Saturday, April 6, 2019

All about our Home Birth, Birth Story

After having such a great experience at a Birth Center with #6, I had said that if I were ever fortunate enough to have another baby, I would NOT deliver at a Hospital ever again unless absolutely medically necessary. Two of my hospital births were at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and they were both borderline traumatic with how I was treated.

I've talked about the fact that I had secondary infertility and that after 7 years we had mostly come to terms with the reality that we'd likely not have any more babies. But then this baby girl surprised us... and what a great surprise she is!

When we found out we were pregnant, the one thing I knew immediately was that if the pregnancy was healthy and uneventful, I wanted a home birth, but would have a birth center birth if I had to. I quickly found out the only actual birth center "locally" (45 minutes away from us) is attached to a hospital, but I was willing to go there because my insurance would cover it. However, after initiating care with them, I met my Midwife Samantha by chance while selling an item for a friend on Facebook. She saw our big NV3500 12 passenger van in the driveway and said to my husband "You're either a preacher or have a lot of kids" to which my husband replied "I'm definitely not a preacher". He excitedly told her that we actually just found out we're having #7. She told him about being a homebirth midwife and the rest is history! My insurance wouldn't cover her of course, but she's more than worth making payments to! So First Coast Midwifery Services it was for us. That was the best decision I could have made for this pregnancy and delivery. My pregnancy was excellent and was so stress free having Sam as my Midwife.

Now I'll spill it on how the whole birth went!

The last week of my pregnancy I was having enough contractions that were starting to make me feel a little uncomfortable and feel as if the baby might be coming soon. But it was nothing too crazy. When I was 39w 2d, my husband had a Dr. appointment and I had a hair appointment that afternoon, so we went out to Jacksonville and intended to spend the afternoon out there for the appointments and then come home that evening. Did I happen to mention that this was April Fool's Day!?  After my husband's appointment we went to True Food Kitchen for a little lunch date and then since we had a good bit of time until my appointment we decided we would go to Petsmart and then Buy Buy Baby to kill time.

While in Buy Buy Baby at roughly 2pm, standing there talking about the cutest outfit I was going to buy the baby, my water broke. Since I had Declan only an hour or so after my water was broken for him, my husband said we needed to get back home NOW, since we were roughly 45 minutes away. So we immediately headed toward home. We let my midwife know (and sent pics for proof since it was April Fool's Day) on the way. We made it home with no issue and my contractions were still not bad at all.

Later in the evening my best friend Keri showed up and then my midwife with some student midwives a little bit after that. My labor was slow and steady and lasted all night. Everything was very chill and calm. We had smoked ribs for everyone, made pasta salad and I made brownies, while in labor. We all joked and laughed so much until it was late, then we all tried getting sleep in-between the midwives checking on me and the baby. In the morning my labor started picking up a bit and that's when I decided it was time to get in the tub, because things were starting to hurt. When transition kicked in, I thought it was longer, but my husband told me it was about half hour. It was a long half hour of literally pouring sweat, hah! My midwife and her team didn't come check to tell me when to push or any of that stuff (other than the every half hour checks to make sure both baby and I were still fine), they came into the bathroom when they heard me starting to push. I love that I was able to listen to my body during the whole process and wasn't told how and what I needed to be doing.

Clover Sunshine made her entrance into the water, in my bathtub, in my own home... at 9:35 am on April 2nd 2019. She was 6lbs 15ozs and 19.5 inches long.

The day my water broke, until Clover was born the next morning, it was rainy and dreary. With her birth, also came the sunshine. It couldn't have been any more perfect.

So much love and thanks to my Midwife Samantha from First Coast Midwifery Services (Jacksonville Florida), Mandi who helped catch Clover, Sam's whole team and to my best friend Keri for being there for us and also taking photos during the whole labor and delivery!


I had made it a point to have the space I was planning to give birth set up as peacefully as possible. I also had subtle items to help make my water home birth a reality, like the little plate for my stones and crystals that said "Mermaid Vibes" on it.

I had diffusers and Essential Oils to help during the labor. I really just wanted it to be a chill experience.




















1 day old















Tuesday, January 22, 2019

That Light in the Darkness

Sometimes things happen just when you need them, but didn't even know you needed them. Sometimes when you want things to happen and they don't, maybe there's a reason. Maybe there's a bigger plan that the universe has for you? I don't know.

After our youngest son was born, my husband went to a pre-comissioning unit Submarine, which meant he would be working horrible hours, but he wouldn't be deploying (gone for a solid 7+ months at a time) for a little while. We decided we wanted to try to have another baby, before the boat was finished and deploying. I've talked about that before. I've talked about the secondary infertility. I've talked about that heartache that many people think is silly when you already have 6 children. I've also talked about how we had started coming to terms with the fact that we were likely done having children because it wasn't financially possible to get fertility treatment and it wasn't really practical to do so anyway given my husband's serious medical issues and me now being his full-time caregiver. 

In August we were shocked and (happily) surprised to find out that I'm pregnant. Over the last several months I have realized that having a baby now was better than when my husband and I had first started trying. Things were miserable during that time, the command he was at was absolutely horrible and the last couple of years we've been adjusting to our new normal with TBI, PTSD and Seizures. Things are not easy now by any means. In fact, Things can be really hard, emotionally, physically and financially. What I have now though, is a deeper sense of peace and of who I am than I have ever had in my life. I'm more confident in what I'm capable of and I know my strength. I've learned to appreciate and cherish the good moments because they are often fleeting. I've learned to find the positive, even on the worst day. 


This baby is such a bright light in our new life. We are in such a different place and it's almost weird that we're literally starting over. Our THIRD baby turns 13 on Feb 6th, so we'll have 3 teenagers. Our oldest son will be 17 this summer. Our youngest will turn 8 not long after this new baby comes into our life. So weird!!! But this surprise baby came to be just when we needed her to. Oh, did I mention, she's a GIRL? A baby girl! This will be very different than when we had our other children. There are a lot of things we have to think about in regards to my husband's medical issues and keeping the baby safe. We have to have emergency plans in place and there will be a whole slew of things that will undoubtedly arise as we navigate this new chapter. But I know I've got this. I know we can do this. I know that despite the struggles we will face, we can handle it. I am so excited for this new journey!


She’s due the first week of April 💖



Keep an eye out for my blog post soon about my birth plan!