I gave birth to my first child at 36 years old at the same Colorado birth center that the PP mentioned. It was one of the best experiences of my life. All of the midwives in the group are great, but I was lucky enough to get one that I really clicked with for my birth. She really helped me get through the 27 hours of labor and eased me through a scary after birth situation - I tore an artery during birth and had to be transferred to a hospital to get stitched back up. She also seemed to know that I would need some extra help getting DS to latch on and made arrangements for a wonderful LC to come visit my at home the day after we gave birth. That small gesture led to another great relationship with her. I don't know if I could have gotten through this past year as easily if I had not chosen to give birth with a midwife. I was such an important decision that I made and I can't wait to do it again. It made such an impression on my that I've considering training as a doula and maybe pursuing a career as a midwife myself.
This pic was taken just minutes after DS was born. I couldn't have made it through the 27 hours without my midwife's support. Thank you Cassie!
Beth - blissfully married to Doug. DS - Liam (5/10) & Darcy (2/13). . New SAHM & Labor Doula.
Welcome baby girl! Born at home, in the water, in the caul, and caught by daddy. February 24, 2013!
That's my husband adding hot water....and my midwife holding my son. It takes a lot of trust for a family's children to sit on your lap in the middle of the night while mama makes loud noise and takes a bath in the middle of the room. Solid, stable, energy that children are just drawn to. A trust that is earned.
Midwife. Mama to five. Love is still the greatest.
Watching my lifeless daughter slide gracefully from my womb into the hands of my loving midwife was a painfully beautiful sight. She was born in the caul, a term meaning she remained in her amniotic sack throughout the birth. At that moment, I was hysterical with grief, anger, pride, love, you name it; I felt it. In my heartache, I couldn’t look at her for more than a second until Jen called my attention to her hands; gracefully formed into a unique position. Peering at my beautiful daughter through her amniotic sac, I felt waves of emotion. I definitely didn’t feel like smiling, but couldn’t help myself when I caught Jen’s eye. Although they were tear-filled, she saw the beauty of this little life who chose me. Juniper’s tiny hands were in a position that reminded Jen of a Tibetan hand symbol for beauty. Through Jen, I was able to extract the positive aspects of my daughter’s life and death through the deep sorrow. She told me Juniper Jane was a spirit baby, who waited for her time to come and then leave again; marking all in her path with love and beauty, and making us all the better.
One year and five days later, I awoke with strong contractions that began the labor of our second child, Cedar Joseph. I felt the powerful surges of labor ripple through me, and knew that I was wrapped in our daughter’s love. Upon reaching my room at the hospital’s birthing center (the same room in which our daughter was born), we wept. We wept with sadness. We wept with joy to be there again. Jen greeted us there, surrounded with her calm confidence. She guided us through labor, and caught our big, beautiful boy (and masterfully dodged an amniotic waterfall immediately after!) Throughout both pregnancies, labors, and births of our children, Jen was a constant; providing unconditional love and support for our family.
I'm not a birth pic poster, and I'd have to post way too many...
I know this isn't a doula post, but without my doula Carrie at my first child's birth, I might never have gotten the idea to switch to a midwife for my second child's birth. :) So really, the first thank you shout out goes to Carrie :)
The second goes to CNM Teri, who caught my daughter Sophia and taught me what it means to view pregnancy as a natural stage of my life and to expect a healthy birth as the culmination of a healthy 9 months :)
It's because of Teri that I can post a tribute to another midwife--Judy, the CPM who caught my 3rd child and attended the birth of my 4th--DADDY CAUGHT HIM!
Without Carrie's gentle nudge, I might never have realized I could have something different than the 'typical hospital birth' I had with my first. Without Teri's encouragement, I might never have learned that this is all NORMAL and I *can* do this on my own. (I recently told her that I have only seen her for well-woman stuff *because* she does her job so well and that's 100% true.)
And then there's Judy who has been with me through two babies, the second born with a birth defect, my own PPD that I finally admitted to after the last birth...she was there to let me talk things out, yet find my own answers.
And then, I can't possibly give tribute to those who've been at my births without including my doula Jessica--at the birth of my youngest. She took me at 38 weeks pregnant, for free as one of her certifying births. Zayd was born at 12:50 AM Sunday. She was with me from 11 PM Friday night--spent over 24 hours with me even though the REAL labor didn't begin until about 6 PM Sat. (there were some slow contractions, far apart, actually saw my MW and went home because I had ONE contraction in the hour I was there--only to turn around and go back a couple hours later!) She was a total lifesaver, the *best* ever, and though I don't recall exactly how the conversation went, I'm pretty sure she brought up hubby catching the baby. :D
lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), one 13 wk (10/13) and 5/15 just your average multigenerational living family!!
This was timely! I just wrote a "thank you" note to my midwives, so I can share that. DD2 was born at home about 2 1/2 years ago, VBAC, with Birthstream Midwifery (Tosi, Rachel F-T, and Rachel H.). When I compare my experience this time with my high-intervention, medicalized, surgical first birth. . . well, I really can't, they were just such completely different experiences. My home birth did so much to heal the sadness and regrets from my first birth. And the level of attentive, personalized care I received with the midwives just cannot ever be matched by a typical medical birth practice. Anyhow, my thank you:
Thank you. . .
For being willing to meet and talk to me about a normal birth with twins, even though we chose another route.
Tosi, for, "Pizzas are delivered, babies are birthed."
For spending an hour or more with my whole family every month throughout my pregnancy.
Rachel H., for leading birthing classes focused on homebirth.
For letting me chose to have or not to have prenatal testing, without attempting to shame or guilt me into a particular decision, and for letting me do my own testing whenever possible (weight checks, urine strips).
For letting me keep our medical charts in my own home, and giving me the originals after her birth.
For focusing on nutrition throughout my pregnancy. For making sure all your moms and their families have meal trees organized for after the baby arrives.
For coming to my home for all my appointments.
For helping to plan and celebrate my Birthing Way with me.
For only doing two vaginal exams during my whole pregnancy and delivery.
For spending at least 10 hours with us on the day she was born.
Rachel, for your quietly supportive and unobtrusive presence when you arrived while I was laboring.
For staying calm and not over-reacting when I bled so much during delivery. I never even realized your concern until after her birth. There's no question in my mind that, had I been in a hospital, I'd have had another surgical birth.
Tosi, for doing science experiments in the kitchen with my 7-year old twins when their baby sister was 2 hours old.
Rachel, for letting my twins help you examine her placenta after birth, and doing it on my bed next to me so I could watch.
For all the laundry you washed after she was born.
For trusting in breastfeeding and never suggesting formula supplements when she lost more than expected after birth.
For letting me and my baby sleep when you arrived for postpartum visits.
For hot rice socks, comfrey leaf compresses, and postpartum "baby blues" teas.
For making sure my husband understood that my only job for the first 6 weeks postpartum was to feed the baby and sleep.
Tosi, for drying and encapsulating the placenta for me, and for the dried heart-shaped strip of umbilical cord.
For bringing herbal mastitis remedy to my door more than once over the last two years, and for reminding me that I need to REST!
For continuing to nurture my family, opening your home, your trampoline, and your pool to us every other month for potlucks, and for braiding my hair and my daughter's hair at Whole Earth every year.
For putting your love and commitment to women, babies, and birth above any desire to be wealthy. One the day Gillian was born, my mom asked me how much we were paying you, and remarked "They don't make enough!" For ensuring that other women in our community can have a home birth and midwifery care even when they cannot pay.
For trusting, honoring, and respecting women's' bodies, and helping to normalize low-intervention birth.
DD and DS are 11 & DD is 4 Our car is a bike!
Sharing our with 3, 2 & 4
YAY for you AND Melissa Stallings! I am Melissa's midwifery mentor... I have to say, it does my heart proud to have trained up such a well-praised midwife!
I ADORE Melissa and I know she will be serving mama's in Colorado VERY soon!
Kim Mosny, CPM
Many thanks to my and all midwives and their assistants! I gave birth at home to a beautiful girl in Jan during a snowstorm. My midwife Cyndy and her assistant Adria (who was pregnant at the time also) came over and we had my prenatal visit, a walk in a snowstorm and lunch. They went home and a few hours later I went into labor and in just 2 1/2 hours my baby was here.... My mama was present and we both caught her when she came out. Cyn and Adria arrived 15 mins after she came out in time to deliver the placenta, get in the bath and stich me up! They came back everyday for the whole month after she was born to help! Thanks to them I was able to just relax and give all of my lovin to my daughter!
This thread is making me tear up!!! I am SO GRATEFUL for the midwives I know and the midwives I don't know. Worldwide, midwives are there to support women and encourage them through the most amazing, intense, difficult and empowering experience in their lives!!!!
I have had two midwives come to my home and help two of my three children come into this world. I love and appreciate both of them! Laura Gilbert and Cindy Lybolt are two amazing women!!!!
I am going to have to post pics later when I can locate them...
I would have a hard time to pick just one amazing midwife. In our area there is a fantastic birthing center that has not only stood its ground but broken more and expanded! Heart 2 Heart birth center http://www.h2hbirthcenter.com/ is a home a way from home and staffed by 2 amazing women Michelle Gawne and Kaleen Richards. They are both very different but work together as a great team. Kaleen attended my son's birth and I wouldn't have changed a thing.
mommy and daddy and DS 5/19/10 baby #2 coming Oct 2ish 2012 (planning a home water birth)
Elizabeth was born gently
At full term
At full weight
With a kind midwife
Under her mother’s own power
Surrounded by love and safety
Her entrance into the world
A seed of potential
And a testament to the power
Of birth in it’s purest form.
(about an hour after our homebirth)
The use of Midwives was not an option for my first birth being we couldn't afford it and I was not there mentally. For my second child now that it is funded there was no other option but to go with midwives. It was like this baby was telling me I had to do it and it had to be a water birth! So I did and if we ever have any more children I would do it again. My midwives were amazing and made me feel like I was in control and help me feel confident in this new adventure of a Nature Birth! They calmed my fears and helped my husband too who wasn't too sure about this whole home birth idea! Well now he believes in it as much as I do and both my baby and I had a wonderful healthy experience! I hope more woman learn to understand how strong we are as woman and that we were born to deliver babies and we instinctively know how to give birth! Midwives are knowledgeable and caring and so calm! Everything about pregnancy and delivery this time was calm!
I LOVE my midwife practice. There are 3 midwifes in the practice I go to. I knew even before I got pregnant that I wanted a midwife that would want as natural a delivery as possible. I had a very long, difficult delivery due to DS's position. 2 of my midwifes were there for a while trying every possible thing they could do to make me progress and not to have a csection. I ended up with no medical pain relief and had a healthy baby with a vaginal birth. I know if I had gone anywhere else, I would have been recommended to have an uncessary csection. The midwives at Women's Health Associates in NEW HAVEN, CT are the BEST!
Our amazing midwife Leopi, who lives and works in Berkeley, CA, created a peaceful and empowering environment for me when I gave birth to my daughter at home. My husband was in the birthing pool with me at the end and he was the first one who felt her underneath the water and lifted her up to me. After the birth we were attended by our midwife Leopi and the second midwife Joan and we could focus on our little daughter. The next two weeks we lied in bed and cuddled and were in awe of our little child and the whole experience. We got the most magical start to a new life together as a family!
My midwife Shelagh and Kathy, her assistant. They're weighing baby Kailen the old fashioned way! Shelagh is the only home-birth midwife in Del Norte County, California. My most potent memory is one evening during my 5th month. I was struck with sinusitis, my partner was out of town, and I needed to manage our hostel and care for our 4-year-old son. The pain was so unbearable that my facial muscles were locked in a grimace and I was crying uncontrollably. My "regular" physician failed to provide medicine I critically needed and in desperation, I called Shelagh, who lived 20 miles north. Within a half hour, she was in the hostel's office with me, massaging my face and saying all the soothing words I needed to hear. She comforted me like a mother that night, and she earned my trust forever.
I am forever grateful to the Center for Women's Health in Avon, NJ and my incredible midwife, Louise Dowling. She and partner midwife Patricia (Patty) Brown took such good care of me leading up to the birth of my beautiful (and BIG) boy Alex. Thank you a million times over Louise, for helping me through transition and birth. I never believed I could do it until you helped me through, and it was an empowering and awe-inspiring experience I will never forget!