Isaac’s Birth Story

I assumed that our third birth would be similar to our first two. Was I ever wrong! With Shiloh and with Meredith, the day of their births went this way: early on we were alerted that this would be their birthday by either my water breaking or with bloody show, contractions began in the afternoon, and by late evening they were born. Even their birthweights were similar; Shiloh was 9 lbs. 12 oz, and Merry weighed in at 9 lbs. 14 oz. Both were born 6 days after their due dates.

We thought this baby was following the same pattern. Around 5:00 a.m. Saturday, June 15, I awoke with a feeling that someone had opened up a spigot underneath me—my water had broken. Could it be that this same pattern could be followed a third time? My husband, Sam, and our children traveled north to a very special family wedding while my mom came over to stay with me until contractions began. Patrice checked me at midday. By evening, I had a few contractions and Sam returned home after leaving the children with our designated friends. But labor fizzled out and we discovered that no, this birth would not follow the pattern the first two had set.

Patrice had given us information about premature rupture of membranes and told us that legally, she was required to recommend that we go in to the hospital to be induced if the baby does not arrive by 24 hours later. She also told us that it is ultimately our decision to make. The longer the time between membranes rupturing and the birth, the more the risk of infection, which could be extremely dangerous for the baby. Sam and I discussed the matter and decided that going to the hospital may increase the risk of infection. Plus, I was very motivated to stay home, especially because for our other two home births I had needed to go to the hospital afterward, once to be stitched up, and the other because our baby’s oxygen levels were too low. I just wanted to have my baby at home and stay home for once, although I certainly was willing to go in if it was necessary for the health of me or my baby.

So I waited at home. This was so hard for me! Sunday, Father’s Day, came, and we thought that labor was starting up again in the evening. Children left, midwives came, and after awhile, contractions disappeared. We even tried a whole hour of nipple stimulation in a last effort to induce labor, but to no avail.

Monday, Sam decided to go to work and be on call in case things started up. I laid down for an afternoon nap around 3:00 p.m. and contractions began again. By 4:00, they were gaining in intensity and became closer together. Sam came home early and Barb came over to check on me, since she lives the closest of the three midwives. Frustratingly enough, this labor never turned into anything either. Sam and I began to think that with all of these false starts, our little one was getting ready, and that when he decided to come, he may come quickly! Patrice warned me that one can never “cry wolf” too often when this close to delivering a baby; she was happy to come whenever we thought labor was starting. I had Sam review the instructions for delivering a baby just in case the midwives couldn’t get here in time.

Through these days of waiting, I tried to keep busy with little chores around the house, drank lots of water, checked my temperature often, and listened to audio books to keep my mind occupied. The Lord brought some encouraging verses to my mind, such as Isaiah 40:31.But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. A friend also shared a verse that meant a lot to her during her birth, Philippians 4:13,I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Right then, for me, “all things” meant waiting. But God could give me the strength to do even that!

Around 2:40 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, a contraction hit, so powerful that it made me sit bolt upright out of a dead sleep. By now I did not expect anything to necessarily come of it, so I did not wake up Sam. I remember that I was trying to make bread for breakfast (as long as I was up anyway, right?) and had to kneel at the couch to labor through a contraction every 2 or 3 ingredients. I awoke Sam around 3:45, saying that the contractions were coming hard and every 15 minutes or so. He lay there, trying to wake up, and noted that he could tell the contractions were closer than that, maybe every 5 minutes apart, and that he could hear me from the bedroom every time one hit! He texted the midwives, and my mom, whom we had invited to witness the birth. By the time Barb and my mom came around 4:45, I already felt like pushing! Patrice arrived shortly after 5:00, just in time to catch our baby. My first words, as he was handed up to me were, “It’s a boy!” Just then, Dorothy walked in the door. I was thankful for her presence as I needed a few stitches after the birth. I delivered the placenta after nursing Isaac for a good long time (he loves to eat!), and you could see where it may have had a small leak from when my water had broken.

We fell in love with our dear little Isaac Hardin Near, who came with a full head of dark hair and took after his big sister by “talking” with little coos and grunts. We were also happy to hear that his birthweight was 8 lbs. 9 oz. This was over a pound lighter than our other two, which we attributed to changing my diet about halfway through my pregnancy to keep my blood sugars under control. And we had been able to stay home this time! It was wonderful being able to just rest and get to know one another in the comfort of our own home after the birth.

Isaac was well worth the wait. We look forward to getting to know him more as he grows older!


I thought I was healing very well after Isaac’s birth. I even told people that this was my easiest recovery time yet after having a baby. Then nearly 3 weeks later, I experienced sharp stabbing pain in my lower abdomen that took me to the emergency room. (You know it had to be serious if I went to the hospital, right?) The OB doctors there told me I was very sick with an infection inside the lining of my uterus and admitted me to the hospital until I could recover. I spent 2 days there until my white blood cell count was within the normal range again. Fortunately, at my request, they gave me IV antibiotics that were safe to use while breastfeeding, and they allowed me to keep Isaac in the hospital room with me so that I could continue nursing him.

Whether this infection was from my premature rupture of membranes or not, I will never know. Both the OB/GYNs and my family doctor said that some women get this type of infection who do not have their water break early, and that it can happen after home births or hospital births alike.

So, once again I did have a hospital visit after my home birth. Bummer! Maybe next time… Regardless, I am thankful for the Lord’s watchful care over me and for the wonderful care of midwives and doctors!