I have been asked to write Jesse's birth story. I'm glad to do so in the hopes that it encourages other women out there to think outside the box a bit when it comes to pregnancy and labor and children.
In part 1 of Jesse's story I told you how we had come to the place where we were even willing to consider expanding our family and how God had blessed us with little Jesse on the way.
So, what happened next? Well, we decided to try something new.
Our cousin recently had a homebirth and raved about the experience. I was intrigued by her enthusiasm about birthing at home. I had already delivered four children in the hospital and had never once considered a home birth. I knew that some women chose to give birth at home, but in my mind it was something archaic and mainly still practiced by the Amish. But as I read about Amy's experience (which you can read about here), I felt a real desire for something better than what I had experienced in the past.
Josh and I talked a lot and did a lot of research on home births. We found that it's not archaic, can be a wonderful experience, is in some ways safer than a hospital birth, and can be tailored to your preferences. Hmm. Sounded good. Beyond that, we found out that for a couple with no maternity insurance (like us) it's a whole lot cheaper than a hospital birth. Like a quarter of the cost!
We did some online checking and some asking around and found a midwife to interview. Although her office was 45 minutes away, we left our initial meeting impressed with her calm nature and her desire for us to be as well informed as possible.
I'm sure all midwives are different, but let me tell you one thing we loved about Leah. Instead of seeing a doctor who really only spends 5-10 minutes with you at each vist, Leah spent 1 to 1 1/2 HOURS with us at each visit! We talked about everything. I learned things that would have been so helpful in my previous pregnancies. I learned how to eat well. Specifically why to eat certain foods and not others. My visits with her, while much more personal, were much less invasive. I didn't have any internal exams (which could have been done if necessary, but since they weren't we didn't bother), but I still had all the tests done that I wanted. I was still able to get my rhogam shot done, I had the glucose test, had my iron levels checked frequently, had urine tests (which I learned how to read on my own), group B strep test, etc.
All in all, I ended up with the healthiest pregnancy I've ever had. I credit that to the education I received from Leah. She took the time to tell me why things were good or bad and what I could do to feel my best. I chose to follow her advice and was thrilled with the results. I gained just over 20 pounds total. I've had a faster and easier recovery than with any other birth. And I had many less aches and pains throughout my pregnancy.
Enough about the pregnancy, I know most of you are wondering about the birth. How was it to give birth at home? In a word ... natural.