Thursday, June 13, 2013

Witnessing a Home Birth

For those of you who have read Jadon's birth story, you know that we planned on having a home birth, but ended up with a c-section. Jadon turned breech during my labor at home, and I wasn't comfortable with the risks of having him there in that position.

I've recounted the details of Jadon's birth to myself a hundred times since he was born. I don't regret any of the decisions I made in those moments. Yet, I still wish I could have experienced the home setting that I planned for. I look forward to birthing our future children at home.

Throughout my pregnancy and surgery recovery, I read a lot of birth stories, most of which were natural home births. There was one story that has really stuck with me, and it was almost entirely told in pictures. This image in particular has been etched in my mind:

Click here to go to the story and more pictures!
The woman in the birth pool just delivered her third child. Her first two were born in a hospital. She wanted to have a lot of support giving birth at home, so she invited friends who would be interested in seeing a home birth. She also invited some women who could not give birth vaginally.

I love the joy on the faces of the witnesses.

One week ago, I experienced that same joy. I was present at the home of a dear friend when she and her husband welcomed a baby boy into the world, their second child. This friend also happened to be my doula, who faithfully journeyed with me through my pregnancy, home labor, hospital transfer, and surgical birth. I was so honored that she asked me, of all people, to be present at her home birth as her doula.

I started praying for the birth when we got a text early in the morning because her water broke. I arrived when my friend's contractions were just starting to get more intense. I helped put pressure on her back during contractions when her husband was out of the room. I made dinner for the midwives, and hoped that kitchen noises were somehow comforting to my "foodie" friend. The midwife let me help catch the baby and hand him to his mother. I helped my friend get out of the birth pool. I helped put her bedroom back in order while she gave directions from the bed. I stayed the night with Jon and Jadon. I stayed the next day to help with little tasks. I saw the big sister meet her little brother for the first time.

While I won't recount all the details of the birth (that's my friend's story to tell!), I will say that I can relate to all the women in the photograph above because of that experience. I know what it's like to feel triumph just watching a baby be born. I know what those gloves feel like in the water. I also hope beyond hope that I will get to be the women in the tub someday.

I'm already reading a lot of VBAC home birth stories.


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