Gideon Cross - {My Home Birth Story}

February 10th, 2022

Gideon Cross

6:05 PM

8lbs 6oz

20 1/4 Inches Long

{Photography by Sarah Elizabeth Photography}


I'm so excited to FINALLY be sharing Gideons birth story with you all! I hope it is encouraging to any momma's that read it! I know as I prepare for birth, it is incredibly helpful to read birth stories and watch birth videos. It's amazing hearing all of the different ways babies come into this world and is a great reminder that we are completely capable of having babies!


I pretty much knew I would go over 41 weeks like I had with Edyn and Roman (and probably would have with Leighlyn too had I not been induced). So I wasn't surprised or upset as I passed by my due date, and then another week. My estimated due date was February 1st and my mom arrived from Florida on February 5th! There were days where I would have some cramping or braxton hicks, but never consistent enough to make me think I was going into labor.


February 9th

41 Weeks 1 Day

I was dealing with some elevated anxiety knowing that labor would be soon and I was definitely nervous knowing what was coming. Because of that, my blood pressure was a little high which kind of started a cycle, because then I was anxious about being induced again with hypertension. So to be safe we had an appointment which was so helpful. The midwife really took her time with me and did all of the testing to make sure I didn't have pre-eclampsia. She talked to me about all of the things surrounding my anxiety and she really helped calm me. They also checked me and I was between 2-3cm dilated so we discussed possibly doing a stretch and sweep either Thursday or Friday. I was in no rush to do the sweep because the closer we got to when he would come on his own, the smoother and faster my birth would be. The midwife showed us some spinning babies techniques to get Gideon in a really good position for birth. She also prayed with us and over us before we left which was beautiful. There were (and still are) some really heavy things going on that we had shared so her prayer meant a lot.


February 10th

41 Weeks and 2 Days

Around 5 the next morning I had one or two big contractions that felt intense but they didn’t last long or continue so I just thought it was braxton hicks again. It's normal for midwives to schedule an ultrasound once you go over 41 weeks so that they can make sure the fluid levels are good, so at 930 we had that. Everything was perfect, but the tech said that my cervix was still long and I had plenty of fluid. They estimated his weight would be 8lbs 7oz and he was measuring around 39 weeks. All of these things made me think I still had a few more days to go at least.

1130-12 We did the rebozo (spinning babies) and then walked up and down our driveway (It’s a pretty steep hill that will tire you out just going up and down once haha) to get the mail. Then I laid down and started having some early labor contractions, which at the time I didn't think anything of, I really just thought they were braxton hicks again. I definitely noticed some of my mucus plug coming out but again, that can happen days before having a baby, so I didn't think that it was time or anything. I was trying to rest and see what was happening and if they were getting stronger or not. I decided to still go to horseback riding lessons with everyone because I really wanted to see the girls ride and it was such a gorgeous day!


3:30pm - At riding lessons I walked to the bathroom and back and started feeling some more contractions but still nothing consistent and some were strong, some were not. I sat in the car for the rest of Edyn's lesson which was about 10 minutes. I was more uncomfortable at this point though and I started having thoughts like "what if this is it?"

4:20pm - We got home from riding lessons and a lot more of my mucus plug came out that was tinged with some blood. I told Elliott I thought things MIGHT be starting but I really didn't know, I was still confused and didn't want to alert anyone if this wasn't the real thing. Another thing to add, because you might be thinking "DUH Taylor, you were in labor!!!!" I had been swept at 41 and 6 days with Edyn, and then swept at 41 and 2 days with Roman, so I just wasn't expecting to go into labor all on my own with no sweep.

4:45pm - I was upstairs having some stronger contractions that were probably around 30 seconds, but they felt so short and I could still talk through them. At this point I did get in touch with the birth photographer and told her I thought she should get ready. I got my pillow and went downstairs because that is where we had decided to do the birth and I figured if I didn’t go down there at that point, I wouldn’t make it down there later. That ended up being a good idea. Elliott called the midwife around this time.


Elliott's Perspective

Ok, Taylor is feeling some small contractions and some discomfort. This is it. Time to act Elliott! It's still very early in the process, NO NEED TO RUSH! Main job: comfort Taylor. Just be there for her. Encouraging words, lots of touch and let her know that I'm there for her. I can do that!


I laid on the couch, the kids were playing with magnets and my mom was sitting with me. Elliott started filling the pool. I turned on some worship music and just tried to rest as much as possible. I kept having to use the bathroom and every time I got up contractions would get stronger and be really close together. My mom was rubbing my back while Elliott was getting things set up. At this point my mom timed the contractions around 2 minutes apart and 1 minute long. To me they felt really close together and hard to tell when one stopped. My mom got up and got the kids in the kitchen to feed them dinner. Elliott took over being with me. If you’ve read my other birth stories, you know I do NOT handle being alone well in labor. I need to have someone there with me helping me through every contraction. As my mom was feeding the kids, I definitely was in active labor and couldn’t talk through contractions anymore, I was moaning through them. I was trying to stay as relaxed as possible during contractions and sometimes I would moan the words “open, open, open” until the contraction was over, picturing my cervix opening to 10 cm. I remember thinking I could not get comfortable, I couldn’t find a nice spot to get through contractions. Eventually I ended up on the living room floor leaning on our couch and Elliott for support.


Elliott's Perspective

Things are progressing and labor is happening, but NO NEED TO RUSH! Birth is a long process, and I know how this works. We have HOURS of this ahead of us and the best thing I can do is slow down, relax and and be calm for Taylor. Main job: fill the pool, get some towels ready, plug in the heating pad (for the new baby, which is still HOURS away) but most of all, just be there for Taylor.


5:45pm - No one was really keeping track of time because it was all happening so fast, but the kids must have finished dinner and they all came out to the living room. Leighlyn sat with me and held my hand, Edyn was rubbing my back. I remember Leighlyn kept saying to me, “you’re doing great mom, good job mom” and it just made me so happy and gave me so much encouragement. I absolutely loved being surrounded by my kids and husband. Even Roman rubbed my back through a contraction or two. My mom got a video of this which is how I know what time it was. I was starting to get really anxious at this point because I thought I was doing a terrible job at handling labor and didn't realize how far along I really was. I thought I had hours and hours to go and I was just not taking it well at all.


Elliott's Perspective

Taylor is focusing and doing really well, but she isn't really saying too much. It felt like she was kind of freaking out just a little bit, knowing that we had just started this process and we still had a while to go. (I mean, I can sense these things. I've got 3 kids and I've been through all this. I know how it all works.) I remember thinking "she did the same thing with Edyns birth." At one point during Edyn's birth she even said, "I can't do this." She didn't say anything like that this time, but I could tell she just wasn't handling it well. But I got this. Main job: reassure Taylor. She has done this before, and she can do it again! God made her body to do exactly what she is doing, and she is doing an awesome job! Don't worry if its not progressing that fast. After all, there's NO NEED TO RUSH! We have a long way to go, and she can do it!


5:51pm - My mom took another quick video and I was definitely making pushing sounds at this point. Gideon was moving down but for some reason even though I knew I was making pushing sounds, I was still so nervous that I had hours to go and I wouldn't make it. A few minutes after that video I started feeling his head crowning and it hit me that I was actually almost done. It was so funny because I remember my mom asking Elliott if I needed to push, Elliott asked me and I couldn’t answer because the contractions were rolling in one after another so I couldn’t tell him the head was already there and I felt it. So here I was working on pushing out his head and they both had no idea! I knew that I had to be super careful and intentional pushing out his head or else I would tear and I didn’t want that to happen! My last two water births I didn’t tear at all so I was a little nervous that since I wasn’t in the water that I would tear. I kept one hand on his head the whole time he was coming out so that I could control how fast it happened. Once his head was out his body came quickly. I calmly pulled him up, his umbilical cord was loosely wrapped around him. I removed and then I brought him to my chest.


Elliott's Perspective

NO NEED TO RUSH! We have so much ti... Wait, what did you say... you can feel his head?!?! That can't be right. Its literally only been 1 and a half hours since you said it MIGHT be starting. No...no you can't feel his head. We are suppose to have a lengthy process that goes into the wee hours of the night. We are suppose to have this beautiful night where we come together as a couple and prove that we are strong together. Where you can lean on me. Where I prove that you can rely on me. A night that we can look back on and say, "Look what we did together..." Oh, he's out now. Ok moving on. Main job: Stop filling pool (only got like 4 inches high), get the towels that I thought I had time to get, and plug in the heating pad that I also didn't have time to do.


It's strange. We are on our living room floor with our newborn son in our arms. Half of the stuff we needed for his birth was either not ready or unused, and our midwife still isn't here. I should have felt panic, fear, anxiety...take your pick. But the fact is, while we waited for the midwife, I never felt any of those things. God definitely prepared us through our other births so that we felt confident, composed and in control.


6:05pm - Gideon was born! I was in absolute shock at what had just happened. My mom took another video at 6:07pm and it’s my favorite. Elliott was sitting in front of me and the kids were in a semi circle around me trying to get good looks at their newest sibling. About 5 minutes after he was born the midwife showed up and helped me move to the couch. The photographer and the birth assistant arrived right after that. I delivered the placenta at 6:20pm and his first latch was at 6:45pm. I think it took Elliott and I a while to process everything because it was so quick. I prayed my entire pregnancy that I would have a fast labor and God certainly answered that prayer! Once again, I am SO thankful we decided to invest in another home birth. I loved having the other kids there and they loved being there. I think them witnessing their brothers birth was so special. Every child is different, so I'm not saying every child should be at a birth. However, I think sometimes we underestimate what kids can handle, we think birth might scare them. I think my kids were probably the most relaxed people in the room! They just observed everything and it was all so natural to them. I know there were people that thought we were a little crazy having them there, but we wouldn't change a thing. And the girls still say they want lots of babies hahaha

It was also really cool having my mom there! She was such a huge help leading up to labor, during labor, and the weeks following Gideon's birth. She did so much and I am so thankful for her servant heart. We had never had anyone there for us before during the kids births, so it was just so special that we could finally share the experience with her.

Elliott's Perspective

If you really know me, you know that I am an emotional person. At all of our other children's births I have cried like baby (pun), but its always during labor and right at the birth. Gideon's birth, however, happened so fast that nothing really sank in until after. I can't speak for others, but for me, the feelings experienced after having your 2nd son/4th baby is no less potent than the first. The same emotions that I felt at my other kid's births rushed over me and I'm just incredibly grateful to God: my Creator, Redeemer, Father and Friend!


A lot of people have been asking if I was freaking out because the midwives weren’t there. Honestly, I was completely at peace. I felt like I knew what I was doing and I also trusted Elliott as well, he’s been extremely involved in all of my births and was also completely at peace with it just being us delivering Gideon. I’m actually thankful it was just us in those moments that he was born because I felt like it was so intimate and special. The only thing that I was super upset about was the photographer not being there (which was completely my fault, she’s incredible and came right when I told her to! I just should have told her sooner hahaha). My births are so so special to me and I love having those moments captured. Luckily, she got some amazing shots of the rest of our first few hours!


Sarah Elizabeth Photography - https://www.sarahelizabethtog.com