Natural Birth Stories

Natural Birth Stories

Amanda Laberge - My birth story...

I could not have asked for a more perfect birthday for my son, or a more positive prenatal experience leading up to it. Throughout my pregnancy, our midwife was responsive, nurturing, supportive, and nonjudgmental. She helped me to make informed choices about all of the prenatal testing options, and to have a healthy and mostly comfortable pregnancy. She always responded to my texts, calls, and emails within 24 hours (often much sooner), and as a first time mom, there were many! 

When the birth day finally arrived, I felt as prepared as I could be for what was to come. My contractions started right off at about 5 minutes apart, and although they were short, they felt intense to me. This was at about 11:30pm. By about 3:30 the next morning, I had asked that the birth team come to my home, so they all arrived and checked in with my husband and me. We also had a birth doula, who had arrived about an hour or so before. Our midwife and her assistants regularly checked my baby's vital signs, as well as my own, and continued to assure me that he and I were both safe, and that the labor was progressing well. They encouraged me to move about the house, so I spent time in various places throughout the day. I was in and out of the shower several times, in the tub for a while, leaning on the bathroom counter, laying in bed, and walking back and forth through the upstairs bedrooms. I never felt pressured to be in a certain position - it was all about what was most comfortable for me, and what would help the labor progress the most. The midwives, my doula, and my husband, helped remind me to eat and drink throughout the 23 hour labor, even though I didn't feel like I wanted to. Although the labor was powerful and long, there was never a point when I felt panicked, or like I wished I could have a medical intervention. I was confident and determined, and our midwife continued to assure me that everything was normal and I was making good progress. When it finally came time to push, the whole birth team surrounded me on my bed, helping me know when to push and when to puff so as not to tear. 45 minutes later, my beautiful baby boy was born, and he was perfect in every way. We were all exhausted, but my midwife and her assistants stayed for about two more hours to examine the baby and me, help me take a shower, clean up the house, and get us settled into bed. 

The next two days went by in a blur, but it felt like heaven to be in my own space - I was so appreciative of being able to lay in my own bed while my husband brought me anything I wanted to eat and drink; I enjoyed having the house be calm and quiet and not being interrupted and being able to look out the windows in my bedroom and see the gorgeous views surrounding our home. I also felt as though I had plenty of support with our new baby. Our midwife came to check on us about 12 hours after our baby was born, and again 24 hours later. Again, she was also very responsive to text messages and calls throughout the first couple of days. 

I cannot thank our midwife and her team enough for providing me with the birth experience that I imagined for myself ever since I started thinking about getting pregnant. These women are knowledgeable, encouraging, and caring. Despite the naysayers of home birth, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
~ Forever grateful,
Amanda Laberge

McKinley's Birth Story

Some people walk in a hospital and feel safe and cared for. I walk into a hospital and panic. My blood pressure goes up 20 points just going in the door. A pregnant woman needs to have her baby in a place where she feels nurtured and safe. It’s a basic hormone fact. If you’re feeling terror, adrenalin kicks in, shutting down oxytocin. Contractions pause. No prehistoric mama wants to bring a baby into the world when she’s being chased by a wooly mammoth. In a hospital, I’d have been a candidate for a C-section, or at the very least, drugs. Don’t let me get started on my drug phobia!
So I had to have a home-birth. A big plus for me was that our midwife promised never to draw blood. My daughter was born on a sunny September day. During the night, when the contractions grew too strong to sleep through, I came downstairs and walked around the living room. My older daughter Anika, woke up and joined my husband and I. They sang to the baby, encouraging her to come.
We called our Midwife after Anika went to school. I rolled through back to back contractions while the sun lit the fall leaves and the clock suspended itself. I hung out in the bath for a while, while the assistant got the birthing tub ready. I walked around the house once. It took fourteen contractions to make it, and not because our house is large. The birthing tub was splendid – took the weight off me, and the contractions immediately sank lower. Unfortunately some oils got into the water, so our midwife said I needed to come out to deliver the baby.
I tried to refuse. I was in primal mode then, and it took both my husband and midwife to lever me out of the warm water. Standing up was what did it – the baby came bursting out, and she landed in our midwife’s hands. We bundled her up, letting Anika unwrap the “present” to discover if she had a brother or a sister.
The baby settled in to nurse, but she was struggling with her breath – it took us two weeks to get the diagnosis of tiny nasal passages. Our midwife stayed three hours after she was born, a tiny oximeter on her finger, making absolutely sure the baby was safe and stable before going home for the night. She was back the next day, checking in, making our daughter welcome in this world.
I can’t imagine a safer, more loving birth.
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