Monday, August 15, 2016

Violet Ruth's Birth Story

Violet Ruth
Born: August 12, 2016 (8-12-16)
Weight: 5 pounds 13 ounces
Length: 20 1/4 inches

As with any baby, you never know when they will come. I have had my last three babies at 40 weeks, 39 weeks, and 38 weeks, and in that order, so I felt like, to be on the safe side, I should be ready by at least 37 weeks to deliver this baby (that's logical math, right?!). In my head, I prepared for her to come any time between 37 and 40 weeks, but I was hoping she would come at 38 weeks, on July 23, because the date was special to me. July 23 came and passed. I was a bit disappointed, but babies come when they are ready, and I trusted that. However, Ben's family goes on vacation the first week of August every year, so then I had to decide if I should go. It was two hours away in Michigan. My midwife checked me on July 28, and I was 1-2cm dilated, so she gave me permission to go. I went from July 29-August 2, and headed back home a few days early because I didn't want to push my chances too much. My due date was August 5, and I was surprised to see it come with no baby in my arms. I know it's always a terrible idea to expect to have your baby before your due date, but with my tract record, it seemed most likely. My midwife checked me on my due date and I was still just 1-2cm dilated.

I was very comfortable for being full term, with only sleeping being difficult at times. And I had plenty to keep me busy (three kids... homeschool prep... books... gardening... cleaning... cooking... did I say three kids?). But I did occasionally start to wonder if this baby was ever going to come. It just seemed so crazy that my last baby would come later than all my others, and weeks later than her sister before! But her heartbeat was healthy and I felt her moving regularly, and I trusted my body would deliver her at the right time.

On Wednesday night, August 10,  I went to bed and could not sleep. By 2am Thursday morning I still hadn't fallen asleep, and then I had a real contraction. My first one! It was exciting, but I also realized I had not slept at all, and I did not want to go into labor without any sleep. I had a few more contractions, and then I talked (and prayed) myself into falling asleep. I woke up the next morning with no contractions. In the afternoon I had a couple very small ones, and then my midwife came at 4:30 to see me. She checked me, and I was 3-4cm dilated! I was so thankful to hear that my body was finally doing something! I have always been 3 or 4 cm dilated before going into labor. My midwife also informed me that she had five overdue moms and that I should text her with a heads up when I was in labor. 

After her check, I started having contractions every 10-15 minutes. They weren't painful, but they were definitely noticeable. Ben and I and the girls went to Ruby Tuesdays for dinner and then came home and chatted with our neighbors while the girls ran through their lawn sprinkler. We brought them home and put them to bed around 8:30, and then I took a bath. My contractions hadn't gotten any closer or more intense, and once I took a bath, they completely died. At this point, I figured I would have a baby in the next few days, but I thought maybe it wouldn't be that night. After getting out of the bath I had a few more, but I decided I should try to go to bed. At 10:30 Ben and I went to bed. I had a contraction that hurt, and I told Ben if I had another, I definitely wouldn't be able to sleep through them. I did have another, so I got out of bed. It was around 11pm. 

From this point on, my contractions started coming every 3-5 minutes! and I had to breathe through them. I walked around outside for a while because it was a warm and peaceful night. Even though my contractions were close together, they weren't a minute in length and they hadn't stayed that way for one hour (which is the "protocol" for when to go the hospital or, in my case, to call the midwife to your house)... I did text my midwife, though, and say, "I'm definitely in labor over here! Not ready for you to come yet but thought I'd give you a heads up." I also texted my sister, Brianna, who was coming to the birth to let her know she could come, and I texted my cousin Brittany who was going to take pictures to let her know I was pretty sure I would be having a baby that night.

I then continued to labor outside. My sister arrived at 11:45, and we both went inside. I breathed through contractions and then talked to her in between. Ben had woken up at 4 that morning for work, so I was letting him sleep for as long as I could. A little after midnight, I saw that I had a text from my midwife saying that she was 45 minutes away with a first time mom. I called her right away and told her that my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and that I probably wouldn't have a lot longer left before I would need someone. She told me she would call Kate, another midwife, and send her over. I had never met Kate before, but I had been on her web page and knew she was from Goshen which was a half hour away. I continued to labor and noticed my contractions were starting to get longer in length. I woke Ben up at 12:45 and told him we were having a baby! My cousin Brittany had also just gotten there (and the pictures in this post are compliments of her). Right after that, I noticed my contractions were getting harder to breathe through and that I was having a little bit of pressure to push. And then I puked shortly before 1am, and I knew I was definitely in transition! The midwife still hadn't arrived! I wasn't freaking out, but I was working hard to stay controlled during contractions to not allow my body to push down at all. I really didn't want to have my baby without a midwife present.

Kate arrived at 1:13am, and I was relieved! Along with her was Connie who was my midwife's assistant who had come to many of my appointments, so it was nice to see a familiar face. I told them I was in transition, and they were awesome and just believed me and didn't check my dilation (checking dilation while in transition is the worst!). I also told them I wanted to deliver in the tub, so they began filling up the tub, and then they went and got their birth supplies together. I got in the tub as it began filling. I breathed through contractions and pushed as my body began bearing down. I hate pushing, but I was very determined this time to stay controlled.

Kate and Connie came back in and Kate told me to push if I felt like I needed to push. So I pushed with contractions, and at 1:33am my water broke. I was relieved because I knew that meant she should come quickly. I pushed through two more sets of contractions, and Violet Ruth was born at 1:39am! She was placed crying on my chest, and I was so happy and relieved that she was here! It was wonderful having her at home, and I am so glad that we decided to do a home birth with this baby. I was sad my midwife Shannon couldn't make it to my birth, but besides that, it was everything I could have hoped for!

I never expected at a week past my due date that she would be my tiniest baby! She weighed just 5 lbs and 13 oz. I am thankful she cooked a little extra!

This moment was special <3 Ben got Sophie up and brought her down to meet her new little sister. Sophie was tired but smitten.

She has dimples :)

Kate (left) and Connie (right) were a lovely team, and I'm thankful they were with us during Violet's first hours. They were very chill and hands off, and they allowed me to just enjoy her.

I'm thankful Brittany and Brianna could be there for Violet's birth!

Our fourth girl that we've brought into the world. Where have the years gone?!

One of my favorite parts about having a home birth... the girls all waking up to their new sister. Love these four little ladies that the Lord has given to me <3 

For her sisters' birth stories:


  1. What a beautiful birth story! Congratulations!

  2. Alisha! I am so glad you wrote this down! I am praising God with you :) What many blessings God has showed on you! Amen and AMEN!

    1. This is Tiffany Morrow, btw. :)

    2. Thank you, Tiffany! I so agree- God has been very kind to me :) We are so thankful for this new little life. So nice to hear from you - thanks for commenting :)

  3. I've already heard the story, and I STILL cried! Birth is so beautiful; homebirth is so special. And what a gift you got from it. All the hearts.

    1. Aw, sweet friend- I'm so thankful for you. Thanks for sharing in our happiness! I'm so happy we could do this journey (home birth, pregnancy, mom hood, homeschooling, healthy eating, etc) together. <3 Can't wait to meet your little babe so soon!