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Penelope Jane was Born at Home


by Shoshanna Easling

April 2011

I was due July 26th. My belly growing larger by the minute. It was then Aug. 19th. People thought that because my due date was July 26th, I would have my baby by then. The further past my due date I got, the more extreme the looks of worry and pity I got. By week three, people started offering to try and induce my labor. It is truly crazy what some people come up with. I knew the baby and I were healthy and that when it was time, it would happen. Rushing labor can cause a lot of problems that I wanted to avoid. Also, a late baby is a healthy one, so wait I did.

The evening of Aug.19th, James (husband) and I (Shoshanna) were watching a movie. It was about 10pm, and I was getting tired. Then I had a contraction. Wahoooooo!!!! Ten minutes later I had another, ten Minutes after that I had another. At this point I knew I was truly in labor, so I told James. Wahoooooo!!!! He ran around with total excitement for about 30 minute. Even though I knew I was in labor, I also knew I would need all the sleep I could get for the hard labor. We settled down and went to bed. I practiced the Bradley Way by preparing with birthing exercises and then relaxing through labor. It might sound crazy to some of you but it really worked. Why fight contractions? Your body knows what it needs to do and if you relax it can do its job. This is the way to have a great birth. It is better for you and your baby for you to relax. I had contractions 10 to 30 minutes apart all night. I slept quite well and woke up excited; I was in labor. That day I walked, danced around, took a nap, watched a movie, and made sure all of my office worker saw me so I could tell them later that they saw me in labor. That night around 8:30, James and I drove to the Amish community to pick up my Amish midwife named Mary. We got back around 9:15 and set Mary a place to sleep. I told her I want to relax and sleep as long as I could. James and I got in bed around 9:40. James was massaging my lower back, and I was relaxing to the point where I looked asleep. I was in the middle of a contraction so hard it felt like a sumo-wrestler was trying to squeeze the baby out of me. 9:45, POP!!!! Water flooded our bed. I jumped up bursting with laughter. James was in shock, not yet knowing why his wife who looked like she was asleep almost flew out of bed in laughter. That hard contraction popped my water. I could not stop laughing about it. It felt so weird. They cleaned up the bed and I got in my birthing hammock I designed. It hung over my bed. It lets me be in the squatting position without me having to hold my weight. Squatting opens up your pelvic bones, thus widening the way for the baby. The baby was laying on my right side which gave me more back pain then I wanted. The left side is best for delivering. It seemed like just minutes had passed when I felt the need to push at 11:00. Mary wanted to check and make sure I was fully dilated and effaced before I started pushing. I knew I was because I felt the head right there. Mary and James were shocked to see the baby’s head so close. I got back in the hammock. This baby was coming ready or not. I was holding back because I knew if I pushed the baby would come out leaving skid marks. Coming out too fast you are more likely to rip. Your skin needs time to stretch. They told me I needed to pick myself up to readjust the hammocks birthing hole (that will be redesigned). Her head was already crowned. It does not feel good to tighten your muscles up when a head is between your legs. As as soon as we got it readjusted, I relaxed and let the baby come. 11:15, bulallump! It felt good as she came out. “Its a girl!!!! Its a girl!!!! I had a baby girl!!! Jeremiah James wake up, wake up. Mama had a baby girl!!!” Jeremiah (5 yr. old) had a baby sister being birthed 15 feet away and slept through the whole thing. Eight pounds of perfect Penelope Jane was born.

Every women that is going to have a baby should read Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon. This book teaches you how to prepare your body for birth. I have two wonderful children and I have had two wonderful births.


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Did You Know?

After childbirth, a mama's body is gearing up for breastfeeding. It also begins a cleansing process as chemicals, hormones, and nutrients are all adjusting to proper levels as before the pregnancy. The liver, kidneys, colon, etc. are all very involved in this cleansing. Herbs that aid in this process are known as liver cleansers and as blood purifiers. Amazingly enough, many of the liver cleansers and blood purifiers also promote milk production. Some of these herbs are: Fennel, Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, and Dandelion. Most of us may not see the relation between breastfeeding and cleansing. However, God provided the herbs that aid the new mother to get both jobs done. The Mama's Milk Tea recipe was contributed by one of our readers, and includes herbs for after birth.