Ep 44: Jessica’s Snowflake Births Transcript

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Below is the transcription for Jessica’s unexpected homebirth, her breech homebirth, and her homebirth with a big baby!  Each birth was very different.

Katelyn Fusco 0:03
Welcome to the happy home birth podcast, your source for positive natural childbirth stories in your community of support, education and encouragement and all things home birth and motherhood.

Well Hey there everyone and welcome to Episode 44 of the happy home birth podcast. I’m your host, Katelyn Fusco. And today we are talking about surprise home birth. What the heck does that even mean? Katelyn? I know you’re wondering. And don’t worry, we are going to get into it. Surprise home births and other snowflake births. You guys just going to love this mom. Jessica is an incredible mom of three. And she has every gamut of birth type, all home birth mind you that you could possibly have. So I cannot wait to jump into this episode. Before we do. Let’s go ahead and take care of some housekeeping. If you are listening to this episode right now, which you are, go ahead and take a screenshot or a selfie of you listening and post it to your Instagram stories, tagging, happy home birth podcasts and I will be sure to feature you and my stories as well. I would also like to thank our amazing reviewer of the week. And that is Sophia, ZZ for Oh gosh, Sophia. I’m so sorry for this. Sophia, she writes so encouraging and my first pregnancy. I just recently discovered this podcast and beyond thankful that it exists. As someone who’s pursuing a home birth for my first child, I found it difficult to find positive home birth stories on other podcasts that don’t involve transfers. hearing these beautifully told stories of women having full birth experiences at home is giving me so much confidence and joy. And of course it’s also helping my anxiety as a first timer to all of this. Thank you Katelyn for your work and I look forward to sharing you with with my clients who conceive she’s a fertility awareness educator, very cool. Sofia. Make sure that you contact me about getting on the podcast sometime. That’d be amazing to discuss further. Alright, so if you guys are interested in leaving a review, just remember that I will send you some type of goodie I just ran out of my stickers. So Sophia, email me at Katelyn at my happy home birth calm and I’ll let you know what’s going on with that. I’m actually getting the logo reworked right now. So get ready guys, things are changing. And I’m really excited to see what is coming and I don’t want to order more stickers until that logos done so. We’ll see how that goes. Anyway. Alright, so let’s go back to discussing this podcast episode. Remember, births are like snowflakes individual unique and often wet. But we’ll just focus on the first two for this one. Jessica sprit birthday are hyper unique and unexpected, and you’re going to love them. From a game time decision to have a home birth with her first seriously she was in labor, to a shocking position of baby number two to a much heavier baby. Number three, Jessica’s birth stories vary dramatically. And most beautifully. After all of these experiences. Jessica’s message to pregnant women everywhere is this. Don’t be fearful. She knows how much fear is infused in our culture regarding birth, but how unnecessary this truly is. So make sure that you listen to the end to hear Jessica’s advice on how to care for yourself and your emotions when it comes to the naysayers. And be sure you’re listening to the beginning


the beginning of the podcast to hear me sound like a dang fool with my own birth predictions of my baby. That is now here. And we know that I was super wrong when I did this interview. So love that. Now, as always, please remember that the opinions of my guests might not necessarily reflect my and vice versa. And neither one of us are acting as medical providers on this podcast. So be sure to continue to see your doctor, your midwife or if you’re like me, your chiropractor. So sit back, relax, and let’s enjoy this episode with Jessica. Jessica, thank you so much for coming on the happy home birth podcast.

Jessica McNutt 4:20
My pleasure. I am so excited to have you Would you mind introducing yourself and your family to the listeners?

Absolutely. So my name is Jessica and I am in Barrie, Ontario, which I have mentioned. It’s about an hour north of Toronto in Canada. And I am a mom to newly three children. I have a six year old son Bennett and almost four year old daughter Jolene, and then a brand new baby just over a week old and Noah, so two boys and a girl. And then my husband Justin, a little bit better.

Katelyn Fusco 4:52
That’s beautiful. Congratulations on that sweet new babe.

Jessica McNutt 4:55
Thank you.

Katelyn Fusco 4:57
So we were just talking before I start recording. And you mentioned to me that all of your babies have born at home, though the first one was not a planned home birth, I would love to know what happened.

Jessica McNutt 5:10
So I at the time, my husband and I were living in an apartment. And even to rewind slightly before that I before even getting pregnant, I always had the thought of birth sounded scary. And I think that’s like, you know, we chatted about that as well. That’s a really common feeling for a lot of people in North America, a lot of women in North America. And so I wasn’t I didn’t dream of having beautiful home births. I didn’t my mom didn’t have that experience. And and then somewhere along the line. So it was probably around the 12 week mark, something just shifted. And I thought like I want to take a little bit more ownership of this process. And I called our local midwives and which I know we’ll talk about a little how that’s different here versus there. And but I called them and they had an opening. And I remember them mentioning that they take on clients that are planning to have a natural birth, which like terrified me, but also was an exciting challenge at the same time. And so the whole journey as we weren’t, we were just looking at apartment, like I mentioned, and again based on media, and you know what you hear from people I was visualizing, you know, screaming and shouting and just really noisy and we had neighbors and I thought, okay, let’s plan for a hospital birth. And if this goes great, then I’d love to try a home birth the next time. So when the time came, I was about I was 41 weeks in a day with my son and I labored my labor started early was at 130 in the morning, and he wasn’t born until about 730 at night. But the early labor was really manageable until around 330 when things kind of kicked in. And again, same thing I have I’ve done this and you know some long races and half marathons in my past. So I had the mentality of kind of staying focused. And I wanted to kind of push it until I didn’t want the midwives to come over and tell me I was only like a centimeter. So I wanted to push it a little bit further. So when she finally arrived at around 630, and she had mentioned that I was really calm, which I did not feel calm. I felt like I had hit that wall of like I can’t do this anymore, which I know you’re probably familiar with,

Katelyn Fusco 7:12
Oh, I know the wall. well acquainted with the wall.

Jessica McNutt 7:16
Oh my gosh, it’s intense, right? You’re just like I cannot do anymore. And but she had said, Okay, we’ll check you out. And your two centimeters or three centimeters will make a plan. I remember just thinking I have done this all day. This has gotten like to the like my breaking point here. I don’t know how much more I can do. So when she was checking me out, I remember just seeing this look on her face and thinking Oh, man, she sounds to me like I’m a centimeter I don’t know what I’m going to do. She was like it’s dead said you are fully dilated, and I can feel your baby’s head. And this is in like the middle of March and Ontario, which is pretty cold. And you already feel those of you who had unmedicated birth, you feel like you’re on some kind of medication, because you’re all you know, everything’s just flowing and your total out of body. So at that point, I just she said we can have to be here, I have everything in my car, or we can go to the hospital. And if we were to go to the hospital, I would have had to take an ambulance because my water hadn’t broken and baby was like right there. So in that moment, just thought okay, this is like the way it’s supposed to be. So my husband came in the room and I don’t remember exactly what I said to him. It was something like we’re doing this year. And he was such a good partner there because he just stepped in said okay, and then they started setting things up. And he was born like less than an hour later. I was pretty

Katelyn Fusco 8:34
guys also cool. Thanks. I know it was pretty amazing.

Okay, so yes. All right, let’s let’s kind of unpack this because it is a totally different experience from anything that I’ve heard. So the way that it’s set up there your midwife This is so this is a nurse midwife

Jessica McNutt 8:51
knows that they’re just regular midwives, but they work really well with with an adult like ob gyn, but it’s free. It’s like covered in our healthcare. Here to have middle midwives. Yeah. Which I know it’s pretty different from you guys. Yeah.

Katelyn Fusco 9:07
We’re working on it.

Jessica McNutt 9:09
Yeah, yeah, one day soon, um, but they’re really in high demand. So like, even since I had my first compared to this time around, like, they’re really tricky to get in with, and they’re a lot stricter on. And they are, like, let’s just say they can only take 100 clients, if 99 of them wanted home birth, and then there was like, 10 people that wanted hospital birth, they would favor the home birth over the hospital, because you, they just want to make sure that those people have, you know, are able to have their home births that they if they’re able to. And but they’re Yeah, so it’s you, you have to kind of register with them right away. If you’ve had multiple babies with them that usually get a no problem. So for me this time around, it was not an issue that being with them before. And they usually working like teams of two or three. So you’re which is really nice. Again, I haven’t had babies and in hospital setting, but I know it’s kind of random whom you’re going to have deliver your baby. Depending on who you know, who’s on call that time. Right. And that kind of answer your question, though. Yeah. Yeah.

Katelyn Fusco 10:08
And to so they do have privilege, though, in the hospital to give you care?

Jessica McNutt 10:13
Yeah. So once you need to have any medical intervention, like an epidural or anything, then they have to pass that care over to an OB. Okay, gotcha. Yeah, but you get all of the like pre and postnatal care, which, to me is the best like so the, you know, the whole first week of having my kids, they come to your house, you don’t have to leave your home, you can just stay in your little bubble. And then after that, you have like your weekly appointments, they’ll six weeks at their midwives office. Gosh, they’re awesome. Like my email this time around with my kids being a little bit older. My daughter was using the Doppler on my belly every time you went in. I know. It’s so awesome. It’s like just so inclusive of the whole family. And it really again, I feel like it kind of normalizes birth a little bit more for that next generation. But

Katelyn Fusco 10:55
exactly that. I love that you bring that up, because that is something that so important to me, and that I know I get like, weird looks from people and weird feelings from people when I’m like, Oh, I really want my daughter to be at my birth and like, isn’t that traumatizing?

Jessica McNutt 11:13
No, no.

Katelyn Fusco 11:14
She watches water births with me.

So maybe I need love baby then like all of that kind of stuff. Right? Yeah, it’s pretty cool. It’s such a fascinating experience. That’s, that’s really neat. I’m excited to hear how your how your older kids played parts and you know, your subsequent births. But okay, so and another one more question that I had. So you had decided that you were going to use these midwives? What did you do in preparation, that first prenatal time around? Like, did you do any childbirth education classes? Or chiropractic? or What was that? Like?

Jessica McNutt 11:50
Yeah, so I did some massages I didn’t do I did chiropractic a little bit near the end, but nothing, not cuz I don’t go consistently anyways. But I did some massages for sure. With we’re awesome. I worked out all three of my pregnancies right to the end. Like, I think I’m pretty sure I went on my due date with my first very good exercise a lot prior to and I was just, I mean, some of my workouts were, you know, not very exciting. But I would thought at least get my body moving and staying a little bit of a routine. And, you know, if anything, it’ll help me have some stamina during the labor process. And in an analysis, there’s even from when I again, that six year gap between my first and my last, and there’s been so much research that come out about the benefit of of your heart rate getting raised through exercise, and how that benefits your baby’s heart rate in the years to come like post birth. So I thought that was really interesting. But as I did that, and then I did a childbirth class and my husband and I did about a six week series. And that was really that made a really big impact for me, because it was a nurse that was running it. out of her she had like a studio space that sold like, you know, baby goods, and they did prenatal classes and all that. But she talked about a much more natural approach to birth, which I thought was interesting coming from the medical field. Yeah, and one of the things that she said that always stuck out with me is that it’s really rare that you’re, you know, the topic came up about big babies. And she said, it’s really rare that your body will produce a baby that it can’t magically birth. And that just like always, I had because I thought man we get so you know, doctors will say with the big baby, we should schedule with Erin. But it’s really rare that your your body’s most likely designed to birth that kind of a baby. Of course, there’s you know, you know, some gray area there, but for the most part, so that gave me a lot of confidence going into having that first baby.

Katelyn Fusco 13:43
And how big was your first baby?

Jessica McNutt 13:45
Okay, so my first was 612. So he was tiny. My second my daughter and four, and then it was seven. So it’s a huge debt. No, that’s okay. I went 612 six, four and eight, seven. So it was a new, crazy difference. You know, is that is? Yes.

Katelyn Fusco 14:03
That’s awesome.

Jessica McNutt 14:05
Yeah, but that was really shocking

to be like, Oh, this is way more substantial. Only well, even when I saw him, they said what do you think his weight is? I don’t know. Like seven three. Maybe they just look so tiny on all the time. And then she was like, try it seven. I’m like, Oh my goodness. This is wild. Crazy.

Katelyn Fusco 14:23
Oh, my goodness. Yeah. So I am convinced that this baby that that I will by the time this airs I will have had for a while now. But, but it’s any day now. And I feel like it’s a big baby. And I told my midwife that I was like, I really feel like this is like a nine pounder. And she was you know, pounding my belly. And she was like, Yeah, probably not. Like,

Jessica McNutt 14:45
nine, I think it’s a nine. What was your? The weight of your first

do was 840. Yeah,

Katelyn Fusco 14:52
yeah. You never know.

It would be a decent jump. But I also think it’s a boy. So this is going to be really funny to listen to and a few months when, I mean, for sure. Especially if it’s a girl and it was like, you know, seven pounds. So totally surprises the best for sure. Okay, so your first birthing experience, you have your home birth, what did you think in the initial Aftermath?

Jessica McNutt 15:14
Yeah, it was crazy. I we also did not find that we were having everybody thought it was going to be a girl. So when was my husband like, sent out this random text? Okay, the Midwest coming over a row will keep you guys posted. And then like the next text to family was, it’s a boy, Homer, like everybody was like, What just happened? This is crazy. But Sophie, I know. And my, my mom and my dad come up to visit and I just like, greeted them at the door with this little baby. Right? It was just it was really, it was really cool. Like, I just thought, you know, it was like such a neat experience to have this baby in your home. And then again, like you don’t have to leave that little bubble ever. For as long as you don’t want to, which is so awesome. And, uh, yeah, it was pretty great. I yeah, I was, it was obviously it planted the seed that I loved it and I’ve done it two more times.

Katelyn Fusco 16:00
Clearly, clearly. Okay, so you so you had your home, your first home birth weren’t super expecting to have it. But then with your second birth, were you pretty confident you were going to go the home birth route again?

Jessica McNutt 16:10
Definitely. Yeah. So we were planning home birth again. And, and I wanted a water birth this time to, which was it started off kind like that. But I then the third time I just found and I don’t know how I don’t know the proper, like rules around it. But I know you can’t you cannot have a water birth in a bathtub here. It’s nothing to do with like a sewage system and stuff. But okay. Yeah. So you can only have a birthing tub. And it has to be like a legitimate rented pot. Like it couldn’t just be like, I’ve seen some birthing videos from people in the states and they have like a kiddie pool. So it can’t like that has to be an actual birthing tub. So they’re super big, they take a lot of effort to fail. So it was a lot more work than I thought really kind of worth it for here. So we did it that time. And then didn’t that didn’t the last time.

Katelyn Fusco 16:59
Okay, gotcha. Well, your second birth has some pretty interesting twists and turns in it. So would you mind telling us about that prenatal experience? And then give us your birth story with that?

Jessica McNutt 17:09
Absolutely. So I didn’t we didn’t do any other classes, prenatal classes with the second birth and but I did a lot of what you were just talking about earlier with your daughter, like watching videos and and you know chatting with other people who have had positive birth experiences. I think that is almost more powerful. Because it kind of reminds you like Yeah, yes, I can I can do this. And so a lot of that, and again, stayed really active throughout my pregnancy. At that time I had, you know, My son was just over two when my daughter was born, so you know, you’re busy with them. And she came a few days early. So I had had my 39 week midwife appointment on a Monday. And I went and they popped into my stomach and everything was good. Baby was looking great. And I headed maybe about a half an hour drive from where I live just had a few little like work errands to run. And that was my last day of kind of in the office stuff. And then I just remember like the whole day kind of had a few things that just made me kind of have to slow down like My battery died on my phone. So I went and sat in Starbucks to charge it was kind of like everything colliding to be like, Okay, you got to start relaxing, because this baby’s coming. And so I had a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, which again, I’ve had like consistently through through both of those pregnancies, and then I got home that night, things were starting to feel like you know, when you’re in that space, but you I was already over 39 weeks, so you know what’s going to happen soon anyways. And and then I went into leave around 330 in the morning that that Tuesday labored on my own till about eight o’clock just let them midwives know I forgive them quickly paid have a paging system here with our midwives. But page them, they called me back they said, Okay, we’ll plan to be there at around 1030. And so in hindsight, or I guess I don’t know if it’s in hindsight, or if that’s the correct word for it or not. But she ended up being born at 1020. So Oh, I got pretty crazy in that time frame. But I said yes, that sounds good. I feel good. Like, again, things were picking up but it was still manageable. Like once a contraction left, I felt totally fine. So that was the plan and all of a sudden nine o’clock hit. And everything just it was obviously went straight into transition labor. And that was really intense as you know. And and my sister and my husband were trying to fill up this tub that we had the hose that we had attached to it was like trickling water, they were boiling water on the stove, it was just a bit of a circus. Just moving really fast. And then I felt the exact same feeling that I had felt with my son kind of like dropping pressure. I can’t do this anymore. And I thought I’m going to check and see if I can feel this baby’s head because this feels like when the midwife could feel my son’s had the first time and so I dragged my husband to the bathroom. I think I put like a towel you’re like again, so out of body I laid a towel on the ground like I’m just gonna like have the baby here and he’s like what is woman talking about? You cannot do this nobody’s here. So I checked in I could feel what I thought was the baby’s head. And I had had a lot of indigestion to during this or heartburn story during this pregnancy which people tell you means that there’s a lot of hair so I felt like oh my gosh, it’s been we’ve got a lot of hair was really like soft into my we call the midwives they like rush over as best they could. We have a you have your main midwife and then they’ll call it on call backup midwife. There’s one for you one for the baby. And then I also had a student midwife on that team, who she was awesome as well. So anyway, they all kind of show up scattered between like, bar five after 10 and about maybe a quarter after 10 and so I had been lying on my bed was waiting for them to calm my water broke, you know how it was right? Everything just give them more intense, more intense, more done. And so I went straight into the tub when my main midwife came and they’re just so awesome. It was like instantly the the energy in the space went from like total chaos to really calm you know, she was like right down at the level of the tub with me saying okay, you can do this like trust your body just breathe like all the really calming positive things you need to hear that come to me right down and then I felt there to push and they are you know really allow you which again is what I just love about Murphy is they allow you to feel into it with your own body right rather than them telling you what to do. Right. So then I just started pushing in a setting the heads out the night she’s like, okay, lean back really casual, and it was a bomb. That was the squishy soft that I thought I felt that was hair. She was like super bald. On both sides. So accurate. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And so that was a shock. Because typically, and I and we had chatted about this to hear if you are if your baby is breached that you’re kind of odd fanatically just assume that you’re going to have a theory infection. So

thankfully, that wasn’t my experience. And thankfully, everything went really well. And my midwife that I had was is from Wales originally. So she had trained over there, which again, is is crazy that midwives aren’t taught about breech birth and how to deliver breech birth here in Canada anymore. And which it should still be a part as just an emergency or a backup. Like in my case, that stuff happens. And but she was super skilled. So I got right out of the tub. And when it was within like 20 minutes, the baby was born, placenta was out everything, it was kind of a bit of a whirlwind. But what they have to do here in case of emergency situations is call the paramedics. So they call the paramedics. And I guess, right as the as they arrived, and she came out, and they put her on my belly, and she was all good. So they didn’t have to they were able to send them on their way. Oh, good. Yeah, it ended up being really. And then with her we did a little chiropractic work after just because, in case anything was off of their hips. She was awesome. She was great. And I was great. It was it was like super wild and really uncommon, because again, breech birth are not the norm here. And but also amazing. And I had mentioned to you that it gave me the confidence, which I think is sometimes pretty often missing in birth today. And the confidence that if I if I had another baby that was ever breach, I would feel comfortable going into a hospital environment and opting for a vaginal breech delivery, rather than necessary infection. Right?

Katelyn Fusco 23:38
Yeah, that’s huge. That is so interesting. So did you like looking back because clearly you didn’t know and at the time, but could you find a time where you were like, Oh, yeah, I did have that really weird movement feeling or, you know, like when the baby flipped to the breach position.

Jessica McNutt 23:56
So she was only six, four at birth. And I’m 510. So I’m pretty tall. I have a long torso. So I don’t I don’t feel anything specific like a flip. But when I am, I mentioned I went look at a few errands rental while I was walking through with just like a local mall. But the big one. So when I was walking from one to the other, and I had a lot of those Braxton Hicks, there was there was a lot of movement, but nothing like super sudden. So she could have turned like fans burst. And then she right time, where it’s like this baby was quite a bit bigger. So I felt his movements a lot more. So I probably would have noticed that kind of a flip with with him. But no, nothing. Nothing to pinpoint. And it was crazy. Because it was just that day before like within a 24 hour period.

Yeah. So funny.

Katelyn Fusco 24:39

But so I’m sorry, go ahead and finish finish your thought I didn’t mean to interrupt.

Jessica McNutt 24:46
No, no, that’s okay. No, I was just saying that it you know it that 24 hour period that either the baby slipped, or they just didn’t catch it, for whatever reason about the bun was the head of the head was the bomb. But yeah, it was it was pretty intense.

Katelyn Fusco 24:58
That is Yeah, that is really incredible. And it’s funny that you mentioned that, you know, like the 24 hours before the baby was born, you had been checked and everything was normal. And baby, at least seemed to be in the head down position. That is exactly what has happened with with the breech birth that I attended that my wife caught. It was like, No, this baby was in the right position less than 24 hours ago.

What the heck

Jessica McNutt 25:24
Was it a small baby?

Katelyn Fusco 25:26
It was pretty Yeah, it was a pretty small baby.

Jessica McNutt 25:28
As you wonder if that’s me, me just there. So squirmy and little that they just kind of maneuver themselves.

Katelyn Fusco 25:34
Yeah. That is so interesting. Yeah. And it being a second baby. You know, those first babies typically engage earlier. Second, babies can wait until labor to actually get engaged in the pelvis. That makes sense.

Jessica McNutt 25:47
Yeah, for sure.

Katelyn Fusco 25:49
Very interesting. Okay. And so you had your breech Baby, you did some chiropractic care after? What’s the age difference between your second and your third?

Jessica McNutt 25:59
So almost four years. Okay.

Katelyn Fusco 26:02
All right. So so let’s go to this new birth this recent recent birth.

Jessica McNutt 26:06
Yeah, and I will add, and we can chat about this little bit after to it Yeah, I didn’t get any interventions, like not no stretching sweeps, or anything. Everything just happened on its own, because I’m also a huge advocate for letting things just happen.

Katelyn Fusco 26:19
Yeah, I agree. And I agree being coming from someone who didn’t take that advice with my first like, I got really excited and I saw some, you know, some pink tension mucus and how to how to midwife appointment I was like, you can just go ahead and check me. Oh, while you’re there, you can just go ahead and tweet me and granted the sweep wasn’t like it. She was like, yeah, your membranes kind of aren’t adhered anyway but still, like I was in that mindset of like, okay, let’s get it started. Let’s do something totally. And then I ended up having to forever long labor so now I’m like, No, no touchy touchy. Like, let’s let it go.

Jessica McNutt 26:57
Yeah, well, that will tie into this the third you want me to tell you a little about the third? Go for it? Yeah. So and he was also he didn’t invite we found out didn’t find out what we were having with our first and found out with my daughter and it didn’t find out this time because we knew we know like we’re going to three and so my gut said boy from the beginning and then lo behold, it was a boy. And but yeah, he was five days over his due date, which is always fun when people just you know, is that baby there yet and you start getting all those awesome messages are people like you will know when this baby is here? Believe me different. I know. Yes. You I will put a picture on social media believe it. Um, but he I had had with the previous two. I had had like I just went into labor I maybe had like, you know, mucus mucus plug. I lost that and like had the bloody show all that kind of thing. But I didn’t have any early contractions. It was just Braxton Hicks. And then the real thing. So with this little guy, I so he was born on May 23. So we have a bit ago. And on the Wednesday before that morning, I woke up early in the morning with contractions not super consistent, definitely not painful, just like really strong menstrual cramping, kind of, but different than the Braxton Hicks because, you know, that’s, to me was never that was never painful. It was just more like, uncomfortable. So I thought, okay, maybe this is happening again. I’m over my due date, like it’s gonna happen any day anyways. And so then that totally went away, just stopped. So I was like, oh, bummer, because every night my husband might be like, tonight’s the night this is going to happen. And the anticipation never like it’s always so exciting. I’m sure you’re in that zone. Right now yourself. Every day is this it? Um, you will see, right and I had started again, with my other two I had the mucus plugin stuff happened, maybe about three ish days before they were born. So then after that, Wednesday, but a contraction, I had had my mucus plug. So I thought, okay, maybe you can happen over the weekend, or I don’t know when this is going to happen. But obviously, my body’s preparing itself. And as far as any, like, natural and labor inducing things I all I ever took was raspberry red, like raspberry tea, raspberry tea, and which is more just uterus toning stuff, I guess anyways, but that’s the only thing I took and it wasn’t like by the pound. So just also that that’s a disclaimer that you just your body’s going to do it when it’s ready. Right. And so I went to bed that night. Again, the contractions have kind of kicked in a little bit more.

yeah, so I went into, went to bed with like them kind of on and off. But again, nothing consistent. I didn’t sleep awesome. woke up at around 230. And again, it was like, Okay, this is like worth time. So I started timing them. My midwife usually, like I mentioned, we have a paging system, but she actually gave me her personal cell phone number. She was like, we don’t want to she was my state midwife for my daughter. So she was there for the plan for breach. So usually, we don’t want any quick surprises when labor picks up for me, like goes really fast as you like, just call me directly. So I called her on my phone, it says 341 in the morning. So I called her 341 and said, Okay, I definitely things are happening. So she plan to come on over. So she got there just after 4am. And I found with my two previous births, I had a bit more back labor, which was painful, but more easier to relieve. Because like, you know, if you lean forward, I found that position kind of lifted the pressure off of my back. But with this when I had no back labor was all just really, really low. So there was nothing I could do to really get comfortable, I just kind of had to like, grit my teeth and bear it. And then when the contraction was done, it was done. So when she came over and checked me out, I was about three and a half centimeters, which was so new to me, because every other time they’ve come over all I know is like go time, right? So is this even me and how I feel like this is already really intense. And I think talk to the anticipation excitement, you’re like, you know, okay, this is finally happening. And so she suggested a stretch and sweet, she’s like, if you want, I can do a stretch and sweet down to get things moving along. And she had another person who had paid her who is going into labor as well. So they kind of have to bounce through, you know, assess where people are at in their labor. So I would rather just wait a half an hour, and then you can check me again. And we’ll see how I progress just because I know that when I get into the groove things just pick up quickly. And I haven’t had a stretch asleep before but I’ve heard kind of like what you said it can, it can pick things up a little bit more intensely. And then sometimes, like in your case, prolong your labor, right. So I thought, okay, I want to like see how this goes over the next half hour. So about maybe 40 minutes goes by, and then she checks me again, I was already at seven centimeters. So I was glad that I didn’t. So you probably would have just gotten away too fast. And that’s where for me, I can mentally get my head around. Okay, this is happening. You know, it’s a short term like I you know, I can I can mentally handle it. And but if things got too intense, too fast, I think that’s where I would start to panic maybe and then you know, you just get you just get really anxious like, I can’t do this, you know, you go into that kind of spiral. So then she called her her backup midwife. So this would have been around, I guess, close to five o’clock in the morning. So she calls the backup midwife. In that time, I’m my water breaks, which is always like the craziest feeling. It’s just like, I don’t know if your forehand but it’s just like that big pop, right? Yes. And yeah, so then I just all of a sudden was like, I’ve got to start pushing your again, you don’t need to tell you to do anything your body just takes over. And which I think is the coolest thing. And at this point to my two older ones had woken up around three o’clock in the morning. So my mom actually has an apartment in our basement. So they went down to her house. I would wanted them there for the paper, but just the timing wise, it was just like they were super groggy and like not in the mood. They went out with her and slept there for a little bit. And the backup midwife came we actually hired a birth photographer which was was really neat that she was there taking some photos. And then that was it. Really I hopped on the bed we opted to not do the tub birth this time. And so we had the bed all set up and I could look I should look back on my little notes that I have but between like pushing and plus until like I think I had two really good pushes and then that was it. And you know, but the the ring of fire is no joke. I kind of forgot about that retreat. Oh my gosh. I do just it can’t even explain it to people right when you until they deal with it themselves. But I just remember her saying okay, they had like half out one more good push. So mentally again, I was like, hey, let’s just do this. Because I would like this baby out. This is the most uncomfortable thing of you entire world. And as they pass came up to me, I remember I said out loud, my husband reminded me of this after that. I was like, I’m so glad I never have to do this again. What that wasn’t amazing, but just that intensity and the build up and all those things. So it was affirmation that that we are good as a family of five.

Yes, but it was again, just a little on more of a personal note there. Originally I had wanted to birth on all fours. But the way that my bed was set up, we have a small room, but we opted to have a king size bed. Because we just you know, with three little kids, it’s a lot more manageable, right? And everybody just piled in. But the way the bed was angled, she couldn’t guard my p erenium as well. And I love that that’s even something that’s important to midwives, they want to make sure that you’re going to have your recovery process is going to be good afterwards. And whereas in hospitals, most of the time you’ve had an epidural, most the time you’re on your back most of the time, there needs to b e some kind of other intervention, whether it’s a bit of an episiotomy, or forceps or something like that.

Katelyn Fusco 34:58
Just fingers…

like Oh, man, I hate seeing all the pictures with like, fingers…

Jessica McNutt 35:03
Oh, yeah, I know. Right? Super invasive, catching that long term, right? Yeah. So she suggested and again, it’s all like consensual there. She’s like, do you want she’s like, if you want to go this way, that’s fine. But she’s like, I can’t guard your name as well. So I kind of laid on my back side, like and then I’m on my side a little bit, which again, having back labor felt really good. And that gave her more of an opportunity to kind of make sure that I wasn’t pushing too hard. Or if I needed to pause to pause. And that resulted in I had no tearing, which was amazing going from like a bigger than my previous baby. And but again, like that’s the stuff that they care about, they care about your whole health, not just like, of course they want you have a beautiful, healthy baby, but they want you to be okay after the fact as well, too. And I’ve heard just like you were saying to like some really traumatic hospital birth and where it’s left, like permanent damage to women. And I was talking to a friend recently about it, who was saying she was dealing with like post stress disorder because of it. And this is years after having her daughter. So I think it’s, you know, mid mid, we’re free in general is just like super empowering for women. And they care about, again, the whole health of the mother and the baby, which is just awesome. Um, but yeah, so then he was born, they put them on my value screamed right away, which is always the best. And I had really wanted that golden hour because I didn’t get that with my daughter with just, you know, the one hour of uninterrupted skin on skin time. Right. So with her, they had to get her moving quickly, just to make sure everything was good. And yeah, so we had that full, probably just over an hour hit, we did delay cord clamping, which is great. Like all the things that I didn’t get to do with her because it was a bit more, not an emergency, but a little bit more, we had to kind of buckle down focus, right. And that was beautiful. And then the kid came up at around. So he was born at 552. And the kids came out maybe about a quarter after six or so. And they got I know. So they were just like, especially my son who’s six, he was like, Oh my gosh, this is like the best thing ever. And they got a full tutorial, the placenta, which was so fun, they were like so mesmerized by this giant thing. And that the midwife just like laid it out, they have like they put like this like sheet protector down and they put it right down to bed. And then she like pulled up the membranes and like show them where the baby lived. And show them the cord. And all it was just such a cool experience to have them like so present, but also aware of what was happening. They were you know, when my son, he was only two and my daughter was born. So you wouldn’t have really gotten all that. But from a six and an almost four year old, they really could kind of understand what she was saying about it, which was really neat. Oh, that is so cool. And yes,

Katelyn Fusco 37:46
that is one of my favorite things. I also do Placenta Encapsulation for some moms around here. And the the placenta tour, especially for kids is like my favorite thing to do ever. Because it’s lik e,

what the baby was where?

Jessica McNutt 38:01
How do they fit in that?

Katelyn Fusco 38:03
Yeah, I wonder the same thing I look at the sac I’m like, but really, how did they fit in?

Jessica McNutt 38:07
That is

so true. And then when you see them with their newborns, and they’re just like them as a problem I set up against my legs and his whole body just like you know, crawls into a little ball. I’m like, okay,

Katelyn Fusco 38:18
that’s all right. Fair, fair..

Jessica McNutt 38:21

Katelyn Fusco 38:23
Oh my gosh, that is so cool. I love hearing how it’s like every part. Every single one of your births was unexpected in some way. I guess your last one was a good, easy one to kind of end on except that your labor was well it really wasn’t longer. It was just that she came early and you were at three and a half centimeters. So that it that was a pretty good labor.

Jessica McNutt 38:47
Yeah. Oh, for sure. So that was that from in less like an hour and a half. I went from three and a half centimeters to baby was born. So

Katelyn Fusco 38:56
cool. So see everybody your your uterus and your cervix is not o’clock

Jessica McNutt 39:01
No, not at all! So you’d know this from from dealing with placentas is when the midwife was going through it. She’s like, this doesn’t look like a like an over. She is a more professional more than that. But more didn’t look like an old like an overdue placenta she got looks like bang on. So that’s also a reminder, we get so fixated on this date. And I heard somebody refer to that as like your birth month instead of one day. Because again, the day comes and goes and then we’re like counting down. It’s like well, wait, maybe my mom by five days. Maybe I’m not due for five more days. Right. Exactly.

Katelyn Fusco 39:33
That’s so true. And yeah, so I wanted to go back and think about your birthing times you your first birth you were at 39 weeks. Is that right?

Jessica McNutt 39:43
No, my first I was at 41 and one so it was over. Okay, I just over a week. Yeah. Right. So then that’s the average everybody that is the average first time mom birth guests date? 41. I know. Water? Yeah. Yeah. Do you have like, a day is over?

Katelyn Fusco 39:58
Yeah. Okay. And then to second, then you were 39 weeks without one?

Jessica McNutt 40:02
Yeah. So she was she was three days early. So 39 and four. Okay. And then the third one was? He was

40 weeks and five days over 40 and five, and he was your 887? Baby after two six ish pounds.

That so that was a surprise from this one. Yeah, I hear you guys. I couldn’t believe it. Yeah.

Katelyn Fusco 40:28
Oh, that is so incredible. Well, I love that. And we were talking about this before we started, you know, before we started the interview and recording, but you really seem to have such a heart for sharing this information with moms about birth not being scary.

Jessica McNutt 40:43
Yes. 100%. Because I think it’s, you know, and we had chatted, like you said about it, that it’s there’s so much fear around it right about the expectations that’s going to be painful, and all of these kinds of things. But, you know, I’ve heard described, I think this was from one of my midwives is that like, of course, it’s painful. But if we can even shift it to it’s really intense, but it’s also kind of pain that we know has an end to it, right? Whereas if somebody you know, if you’re a burn victim, you don’t know what the end of that pain is going to be like, right? Whereas this is some not that it’s predictable, but there’s some predictability to it, we know that your labor is not going to last forever, right? Eventually, the end, right? The more you can kind of surrender to it, which is really hard for a lot of people I think, and because I don’t know about you, but around here that a lot of people like to have control, right? They want to always know the gender they want to be prepared. They want to, like there’s just so many things in advance and up that knowing the genders bad, but I remember that right? My mate for not by me out with my first was that I thought, this is like my first intro into like, I’m not in control here. I can make informed decisions, and I can do all that kind of thing. But ultimately, this is going to unravel how it’s supposed to to unravel, right? So unless I try to force my agenda on it, I feel like it will go better. I know it’s kind of like a funny way to think about it. But I love that. That was kind of my way, just giving up that control, right? But also not giving it up in a way that like I’m not going to be proactive my birth, if that makes sense. I’m going to be proactive, but I’m going to let it happen how it’s supposed to happen. I mean, but I think if you can surrender and that’s what everything right, like I had mentioned before our call that I have run a few half marathons in the past, which I know is not super, not as exciting as a full marathon, but it’s still involved in it. Totally, it’s a big mind game. And I feel like birth is the same kind of thing, right? Because I’ll create like a playlist when I’m running. And if a certain song comes on, all of a sudden, I’m like, Okay, I got this, I can do it. I can like power through another 10 Minute. And or, you know, you’re running and you start telling yourself the story of like, Okay, I’m just gonna run to that streetlight, and you’re, you know, it’s, but it’s easy to also say, Oh, I can just take a break now and walk for like, it’s, you know, it’s a big mind game. And the same thing with birth, it’s anything intense that we’re doing, you know, you, I remember leaning on a table in my room This time around, and I had some birth affirmations laid out. And I just couldn’t get comfortable. I was feeling really like, I hard to even describe the words. But I remember just saying to myself, I can do this. I’ve got this and I would read through the affirmations that just kind of getting your mind on that path, rather than the worried turning into anxiety turning into I can’t do this and then your body kind of shuts down a little bit. Yeah. Which I don’t know if you know this, but I had read this really recently that contractions can stop if you’re in a stressed out state, which makes sense. Because with my daughter, when she was breech at first, even though everything still was fast, my contractions stopped for about two minutes straight. When I when she was like, half out of my body, because I didn’t feel scared in the moment. But I remember saying to the midwife over and over, like, Is she okay, like, but it was kind of like an out of body experience. So obviously, in that moment of me having that, like my body being in a state of fear, wondering about like, how is this baby doing? Your body just kind of shuts down a little bit, right. So and that’s how we tie into have people having really long labor’s or potentially again, if you get medically induced, and you stop having contractions, that’s what leads to, you know, potential emergencies areas, right, because your body is not progressing. Right?

Katelyn Fusco 44:21
Yeah, you’re so right. And and that just goes back to another topic of being certain that we’re, we’re really intentional on our birthing location, and our care providers, all of those things that we do have control over for the you know, to prepare us for the parts that we don’t have control over. Like if we can control who’s there, where it is all of those different types of really important aspects that gives us the ability to let go of that control over the things that we just, we just can’t.

Jessica McNutt 44:53
Yeah, absolutely. Very cool.

Katelyn Fusco 44:57
Man. Jessica, I cannot thank you enough for coming on the podcast. This has been such a cool interview, or I have just loved it.

I would love

to hear if you’ve got any, any wrap up thoughts for any moms that are maybe considering home birth? What do you recommend to them.

Jessica McNutt 45:16
And I love that. That’s great. And, and it has been such, it’s been super fun being honest with you, it’s really exciting. I can’t wait to hear it on the playback. But I would say to them, that if you’re in your heart thinking this is something I want to try, you can totally do it. And really filter who you’re allowing into your space during you know, the next nine months or so of your pregnancy. And really surround yourself with people who are going to support your goal. If there’s people who and being comfortable enough that if somebody starts to put you know, their two cents in, and it’s not in line with what you’re trying to achieve. Bullies saying to them, Listen, and this is what I have planned. And unless you have something productive to add, I really it doesn’t benefit me hearing it. And that’s sometimes it’s hard, right? Because people want to you know, and I think from people when they offer and negative experiences, it’s maybe a trigger point for them, maybe they’ve had a really traumatic experience. And it’s just their way of kind of letting that out. But know that you have to kind of guard this, especially if you’re more prone to worrying or having anxiety around it. But just again, surround yourself with really beautiful birth stories. And on YouTube, there’s so many lovely home births that you can watch. And and know that it’s going to be intense, but it’s going to be like all intensely, like painful, but it will be intensely beautiful, right. Like there’s just and as soon as over, like the sense of relief and the accomplishment that you’ve done this really amazing thing. And far away. It’s like I don’t even remember all the, you know, all the painful kinds of things like I know it in my head, but I don’t remember it like physically, you know, right. That would be my advice is that you can definitely do it. Surround yourself with really positive experiences that are in line with what you want. And be okay telling people to not offer advice. It’s not in line with that,

Katelyn Fusco 47:17
man. That is fantastic. That’s perfect. Thank you so much. Yeah, my pleasure. Oh, well, I have loved this so much, Jessica, I cannot wait to just keep in touch with you and hear how your motherhood journey continues.

Jessica McNutt 47:30
I can’t wait to hear about your safe arrival of number two. Thank you. Thank you.

Katelyn Fusco 47:36
All right. I know that you love that episode. As much as I did. I don’t even have to ask you. It was phenomenal. Jessica is amazing. Just like every person that I have had the opportunity to meet an interview so far. Oh, I just feel so lucky. Let’s jump up, up. Let’s jump in. Let’s just jump to the episode Roundup. So number one, how amazing is it that there will never be a birth just like yours. And you will never give birth exactly the same way twice. What an incredible opportunity for growth and experience. And truly what a privilege. The second thing I’ve been thinking about is just I love Jessica’s discussion of fearfulness and how it serves no purpose in birth. It’s so encouraging to hear women cheering each other on and reminding one another of their strength and power. The fact that our culture is just steeped in fear, especially regarding childbirth, which should be so beautiful, is a tragedy. Oftentimes, this fear seems to be surrounding the idea that birth is either dangerous or painful or both. And this podcast exists to show that those are not the only options. birth is safe and there’s plenty that can be done in the realm of comfort. If you’re curious about that, be sure to check out the cute little pain relief cheat sheet I made for you at my happy home birth calm forward slash pain relief. This is infographic cheat sheet syncs up beautifully with the series of Facebook live videos I’m currently in the middle of so be sure to check those out as well. Anyway, guys, I hope that you love this podcast episode, just like I loved this podcast episode, and I can’t wait to see you back here next week.

Pain Relief Infographic

Transcribed by https://otter.ai