Jesse's story really starts long before he was born. The miracle of his conception. We suffered secondary infertility after the birth of our second child Katlyn. After almost four years of trying, a miscarriage, Clomid, IUI's, and IVF, we adopted 5 tiny embryos. We transferred 2, and they did not take so in December 2005 we transferred two more, and I got a positive pregnancy test! After a beautiful pregnancy lasting 41 weeks, my membranes ruptured and a day and a half later I was induced because I had developed a fever and babies heart rate was 200+BPM. With visualization encouraged by my awesome doula Liz, the babies heart rate returned to normal. I delivered a healthy baby girl that we named Lauren with no pain medication, and a pitocin induced labor. She came out looking just like her older sister so we had a DNA test, and it said that she was definitely our baby and not from the donor embryos! No one could believe it including the doctors. They wanted to see it in writing from the place that did the DNA test. They told us it would take a miracle to conceive with our infertility issues, but there she was in my arms! When Lauren was almost 18 months I saw that I had a bunch of pregnancy tests left over from when I was trying to conceive Lauren. They were all expired, but I thought I would take one for fun. My cycles were still very irregular and I was still breastfeeding Lauren, so that was normal for me. I was surprised to see two pink lines! I thought surely it was because it was an expired test. I took another one with the same result. I did not want to wake Tony (it was night) and tell him because I thought it was just because it was an expired test, and we were not trying to conceive though not preventing either because we thought it probably wouldn't happen on it's own again. I personally would have loved to be pregnant again but Tony was not so sure. I decided that I would go to the store the next day and get some real tests. I got some clear blue digital tests because I always wanted to try them and knew that the answer would be clear as day. When it came up with the words pregnant I almost passed out. I got a gift bag and wrote on the tag To Tony From God. I went to the doctor for a blood test and to arrange a scan as we had no clue on our dates. I had Tony pick me up on the way home from the store and handed him the bag before we left the car park. He was in shock. He didn't believe it, and just kept saying "no", as if he didn't believe it. He became very excited after a bit, but still in disbelief until we had our first scan. It dated us at being 5 weeks and 4 days, with a heartbeat. I knew that it was wrong because the HCG levels were way too high for that gestation. We had another scan when I lost all of my pregnancy symptoms a few weeks later and this time baby measured a week further along with a great heart rate. I was at much more at ease after that and all of my symptoms returned a few days later. We had a very uneventful pregnancy, and I called my Doula Liz, as I knew I couldn't birth without her. I asked her for her opinion on a great home birth midwife and am so thankful she could take me on as well. Life couldn't get any better than this! I was having a home birth with the best labor support possible! We didn't want to know the gender but it was pretty obvious when the scan looked between the babies legs to measure the leg bones. It was definitely a baby boy! The pregnancy went perfectly until 35 weeks, when I had regular contractions ranging three minutes apart for the first half of the day then went to 5 minutes apart for the rest of the day. I also started loosing the plug at 31 weeks, and continued until baby was nearly here. My waters broke on my birthday (December 4th) just as a delivery man left from dropping off my new freezer (birthday gift from my mother and father in law and sister in law) and I was so excited thinking I would get another birthday present, but baby decided he wanted his own birthday and I was happy with that too. I got acupuncture the next day and did a lot of walking, but baby was happy in there. My beautiful doula came and gave me a massage. The next day I went and got some black and blue cohosh, and some castor oil. I had acupuncture lined up too, so took the cohosh and went to acupuncture then came home and took more and decided to be brave and take 30 mils of Castor oil with some orange juice. I was surprised when it didn't make me gag, and was not that bad at all. I had a shower and rubbed on Clary sage after. When I went to bed I took a heat pack because the acupuncturist said I should to help blood flow to that area. He left micro needles taped into me. I put Clary sage on the heat pack and went to bed around 11:30pm. I went to use the toilet once at 1am and woke with a very strong contraction at 3:30am. I was not sure if it was that or a tummy pain from the Castor oil (I had not had any tummy pain from the Castor oil so thought maybe it was) but nope 3 minutes later there was another. I went to the toilet and timed them, and they kept coming every 3 minutes. I woke Tony and told him it was definitely time for baby. I called my Doula to come as I knew she was pretty far away at her property that weekend, and it was storming. My midwife was called next and she was here within an hour. Tony and I worked through contractions as we lit candles, put on some clary sage on the oil burner, and filled the pool. I was having a contraction and someone began rubbing my back. When it was over I turned around and saw that it was not Tony, but my wonderful midwife. Before long I was in the pool. Liz arrived soon after that. It was great to have everyone I wanted there. I felt like I could finally relax. Tony was recording with our video camera every now and then and eventually we just set it up to record on the high chair. The warm water was wonderful. My midwife and doula were putting pressure on my back, wiping my face, giving me drinks, and encouraging me the whole time. Tony was not wanting to be there for the birth, but he stayed and encouraged me through it too. Not too long later I felt like pushing I think it was around 6am. Lauren (2 years old had already woken on her own), but Tony went and woke Justin (9) and Katlyn (6). Katlyn held my hand for a bit. She was my other little Doula in training. I pushed off and on and felt that something was not quite ready. I felt that there was still cervix. My midwife told me to trust my body. She checked and said there was a bit of cervix. I pushed for 20 minutes after that before baby was born. I felt a big change as baby dropped. When I would push he was pushing too with his feet. It was so amazing to have such an active baby through delivery. I could feel every movement he made. I felt in and could feel his head right there about to be born. I kept my hand cupped over his sweet little head the entire time. I felt his ear, and could feel he was nearly bald like all of my other kids. He was born straight into my hands under water. My children were all present and so was my husband! I was so high from the birth. It was just as I always dreamed, the birth I had always wanted, and just under 4 hours! He came out screaming, and gurgling just a bit too. He pinked up very quickly. I had a few more contractions, and my doula said that the baby would look very concerned during the contractions the he would relax after them. I then delivered my babies home for the last 39 weeks (His beautiful placenta). My Doula and midwife helped me to a mattress that I had set up near the pool. I fed Jesse some more while they made me the best eggs on toast I have ever had. I had decided before he was born that we would do a lotus birth (Keeping his cord and placenta attached until they separate on their own). I felt that it was a part of him and he should decide when he wants to let go of it. My midwife, doula and my 9 year old son Justin did a placenta print using the blood from the placenta. We then kept it in a colander for a while and then sprinkled rosemary on it and wrapped it in 2 cloth nappies and safety pinned it up. For the first day I kept it wrapped in a red heart shaped placenta bag that I had made, but later decided it was easier to hold and care for it when it was out of the bag. We changed the nappies over the placenta a few times a day. When we did we would sprinkle more dried rosemary and lavender oil on it too. I did not find it unpleasant at all, doing a lotus birth. It was a little tricky at times to not drop the placenta but I was very careful, and am so happy that we left it attached. On the morning of his fourth day I woke to see he had kicked his cord off and never made a sound. Everyone was so excited! Jesse got his first bath with mommy that afternoon with some lovely herbs in the water that our midwife gave me. The placenta now sits in the freezer awaiting planting probably on Jesse's first birthday. When Jesse was born we were so surprised to see that he weighed 8 pounds 7 ounces! My doula came over and made dinner, and cleaned the house a few days later and made a plate with Jesse's foot prints. It was so great of her, and very yummy too. When Jesse was 13 days old my midwife and Doula came over and they brought lots of yummy food. We ate, and watched Jesse's birth video for the first time. Tony then had his first 20 minutes alone with the kids as my midwife, doula, and I went into our bedroom and the did a rebozo closure. It is a Mexican tradition, and it was so relaxing and emotional all at the same time. It was such a beautiful way to end Jesse's birth. I miss seeing them both, but will continue to keep in contact because I believe them being at Jesse's birth created a life long bond. He was very slow with gaining weight for the first month, but finally got back up to his birth weight and is now thriving, never having even a tiny bit of formula. He just took a little longer than normal, so it was good he was born such a great weight. I miss being pregnant but I love having this new little man in my life so much!