We had another baby on the way. This was baby #5 for our family. I had just left my full time career as a social worker and we were so excited. We waited until 12 weeks in to share our happy news and Christmas had just come and gone. That is when we learned that baby was not meant to meet us this side of heaven. I share this part of the story for a few reasons, one, I again was bent towards the more natural way of proceeding. I experienced bleeding on a Sunday morning and was very concerned so I went to the ER. It was there among cold lights and hard shiny floors that we learned the news, the awful news, our baby was gone and there was no little flickering heart beat on the monitor. My doctor was out of town and when contacted advised that she wanted me to undergo a D&C. I did not want any procedure done as I wanted things to proceed naturally (I had been through this kind of loss before). My doctor reluctantly agreed to allow this, while on the phone with me from vacation several states away.
We went home then to grieve, and to heal. A week went by and that’s when my body decided that it was time, I had time to process things a bit better by then and emotionally that made it slightly better. However, when my body began the process of purging and healing it went a bit too fast and I began to hemorrhage. My husband is a nurse and was immediately concerned (more than I) so he rushed me to the ER. I was stabilized, but not without a seed of fear planted so deep in my husband that he wasn’t even sure he wanted any more children. He was convinced he almost lost me. I again avoided a D&C but had to be almost obscenely adamant at the hospital because, that was just routine for them. But, it wasn’t routine for me and I did not want to undergo that procedure. I was discharged hours later after a period of lengthy observation. Time to go home, and finish healing.
I was quite unsure if after my body had time to heal, whether God would bless us with another baby or not. I was so happy to have my 4 healthy children but my heart was grieved still for the loss of our baby. It was about 3 months later that I became pregnant again. I was scared that I would also experience another loss but I just prayed. And prayed. I prayed for a healthy baby, a healthy me, and most of all for God’s peace for whatever was to come. The pregnancy progressed very normally and after we got to about 18 weeks along I approached the subject of home birthing with my husband. I had loved the last medication free birth but I wanted to welcome this new one without the nurses, the IV fluids, the bright lights…
The conversation did not go very far as my husband pretty much shut it down immediately. He was fearful as it had just been about 7 months prior we were in the ER with him being convinced I was not going to make it. I reminded him that all of our babies were born without any major issues, I had never had any reason for concern and had never had any trouble healing. I prayed then. A few days later I mentioned to him that a woman we both knew of (and knew of fondly) was also a homebirth midwife, a fact he did not know. I would imagine I wore him down because shortly thereafter he agreed that I could just call and talk to the local midwife we knew of.
I called her. I loved her immediately. She was down to earth, willing to help, and held many of our values dear. She did not think my medical history was a concern and felt based on the information I provided to her, that I would likely to great having a baby at home. She suggested my husband and I watch a documentary called “The Business of Being Born” that was on Netflix. I told her my husband was a hard sell and she said she was not in the business of persuading husbands but she would agree to come meet us both. She mentioned that sometimes that sets people more at ease. I got him to watch the documentary; it was very eye opening for both of us. I wanted this to be our birth experience. Our baby was also due in February (key likelihood for very bad weather) and my labors are intensely fast, we both had feared having the baby in the car when I was in labor with baby #4.
I asked him to allow me to invite the midwife over, just to meet us. I was still seeing my OB and we were due for our complete fetal scan ultrasound in a few days. He agreed. She came. We talked. She visited with us for almost 3 hours and when she left, we shut the door. My husband then turned to me and said “that’s not fair, I really like her.”
I proceeded to go to my ultrasound appointment with my regular OB so that we could see if our baby looked healthy and if things looked as though they were continuing to progress normally. The ultrasound showed a perfectly formed, healthy looking baby who appeared right on target. It was after this appointment that, with my husband’s blessing, I began seeing our midwife. She came to our home for prenatals and was very involved in a holistic approach to the birth. She included my children in our appointments by letting them use the Doppler on my belly to hear their new sibling’s heartbeat. It was amazing and it gave us the opportunity to really get to know one and other. My OB appointments lasted about 15-20 minutes. My midwife appointments were more like chatting with an old friend, we would have a cup of tea and our visits could easily surpass an hour and a half because we would get carried away talking. Go time was not too far ahead…(to be continued)