It still amazes me how birth is such a unique experience for each individual.  For the birth of our 4th child I knew I wanted to have this one at home.  I wanted to have #3 at home, but had a really hard time finding a midwife who would do this.  Especially since I felt more comfortable having a certified midwife.  Even though I used a midwife for our last birth, it was in a hospital setting and she worked for Doctors so they had the ultimate say in inducing my labor, but that is another story in itself.  Luckily with the help of the internet, I found Joanne.  She would do a home birth in NJ!  I was so relieved to find her.  My husband was a little hesitant at first.  My second came so fast that she was born in the car on the way to a free standing birth center.  He was nervous since Joanne lived in Pa and we were in NJ.  He figured he would be catching this baby also. 

            My pregnancy started off normal, then I started spotting.  It was not a lot of blood, but I never had ANY spotting with my other pregnancies.  After the third episode of spotting, Joanne wanted me to have an ultrasound to double check that everything was Ok.  I was a little concerned myself, so the ultrasound gave me peace of mind to know that everything was great with the baby. 

            I always go late, so was not surprised to be 4 days past my due date.  My sister and Mom spent the day at our place, the kids played and it was relaxing.  My sister is my good luck charm, I always go into labor after she spends the day with me.  My Mom and sister went home @ 5 p.m.  I started cooking dinner and having contractions.  At first I thought nothing of it since I had been having mild contractions every evening for the past 2 weeks.  I couldn’t eat much and decided to go take a hot shower incase this was it!  

After the shower I started feeling shaky so I laid down.  I started getting the shakes like I was going through transition.  I told my husband to put the other kids to bed.  I sat in the rocking chair and he kept asking me to call the midwife.  I wanted to make sure this was the real thing before I alerted everyone.  Since the contractions kept coming and I was really shivering, I called Joanne.  She flew over from PA and was there in @ ˝ hour.  She knew my husbands fears and wanted to make sure she was there for the birth.  She came in and I was still in my glider in the family room.  She asked me how I was and where I wanted to have my baby.  “Just let me know,” she said “so I can set up.”  This automatically put me at ease since she was asking me where I would be most comfortable!  Wow, what a difference from the hospital!!  I was having a lot of lower back pain.  It felt good for me to be draped over the ottoman of my glider.  I drank lots and peed lots.  

The two other midwives and my friend who was support for my kids showed up.  I finally wanted to move up to our bedroom it felt more “cave like”.  I never had back labor before so the pain was intense.  I could feel the baby moving down, but had to find a way to deal with the back pain.  They put hot compresses on my back and used acupressure.  It helped a lot.  Then it got really intense.  Joanne sensed that I was loosing my concentration and told me to open my eyes and slow down my breathing.  Now I started involuntarily pushing with the contractions.  I remember pushing and feeling like the baby was not moving.  I felt the whole baby “stuck” inside me.  I was lying on my left side, all of a sudden Joanne told me to flip over onto all 4’s.  Then I pushed again and a head and hand came out together.  (This would explain the back pain).  

Shortly followed by the rest of the baby’s body.   They laid the baby next to me on the bed.  Joanne suctioned the baby since we had some meconium when my water broke.  The baby started to breath and I was relived and elated.  I wanted to see the sex for myself instead of it being announced and all the midwives didn’t say a thing.  I looked and saw we had our 4th daughter!!  Another girl!  My husband wanted another girl so he was grinning and crying at the same time.  He is such an awesome girl Daddy!  Our home birth was everything we wanted and more.  Our 3 other girls slept through the whole thing, I was shocked but thankful!  My friend videotaped instead of taking care of the kids. In my birth plan I said I did not want to be checked or have any internals until I was ready to push.   I never had an internal exam!  Awesome!  Joanne knew my body was ready to push because it was pushing!  I tore a little bit.  So little she asked if I wanted a stitch or let it go.  I hate being touched after birth so I opted to let it heal on its own.  She was born May 19, 2003 at 12:22 a.m. weighing 8# 3 ounces.  I was only in labor for @ 5 hours.  After Peyton was born they left the 3 of us alone to bond and nurse, how peaceful!  After everyone was cleaned up and checked out, the 3 of us snuggled into bed and got some rest!  After this amazing home birth it is hard to believe this is our 4th baby and yet our 1st home birth.  Now I would never do it any other way.   


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