!

  72. Congratulations to you and your family! Thank you for sharing your birth stories, and for all the awesome information you post on your website. I have learned so much from reading your blog! I’m pregnant with our third little one, due in a couple of months. I had two natural (unmedicated vaginal) births at the hospital with my first two, assisted by a midwife and a doula (and my husband), and now I’m fortunate enough to try out a homebirth (we lived too far from the hospital when I had my first two.). I hope I succeed because this new hospital has a really bad rap as far as delivering babies goes. I will also give water birth a try, as I’ve heard so many people loving it. I’m planning on eating my share of dates in the last few weeks, and hoping that my husband will be able to make it on time if this baby comes out quick (my second one was much quicker than my first) and he happens to be out of town. I prepared for my second child using hypnobirthing, but my labor was so quick and intense with her that I never really needed it. Well, thanks again for your inspiration on so many things, and I wish you a very happy and healthy recovery, enjoy your new precious one! God bless!

  73. Katie, I really admire your “I can’t do this for another 20 hours!” thought. Mine repetitive phrase for my second daughter was “I can’t do this for another 8 hours,” as if 8 was some kind of magic breaking point. The midwife just smiled at me and told me the head was right there. Well, that didn’t mean much–I mean, it’s not like she was coming from mars or something. Her head has always been a short distance away. She was born within the next 20 minutes. Yeah–8 hours of that would have been intolerable! 🙂 I get you, but totally admire that you could have done 20 hours! Go mama! And congratulations! 🙂

  74. I am sending you this, not to post it, but as a note to you personally. After you read this, I doubt you would post it anyway.

    I started following your site because I have been going “natural” with a lot of things. I do want to thank you for the deodorant and laundry soap recipes. But recently I have started noticing things have been a bit…disturbing?

    The first time I thought I might want to stop reading this site was when I tried to post a comment to a reader, telling them where they could get some great quality vanilla powder for their bulletproof coffee. I noticed that my comment got posted WITHOUT the link for the vanilla powder. I didn’t understand at first, but then realized the reason that the link wasn’t on there was because you didn’t get a “cut” from the retailer. Now I get that you can’t just have anyone and everyone pushing their products on your site. BUT…you were talking about “bulletproof coffee”, and the vanilla powder I was linking was actually the one sold on the Bulletproof website. So it was ok to latch on to Dave Asprey’s “invention”, but not ok to link us to his products, because you didn’t get a kickback. Hmmm…. That lowered my opinion of the whole thing a bit. Just WRONG. But I gave it another shot.

    Then, I recently read about someone on your site drinking a “placenta smoothie”. Seriously? Because it’s “healthy”…..well, eating goat crap may be healthy too, but do we really need to go there? Is this where we are now, eating our own placentas? Un flippin believable. A part of me really thinks this may be for shock value more than anything. I mean, come ON. “We’re so natural, we even eat our own placentas!” I started realizing that maybe this was not the site for me that very day. But still I stayed.

    Now, I see you are on your SEVENTH child. With the population of the earth exploding, and over population and lack of resources being one of the biggest problems that we ALL face…..SEVEN KIDS? And as far as your “birth story”….do you REALLY have to go into “labor” after that many? I mean, don’t they just fall out? Seven children; that just seems so incredibly selfish! Sheesh, save some planet earth for the rest of us!

    Please immediately remove me from all emails and future postings on this site. ALL…

    • Hi Kellie,

      I am posting your comment and I wanted to respond publicly, because you have been a reader and commenter for so long, and because you have contributed to the blog with your comments in the past. I also wanted to respond because several things you said were factually incorrect and I want to clarify in case these things were confusing to anyone else.

      As far as links being removed, I don’t remember the comment you are referring to. However, I have a very strict comment spam filter that automatically flags all comments with links (a necessary step to prevent spam comments) and also a relatively strict comment policy. I have an assistant who helps moderate comments from time to time and often removes links and edits comments if they don’t meet my comment policy guidelines, as this allows me to personally answer more questions from readers than I would otherwise be able, as there are hundreds that come in per week.

      As I said, I never saw the comment with a link in it, so I’m not entirely sure which comment you are referencing, and many of the comments you’ve left reference vanilla. That being said, I rarely approve comments with links because I am responsible for all of the links that appear on my site, even the ones left in comments, and I am simply unable to read and preview the content in every link someone posts so often they just get removed to save time. Additionally, there are many links on this website that are not affiliate links and that I do not get compensated for in any way (which I explain in my affiliate disclosure), and (while I never saw the link), I assure you this is not why it was removed.

      As for the placenta smoothie, As I hope you can understand, I am not able to control the actions and words of every person who comments on my blog to ensure that no one is in any way offended by something they post, nor would I want to. I’m approving your comment even though I consider parts of it offensive to me personally and to other commenters. I’m sorry, but I don’t understand how offended you are by the action of a person you don’t even know that has absolutely no affect on you whatsoever, and how this comment on my website (that I didn’t post) is a reason you don’t want to read anymore, but of course this is your prerogative. Just seems a bit reactionary to me…

      As for my children, this is the part of your comment that is personally offensive to me, and the reason that I will certainly grant your request to remove you from my email list membership, and even go above and beyond and ban you and your IP address from further interaction. First, please learn to read a little more carefully. I just had my SIXTH CHILD, not my seventh, as I said in the first sentence of this post:

      …even after giving birth to six children…

      Additionally, if it truly offends you that I just had a child, and this is the last straw for why you don’t want to read this website, please leave, as you are not welcome if you’re going to insult and pass judgement on my family. I could write multiple blog posts explaining how our family has a much smaller “footprint” than most one or two children families I know, or how we take many steps that benefit our planet. I could explain the myth of overpopulation and how most countries are under the replacement rate, or even how our family uses fewer resources than most families do with many fewer children, but I won’t, because honestly, it is none of your business and I don’t have time to waste correcting such ignorance.

      A word of advice, if you spend your time judging everyone you don’t agree with on the internet, you will be a highly stressed individual. If you don’t read any website that you in any way disagree with, you won’t have much to read. And if you say things like this to people face to face (which I hope you wouldn’t and just use the impersonality of the internet as an excuse for unkind words), you won’t have many friends.

      I’m glad you have benefitted from my deodorant and laundry detergent recipes, and as I said, I appreciate that you’ve contributed to the conversation in comments in the past. I wish you the best with your journey to go more “natural” and I encourage you to find a new blog to read, as you are no longer welcome here on mine.

      • Hi Katie,

        As another human on the planet who is I guess as much impacted by how many children you have as the original commenter here, I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage you to have a dozen more. They sound like they’re really wonderful little people and I’m happy to share the planet and our resources with them. With all the care you put into their upbringing and your natural aptitude for the sciences, maybe one of them just might be the person who devises an innovative renewable energy source or revolutionary agricultural practice to (safely) feed the planet’s population.

        Sincerely,

        A person who came from a family of six and to this day consider it the most phenomenal gift my parents could ever have given me.

    • Well done, Wellness Mama! Your six -child family is beautiful and I hope you have more beautiful babies!

  75. What a beautiful loving story of arriving in this world. CONGRATULATIONS to all three of you. Babies are such joys and you are so lucky to be blessed with 6.

  76. I have something else to add: I challenge you to give birth quietly! It’s the most beautiful birthing experience. I just had my third child it was a home birth. I was so busy just concentrating on keeping calm through contractions. The room was dim with gentle music specially made to listen to in labour. The midwife and doula were very respectful of my right to peace and quiet and did not disturb me. I used the buteyko breathing which is to breathe quietly, take in small breaths, breath out slowly and then relax for as long as comfortable before taking the next breath. Trust me this is really hard to do when you feel like screaming from agony! There is a brilliant book called ‘close your mouth’ that I learnt about buteyko breathing from. Then I complained the pain wasn’t going away between contractions and that I felt a lot of pressure. The midwife said its a good sign that the baby is lower down. So I kept on labouring as before and only wondered to myself if I was in transition. The contractions got even more intense and I lay on my bed in an effort to change position to relieve pain. The next contraction came and suddenly I felt a hard little head! In total shock I called out hysterically to my midwife and doula “the head is coming! The head is coming!” They quickly rushed to my side and calmed me down. The next contraction I pushed a couple of times and the baby’s head came out! And with one more contraction and a big push the rest of her little body slid out! I was in such shock because I did not realize I would give birth so quickly. Because I was so calm and quiet throughout the entire labour none of us realised. My husband was downstairs in the kitchen preparing food for me when suddenly he heard a baby crying! It was such a shock. My midwife said my neighbour made more noise with his TV than I did giving birth! Keeping calm and quiet made the labour and birth a special experience, it was like I was in my own world. And I definitely think that because I was so calm and focused on the contractions my labour was shorter. What do you think about this type of birth?

    • That’s awesome and amazing! I always plan to be quite and calm during birth, but I think that the “roar” of pushing seems to help me actually push the baby out more effectively. I’m super impressed that you were able to be so calm! I definitely planned to this time, but it was also my most intense pushing phase by far and the noise was almost involuntary…

  77. I love reading birth stories! This has been a fun post. I had my first baby last year at a birth center and it took a village to deliver her: extremely painful back labor from start to finish (23 hours), slow dilation which was sped up thanks to an acupuncture treatment during labor… In the end I am so grateful and happy I had her naturally (squatting in the shower!) but I have to say that I was really distressed by the pain of the back labor for awhile afterwards. I will do anything I can to have baby positioned right for subsequent births to avoid back labor. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on this topic? Katie, would you rather have a breech baby or a posterior baby??

    • I’d probably rather have breech than posterior after having seen quite a few posterior labors (but never experiencing one). Have you ever checked out spinningbabies.com? They have a whole protocol for helping ensure baby isn’t posterior. Good luck!

  78. I’ve had four natural births and the last one was a planned unassisted home water birth. It was amazing! The water definitely helped ease the contractions and even the ‘ring of fire’ was subdued also (I decided to deliver him under water). Well done, Katie!

  79. Congratulations Katie! What an amazing story, you are a strong woman! Such a beautiful sweet photo as well. Hope you are enjoying that babymoon!

    Did the birth classes with Mama Natural help? (Looking for something to recommend to a friend who wants to prepare for a natural birth, but all of her sisters have had c-sections)

    Enjoy those sweet newborn snuggles!!

    • I did really like her birth class…it was really comprehensive 🙂

  80. Wow! Congratulations on your new Princess. I’m so glad that things went faster this time around you really deserve a fast birth.
    My first baby I labored for hours, in the tub, and ended up with pitocin, no epidural. 2nd one came soons I got out of the hospital tub, to my surprise, just 2 hours after checking in. I remember my midwife saying “the second one is the only guarantee to be faster than the first”
    With my third I opted for a home birth. I took Hypno birthing, and had it all set up. He had an acynclitic presentation. Most likely due to a pelvic injury the year before. We didn’t realize that until I tried pushing, and pushing and pushing for FOUR hours. I did lots of physical therapy following the injury, and believed I was ok. During this phase, my midwife was able to feel him rotate and turn back! Obviously at this point hypnosis was hard to maintain. In the end he was born into my arms, at home. Had I transferred to the hospital, it wud have been an automatic C. I believe no one gets to push 4 hours in a hospital.
    So for my fourth birth (which is when I discovered your blog) I opted for the hospital (unique mother centered wonderfully supportive midwives and nurses) in case I’ll need pitocin. After eight hours of good labor, and still only open three, I asked for pitocin and they immediately attempted to get an IV going, he was born on the first push, less than an hour after starting pit. Was it the pitocin or my body? Was it the chiropractic and other therapies I did following the difficulties I’d encountered with Tre? With my last baby, I once again feared I’ll need pitocin, and chose a hospital birth. Well, we were due middle of July. So during the day, we hiked some mountains, shopped, cleaned, cooked and served the kids. Interesting twist, my identical twin sister, who was due 2 weeks after me, went into labor the same morning! So I waited for her baby to arrive, went to visit her, (being overdue in July, it felt almost unfair that she had her baby first!) and then headed to our little hospital after 9. After being monitored for 30 min, I walked the hallways, And bounced on a ball. By 11:40 I got into the tub, and the baby arrived at 12:04. He was over 9 pounds. Born in the water, because they didn’t suspect his large size.
    I see one of your commentors mentioned quiet birth. In hypnobirthing we learned the moaning, open-mouth birth breathing. While pushing my fifth baby, one of the nurses said I should close my mouth and be quiet. I remember questioning this “are you sure…? they were sure. I wonder if that’s why he was born fast, without pitocin. I also added red raspberry leaf tea, and dates to my diet! Perhaps it’s the synergy?
    I’ve learned SO MUCH from you over the years, and am very greatful to you for creating this terrific forum and fostering such a great community of mothers who matter in so many real ways. All the the best. Hope you’re resting and enjoying this very special stage.

  81. I also chose to have a homebirth in a situation where it was illegal for my midwife to assist, but not illegal for me. I’m very pro-fighting for the right of homebirth! My first daughter was born in Hungary at home. It was a wonderful experience! Also congratulations! This is giving me baby fever 🙂

  82. I enjoyed reading your birth story so much, it made me cry!! I normally have really fast labours and births but number 4 was in the wrong position and took a couple days before she birthed! The pain was horrible am I actually felt comforted to hear someone else who did not feel any relief knowing they “finally” got to the pushing part! I though I was being torn apart! I had a midwife in the hospital and only because she understood how I want my labours to be did she leave me without intervention…she was grumbling throughout but my supportive man stood by me and in the end we had a beautiful baby girl and I learned a lot about how I’d deal with a non ideal labour the next time around – and that it doesn’t always go perfectly just because you’re so well prepared! So thank you!!

  83. Congratulations and thanks so much for sharing your birth stories! I just delivered our second who was born breech. We didn’t know she was breech until we arrived at the hospital and she was born less than an hour later. That was exciting to say the least! For both my girls, we have gone to a local hospital that is very focused on women’s health and they have been very supportive of me having a natural birth with my doula and all that good stuff (though they did want to do a cesarean this time but I was already pushing and she was delivered naturally). My first was sunny side up (even after trying many of the things on spinning babies though I didn’t know that chiropractic could help with that!) and I pushed for about 4 hours and then had a rough recovery. This second one, the labor was super intense and the contractions became so strong so soon. And then she was born (2.25 hours from water breaking to her being born) and then my recovery has been fantastic, I’ve felt so much better this time. Thanks so much for sharing and for all the other ladies with your experiences. It’s so nice to have more knowledge about what is available and what others have experienced if we are blessed with more children someday.

  84. Congratulations!!! So happy to read that this birth went so good.

  85. I want to thank you for placin” a supportive birth team ” at the top of your list.

    I’ve been reserved at admitting this; blaming myself for things that didn’t go as i had imagined… But the birth team is SO important and really does deserve priority when planning.

  86. Hi Katie,
    What a beautiful birth story! I was so glad that your labor was faster and have been having you in my thoughts knowing your due date was closer. I couldn’t wait to read the next addition to your birth story sequence. I have to say that you described the sensation of pushing perfectly; it is exactly how I felt as well and the first time I have read someone else describing it that way in a birth story other than the stories I’ve written of my own children’s births!

    My last pregnancy and labor I experienced predominal labor as well for the last few weeks and know exactly how exhausting it is though I was only taking care of two little ones and not give which is a big difference! I hope you are taking the time to rest now that your newest addition is here.

    For my family we use a lot of homeopathy so it really helped me feel better crampy and soreness wise to take arnica for a while. (You can also get a cream or gel which helps with bruising; I use it on my kids or when my husband’s back gets sore from work all the time.) I also used cell salts to support my system (instead of prenatals) for this last pregnancy and afterword and I feel like it really aided in helping my body recover and get my energy back.

    Do you use homeopathy? Have you ever heard of cell salts? What is your take about both?

  87. Just wanted to say congratulations and way to go Katie! You rock! I could relate to much of what you said after having a very difficult first birth that ended in a c-section. I then went on to have two natural vbacs that were amazing…never knew what I was capable of! Love all your information and I am learning so much. Many blessings to your and your family. Congrats!

  88. Congratulations! I’m so glad you have an outlet to responsibly talk about breech births. I myself had a home and breech birth but unfortunately it was a little different, it was a complete surprise. Because of this my experience has slightly scarred me as I went from having a wonderful fast labor at home to my midwife frantically trying to deliver my baby which is not what you want (especially as a first time mom.) My daughter had to be resuscitated and in the NICU for 4 days. I know from your other birth stories that you too know what its like to have a birth not go as planned. I was wondering though since you have midwives who do planned breech births (and mine did not) maybe you can shed some light as I’m trying to come to terms with what happened and gain some closure. My midwife did not practice the “hands off” approach and I think this is what caused the delay in my daughters birth (it took 14 minutes total and I think this is mostly in part to her lack of knowledge and unpreparedness for the situation). I am pro home birth but I have a lot of residual anger and hurt surrounding this as I feel being a midwife this should have been detected. My baby definitely did not flip, she had been in the same position for the last 4-5 weeks and the midwives kept telling me she was head down. Looking back now I knew there was something wrong, I always had it in the back of my mind, it was a fear I had and turns out it was there for a reason. A lot of my anger comes from the fact that I could have tried to do something to flip her, had this been discovered earlier and I could have saved myself and her from a traumatic event. (Having a midwife frantically trying to reach inside you and pull your baby’s arms down is something I hope other women do not have to experience)
    Do you know if your midwives ever had a “surprise” breech birth? Also I’ve read some research that suggests you are more likely to have additional breech births after one and so now I worry for future children what that means for me. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this. Thank you and god bless!

  89. Amazing! Love to hear birth stories. I am pregnant with my fourth. My first baby shot out of me 1 hour and 32 minutes after I woke up. I didn’t have time for the epidural and I was not happy about it. A few weeks later, our daughter was diagnosed with a rare cancer. After 1 year of chemo, she peacefully passed away. BUT, not without teaching us so much about health and happiness. We have raised over $400,000 for pediatric cancer research in her honor and I recently started a blog on health and purpose. WhitsWay.com. I started following you less than a year ago and love everything you write about. You are an inspiration in so many ways and I look up to your time management as well as many other things so thank you! When Whitney passed away I was 10 weeks pregnant with another girl. What a blessing! I found out only a couple of weeks prior because I was still nursing Whitney. My labor with Avery was 2 hours and 45 minutes at the hospital. I chose not to have the epidural because I knew how great I felt after and how lucky I was to create another special bond. It was a peaceful and of course, painful labor but so worth it. I quickly got pregnant with my third, he is now 18-months. His labor was also 3 hours and natural at the hospital. (My husband is not comfortable with home birth so we labor alone at the hospital.) I am 27 weeks pregnant and looking forward to another awesome and painful experience for the most unbelievable outcome. Not many women birth naturally and I completely understand it. That being said, it is the most empowering and magical experience. Thank you for sharing yours!

  90. Well, this was amazing for me to read. I am pregnant with my 6th and have had 4 home births. 2 of which were breech. I thought I was the only woman to have to do that twice. Similarly, they were both my shortest labors- right around 3 hours. I can relate with so much that you went through from trying to turn the baby naturally to trying to just let go and leave it in God’s hands. It is quite a journey. God bless you and your family and congratulations.

  91. Congratulations, Katie! I have delivered eight babies naturally but thankfully none decided to torment me with a breech birth!
    Are you in Kentucky by any chance? I ask because I am.

  92. Dear Katie,

    Many congratulations to you and all your family on the birth of your new little one.

    Thank you also for sharing your birth story.

    Enjoy reading all the other posts too!

    Sending our love & God bless you all.

  93. Hello Katie,

    Congratulations on the birth of your little girl! That is an amazing story. I have wondered about what it is like giving birth to a breech baby. Not that I want to experience that myself. My mother and sister have both had a breech baby, but they both had a c-section. My mother’s did not turn out so well as the doctors tried to turn the baby by force. The baby became in distress and went without oxygen for ten minutes. The doctors had to do an emergency c-section. The result of the baby – severe brain damage. The doctors said that the baby would not live very long. We took that child, loved her, cared for her, and she lived to be ten years old. All her days she had the mind of a 0-3 month old.
    When my turn came to give birth, I did not want the stress of doctors and nurses trying to force me or my baby to do what they think best. I know doctors have their place. My family has just had too many bad experiences with them. I wanted calm. I wanted to be in my own environment. I wanted a home birth. My husband wanted the same as well. When I gave birth to my first, it was just that. My water broke and I was in labor for 7 hours. The labor was not that bad, except for the last hour. I could not pass the baby as he was stuck. With one final hard push, I “popped” and the baby was born. Yay!
    Number 2, was stressful. The midwife that was there thought she knew what was best. She ordered my husband around and to top it off she used hot, and I mean HOT, rags to help open me up. I was burned and the baby was burned as well. I and my husband were both very upset. The whole time she was there, I just wanted to smack her. I didn’t, but I sure wanted to. I was in labor for 17 hours with the last 6, very intense. I was glad when that day was done.
    Number 3, which was two weeks ago, was a lot better and fast. I have had preterm labor since week 28. A lot of moving and construction work along with caring for two young children did not help. The baby could not decide which position she wanted to be in. She would turn head down, stay like that for a week or so then decide she was not comfortable in that position. Then she would turn sideways again. She did this about three or four times. I did make it to 40 weeks and 3 days. The day before she was born I had a sudden burst of energy. I cleaned, cooked, and prepared for the birth. In the evening I relaxed to a nice glass of raspberry tea. It was wonderful! The truth is, I wanted to give birth that next day. I was trying different ways to induce labor naturally. We have had wild schedules and I wanted my husband there for the birth. I knew that next day my husband would be there. Any other day I could not guarantee it. Was it the raspberry tea, a combination of everything, or just that the baby was ready to come? I do not know. I do know, I was in labor for 3.5 hours. It was intense, until my water broke. It seems like after it broke, the baby slid out within 30 mins. with not much effort. Now, I am feeling great and am recovering much faster then with my other two. Was it the quickness of the labor? Or was it that I was not stressed even though it was only my husband and I?
    I do want more children. With two of the pregnancies I was on the verge of preeclampsia. Do you know any way to prevent it or a natural cure? I have studied it some and have not found answers. Please let me know.
    Thank you for your story. Hope you are continuing to do great with your new little one.

  94. interesting, in Canada midwives are free and encouraged as they are cheaper and have better out comes. home birth is also encouraged due to outcomes and price.
    I know lots of mommas that have home breech births. I just find the attitudes between the 2 countries so different. We also have a MUCH lower infant mortality rate than the US..but so do most 1st world countries

  95. In The Netherlands -where I live- it’s very common to give birth at home. Unless there is a medical reason you have to pay for giving birth in a hospital! I’m a mother of four and giving birth in my own, save environment made it possible to be in labor just for 1,5 hour every time! Of course it hurts, but when you’re calm and confident it’s also one of the most amazing and intense experience a woman can have! I really wish all women in the world would have this choice.

  96. It’s so encouraging to read your stories of your natural breech births! I had my own 16 months ago and can fully sympathize with the agony of the research, prayer, and hours of trying to turn your little one! We went back and forth on our decision many times but finally decided to choose home birth. However, as soon as we did all of our midwives expressed their discomfort with the arrangement and what it would mean for midwifery in the state of Maine if something went wrong. This was heartbreaking! I felt strongly that I should avoid a C-section as I have already had major abdominal surgery and I too found that the risks for the baby are about the same either way. However, we are blessed to live in the one place in Maine where there were 2 doctors willing to support me in a natural breech delivery in the OR of the local hospital! After weeks of early labor we did it! I was allowed to labor in water in a lovely room until I was fully dilated and only had to be transferred to the OR for the pushing stage. I was supported by two amazing midwives, an overseeing doctor and a wonderful Doula as well as my dear husband. They insisted on turning the OR into a quiet and dimly lit birthing room. It was amazing to hear my Doctor and mid-wives share with each other and teach one another through the process. While I had never imagined myself giving birth in such a place and in front of a staff of 15 people, it happened! After 2 hours of hard pushing work my sweet son was born and the whole staff was elated to watch the wonder of a natural breech birth! I found out later that I was the first woman in 15 years to have a vaginal breech birth there! I too struggled with fears over whether I had chosen the best for us and the feeling that surgery could be easier. But we made it and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to open people’s minds to the possibility that in some cases breech is simply a variation of normal and can work beautifully. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging us to keep up the quest for safe and natural birth!

  97. I am so curious about the water birth part of your birth story. I wanted to do a water birth with my little boy but my hospital of choice didn’t support it. I still had a pretty amazing natural birth supported by my midwife. I have a never before documented form of muscular dystrophy and am dependent on my wheelchair. I spent a lot of time laboring on a birthing ball, drank my RRLT and trusted that God would give me what I needed. He absolutely did! My midwife was pretty impressed 🙂 Anyway, I love the idea of water births but I have recently read about the possible negative effects the water might have on the baby’s microbiome development. I know this post is a bit dated now but I am really hoping you will see this! I would love to hear your thoughts on water births. The pros, cons and methods you used to reduce or eliminate possible health drawbacks. I don’t know yet if I’ll have the pleasure of having a second child but I’d love to know more either way 🙂

  98. Hi Katie. Congratulations on your beautiful birth story. I have read all of your birth stories and I love how different and unique each one is. I have a question I would love to hear your thoughts on.

    I had a c- section with my first and after recently experiencing an early pregnancy miscarriage, I was told at the emergency room (after several ultrasounds) that my uterus is in a static position due to the prior c- section. Have you heard of this? It caused extreme gastro pain in early pregnancy and as my body miscarried. Wondering if you have any resources I can read or look into.

    Thank you in advance. And congrats again!

  99. Wow! LOVE this story! I’m a bit of a birth “junkie” myself and have also had 6 births: including a c-section, hospital v-bac with epidural, hospital twins naturally and a couple home water births. I totally agree with your statement about needing to go through many different births on your path to learning! I’m grateful for all I’ve learned about birth through my great and not-so-great births. I love reading about others’ experiences with birth which, although so very different for each mom and baby, is also so unifying in its similar stages and feelings (like that “urge to push” description…spot on!! Haha). Anyway, thanks for sharing! I landed here via your bone broth recipe and can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the great site!

  100. Hi Katie!
    I’ve started following you a while ago and have really learned a lot from you. I’ve been able to make a lot of your recipes and homemade household products and the list goes on. If I need something I usually come to your site first:) I really enjoyed reading about your birth, you’re super women, that’s all I can say!!! Awesome! I’m a mom to 3 children and I’ll have to share that one day but my middle child caught a life threatening infection from the hospital stay when he was born so that alone has caused our household to become as chemical free as possible as well as dairy, gluten and sugar free. Man has that been hard but a necessity. After dealing with that for 4 years, I found your site and started throwing stuff out and making recipes. Thanks to God and you, we have been infection free for the last year and a half. Thank you so much for what you do….it is Important!! Blessings to you and your beautiful family!
    Casey

  101. You’re a fellow Kentucky girl! Love reading your birth story. Isn’t it amazing how they are all different? Your blog is an amazing resource and I use it and recommend it to others all the time!

  102. Thank you for sharing your most recent birth story Katie! I am pregnant with my first, due in August. I was curious what your take on protein smoothies during pregnancy is. Could you give me an example of the protein you include in your smoothie and your go-to recipe? I’m intrigued by the date research as well! Thanks again.

  103. Amazing and moving birth story. Filled me with hope and excitement for my home birth due in 4 weeks time.
    I had a traumatic first labour in hospital here in the uk with very long false labour for the week before but I was unable to eat or sleep through it.
    My baby was back to back so I wonder if my body was trying to turn him?

    I’m a student and my house is rented but I’m hoping the home birth is a more relaxing environment. In the part of the U.K. I live in we are not allowed pain relief in a home birth, only gas/air which makes me sick.

    Any advice for a second time mum but a first time home birther? Due 27th may and I’m already on the Dates 😉 xx

  104. I wanted to add another comment here about my breech baby that ended in C-section. I want to add this here because I felt equally traumatized by the c-section as I did by the reaction and comments by people in the “natural birth crowd” that I considered to be very close friends and family. I am sharing this not to disparage anyone’s beliefs, but to lend a perspective to how those very well-intentioned comments and advice can be devastating. I tried to be brief, but made myself a tea and got into this. Thank you for the free therapy, internet.

    I learned early on that my baby was breech and was bitterly disappointed. We were planning on a natural birth at a hospital, as a home birth in our area was significantly more expensive than a hospital birth with my insurance and it meant I could spend 2 extra months on maternity leave. There are 12 OBs in my HMO. 4 had ever delivered a breech baby in their entire careers, and only one of them had delivered a breech baby within the last 5 years. There was no way to ensure which doctor we would get. It was a really hard decision, but we were convinced to schedule the c-section after my OB said “we don’t know what we’re doing – it is possible to deliver vaginally with a breech baby, it used to happen all the time, but nobody here knows how to do it safely.” It was too late to make other arrangements and, honestly, by this point I had grown wary of a lot of they *very* unfounded advice and facts being parroted to me from the natural birthing crowd in my area (who I don’t think are representative of every natural birth advocate, but it just happened to be the dominant message I was receiving). I decided that rarely in my life has a doctor ever told me they didn’t know what they were doing. Usually, I have encountered so much over-confidence. The under-confidence was actually extremely convincing.

    I tried literally everything I could find to turn this baby. Spinning babies, chiropractor, moxa, acupuncture, hanging upside down on an ironing board, ice packs, music, hypnobabies, etc. No matter what I tried, someone on a message board or a friend or family member who was staunchly against c-sections would knowingly repeat things I was already doing as the surefire way to turn this baby. When I would protest I was doing all of them (ALL OF THEM), I was quizzed suspiciously on exactly how I was doing them, Because if it wasn’t working, surely it was user error, right? I went on leave 2 weeks earlier than planned just to make time for all of these appointments and exercises. One woman in my breastfeeding group after I had the baby said the baby would have turned if I had stood upside down in a pool. So, you know, that’s where I went wrong.

    My OB pushed me to schedule the c-section a week before my due date. I pushed back, saying that every single day closer to when I would naturally labor was precious. She was afraid I would go into labor naturally and there would be complications if labor progressed too rapidly. That seemed overly cautious to me, since it was my first baby and what could happen in the 45 minutes it took us to get to the hospital? I pushed back hard and she reluctantly pushed the c section date four days later (so, 3 days pre-due date). It felt like one minor victory in a birth process that was rapidly spinning out of my control.

    The next day after she originally wanted to do the c-section, I went into labor. I was still so convinced my baby would turn that I was in total denial I was in labor. I walked around the entire day telling myself I was having Braxton Hicks contractions because I had been cleaning so vigorously (DUH, nesting). When my water broke, I came out of denial. My husband walked in the door a few minutes later from work and we left for the hospital. My contractions started coming so quickly, so that by the time I was admitted, they were 2 minutes apart. I was secretly so happy, since I thought at least I had a chance to labor some naturally so that I got to 1) experience it and 2) the baby’s lungs could mature a little from the contractions and labor. I demanded they do one last ultrasound to make sure baby had not flipped (he hadn’t). My contractions were close but I wasn’t very dilated.

    I was so petrified going into surgery after reading so many “horror stories” and hearing it disparaged so thoroughly that I was shaking uncontrollably (even before given the epidural). I kept thinking about my Bradley birth instructor saying how the c-section was so much more dangerous than whatever complication they were trying to avoid. I was crying uncontrollably and giving my husband instructions on my wishes for how to raise the baby if I died. I’m sure the nurses thought I was the most over-dramatic crazy person ever…. and yes, they offered me a sedative. I didn’t take it (maybe I should have?!). I am such a low key non-dramatic person usually that my husband started crying as was also terrified. The actual surgery went completely smooth and was totally uneventful. Mentally, I was so totally gone. I basically just checked out for weeks. I think I had something akin to PTSD. They showed me my baby and I just felt so numb and shocked and disturbed that I couldn’t do immediate skin to skin and that I was being sewn up at that moment, that I just shut down. My husband was shirtless and ready to cuddle our boy, so luckily he was there to hold that baby minutes after he was born. I was of course in love with him and so happy, but I just felt like there was defeaning white noise in the background and I could not think about the c section without tearing up and feeling sick about it.

    My recovery was tough. No infection, rapid healing, just more pain than I thought possible. It took us 3 days to figure out I wasn’t responding to narcotics. They weren’t reducing my pain, just making me feel completely insane. Things really improved once I took plain ole ibuprofen. But, it was major abdominal surgery and it was very painful. I felt like I couldn’t move freely to hold and comfort my son the way I wanted to.

    As I processed the surgery, I realized that the absolute worst parts about it were the fear instilled in me by well intentioned natural birth advocates and the sense of failure. Nothing I did was good enough for them to convince them this wasn’t all somehow my fault. Shortly after having my son, I totally retreated from any internet forums and stopped allowing anyone in my life to talk about it. I just couldn’t stomach one more “well, you didn’t HAVE to have the c-section…. you could have advocated for a vaginal birth” or being quizzed on what techniques I used to try to turn the baby and how surely if I had just used this one other hypnosis CD or drank this tea, or WHATEVER, then the baby wouldn’t have been breech. My own mother told me one day, when my son was particularly fussy around 6 weeks old, that he was likely upset because of the trauma of a c-section birth. I am crying as I am remembering this. It was so painful to hear that. I tried to share a very brief version of this story once on an online forum and deleted it after the first response was “sounds like ur just a shit mom” (sic).

    I wish I could go back in time. To reassure myself that, as awful as this is, doctors perform vastly more c-sections than they do breech vaginal births and that we were so unlikely to be harmed, either of us. I wish I could have just not told anyone the baby was breech or any detail of my pregnancy. I wish I could take back every defensive conversation I had trying to justify our decision to go forward with the c-section. As if I just found the right words, people would see that this wasn’t an “easy way out” for me, but a decision that we agonized over for weeks. We cried, we desperately tried everything we could, but ultimately came to the decision that given where we were at geographically, financially, emotionally, we just didn’t have another option.

    I say all of this, but I read your story, Katie, and I am so moved and in awe that you had the experience you had with a home breech birth. I applaud it and your wonderfully open and welcoming attitude you have. It sounds like it was the right choice for you and such a positive experience. You advocate passionately for what you believe in without sounding judgmental and I thank you for that.

    I’m still a pretty natural mama. I deeply mourned my son not being exposed to vaginal bacteria and did some stealthy secret vaginal seeding at the hospital. I’m still breastfeeding and he’s a year and a half old. We eat an obnoxiously healthy and pure diet that we are very privileged to be able to swing. But I’m also ready at any moment to sit down with another mama who has made very different choices for me with open eyes to see what I can learn from her and not focus on what I can teach her. And to question everything, even when it comes from a crowd who claims to be superior for their practice of… questioning everything.

    That was my breech baby story. It was very different than what I imagined. It’s probably not the kind of birth story I could brag about or share as an example for others to follow. But it taught me to be a better, more adaptable, and compassionate person and mother and for that I am grateful. It taught me to be in all things humble first. Katie, all of your birth stories are so varied that I feel like you really embody this lesson as well. So, I am also grateful for you and your writing. Congratulations on welcoming a new wonderful person in your life.

    Thank you.

    • Marisa,
      I hope you feel good about sharing your story here. I enjoyed reading it even though I could tell it was painful for you.

      I have four babies and each birth has been so different. My first was a c-section as well. Not because he was breech, but he was a large baby (10 pounds) and I was in Japan at the time. There were so many factors in play…I was 10 days “overdue” and culturally the medical system just worked differently. I had read and studied and hypnobabied so much that I had worked myself into a real state. The c-section was so defeating for me. Unlike you, I was surrounded by a community that couldn’t understand why a natural birth was so important to me. I kept hearing things that made me feel selfish for wanting a natural birth. “Well at least you have a healthy baby and that is all that matters!” I was so sad and depressed.

      A year later I heard myself say “and when the doctor took him out of me…” This is when I realized that I didn’t even feel like I had given birth. I took a doula course and was so fortunate to be in a group of wise and accepting women. They helped me own my birth exactly as it was and to mourn the loss of my chance at a natural birth. It was really important for my growth and for my relationship with my son.

      He was a difficult baby and looking back I do believe that it had to do with the c-section. Not the actual process, but with my reaction. I don’t feel guilty realizing this, but in awe of how much my energy could affect my son.

      My second birth was natural and in a German hospital…very wonderful! My third birth was at home with an amazing midwife and also wonderful. My fourth birth was also at home but unattended! She was in a real hurry and came 30 minuTes before the midwife could arrive!

      I breastfeed my first three babies until they were nearly four years old (I was nursing two and pregnant with the third). My fourth had another plan though. She refused to breastfeed. I am a certified lactation consultant and had access to amazing professionals. We did EVERYTHING. She was literally starving to death. I fought so hard and spent the first two weeks of her life searching out any help I could find. Running from appointment to appointment. She was literally starving but I kept pushing for the breast. Pumping was not working for me and things were spiraling out of control. I finally started bottle feeding with formula. All the while I was reading article after article about the horrors of formula. My husband finally begged me to quit and just accept it. It wasn’t until she was almost 7 months old that I could accept it and realize I did everything I could and that everything would be fine. Once I could relax, I found that there are certain joys of bottle feeding I had never experienced as a rather militant breast feeder. I am always hesitant to share this because I don’t want to dissuade anyone from breastfeeding. I love breastfeeding, but realize that I have to take what life gives me and appreciate it exactly for what it is.

      I regret that I spent the first months of her life being such an emotional wreck. It’s my last baby. Didn’t I learn anything from my c-section experience? Well I guess I’m stubborn, but I think I may have finally learned…a little ?

      I can tell you that all births are different. I can also tell you that all births are sacred. Just because your first birth was a c-section doesn’t tell you anything about the next, if you choose to have more babies. At the same time, my dear friend had a c-section the same time I did. She went on to have two more c-sections and that worked for her. It’s all ok. I am a firm believer that our attitude can determine more than an actual situation. It is important to honor our feelings and then release them. I thinks it really the only healthy way we can move forward in life.

      Thanks again for sharing and for listening to me as well. I am constantly thankful for strong and intelligent women in my life. All the best to you and your little one!
      Amanda

  105. I found this article about eating dates in the last few weeks of pregnancy, recently. Quite interesting that there is scientific data to support the “midwives tale”. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21280989

  106. I’m so glad to hear a successful breech home birth! I had a first attempted home birth at 42.6 weeks which was back to back and ended up with an emergency c section! This made me even more determined to have the next at home. The 2nd I hired a private midwife, who had delivered 500 babies by vbac, I also has hybnobirthing, a pool, aromatherapy, homeopathy etc and felt ready. She instigated on a sweep at 37 weeks which I thought was odd, but she wanted my baby not to be too big as first was 9lb. That evening I went into labour at 3am. Everything was fantastic until I had a spot of blood in the water, she insisted I got out and she said “shit you are 9.5 cm and he is a breech” what happened in the next 30 odd mins was awful! She shouted, had me in different positions, cut me, has ambulance men help, but my beseech baby was stuck, his bottom and legs were hanging and his cord for compressed. I asked to stand up and I delivered him myself, but he came out not breathing! I can’t describe the pain that followed! I should have been in hospital! My following 2 births were c sections, planned x

  107. I discovered your blog a few months ago and have really enjoyed it a lot. Lots of great recipes and articles.

    I read this birth story nodding my head: having had 5 natural births, I can totally relate to the prodromal labor and the panic “oh wait, I don’t want to do this!!!”

    We’re expecting #6 (at the end of the summer) and I was wondering if you had any words of wisdom about post partum hemorrhage. Each birth, I’m a little more anemic and bleed a little more. This last time involved multiple shots of pitocin, aggressive uterine massage, and 10 tablets -I don’t remember the medication (rectally ?) when the bleeding just kept on going. I did nurse from the moment baby was born to when the bleeding finally stopped.

    I’m nervous about this happening again and needing a transfusion. I do take my Floridix and eat iron rich food, I just can’t get my iron up.

    It’s hard to find info on grand multipara births since it’s so unusual.

    Thoughts?

    • Congrats and best wishes for an easy birth this time! I’ve never personally struggled with this, so I don’t have any first hand advice. I do try to eat a lot of liver when pregnant, as well as natural sources of Vitamin C to help iron absorption and a lot of leafy greens and magnesium. Blackstrap molasses is also supposed to be helpful and I try to add that to foods as well when pregnant.

  108. Katie,
    I hope all is well! I just read your email about thyroid health and I am having my own struggles 8 month postpartum right now going hyperthyroid sen though my TPO antibioses made me hypothyroid before my pregnancy. I have been reading that waiting 18months is best to wait in having future children when there is a thyroid problem. I wanted to get your opinion about having to wait that long if I start going to a naturopath to heal. I am going to be 35 in 18months and fear waiting so long and being able to get pregnant. But healthy babies is all I pray for. Any advice from your experience would be great! LOVE what you do, Katie!!

  109. Hey, you already have a million comments here, but talking about your birth story makes it irresistible for everyone else not to.
    I think that the prodromal labor definitely makes the actual labor faster (not necessarily easier, as my 2nd and 3rd were fast but horribly intense). And I had none at all with my fourth–actually felt nothing labor-ish at all until the day he was born, 12 days late,–but he was the longest and hardest of all of them. Part of this was probably that I expected him to come super fast based on my previous labors.

  110. I had a breech homebirth too in March 2016. Planned homebirth, unplanned breech presentation! It was only as he was being born the midwife said “Oh, this baby is breech.” He’s fine now thankfully but unfortunately he was born not breathing and had to spend a harrowing 2wks in NICU. I don’t know why or how our outcomes from the same birth can be so different but am pleased to say he’s fine now. I’m glad to read your experience thanks for sharing it. I can really relate to the way you have described the pushing & feeling in the hips. Congratulations on your baby!