Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome Taku! Born at home on 7.11.10

Twin brothers and father welcome Taku

Thank you Tara for the wonderful homebirth of Taku!
We are so happy that we could share our joy of his birth with you.
It was such a wonderful experience to get to know each other
through prenatal visits, labor and birth, and postpartum visits.
I can say that home birth was a right choice for our family.
Taku's brothers and father were so happy to be together with
him at home right after the birth.

Thank you again for your support and warm smiles.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Welcome Berwin! Born on 4.23.10 at home.

Big brother Asher holding Berwin

Almost three years ago, my husband and I welcomed our first child into the world naturally with the help of a midwife and a nurse in a hospital not far from our home. The experience was as good as we could have hoped for in a hospital. Yet, being a hospital, there are rules, procedures, shifts and staff who operate within the rhythms of the building, as opposed to its visitors. This element, the ‘hospital machinery’, was our primary concern as we prepared ourselves for the birth. And although it was a smooth and relatively quick labor and delivery, we felt as though we always needed to be on our guard, almost defensive, so that we were not swept up into the current that has come to define the hospital birth in modern U.S. society.

The experience was a whirlwind. We were in and out in about a day and a half. People came in and out of the room to take tests and do blood pressure readings. They even woke me in the middle of the night to check my vitals. I remember thinking that we needed to hurry home before the “cutoff” just so that we could have a nurse visit us at home. Frankly, I couldn’t wait to get home. The experience was as good as we could have hoped for, but it was still a bewildering tango with the “machine”.

As time passed, and I had a chance to reflect on the experience, I became more and more aware that although the hospital was OK, it was not what I wanted the experience of childbirth to be, and was certainly not what I thought it could be. The natural process of labor was interrupted by having to get into the car to go to a hospital that wasn’t even a mile from the house. There were red lights, quick stops, and bumps in the road that were extremely uncomfortable and may have even prolonged the process of labor. On arrival we had to deal with admission while I was trying to breathe and relax through each surge. I finally had to get settled into an unfamiliar environment with people who I had never met. All of these extra intrusions and distractions happened before actually giving birth, and without anything even being amiss.

We loved welcoming our child into the world, but there had to be a better way. When we decided to start trying for a second child, we began learning more about home births, and it was clearly the right choice for us. We had interviewed many midwives, but once we met Tara, we knew she was going to be the one to support us. Her personality, calming disposition and genuine ability to connect with us made us even more comfortable with the idea of a home birth.

When the big day came, everything felt so natural. There was no rushing around, no unfamiliar people, and no moments of intrusion to take me out of the beautiful process as it unfolded. With my mind and body at ease, our second child was born during our older son’s nap. In hindsight, it was fast. Labor was only three hours. Because we were able to do it at home, and Tara was so good at both warmly reassuring and professionally monitoring the birth, my husband and I both felt a strange absence of time. The birth was neither fast nor slow, we just experienced everything as it happened. No stressors, no intrusions, no pressure. I felt relaxed, safe, and at peace in the comfort of our own home. It was everything that I hoped childbirth could be, and was an amazingly powerful experience.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Welcome O.T. Born at home on 8.28.10!

After several weeks of the baby’s head being parked on my bladder and Braxton Hicks that left me breathless, early labor started around 5:30′ ish or 6:00′ ish in the morning. My father-in-law took V to a friends’ house in the morning when contractions picked up around 8:00 or 9:00am.

Tig and I went for a short walk and I needed to stop at each contraction. When we came home, Tig filled up the birth tub, and we were joined by our two midwives (Audra Karp and Tara Kenny) shortly after.

From there, I watched a bit of Lord of the Rings and a bit of the new Fame movie as a distraction between waves. Later, I switched over to a simple counting breath technique. I labored until about 12:00′ish, when contractions started to become more and more challenging.

Audra checked me at my request and I was at 9cm. Shortly after, my water broke and the waves kept coming one on top of the other, and I started to have doubts about crossing the finish line. After an hour of pushing, and some hollering, O shot out like a cannonball.

“Oh, there’s the baby,” Audra said calmly and scooped him out of the water. So *technically*, no one “caught” him.

Welcome baby O, we’ve been so eager to meet you.