This beautiful birth happened right here in NYC, with a NYC-based homebirth midwife. Thank you so much for sharing your birth story with us!!
There was nothing in the classes that we both took leading up to the birth that could have prepared us for the overwhelming experience of our home birth. It was truly amazing.
I want to say a word about the courage and strength of my wife, Maryann*. She was incredible. I’ve never seen strength displayed in such a raw and powerful way as I saw Maryann display in this birth. Her efforts were a reflection of the kind of person she is. She was tenacious and determined. I was in awe of her for the entire five hours.
In the classes we took leading up to the birth, they talked about pre-labor. This was supposed to be a time to take a walk, bake some cookies, quietly prepare the birth tub, and slow dance through the first hours of light contractions. At 2:20 AM Maryann woke me up and she was in full active labor. There was no time for walks or dances and there certainly wasn’t going to be any cookies. My plan of having time to gather myself and mentally prepare for the hard work ahead was out the door replaced with Maryann’s pain and a frantic effort to try to time the contractions.
We ran the bathroom tub so that Maryann could get into the water while I began to fill the birth tub in the living room with the hose. At this point her contractions were four minutes apart, already very intense and lasting 45 seconds to just over a minute. After about an hour, the living room birth tub was filled and Maryann settled in for the rest of the birth. Natalie* (the doula) and Madeleine* (the midwife) arrived around 3:30AM just as Maryann’s contractions were increasing in intensity. Madeleine was great in her ability to reassure Maryann about what was happening and how great she was doing. She encouraged Maryann to feel her cervix so that she could touch her own progress as it was happening. This was effective for Maryann, as she felt empowered to continue making progress.
At about 5:30 AM Madeleine helped push the cervix up over the baby’s head, and it was time for Maryann to start the process of using the contractions to push. The pushing was very difficult and painful, but Maryann was a real champ. She didn’t shy away from the process and at 7:40 our son was born. He slipped into the water and into our arms and we were immediately in love. The best part about having the home birth was the fact that we were able to immediately hold our baby and spend time with him. We lay in our bed together as a family only minutes after he was born. It was an incredible feeling!
And now, the thank you’s: Madeleine, you truly are a hero. You were so perfect throughout the process. I couldn’t imagine having the baby without you there. Maryann can’t stop talking about how great you were, and I wholeheartedly agree.
Natalie, you came to our aid and support without hesitation, and I am so thankful for that. Your words of encouragement and steady hand throughout the birth were a key factor in Michelle’s success. Not to mention the video you took. Absolutely beautiful! You have many gifts, and your photographic eye is one of them.
Thank you to each of you who held us up in prayer in the days and weeks leading up to the birth. We are truly grateful for your thoughts and prayers.