Miki Brown   birth experience

Bria Lefevre   birth experience

Amanda Hansen   birth experience

April Fazzini   birth experience

A natural home birth is safe. It's true! Women are most likely to labor best in a place where they feel free, safe, and private, with attendants whom they know and trust.

Educate yourself. Look at the studdies and the stats. You might be surprised to find that, on average, a midwife assisted natural birth may result in less chance of complications, fewer interventions, and a healthier birth for you and for your baby. © 2010  |  Privacy Policy
Mary Fox
Ethan came sooner and faster than we had anticipated. Because first time mothers often go past the due date, our philosophy throughout the pregnancy was to pretty much count on him coming about 10 days late and see it as a pleasant surprise if he decided to come sooner. I wanted to be able to enjoy the whole pregnancy without getting impatient at the end. I think it was somewhere around 35 weeks that we started hearing a bunch of stories of babies coming early and decided we had better prepare mentally in case he did come earlier than expected. I think that was a blessing from Heavenly Father because even with some mental preparation it was still hard to convince ourselves that this really was the day, even though the due date was a week away.

Wednesday morning, I was having a hard time sleeping because I was contracting, but I passed it off as "false" labor or Braxton Hicks. I hadn't felt any up to that point, so I just took it as a sign that the birth was getting closer, but not imminent. The contractions were pretty mild and sporadic, so I really didn't think much of it as the day went on. Finally sometime after 11:00 pm I decided they were coming close enough I should probably start tracking them. I had a bloody show, and we decided to call Janae at about midnight.

I told Terral I really wanted the bathroom clean before we went to bed, so he suggested that I read our scriptures out loud while he cleaned so we could get to bed as soon as possible and get some sleep. We finished cleaning together, and then Terral gave me a wonderful priesthood blessing. It was a very comforting blessing. I was worried that in spite of all the reading and preparation I had done, I wouldn't be able to remember what I needed to do. I was assured in the blessing that I would be able to apply the things I had studied and my body would work the way it was supposed to. One of the reasons I felt so comfortable with our decision to do a homebirth was because I have faith that Heavenly Father made my body to do this. I have the ability because He gave it to me, and the blessing was a wonderful reassurance of that. Finally we went to bed. I almost drifted off a few times, but eventually I realized the contractions were intense enough and close enough there really was no way I was going to sleep. Especially not when I kept thinking of things we needed to do before Janae got here. So we got up and Terral went out to shovel snow so Janae would have somewhere to park.

We had discussed several different methods of pain management with our midwife, but the biggest thing we had concentrated on was relaxing using the Bradley method. Terral and I read a couple books together about how to do it and had practiced it. The husband is supposed to act as a coach, but because we had so many things to gather and get ready, Terral stayed pretty busy doing that while I concentrated on relaxing. I really feel that the practice we had done together helped me to do it on my own. And it was important to me to know that he was taking care of things. He always came quickly whenever I called his name.

When I was timing contractions, I tended to not count the beginning and end of it, I guess because I didn't want to think I was further along than I really was. I also had "aftershock" contractions that I didn't really count. Between good long contractions I would sometimes have a short, less intense contraction that would only last 15-20 seconds, sometimes less. I guess it goes back to not really believing the time had come! The labor progressed faster than I thought it would.

When I called Janae the second time at about 4:00 in the morning, I was between contractions. At that point, I was getting some good rest between. You know how women say that you forget the pain of childbirth? It was kind of like that after every contraction. She asked me to describe the contractions, and I said I definitely needed to stop and concentrate on them, but was handling them fine. I guess I sounded too confident, because she decided it would probably still be several hours and I should call when they got more intense. About an hour later, I realized we should probably call her when I felt like crying and had fleeting thoughts of, "I'm not sure I can do this on my own". So Terral called her and she started on her way.

I didn't really vocalize that feeling of doubt, but I do remember saying "I can't" twice. Once was when I was laboring on the bed shortly after we called Janae that last time. Terral was trying to tell me to relax as we had practiced, but I just didn't feel like I could anymore. I wiggled my toes and made some other movements to distract myself. I think from that point on I mostly relied on counter-tension. When I was in the tub I would sometimes lean on Terral and squeeze him really tightly.

Soon after I moved to the tub, I couldn't ignore the urge to push. I kind of wanted to hold off because Janae wasn't there yet, but it made the contractions easier to handle and I knew this baby was coming one way or another. I tried not to push as hard as I could though because I didn't want to tear, and of course I wanted Janae to be there. About 15 minutes before Janae got there I was in the middle of a contraction/push when suddenly I felt a pop and gush and I knew the water had broken. I gasped a little. I thought Terral had heard the noise, but found out later he didn't even know I was pushing. He just thought I was having some really hard contractions because I had started to make a little noise. I didn't really realize until afterward that I had labored very quietly. Terral really didn't know where we were at in the process because I didn't vocalize what I was experiencing.

Because of the snowy weather, it took Janae longer to make the drive to Cedar, and I started to get worried. She called a few minutes before she got here to let us know she was almost here. When she finally arrived at about 6:20 she came with a calm and confident air that helped put me at ease. I told her I was pushing. She checked me and said, "No wonder! You're at a 10 and his head is right there." With the next push I could feel him descending. There was definitely no real restimg between contractions anymore. Janae checked the baby's heartbeat and said everything was fine.

Janae asked me (maybe before this?) if I wanted to go to the living room or stay where I was and drain the tub. I said I didn't want to move, so she dragged all of the stuff into the bathroom. It's pretty amazing that we all fit in there. I later joked that our apartment wasn't small enough--I had to pick the smallest room we had! Because of the small and awkward space, Janae told me I would need to guide his head. This was the second time I said I didn't think I could. I was sitting in the tub and leaning back some, and when I would push I lifted myself up on both hands and leaned over to the right.

She asked if I could straighten myself out. I knelt to do so and suddenly he was crowning! We all felt his head. In this position, I felt I could guide him much easier. Janae told me to take it slow and just give little pushes. The intense urge to push wasn't there anymore, and I felt like I could control it and do as she asked. She said I would need to guide his head when it came and then she said something about adjusting so his shoulders could come. On most of the births we watched, the baby would rotate before the rest came out, but Ethan slipped out all at once, "like a wet seal" as one of my sisters put it. I caught his head, but then he kept going in the water and Terral caught the rest of him. He was the normal purpley/blueish color, but he quickly became a wonderful healthy color. He was born at exactly 6:30 in the morning.

Terral handed Ethan to me pretty quickly and I just knelt there for a minute in the tub looking at my baby, hardly believing he was here. Janae said he didn't have a very long cord, and she asked Terral to hold him close to me while she helped me out of the tub. I handed the baby back to Terral, and then we saw that the placenta was already out! I hadn't even noticed. Janae helped me out of the tub and onto the mat. She had set up a pillow against the tub with a towel over it so I could lean back while she checked me. When I was laying down, Terral handed me the baby again and he was kept warm by my body, a little cap, and a warm receiving blanket. Janae checked the placenta to make sure it was all there, which it was. Then she cleaned me up and checked for tearing. While she was doing that, Terral brought me some orange juice, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I did have a small tear, and Janae said if I didn't want to sit with my legs together for a week, it would be best to stitch it together. I only needed one stitch though.

We moved to the living room to take care of that and all of the other after care. I was so grateful Janae was there for all of that. She did all that was necessary and just let us be together as a family. She even washed the tub and started a load of the receiving blankets and towels.

It was amazing to hold my baby. Ethan did so little crying that first day. Other than a few bursts right at the beginning, he was just so chill. It was wonderful to be in an atmosphere where I could just drink it all in. We feel truly blessed!