Babies & Birth Stories

Read stories submitted by Snohomish Midwives’ clients

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"This birth healed and strengthened me as a mother and woman. I am so thankful, and look forward to birthing naturally at home again if we are blessed with a third baby. "

I felt myself entering early labor at around 5pm when my contractions became stronger and closer together. I was just about to enter my 41 st week of pregnancy, and very excited to birth at home versus the hospital this time around, as I tried to lock myself in the hospital room bathroom during most of my first labor, which did not please my labor nurse. With my home birth I knew I could be alone, and turn inward without rotating nurses, bright lights, the sound of monitors and distant intercom pages, and best of all, without being constrained in anyway.

At around 6pm Midwife Melissa came to our home to examine me, and afterwards she stayed and talked with me a while. Her words strengthened and readied me, as we both prepared for what the night would hold. I straddled my birthing ball and gently swayed my hips in circles. I whispered to my baby encouraging her to move deeper. I envisioned her twisting down gently and peacefully.

Midwife Melissa left but promised to return later to aid my other midwife, Sarah and their birth assistant Pam. I felt so lucky to have both midwives attending my birth. It was a special experience, and even more unique because they both had birthed two other babies in our home with the previous owner. We all agreed there was good baby “juju” all around that night.

When the contractions left me speechless I began to use a calm Ujjayi breath, to invite my entire body to aid in birthing. I felt strong and ready to begin. We sent our toddler off with his grandparents so that I could have the quiet I needed to turn inward. I thought I would have a lot of time to stay here in early labor, to listen to my music, to cook nourishing foods and bathe and feel my husband’s strong hands massaging me. I even imagined a moonlit walk.

Instead, my contractions soon left me with less than a few minutes of reprieve. Active labor came on strong and fast and my husband Jeff rushed to get everything ready for the midwives and the birth. I made my way upstairs where I stayed, and he lit candles, and made a bath for me of relaxing oils. I bathed for a short while and felt too contained so I got out and began to move. We played our soft music and I began practicing some free flow yoga, some rocking cobra, and whatever other movement my body wanted to explore. When the tightening and pain came, I found great relief in frog pose and my husband’s two hands applying counter pressure on my hips. It was beautiful and bearable. But with my history of a previous short labor I felt the real work was about to begin.

Midwife Sarah and birth assistant Pam set up their supplies close by and came in to monitor me without disturbing our progress. I crawled onto the bed to labor on my side for a while. The pain became very intense, and I no longer wanted counter pressure applied. I did not want touch or massage. With each contraction I sunk my head deeper into Jeff’s chest as he lay next to me holding me through each one. I remember feeling like a fish, and literally trying to swim my legs away from the pain rippling through my lower torso.

I let midwife Sarah check me. I felt as though I was entering transition and wanted to hear the progress I had made so that I could be re-energized and mentally strengthened. As I looked up at her face I will never forget that she sweetly and empathetically told me my cervix had thinned quite a bit but that I was still at 5 cm.. I then heard Jeff say it was about midnight. I could not believe how much time had passed, and I was not used to laboring more than three hours as I did with my first. I was a little discouraged but knew I had to go deeper inside and visualize my cervix opening, and my baby finding her way out into this world.

The birthing team went downstairs for tea and let Jeff and I have silence. Almost immediately the pain intensified and became even greater. It was almost unbearable. I worked hard to imagine my cervix opening wider and wider. I pictured my baby’s sweet, beautiful face and her eyes opening. I stood up and Jeff sat nearby, watching me sway and squat and lean and move in and out of the pain. I could no longer find reprieve or a place and position to move through the pain. It was constant and all I wanted was for it to end. I found myself sitting backwards on our toilet, burying my face into some towels and letting out animalistic moans and yells. I felt tears and sweat pouring down my face. My mind wove in and out of the room and no more words wanted to leave my mouth as my body took over.

I immediately felt my midwives surrounding me in the dimness of the bathroom. I felt their strength. I felt their encouragement. I felt linked to all the women who birthed before me, including my former self. Birthing became spiritual with the three women there, with each of their energies aiding me through to the end. They immediately got in my face and pushed me to bring my sounds low to move her down. When I stopped my breathing they brought me back, cheering loudly for me to vocalize low and deep and strong. They placed me on a birthing chair and I allowed them to release the rest of my waters. Midwife Sarah felt me dilate from 6 to 8 while she was checking me, and I immediately wanted to move to the bed. They made a place for me lay on my side there, but I could barely walk the few feet to our bed even with their help. I knew the baby was coming out.

I was able to climb up and then moved onto my hands and knees. I felt completely primal and let out a guttural moan as I pushed. Within a couple minutes of dilating to 8 her head was out with that first push, and with the second, her body came out. Oxytocin exploded through my body, and there are no words to describe how good it felt. I slowly moved onto my back and held her at my breasts to nurse. I felt ecstasy flowing through my body. I felt empowered, strong, painless, and full of love. My husband was covered in awe and happiness and exhaustion, my midwives stayed with me a long while attending to our sweet little girl and myself, and Pam, my birth assistant kissed my forehead. I felt so much love. My sweet Julia Rose, also called Jules and Juju (fittingly) was born peacefully at home at 3am, January 14th. She weighed in at 7 lbs, 14oz, and was healthy and calm. She has been a sweet and joyful baby who sleeps well and loves to smile. I am so grateful her and I were able to have this experience. Each of my labors has birthed a new part of me. This birth healed and strengthened me as a mother and woman. I am so thankful, and look forward to birthing naturally at home again if we are blessed with a third baby.

- Amanda

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