Updated: May 7, 2022
After two non-medicated hospital births, we felt called to have our third baby at home. Our first girl and she gave us a run for our money! Between having a low lying placenta after 32 weeks gestation and then baby being breech, I wasn’t sure we were going to get our home birth, or even a natural birth at all. God saw us through though and with, I believe, special intercession from Saint Philomena.
Saint Philomena is the patron saint of infants and hopeless causes among other things and is also known for being associated with great miracles. We fervently asked for her prayers and prayed for God’s will. The doctors did not think the low-lying placenta was going to move and wanted to schedule a cesarean section. God had other plans, though, and I was completely cleared at the 36 week ultrasound! But we also found out then that baby was breech. No worries, I thought to myself, I’ll just do all the Spinning Babies exercises, etc. and we’ll get her to flip. After 2 weeks of trying allll the things with no luck, some anxiety set in. While I believe breech birth is often a variation of normal, there were some limitations with our location and not having a doctor nearby who would support us. My amazing midwife suggested a doctor who is very good at doing external versions. So at 39 weeks, we had a successful version and then we just had to wait on baby to come.
One evening the next week, I was feeling a little crampy but no other signs. By 8 p.m. I was having very mild contractions about every 15 minutes. I called my midwife to let her know something might be starting. She said to let her know if they started to get closer together. By midnight, they were every 10 minutes but still pretty mild. I was in bed and trying my best to sleep. I was debating whether to call my midwife. It still felt like very early labor to me. At this point, both our boys had woken up and come to our bed to sleep.
Around 4 a.m. I got up to get a drink and use the bathroom. Contractions were still about every 10 minutes and mild to moderate. I decided to lie on the couch for a while. I then had a more intense contraction that was difficult to breathe through. I called my midwife and she told me to call her right back if I had another intense one. Then about 10 minutes later, at 4:20 a.m., I had another intense contraction...and my water broke! I immediately called her right back and she said, "ohhh, ok! I'm running!" She lives 45 minutes away so now I was getting worried she wouldn't make it in time.
I went back in our room to wake up Ethan and grab a new nightgown since mine was now soaking wet. I called my mom who was downstairs and she came up to watch the boys on the baby monitor in case they woke up. Contractions were intense and every 7 minutes at this point. I told Ethan to grab the birth supply box and go in the now empty kids room. I sat on the bed in there as still as possible. I felt like the more I moved the faster baby would come, and for once, I was hoping for slower! Contractions were coming closer and closer and I told Ethan to grab some more towels. He went to get something else and make sure the door was open for the midwife team. He wasn't gone long before I started yelling for him and told him to stay right with me. I used an essential oil blend on my tailbone and chest breathed it in.
Closing in on 5 a.m., I laid on my side on the bed knowing baby was coming any second. The surges were so intense. I squeezed Ethan’s hand and panted trying not to push. I surrendered the situation to God’s hands knowing He knows best and the midwife would get there as soon as she could.
Ethan called the midwife to tell her baby’s head was starting to crown. The midwife was just 5 minutes away now and driving as fast as she could. Baby girl’s head was now born and Ethan knew exactly what to do. He was so calm. I guess his days as a kid watching animals give birth prepared him! I gave a small push with the next contraction and our baby was born at 5:02 a.m.
Ethan caught her and put her right into my arms and covered us with a towel. She was perfect. The midwife team came in just a few moments later. They peacefully checked baby and me without disturbing us. Our boys woke up a few hours later and they came into the room in such awe of their new little sister, Lucy. It was magical.
Lucy was born on Saint John Vianney's feast day. John Vianney was deeply devoted to Saint Philomena and erected a chapel in her honor. When he later became deathly ill but miraculously
recovered, he attributed his health to Philomena's intercession.
For anyone struggling with infertility or a difficult pregnancy, I pray you feel God’s presence in your life. He is always there. Deo Gratias. Saint Philomena, pray for us.
This birth story is shared by Jackie. Jackie has been married to husband Ethan for almost 6 years. She is a mom to 3 and a registered veterinary technician turned stay at home mom. After some health issues and miscarrying her first pregnancy, she now teach others about natural plant based wellness to help them feel empowered in taking control of their health.