The Home Birth Story of Rocket - Tulsa Birth Videography and Photography
Rocket’s birthday was one of those days that took my breath away in more ways than one. His mama labored beautifully surrounded by an incredible support team, he entered the world rather quickly and peacefully, with a strong little cry and tears of joy from his family, and then just as quickly as he came, everyone in the room began to realize that something had changed… and in a matter of minutes, little Rocket (and his healthcare team) was fighting for his life, while his family fought alongside him in prayer.
As the video and birth story will demonstrate… Thanks to the grace of God and an incredibly skilled midwife team, Rocket rallied back to life and is currently a perfectly healthy, chunky and beautiful four month old. I left his birth that night singing “I believe in you… You’re the God of miracles” (by Jesus Culture) through breathless cries as I praised the One who is truly the Breath of Life. I can only imagine what the Lord holds in the future for this little miracle! <3
Below is Rocket’s birth story from his mama’s perspective, starting a couple weeks before the “big day”… Enjoy!
Sunday May 21st
At Reasor’s I started having pre-labor symptoms like back aches stomach aches and headaches. I talked to Sarah about it, and she said it could still be several weeks before he is born.
Sunday May 28th
I lost my mucus plug. Sarah confirmed that it was my mucus plug. I told her that means I will give birth in the next month right? And she said, “yes exactly 😂”
Monday June 5th
I was dreaming that I was in labor and had called my mom telling her sorry it was Monday and not the weekend. That morning I noticed some bloody show and cervical mucus. I sent a photo to Sarah and she said, “It looks like your cervix is starting to change a little.” She asked if I’d had any contractions or cramps, and I said, “not that I have noticed.” I asked if this was a getting closer indicator and she said, “definitely getting closer.” I was still feeling achy and having headaches. She asked if I had been feeling that way the past few days or if they were new sensations. I said I’ve felt this way on and off since two Sundays ago, but not all day like that Sunday two weeks ago and all day today. She said those were all good signs and to try and rest eat and drink well and we will see what happens. I told her I would have a chiropractic appointment that day at 3. She asked if I would like to do an appointment early with her after the chiropractic appointment. I knew she thought something could be up to offer having an appointment a day early. At the appointment, Sarah told me that textbook I would probably go into labor within a week or so, but in her experience probably within 2 to 3 days. That night we ate out at Arby’s and TJ helped me clean the house and took pregnancy photos with Sage letters.
Tuesday June 6th
I had 4 contractions through the night. I didn’t realize they were contractions until the 4th one. I kept thinking what on earth is happening that is waking me up. Am I sleeping funny? Is TJ snuggling me too hard? Am I gassy? I was needing to relax through them. By the 4th contraction I was coherent enough to see it was almost time for TJ to start getting ready for his Tuesday morning bible study. TJ texted the guys saying he was going to sleep in as much as possible because I was having labor symptoms and just in case, he didn’t want to start the day off tired.
We started timing contractions and resting between. I sent Sarah a new blood tinged photo and told her I was cramping. The contractions were fluctuating between 10 to 20 minutes apart and about 1 minute in duration. By 7:00am TJ had decided not to go into work, and was texting Phil about setting up remote desktop at work. TJ made eggs for breakfast and then he left with Seth to pick up chicken minis from Chick-Fil-A and picked up some fruit and bread from Reasor’s. When he got home he made labor aide. I called my mom and sent Johnnie a message telling them we thought labor had started. I told Sarah some of them felt stronger like the contractions I had after taking the castor oil with Seth, and I had been asleep or resting for most of them, which I felt like was a good indicator of true labor. They slowed while I was getting ready for the day, and TJ suggested a family walk, and then Sarah also suggested a walk. Before our walk Alex came over and dropped off a bag of Mickey toys for Seth, and a fruit and veggie tray that Johnnie had made. The contractions started back lightly and slowly while on the walk, but it was difficult to feel them while walking. I had texted Angela earlier to see if she could go ahead and come on over to watch Seth, and she got to the house before we were back from our walk. During the walk I realized that I my labor may have been stalling because my family was not there yet, and TJ was mostly focused on taking care of Seth. I thought that maybe once someone else was watching Seth and my family was closer, that things would pick up again. I shared those thoughts with Sarah, and I let her know that Angela was there and that my mom and sister were on their way. She said that was good and that once they are there and you don’t have to worry about Seth you will be able to focus more. We got home and while Angela played with Seth, TJ started a pot roast in the Instant Pot and then went to take a nap.
At 12:57 I sent a text to Sarah saying that I had a contraction that I had to move and breath through. She asked if they were getting closer, and I told her they were still inconsistent, but stronger overall. Shortly after my mom and sister arrived and I started going through my early and during labor checklist. I was relaxing through my contractions at the kitchen table leaning forward with my legs wide.
At 2:11 Sarah was on her way, and soon after TJ woke up from his nap. We ate pot roast, and starting at 2:25 I had to stand through my contractions. Sarah arrived at 2:45 and did a heart rate check and went back to set up the pool. Soon after Brittany arrived and she got photos of Mom, Amber, Angela, and TJ rubbing my back and me labor dancing with TJ and Amber. TJ started my labor playlist in the living room and back in our bedroom. We headed back to the bedroom at 3:30.
I did some contractions on hands and knees on the floor and I got into the pool at 4:00. While I was in the pool Seth came to see me and seemed kind of concerned. He told me to “get out of ee water.” After explaining why I was in the water and that I was working hard and I may get noisy and that baby Rocket was coming, he said “baby Rocket is coming!” The pool helped, but spaced them out a bit. Sarah said if they continued to slow for about 20 minutes that I should probably get out. I had to get out earlier than that to go to the bathroom. I labored on the toilet with TJ and Sarah came in after a while and timed my contractions and she said they were “good” contractions lasting 2 minutes, and they were one after the next. This was the beginning of transition around 4:50. Sarah said that as soon as my water breaks we would probably have a baby real soon, and that I could try visualizing my water breaking and praying for that. TJ said I was doing great. Up until this point I had been doing well drinking water and eating peanut butter or yogurt between contractions, but they were so close together I was having difficulty doing anything. I couldn’t even take a lick of peanut butter. I knew the pool had slowed things down a bit before, so I didn’t want to get back in unless Sarah thought I could. When Sarah came back to the room she told me it looked like I was in the middle of transition, and that the pool would not slow down any of my transition contractions and that I could get in if I wanted.
I got back into the pool quickly between contractions. What I liked about the pool was that it took a lot of weight off my back allowing me to completely relax leaning forward over the edge of the pool. Outside of the pool if I was close enough to TJ to feel well supported, I didn’t have enough room for my belly. If I was far enough away to have space for my belly, I felt unstable and couldn’t relax my arms and legs completely. Sarah mentioned again that as soon as my water breaks we would be having a baby soon and to focus on that. I was telling Sarah that those vitamins worked well to keep my water bag strong. TJ asked Seth to tell Rocket to break his water, and he said, “break his water!” Seconds later I felt a pop and something rushing out and knew that my water had broken at 5:37. 3 to 5 contractions after my water broke I started to feel pushy. I told Sarah this, and at this point Sarah, Annabelle, and Rheanon (the midwives) started to put on their gloves and get things ready. Sarah put a mirror in the bottom of the pool to check my progress. I started to feel really hot and I was trying to relax my legs. Seth held a handheld fan next to my face, and TJ was rubbing my back. I felt the ring of fire and Sarah said she could see the top of his head and asked if I wanted to feel and that it would be in and out for a little bit. I was rubbing the stool that TJ was sitting on just trying not to grip onto anything. I tried to ask Sarah if I needed to stretch, but was having difficulty communicating it because I had so little time between contractions. I could feel him go up a little bit and then come back down with the next contraction. I pushed a little and could feel it burn and I knew he was crowning. The next push I could feel his head come out and Sarah said his head’s out. After the next push I could feel his shoulders and body come out and Sarah told me to reach down and get my baby. I pulled Rocket up to my chest and my cord was short, so I had to hold him low on my belly. He cried a couple of times and I moved back to the edge of the pool to sit down.
After about 4 minutes it looked like he was trying to sleep, but he actually wasn’t breathing. Sarah was rubbing his back and one of the other midwives was checking his heart rate. He slowly started turning white and his heart rate was dropping. Sarah was doing rescue breaths while he was still on my chest and when his heart rate dropped to 60 she asked someone to call 911 6 minutes after the birth. His cord was clamped and cut and he was moved to the floor. TJ briefly tried to make his way over to Rocket, but he quickly realized he wouldn’t be much help and should probably stay with me. I was holding my cord asking someone what I should do with it. The clamp had fallen off and there was blood in the pool at this point. TJ got the clamp and went to re-clamp my cord, but I thought they were scissors and was concerned that he was trying to cut the cord. Everyone in the room was praying. TJ and I couldn’t see him on the floor, but afterwards we found out the midwives were doing compressions, positive pressure ventilation and stimulation. I could see Brittany on the phone in the hallway talking to the dispatchers on 911. After the second round of compressions Rocket came around and we could hear him cry and his heart rate was back up over 100. The total resuscitation was about 4 to 5 minutes. My mom and TJ helped me out of the pool and over to the bed. I was helped out of my swim suit and Sarah handed Rocket back into my arms. Paramedics arrived about 6 minutes after the 911 call, and Sarah was asking for them to wait since Rocket was stable and in my arms. With some help from Amber I was able to get Rocket latched and nursing.
My placenta had still not come out and Sarah was directing me to help push it out. I couldn’t feel how to push and I wasn’t having any contractions that I can remember. Sarah then asked me to cough. Eventually the placenta came out, and it was bigger than Seth’s. I was still bleeding a little more than the midwives would like, so they rubbed my uterus and herbs to hold in my mouth. When that didn’t slow it down enough they gave me a shot of pitocin on the outside of my left thigh. My uterus was hard, but blood was still trickling. Annabelle was asking if I needed to pee because apparently a full bladder can put pressure on the uterus and cause prolonged bleeding. I couldn’t tell if I needed to pee because I still couldn’t feel what was going on down there and my uterus was cramping. They did a second round of uterus rubs, herbs in my mouth, and oil on my legs, then they decided to do a second shot of pitocin on the inside of my right thigh. It was still trickling blood, so Sarah told me she needed to check for blood clots in my uterus. I was excited that I was able to labor and birth with no vaginal checks and I didn’t tear, but this one check made up for them all in the pain department. She did find and remove a blood clot that was possibly the blood clot that caused my bleeding problems from 13 to 21 weeks of my pregnancy. After removing the blood clot, it slowed enough that they could help me go to the bathroom. Sure enough I did need to pee and it probably was putting pressure on my uterus. Sarah was explaining that small gushes of blood, especially while nursing, is perfectly normal, but they were just concerned because it was a continual flow. It was slow enough, though, that I didn’t lose enough blood that would be considered a hemorrhage. I was glad to hear that, especially since I thought the paramedics were waiting around in case I needed to go in to stop my bleeding.
When I got back to the bed TJ was holding Rocket skin to skin, and before Sarah took him to do more checks, Rocket decided that it would be a good time to pee. Sarah took Rocket back to check his breathing and his heart rate. His breathing rate was 64 which is a little on the high side, but close to the normal range of 40 to 60. At this point the paramedics who had been patiently waiting for almost an hour came back and to see us. The man who came back to see us was very gracious and thanked the midwives for what they do and shook our hands and congratulated us. He had me sign a waiver saying that we declined transport to the hospital.
Earlier Sarah had called Janell, my chiropractor, to see if she could come over to do an adjustment on Rocket. She arrived shortly after the paramedics leaving and did a newborn adjustment.
At this point we were able to start the typical after birth routine. Sarah took Rocket’s measurements and weighed him. Brittany was back taking photos of Rocket, and the other midwives had my herb bath prepped. Rocket’s head was 13 inches, he was 18.5 inches long, and he weighed 7lbs 2oz.
After Rocket’s normal checks I took my herbal bath to help with healing and Brittany got some pictures of Rocket with his placenta.
Faith came by with her pulse oximeter and Sarah took oxygen level measurements on Rocket which were all between 95 and 100. We did some photos with the midwives and hugged and said good night.
We got dressed and visited briefly with family that was in the living room and got some family photos with Rocket. Brittany was the last to leave other than family around 8:30pm. We gathered our things and got ready for bed while family held Rocket, and then we went to bed for our first night with Rocket.