Wild pregnancy, Kaylee’s birth story (Part 2)
Welcome back to part 2 of this podcast episode, where I chat with Kaylee, a mother of 4 currently in Missouri, USA, and get to know her incredible journey of birth.
Listen to this podcast episode below
An Extraordinary Birth Story: Unassisted Birth Amidst Mother Nature’s Embrace
Picture yourself amidst the splendor of nature, basking in the warm sunlight, and serenaded by the melodies of chirping birds and a gentle flowing creek. The stage was set for a momentous event – the arrival of a precious little life, where Kaylee could feel her baby’s reassuring movements, filling her with profound peace.
Join us as Kaylee recounts each heartfelt moment, from the decision to give birth outside to the revelation of the baby’s gender that left everyone in awe. This powerful narrative is a testament to the innate strength and resilience of a woman’s body during childbirth, guided by the wisdom of nature.
“Through the long hours of labor, my husband never left my side. His unwavering support and encouragement kept me going. Birth is a team effort, and we faced it together, stronger than ever.”
Witness the love and unwavering support from friends who stood by Kaylee’s side throughout this magical journey. Their presence during the birth and thoughtful postpartum care added an extra layer of beauty and significance to this exceptional experience.
This episode addresses common questions and concerns surrounding unassisted births in nature. It delves into the natural birthing process, the profound connection forged with the newborn, and the surprisingly sterile and nurturing environment found in the heart of Mother Nature.
If you’re seeking inspiration, profound emotions, and an uplifting experience, we invite you to immerse yourself in this captivating episode. Unveil the true power of birth, celebrate the bond between mother and child, and discover the wondrous miracles that unfold when nature takes its course. So go ahead and press that play button – you won’t want to miss this magical journey!
Transcript of this episode
Kaylee: I had asked James to check the day before, but he hesitated because he didn’t want to give me discouraging information if he couldn’t feel the head. But after pushing for about 10 hours, I insisted that we needed to know if the baby’s head was descending. So when he checked and told me that the head was still high up, I was shocked. I shared this with my midwife friend and expressed my desire to hear her opinion. After six days of labour, we needed to know what was happening.
Ashley: And this was after a night of intense and challenging labour, right?
Kaylee: Oh yeah, definitely. It was a tough night.
I would say this is like this is like 100% active intense labour. I feel like this is the labour that people describe right before their babies comes out, but I feel like I was going through that for like. 30 hours.
She felt him at one point and he was still up pretty high, but after two hours of walking around doing moving my stomach around, lifting my stomach during contractions, after about two hours of doing that, I asked her to check me again, which I mean I could have checked myself.
I wanted to know my midwife friends opinion. I don’t even hardly trust my like I I’m just so tired, like we’re so exhausted that I was just really wanted someone else’s wisdom at this point. And so she. Fell. And she’s like, oh, his head is like, right there. Like, he’s he’s about ready to come out. And at that point. We’re like, oh. My gosh, OK, this is happening.
Well, I was just gonna say for the whole 6 days, my husband and I kept praying, “OK God, is this what we’re supposed to do? Are we supposed to continue on?” We felt peace about going forward. Like this is what He was asking us to do because He wanted this to be a testimony that would glorify Him and give Him honour. So we just had that peace to keep going.
At one point, I think it was around day 4:00 AM, I said, “I don’t know, babe. I don’t know how we can keep going on like this.” We prayed again, “God, can you just give us a sign if we’re supposed to do something different? Are we supposed to go somewhere? Get help?” And right then, that same day, there was a huge storm and flash flood, and our whole road flooded, and no one could leave.
Yeah. So then my friends were only able to come because they had a big truck and could get over the bridge. Anyways, his head was moving down, and he was getting close to being born. This was around noon on Sunday. I kept labouring, pushing, and walking around, and he wasn’t born until after 2 o’clock. I can’t remember the exact time, but yeah, we still had two more hours. It was just a very slow process, even after he was in the correct position. My body was just slow, and I wasn’t trying to force push or anything like that. Every contraction, I just let my body do what it needed to do.
Ashley: How did you feel?
When you had the confirmation that the heads right there, how did that feel for you?
Kaylee: We’re like, okay this is actually happening, like, thank you God. Oh my goodness, and I could still feel him moving, so I still knew, like, maybe he’s totally fine. We’re gonna meet him soon and just complete relief.
This is OK. It’s almost over, like I almost get to meet my… And so we were walking around outside, and it was a beautiful day. My mom, like I said, she had the girls with her. I’d asked her to pick us up some things from the store, including a bottle of wine because I’m like, I need something… I’m going to drink some wine or something like that.
The only thing I could think was, “I’m gonna drink some wine.” Whatever. Anyway, she shows up with the groceries and stuff. We had run out of Chuck’s pads, so she was bringing that and paper towel and other stuff. They ended up arriving at the perfect time as I am outside walking around, and we just found out that his head is right there and I’m like, you guys?
He’s gonna be here soon, okay? Okay. And so, my mum’s like, “Oh my gosh,” ’cause she wasn’t totally planning to be at the birth. I wasn’t sure either ’cause she was kind of a little traumatised from the last birth, seeing what happened and how it ended in the C-section, and seeing me in pain.
I think there’s something really difficult about watching your own daughter go through that and being in pain. I didn’t want her to necessarily have to go through that again, and I didn’t want to have to worry about her while I was in labour. But as time had gone on, I actually kind of started to feel like I did want her there. Like the past month or so of my pregnancy, I was like, it would be cool and maybe really healing if my mum was there.
So I had it in my mind that it’d be cool if it worked out, and it did work out because she got there with the girls, like an hour before he was born.
I was telling the girls, “OK, go sit on the trampoline so you can watch. I’m so glad you guys are here because I hadn’t called them or told them to come. They just showed up.
Then, I decided I wanted to give birth outside because we were out there, and we had just had this flash flooding, and there was a little Creek going through our front yard. I had been walking in the Creek because it was freezing cold, but it felt so good to have that numbing sensation and any other stimulating thing besides the pain was amazing.
It was just so beautiful; the day was perfect. It was like 70 degrees, no wind. I’d been in the RV labouring for six days, and being outside, looking around, I said to everyone, “I’m going to give birth outside,” and my friends were like, “Oh, OK.” So, my one friend went… And she They quickly grabbed a table and set it up, bringing out towels and different things. They responded right away to that, and then I borrowed a birth stool, which I had a love-hate relationship with. Sitting on it opened things up more, but it was also more painful, especially with back labour. Despite that, I ended up using it, leaning my arms on it, and being on my knees.
James and I had discussed the best position, and he wanted a full view of the baby being born. So I decided to be on my knees to give him the best view and even catch the baby myself. That was our plan, and he was supportive of it.
The crowning process was slow; he would come out a little bit and then go back in, which went on for about 45 minutes. I tried walking around, but most of the time, I was on my knees with my arms on the birth stool.
As his head was coming out more, James was watching closely. He had learned that if the skin turns white, it means there’s a risk of tearing because all the blood has gone out. However, as long as there’s color, it indicates that blood flow has returned, and tearing is less likely during that time.
He was actually watching to ensure that everything looked good down there, and that the blood was flowing properly. My skin wasn’t turning white as his head was coming out, so I kept asking him if I needed to go slower. The process was honestly very slow. I kept feeling the head come out, and I would ask him if I was at the widest point yet. You can see this in the YouTube video, as I kept asking him repeatedly. James would say, “Just about, just about,” even though I wasn’t really close. He couldn’t tell me that, you know. So, I’d be like, “OK, OK.” And then, I definitely knew when it was coming out, but that’s more like a quick, sharper pain. It didn’t compare to labour at all. I mean, that was nothing.
It’s startling when it’s your first time because you haven’t felt anything like it before. It’s all new sensations. Even though it’s not necessarily pain, it’s just something you’ve never experienced. During the ring of fire, I let out a couple of good screams, not because of pain, but because it felt so good to scream out in nature with the birds chirping and the sun shining while kneeling in cooling water. It was an amazing experience.
Suddenly, his whole head was out, and it was just mind-blowing. I reached down and felt his head, which was so crazy. I called my girls over to witness the moment, but one of my daughters was still inside using the bathroom. I urged her to hurry up and come outside. My mum asked if she could take pictures and video, and I said, “Yes, yes,” as we already had our camera set up. It’s awesome because we have multiple camera angles from both our camera and hers.
It’s funny because my mum wasn’t as immersed in birth videos as we were, so this experience was shocking for her since she had never seen a birth quite like this before.
Her reaction in the video is so funny, and I laugh every time I hear her in the background. She’s filming and getting an up-close video of his head hanging out of me. Some women talk about going into this “labour land” where they kind of go inward, but I didn’t experience that. I felt like I was fully present throughout. I didn’t go inward; I was just there, making jokes, and staying coherent. My midwife friend found it kind of weird how I was so aware, talking, and telling my daughter to come out of the bathroom. I think I had been going through labour for so long that I had adjusted to it. So, it just felt like, “Yep, this is normal.”
Ashley: That’s interesting. You say that because I was making jokes in my labour as well. Like, yeah, like I want to chop my leg off and people were laughing.
Kaylee: Oh really?
Yes, and that was my favourite part of the birth right there. His head was just hanging out for about 4 minutes until the next contraction. I didn’t know this, but my friend, who has had 11 home-birthed children and had been to a similar birth that didn’t end well, was nervous for me the whole time. But she never showed it, and as soon as his head was out, she started timing, thinking there might be some rule about the baby’s head being out for a certain time.
His head was out, and everyone gathered around. I was feeling him, and it was a really special moment. Each of the girls was there, squatting down, looking, and they were amazed. They had watched many birth videos, so it was completely normal to them. You can see it in the YouTube video how fascinated they were.
I feel the next pushing contraction, and I’m on all fours. I had two pushes, and then his body slipped right out into my husband’s hands, and he caught him. The cord was around his neck about 2 1/2 times, so I had to move my leg, and my husband handed him under it. We had to maneuver a bit because the cord was tightening, but it felt like the most natural thing. I had a feeling the cord might be around the neck, as I’d seen it in many videos, so we weren’t startled by it. It was expected, and we knew what to do. My husband helped place him on my chest, and I sat down, sitting on a towel.
Some YouTube comments were mean, saying I was sitting in gross mud and blood and my own fluids. But it’s funny because getting an infection from my own fluids outside is unlikely compared to the risk at a hospital. But I don’t need to tell you that.
Ashley: The fact that you’re having a free birth or you’re in nature actually shocks people, but the same things happen in a hospital. Someone made a comment to me the other day about water birth and asked if I’d want to be in that. I said, “It’s gonna be on your leg anyways. You’re gonna have blood and poo and wee and everything on your leg anyways.” It’s just a thought that you think this is worse than what’s happening in a hospital. How, at all?
Kaylee: Yeah, people are super like they just. It’s just it’s just the culture of like, you should be in a sterilised environment, but it’s like outside, like there’s nothing healthier than like nature like being.
Ashley: Being in nature is not like a sterilised environment. Many women get staph infections from having surgery as the bacteria is on their skin, and that’s a very normalised thing. While hospitals may seem sterile, they are also where people with viruses and germs go.
On the other hand, being outside in nature is, in my opinion, one of the most amazing and great places, not in a sterile in the traditional sense, but full of beautiful, organic, natural things that we actually need. We have good bugs on us, and using antibacterials excessively isn’t great for children since we are designed to thrive with them.
I love the fact that you both were outside and had a little bit of water trickling with the sun beating down. It was so…beautiful.
Kaylee: It was so amazing, that moment of bringing him to my chest, even though I still thought he was a girl at that moment. It was so surreal, and I looked around at each person, like, you guys.
Yeah, it was so amazing. I just gave birth to a baby. Oh my gosh! James was laughing hysterically because he was just so amazed and shocked. I make fun of him because all he was doing was laughing the whole time I’m holding the baby. He’s just right next to me, laughing.
One of my friends offered me a towel, but I declined because I didn’t want to vigorously start wiping him and startle him or try to wake him up. He seemed so peaceful and sleepy. I just wanted to hold him and let him make the first move. It was 28 seconds, we counted, and that’s when he let out his first little cry. Then, I started rubbing him gently and noticed he was gurgling a bit, so I sucked out the fluid with my mouth and spat it out. The Youtube World does not like that.
Ashley: I know right, when I saw you doing that, I knew exactly what you were doing, and I just love how intuitive you were, how you said no to the towel.
You know, in your authority and your power, knowing what was right for your baby, the suggestion was made and a lot of us will say, OK then, yeah, yeah, we’ll do what you say.
You said no thanks, and you felt that you were in power.
Kaylee: Yeah, I just trusted my instincts at this point. My body, through God’s strength, has gotten me through six days of labour, so I’m going to trust whatever I feel like I need to do. He started crying, and his color was so good. He had strong cries. After a few minutes, I said, “Okay, I’m ready for the towel now because I don’t want to get cold.”
It was amazing feeling that connection and bond in those first moments of life, which I missed out on with my first daughter. It makes me sad, but it also makes me appreciate even more that I was there and aware this time, not drugged up. I was holding him, and my placenta had already started to detach because it came out quickly, although it felt like it came out right away, it was about 20 minutes. There was a lot of blood, and he had blood on him, which I think had to do with the placenta.
Everyone was rejoicing and letting us have this moment. My friends stood back and observed. It was so beautiful. A neighbour drove by a couple of times while I was in the field, but we just waved them on by, like, nothing to see here. Then, my placenta literally fell out of me.
My friends were a little concerned because I wasn’t contracting much. They worried I might start bleeding a lot. But it wasn’t a problem. They brought me different herbs, orange juice, and yoghurt. I said I didn’t want to sit on the ground anymore, so they helped lift me into a camping chair, which wasn’t very comfortable either. Then they started bringing me all these different foods and blackstrap molasses, just pumping me full of stuff.
It was amazing to have that support from them. Even though we were planning for an unassisted birth, it was so good to have that assistance, especially at the end when we were both so exhausted. They were there to bring me all the food I needed.
I was so glad my friends were there for that. They also helped clean me up because we’re off-grid and don’t have running water. They brought buckets of water with a washcloth and wiped the blood off my legs to get me cleaned up. It worked out amazingly perfectly. While I was sitting out there in the field, we checked to see if it was a boy or a girl, and when we saw that it was a boy, we were like…
Ashley: You hadn’t checked this whole time?
Do you remember how long it was, babe, that we hadn’t checked to see? I think it was like 30 minutes or something. Yeah, maybe 20-30 minutes. It was maybe right before the placenta came out, so within 20 minutes, but yeah. We were so surprised because I thought it was a girl. I only have girls, so I really thought it was a girl. Yeah, like nope, nope, nope, we can’t have a boy. No, we only have girls, you know? We were shocked and laughing. I had baby clothes, but nothing for a boy, so he was wrapped in pink blankets and stuff like that. That was amazing.
Funny side note, there was a neighbour who lives across the way, pretty far, but up on a hill, and he could hear everything really well, the way the sound travels. During the ring of fire, when I let out a couple of high-pitched screams, he was outside doing a bonfire and heard it so loudly. He thought it sounded like I was standing right next to him, but he didn’t know what it was. He just heard a woman scream right next to him. He said, “Oh my goodness, that was either the scream of life or death.” Later, he heard my husband saying, “It’s a boy.”
Then I got into bed with my baby and like, just being able to lay there and rest. Oh my goodness was like, oh wow, it was, you know, that moment of just being there. With your baby. It was so incredible.
Ashley: Did you have much bleeding after the baby was?
Kaylee: It didn’t seem like any excessive amount and I only really only. Like the majority of it was in the first couple days and then it was just like a little bit for like not even 2 weeks like 10 days.
I was really sore, and I was kind of surprised by how long it took my body to heal. Even after three weeks, it still hurt to walk around or stand for long periods of time. It felt like my pelvis had been bruised, which makes sense because he was tilted and his head was pushing in there every time my body pushed. It makes sense. But yeah, I couldn’t get around too well, but that was totally fine because I was in bed. My mum helped and kept the girls with her, and my husband and I had sweet bonding time with the baby.
Then she would bring the girls over during the day, and we had a meal train for two weeks, so we didn’t have to do any cooking, which was super amazing. It was a wonderful postpartum time, and we focused on skin-to-skin and I said, “I’m not going to feel bad about laying in bed. I deserve this.
Ashley: Yeah, you did. I mean, all mums deserve that sort of support in postpartum, it sounds like you had a beautifully supported postpartum to allow your body to heal. And you know your breast feeding, it’s taking a lot out of you when you’re breastfeeding, let alone after a labour and a pregnancy.
Check out Part 1 of Kaylee’s beautiful birth story here.