“When I was pregnant with my first child we did all the “normal” preparations, went to the birth classes at the hospital, read What to Expect When You’re Expecting and followed along with all the Doctor’s orders. We were completely unprepared to be treated like a number and expected our doctor to be there to help along the way. By the time he arrived, I was so exhausted physically and emotionally I didn’t even care I had a baby. I was so foggy from all the drugs, I didn’t know what to think. My baby was laying there in a plastic bin and I felt like a helpless on-looker. They told me it was time to feed him so they put him on my chest, grabbed his head and grabbed my breast to put it in his mouth. I felt incredibly disconnected. We decided we wouldn’t have any more children if that’s what birth was supposed to look like.
We watched “The Business of Being Born” the next week and my husband decided if we ever had another baby, it would be born at home. I told him ‘only if you birth it this time!’
Fast forward about a year and we were expecting again. I went on a hunt for a midwife! We thoroughly enjoyed every meeting we had. It was incredibly relieving to find out we didn’t have to do any of the tests, we could weigh the risks and benefits of each and decide what was best alongside our midwife, instead of just being told what to do with no rhyme or reason. No orange drink, no unnecessary ultrasounds, and best of all, someone I knew would be by my side when birthing time came!
I felt so very connected to my midwife and all of her colleagues by my birthing time. I knew I would be surrounded by people who would respect my needs and wishes. My guess date was September so I asked my midwife what she thought of putting the birth pool outside. I thought she would give me a firm ‘NO!’ but instead, she was excited! I didn’t know how peaceful and beautiful birth was intended to be. We prepared for the next few days, played board games and waited for the midwife team.
As they arrived I was concentrating through waves and it was time to get in the pool. I watched the sunset and the deer graze in the field between waves and I had a conversation with our Heavenly Father. They were some of the most intimate, peaceful moments. I realized this birth was going to be different.
Things got intense but my birth team was right there and did exactly what I needed them to do and say. Our midwife was concerned our daughter wasn’t breathing right away, she was so calm and relaxed from being born in such a peaceful environment, to a mother who was so relaxed and unmedicated that she didn’t cry or seem rigid.
Our midwife knew exactly what to do and we never felt nervous or fearful. She stimulated her gently and realized she was breathing just fine. She not only picked her head up but pushed herself up on her elbows to take a good look at me and her Daddy. It was love at first sight and the bonding was so emotional! We moved from the pool to my bed and initiated our nursing relationship naturally and all of her assessments were done right on my chest or on the bed beside me. The team left us to rest, we had time to bond and soak in those first moments. We realized THIS is how birth is meant to be for our family and we experienced some healing from the experience we had with our first.
The memories are unforgettable. The photos we have of these moments are priceless. Since then we had another baby at home with some of the same birth team and close friends who helped with the older two. Our outlook on life and birth are now so very different from the fearful mindset we started with 6 years ago!
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