Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Carter's Homebirth: Part 1

A year and a half ago, I promised to write Carter's birth story...it feels like just yesterday...

We were living in a cabin on a ridge in West Virginia, heated only by a central woodstove and one mile from the paved road.  It was the first week of December 2009, it was cold, and we were headed into the most difficult winter that part of the country had seen in quite a few years.

I was also 40 weeks pregnant and praying for the safe arrival of our newest little one.  He would be our fourth child and our third son.  So far, the snow had held out and our road was still passable.

I have a history of fast labors and the nearest hospital was an hour away.  The small rural hospital where I gave birth to Jack a year and a half earlier had since closed its maternity ward.  Driving to the city in the middle of labor in December was just not an option.

Finding a midwife out in these rural parts would prove to be impossible.  Unfortunately, there are many areas in West Virginia that do not have access to good maternity care...either through a medical system or through midwifes and doulas.  Luckily, we found a midwife in the city that was willing to travel more than an hour to get to us.  She was wonderful and I liked her right away.  I knew we were making the right choice.

As the due date approached, I prepared mentally by watching videos of home births and scouring the internet for every story I could find.  Although alone out on the ridge, I felt very connected to these other women who had experienced incredible births and I drew much-needed strength from their stories.  I looked forward to my monthly and weekly visits with my midwife.  She doubled as my therapist as I poured out my fears and my excitement on her each time.

My mother-in-law arrived a week before my due date.  We busied ourselves with cleaning the house, entertaining the other 3 children, and preparing freezer meals for after the birth.  It was a fun time, but I remember feeling like a watched clock.  Every night we would go to bed and I just felt like the whole house was holding their breath, waiting for me to go into labor.

Finally, one night while we were up late watching TV, I felt the first contractions.  I had been feeling false labor for at least a week and a half, so I didn't say anything to my husband and mother-in-law.  I thought for sure these were real, but I wanted to be certain.  We went to bed and my husband fell straight to sleep while I laid there with my eyes wide open, watching the clock and timing the waves that were now coming at a steady pace. 

It was midnight.

(to be continued...)

Click HERE for Part 2!

1 comment:

TAMI said...

Okay - will wait for the "rest of the story"!!