Thursday, August 18, 2016

Camilyn (Cami) Lively

On 14 Aug 2016 God blessed us with our seventh child, Camilyn Danielle Lively or Cami for short.  She was born at 8:29 AM weighing 7lbs 10ozs and was 20 1/4 inches long. It was a water birth assisted by our certified nurse midwife, Luanne Uriel while in the RV.  It was truly amazing!

A happy Misty with Cami just after she was born.

A proud papa with his newest girl.

Luanne, our midwife, with baby Cami.

Getting ready for this event took a little bit of planning.  We were not sure where we would have Cami and figured it would probably be in Dallas at a birthing center.  We knew that we did not want to have her in the hospital though.
After arriving in Rapid City we started going to church at Black Hills Fellowship and asked some of its members about a good midwife in this area.  Someone there mentioned Luanne Uriel and soon after she came out to our RV to begin Misty's care.
One good thing about having a home delivery is that the midwife comes to you, so no trips to the doctor's office for tests and checkups.  It is less stressful on the mom and baby.  Another great thing about it is that once you deliver, you are already home, in your own bed.  We would do it no other way.
Luanne was great along with her doula, Jenny McCormick.  If we decide to have more children, then we would love to do it again in SD with Luanne and Jenny.  We would recommend them to anyone wishing to have a home birth.
As I mentioned earlier, it took a little bit of planning to pull this off, especially on what to use for a birthing tub.  We first ordered a blowup tub from for $80.00 that was pretty flimsy and not worth the price.  So after sending that back we went to Tractor Supply and bought a Rubbermaid 100 gallon watering tank for $65.00.
I replaced its drain plug with a valve so that I could control draining and filling it.  Since it was only 26 inches tall, it would just fit through the door on the RV when tilted sideways.  The next challenge was how to fill it with hot or warm water. 

 100 gallon watering tank with valve installed.
 Misty doing a dry run of the tub.
Since we only have a 10 gallon hot water tank, using the RV's water supply to fill the birthing tub was not an option.  I could fill it using a water hose, but then it was hard to get the water's temperature to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.   We bought a bucket heater that is designed for a 5 gallon bucket, but it was too slow.

We also put pots on our 3 burner stove boiling water to try an heat up the water in the tub with them, but after dumping 10 of them in, the water in the tub was just lukewarm.   We had to get something that would heat the water up a lot quicker.
So the next thing to try was an instant hot water heater that is used for showers while camping that runs off propane.  I went to Camping World and bought an Eccotemp Instant Hot Water Heater.  I rigged it with a garden hose hooked to its output and ran that into the RV to the tub.
It got the job done, but I had to monitor it constantly to keep the flame burning.  For some reason it kept going out about every 30 seconds to couple of minutes.  I also had to make sure the water pressure was low so that it could heat it.
 Instant hot water heater I used to fill up the birthing tub in the RV.
 Instant hot water heater rigged with water hose on its output ran into the RV.
After a couple of test runs, I got the process down to fill the tub with 100 degree Fahrenheit water in around 30 minutes.  Luckily Cami waited long enough for me to get the tub filled.
Everything went as scheduled and Misty was only in labor for around three hours.  Even though she still had considerable pain while doing a natural birth, the warm water in the tub helped reduce the pain and had a calming effect between contractions.  The water also allowed her to move around easier when she needed to.
We also diffused Young Living Gentle Baby essential oil and I had the bottle ready for Misty to smell while having her contractions.  She said that in between and during contractions, she would suddenly feel a calmness come over her and then realize that I was holding the bottle under her nose.  The scent would do it every time.
We also anointed little Miss Camilyn with frankincense oil afterwards on her head and feet while saying a prayer of thanks to God. 
Misty also said that the tub's design helped her get into a better position by putting her knees up on the ledges, made where the tub was indented at the bottom, to give birth.  It helped her push better during contractions.

Luanne was so impressed with the tub that she is going to recommend it to other mothers who want to do a home water birth.  It was the perfect size for both her and Misty and made it easier for her to assist with the birth.
All in all it was a truly amazing, peaceful, spiritual experience and one we will cherish the rest of our lives. 
Video of Cami's first cry.
If it will not play here you can watch it on YouTube too by clicking here.

I know I say this every time, but God has been so good to us and has greatly blessed us.  I do not know how anyone who witnesses the miracle of birth, can say there is no God.
Luanne checking Misty's blood pressure while the tub is being filled with water.
If you are in the Rapid City, SD area and decide to have a home water birth, then Luanne is who you want to use as your midwife.  Jenny was a great doula and really helped Misty to calm down a couple of times when she was getting too wound up during the delivery.  Both her and Luanne made a great team. 
Luanne taking Cami's measurements while Jenny writes them down.
Misty enjoying chicken noodle soup while Luanne gives post birth instructions.
Kids admiring their new little sister.

Courtney holding Cami.

Tia holding Cami.

Ian holding Cami.

Avery holding Cami.

Ethan holding Cami.

 Chloe holding Cami.

Cami's getting her hair washed for the first time.
Our beautiful little angle from heaven.

Mommy and Cami taking a well deserved nap.
If you have any questions that I did not cover in this blog, please comment below or email us.  We will be more than happy to answer them.
If we do decide to have any more children, this is surly the route we will go again.  I can not put into words well enough of how at ease and amazing our home water birth was compared to those in the hospital.  It is one of those things you just have to experience yourself to fully appreciate.
God bless and may your endeavors work out well and may He keep you safe in all that you do.
Don, Misty, and Kids...
Twenty three states visit so far.


  1. God has blessed you with another little Angel <3 You may need to get a larger RV to make room for more children :) Beautiful, beautiful family :)

    1. God is good! We still have room for more, so we will see. Thanks so much!


  2. I received an email that the Knabe family posted the following comment on this blog: "You guys are amazing! Way to go Misty! She is so beautiful!"

    I do not know why it did not post to the actual blog, so have added this comment to document it and say Thanks!

    The Knabe family is our sister family who started their fulltime adventure the same time we started ours, so they hold a special place in our hearts. God bless you all!

    Don & Misty