Deborah Grace 2 days old
*I’m sharing my complete birth story so be prepared for details!*

I have been blessed with fairly short labors – something I don’t take for granted. I’ve never known a long 24-48 hour labor, even with our first child. By the fifth time around I pretty much expected the same labor. I’m learning, however, that every delivery is different and full of surprises. 🙂

Thursday morning (December 29th) I woke up at 2:00 am having contractions. They continued until morning, finally stopping around 10:00 am. I was a little frustrated, but tried to be content. I was still pretty sick with a sinus infection and my husband didn’t feel I was quite ready to give birth yet because I could hardly breathe!

Friday morning, (December 30th) was my due date, (though very few people actually knew that!) I was two weeks late in delivering Olivia, and this time around, emotionally I couldn’t handle the questions that would come if I went late again. It was rather exhausting. So I told everyone the baby was due sometime around the beginning of January – which didn’t give me much time but it didn’t get December stuck in everyone’s head.


That morning around 10:00 I started having contractions again. They came about every 30 minutes and I could handle them on my own. I didn’t call my sister or midwife for a long time as they never seemed to pick up in strength or speed. Finally in the afternoon they started getting a little harder, (though I was still on Facebook posting around 2:00 and nobody suspected a thing!) I eventually called my sister and told her that she might have to cancel her plans for the evening. When I called my midwife around 3:00 to tell her that I was having contractions, she asked if I had seen a bloody show yet. I said no, and no sooner did I get off the phone with her than I had a bloody show. I texted her back right away to let her know, and started to get hopeful that something would happen that day.

The contractions finally got hard enough to need my husband’s help through them around 6:00. By that time my mother in law had come to pick up the children, so we were finally alone. My husband had blown up the birth pool earlier in the day and started filling it with water so we wouldn’t drain the hot water heater all at once. I sat in bed frustrated with infrequent contractions, so much so that I needed something to distract me. So, my husband cozied up beside me we watched an online video about marketing on his iPod! Every time a contraction came (about every 15-20 minutes) I would press pause real quick, and he would squeeze my hand through the contraction and then we would start watching again. As many of you well know though, you can’t distract contractions forever.

Finally around 7:00 my sister arrived. After talking to my midwife on the phone again she encouraged me to get out of bed and walk up and down our stairs several times to try to move things along. I was pretty tired at this point and she didn’t want to drag things on until 3:00 in the morning for my sake.

So up and down the stairs we went; and then my husband brought in a birthing stool he had made and I sat on that. My sister was writing notes, and she wrote down at 7:50 that my contractions had stopped as she didn’t hear any noise coming from the living room. 🙂 I actually was still having contractions, about every 15 minutes or so, but I was able to stay very quiet and calm through them. My husband would hold my hand during the contraction. At one point I was actually sleeping in between them as I leaned against the couch. That bit of rest came in handy towards the end.

Me taking a wee nap between contractions while Sean checks the news!

My midwife ended up coming at 8:40 to check me. I was getting discouraged because the contractions were not getting closer and only slighter harder in pain. Thoughts of a 24 hour labor were starting to come into my head, but I tried to shoo them away. She checked me at 9:10, and told me to my extreme surprise that I was dilated to an 8 already! Praise the Lord! We sat and chatted in between contractions until I finally asked her if I should get in the birth pool. She said I could, so I started making my way there. I had several contractions on the way, and getting in was hard.

The water felt wonderful, and after having one contraction I asked her if I could try pushing. She said yes, but only during a contraction.

Mere seconds before Deborah Grace’s birth!

The next contraction I started pushing but no one really knew that I was. I was very calm and didn’t make any noise (a first for me pushing a baby out!). My midwife told me later she saw some blood come out in the water, and quickly reached down to check me only to feel part of the baby’s head already being born! In just two contractions Deborah Grace was born. I pulled her out of the water and checked instantly to see what gender the baby was. We were elated to discover that we had another girl, and everyone was almost in shock that I had just delivered the baby! I think I was in the birth pool 5-10 minutes total before delivering!

We couldn’t be happier!

Deborah was born with her hand up by her face, which my midwife said was the cause of all my strange contractions. She had seen labors like mine before when the hand was up at the face, and there isn’t enough pressure on the cervix to cause it to dilate faster.

Our precious bundle

I’m honestly still trying to process the birth as it was just so different than my others – in a good way! My contractions never got as intense and overwhelming as in my other labors. This is the first time that I have taken Red Raspberry capsules (I took 8 a day during the last month), drank the Mama’s Red Raspberry Brew from The Bulk Herb Store, and did Evening Primrose oil from 37 weeks on. I’m guessing that made a difference in my contractions this time. I feel like ultimately, though, God really blessed me with a wonderful labor and gave me an immense amount of “grace“!

Little Deborah and I have been snuggling and getting to know each other these past few days. : ) She started nursing without any problems, for which I’m very grateful. Every baby I have I get more relaxed as a mother, and the newborn days are not nearly as scary and overwhelming as when I had my first. She is a precious little girl, and I am so thankful to have a third daughter!

40 Comments on The Homebirth Story of Deborah Grace

  1. What a precious story! I am so happy that everything turned out well. It is encouraging to hear that your labor turned out so beautifully and not so painful. I'll have to keep those supplements in mind for next time. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy!

  2. What a great birth story! I've read about the tea and use of red raspberry. I've been planning on taking the supplements and the tea the closer I get to delivery.

    When did you start taking the supplements and drinking the tea? You said that you began taking 8 capsules a day for the last month…just trying to figure out how much is recommended to take. How much tea did you drink? How long does half a pound of the tea last?

    Any info is appreciated!

    Congratulations 🙂

  3. Congratulations on your beautiful birth and your beautiful daughter! Thank you for sharing your experience and God bless!

  4. Beautiful story and gorgeous baby!

    You just described ever delivery I've ever had – aside from the home birth. I've never been able to deliver at home because of complications and hemorrhaging during my first. I totally understand all of the frustrations you felt!!! My contractions never got terrible but they went on and off for days and I was never sure just when to do anything about it…even with the 4th. Very frustrating!! But, I'm more than ready to go through it all again if God should bless us with another one {Which I hope He does soon!}. =D It's all so worth it!!

    Your baby is precious and I love her name! She's beautiful!


  5. Praise God! I'm so glad your baby is here and everything went so well! How exciting for your family. New babies are so sweet and special.

    And her name is beautiful! 😉

  6. Thanks for reminding me about the supplements to start taking! I read about them before I got pregnant again and had completely forgotten! Any added info would be much appreciated 🙂

    Congratulations on the birth of your baby girl! She is precious!

  7. Shannon,

    I will write another post in a few days with more details on the supplements I took and how much. 🙂

  8. What a beautiful story. I am sooooo happy for you and your family. What a blessing little Deborah will be and has been for you already. I wish I could have another baby….but hopefully soon I will be a grandmother. My 21 year old daughter married this year.

    blessings to you and your whole family. Thanks for sharing the details of this remarkable event.


  9. Congratulations!!! My fifth was born with her hand next to her hand as well.

    Looking forward to your post on supplements as we are expecting in early June. … going to follow your advice and say mid June since we've been late before. 🙂

  10. What a beautiful story!! I know all about the strange contractions. It really does make it more exciting when you get fully dilated without even having the really extreme contractions though. I can't wait to meet little Deborah. 🙂

    I will definitely be trying the supplements next time around.

  11. So jealous : ) I would love a home birth but my bleeding disorder makes it a big no no. I love my doctor though, although I'm starting to think about a midwife assisted birth at a hospital, I'll have to see if our insurance covers it if we have more children. Stories like this make me really want to try a birth pool.

  12. What a wonderful story! You make it sound so easy! (I've had 2, so I know each one is different; I hollered myself hoarse on the first, barely made a sound on the second). What I thought was very interesting is that her hand was by her head. My first was that way too–tore my cervix and everything else. I'll have to look into those herbs you mentioned. I'm due sometime in July (I don't have an actual due date yet).

  13. Congratulations on your beautiful daughter! I always dreamed of having a drug free water birth but ended up with two c.sections – the complete opposite! I am thankful and content with our two healthy daughters now ages 3 and 5. God truly is good! Thank you for sharing your birth story.

  14. Congrats on the new baby girl! So glad to hear everything went so well and that baby is healthy!
    One question- what does the Evening Primrose oil do and what dose did you take? I am looking into herbs and such for my upcoming delivery in May. This will be my first vaginal birth after 4 c-sections and I have to do it all 100% all natural (safer on the old scar). I have been drinking lot's of raspberry leaf tea. Any additional suggestions you may have would be much appreciated. 🙂


  15. Congratulations! Your daughter is BEAUTIFUL!!!! 🙂 So glad that every thing was as nice for you as it was. Praising the Lord with you.

  16. What a beautiful birth story! Unfortunately, home births are illegal in Louisiana. I had to settle for a hospital birth with a doula. I pray that God will allow me to have a water birth at a nearby birth center in Texas. All home birth and water birth stories are so inspiring. Enjoy your bundle of joy! God bless!

  17. Deborah is beautiful, and I'm glad she didn't make it TOO hard on you coming into the world. 😉
    Although all labors are that…LABOR. It's hard work, but oh, so worth it. 🙂

    I'd forgotten about the Red Raspberry Leaf thing…I did that some with my last pregnancy, but want to be much more religious about it with this one.

  18. What a blessing your labor story is, I enjoy hear about other story and have found them to be as different as each child. GOD is great and he has blessed us women greatly.

  19. What a beautiful story. Congratulations on a beautiful baby girl!

    I also had irregular contractions and a very long labor, (33 hours total) and my little girl was born with her hand next to her face as well. I never thought that it could have been the cause of the long labor though. I too was born with my hand next to my face, but only after a 3 hour labor. The funny thing is, as soon as he saw my head and hand, my mom's doctor exclaimed that I was girl! I guess it's fairly common for girls to do that?

  20. So happy for you that your daughter is here! Praise the Lord for a safe delivery!! Just wanted to let you know that I will be praying for you as you recover and also as you have moments of sadness as you miss your mom. I have a daughter that was born 1 year after my mom passed away. She is now 4 and loves to tell people about her Grammy that is in heaven.

  21. Thanks for sharing your story! It is always interesting to read other people's birth story and spend some of that special time with you!

  22. Caroline, Your birth story is truly amazing! God's hand is visible and I'm so thankful for you. Grant's feet and then hand were by his face and it made contractions without progress. I was in the hospital in labor for more than 30 hours with little progress while they desperately tried to move him. It was only after much prayer that his birth was even possible. I'm just sitting here in Awe at how it was even possible to push Deborah out and how fast it went. Praise God and I'm so happy she's here!

  23. What a wonderful birth story! :-)Thanks for sharing. We are probably going to have our next baby (whenever that happens) at home. I had our second baby in a birth center, which was great. But I'm ready for a home birth next time. 🙂

  24. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I'm 38 1/2 weeks with my 4th (in 5 and a half years) and am more nervous this time than ever for some reason. Your story encouraged me.

    Congratulations on your little girl!

  25. I am so excited for you! I am interested in becoming a midwife, and I looove reading, and hearing birth storys. Especially the home birth ones! Congratulations, and God's Blessings to you! I pray Deborah will grow up to be a godly young lady.

  26. I love your sweet story, Caroline! My contractions are usually very intense from the beginning as well–so I would be taken off guard if they weren’t as intense either! I really like your idea of not sharing your due date. I was 12 days overdue this time around, and I felt very, very stressed at the end when she had not come and people kept asking me about it. I finally updated my personal FB page and said I wasn’t updating any more until she came…and she was here a few days later! Blessings to you…and thanks for sharing your story!! 🙂

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