When we got pregnant this last time I knew I wanted a home birth. I had two previous deliveries in the hospital, neither were horrific nor were they what I wanted for my deliveries. I didn’t want drugs, but gave in and got them, I didn’t want to lay on my back but again I did what the doctor and nurses wanted. I wasn’t going to have another labor and delivery go according to what everyone else wanted. I was older and knew what I wanted. The hardest part was convincing my husband that a home water birth was the best thing for us. I did a lot of research and spoke to my boss about the midwife that she had had when she was pregnant and that led us to Mary Anne and the Tender Beginnings team.
We had our consult with Mary Anne on July 4th, she greeted me with a hug and from that moment I knew she was “the one” we were laughing and joking around and were having a good time. What amazed me was right after she left our house my husband said yes she’s “the one.” He appreciated the fact that she answered all our questions and we didn’t feel like we were bothering her at all even on a holiday. Mary Anne had a very friendly and loving disposition from the very first meeting and stayed that way throughout the whole pregnancy and delivery.
A couple weeks after meeting with Mary Anne I started to bleed and pass some large clots, I was freaking out but my husband, who freaks out about everything, was very cool and calm and said lets call Mary Anne. We hadn’t even finished filling out the paperwork for her yet. To my surprise they got me scheduled for an ultrasound the next day. Everything was good and the baby and I were fine. I was very grateful to Mary Anne for being there with me and for her team truly caring enough to get me an appointment so quickly.
My first appointment with Mary Anne and Rachel was a pleasant surprise, we talked about nutrition, exercise and we were joking and laughing. It never felt like I was a client of theirs, it felt like we were a family. I would look forward to my appointments with Mary Anne and the ladies. My older boys never came to my appointments but was always asked about them and my husband and I could tell she genuinely cared about them as well and that meant a lot to me.
At the 20 week ultrasound my older boys finally got to see and hear the baby. They were very excited and started asking all kinds of questions about everything they were seeing.It was a great learning experience for them. We never felt that the boys were bothering them with all their questions.
Right after my 35 week appointment I had started to have contractions, nothing regular but they were noticeable. I told Mary Anne at my next appointment and we had also discussed what was going on with my life at the time and she told me I had to much stress to go into labor and to take it easy, rest, drink tea, put my feet up and get some sleep. Well I woke up the next morning feeling crampy and had a backache so I decided not to go to work. I also started having bloody show as well. My contractions were so irregular that I didn’t want to call Mary Anne yet I didn’t want her to think I was crazy, this was my 3rd labor I knew contractions were supposed to be regular. I was having contractions that were 5 mins apart then 20 mins apart then 6 mins, it was driving me crazy. When I did finally call Mary Anne, we both decided it was best for her to stay home but I just wanted to give her a heads up because this was similar to my first labor. Well contractions stayed this way till 12:30 am, then they were coming about every minute lasting a minute. Roy called at this point and was so cool and calm. You want to see a man kick into action, let him think he’s delivering his own baby. Within 30 mins he rearranged our living room, had the pool set up and was making the bed per the instructions all the while I’m on my hands and knees in the living room and he’s quietly panicking and telling me I’m not allowed to push till the girls get here.
When Mary Anne, Elise and Rachel arrived they were very quiet and calming. Even though I was having very strong contractions that were coming rather quickly their presence was like a wave of calm and reassurance that everything was going to be fine. Even during some very intense contractions Mary Anne and I were talking and laughing. Rachel was very soothing and knew exactly where to put pressure on my back to help counter the pain. I couldn’t see Elise but I could hear her telling me I was doing a great job. I could hear them getting their stuff set up but they were also very quiet. Just hearing them cheering me on was so empowering and I knew in my heart that everything was exactly as it was supposed to be. When it was finally time to get in the pool,the water was so soothing and gave me immediate relief. What was surprising to me was that both Roy and I remained so calm and we were talking and laughing most of the time while having some really strong contractions. I honestly didn’t think it was possible to be laughing while you are about to give birth, but it was. Roy had to leave the room for a minute and of course it was right before the baby was crowning, well I was not about to let him miss the birth of his baby and neither were Mary Anne, Rachel or Elise they all started yelling for him it was almost like cheering, it was funny. He came back just in time to see his 3rd son being born. From the time the ladies arrived till the time Quinn was born was a total of an hour. Everything went so quick and was so relaxed. This was definitely the labor and delivery I had always pictured and I finally got it this time.
This was definitely the easiest delivery and the quickest recovery I had . The most relaxed and loving healthcare team I had ever had. When Roy would describe it to people he said that the ladies came in and took care of everything and with their arrival came calming and love and that was great because then he could focus on me and us. When Quinn was born he said watching him floating in the water was amazing because he was just calm and looking around. He describes this experience to everyone as to what the true meaning of what bringing life into this world is supposed to be. Surrounding yourself with people who truly care and carry love and warmth with them and having great support all the the time. I can honestly say that I can’t describe it any better than he did/does.
It was one of the most empowering and amazing experiences I know I will ever have. If we do decide to add any more blessings to our family we will definitely be calling on Tender Beginnings again. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to have Mary Anne, Rachel and Elise be apart of our family even if it was for a short time. We have some great memories and can’t thank them enough. We are blessed to say that Tender Beginnings helped us to have the best labor and delivery I could’ve had that welcomed our 3rd son into our family and those ladies are awesome.