We decided to plan for a water birth since I had had a pretty bad episiotomy with Cameron (10 stitches). Water birth helps you relax to the fullest and decreases your risk of tearing. I love water, so this was the perfect option for us.
We decided to let Beth's apprentice, Melinda Pond, gain some experience and be the one that would catch our baby. We totally trusted Melinda and were excited that ours would be her first baby to catch. Beth Would be by her side through it all, guiding her and taking over if needed. We didn't start seeing Beth and Melinda for prenatal care until I was already about 25 weeks, but there was still plenty of time to get to know them. They saw me just as frequently as the doctor would have and at 36 weeks, they came to our house for the check up so that they know exactly how to get there before it's "go time."
It was so much different than going to my OB. The appointments were fun. There was no time spent waiting in a waiting room and they were always so warm and genuinely curious how the baby and I were doing. They were much more thorough with me than my OB ever was. I loved that they gave me a big thick binder full of information on their guidelines, nutrition, exercise, prenatal testing, and postpartum care. The binder even had a 'homework' section that asks you, in detail, how you would like your labor and birth to go (who you want there, what activities, music, who catches baby, who cuts the chord, etc.) That was exciting. And most importantly, you get a copy of a blank prenatal record to fill in as you go to each appointment so that you can keep up with you and your babies health and your labs. I loved this!
Not to mention that Beth is certified in newborn screening as well, so she was able to care for William during his first weeks of life. They came to our house on postpartum days 1 & 4 to check us both out. Not only did they do a complete assessment and newborn screening on William, but each time they came they asked me a long list of questions, assessed my bleeding, checked my blood pressure, and made sure I was taking care of myself and not overdoing it. They also had tons of good breastfeeding advice and made sure William and I were getting off to a good start with it.
All in all, the prenatal and postpartum care that we received was by far more compassionate and thorough than what we would have received with the usual group of OBGYNs down the street. Please don't get me wrong! OBGYNs do amazing work and are greatly needed, but not for normal, low risk births. They are trained surgeons and are not trained to genuinely help a women through labor. And while nurses may be helpful, their shifts change. We could not be happier with our decision to plan a home birth with a licensed midwife.
The next two entries are the detailed accounts of both my children's births. They were both incredibly amazing and I wouldn't change a thing about either one. The first is my daughter Cameron's beautiful hospital birth. The second is my son William's beautiful home birth.