The Home Birth Story of Boaz Zephaniah

I think I am ready to share my birth story. At least I am working up the courage to do so. My pregnancy and home births have been such a time of personal growth for me and this one is no exception...

Boaz Zephaniah

Date: Yom Shabbat, 18th of Tevet ~ 7th day, 12/25

Time: 6:32 a.m.

Weight: 8 pounds 7 ounces

Length: 20 1/2 inches

Labor started around 4:15 a.m. but I was not sure "this is it."I'd had a couple contractions just like any day leading up to this point, but they were not painful, so I thought a warm bath would stop them if it wasn't the real thing.

At 5:05, contractions were 3 minutes apart and I still was not sure! They were not real intense. We started filling the pool just in case. At 5:11, I had a "show" and thought this "could be it."

    At this point, I cried. I was not prepared emotionally for the timing of this birth. I was still in denial, but logically I knew I was having a baby.

    At 5:34, I finally came to terms with the fact that "this is it."

    There was really no way to deny it now. Contractions were coming closer and closer and lasting longer. I had to remember to breathe through them, but I could not talk or move through them.  I tried to stay out of the pool (which wasn't even ready yet) and leaned against my exercise ball through them.

    At 5:40, I got into the pool as it was being filled. The water felt good, but it was not deep enough yet. Luke grabbed a bucket and started filling from the tub. This made the water from the kitchen sink turn cold, but the water was too warm, so it felt good. Luke had to boil water on the stove to warm the water later. 

    After I hit transition, I had a short break and then contractions were right on top of each other and very intense ~ nothing like I remember with Eliana ~ even though after reading back over her birth story I realized that I thought hers was intense! At one point I stood to pee and used the bedpan I had bought just in case. I am so glad because I don't think I could have made it to the bathroom as fast as things were progressing and I did not want to leave the pool. 

    At 6:13, my water broke ~ just 19 minutes before birth. I felt a pop and a gush and knew for sure that it had broken ~ I was still in the pool.

    With Eliana, I let her descend on her own as the contractions worked, but with Bo, as soon as my water broke, I had a strong desire to push with each contraction, which were now right on top of each other.  So, I pushed. Hard. I also yelled through the pushes. It was very intense. {At some point during this time I started praising YHVH. I couldn't pray for relief, for help ~ I was just compelled to praise Him.} I had Luke count to 10 and tell me to breathe. I could feel baby descend down the canal and reached with my hand to feel the head coming out. Luke was holding my hands and wanted to let go - I didn't want him to!! I couldn't let go. At that point Jordan took my hands and squeezed ~ his little hands felt so good and were the perfect size (I could only squeeze 2 of Luke's fingers on each hand). Luke then got behind me to catch the baby who came out with the next push.

    (Looking back, I realize that I did not let myself relax, open up naturally and just let this baby just be born.)

    At 6:32, Boaz was born. Daddy caught him this time. 

    Total labor: 2 hours 17 minutes. 

    Pulling baby out of the water.

    Baby cried as soon as Luke pulled him out of the water. 

    And he handed me baby. 

    With Eliana, I made sure she was pink and breathing and okay before I checked if she was a girl, but Boaz was crying and pink when Luke handed me him so I looked right away! I had to know!

    And he was covered with vernix! It was more than I remember with Eliana. 

    I suctioned his nose, and then latched him on right away and nursed him for the first time. I kept him warm by keeping him under the water, which was easier this time because the pool wasn't as full. I had Jordan pour more warm water in that had been boiling on the stove. 

    After about 30 minutes, I delivered the placenta. 

    When I did, it stuck. Eliana's placenta was sticky too, but gravity prevailed ~ this time I was in the pool and it floated. I waited until the next contraction and then I pushed. It came out, but looked nothing like Eliana's. I took pictures to show the midwife, but was concerned. She told me to massage my uterus to help it clamp down over the next 24 hours.

    Turns out the placenta was intact and everything came out okay. The placenta had pulled away from the wall of the uterus and immediately started clotting. So, when it came out, in the sac with the clots, it was hard to see the maternal side of the placenta and I had no idea what I was looking at. 

    The placenta also told the story of my hemorrhage at 9 weeks. 

    At 9 weeks, just after I posted my announcement that we were expecting, I hemorrhaged. (Note: before coming to Torah, I miscarried at 8 weeks, so I thought I was in the clear at 9 weeks, even though I believe that Father's word is true ~ I believe in the blessings that His word promises for those who follow His Torah according to Deuteronomy 30. I have to believe that His Word is true. 

    I believe now that I was being tested in my faith. 

    When I hemorrhaged, I thought I lost the baby at first. I was in tears as I left Home Depot that day. I felt a gush and when I checked it was bright red blood and I was soaked. If so, I was going to have a hard time reconciling this with my faith for sure. 

    So, I prayed.  

    Then Father gave me the name chayah, which means, "to live, to restore to life." At the time, I didn't know if it was a name or a promise or both, but I prayed for confirmation that all was well. I found some information on subchorionic hematoma, which is a hematoma (pooling of blood) between the placenta and the uterus. It can rupture and cause the placenta to pull away from the uterus. I felt that this is what happened.  

    I wrote this in my journal that day:
    The verse I feel Father is giving me for this pregnancy: “For I walk by faith not by sight. . . “ 2 Cor 5:7
    See, I could easily go get an ultrasound to confirm the hematoma, confirm the beating of the little one’s heart and know that all will be okay. . . (the sight part). But, I am walking by faith not by sight! I have to trust that this little life is in the Father’s hands. I have faith that the baby is okay because of the hope that I have in Yeshua.
    After the initial gush, I bled on and off for 4 weeks. I wrote this in my journal at 12 weeks:
    I wish I could see Father's purpose in all of this and take comfort in His plan. I remember going through this with my pregnancy with Eliana and looking back, I can see how it was priming me to trust in Him. Just can't help but wonder what He is priming me to trust in this time.
    ~Father, I completely trust in Your will for this life in me and give all my worries to You. Help me to find comfort in trusting that although I can't see, You can. Help me to always remember that I walk by faith not by sight. ~
    I see now that I was trusting Him with this life.

    This sweet precious life.

    I did NOT lose a twin as my midwife originally suspected (Hallelu Yah!).  My original suspicion of a placental separation and pooling of blood (hematoma) was evident because the part of the placenta that pulled away from the wall died. There was a small area that was white, indicating that the placenta died in that spot. 

    I feel very blessed that Father protected the rest of the placenta and this babe! My pregnancy and birth with Eliana (my first up/uc) was a faith stretcher. I knew if I ever had another it would stretch my faith even more.

     And it did.  

    Bo in all his newness.

    Bo is perfect in every way. I love him so much! I wanted a girl for Eliana, but Father knows better what she needs and I am so very pleased that I had a boy. I knew either way I would, but I didn't realize how much!

    Brit Milah (Covenant of Circumcision) ~ Boaz' was circumcised on the 8th day. We consider this a gift to him and our duty as parents in willful obedience to the law. We keep the written law as evidence of the law written on our hearts. We obey outwardly as an inward sign of the circumcision of our hearts. It has always been about the heart. This is how we walk in the newness of the Spirit and keep the Spirit of the Law.

    We also gave Boaz his Hebrew name ~ which is the Hebrew spelling of his name: Boaz Tsephanyah. I made up two home birth certificates and did his foot prints. His Hebrew birth day is the 18th of Tevet, the 10th Biblical month . . . and we will observe the anniversary of his Hebrew birth day. 

    We had no problem registering his birth ~ some paper work and 2 notarized affidavits acknowledging the pregnancy and birth.  We waived the newborn screening.  I didn't do this with Eliana either, even though it is so called "required" by law.  Apparently not.

    We were blessed with meals everyday the first week and baby clothes. I only had 2 boy outfits, but plenty of blankets and onesies, so he was warm, but it was a blessing to receive some long sleeve onesies, some gowns, and a few outfits. Then during our trip to Montana to see the midwife, I picked up some socks, some more long sleeve onesies, some sleepers and a few blankets with some baby money we were given. I'm so thankful for all the baby blessings we have received ~ from online friends and friends close to home! Abba always provides!

    It took me a few days to get over how intense the labor and birth was. I kept thinking about it over and over and couldn't believe it was over and that my baby Boaz was in my arms. My prayer as I healed physically from this birth (I tore from pushing so hard) is that I heal emotionally from it. I know I wasn't prepared emotionally or mentally for this birth and that played a part. I had a lot of stress in my life the 2 weeks before Boaz was born and the timing wasn't my ideal (we don't celebrate Christmas).

    But, I know that he came in Father's timing...

    Boaz was born on a holy day (Shabbat) and was circumcised on a holy day (Shabbat). :-)

    Thank you, Father, for Your Love, Your protection, and Your mercy.


    1. Chel - I love your birth story - and of course we love baby Bo too!

    2. Michelle, what a beautiful birth story! Each birth teaches us so much about the Fathers heart doesn't it!! Your story has greatly encouraged me! I have lots I need to work thru and process before this bubbas birth.
      Boaz is just gorgeous, love all the freshy photos of him !!!
      Luv and hugs

    3. What a beautiful birth story. IT is amazing that each birth can be so different.A beautiful baby boy-congratulations!!

    4. What a beautiful story and a beautiful baby. Congratulations!! May YHVH keep and bless you and your family.

    5. Thank you so much for sharing your story and pictures. I had tears in my eyes when I saw the picture of you holding Boaz right after the birth. How precious life is!

    6. What a beautiful birth story! Praise YHWH for His goodness and protection! Congratulations and love from our family to each of you!

    7. such a wonderful birth story Michelle. Thank you for sharing how YHWH's presence was there during the presence of your son's birth, one of His children. Blessings ~ Carmen

    8. I am so thankful that you shared your birth story!!! Praise Yahuah for a wonderful safe birth. Boaz is so beautiful. May He richly bless your family even more!

    9. What an awesome birth story. I wish I would of been able to say to my docs to not do a c-section and wait to see if the baby would turn for my first pregnancy but I thought he knows best. Now with every one I have had to have c-sections. It was sad I can never go through a beautiful birth like this. The Lord has bleesed your family with so much. WHat a beautiful family you have. God Bless!

    10. Hi lovely Chel,
      I thought I had commented on this post (since I've now read it 3 times!) but I haven't! I LOVED reading (and re-reading!) Bo's birth story. It has encouraged me greatly. Love reading about what YHVH taught you through this pregnancy and birth.
      So a late comment from me but better late than never hey! Lol :-)
      Much love,
      Lus x