Salena & Rick ~Juniper Leah Garber, 10.20.2015

October 20, 2015

I was 11 days past my due date. I had contractions for weeks and lost my mucus plug on the 17th. My son had his first field trip to an orchard were I walked a lot and took a hay wagon ride in the morning. I went to work after that and did not feel any different. I was afraid it would get to the point where I would be in the position to have to have a hospital birth and get induced, so I started acupuncture. The 20th was day 2 of acupuncture and the acupuncturist told me I was going to have the baby that night. I was hopeful, yet skeptical. My husband and I have a farm and he was taking our pigs to get processed a few hours away that evening. I had just put my son to bed and went to the bathroom. The pee just kept coming. Finally, I got up to go in my bedroom and suddenly started leaking. I went back to the toilet and called Karen. She confirmed my water had broken and told me to go to bed and get some rest before contractions became serious. This happened at 7:45pm. I called my husband and told him to continue his journey to take our pigs, but he refused and got home an hour later. I tried to sleep, but was leaking so much it was uncomfortable. I came downstairs around 9pm because I started having contractions. I made some of my homemade energy drink concoction to get well hydrated for the long night. Rick came home and timed the contractions at being about 10 minutes apart. He started filling up the birthing tub and turned on some music. I sat on the birthing ball in the living room and the contractions started being closer together. Rick called Karen, my mom, and my best friend Laura. They all arrived around 10pm. Karen and Paige got to work carrying stuff inside and laying out everything they needed. Rick was boiling water to increase the temperature of the tub. He started a fire in our wood stove and made our house super cozy. Karen and Paige sat in rocking chairs by the woodstove and curled up with books. I continued swaying on the birthing ball during contractions. The room was filled with positive and relaxed energy while we told stories, laughed, and were generally giddy about the new addition to our planet. Meanwhile, our son Gideon was asleep upstairs. I was able to deep belly breath through each contraction.

October 21, 2015

When the contractions became a little much, I took my clothes off and moved into the tub. This happened at 12:45am. The water was hot, but it felt good. I tried to sit back and relax, but the contractions were more bearable when I was on all fours. This is the position I maintained with my head propped on the side of the tub. Rick got into the tub with me to rub my back. Karen checked the babies heartbeat. I started sweating because the water was a little too warm. My mom and Rick took turns holding cold washcloths on me. All of the sudden, my body switched gears and it was time to push. I wanted to push the baby out slowly to prevent tearing unlike my first birth. I was able to slowly push and ignore pushing for every other contraction. I did not hold the baby in place, but just did not push. I let her move with gravity during those times. All of the sudden, her head was out halfway. Rick could see her eyes, but her nose was smooshed to the side. I pushed her head the rest of the way out and felt tons of hair on her head. I pushed a total of 5-6 times before she came out. That is the best feeling when the baby finally slides out of you. Rick caught her and passed her between my legs for me to hold her while sitting in front of him. She was perfect and started crying right away. Juniper Leah was born at 1:49am on October 21st. My mom went upstairs and woke up Gideon. He sleepily walked over to the birthing tub and got to meet his baby sister! I moved to our couch bed to birth the placenta and start nursing Juniper. She weighed 9lbs 15oz and was 21.5 inches long. I did not tear and was so joyous because I knew I would heal faster. I did not realize that the post contractions after having your first child were more intense. I actually vomited due to the pain during one of them. They eased up later that day, but I was taking IBprofen to lessen the intensity. Everyone left around 5:30am when we made our way upstairs to our bedroom. A good friend came over to take our pigs to the processor for us. Juniper’s timing was impeccable and I am excited to be able to share this beautiful birth story with her. I believe my birth was perfect and my baby was strong and healthy due to my seasonal, organic, and home grown and wild meat diet, consistent chiropractic care, massage therapy, the support of my loving family and friends, and the best midwife in the world!

Salena Garber.

Karen Webster

WomanWise Midwifery: homebirth & women's health, 257 East Main Street, Elkton, MD, 21921

daughter, sister, friend, mother, midwife, nana, teacher.