I’m the proud mama of two beautiful boys and one beautiful girl.
Dovid- Hospital Midwife
Dovid was born in May 2008. I woke up around midnight to my water breaking. I got this crazy rush of adrenaline and couldn’t go back to sleep. Not much was happening though. I started having irregular contractions and in the morning I called my doula and my midwife, Kathy Slone. I was still comfortable being home so I ran around the house nesting while my doula sat on the couch waiting to be needed. I baked chocolate chip cookies for the nurses in the hospital and a pot of meatballs. I told my doula to go home and I’d call her when things picked up. At one point we packed into the car to go to the hospital but things slowed down even before we left the house. We finally decided to go to the hospital around 4 pm to see if things were progressing. I was feeling sharp pains in my lower abdomen but managing ok.
When we got to the hospital I was 1 cm. Bummer! We walked the halls for a few hours and rested in the room. Around midnight, 24 hours after my water broke initially, I was still 1 cm but more uncomfortable. Due to my knowledge of the birth process, I knew there was a long way to go. I opted for pitocin and an epidural and went to sleep. He was finally born at 1 pm the next day.
I find this experience helpful when I relate to my clients in similar situations. It’s very difficult when your water breaks but labor doesn’t kick in right away. Many women get frustrated that their experience isn’t matching up with what they had expected. But you have no control over it!
Netanel- Hospital Waterbirth
My second son, Netanel, was born in January 2011. We were out the night before when my contractions started. After a few hours of laboring at home, my mother in law came to stay with Dovid, and we went to the hospital. This experience was very different as my labor was progressing nicely. I ended up having a waterbirth at the hospital which was a completely different experience.
Avital- Home Birth
My 3rd child, Avital, was born January 12, 2017. While I had used a hospital-based midwifery practice for my last 2 pregnancies, I knew I wanted something different this time. As a hospital-trained midwife, I had thought that hospitals were the safest place to give birth and didn’t see a reason to search for other options. But during this pregnancy, I realized that I wanted to give birth on my own turf, have more control over decisions, and feel safe and protected in my own home.
I hired a wonderful midwife team which provided hands-on, comprehensive prenatal care, often in group settings. They offered plenty of time to talk and ask questions, in a cozy environment. This was very unlike the sterile doctor’s office that many OB providers see patients in. I felt like a healthy woman experiencing a normal pregnancy instead of a patient who was a time slot in a busy provider’s schedule. This was how I wanted my own practice to develop!
My due date was January 10. That night was my last night on call at the hospital. Of course it was a busy night. I had 3 clients in labor. And then I started contracting! It was mild at the beginning and I continued to manage my clients’ labors. One woman had a beautiful birth. Around 2 am the contractions were getting stronger and I had to stop and breathe through them. I realized that I should probably go home soon – I didn’t want to get stuck and give birth in the hospital! So I called my partner to come relieve me at the hospital and take over the labors. I drove home slowly in the middle of the night, contracting the whole way.
I texted my homebirth midwife to let her know this might be it and I’d be in touch. I got home and went to sleep. I slept through most of the next day. Which meant my contractions must have petered out. As evening approached, my midwife told me to make sure to go to bed early in case tonight’s the night!
And indeed, around 1 am I woke up with strong contractions. I went down to the living room and was laboring on hands and knees on the couch. I called the midwife and said I think this is it. She asked me if my husband was up and if he had set up the birth pool yet. I said, no, I didn’t want to wake him yet. She told me to wake him up! She had heard in my voice that I was in pretty active labor and didn’t even call her student to come thinking she would miss it anyway!
I did wake up my husband and he set up the tub. I got into the tub and labored in hands-knees for the rest of my labor. One of my biggest concerns during pregnancy was what if I get nervous and think I should go to the hospital? But that thought didn’t even cross my mind in labor. I was in my living room, with my midwives and my husband, in the middle of the night. It was quiet, dark, no interruptions. Everyone knew my wishes, no one asked me questions about my medical history or pain level. No one took my blood pressure every 15 minutes or interrupted me to strap me to a fetal monitor. Labor progressed smoothly and I didn’t have to worry about when to go to the hospital or the car ride over. No one even checked my cervix the whole labor! It was a calm, gentle, empowering experience.
Through each contraction, as they were strong and painful, I would chant “No, no, no, no.” That was how I kept focused and worked through each one. When the pushing urge came, I worked through the pressure. It was so strong and the burning was intense. The midwife told me to slow down and let the baby ease out. But I just couldn’t. I couldn’t hold back and I wanted it to be over. I turned over and gave strong pushes. And out she came!
My baby girl was born at 6:17am in the water in my living room. We transferred onto the couch and rested while the midwives did their thing. As they started cleaning up, my boys woke up and came downstairs to quite a surprise! A pool in the living room and Mommy holding a new baby! It was a heartwarming experience. My husband made everyone eggs and we soaked in that special time together. Being January, I was so glad we didn’t have to go out in the cold and could just stay home and rest. And rest I did. I didn’t leave that couch for 2 weeks, except to go to the pediatrician. We cuddled, nursed, and slept on the couch and enjoyed our time together.
An amazing experience that I would definitely do again! And I am so thrilled that I am able to offer other women the same experience as their midwife! I think everyone should have the option to birth at home if they choose to.
All of my births were beautiful and positive experiences.