Alyssa Grace was born at home on August 15, 2008 at 6:45am. Her birth was attended by Mary Anne and Lindsey. Before I tell you about her amazing birth, first let me tell you how we decided to have a home-birth in the first place….
Like most women in the U.S., when I became pregnant we sought prenatal care through my ob/gyn. In the beginning this patient/Dr. arrangement worked well. I have been seeing this Dr. for about 8 years and thought she was the way to go. However as we began asking questions we weren’t getting very good answers. I felt we were being given very vague and open ended answers, I also felt we weren’t being told everything we needed to know to make good decisions for our birth. I began this pregnancy thinking that I would have an epidural and have a painless birth. As I began reading and educating myself about the birth process I realized that an epidural and other normal hospital routines can come with side effects that I couldn’t accept for myself or our baby. As I continued my self education and continued receiving vague answers from our Dr. I began to question whether or not I even wanted a “normal” hospital delivery. The final straw came when we began the rotation at the Doctor’s office. After our appointment I left in tears and knew we needed to find another way to have this baby. That afternoon I began contacting midwives and asking questions. My biggest fear was that we had waited too long to switch prenatal care, at this time I was about 6 months pregnant. We talked with Mary Anne and felt confident she would work with us to help us achieve the birth we wanted. After our first meeting with Mary Anne and Daphne we both felt a sense of peace about our decision. We felt safe under their care and we knew we would have a voice that they would do their best to listen to. Our prenatal appointments were great! We had become accustomed to being at the Dr. office for 2 hours and only seeing the Dr. for about 10 minutes before being rushed out. Mary Anne and Daphne and their assistants took the time to answer all of our questions and they never rushed us out of their office. It was not unusual for us to be at Mary Anne’s for an hour or longer and we were spending all of that time with her! No more waiting rooms for us!
Fast forward to our birth…
I went to bed August 14 almost like normal. The Olympics were on so we were up later than usual. After we finally turned the tv off around 11pm we were tired. I never really went to sleep and got up to go to the bathroom at midnight. As I got up I realized I was wet. I thought surely I hadn’t wet the bed, after all I hadn’t done that since I was a kid! But pregnancy does crazy things to your body so I wasn’t counting on it being labor. As I walked to the bathroom I felt a gush of fluid and I knew then that my water had broken! I called Mary Anne and she suggested I get in bed and get some rest-I had alot of hard work coming soon. I went back to bed and rested but never went to sleep. I began having some cramping that was more annoying than painful. They were just uncomfortable enough to keep me from sleeping. By 2am I was uncomfortable and restless. I woke my husband, Noel and we called Mary Anne. She was heading our way! We were excited to be in labor-soon we would be holding our baby! Noel got busy setting up our birth pool as we were waiting on Mary Anne. I stayed on the edge of the bed and moved through each contraction as it came. It really helped me to breathe deeply and rock back and forth through them. At one point I was nauseous and vomited, we knew we must be close to transition! Mary Anne arrived soon after and thought I was about 7 cm. because of the way I was acting during contractions and by the bright blood in the toilet. I got in the pool at this point and it felt great! My contractions were so much easier to handle in the water. I could move easily as I needed to and I was able to relax completely between contractions. I don’t think I would have tolerated labor well without water. After being in the water for about an hour I had the urge to push. I pushed in the water for about an hour and we could feel the head in the birth canal, we were getting so close!! I wasn’t able to push effectively in the water so at Mary Anne’s suggestion we moved to the toilet. On the toilet my contractions were stronger and I was able to push more effectively. I was a bit hesitant to birth my baby on the toilet but it was working for us and as it turns out lots of babies are born on the toilet! As I pushed Mary Anne and Lindsey were great! They were very encouraging and they really helped me feel safe and confident throughout the entire birth. As the head was born they were both telling me I was doing great and they told me to keep pushing then Mary Anne told my husband to lift me up and she caught our baby! I sat back down and our baby was in my arms! There is no greater feeling in the world than holding your newborn. We didn’t know the sex before the birth and Mary Anne actually had to tell us to look and see if we had a boy or girl. I will never forget lifting her little leg and hearing my husband say joyfully, It’s a Girl!!!! What a rush!! As we were marveling at our baby Mary Anne was monitoring me and waiting on the placenta. She told us I was losing too much blood and we needed to move to the bed to deliver the placenta. Once on the bed the placenta was delivered and our birth was complete!! I continued to lose too much blood and Mary Anne told us I needed pitocin and asked us if she could give it to me. I was given pitocin in the leg and Lindsey was also doing fundal massage to help my uterus contract. After my blood loss was under control we were given some time alone as a family while the girls cleaned up. I was checked on a few times before Mary Anne and Lindsey left. They left a few hours after the birth and we were left to marvel at our new family member.
As I reflect on our birth, I am filled with a sense of thankfulness, Alyssa’s birth was the greatest moment of our lives and we are so glad we were able to birth her at home. We felt completely safe under Mary Anne’s care and she and Lindsey make a great team. Throughout our entire experience with Mary Anne and Lindsey they never did anything without asking us first. We really appreciated being able to have the ab;ility to make decisions as a team.We look forward birthing our next child with them! We recommend Mary Anne and Tender Beginnings Birth Services to any one that is considering a home birth.