Hello.This is about our son, and the preparation we went to so that he would be born where I felt most comfortable- our house. In 1988, I was 33 and finally pregnant again. It had been an exhausting 2 years, what with a separation from my husband and eventual reconciliation. Things were still not up to par, but I was doubting they ever would be, so I just made the best of it, for the sake of our two girls, then 10 and 7.
I had had a home birth with our second, and all went well. But I was now living in a different part of the state that was at least 3 years behind where I had come from, and 10 years behind the rest of the country. I was having difficulty finding a midwife. The part of VA I had moved to was still knocking women out during the actual birth. I was determined not to go to the hospital unless there was an absolute medical emergency. The people at church thought I was nuts because they still believed the fallacy that women were safe in the hospital. I chalked it up to ignorance, and tried to get ones who wanted to read more, some good books on the subject.
Anyway, when I finally went into labor, it was the night we were working on our Easter production at church, and contractions started about 9pm. I was so glad the lights were out, and no one could see me quietly breathing thru the contractions, while running the soundboard. At 10 pm they were done and I sent my oldest daughter to get the two people who would be assisting me, R. and M. M. was single, and I wanted her there to see what a normal birth was like. R. had helped me at a couple of previous births. My husband was (reluctantly) going to catch the baby, but I had searched out every lead for a midwife during my pregnancy, and there weren’t any around where I lived.
The midwives that I spoke to in Richmond didn’t think they could get here in time, since my other births had been 4 hrs and 3 hrs, respectively. So labor came and went along quite smoothly, and when it was time to push, my husband told me to pick up my butt. Our bed was really soft, and the baby’s head couldn’t get out. I lifted up, and his head came out. He turned nicely, and first the top shoulder, then the bottom was born into his daddy’s hands. It felt like giving birth to a Mack Truck because he was so long. He weighed 8lbs 13oz and was 24 in.long.
My labor was longer this time (11 hrs) because of the extra dilation, and I’m so glad I didn’t have him at the local hospitals. They never would have waited that long without interfering. I nursed him right away, and had no problem with postpartum bleeding. I did have a little problem getting the placenta out, because when I nursed the baby, I could feel my cervix close up. But it worked out fine. We went over to South Boston Hospital and in 10 minutes they helped me get out the biggest placenta I had ever seen! It was easily 10 inches across! They were amazed that I had him at home and tried to get me to stay there overnight, but I said no- I knew what to look for in a newborn and said if I needed their help, I would come and get it then. Then we left and went to see our friends Laurie and Dan.
The county nurse came out the third day and did his PKU and pediatric check right in the living room. It was cool. So now I’m in school becoming a midwife so I can offer the same thing to others in this area who want it.