Home Birth | Junction City, Kansas

Junction City Home Birth
What an incredible unassisted home birth story! As a doula herself, it’s absolutely fascinating to listen to Amanda recall the details of her birth. She jumps from laboring mom to doula and back countless times. This must be where the phrase “trust your gut” comes from. Enjoy this inspirational unassisted home birth story that took place in Junction City, KS on June 24, 2014. Happy 7th birthday to Jathon!

Watch Jathon’s birth video!

This was my 4th birth, my 3rd intended home birth, and I knew it may be my last. I wanted this birth to be documented. I have very little photographic evidence of my other births. This was mostly from lack of knowledge that a birth photographer exists, so we used our own camera. It was very difficult to find a photographer willing to capture an unassisted home birth. But, I found Tammy.  Through pictures, I was excited to show that babies know when they want to come earth side, and that mothers and babies know what to do. Trust in your body, your baby – and all will be well.

Contractions had been happening off and on at about 37wks, but I wasn’t too worried about them, as I wanted to enjoy my pregnancy for as long as PiP would allow me to. And all of my other pregnancies went 40+. I would go about my day as normal, taking care of my 3 babes and such, stopping to breathe through them and relax as much as I could, when I could. For about a week, my waters were trickling, but again, I was not worried, as this had happened in my previous birth with my daughter. I just rested and stayed hydrated and walked a lot to see if he would come.

On the 15th, I wasn’t leaking anymore, so I felt really good about that, and at that point I was 39wks. Matt was sick and then Corbin got sick, and I had a few placentas that I still needed to encapsulate for my clients, so I really wanted PiP to wait until I mentally gave him the All Clear Sign.  

Everyday, I kept thinking, is this it? But I had no way of knowing.

Junction City labor

At night is when I give birth, and at night is when I would get tons of contractions, but they would taper off come morning. I didn’t feel like it was time, as he was still really high up- all of my others, they dropped, and I knew it would be soon when they arrived after that happened.

June 23rd, we watched our nightly show on Netflix, as usual and Tammy called. I reported with saying, ‘Same ole stuff. Mild contractions here and there but nothing I can’t breathe through. I don’t think this is it. I will call you if I think it will happen tonight. We’ll have plenty of time’. 

She said she could hear it in my voice that she thought these contractions were the real thing, but I really didn’t believe that to be true. She asked if I wanted her to come over but I said, ‘No, we’re just going to go to bed- it isn’t going to happen tonight.’ Silly me, I should of known that my denial was my pre-labor! That is so me. She asked if she could come by anyway and I said, “Sure, I have a couch you could sleep on, but nothing will probably happen tonight, maybe tomorrow.”

I hung up the phone and about 30min later and asked Matt to set up the birth pool- that this was it and I was glad Tammy was already on her way. I was both hot and cold. And I was irritated. All I wanted to do was go to sleep but I just couldn’t get into any comfortable position, between the contractions and my big high belly, I was just mad that PiP thought now was a good time.

About an hour after I hung up with Tammy, she arrived at my house, it was midnight.

‘Hurry up Matt!’, I said.

The contractions I was having felt different than others I have felt before, as I didn’t feel like they were working. He was so high up in my ribs and with each contraction, I couldn’t relax and didn’t feel like anything was working. I tried turning my doula self on and talking myself into relaxing and being patient for the pool to fill up- but I just wouldn’t listen to myself. I was so tired from my long day and mad at myself for staying up to watch TV instead of going to bed.

Home water birth Kansas

Finally I was able to get into the birth pool and it was nice and warm.

Being in the water is home to me.

I was really enjoying floating around in the water with each contraction and drifting in and out of consciousness. It was about 2am and I was getting really irritable by now. I was really cold and just wanted to cuddle up in my bed and be alone. It felt like everyone was bothering me and I just wanted to talk to my baby and go to sleep!! I practically jumped out of the pool and wobbled/ran down the hall to my room, stripped my shirt off and wrapped up in a towel and jumped into my bed.

My little one, B, who was 2, was sleeping in my bed and we cuddled up together. Matt came in and asked what I was doing. I said I was wet and cold and tired and just wanted to be left alone. So he left and I heard him talking to Tammy about shutting down for the night. He said that they should take a nap now and blah blah, as I drifted to sleep, cuddling my B.

I wish I had some pictures of this moment, as I will always recall it, so vividly in my head- my sweet doula- helping me through labor.

At about 3am, I awoke suddenly. Matt is snoring loudly in the bed, and my little B is holding me tight, nursing away as she sleeps soundly. I am having the most intense contractions now- and each little suckle she takes, only makes them that much stronger. Breathe. I think of these last moments I will share with my little one, just us two. I breathe. She suckles, and I relax into the next contraction. This happens for about an hour and then it gets so strong that I can’t stand it anymore.

Matt doesn’t notice when I try to kick him awake. I get out of bed, thinking maybe I would like a shower, and start heaving so hard that I start leaking fluid again and puking on the floor. I always throw up during transition, so I knew that this is where I was in my birthing process. Matt wakes up to me being extremely loud and I say, ‘Help, I need to have the baby now’. He helps me back into the kitchen and we stop along the way for contractions.

Tammy was awake and snapping pictures again. I lay on the living room floor, whining that I really want to get into my birth pool again but I know that it is too cold. The whole time, I say I don’t want to do this anymore and that I am really, really tired. I keep saying that I want to get into the pool but its too cold. They convince me to give it a try and so I do. Looking back, as a doula, I feel silly for me- like I should have known what to do.

Junction City home water birth

I get back into the water and it really isn’t as cold as I thought it would be, being 4 ½ hours later. Matt starts taking water out and warming it on the stove, it was so lovely to feel it on my body, every time he poured in a pot. It is around 5am now. I threw up again. I kept floating all over the pool trying to get into a comfy position. The sun was coming up and I was angry at it- I wanted it to be dark. My two oldest were awake by now and my daughter, S, who was 4, was such a great doula. She would whisper in my ear that I was doing great and hug my neck. My son, 7, looked annoyed and tired, laying on the couch, awaiting the arrival of his baby brother.

By 6am, I kept saying to Matt, that I couldn’t do it. That he was stuck. He was so high up in my ribs, and with every contraction, he did not feel like he was moving down. I felt like I was broken. I felt defeated.

Matt said that I could do it. He knew I could. I was strong.

I gave out a big scream and beared down with a huge contraction and felt a gush of water come out and then with the next contraction, I reached down and felt his head. The excitement that I felt was indescribable. He did come down. He was going to come out!

Kansas Birth photographers

I wanted to slow the labor down now at this point. I knew that I would see him soon and was no longer ready to be done with my pregnancy. My last labor and birth. 

Squatting and reaching down again, I felt his head. It was such a comforting feeling being able to touch my baby for the first time. This memory is etched in my brain from my last 3 labors, cupping the crown of their little heads in the palm of my hand, as they make their way into the world.

I flip over, because I wanted pictures of him being born. I bear down again and his head starts to come. About 3 more waves and out is his head- so much excitement around, and I want to wait awhile longer to push the rest of him out, but my body has different plans. I give another push and he falls out in one swift motion as I catch him.

I look at my beautiful son and hold him as he sways in the water.

Tammy calls out that he is in the caul and I notice his nuchal cord. After about a minute, I bring him up into the world, out of the water. I recall yelling at Matt to not touch him,  being a mama bear guarding her cub -as he wanted to remove the cord from his neck. I yell to go get B, as I notice she isn’t there to see her baby brother.

They all gather around, filled with excitement.

I recall S repeatedly saying that her baby brother was here. He was here. My beautiful son, untouched by anyone- no doctors, no medicines.

Birth Photography Kansas

He was born at 40wks 5 days at 6:55am on June 24, 2014.

Junction City Birth Photography

I lay him to my chest and we unwrap the cord from under his leg and arm and then around his neck. The caul fell off when I had picked him up from the water. He begins to nurse and I work on the placenta contractions. All the while, Tammy is taking pictures. I lay him back into the warm water, swaying him back and forth, looking into his eyes and talking to him- just soaking up his perfection- and Tammy asks, ‘So what is PiP’s name?’ And Matt and I reply, ‘Jathon. Jathon Danger’ And he smiles. We all laugh. Jathon is here. 

Unassisted home birth
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Newborn Photography in Junction City Kansas

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