Born on a Farm… Anaïs Madeleine’s Birth Story

Well, it’s been one week.
How is that possible?
Here she lies next to me, making those little sounds. Those little sounds that you only get to enjoy for a few weeks out of your entire life as a mother.
Deep breath- don’t cry.
I never imagined a 5th baby could be late.
I read the stories of course but thought, Oh that’s just ridiculous.
All my kids have been on their due date of a couple days before.
My last one was 11 days early so I just thought naturally of course…
At 39 weeks I was 3 cms just as I had thought, but hadn’t really felt as much of that “grinding” as I should have. You know, that feeling like they are doing a breakdancing head spin on your cervix??? And I hadn’t had hardly any of those nerve shoots down the inner thigh… you know, the ones that make you jump in public, that you can’t quite describe? I call them zingers.
So, I started to work for it. Walking like CRAZY with the kids. Dance parties EVERY night with them after dinner. Then came 40 weeks and still no baby. But oh! The pressure! I thought she was going to fall out if I moved wrong. My walk began to look like I was riding a horse.
It was not pretty.
Every day I thought – this is it.
I country danced with the kids. I Lord-of-the-Danced with the kids (they are obsessed) I booty danced with… well, not with the kids.
Tues-day, I surprised the kids and took them to the theater to see Planes (don’t bother).
 Earning BEST-MOM-EVER status.
Tuesday night.
Discomfort melt down.
Wednes-day. Took them into town for new coloring markers at Target.
Earning Certifiably Crazy status.
Wednes-afternoon – got the house COMPLETELY picked up. All my ducks in a row.
Wednesday night.
Discomfort melt down.
 And that was the straw that broke the camels back.
I was SO done.
I wanted my baby.
Thursday morning I woke up at 5:05 and crept downstairs for my secret,
 I-can’t-take-this-anymore weapon:
One mini bottle of vodka.
2-3 tablespoons of castor oil.
6-8 oz orange juice.
Pray to not barf.
Hot shower.
Back to bed.
At 6:30 I woke up with that cramp.
That contraction.
 Not a braxton hicks, but the real one I had been waiting for! Julien (still needy sometimes) nursed for about 5 minutes and I knew we were in business. I sent him downstairs, rid myself of the effects of the castor oil (TMI – But come on, it’s a birth story – the whole thing is TMI)
and went back to sleep for an hour.
At 7:45 I woke up.
In pain.
Hollered for Joel to call my Mom and get her on her way (she watches the kids downstairs for us, but she lives an hour away). Told him to call the midwife.
I got up, thru on a skirt and my favorite Minnie Mouse t-shirt and a little makeup just to feel human (cause that matters) and marched downstairs, announced to the family,
“I am going to walk the driveway!”
to the delight of my kids who began to celebrate the arrival of their baby!
Oh, and walk I did.
Back and forth.
Up and down.
Taking no mercy on myself.
For the first little bit I wasn’t really contracting…
and I just really pushed myself but then they kicked in.
Marching thru contractions with that awkward, there’s-a-head-in-my-crotch gate.
I am Parisienne Farmgirl.
Hear me roar.
I had to rejoice.
It was beautiful out.
God had answered my prayers again – I always pray I will have my babies in daylight… pain is so much worse for me mentally at night.
There were no neighbors walking by with their dogs.
No one to wave to.
I was alone.
Well, not quite.
The chickens and the goats were cracking me up.
Everytime I would walk by they would run (in their run/pen) to follow me.
Then when I would walk back the other way they would follow in that direction.
Like an old Atari video game.

Soon children came out to run and play with kittens.
Soon I waved for Joel.
No more contractions on my own.
I needed him to hold on to.
Oh boy.
I think I walked out there the better part of an hour during which my Mom showed up – perfect timing. Couldn’t focus on anyone else now. Then… there was that one contraction where I said to Joel that as much as I didn’t want to, we had better head upstairs.
Once we got upstairs things slowed down a bit.
Just for a minute but I had two more contractions where I “heard myself” and I knew we were rockin.
With the one we were in the bathroom and I looked at Joel and said, “Where IS she?”
Not REALLY wanting another bathroom delivery!
Finally after what seemed like an eternity… I only later found out it was about 15 minutes from the time I came in from outside to the time the midwife and her two helpers arrived.
I was back in the bathroom after walking up and down our little hallway and had another doozy. She called from the hallway that she needed to “check me” after hearing those sounds, you know, that slight grunt at the end of the contraction, I don’t blame her.
I told Joel, like I always do (especially after the blank-hole that attended my first birth — I am still bitter.) that if it was “bad news” as far as my dilation, I didn’t want to know. Nothing is more defeating than going thru all that pain then to have someone tell you that you haven’t progressed. But, I was at SEVEN!!!
And she told me I wasn’t quite ready to push but that
I could a bit if that would help me manage the pain.
“So, I am not going to be doing this ’til 4 in the afternoon?” I desperately asked.
“Oh, honey, You’re gonna be holding this baby at lunch time.”
“That’s all I needed to know. I am just going to sit here and cry now.”
And wept I did. Like I seem to always do in labor.
So emotional.
Then the transition.
One after another.
Me crying that I just wanted to sleep.
Me confused and walking back and forth from the bathroom to my bedside.
Walking, swaying. Not knowing where to go… what to do.
Then this lady, who I had never met before hopped up on the bed across from me and told me “how great I was doing” and reminded me to breathe out and down to the baby… channel the air… use it. Who the hell was she?
What the hell was she doing on my bed?
Her voice grated against me like sandpaper.
Didn’t she know I’ve done this before…
I almost slapped her.
But then I looked up, I knew she was right.
If you’ve ever helped a woman in labor before there gets that point for some where they need a little firm re-direction. I obeyed. In thru the nose, out thru the mouth, down toward the baby,
lowering my tones…
Then, that feeling,
That INCREDIBLE feeling that I will never feel again.
As crazy as it sounds, despite what I was saying aloud my heart was saying,

“Remember this. This is birth. This is your baby coming down to meet you. In however many years God blesses you with, remember this feeling of your baby… inches from your world.”

It was an eternity.
It was a second.
As I felt her finally break thru the cervix.
“Here she comes!” I cried.
Two pushes and her head came out.
I was SO relieved I flopped forward on the bed and then realized she wasn’t out.

Everyone telling me to hold on.

Screw you guys, I thought.
My contractions had stopped so I took a deep breath and pushed.
That amazing feeling of the shoulder pop.
That second/eternity ’til you feel “the slither” – and you know it’s over.
“Thank you Jesus” I must have said a hundred times.
“It’s over.” A hundred more.
They untangled her (she was looped around her neck, shoulder, legs… no wonder they were telling me to hold on) and handed her to me.
And that was that.
The unexpected little one.
The one that rocked my world the morning after we moved to the farm.
I can still feel the world spinning, I’ll never forget how I almost fainted.
I’ll also never forget the tears I shed.
Thinking I was done having babies.
I struggled for so long with it.
I cried so many nights praying that God would take away the desire or else…
I guess He chose the “else”.

Thank you Father for this new, “last time” I hold in my arms.
How in heavens name you see meso fallen… fit to raise another child of Yours…










65 thoughts on “Born on a Farm… Anaïs Madeleine’s Birth Story”

  1. What another beautiful birth story…I admire you so much for your strength and conviction on birthing your babies at home. I couldn’t do it, but I wish I could have. Sometimes I feel bad that I didn’t enjoy being pregnant like most women I know, but I am eternally grateful that God gave me two beautiful boys.
    Congratulations to your family!

    I think you might have to change your thoughts on being “half way” there. It looks like you are already there. xo

  2. Still brings tears to my eyes to read about you and your family. I am 68 and have 3 grown daughters, who have children. You are an amazing woman. I admire you and your steadfast convictions. Keep on keeping on.

  3. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing those precious moments, it helped me remember my precious births. I just love your family….so happy for you all, so many blessing to you! Di@Cottage-Wishes

  4. The other day, I had the strong urge to pray for you and your delivery. So glad you and babes are doing well. She’s a beauty!
    The Lord is so gracious, isn’t He?
    Blessings from WA state.

  5. Blessings and happy wishes to you and your entire beautiful family! You made me relive my three natural deliveries, although my children are all grown up, one never forgets.

    You are an amazing woman and are an inspiration to so many. May the Lord keep showering blessings on you and yours forever!

    Ana Maria

  6. Oh my! Oh my! Been checking the sight so many times a day waiting to hear!! Congratulations!! How beautiful!! You are such an inspiration!! Just found out my third is growing in my belly!! This will be my first home birth!! Thank you for sharing!!! I’m seriously balling looking at you all in bed together!! I want that with every fiber of my being!! A big family…through His precious GRACE and LOVE!! Sniffle…enjoy!!

  7. Angela,

    I am so happy to hear that your home delivery went well and that little Anaïs is doing well.
    The entire story was quite moving but something about that picture of Joel holding Julien, and the looks on Aidan and Amélie’s faces brought me to tears. The look on their faces is priceless-each having their own personal reactions to this miraculous event and having a permanent, familial memory imprinted into their minds-just so beautiful and sacred.
    You know how you and I are always making note of how we have similar tastes? Well, first of all, I saw on your FB page Anaïs’ gold bed…We have one exactly like that in our attic waiting for the next one (whenever that may be) AND it is the same exact color. I found the bed at a yard sale when Amelia was two and we painted it matte antique gold, and used it as a settee for a while. And another strange similarity: I’ve had my heart settled on the name Madeleine Élise for quite some time if we ever have another girl. I can’t say I’m surprised that we like the same name since we both named our first girls Amélie and Amelia before we even knew each other.
    Oh, and I love the video of you- woman-in-labor walking, the goats bleating, and Juliette throwing the ball at you. Those few seconds say so much about motherhood on the farm!
    Take care, with love,


  8. A beautiful birth story… I read every word with tears strolling down my cheeks. What a beautiful name you gifted her. The awe and the love on your children’s faces was so pure and loving. Capturing many lovely photos of her birth sure is special!
    Congratulations…I wish you and your family a healthy and blessed life together on the Farm!
    Take care and keep juicing!!!!

  9. Angela,
    Wonderful story, beautiful baby, fabulous name! I love your stories….she is deliciously pretty. Her big sisters and brothers look so happy to have finally met her!

  10. It looks like everything went just as planned. God is so good and gives such great blessings in the form of children. So happy for you and your family Angela and your new daughter is perfectly made by God and beautiful! xoxo

  11. Oh anela! I was out of town all weekend and the only time I missed the computer was knowign I was going to miss this as soon as it posted! She is lovely. I cried, knowing I will never feel that magical/miserable/horrid/beautiful pain again. I had my tubes tied, but I too pray God will take away the desire or give me a ‘surprise’. You are a beautiful mama, and I am just thrilled for you and baby and family. Blessings.

  12. I am so very happy for you Angela….and couldn’t be more pleased with how things turned out for you, healthy baby, and happy family. Loved seeing all the kids faces and Joel too. You have given me some much needed confidence…so thank you for that….I really did need it.
    Anne Marie
    take care of yourself…

  13. In awe of your beautiful family! Your doing it right !
    You look better after birth then most of us getting up in the morning!
    You once again inspire!

  14. She is so blessed to be born into your motherhood.
    À beautiful girl, beautiful name and a beautiful birth story.
    I so remember so many of your thoughts in birthing you make it sound so effortless with the discomfort of labor.

    It’s amazing in my blogging journey the births I have followed with intrigue to how you run your family life.
    It’s not only a beautiful birth story, it’s a beautiful life story.

    Blessings in abundance to you and your family.

  15. Dear Angela,

    I don´t know which way took me to your blog – but I started to read – sometimes till deep in the night. It´s a little bit hard for me to translate everything – but I was so nosey to read all your blog entries. I love your way of life so much and I still envy you for that great family. Hold on for all your dreams, I wish you so much rememberabel time with Anais and the rest of the children. I Keep on reading here !

    Take care of you –

    Greetings from Bavaria

  16. Why is tears running down my face? I am not the Granny
    WoW you are a braver woman than I ever was having a baby at home
    So glad everything turned out safe for you all

    you children are all beautiful

  17. Angela:
    I know that you don’t know me. I’m somewhere out in cyberspace but we have a lot of the same values and beliefs. We are sisters in Christ, which makes us family. Thanks for sharing your family through your blog. Congratulations on your very beautiful baby girl! All of your children are very beautiful!

  18. You are my birthing hero! It’s so generous of you to share this (and other) awesome and miraculous occasions with all of us. Congratulations on your new blessing. Someday she will know what a blessing it is to have you and Joel as her parents.

  19. I hope that you don’t give everything to facebook and leave us blog people out. Love your great style and your informative pieces,(love your rants too.)Hope all is going well with you and your newest addition. God bless.

  20. gram to seven here … I read this and was sure I had left a comment …
    just incredible to be a small part of the day and week to follow.

    everyone jumped in and played out their part …
    the kids were such a help …

    and this newest grandbaby is beyond precious.
    I love you Ang … an amazing event, everytime

  21. Oh you sweet thing! I quit blogging several months back and somehow I quit READING blogs, too. I just remembered you, like a longlost pal, and hopped over, and lo and behold, there is a new life in whatfeltliketomepleasedon’tslapme, the world’s fastest pregnancy! Haha! Really, don’t slap me. Which reminds me, I so recall that feeling of wanting to slap the midwife. Except I wanted to kick her, but still. Good job, mama! Can’t wait to catch up on my reading here. 🙂


  22. Oh you sweet thing! I quit blogging several months back and somehow I quit READING blogs, too. I just remembered you, like a longlost pal, and hopped over, and lo and behold, there is a new life in whatfeltliketomepleasedon’tslapme, the world’s fastest pregnancy! Haha! Really, don’t slap me. Which reminds me, I so recall that feeling of wanting to slap the midwife. Except I wanted to kick her, but still. Good job, mama! Can’t wait to catch up on my reading here. 🙂


  23. Hi Angela, been thinking of you alot lately and wondering what you had and how it went. I have been in France for the last month and when I spent my last week in Paris I thought of you. Still recovering from jet lag but loving your beautiful birth story. She looks divine and I love her name! YOU look amazing! well done Mumma xx Corrina Tough

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