The birth of our baby, Madeline, was in every way an amazing adventure and in no way a Hollywood story. When my husband and I found out we were pregnant it wasn’t the fairy tale tears of joy moment I always thought it would be. We both wanted children but neither one of us were planning on having them soon. But even in the moment of surprise and fear of becoming responsible for another life, I knew I wanted to do everything in my power to give our baby the best start to life I could.
I knew I wanted a natural birth and a midwife there to help me. My husband not only supported me, but was relieved I had chosen this route for our pregnancy. We interviewed 3 local midwives. Choosing Faith Morie and Rebecca Schulz was an easy decision. Rebecca was finishing up her student hours at the time, but stayed so involved with our baby’s welcoming it felt like she and Faith were interchangeable angels both ready and happy to aid us. Pregnancy was amazing! I was one of those blessed women who loved being pregnant the whole time. I watched my diet and exercised as Faith and Rebecca and advised. I never had any issues or extreme discomfort. I stayed away from sugar, caffeine, and processed foods and took all my supplements. I meditated and I prayed. When I was 6 weeks away from my due date I started seeing a chiropractor regularly.
We chose to have our baby at home in the water. I was ready to have our baby! In fact I was ready about 3 weeks before she came… I had been having light, regular contractions for a week when they finally started to get harder and keep me up at night. I kept in touch with Faith and Rebecca, slightly obsessively, and tried to keep my mind busy. Finally they were painful enough– we called the midwives over! Faith examined me, and because I was getting so close, she unintentionally broke my water. I didn’t care about the contractions, I was just so excited we were getting close to meeting our baby! The contractions got harder and my husband, Faith, and Rebecca just helped me breathe through them one by one.
Rebecca was such a calming presence at the peak of the contractions. She talked to me and rubbed my shoulders to relax and keep me focused. A few hours went by and they checked the baby’s position. We weren’t sure which way she was facing and that’s when we first thought there might be an issue. We tried going through contractions in a couple different positions and checked again. Both Faith and Rebecca felt unsure about our baby’s position and followed their instincts. They called in the help of another midwife who had experience with our problem, Elizabeth Norwood. While waiting for Elizabeth I got in the water to try and relax the contractions for a bit. When she got there she examined Madeline’s position and recommended we try a few more positions to get her to move. We did that for a couple more hours with no progress.
The midwives were sure now– Madeline was trying to come out face first, a very rare and difficult feat. I was exhausted and Madeline was stuck. Still calm and friendly, Rebecca explained why they recommended going to the hospital for an epidural, to relax my body and Madeline so that maybe my contractions could be more productive and get her to turn into a better position. Even though my husband and I were so looking forward to a natural home water birth, we knew that they were recommending what they knew would be best. So we went.
Unfortunately when we got to the hospital it all went crazy. They immediately insisted on an emergency C-section even though my vitals and baby’s heart rate were both great. They started giving me pain medication as they prepped me for surgery. My husband was denied access to the operating room, and almost all our predetermined birth goals were diminished within 15 minutes upon arriving at the hospital. 7 hours after Faith and Rebecca came to our home, Madeline was born via C-section at the hospital weighing 9lbs and 7oz, PERFECTLY HEALTHY.
We had done everything right, but we did not get the birth we wanted or planned for. We had to leave our calm and comfortable home, even in the hard parts of labor, and go to the hectic, intimidating hospital for our baby to come out safely. It did not go as planned, but in the end Madeline came into this world healthy, beautiful, and loved. I recovered perfectly fine and was quickly released from the hospital. Faith and Rebecca, and Elizabeth, were such a blessing to our child’s birth and did everything they could to get her here safely.
Even though our plans were changed, I know we did everything right. I loved how they treated us through the whole process and look forward to going through it all again when it’s time for another baby. If I only learned one thing through this adventure it is that every birth is different, but what counts is how we prepare and how we react.