"I came to Full Spectrum midwifery at the tail end of my first trimester of my first pregnancy. As a first-time Mama, I had loads of questions. Overall, I would say I was a pretty anxious pregnant person- it was hard for me not to worry about what I was doing and whether it was the right thing for our baby. “Can I eat this?” “Is this normal?” “Should this look like that?!” April and Peggy always replied to my questions quickly and thoughtfully. They were reassuring and incredibly knowledgeable. Pregnancy, as April would say, is “full of sensations.” And they helped me roll with a very sensation-full pregnancy.
As it got closer to the time to meet our babe, they instilled confidence in me and my husband that we would be able to have the birth we wanted. I was very uncomfortable at the end of pregnancy (as most women are) so Peggy and April gave me some herbs to help move things along at 40 weeks and 3 days. The night I started taking the herbs I had my bloody show. That was a Monday. I had mild contractions that night but slept a full night. Then Tuesday, contractions went away and my husband and I puttered around- tapped our maple trees, played scrabble with my mother who was in town to help with the birth, and ate good food. Then, as evening came on, my energy began to dip and the contractions began to rise again and this time stronger. Being first-time parents, we were very excited. We called April and she let us know she’d come later that night. After a long night of mild contractions, April checked me and we learned I had only progressed to a few centimeters and contractions were slowing as the sun rose. April and IvyRose tucked us into bed and suggested it was time to get some sleep. We did our best not to be disappointed and we slept for a good chunk of the late morning and early afternoon.
I awoke at 4 pm on Wednesday to roaring contractions. Nothing like what I had felt the prior two nights. My husband drew me a bath and by the time I got out, I was on another planet. April and Shari arrived around 7 pm and I was 7 centimeters! I was GBS positive so they got the IV drip in right away. The tub was then set up and I got into it as soon as I could. The warm water felt amazing. I was pretty quickly in transition and I rode all of transition out in the tub. The experience, for me, was powerful, primal and sometimes scary. But the midwives were there to reassure me that everything was happening just as it should. Most of the time, it felt like my husband and I were laboring alone, in a good way. It was a very intimate and raw experience. Then, I felt something change and was able to verbalize to the birth team (all of whom were sitting in the bedroom next to our bathroom where the tub was) that I felt like I needed to push. I remember that they said “Yay!! We thought that was happening!” The relief I felt hearing their encouragement and support at that moment took me right through 2.5 hours of pushing! The birth team had me get out of the tub, warm up, dry off and start pushing in the bedroom. We tried a few different positions, but ultimately, my husband was behind me, and I was on my back, holding my heels in a very active happy baby pose. Mesa was born at 1:41 am on a Thursday. I reached down and Shari gently and quickly handed him to me. He spent the next hour on my chest or my husbands. We were in complete awe of him.
I did not tear, and I credit that to the expert coaching of the birth team who helped gently guide our baby out and encouraged me to rest between contractions. I did have some slight excess bleeding after birth and April administered pitocin- another example of how this expert team takes a cautious, diligent approach to care. Before they left, the team meticulously cleaned the birth areas, made sure we ate, and were all cozy. Again, they tucked us into our bed. This time with our sweet baby, Mesa. We are so grateful to the team at Full Spectrum Midwifery for our beautiful, safe, and powerful homebirth."