The birth story of Moshe Paul

Moshe's little feet...
Moshe's little feet

We thank Yahweh for a beautiful, peaceful birth of our little son Moshe exactly 4 weeks ago today!

I seem incapable of writing a short birth story. Although it's been weeks, I remember every detail. Most of those details make it into my story. Some do not. Use your imagination if you wish! ;)

Moshe, 3 weeks old

Friday... the end of another work-filled week. Even though I'm tired, I give a hearty effort to have a productive day and be ready for a restful Sabbath.

This particular Friday, January 22, I am on my feet and busy about the house since our alarm went off at 4:50am. Our youngest child, Ruth, is turning 2 the next day, and Joshua's parents are coming for lunch at our house. Such excitement!

The children and I make a pumpkin sheet cake and a poppyseed chicken and asparagus casserole for tomorrow's birthday meal. We do our usual school work, laundry, cleaning... and everything else. By the time dinner is served and the kitchen cleaned up, I'm exhausted.

"I'm SO glad it's Sabbath!" I remark to Joshua, and he readily agrees. After playing with the kids for a while, we brush their teeth and send them off to bed. They were worn out, falling asleep quickly.

I drink several bottles of water. I must be dehydrated, because these Braxton Hicks contractions are rather strong...

I suddenly realize that I've been up for 14+ hours and haven't sat down, aside from dinnertime, a single time all day. I'm not surprised that my body feels so achey... a warm shower sounds like a good ending to the day.

As I comb my freshly-washed hair, I look at the clock. "Honey, what do you think about just heading to bed right now?"

"Well... it's only 7:15. I don't want to go to bed quite this early... How 'bout I read to you?"

Moshe, 3 weeks old

Joshua and I snuggle close in our bed and he starts reading from The Promise-Plan of God by Walter Kaiser. His reading is interrupted with my questions, and I soak in explanations of systematic theology, covenant theology, and "promise plan".

But my mind is wandering. Another contraction? I really need to go drink some more water.

I go back to giving my full attention to the book, trying to comprehend what Kaiser is saying. Oy. I understand things much more quickly when I'm reading it with my own eyes!

And I'm so tired...


These contractions are noticeable, yet mostly painless. Regular, yet so far apart.

Maybe I am in labor.

And if I am
in labor, maybe I will be giving birth in the next couple hours! (Ha, ha. My previous labors have been 7 hours, 3 hours, and 85 minutes long.)

But... I'm probably not in labor.

Moshe, 4 weeks old

"Tammy? Are you awake?" Joshua's voice pulls me from my fuzzy sleepyness.

"Ummm. I think... I fell asleep. Maybe we can read more tomorrow..."

I get up from the bed and head to the kitchen, drinking a bit more water.

Maybe I just need to walk around the house a little, and these silly Braxton Hicks contractions will subside. I wander between the kitchen and living room, tidying random objects and putting away the clean dishes I had washed earlier in the evening. But nothing subsides.

Rats. I am too tired to be in labor right now.

It's 9:30 pm, and Joshua puts aside his book. "Well, I'm going to bed."

It's 9:30 pm, and I'm feeling confident enough to break the news. "Ummm, Honey? I'm sorry, but I think I'm in labor right now."

Joshua's reaction is, of course, excitement! He suggests I call our midwife, and hops in the shower.

I call Charlotte, our midwife, at about 10 pm. My contractions are very regular (3-4 minutes) but not very long and I can still easily talk through them. I'm definitely in labor, but it's all so mild.

Maybe I'm one of those women who can dilate to an "8" without much pain! Wouldn't that be nice! Whee... what an easy labor.

I assure Charlotte that there's no immediate hurry to get here, but that I would like her to come soon since she lives an hour from our house. I convince Joshua to go to bed and get some sleep, telling him I will wake him when I need to.

I putter around... drinking my beloved pregnancy tea... pulling out the box of birth supplies... and getting more and more tired.

Eliyahu holds Moshe

I sit on the couch with my hot mug of tea, relaxing. I can still sit calmly through contractions, unlike any of my previous labors. So strange!

So nice, in one sense, to be in labor but remain composed and carry on conversation as normal. But not as nice when I realize how very tired I am getting...

Charlotte arrives with two assistants at 12:30am. I feel embarrassed as I let them in.

I look normal. I'm acting normal. I'm not in any great pain, even during contractions, which come steadily. Will they think this is all in my head?!

I close the bedroom door where our other three children are sleeping. The apartment is dim, and we all speak softly.

The midwives bring in lots and lots of stuff. Suitcases of stuff. Oxygen tanks. Fishing tackle boxes. And then pillows and sleeping bags!

They take my blood pressure, and we talk about how I'm feeling. Joshua gets up, and we listen to the baby's heartbeat. Lying down, the contractions are stronger than when I'm up. Charlotte says that some labors do produce stronger contractions (and thus progress faster) when the woman lies down.

Our apartment feels packed with stuff and people. I feel like everyone is waiting on me. I've called all these people here... now, I'm supposed to be having this baby.

My contractions aren't getting any closer, and all I feel is pressure (emotionally). They've only been here 10 minutes, but I can feel myself getting tense... and I know this isn't a good sign. I need to retreat.

Moshe, 2 weeks old

"I think maybe Joshua and I should go to bed and try to get some rest before things really pick up."

Everyone agrees, and the midwives roll out their sleeping bags on the carpet as Joshua and I head to our bedroom. As our door closes, I sigh.

"It feels nice to be in here, just the two of us. I need to forget that anyone else is even out there."

Joshua and I lay down together. I again convince Joshua to get some sleep. "Just because I'm in labor doesn't mean everyone else needs to miss a whole night's sleep!"

Joshua does sleep... and so do I. My contractions are waking me up, though. I'm so exhausted that I fall asleep for a few minutes, waking midway through the now-painful contractions. Waking is disorientating and I reach the point where I cannot relax at all lying down.

It's nearly 2:30am, and I'm pacing the tiny floor space in our bedroom. I place my hands on my hips and sway through each contraction. I'm trying to be quiet, as Joshua's breathing tells me he's truly asleep. Our living room holds two sleeping midwives. Another is sleeping on the floor in the dining area. And three children are asleep in the second bedroom.

I'm surrounded by sleeping people. Ahhhhh!!!! I need... more... space.

More contractions. More swaying. More trips to the bathroom.

The house is so quiet. The clock is moving so slowly.

Why in the world did I ever want to have a home birth? I could be relaxing in a hospital bed right now... oh, this is crazy. I'm so tired and these contractions really HURT. Abba, help me...

Surely I'm getting close. I think I'll ask Charlotte to check me. I'm probably, like, 7 or 8 centimeters by now.

I timidly wake Charlotte, and she is happy to check me.

"You're 2 or 3 cm... fully effaced... you're doing great!"

Oh, my. I should NEVER have asked.

Two or three??!! That is SO not possible. I could be in labor for days at this rate. I mean, I know that, like, getting to a "7" usually means you're getting close, almost there. Getting to a "2 or 3"? People do that before labor even starts.

I smile. "Okay. Thanks for checking me. I'm gonna go back to bed."

Moshe, 2 days old

I do go back to the bedroom, but I don't climb into bed. I pray, and pace as best I can, and try not to look at the clock, since it seems like it changes so slowly.

Two or three... I guess I have some work ahead of me. Probably a lot of work.

But I only make it another 25 minutes before I wake Joshua.

"Honey, I need you. My contractions are really strong. Charlotte checked me at 2:45 and said I was 2-3cm. I just need to lean on you and hug you..."

Joshua, sweet man that he is, hugs me and holds me through a contraction and then we leave the stuffy bedroom for the living room.

I sit on the couch between contractions. During contractions, I pace the floor. I wake Charlotte, have a contraction, and feel my water breaking, all at once. I run to the bathroom, and the cotton bath mat makes a nice sponge as I stand through more contractions, holding onto the door frame and Joshua.

At my request, Charlotte checks me again, and has much better news than she did 45 minutes earlier. Eight!

The midwives pull out chux pads and stuff to cover our couch/carpet, and Joshua and I go to the living room again. I soon feel a little "pushy", but wait until my body feels completely ready before giving in. My water breaks again (the rest of the way?) as I push.

I give birth standing/squatting, holding onto Joshua, very similarly to how Ruth was born (except this time we have a midwife to catch the baby!). I love that the midwives stay back, out of our way, and just let us have our baby...


The relief of feeling the warm, wiggling body has me exclaiming "Oh, our baby! Our little baby! Oh... look at him!"

What bliss to lie back against the couch, holding a tiny baby boy... who we called Moshe Paul. We praise Yahweh for His strength, care, and blessing in our lives!

Moshe with his siblings
Moshe sleeps, surrounded by his wild and loving siblings!


Hi Tammy,

I stumbled on your site while looking for homemade yoghurt recipes and kept reading about this creative, loving energetic mum who has time for a blog and more....

You are amazing and this little Moshe is a gorgeous boy, not forgetting the other happy older siblings. Such precious times to have them all in your life. You seem to have such a great partner too. I hope you had a happy Shabbat. I also rested today on the sabbath.

God bless


What a beautiful story Tammy! Thanks for sharing! :-)


What a lovely story! I must admit I laughed when your husband jumped in the shower. My husband does the same thing. "Honey, it's time." "Okay, let me shower." Huh? Congratulations!

I love reading birth storys! And I just found out, come October, I will have another birth story to share too! My 1st birth was 1 hr. 15 min. minutes long and the 2nd was 2 hours and 15 minutes they keep getting longer? I thought they were supposed to go quicker each time! Not in our cases I guess. :o) Everyone is different. This is the first time I have chosen to have a home birth too!
Thanks for sharing your story!

You have my highest respect for your birth story. I had my first 3 natural and opted for epidurals with the last 3. Either way I get a baby, so I decide to forego the pain involved. To the other poster ---- my labors were 14 hours, 4 hours, 7 hours, 12 hours, 8 hours & 10 hours. No rhyme or reason to how long they are with each baby - especially since #3, #5, and #6 were induced. Although #5 was a planned induction she was in charge and started labor a few hours before - she is still trying to be in control now at 2 years old!

Beautiful story. Moshe is such a handsome boy. I labored (hard labor) for 24 hours and only dilated to a two. I had to have a c-section when my son's heart rate started dropping. After the c-section the surgeon told me that I was too small framed to birth him. His head was "coned" for several days after his birth from when he was stuck in the birth canal for so long. It was an experience like none other!

I've been reading for a year or so (though I've never commented) and I had no idea that your family is Jewish! I can't believe I never picked up on it before. You have a beautiful family.

I thought she was Jewish, too, but she isn't. She and her family practice certain tenets of the Jewish faith, but they are Christian. I love birth stories. :)

Thank you! :) And the other commenter is right that we are not Jewish, but we do observe a 7th day Sabbath as well as the Biblical festivals, etc.! :)

I'm sorry, Tammy, I never remember how to log in. My name is Beth, but I am under "aricaiamama". I just made your strawberry surprise last night, to rave reviews. I'm Jewish, so a lot of what you practice is familiar. It's lovely to see people with such strong faith. I like the parts about how you train your kids and wish you'd write more about it.

I've been reading your blog and have tried some of your recipes. You should create a section for Holy Day recipes. I kinda have a few. I've been a messianic believer for about 13 years. So when I noticed that you mentioned The Name, I quickly figured you were a messianic believer as well.

What a great birth story. Our stories our pretty similar. My son, Samuel Thomas, was born at home the day before your sweet son. Thank you for sharing. If you are interested, you can read our birth story at :)

I just love reading birth stories...they're all so different, but yet all so very amazing. Thanks for sharing, and praise the Lord for His goodness is a safe, healthy birth and a beautiful baby!

I love love love birth stories!! What a blessed birth this was, too. Funny, I've been reading how home births often take place in the middle of the night so the other children are sleeping and aren't distracting mama. It's hard to believe a whole month has gone by already...

What a sweet story! Newborns are just so special :o)

What a wonderful birth story! Thank you for sharing and congratulations again!

YAY! I loved reading every word! I think it's so amazing that you went from 2-3cm to 8 in 45 minutes. Those were probably some very intense 45 minutes!

You have such a beautiful family. Take care!

Moshe is absolutely adorable! Congratulations!

What a great birth story! Your are a terrific wife, mom and writer.

Aww, what a sweet story of his birth! :)
It sounds like this birth was longer than the others but everything went smoothly; Praise the Lord for that!
And he is adorable; all 4 of your children are! :)
Thank you for sharing; I love home birth stories too.

I always love reading your birth stories :) I hope that someday I'll be brave enough to have a natural home birth. I've been reading a little about coached pushing in hospitals and thinking that pushing when you feel the urge to push would be so much better! I mean, that's why we have the urge to push, isn't it?

I'm just over halfway "through" my first pregnancy, so I guess we'll see how I handle the first labor before I think about anything else right now! lol

Thanks for sharing with us! I love birth stories......isn't it amazing how our bodies work? I almost hate for moms to get checked in labor as they tend to get that discouraged feeling often when they are not going fast, but like you things can change rapidly!!! Hope you are enjoying that sweet, beautiful baby!!!

Beautiful story, Tammy! Sometimes I have similar feelings during birth - who are these people and why did I ask them to be here, anyway?! :) I can't imagine what it would be like in a hospital, though, with lots of people whom I *didn't* ask to be there!

Loved reading your story - makes me so excited for the birth of our fourth in August.

And he is Precious with a capital P!!! :D I love it!

~ Mrs. Taft

Praise God! What a wonderful story! You have beautiful children.

So fun reading your story, Tammy! It was so eloquently written, too. I'm amazed that you had time to craft that in the midst of what must be an extremely busy life right now. :)

My last birth, the midwives just pretty much stood in the background and let us go through labor and delivery as a couple. It was a beautiful thing for Jesse and I to experience together.

Thinking of you and your precious little ones often.


Tammy, thank you for sharing both the pictures and the birth story. I really admire your transparency. How refreshing! I'm new to your site but am thoroughly enjoying all the recipes and ideas. In fact, the last four weeks I went to your site almost every hour just to see it there was anything new. WOW!! It was worth the wait......thanks so much. My prayers are with you and your family. God bless.

Oh, my... your comment made me smile! You are so sweet! :)

Everytime I read your birth stories I cry! I love how you wite tender Joshua is with you, how patient you are and how you lean on God for strength. Thanks for sharing these stories with us.


Tammy, I loved this story!!!

it sounds amazing.. but tiring.

I am glad that everything went well and that he is healthy.

he is absolutely beautiful!!

Thanks for sharing your was truly beautiful!!

what a beautiful baby (and family) you have!

I could so relate to some of your feelings during your birth! After 4 very fast home births (two of which the midwife just barely made it!), I assumed my 5th would be just as fast or faster. We called our midwife when it seemed evident that I was in labor, only to have everyone waiting on me (at least I felt that way!). The children were asleep in the next room, my mom was in the living room, our very small bedroom was full of equipment and bodies (the midwife and her assistant in addition to my husband and myself), and I felt so claustrophobic! But it was all worth it! :)

Congratulations on your precious son--he's so beautiful!

I was going to say I thought it was funny you kept thinking you were just dehydrated!!!

Thanks for sharing your birth story. Congratulations on another beautiful baby!!

I love to hear your birth stories! Praise God for his wonderful blessing to you, and for you to share with all of us.

Reading you birth story brings back the feelings of both of my homebirths! Especially my last one which was 18 hours (double the time of my first). I remember thinking this homebirth thing is crazy I should just go to the hospital and get some drugs. But my wonderful husband was there (he was actually joking with me at that point) making me laugh and helping me through. So glad to hear how well yours went! Thanks for sharing your life and recipes!!!

Thank you so much for this post and the lovely photos Tammy.

Moshe is so beautiful, I love that last photo of all your lovely children together while he sleeps!

Take care,

Love Louise

So precious!
Great story- and great work! He's beautiful!
Thanks so much for sharing him with us- he's so 'weet!

What a wonderful story! I am glad everything went so smoothly. Moshe is so darling!

~Elizabeth in Alaska

I love the story and the beautiful baby pictures. I gave you the Beautiful Blogger Award. Check out my site for details.

Simply congratulations to you and your family. You are truly blessed with a beautiful family.

Sharon in Snowing Chicago

I was just curious, is Moshe the same name as Moses in Hebrew?

Yes! :)

Ah, the story I've been waiting for! ;-) Beautiful, Tammy! Thanks for sharing!

Thank you for sharing your birth story. I love reading birth stories :)

What a beautiful baby boy, a lovely family, and a wonderful birth story! I love reading other mothers' birth stories. It's the one thing that we all have in common, isn't it? :)


Thank you all, SO MUCH, for your kind words! Your comments are a blessing to me!!!

Congratulations - he's gorgeous, and the big kids look so proud!

Thanks for sharing your birth stories - though I have to confess, they always make me a little jealous. Why does it seem as though everyone I know has relatively quick labors, and I have to push FOREVER? lol

God bless you and your family ~

Andrea Schroer

I just love reading your birth stories. I feel like I am there. Isn't it amazing how our other children can sleep right through it all? And I was pretty loud with #4. Bu they were all up within the hour after the birth. My kids have been wanting to be present at a birth since #5 was on the way. I am hoping it will happen with this one (#7). Your story reminded me of this: The funniest thing happened to me with #2. I was in labor on Friday, then Sabbath came and it all stopped. My Dad said, "Well, you can't labor on the Sabbath." HaHa, Dad. But as soon as the sun went down that night, my labor kicked in again and he was born on Sunday at sunrise.

New to your blog, stumbled across you looking for recipes.

What a beautiful little boy you have to join the others, you are blessed.


I feel honored to get to watch your sweet kids grow up! I've been coming here since your second boy was little! They are such good looking kids--all FOUR of them! Since you observe some Jewish customs, is that why no pork? I admit, I too, thought you were either Jewish or Messiahanic Jews [spelling?] due to the boys names. Interesting!

Lisa @

I love how your husband was such a support for you during your labor. I hear stories almost everyday from women who feel alone or abused in their marriage. It reminds me what a blessing it is to have such a loving husband and father for your children.

That is the most beautiful story ever. Thank you for sharing it with us.
May you days be blessed.

What beautiful birth story, such a miracle. Enjoyed reading and your children are precious! ~Tanya - mama to 6 treasures. :)

Thank you so much for sharing, I enjoyed your birth story very much. What a precious baby!!

What a blessing from God! They are so precious, thank you for sharing the beautiful birth story of Moshe!

elizabethk (forgot my log on info...)

congrats on your baby! Your story is so encouraging. I am expecting my third baby in June and looking forward to a natural birth. The story makes me anxious for the time to comd! Thanks for adding me back to your facebook friend's list :)


Congrats, again! and I always assumed (we all know what that does) you were Jewish too. How cool that you just observe the rites that we all should (I'm a Christian too). Thanks for sharing your story!


I have been out of the loop for awhile but signed into your new facebook page and realized this little one had already come! So I came over here to find this story. My son's middle name is Paul too after my father. Another lovely birth story. You are so blessed! Congratulations to you and your family. I'm so happy for you.


AW what a cutie! Congrats!

Thanks for sharing your story. It was beautiful and inspiring. I delivered our 4th baby in our in-motion van on the way to the hospital last October....a 45 minute labor. I think if we have any more kids, I'd rather stay home too :)

Tammy, I somehow missed this birth story last year. Beautiful! It's amazing how quickly we can dilate after being "stalled"! It was like that with Jedidiah, made for an intense hour when going from 6 to 10! :) Your children are absolutely beautiful, you are very blessed!

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