Perseverance… We all have the ability to outlast the challenges in our lives. We all possess the ability to make it through, with or without the belief and support of others. However in this culture, we find that we are offered a lot of escape routes. This is especially true when attempting to have a natural, empowering birth in a country where pharmaceuticals are in abundance and childbirth itself has been over medicalized. Health care professionals that specialize in obstetrics have many skills to offer their patients, and while we are so incredibly thankful to have access to their care when necessary, the vast majority of healthy women can give birth by themselves, with little help from a provider. Homebirth midwives try to facilitate safe, natural birth by offering women outstanding prenatal care and accompanying them during labor and birth in the comfort of their own homes. Everyone benefits from one-on-one care, and women who birth uninhibited within the safety of their homes have better, safer outcomes for themselves and their babies. Homebirth is an incredible option for those seeking an empowering, faithful and intervention-free pregnancy and birth.
As homebirth midwives, we try to carry with us a faith and trust in the woman’s ability to give birth naturally, and the desire to help her have the birth she wants. We are exceptionally well trained in normal pregnancy and birth, and trained to recognize and respond when complications arise. We do our best to relinquish control, to breath with our clients and wait through each contraction as we watch her journey through her rite of passage into giving birth. However, even homebirth midwives need a reminder every now and then of the unrivaled strength of women, and to hear a good story of perseverance. This week’s homebirth story did exactly that and more for all those who were involved. Once again, we are humbled by our beloved clients as they become our teachers, our inspiration, and their stories refuel us and renew our spirits.
Anna reported mild, irregular contractions beginning Wednesday evening. They became more regular through the night only to space out and become irregular again when the sun came up on Thursday. Anna and Josh used some natural remedies to bring labor back and as the sun went down, activity increased again only to persist through the night and stop again in the morning. This irregular, unpredictable cycle continued on for three long days. We checked on Anna several times and stayed with her once she was in active labor. She was incredibly strong and visibly faithful throughout her journey. Her husband Josh was an ever steady support. He trusted her strength and her process while holding her hand, rubbing her back, and confidently standing by her throughout her labor. Anna never voiced concern or fatigue as she all but silently wove her way through each and every strong contraction. She had a labor pattern that did not fit the text-book definition. Her progress was unpredictable and her labor was long. Without her faith and patience, it would have been easy as her care providers to begin worrying. Anna didn’t need anyone worrying for her. She needed her birth team to hold a space of faith and belief in the everyday miracle of birth. Interventions or over-management would have hindered this process and robbed us all of the awesome experience of this birth. Anna and Josh welcomed their sweet baby girl into the world during the early dark hours of Sunday morning. She was born gently and peacefully in her living room and received into the loving arms of her mother and father.
When given the chance to share something inspiring, you should. Those ears that hear may not always understand, and they may not always recognize the greatness that prompted you to share, but they will hear anyway. Childbirth, though not the hottest of topics in most crowds these days, allows for countless opportunities to discuss the things that truly inspire, that truly embody strength and that truly are amazing. My hope is that Anna’s journey through labor and birth inspires you, as it certainly did all of us. Congratulations Anna, Josh and baby Cailey! Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey and may your lives together be blessed and beautiful!