Four years ago I discovered I was expecting my second child. I had a terrible hospital birth experience with my daughter and was always interested in a natural home birth with a midwife. After doing some research, I found that my insurance would not cover a home birth, so I continued to see my general practice doctor up until the end of my pregnancy. In my eighth month, I was so discouraged with my doctor and the thought of having another hospital birth, I began to joke about not making it to the hospital for the birth. After all, what could anyone do about that? A week or two after I started joking about this, I found a website dedicated to women who decided to have planned unassisted home births, without intervention from a doctor or a midwife. I was thrilled and knew immediately that this was what I wanted to do. I was confident that I would be able to do this on my own; after all, my body is meant to give birth and I had always believed the intervening practices in hospitals were detrimental to the health of the mother AND the baby. Once I told my husband about this new-found information and plans, he was a bit reluctant at first, but soon after, he realized that it was perfectly natural. He would be the one to catch the baby and would be able to experience the birth in a way that very few fathers ever get a chance to.
On July 22, 2003, during the afternoon, I started to feel some contractions. At first, I blew them off because I had been having quite a bit of false labor in the previous month. My daughter was out on a summer field trip, so I was at home alone and I decided to take a bath. While in the bath, I realized that my contractions were different—they were steady and coming at regular intervals (although not yet painful). I called my husband and told him that I was pretty certain I would be delivering that evening, and for him not to rush home from work, but to come home as soon as his workday was over. The contractions continued to get stronger and closer together. I got into bed, relaxed with my Siamese cat, and watched a little TV. Around 5 PM, my daughter returned home from her field trip, and shortly after that, my husband arrived home. We then took my daughter to spend the night at my parent's home.
When we got home around 6 PM, the contractions were building in intensity to the point where I could barely speak through them. We returned to our bedroom where I continued to labor for about three more hours. Around 9 PM, I gave birth to my 10½-pound son into my husband's waiting hands. It was the most beautiful, peaceful, and serene experience of my life. The umbilical cord was wrapped around little Isaiah's neck, and my husband swiftly pulled it up over his head. I grabbed my baby and exclaimed, "It's a boy!" Isaiah began to nurse immediately. We waited to cut the umbilical cord until the placenta came out almost an hour later.
I am now pregnant with my third child and we are planning another unassisted birth. I wouldn't have it any other way, and neither would my husband!