I was strong, and I did something remarkable. I was an active participant in a miracle – bringing life into the world. And I got to do it on my own terms and in my own way: naturally, intimately, and personally…exactly as I had prayed.
Kolette's Empowering Birth Story and Video
I always dreamed of a labor and delivery that was natural, intimate, and personal. When we first found out we were pregnant, I went to my OB/GYN, resigned to the idea that there were no other alternatives in this area. I researched home births, but I had little luck finding anything, so I thought I was locked in to the path of a hospital birth. About half-way through my pregnancy though, my heart was still yearning for something different. I reached out to a friend who lives in another state and delivered both of her sons at home. She in turn reached out to her circle of midwives and doulas and gave me names of midwives who do home births in our area, and she mentioned Baby+Company. By this point, family was involved, and many were super nervous about the idea of a home birth. My husband and I toured Baby+Company, and we were sold instantly. A happy medium between the hospital we were desperate to avoid, and the tarp my husband wanted to buy at Lowe’s and lay out in our bedroom for a home birth!
Videography credit to Ross Merrick Creative
We got to 39 weeks on a Saturday, and I was so happy to reach full term. My mom arrived Sunday night, planning to come a week ahead of my due date and be in the room as a support person. Even though the midwives told me the baby was most likely to arrive around week 41, I told Baby s/he was now welcome to arrive any time, because we were all ready to meet him/her!
My labor began Monday night after dinner. I was gun-shy to tell anyone at first, but pretty soon we were all grinning with anticipation. We called Baby+Company in the middle of the night just to give them a heads up. They told me that taking Benadryl might help me sleep. There was the chance, though, that I could wake the next day and not be in labor. Well, the Benadryl didn’t do much, and it was a long night of inactive labor that did not let up.
My husband and I both called off work Tuesday and spent the day doing all we could to stay distracted: taking a walk, working a puzzle, watching a movie. By Tuesday night my husband and mom were convinced it was time to head to Baby+Company. Anayah checked my progress; I was only 3 cm, so there was no staying just yet! I was prescribed medicine to help me sleep, and it was still possible to wake up Wednesday and not be in labor anymore.
But the contractions did not let up, and my husband faithfully monitored them all night as we headed into Wednesday. Active labor finally began about lunchtime. We called the birth center a few hours later, and they told us to come in. That car ride was the most difficult 45 minutes of my life (nevermind the fact we had just done it the day before!). We arrived about 4pm. I was 7 cm by that point and totally effaced. Just as I expected from the beginning of the week, this baby was really coming!
I had imagined my labor to be largely in the water and then delivery on the stool or in the bed. I wasn’t in the tub for very long, however, before realizing it just was not going to work for me. For whatever reason, I could not get comfortable. I went to the bathroom, where I lost my mucus plug and labored on the inevitable toilet. After that, though, my exhaustion moved me to the bed. The peanut ball helped the labor progress, and my water broke. I eventually moved to the stool for a change, at Alex’s recommendation, which brought us all the closer to finally meeting our child. I moved back to the bed for the final pushes, because Alex advised that delivering there could cause less tearing, and my husband “catching” the baby was safer. At the very end, I had pushed Baby where the head was visible. Alex told me to wait patiently for the next contraction, as the head was helping to stretch everything, and I should not want to rush that. She said I only had one or two pushes left before Baby was born. (I told myself I absolutely had only ONE more push before this baby was born!) When the contraction came, I pushed with all that was left in me. My husband caught Baby with unreserved confidence and laid the child on my chest. I was overcome with elation, euphoria, and joy. We had waited nine months to know if we had a boy or girl, and in that moment, I couldn’t have cared less. The legs were curled up and I had no desire to rush and straighten or spread them to discover the gender. I was just enamored with finally seeing the beauty of the baby I had carried for so long. Eventually we checked, and we were over-the-moon thrilled to discover we had a daughter. We had both been hoping for a girl!
My mom and husband were my main support people in Birth Room #3, and I could not have done what I did without them. They spoke words of affirmation, prayed, massaged, and comforted the entire way through. My midwives, Alexandria and Anayah, were positively incredible. They were present but not in my face, genuine and respectful. The room was everything we could have hoped. Our music playlist and essential oils created an atmosphere of calm and comfort. Finally, my brother was present and video-taped the experience for us. The edited product is one of the most meaningful gifts I’ve ever received – a tangible reminder of the proudest moment of my life. I have never considered myself to be a particularly strong or remarkable person. But the video serves as a testament to a moment in time when I was strong, and I did something remarkable. I was an active participant in a miracle – bringing life into the world. And I got to do it on my own terms and in my own way: naturally, intimately, and personally…exactly as I had prayed.