Blessings from the Gods (Faith and Homebirthing)
Article ID: 15404
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,942
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Author: Jessica Marie Baumgartner
Posted: April 28th. 2013
Times Viewed: 2,676
The greatest things in my life are the ones that I said I would never allow myself. My husband and I originally said that we never wanted to get married, own a house, or have children. And for years now we have enjoyed eating those words. We knew that we wanted to share our lives but didn’t want the government involved, after being together for over 7 years it was a no brainer. Our government-based ceremony was done at the courthouse whereas our real Handfasting was done separately and on our own terms. Buying a house was a big deal for me because I never felt that I had true home, sure I lived in apartments with my parents but each move made me feel more detached. My fear of owning a place that didn’t feel right was pushed aside when my then fiancé and I found our cute little brick house that offered more backyard foliage than square footage. But marriage and home ownership was nothing when it came to the big one, becoming parents.
I have lots of younger cousins and loved every second I spent babysitting and playing with them. Nurturing others has never been an issue with me, but I came from a broken family and feared ruining a child’s life if I were to bring it into this world. Luckily the Gods had other plans for me. Shortly after I married my husband, I started getting signs that we should start a family. My husband whose experience with children was limited to what I had encouraged was skeptical, but even he started to sense that fate was calling us out.
Our first thought was adoption or fostering some children who needed someone but after much research adoption seemed a last resort and fostering is something that we decided to wait for until my husband had some more experience with caring for children. (There was also the worry that we could be turned down for either because of our faith) So after a lot of discussion, research, and some obvious tarot readings, we decided to do it the old fashioned way; conceive a couple of kids biologically. From the moment that our minds were made up the Gods were present. I asked for guidance and a healthy conception at Beltane and was pregnant by June.
When looking into all of the birthing options my husband supported me in deciding to have a natural homebirth with a midwife. The idea of bringing our child into the world in the loving, safe, home that it would be raised in was our idea of perfection. Many friends and family members worried about risks and issues but our faith in the Gods was greater than any doubt. There were no ultrasounds, sonograms, tests, just a simple pregnancy the way that nature intended. When my due date came and went I wasn’t surprised, but our midwife was concerned when my blood pressure started to rise. She wanted to get the birth rolling, so she gave me castor oil, stripped my membranes and popped my water. I remember having a dark feeling that something bad might happen, but I just told the Goddess and God that I trusted in them.
After seven and a half hours of labor my daughter was thrust into my arms. I was sitting on the birthing stool exhausted and sweating as the midwife gave directions. She had my husband secure the baby while I rubbed her vigorously as the midwife suctioned the baby’s nose. It wasn’t until after the baby finally started crying that I realized that she had been in distress. Apparently the cord had been wrapped around her neck and she had made a bowel movement in her amniotic fluid. But once my daughter got going she was fine, her first apgar score was a 4 but her next was a 7.
I have to say that it takes a strong woman to do a natural birth but after my second homebirth I truly believe that one must have faith to ward off complications. My husband had changed jobs and we had lost our insurance in the change. The pregnancy was planned before the change and already conceived beforehand but we weren't worried. I was a few months behind my sister-in-law who was also pregnant when it was learned that her baby had a heart defect and would need surgery. This brought into question the worry of what would become of my husband and my finances should a problem like this occur. It was my father-in-law who expressed his concern and I told him exactly what was in our hearts. That we had enough faith in the Gods, our midwife, our baby, and ourselves that we would be fine no matter what challenges faced us. That said faith, was the same kind of faith that I witnessed between my nephew’s parents and their doctor when he had a major surgery as a newborn.
Their success was more power for my own success. With my second homebirth experience things started much smoother. I went into labor 11 days early after getting so tired of being tired that I dragged my husband, daughter, and our dog to the park for a six mile trek. That did it, within a few hours I noticed that my “Braxton hicks contractions” were starting to get real and called the midwife.
My sister took care of our first born as the midwife confirmed that my husband and I would be meeting our second child soon. The labor was easier this time because I had a better idea of what to expect but as things progressed they slowed down. I was exhausted and stuck at 9 centimeters, the midwife understood my exhaustion and took a few measured to get me ready for pushing. Again I made my way to the birthing stool but after much work the baby’s head would crown and then go back in, I was in agony as our midwife locked her gaze on mine and started shouting more urgent than ever for me to push. Again the baby’s head came out and went back in, this went on for what felt like forever when our trusted and talented midwife whom my husband and I had entrusted our faith did what she had to do.
She used her talented hands to go in after my little baby and pull her to safety. Time went by in a whirlwind and there wasn’t time for apgar scores but when my new baby girl was out of danger I began to learn what had happened: Shoulder dystocia, a condition where the baby’s shoulder is stuck and can lead to many different scenarios that were much grimmer than our own. I had none of the risks; the baby was not too large, I was not obese or unhealthy. But as my husband says, “Birth is a very violent process.” I agree and am the better for it; I now understand why men go to war, because women’s battle just to bring a child into this life is so unparalleled that bloody violent fighting is the only seemingly equivalent.
We all have our “battles” in life. The pain of birthing a child is not a punishment but a gift that reminds a woman not only how strong she is but also that she can survive anything if her heart is in it. I appreciate my children more because I struggled to bring them into this world; it was my faith that allowed me to be able to have these successful homebirths and gave me my blessings from the Gods.
Jessica Marie Baumgartner
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
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