Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Birth Story

I have been attempting to type up my birth story in detail, but when you nurse every 2 hours all day and night it is going to take me a long time to complete it! So here is the reader friendly version for all you who are interested....

Saturday May 2nd, I woke up at about 1:15am and knew immediately that my water had broke. I called my midwife to report but I was not having any contractions. She said she would come to listen to the baby and just asses but didn't have to stay if things weren't happening. I woke Jeremy up then and told him this was it! With my water leaking I knew we were at the point of no return and didn't have the chance of labor stopping and waiting a couple more days. This was happening! My midwife (Donnellyn) came and by that point I was having crampy really light contractions. She listened to baby who sounded great then checked me, I was only 1cm (like I had been in her office earlier that week) and 80% effaced. She said to try and sleep and see what would happen. I tried sleeping but I think with the adrenaline of it all I was too excited and the contractions started getting slightly stronger. I kept thinking I would be holding my baby soon, little did I know I had another 30 hours before that would be a reality! I got up about 6am and my midwife again checked me and there was not much progress so we decided it was just early labor and she would go home and we would continue life for the day and see what happened. We had a wonderful morning together, we made some sweet memories as we did some last things before our world changed forever. We went to breakfast, walked and did some shopping. I remember sitting at breakfast and every 10 minutes or so I would have a pinching, crampy contraction but it didn't really hurt but I could feel something happening. That afternoon we watched a movie and did some more walking. I called Donnellyn around 3 or 4that afternoon and was really getting frustrated. Contractions would stop if I sat down but get going again if I walked. I was getting anxious to get this ball going and since I couldn't sleep I wanted to be in labor! She told me what I have told many Mom's in labor and reminded me that God's timing is perfect and to enjoy this time and rest. Of course being the good birth professional that I am I kept walking and didn't really rest at all. She also told me I could take some homeopathics and see if that helped contractions become more regular. Around 7pm sat night (17 hours after I had started leaking fluid) the contractions were getting stronger and I was in more pain. I called my Mom and she came right over with arms full of central market food, yummy candles to light and some natural lotion for me. I remember the relief when my Mom walked in the door, I knew everthing was going to be all right by just seeing her face. We called Donnellyn around 9pm and she got there around 1opm when things were just starting to get intense and labor was getting more active. I had been having contractions all day but was able to talk and do things through then until that night. I labored all night and the details are a blur to me as I was going on 2 nights of missed sleep. I don't really have any memories of the night except that around 4am we called my good friend and chiropractor Dr. Cindy, I wasn't getting much of a break from intense contractions but progress was just so slow Donnellyn though getting adjusted might help get things moving. I was SO exhausted by the morning and really did not think I had anything left in me.

Around 6am on Sunday May 3rd, over 24 hours from when this all had gotten started, I was 5cm and progressing just slow. Labor got harder and the contractions started coming closer together. Around 2pm I reached the end of myself and could not do it anymore or so I thought. I had so much encouragement and they kept me going. I remember telling Jeremy I wanted to go the hospital and get an epidural, which of course he in a very understanding way said "ok if that's what you want to do then we can BUT remember after you have this baby you have to stay in the hospital and all the reasons you chose a home birth won't happen". Of course my response to him was "your right I don't want to go to the hospital!" My midwife checked me again and I was 6cm at 2pm, I was so discouraged because 8 hours had gone by and I had dilated 1cm! The baby had moved way down and she suggested we break my water. Now I know I said my water had broke earlier in labor but she said it was more like a leak and it had sealed back up because she felt a bulging bag of water. So we agreed to having my water broke, at this point Jeremy and I were both so ready for things to be done! After she broke my water things got allot stronger and everyone kept saying they could see I was making progress. I was doubtful because of how slow my progress had been leading up to that. I don't have much memory of the next several hours. I just remember contractions coming right on top of each other and feeling so exhausted in between them. I could not handle contractions laying down or sitting down so I stood during each contraction and leaned on Jeremy, he got in a good workout through this process because he had all my weight on him during every contraction! I did some contractions kneeling over the exercise ball just to give my legs a rest but at this point everything hurt all the time so it was hard to tell what felt better then others. I just wanted to be done! God gave me the strength to finish this because looking back I don't know how I was able to. I was so spent and so done! Around 6:30pm I got an overwhelming urge to push, I had planned to push in a squatting postition because being the educated person that I am I KNEW what I wanted! Well, looking back I laugh because I was so exhausted that I could not ever hold myself up and push! I ended up laying on the bed on my side and pushing that way. I will admit that even when I was pushing I had doubts that I was going to ever actually give birth! When I got the point that some head was staying out I reached down and touched it and that gave me the surge of energy I needed to get this thing done. I knew my baby was coming and I was going to do everything in my power to make that soon! I don't remember the painful crowning process because to be honest all I remember was the HUGE relief that happened immediatly once she was out! As I was pushing her head I remember asking Donnellyn "Is my perinium pink?", from my training I had known that pink meant blood flow which meant no tearing. She laughed and said yes! 40 minutes after I felt the urge to push Ava Caroline Tallo made her entrance into the world at 7:12! What a glorious moment that was!!

Everyone has asked, being a trained midwife myself how the birth experience was. It was so different then I had expected. So much longer! I really have no complaints though God was SO good to answer every prayer and more. Jeremy was AMAZING the entire time and never tired of being by my side the entire time. He was with me during EVERY contraction and prayed and spoke peace to me the entire time. He believed in my body when I didn't and He held me to what I knew I wanted but was willing to give up. My team of midwives was all I needed and so much more. They prayed and really did bring such a peace into our home. I cannot have imagined going through it without being able to look at my Mom and without her saying anything I knew I could do it. My sister-in-law was here and was a wonderful prayer warrior and never stopped praying. I was blessed! It was a wonderful/terrible 2 days of my life! I would not trade it for the world but never want to have my 1st child again!! =)

Birth is an amazing opportunity that every woman should have the chance to experience. Our culture has taken that right away from women and one of my greatest desires in life is to help women re-claim that right and experience. We serve a BIG GOD and birth is just one of the ways He allows us to witness His goodness.


  1. Made me cry. : )

    Birth is so wonderful and hard all at the same time. You are an amazing momma! Thanks for sharing.

    Love, Sarah

  2. What an amazing story!
    I'm so glad that you stayed strong and that the Lord kept you safe through the whole delivery!
    I also thought it was kind of cool when I found out that you'd had your baby because when you were in labor God laid it on my heart to pray for you!
    Thanks for bringing another little life into the world!

  3. Hannah, I am so happy to read that your birth was awesome and that the Lord gave you the endurance to make it to the end!

    Way to go mama!

  4. Awwww! So sweet and I'm so glad that you were able to stay strong. Only by the power of God. You go, girl! Enjoy your babymoon... she's beautiful!

  5. OH Hannah! What a story. I love how God used this situation to really pull you into Himself. And the things He revealed to you during the process! WOW! Can't wait to get my hands on that precious one!

  6. Hannah and Bear,
    Wonderful story! I was laboring with you in New York, calling Amanda, praying, talking and hoping with Sandy and Tammy at church in the morning, you invaded my life that wonderful birth day! I'm so proud of you and bless the Lord that you decided on a home birth! There's nothing like staying in your bed, and having those you love surrounding you with encouragement, prayer and practical help! I wouldn't trade my homebirths for anything. I love your passion; keep speaking up for the little ones to be ushered into this world without intervention and with the peace of the Lord surrounding them!
    Love you three,

  7. Hannah - I just now got to read this. What an amazing story! You did great... you brought a BEAUTIFUL baby into the world, and I know that you are and will continue to be a great mommy!

  8. Hannah, what a sweet birth story! I am so proud of you for hanging in there until the end to claim your victory. You did "get it". You saw how few of us can birth within ourselves, it really does take trusting fully in the Lord to deliver us. He is the ultimate midwife! You came to realize what it is to fully trust him and then he gave you the gift to know YOU COULD DO IT through HIM. Congratulations to you both and enjoy your precious little gift.
    Blessings, Rene'e Stewart

  9. I cried when you talked about getting to the point where you don't feel you have anything left. That was the moment of truth for me. I never realized how much MORE THERE IS if only you know whom to ask. Love this story. Thank you for sharing, Hannah.

  10. "Is my perineum pink?" LOVE that you added that . . . so funny!