I contacted Mary Anne and her team in April when I was 7 months pregnant. I decided to do a home birth right after I submitted my birth plan to the hospital where I was going to deliver. The hospital basically laughed in my face during the tour and told me that they have a protocol and my plan “just wouldn’t work”. My husband and I researched having a home birth and decided it felt right. The moment I met Mary Anne, I was greeted with a tender smile and warm hug. She made all doubts about having a home birth disappear. She walked me through every detail, leaving me with an eagerness that I had not yet felt during my pregnancy. I had a hospital birth and epidural with my first child, and was very nervous about not using any medication with a home birth. Mary Anne gave me a lot of information about alternative ways to deal with the pain. She wanted to make sure that I was well educated before I went into labor. She was concerned with my overall health and made sure I was where I needed to be physically before the big day. She made sure I was hydrated, recommended supplements, and made me feel like I was her only patient. She would spend four times the amount of time with me during visits than my OB/GYN did during my first pregnancy. I felt well cared for and knew that I was in good hands.
I was four days overdue when I started having labor pains. I notified Mary Anne when the contractions were 8 minutes apart, just to let her know that today was the day! At 10:30 am, the contractions were 5 minutes apart and I paged Mary Anne to let her know. Mary Anne and her team arrived 11:05 am and started setting up. My husband, Jason, had already blown up the tub and the water was starting to fill it. It was so exciting! Mary Anne checked me and I was nearly 7 cm! Becca, Mary Anne’s assistant, was my doula, along with Heather, another doula-in-training, and together they helped me with my pains. They would push on my hips and on my back. They were wonderful about getting my husband involved. We were both scared, but Mary Anne and Becca were great about getting us through each contraction.
Mary Anne was constantly making sure that my baby and I were doing okay throughout the labor. She was always looking to make sure we were safe, and knew exactly what to do if an emergency situation came up. I never once felt like my life was in danger.
I got in the tub at 12:30 pm. The team made sure that the water was always the temperature it needed to be, helped me through each contraction, and were constantly making sure our health was the first concern. I was in a lot of pain, but they kept me positive and reassured that my pain would end. They always made me the main focus; never once did I hear them discussing something not related to my labor. It meant a lot to me that they were completely focused on me. They also made sure to keep my family informed via text messages. It eased my mind that I didn’t have to worry about anything but giving birth. They took care of EVERYTHING.
I started to feel the urge to push at 2:15 pm. My husband held my head above the water, and Mary Anne and Becca helped me know when and where to push. At 2:24 pm, I pushed one last time, and Mary Anne told me to reach down in the water and lift up my baby! I looked at her in disbelief as I took hold of my precious baby boy, lifted him up out of the water, and held him to my chest. Nobody came and took him away; no one started to do tests on him right away. It was such an incredible moment as I now had no more pain, and my baby was safe in my arms. I did it. He came into the world in a peaceful place, with no bright lights and remained in my arms for as long as I wanted him there.
The team did the necessary checks on him while I was getting cleaned up. They made sure that the house was clean, the laundry was washed, and that I had a meal in the oven. They went above and beyond to make sure I was okay after the birth and that my baby was healthy. Mary Anne came to visit as much as I needed the following days.
This birth was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. I have recommended Mary Anne and her team to many people, and if I ever have another baby, I will do another home birth and make sure Mary Anne is there.