Julie's Birth Story
"I never thought I would end up having a home birth. I used to believe labor was unbearably painful and dangerous, and it wasn’t anything I could do without the use of drugs and a team of doctors. But I started to get informed about what doctors actually do during labor and the side effects of the pain killers they give women and I started to worry. I discussed the way I wanted my labor to go with my doctor and how I wanted to try to do it more naturally and avoid things like episiotomy and c-section and other things they consider routine but I thought most of the time wasn’t really necessary. I also wanted to be able to eat and drink and change positions during labor if I wanted to. But to my surprise and dismay, my doctor’s attitude toward me changed. He became very pushy and aggressive as to what he felt my labor should be like. He would not even negotiate some things with me. Like waiting for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating before he cut it. He told me to, “just trust him” and treated me like a child who didn’t know anything. His attitude put me under a lot of stress and really concerned me.
As my due date neared I started researching home births on the internet and became convinced this was the better way to go. I was blessed to find a really good midwife who would work with me even though I was so far along ( I was nine months by then) and also had financial issues. My midwife, Claudine Crews, was extremely helpful and supportive.
What a difference! When before I would spend a couple of hours at the doctor’s office, most if not all of that time was spent in the waiting room. The doctor would come in for maybe ten minutes at the most and ask how I was then rush off. But if I spent 2 hours with my midwife, I actually spent 2 hours with her, not waiting in the lobby. She answered every question I had and treated me with respect. She had so much information to give me and my husband. Information that really helped us to get better prepared for the birth and to address our fears. But most of all I felt that she really was on my side and not against me or my decision’s for my baby’s birth and was there to help make it a reality. That was something I had not felt before with my doctor.
Before my baby’s birth, I had a false alarm where I called my midwife who came over and helped me for a few hours with walking around and just waiting patiently for the birth to begin. I felt very guilty when it did not begin but she assured me it was o.k. and those things happen. She went far beyond what I ever thought or imagined a midwife did in her professionalism and care of me.
The night I actually went into labor I called my midwife and she came immediately as did her assistant and my doula. I had decided on a water birth so everyone went to work filling the pool we had set up. I did have pain but it wasn’t as unbearable as I had previously feared. I knew it was something I could do having been told countless times by my midwife that birth is natural and normal and women were designed to give birth. I knew I could do it because I had a supportive team there to help me and encourage me. My labor lasted about 4 hours and when the baby came she had the cord wrapped around her neck.. After removing the cord (unwrapping it from the neck), the baby was placed on top of me but she wasn’t responding. Immediately the midwife took her and gave her 2 quick breaths to get her to breathe. Then she started screaming and we were all very relieved and happy. During all that, the cord was not cut and I now believe that had a lot to do with keeping the baby safe and protected during the time she was unresponsive. I know in the hospital they would have done the same as the midwife except they would have immediately cut the cord and taken her over to a table to do it. Who knows if cutting the cord during that time would have compromised her? I believe it might have.
As for me, I hemorrhaged some but my midwife knew just what to do. She stopped the hemorrhage and gave me some oxygen. I know neither the baby nor I could have received better care in the hospital. On the contrary, I would have risked not having my birth wishes honored or respected and my baby put in a room apart from me. That is why I know that having my baby at home was the best decision I could have made. Now I am blessed by having a beautiful, healthy baby girl and by having had a more natural birth experience for her. I believe God led us to our midwife, who turned out to be the best person to help us achieve that."
~ Julie, Ruben, and Isabella
Brandi's Birth Story:
On August 13th, Raymond came in at 6 to wake me up so he could get ready for work, and after trying to go back to sleep in our room with Logan, I was starving so I got up and ate. Then while I was checking my email, I didnt feel like going back to bed and thought about cleaning the house "just in case". Yeah, didn't happen. I decided to wait til Raymond got home so he could help me. After he left for work at around 7-7:30, I got up to pee and had some bloody show- so then I was too excited that SOMETHING was finally happening to go back to sleep! I had to tell everyone and then thought some more about cleaning and getting things ready, but told myself it could still be awhile and tried not to get my hopes up. Then Logan woke up, we had breakfast and changed diapers and did things as usual. At around 10, I started having some contractions, but nothing really out of the ordinary. Claudine called- I think she has labor ESP!- and told me to time the contractions for an hour. I talked to my mom, then they stopped! I guess she really does stress me out! I had called Raymond and had him come home, and took a nap around 3. Logan and Raymond came and woke me up at about 5, and as soon as I woke up I started having contractions that were pretty uncomfortable. So I decided to get up and get things cleaned (everything was a MESS and nowhere close to being ready!) and I couldn't do anything because the contractions would totally take my breath away and all I could do was stand there. I called Claudine again, and she said it was probably early labor and I should lay down for awhile and get some rest. I laid down for half an hour, and just couldn't do it anymore- so I called again and she said she was on her way. We called our friend to come and sit with Logan, because by that point I couldn't do anything because of the contractions, they were about 1-4 minutes apart, very irregular but incredibly painful. Claudine got here about 7, and when she checked me I was only 2cm dilated and 90% effaced, baby was at -3, so needless to say I was a little disappointed! She said I probably hadn't effaced much beforehand, and that's what the contractions had been doing all afternoon. Contractions kept getting closer together, but still irregular. I was on the floor at the foot of the bed on my knees most of this time while Raymond was trying to get things ready and get the pool up, and Claudine was getting things set up. The contractions were soooo bad, I didnt have much rest in between them at all, it seemed like they were one right after the other. While the pool was filling up, I remember asking Raymond if it was bad that I wanted drugs already! I REALLY wanted them, anything and everything there was! I know if I was in the hospital, if we made it in time, I would already be hooked up, so I am SO SO glad we did it at home. The pool was ready, they said I could get in, and I wasted NO time getting my clothes off and getting in. It was WONDERFUL. For awhile the contractions seemed easier and I could relax and get more rest. Of course it wasn't too much longer that even that wasn't helping and it just hurt. I decided to get out to do the enemas at a little before 9pm, because Claudine knew I was going fast and thought it should be done before I went any further. No one wants to be born in poop! So we got out, and I had at least 2 more contractions just on the way out of the pool to the floor. Once I got done with that, I was sitting on the toilet while everyone was getting more hot water in the pool, and my water broke. About 30 seconds later, another contraction came that was worse than all the rest, and my midwife kept telling me not to push, as soon as it was over she told me to hurry up and get back in the pool. The second I was in, I had another contraction and HAD to push. She checked me, I was complete and baby was at +3! I started pushing and it was so much better than the rest of labor. I was getting at least a minute and a half of rest, real rest with no pain, in between contractions/pushes. I didn't really need to be coached, I did exactly what my body told me to do- I pushed a little, then blew and panted so I could stretch, and holy cow that was painful! Painful really just doesn't describe it, but its the only word that comes to mind. And the breaks in between were just the best feeling in the world! Claudine told me to reach down and touch my baby's head, and all I felt was his hair! That was just a feeling I couldn't describe, it gave me what I needed to get through the rest and reminded me what I was doing in the first place and that he was almost here! A couple more pushes and his head was out, and maybe 5 minutes later I pushed a couple more times and out came the rest of his body! I leaned up, and he just swam right out, and I reached down into the water and picked him up. He didn’t cry or anything, I just put him up against my chest and I was the one who was crying! I have never felt that feeling before, when Logan was born, I saw him for a second before they took him away from me. This time, no one took him and I got to hold him and kiss him and tell him how much I loved him and was so happy he was finally here. He lifted his head up as soon as I put him against me and looked up at me, perfectly calm and content! We put towels over us while I held him and cried, and the midwives checked him over. He was perfect, his lungs were already totally clear and his heart rate was good. We had to try and make him cry, he wasn't pinking up as fast as Claudine thought he should. The cord kept pulsing for quite awhile, strongly pulsing!, so I got to just sit there and hold him and rub him and love him for maybe 15-20 minutes. Once the cord stopped pulsing, completely, Daddy got to cut the cord and we waited for the placenta to come. It took a few more minutes, and I pushed that out and was all done! I think I still got to sit there for a few more minutes with my baby, and we got out and laid in bed together. Then Daddy took him to love on him too while I tried to go pee and then rest for a little bit. Claudine checked me for tears, I had a couple small ones and one slightly worse one that she said she could suture but wouldn't because it would heal faster and better on its own. Of course, it was along my scar from my episiotomy. I felt great after the birth, a little tired and a little sore, but I could still walk around and wasn't passing out on the toilet like last time. They did the newborn exam, everything was great, not a single problem!!! He was 9 pounds, 6 ounces and was 21.5 inches long, born just 4 hours after the contractions started! We still didn't have a name, so for a couple days we called him "baby". He didn't mind. He nursed like crazy and did not want to let go, and so far breastfeeding is going very well. I expected it to be so much harder than it has been, but we are getting used to each other and he is a boobaholic. I already feel we have a very close bond, something that took several months with my first son. I have definitely become a homebirth advocate, and I would never have another child anywhere else! Hopefully when the next one comes along, we will be able to have Claudine as our midwife again, I can't imagine having anyone else help me birth my babies!
~ Brandi, San Antonio, TX
Thanks so much for your dedication and all you have done for me and Gregory.
Nancy M. and Gregory
© Copyright 2007 Midwifery Services of South Texas
Permission to reprint pregnancy and childbirth information contained within this website with attribution
No photographs may be copied or used without written permission