I’m so excited to share our first birth story on the Podcast! My friend Madi Reimer, you may follow her on Instagram. She is the quirky Minnesota gal pal who shares stunning sustainable outfits, motherhood inspiration and nourishment for your soul and body. She has a 2.5 year old Rosie and a newborn baby Zina who was born at home just a couple months ago. In this podcast interview we talk about the transition from one to two kids, unmedicated birth, home birth, postpartum and Madi’s connection to her faith in birth. It was seriously such a great conversation that I hope you all love. My favorite part is that we recorded it when Madi was just six weeks postpartum so everything was really top of mind for her and her sweet mama brain is like scrambled eggs focusing on baby Zina which I loved. I tried not to over edit so you get to hear the raw conversation as much as possible.
The Transition from 1 to 2 Kids
Madi’s first daughter, Rosie is a little over 2.5 years old and it was something that she prayed for that Rosie could have a bestie gal pal growing up. She had a hard time thinking about processing that their final baby might not be a girl, and originally decided not to find out the gender of the baby so she had a lot of time trusting in the Lord’s decision. Eventually she heard Jesus in her life speaking to her that “it is okay, you don’t have to stress any more, find out the gender of your girl.” She later then opened the envelope and found out that what she had prayed for came.. She was having a girl!
“We spoke it into existence prior to her even coming.” – Madi Reimer
It was very important to her and her husband Chase that they speak what they desire for their girls’ relationship and friendship into existence. They spent a lot of time talking about Baby Zina as if she was already a part of their family. They cultivated and built a strong bond with Baby Zina before she even arrived. Words are powerful and when they speak about Baby Zina she is never a burden or in their way of connecting with Rosie. Integration of family is important where Rosie has a hand in everything and gets to be a part of their connection to Baby Zina.
“We would talk about Baby Zina all of the time. I highly recommend that for those that have an older child, just talk about it all of the time.” – Madi Remier
Madi shares a sweet story where Baby Zina can’t really control her arms and does a startle reflex and touches her daughter Rosie. Rosie’s response is, “Ahhh, Baby Zina touched me.” As in, it was a beautiful moment for her. Madi says, “Rosie just sees every moment with her as the sweetest connection with her little sister. It is so heart melty.” Every day they put effort into building a lasting bond for their girls with mindful connection. Words are powerful and Madi truly speaks their love and kindness to one another into existence.
Her First Unmedicated Birth
Madi’s first birth she knew confidently that she wanted an unmedicated birth and planned her birth at an out of hospital birth center. She hired a doula, took the birth classes, read all of the books and truly felt like she was ready to have the natural birth of her dreams. The entire time she was in labor she felt like she was much further along than she really was and that she was just surviving each contraction or wave. Madi says, “I felt like a victim to my body, and I just was trying to make it through.” After reflecting on her birth she felt like it was not an empowered birth. Yes, she was able to give birth unmedicated and after Rosie was born she felt euphoria and empowered but the labor itself… She knew there was another way.
Surviving The Feeling vs. Empowerment in Every Wave
“I felt like a victim to my body, and I just was trying to make it through.” – Madi Reimer
How did you know Home Birth?
During a doula interview a doula asked her a question that really stuck with her and helped her to process where she wanted to ultimately give birth. The doula prompted, “Close your eyes and imagine where you are when you give birth. Where are you holding your baby when they are born?” In the moment Madi knew she wanted to give birth at home. Without a doubt in her mind. Madi shares, “The Lord will speak to our spirit the exact birth that our baby needs.”
Madi has a strong connection to her Faith and truly believes that if you listen close enough you can hear the Lord speak to you and tell you which birth is right for your baby. Each baby needs a different birth and birth location and it is not a one size fits all scenario. Home birth is not for everyone or every birth but Madi felt like it was right for Baby Zina and her at the time. She leaned in and had faith in the Lord’s plan for Baby Zina.
“Trust your instincts. You know what is best.” – Madi Reimer
Madi’s Preparation for Home Birth
- Hire a Homebirth Midwife & Turn your home into a “birth center”
- Read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth Book
- Ellen Fisher Birth Course
- Doula Support
- Nourishment – Pro Metabolic and nutrient dense food
- Movement – Barre3 that is mindful workout with stretching
- Cultivating Inner Peace
- Healing Relationships
- Faith & Connection with The Lord
- Chiropractic Care
- Have a Birth Manifesto
Write a Birth Manifesto
Write down the feeling that you want to experience physically, emotionally and spiritually. The power of your mind and thoughts is so crazy and can control the outcome of your birth. Manifestation is so powerful my friends. Madi wrote down dates, details and feelings.
“I wanted to lean into the feelings instead of running away from them.” – Madi Reimer
Everything came true from her Birth Manifesto! She manifested and cultivated her empowered, orgasmic and intimate home birth.
Baby Zina’s Home Birth Story by Madi Reimer
Before getting pregnant this time, I was afraid of the “pushing” part of labor to come. I didn’t learn enough about it with Rosie, and when I got there, I didn’t feel connected to my body and went into a fight or flight mode- where my subconscious took over and I was unintentionally imitating all the movies with some screams, and a swear word or two. But that isn’t this story. Honestly Zina coming out of my body was my favorite part, because it felt SO. GOOD. ⚡️
I overcame so much fear in this pregnancy- over the fact I knew how much work I would have to put into it, over what I was eating, what motherhood would be, what birth would be, etc. I faced it all head on so that it wouldn’t be a part of my birth story. I dove deep into more intentional spiritual practices with Jesus (like Sabbath/clearing out distraction), I pursued healing in relationships, & leaned into an intuition of my body like I never have before. Birth is so much more than a baby being born. In preparation for it, and through it, and after it, it’s this overpowering transformative work of body, soul and mind. At about 28 weeks I signed up for @ellenfisher’s birth course, and this was the missing puzzle piece to everything I’d been working on. She introduced this concept of “mind change” and creating a Birth Manifest. In short, this is where we remove subconscious beliefs about birth, and replace them with future memories of what we want to embody in labor/birth.
What I manifested, literally happened.
I have a personality that goes “all in” on whatever I’m into at that moment- I’m passionate about being passionate, if you will. So this is what my experience was, and it worked for ME. I wanted an empowered, sensational, joyful, peaceful, intuitive home birth. And I did everything I possibly could to have that.
In my manifest, I wrote that I wanted to go into labor between Feb 2-4th (guess date was Feb 7/8). On Feb 1, we went to dinner with my parents at Owamni, and then celebrated baby to come with dessert at i.e. The energy that night felt different. I knew she was coming VERY soon.
Thursday Feb 2, I woke up with a little bloody show. This was the first sign of labor with Rosie, so I was attuned to the journey beginning. Announced to chace and Rosie- BABY IS ON HER WAY
I kept myself busy to distract my mind. Rosie and I had a final mama/daughter date grocery shopping, & I finished preparing the home with candles & flowers. My mom and bff serendipitously both stopped by for random purposes, so I let them know what was happening and they prayed over us. This moment was such a kiss from the Lord.
At 2:30pm, I was eating lunch on my birth ball watching a cozy movie and felt the first little hug of pressure in my body. Electric. My mind was racing thinking back through my labor with Rosie and comparing the stats of “ok if I felt this at 8am last time, and 2:30pm this time, then at this time.. etc” lol. Just NOT helpful mind work. So I turned on the Killers imploding the mirage album, danced/sang, & made a lasagna. This is a recurring theme this labor: the unending comparison to the last labor and my mind thinking too much about timeline, and continuously working to release control and expectations.
8pm my water broke. A new experience for me, so we were laughing a lot at the fact fluids just gushed out of me while I tried to put on pants. But I wasn’t experiencing stronger surges yet. Every wave was short and small and nothing to focus on. Felt like a good time to practice my breathing I learned from the @ellenfisher course. Feeling so much JOY !!
Another Manifest: I wanted to be able to SLEEP soundly through the nights in this labor, with stable & restful breaths. I didn’t want to be up in the night laboring. So, I intentionally rested my body and mind to pause labor, & we got a solid night’s rest with little to no contractions. Woke on the 3rd feeling baby girl move around, but not really any surges still.
There was no concern about the water being broken now for 12hrs. The midwives said if I’m not in an active labor pattern by hr 48, that’s when we would need to be making preparations for what that would look like. I’ve felt pretty chill about timeline now, but knowing I was on a clock really messed with my head !!
To move things along, I did the miles circuit, took walks, played piano on my birth ball, took cold 2min showers then went to cuddle chace. Oxytocin boosts! There wasn’t progress being made so we decided to relax & play settlers of catan. Ro went to my parents at noon.
At 6:30pm the midwife brought a “labor party” kit of tinctures & protocols to begin at 8am. She completely calmed all fear about the “water breaking timeline.” Said that I was in a very normal percentage and I WILL be in labor by morning bc of the kit. Before she left, she flipped my cervix so it was in optimal position/did a membrane sweep- which was super invasive and uncomfortable, but I was grateful to not be taking any drugs to induce. Felt like the right thing to do.
Immediately after she did it, I had soaring contractions. Chace was timing them sporadically, but wouldn’t tell me where I was at (they were 30-40 seconds at 3ish mins). I never wanted to know any stats. I was so internal, wanting to just be in my body feeling it all, channeling my intuition & strength.
I knew I had another level up to go in how the surges felt. I didn’t want to pursue getting to that next level in the night; I wanted rest and to get things going in the am. So to keep things chill we watched the Proposal.
At 1:30am we focused in deeper on the waves to see if we’d sleep or not. I threw up (which felt SO GREAT) & it slowed me down. So we snuggled on the couch all night with worship music playing, & got another night of rest! I had surges for those 5hrs of sleep, but it felt amazing with steady, controlled BREATHS🌬️
In the @ellenfisher course, she emphasized breathing internally instead of letting the air out of my mouth. I would breathe in through my nose, then create an ocean wave kind of sound in the back of my throat as I breathed down. This sent all the softening energy to my pelvic floor. Every contraction had a purpose, & I knew I was capable of softening and opening.
I also loved MOVING. I danced a lot and rarely sat down. If I did, It was on the birth ball for a moment, or going into a deep squat. Switching up movements was incredible and kept my mind enjoying the ride.
Sat, Feb 4 @ 8am Chace prepared my herbal tincture shots while I danced through waves in the morning light. I felt so dang good. Ready to press in. The next thing on our labor party kit was to apply clary sage and coconut oil on my belly. By 9:30am, we couldn’t even get to the other 16 steps on the protocol because I started to fall into a labor flow. THANK YOU BODY AND THANK YOU JESUS. I loved this part bc I wasn’t waiting for anything to amp up to a next level, I just embraced every surge, breathed down, & moved my body intuitively. Threw up my breakfast shake. Felt great. At this point, I was ready for Chace’s counter pressure on my back so I could focus on softening my birthing muscles/my jaw.
10am I took a 30min shower. The hot water on my back felt amazing as I braced myself on the wall. Every contraction from here till noon was completely on top of one another. Birth team all arrived between 10-11am.
A concept that’s worth mentioning that I was focusing on in this pregnancy was learning how birth and sex are interconnected. @ellenfisher’s podcast eps with @thenakeddoula and also with @kimanami were helpful tools. I’m sharing this because it helped me a lot: Breathing through orgasms in pregnancy taught me a lot about breathing through contractions. I was embodying that same energy. My mind went to a euphoric state & I surrendered to each wave like they were pleasurable. I also manifested and worked towards having an orgasmic birth. This can mean a range of things but essentially, intimacy helped me understand oxytocin, & to release/soften my body in labor. It is called LABOR & I LABORED, but my mind was helping my body go toward the “pain” and reframe it as an energy charging experience⚡️
The more I embraced the surges & welcomed them, the faster baby would be here. I went toward the places I didn’t want to go (Thank you birth course)
11:55am I was feeling her really heavy on my perineum, and I threw up again lol. I think I was in transition.
12pm a midwife had me STOP because my uterus was working overtime trying to rotate baby. To help spin bb, I laid on each side for three surges each. I literally fell asleep for an hour.
I need to emphasize how deeply I was sleeping for an hour while baby spun. My body only had 6 contractions that whole time, so the three midwives were all a bit confused to where I was at. One asked if I could have a cervical check (I later found out this was bc one thought I was either completely stalled OR completely ready to go). I refused bc intuitively I knew I was going to have a baby soon, (plus I HATE THEM), but my mind was confusing me since the professionals’ emotions were speaking to me otherwise. My head felt cloudy, and I wasn’t looking forward to having to go through the ramp up into active labor flow again.
So I’m finally getting up, it’s like 1:08pm and one midwife suggests that I go labor on the toilet with one leg on a stool to help shift my pelvis. I get to the bathroom and express to Chace how discouraged I was feeling. He looks right into my soul and says “i know you don’t want a cervical exam, so you’re going to have to have this baby. Let’s do this.” And I was like OK LET’S DO THIS. I CAN DO THIS. I felt safe, so my mind refocused.
Meanwhile, my doula told the midwives that my space had been invaded too much & I needed an hr alone. So they literally were going to order lunch, grab something from their car, etc
1:12pm – I have 2 contractions on the toilet. These felt REALLY intense. On the third contraction, I had to stand & brace myself on the bathroom counter bc I felt Zina just plop into my birth canal. Chace is now in the shower holding my body. My growly sound on this surge caught attention of a midwife. I ask chace to grab a chucks pad for the floor because birth stuff was coming out of me. She comes in w the pad/to check my vitals.
1:15pm – as she’s trying to check I have another contraction, roar like a lion, & out crowns Zina’s head. The midwife calls out to the others “um we have a head! 6cm in view!” I see Z’s beautiful head in the bathroom mirror & have to look down to double check – A BRUNETTE !😭 I say out loud, “you’re a brunette!! I had 4 dreams you would be a brunette!!”
I breathed up to open, didn’t push, and waited for the next wave for my body to pop baby out on its own.
Meanwhile all the midwives, my doula, & photographer (who just arrived) are in my tiny bathroom. Midwives were touching the head, asking me to push a little, not knowing when I was having a contraction, & I was like stop I want to breathe her out. Rosie was pulled out a little and I didn’t want that happening again. Chace said later that at this moment there were too many cooks in the kitchen, plus an over-educated birth mother and it was a lot going on Haha.
I wanted what I wanted. Wish they weren’t so hands on at this point but I really took them by surprise and they’re just trying to be safe, so I get it.
1:17pm – I quick low-growled during the next contraction, and the rest of Zina’s body glides out. I immediately scream a joyful happy squeal “OH MY GOSH!!!!! Oh my gosh!!” As I finish grabbing her from below. *most shocked face ever from me.
Chace is just sobbing*
Rosie and my mom arrived minutes later, so we had a pool party to birth the placenta.
She was supposed to be there for the birth but this turned out better – that bathroom couldn’t have fit one more person lol. Ro got to gift Z her plushie she picked out for her too.
My body really took over and I surrendered to it. OUR BODIES KNOW HOW TO GIVE BIRTH. I also totally experienced Fetal Ejection Reflex This is essentially your body
“throwing up” your baby in 2-3 contractions lol.
Written in my birth manifest: I wake up on a sunny day, labor for 6-8hrs, then have baby between 1-2pm with my breath, no pushing. I assumed it would be in the pool but this was even better. Zina has her own special unique story xx