We were 25 weeks pregnant with our first child when we decided to switch from hospital birth to having a home birth. We wanted the birth of our daughter to be a special moment in our lives that we would remember as such. I knew before we were expecting that I wanted a natural, un-medicated birth at home with the assistance of a midwife. Being a woman who is very in tune with my body, I had the faith and confidence to trust my body to do what it was meant to do; carry a child and give birth without the unnecessary medications and interventions found in today’s hospitals.
My husband, Rob, was originally against home births and thought I was crazy. I however was scared to have a hospital birth. We originally found a Certified Nurse Midwife who worked in one of the hospitals and decided to see what it was about. We liked our CNM. She was very nice, professional, and was open to our ideas about the kind of birth experience we wanted. Even though I still didn’t feel completely right about the idea, I decided to compromise with my husband. I got my midwife and he got his choice of being at a hospital for the birth.
We started taking Bradley Method childbirth classes. It was during this class we learned so much more about our options and the topic of having a home birth came back up. We both agreed to be open minded and decided to explore these options. We set up a couple appointments with Certified Professional Midwives and a hospital tour all in the same day. After our hospital tour I walked out of there almost in tears from fear. It confirmed my feelings all along that I did not want to give birth in a hospital and Rob finally understood why I have desired a home birth. Our last appointment of the day was with CPM Marve and we knew within five minutes she was the person we were looking for to share our birth experience with.
Marve is very personable and professional. It is apparent that she loves her job and her clients. She is very knowledgeable about pregnant women, their babies, and the care they need. Marve takes the natural approach to prenatal and postnatal care. She is big on nutrition and the benefits and effects it has on maintaining a healthy pregnancy and preparing the body for childbirth. We highly recommend Marve to anyone looking to have a wonderful home birth experience they desire and we plan on using her for our next child.
Our daughter’s estimated due date was July 6, 2012. The pregnancy was very easy for me with the only complaint being sciatic nerve pain. On May 31 I was 35 weeks exactly and I lost my mucous plug. Marve discussed with us the possibility that baby was coming sooner than we thought and I was to rest at much as possible. I continued to go to work with the direction from Marve that I go home if I’m not feeling well. We just needed to make it to 36 weeks to be able to have a home birth. Six days later on June 6, 2012, I was 35 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I went to work as usual, and I was excited it was my Friday. During the day I thought I was leaking small amounts of amniotic fluid but wasn’t sure. I called Marve during lunch and we decided to wait till the next day during our already scheduled appointment to test it. This appointment was also when we were supposed to go over the birth kit and make sure we had everything we needed and ready to go for baby’s birthday. Well we never made it to that appointment since a few hours later at 4:27 p.m., when I got into my car to head home from work, my water broke completely. I was on the phone with Rob when it happened and he immediately left work to head home. I was excited for this moment but terrified that we would end up at the hospital being 4 weeks early. I just kept praying that everything would be okay. I then called Marve. She assured me that she was comfortable with continuing our plan to have a home birth since we were only 1 day away from the 36 week mark, and she instructed me to head home and lay down and rest and to keep her updated on my progress. I felt comfortable with this decision and completely trusted Marve.
Since Rob works out of town, about an hour away, I called my mom to come help me, as we didn’t have anything ready! I also sent my sister to the store to get the last few things we needed for our birth kit. We had also decided to have a water birth and we didn’t have the tub either! Rob called our friend we were renting the tub from and she informed him that she had it loaned out to someone else whose baby was due any day now. After a few phone calls, our friend informed us she got the tub and was on her way with it. She and her husband set it all up for us and we were ready to go. My contractions started about 5:30p.m. They were pretty manageable to start but quickly picked up in intensity within the next hour. Rob was there to help coach me through contractions while timing them. The first contractions were fairly mild, about 4-5 minutes apart and last about 30 seconds or so. They started out sporadically and I was so nauseous I just stayed in the bathroom. We kept in contact with Marve and she provided some direction over the phone while she got ready to come over. My contractions started increasing in intensity and were soon 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 45-60 seconds. Her assistant Judith arrived first at about 10:00 p.m. by this time I was in active labor and couldn’t stop vomiting. I was so exhausted I just wanted to sleep but couldn’t stay out of the bathroom. Judith got me set up where I was facing backwards on the toilet with a pillow on the tank so I could rest my head and she helped massage my back while Rob continued to coach me. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep in between contractions. The contractions were now about 90-120 seconds apart and lasted anywhere from 75-90 seconds. The pain was intense and I kept telling Rob how hard it was and I wasn’t sure I could continue. I never felt the need to alter our birth plan but the pain was overwhelming. Rob continued to coach me and keep telling me how wonderful I was doing and that our baby would be here soon. Marve arrived around 10:45 pm, and oh I was so relieved to see her. She helped me get into the tub around 11:00pm and oh my goodness the water felt so good I wish I had got into it sooner. I started off in the tub on my knees with my arms and head hanging over the side of the tub since I was still vomiting. Marve started monitoring baby’s heartbeat, good news, it sounded great. My contractions were about the same intensity and were coming about every 60 seconds or so but being in the tub helped make them easier to manage. I was most comfortable sitting in the tub with my back rested against the tub. We found out though that being in this position made the baby’s heart rate drop. So I had to stay on my knees for the next two hours while receiving oxygen to maintain baby’s heart rate.
Around 12:30 am I finally started having the urge to push. Once I started pushing I realized it made my contractions easier and as long as I was pushing the pain was subsiding. I was exhausted though and felt like I was pushing forever and getting nowhere. But once I felt my baby’s head with my hand as she was about to start crowning I realized I was making progress and that provided me with a burst energy and the motivation I needed to keep going. I ended up birthing on my knees and Rob was outside of the tub behind me waiting for our baby. Once he saw the head crowning he announced to everyone “It has hair!” Marve asked Rob if he wanted to catch the baby, he hesitated and she stated, “Come over here.” At 1:01 am June 7, 2012 8 ½ hours after my water broke Rob caught and was holding our little girl. Our beautiful baby girl was 5 pounds, 5 ounces and 18 1/14 inches long. Even though she came early, she was perfectly healthy. We named our daughter Hannah Brielle and she is absolutely beautiful and precious. Thanks to Marve, I was able to have a natural, un-medicated home birth like I wanted. It was so nice to climb into our own bed as a family afterwards to rest. Rob absolutely loved the experience. We will definitely have a home birth again and ask Marve to be our CPM for our next child!