Edie Carney - 06.22.20
"During my first pregnancy my husband and I did no research and asked no questions . We falsely believed the doctor would tell us anything we needed to know and that knowing "too much" would only make us anxious. I especially held onto the belief that 'modern medicine' was going to do the heavy lifting and I trusted the hospitalist implicitly. This resulted in a long, tiring pregnancy where I didn't know how to nourish myself properly, or how to prepare my body for the task ahead. I never felt good and hated being pregnant. Ultimately our doctor convinced us we needed an induction because I passed my due date. 27 hours of labor, excruciating mechanical dilation, 12 unmedicated hours of pitocin labor,
1 botched epidural and we finally went home with our baby...beat up, exhausted and traumatized by the whole experience. There was no discussion about the fact that the risks to baby from passing my due date were near 0...but the risk to ME using pitocin were very real. There was no explanation of a mechanical dilation or discussion about my rights as a patient. Those 27 hours were terrifying, excruciating, and unbearably painful. Multiple times I thought 'One of these idiots is going to kill me!' Nothing about it felt right, it felt like being ripped open and the baby torn out before he was ready. I didn't know I could say 'no' and assured myself I could trust the doctors/nurses/residents. Knowing what I know now, I feel lucky the baby and I walked away uninjured.
My second pregnancy had me wanting to know everything and actively participating in my pregnancy and birth. I switched OBGYNs and talked to every woman I knew who had given birth about their experiences. It still seemed crazy to me.. the idea of natural childbirth, but so did another epidural after the last experience when they 'missed' 3 times and left me numb for 24 hours post delivery. I kept coming back to the idea of home birth and when EVERY SINGLE mom I talked to who had both a hospital & home birth PREFERRED the natural birth at home, I started to listen. I began interviewing midwives that my doula (Suzanne Castro Miller) and friends suggested. After I spoke with the Born Midwifery Midwives I felt relief, peace, and certainty. This was the team for me! During the interview Kyle educated me more about childbirth than either OB I had previously worked with did during the MONTHS of visits I had with them. Everything about my care with Kyle & Meridian was different than the OB care. Visits were longer and they took time to educate me about how to eat properly and every decision I needed to make for baby and me. THIS was informed consent, THIS was comprehensive care.
On the morning of my labor my husband and I took the opportunity to be intimate while my son slept. I lost my mucous plug immediately after and started having contractions. I wanted to wait to let the midwives know assuming we had a long road ahead. We cuddled and talked excitedly about baby, made breakfast and picked up the house a bit. I took a shower and contractions became more consistent and strong but still 20 minutes or so apart. It was nearing noon and we went for a short walk as my SIL suggested. I felt great, the sun seemed to shine brighter and I was awash with happiness and excitement. However, I couldn't walk or talk through contractions and they had become 8 minutes apart and 1.5 minutes long. We headed home thinking we had better call everyone and let them know we were in labor. But at home, things slowed down and contractions fluctuated between 10-15 minutes apart again. Thinking, again, that we still must have a long time left, I said 'lets wait to call everyone.' We ate lunch, put our son down for a nap and started a movie. For almost the entire movie contractions never got closer or stronger. I still felt great, the pain was powerful but manageable with breathing, humming low, and my husband helped by pushing on my hips. I never wished for an epidural; it hurt but it felt right, not like the pain from an injury or the ripping pain of the foley bulb manual dilation in the hospital. Then suddenly I felt my body pushing and was screaming through the contractions. Wide eyed I yelled 'Call everyone I'm PUSHING!' We scrambled upstairs texting and calling the midwives, doula, baby-sitter. I felt like I was having a BM so I sat on the toilet and my water broke. I could hear my husband talking to Meridian calmly saying 'She's in labor...contractions are 5 minutes apart.' He hung up and told me she said to touch base in 30 minutes. I wanted to scream at him, 'SAYING IM IN LABOR...' did NOT accurately communicate what was going on. We had been having trouble contacting our Doula and then my sister finally showed up to grab my son who was being traumatized by my screaming. I picked up my phone and called Meridian myself, shakily saying 'Meridian my water broke and I'm pushing.' She responded quickly saying 'Im on my way.' Then I dropped to my knees from the toilet. When my husband wasn't on the phone he was cleaning me up and applying pressure to the perineum area in case I pushed the baby out. Finally Suzanne (my doula) arrived and immediately kissed my forehead and cradled my face telling me she was there and I was doing great.She asked if I wanted to move from the bathroom floor. I felt panicked and said 'I don't know.' I half sobbed. I told them I wouldn't move but I didn't want to be here (bathroom floor). They helped prop me up onto Suzanne's C shaped birth pillow which helped a ton. I felt like I was strapped to the front of a freight train going 100 miles an hour on the track. There was no stopping, no turning back, the powerful contractions were sweeping me away and all I could do was scream. Then I saw Meridian's feet go past me and I was overjoyed, everyone had made it and everything was going to be ok! Suzanne helped me go from screaming to grunting, even though I was sobbing and mad at her for trying to make me. Three pushes and baby was out. They hleped me go from all fours to sitting back against the tub, baby cried out and turned pink and then latched at the first attempt. My first thought was 'Well that wasn't so bad.' Everyone helped clean baby and I up and get me into the bed. Meridian instructed us on postpartum care, Suzanne and my sister prepared us dinner and we settled into our home to rest. It was intimate, beautiful, and relaxing. Even though it got crazy, it had happened perfectly. The whole experience was a gift and I NO LONGER FEAR CHILDBIRTH! Thank you Born Midwifery!
"Some of you know that I used a lovely midwife to bring little Noah into the world, and it may not be for everyone, but it was definitely for me! It was everything I could have wanted, and everything I needed!
The whole process was so incredible that I just had to share. It started with my anxiety with the whole child rearing process, and meeting Kyle for the first time and her talking about her service, literally brought tears to my eyes with the relief and excitement that I definitely did not have before. I had the upmost respect and trust for Kyle, and that made a relatively tough pregnancy so much easier.
The birthing process itself was amazing and everything I could have wanted. My mother and husband literally held me and supported me the entire time. Kyle was there the whole time as well and only spoke kindness and sweetness and even rubbed my back and legs! I was treated with such sensitivity, dignity, and kindness. I am so blessed that I got to have such an amazing birth experience, and I am so blessed to have had an awesome birth team. It was a thousand different prayers the Lord answered for me.
Also, I'm a pretty ridiculous person and I understand this, but Kyle handled me like a champ. "
“Phoenix’s birth turned out to be the redemption story I was hoping for. After enduring a traumatic birth with my daughter 6.5 years ago it took a lot of mindset work to prepare for baby boy. I’m not surprised I had a few weeks of prodromal labor leading up to the real deal because my body and mind were preparing to bring another life earthside.
Contractions started at lunch time that Tuesday and I’m glad my husband decided to come home that day to eat because they came on fast and strong! Meridian and Beth arrived about an hour later and it was on! After laboring for a few hours baby wasn’t moving down as fast as I knew that he could have been and I knew and felt that my bulging bag of water was in the way. I was in control of all of my decisions (which is why I love homebirthing) so I asked Meridian to break my water. She did and baby started his descent. Things picked up from there and instead of losing myself in the pain I leaned in. I reminded myself that Phoenix and I were working together- I stayed present as I rode each contraction up and used the force and strength of my body to push his little body down- knowing (and asking repeatedly to be reminded) that he would be here soon. With guidance and support from Meridian, Kyle and Beth and the physical support of Josiah- On the last push of a contraction, Baby boy’s body shot out sideways in one fell swoop! No head first then wait- just a whole body! It surprised me! I thought for sure I would be needing to push at least a few more times but he came swiftly and once he was on my chest I started laughing/crying/ talking to him and felt a sense of pride I had never known. I did it! We did it! It was now time to basque in the baby bliss and enjoy the fruit of my labor😜”
“At around 6 AM, I woke up to my first contractions. I wasn’t positive that I was going to have my baby that day, but I was positive that I was ready to experience natural birth. There is something primal and pure about allowing my body to take over and do what it needs to in order to birth my baby. After hours of contractions I was ready to call the midwife at 11PM. Meridian and Kyle showed up promptly and set the pool up seeing as I was wanting to have a water birth. I was exhausted by this point, and found the pool very relaxing. Unfortunately it was little too relaxing and I found it hard to focus enough to push. We decided to move me to the bed. Once I was on the bed my body took over and my baby was ready to enter the world. I pushed and pushed with all my might, but my baby still wasn’t here. My body took over and started to push for me. After a few good pushes, my baby was here! She was healthy and beautiful! My husband helped move her onto my chest and after delivering the placenta, he was able to cut the cord. My birth was a very peaceful and fulfilling experience. Meridian and Kyle were so attentive and kept me focused and calm. Having natural home birth allowed me to push the limits of my body and break away from the medically assisted birth norm that has taken over today. It was a beautiful out of body experience that I would recommend every woman experience at least once in their life. I was happy to have an amazing birth team to lead me into motherhood.”