The Homebirth of Emmaline Claire

One year ago today, this was the scene in our bedroom. It was finally time to welcome a new little person into our family!

We knew this babe was turned posterior, which means that labor could start and stop...and continue that way for days. After a week or so of intermittent contractions...I was certain I was NEVER going to have this baby. Even while I was in active labor, I was texting my dear midwife friend Rebecca, telling her that the baby was actually not ever going to come out. She assured me that the baby would indeed make an appearance. She's so smart.

Lucy was unconcerned and finished up her nap as we set up the room and got ready.

The girls were so excited and helped Daddy get everything ready.

When we hired our midwife, Christine...we did so because she would allow me to labor completely alone and basically have an "unassisted birth". We just wanted a midwife there just in case I needed her for anything. And that is exactly how it all played out. When labor started up in a stronger fashion, I shoo shooed everyone out of my room and bounced on my ball. In between contractions, I read scripture, sipped on grape Recharge, and focused on TRUSTING my body to do what it already knew how to do. I think Christine came in ONE time to talk with me...and then left me to do my thing :)

I spent a lot of time on the ball...but as things progressed, I got into the tub. The contractions continued to get stronger and stronger...and I just let my body feel everything. Accepting it as it came.

After two successful homebirths, the third seemed A LOT easier. Mostly because I knew what was happening and what was coming up. The sensations were expected and embraced. I let my body push when it wanted to. The process felt so natural and free.

I didn't have internal dialation checks with Bella or Lucy, and this birth was no different. My experienced midwives with all three knew how to "read" my body language and my "song" and knew when birth was close.

The girls came in and out a few times during labor...but I mostly just wanted to be alone and focus. Matt would come in and just sit near and be silent. I enjoyed having his strong, reassuring presence in the room. Towards the time of crowning, Christine called Matt, the girls, my mom, and my sister-in-law Jessica into the room to see her join us earthside.

And just like that...SHE WAS HERE! Little Miss Emmaline Claire. I lifted her up...and held her close. That otherworldly moment of holding your child for the first time, skin to's pure magic. She was so calm and alert...we gazed at each other for quite some time and the rest of the world seemed to fade away.

I was THRILLED to add another little girl to The Happy Janssens :) What an amazing blessing!

A smile of pure elation. I did it! THREE homebirths. THREE girls. THREE times the love.

A proud Daddy kisses his third little girl. This sweet pea looks much more like HIM than me for once! :)

My mama was able to be at all three of my births, which is such a special thing to me that I will treasure always.

We used the cord burning method to cut the was a lovely, gentle ceremony of reflection. Quiet moments to focus fully on the bond that Emma and I shared while she was inside me.

Thursday, April 19 at 9:38 p.m. 7 lbs. 14 oz. (my weight at birth!)

Active labor started around 6pm, so it was the perfect length of laboring time for me. Not too long, not too short. Just right. And that's how this first year has been...just right. THREE feels so perfect. She is animated and curious...and her sisters just adore her. She is walking now, and climbing on everything. Let's just say we have to keep an eye on her every minute of the day :)

Her constant expression of amazement. She is an inspiring little being. We're so glad you're here Emmaline Jelly Bean. Happy Birthday!

Other birth related posts here.

At Home

Today we had our midwife visit with Kristine and "baby time" as Lucy calls it. Bella was in charge of documenting our time together...a big thanks to her for capturing these moments. Bella has been such a big help to me during this pregnancy...I can't wait to see her blossom into her role as the oldest of three.

Keeping track...

Talking about birth and sleep and snow and family.

Lucy loves to listen to the baby's heartbeat with the fetoscope...

...and so does Mommy. Boom boom boom boom...speedy little thing.

Helping to measure.

A quick nursey break. Many of you have inquired how it has been nursing Lucy during pregnancy. It's definitely had it's challenging moments...but I've never once thought about weaning (although we have mostly night weaned). It's such a sweet time of bonding for us, especially now as we talk about our family changing. Nursing helps her to process what is happening. She talks about sharing the nursies and how the baby will get this one and she will get that one :) It's so sweet to hear hear little thoughts coming out.

It's hard to believe that sometime soon this little one will no longer be our "baby". She is growing up before our eyes and will look enormous next to a tiny newborn. Her vocabulary and personality change daily and we just adore her.

We are savoring these final moments as a family of is such a beautiful, changing, transforming thing.