DawningLife Midwifery

Experienced homebirth midwives serving Metro-Atlanta and North Georgia families for over 35 years!

Jacob Ian

Jacob's Birth Story: Believing God! We welcomed a 7 lb 13 oz baby on Sunday, March 20th at 2:48 in the morning. However, I would like to back up a little bit and tell some truths about my pregnancy in order to fulfill the title of this story. 

Once I found out I was pregnant, knowing there is no birth centers in Atlanta, I decided on a home birth. After talking with several local doulas, I decided to receive dual care meaning regular OB visits along with planning the home birth/water birth. Almost every visit to the OB/GYN was disappointing.

Jacob's Birth Story: Believing God! We welcomed a 7 lb 13 oz baby on Sunday, March 20th at 2:48 in the morning. However, I would like to back up a little bit and tell some truths about my pregnancy in order to fulfill the title of this story. 

Once I found out I was pregnant, knowing there is no birth centers in Atlanta, I decided on a home birth. After talking with several local doulas, I decided to receive dual care meaning regular OB visits along with planning the home birth/water birth. Almost every visit to the OB/GYN was disappointing. For one, it was extremely impersonal and, two, there was always some sort of “problem” they cautioned me about at every visit. I must have heard the doctors say “Well, I’ve seen babies die,” just about every other visit. I think that is so cruel to say to a pregnant woman. Because of my faith, I stuck it out and knew that God was in control, not some doctors. Every time I visited with Claudia Conn, my homebirth midwife, I always would breathe a sigh of relief knowing that my baby was okay and everything was progressing just fine. If there were any real concerns, she would let me know.

Towards the end of the pregnancy, Jacob loved to do cartwheels. One visit to the doctor would show that he was head down, the next transverse, and the next head up. By 37 weeks he was transverse and didn’t seem to want to move for the next 3 doctor’s visits. Of course the doctors wanted me to induce and/ or have a c-section delivery since the baby wasn’t going head down and I was so close to my due date. At my 40 week visit he still wasn’t head down, but I knew he would go because 1) he was still moving a lot 2) he was just still small. As hard as it was to fight off the doctors, I still had to keep trusting God. At one point I had to convince the doctor that it was going to be ok. I thought that was their job! With every prayer, God would say “It’s in My hands, trust Me.” We (Claudia and I) didn’t even agree with the doctor’s original due date which was March 5th, 2005. We figured he would be born anywhere between the 12th and 17th. (I think those dates are correct). Claudia also explained to me what risks were involved if I decided to stick with the home birth. The worse case scenario would have been if I would have broken my water while he was transverse. She told me I would have to have an emergency C-section and explained to me that they could possibly be worse then having a scheduled c-section. I loved her honesty and appreciated it greatly, but I wasn’t giving up. God wanted me to have this baby and home and I knew it. Deep down, I knew everything would be ok.

I remember specifically one visit with Claudia during this whole ordeal. I would show up to her house in fear mode and she made it a point to tell me about another patient of hers who had a similar situation. She told me that a few days prior; the mom had the most beautiful homebirth Claudia had ever seen. That made me feel so much better and much more confident! Thank you Claudia!

Even so, March 5th came and went and when you have been told the 5th for 8 months, it’s pretty disappointing when there’s no baby or any sign of one. At this point, I decided not to go back to the doctor’s office at all. My husband and I had a bet. Kevin wanted the boy to be named Ian and I wanted him to be named Jacob. If he was born on St. Patrick’s Day, he would be named Ian Jacob and if he wasn’t it would be Jacob Ian. I remember thinking prior to St. Patrick’s Day that we wouldn’t make it that far. Well, St. Patrick’s Day came and went also. Urgh. Now I’m starting to get antsy, but still trusting God. I was actually doing a bible study, “Believing God” by Beth Moore, which was incredibly right on target with every emotion, feeling, and situation I was in. If it wasn’t for that study, I don’t know what I would’ve done. Still I was trying all the things that I had heard would naturally induce. One was going to Scallini’s and having eggplant parmesan. We did that Friday the 19th.  Really good dish! 

Saturday, March 20th came and I was so ready. I called Claudia around noon and told her that I was ready to start natural induction. She told me there were several things I could do, but these things took a lot of work and she would have to go over them with me at my next appointment. When I heard “hard work”, I figured I could stick it out until our next appointment on the following Monday.

Just around 11:20 pm, I started to feel some cramps, I remember thinking, “Oh it’s probably just gas,” so I went to the bathroom to find some bloody show! “YEA!” Immediately after, I had my first contraction. Keep in mind that Friday night I had the eggplant parmesan and I had the leftovers on Saturday night! I ran to tell Kevin and told him to get the pool out cause we were going to have a baby! Maggie, my first, came in about 15 hours total, so we were planning on Jacob coming in about 6 hours, hopefully. Next contraction came within the next 5 minutes. I call Claudia to let her know what’s going on. She told me to call her if I had anymore questions, to take it easy, and to call when the contractions were about 1 minute long. She also said to try to sleep in between contractions.  Sleep?! By the time I hung up with her, I was having another and they were starting to get pretty strong. Meanwhile, Kevin’s struggling to open the window screen to let the hose hang out the window – something you really don’t plan on happening. 

Well, I was timing my own contractions while Kevin was struggling with that darn window. Ha ha! He doesn’t even have the pool blown up yet! Being that I was in labor, I wasn’t timing the contractions right and thought they were at a minute (it was a 30 second stop watch). So, I called Claudia and told her they were pretty strong, that they were coming pretty close together and that I timed them at 1 minute. Fortunately, I began to have one while we were on the phone, she said they were only 30 seconds! She told me to go ahead and get in my tub to slow them down a little so I can try to relax. THANK YOU CLAUDIA! Aahhhhh, what a difference! Unfortunately, the eggplant parmesan had me taking many trips to the potty, so I hoped for no contractions while I was out of the tub – no such luck! The difference in the amount of pain out of the tub verses in the tub was staggering!

Kevin finally is beginning to blow up the pool with his air compressor which is loud and wakes my daughter, Maggie. She has a bad cold and is upset because of her harsh cough and cold. I asked Kevin to call my mom and dad. They were planning on coming to get her if we asked them to. I think they showed up around 1 AM and this is when the contractions were beginning to grab me. At this point the tub wasn’t cutting it because the water wasn’t deep enough. I remember holding my mom’s hand through one contraction and she started crying. Naturally, she didn’t want to see me in pain.

Kevin’s getting Maggie ready to go and these contractions are starting to come one on top of the next. I can’t even breathe in between. Finally, when my parents left I ask Kevin to time the next contraction. (Is the damn pool ready yet?) Kevin tells me the pool is still filling up and it won’t be long. We time the next one and it’s just at a minute. So, I tell him to call Claudia. At first my thoughts are “There’s no way I can handle this much pain for the next 4 hours” and “Please God don’t make this pain be this way all night.” I wasn’t sure, was this pain the pain I had when Maggie was coming out or is this going to get even worse?! Kevin says, “Let’s time another one first just to be sure.” I look at him like he is crazy. “KEVIN, call Claudia!” He’s not realizing that these minute contractions have been going on since my parents got there. “Just one more,” he says. Once again, being that I was in labor, I didn’t feel like flying across the room to strangle him, so I said ok. Sure enough, next one was over 1 minute. Kevin calls Claudia and she’s on her way. Luckily, she lives only 10 minutes from my house. (That came in handy when I was late for some of those appointments)

Now the pool is ready…WOW, what a difference. This is so soft and so much water and “WOOOAAAHHH” huge contraction. “Ok Kevin, did we ever go over that breathing thing?!” The normal deep breaths just weren’t working at this point. He tells me to push out the pain with my breaths. I guess you would call that the Lamaze method. We didn’t practice this time because we had it down for my first pregnancy and all that practice went out the window when I began labor. Anyway, that breathing pattern really worked for me.

Now I’m in so much pain that I don’t even know how to sit. Somehow I remembered leaning on Kevin’s shoulders facing him and letting Maggie hang down during labor with her. So I squat in the pool and hang over the side. That felt better for about 2 seconds and now with each contraction – about 2 more - I’m screaming and asking, “Kevin, where’s Claudia?” “She’s on her way; I left the door open so they can come right in.” Luckily, both our neighbors on either side of us are out of town together! By number 3 or 4 contraction in the pool, I feel a pop and his head crowns. “KEVIN! HE’S HERE! HE’S HERE!” “No, Emily they’re not here yet, but they will be right here, I left the door…” “NO, KEVIN, THE BABY!” I said pointing to the top of his head. “HOLY MOLY,” Kevin yells. (Only it wasn’t moly)

At this point, there is no pain anymore just straight fear. I can see the top of his head and my midwife isn’t even here. I yell at Kevin to call her on her cell. He can’t figure out how to get the cell number off of my phone and he’s freaking out while getting undressed ready to jump in and deliver that baby. So I’m the one calmly saying, “Arrow down to ‘C’, select ‘OK’, now arrow down to the second number which is her cell.” So Kevin calls her and says the baby’s out and someone needs to be here. So Claudia’s thinking the baby’s already out! Luckily, she was at the beginning of my neighborhood. We are very close to the beginning of my neighborhood. She flies in and has a huge smile on her face and tells me “Emily you are ok! Everything is fine! I’m so excited for you! You’re having your baby!” Ok, she’s done this before! She knew exactly what to say and she calmed me down tremendously. Bravo! Now she tells me to push slowly because she doesn’t want me to tear. Ok, I can do this. Nothing. “Ok, Emily, push a little harder this time.” I pushed once for the head another for the body and he’s in my hands at 2:48 am, screaming. Kevin and I both looked at each other and said, “Jacob.” Debbie and Ruth make it there just in time to see him in my arms! Please know that I’m fully aware that this is not their fault by any means!

Post Delivery:
He’s 7 lbs, 13 oz, 20 inches long and, oh, he is SO handsome! The best part about him is that he smelled SO GOOD! We didn’t even have to clean him. I have never smelled that smell before, but it was the best smell I ever smelled in my life! I bonded with him immediately! I had a little different experience with Maggie’s birth. He began nursing pretty soon after and latched on really good. He nursed for a whole hour! It was wonderful! However, since I had had no food, went through that labor so quickly, and was pooping out the food I’d had all night, my blood sugar dropped real low. On top of the normal shaking, I began to lose my peripheral vision. Then my body began tingling all over. It was so disappointing when I couldn’t even see my baby or the things around me.

Debbie began taking my blood pressure and had told me later that they were a bit concerned because I had no color. She then began to feed me peanut butter and crackers and some Vitamin C drink. I remember for several minutes I had no idea who the people were around me, it was really starting to freak me out. About an hour later, everything returned to normal. Debbie explained to me later that all those things I was going through were normal reactions to when your blood sugar drops quickly.   Once I had some nutrition, everything was fine.

Post partum:
Debbie was great at my post partum visits. She was so helpful in teaching me how to nurse and handle Jacob. All three midwives, Claudia, Debbie, and Ruth are extremely professional and do a tremendous job! I am so thankful to God for them. With my faith and knowledge and their much needed support, professionalism, experience and knowledge, I was able to have Jacob naturally, the way God intended. In any other situation, Jacob could’ve been a 5 lb c-section baby.

I enjoyed going through the experience again while writing this; I got mad, cracked up, cried joyful tears, and then thanked God!