“Are you pushing?!” My midwife, Emily, walked into my bedroom on a Sunday morning after receiving our call that it was time.
“Yes!” I said between breaths. I was kneeling on the floor with my head and arms resting on the mattress, hard at work.
“Then we need to get those pants off!” She and her team of two quietly and efficiently arranged their supplies. Within 30 minutes of our call, they were at my side, completely set up and attentive to this birth.
The Home Birth
About an hour and a half later, I was laying on my side in bed. One of the midwives had my leg up while they carefully supported my body during the final pushes. First my son’s head, then his fists, then the rest of him was born, into my husband’s waiting arms. After looking at him, my husband placed my boy on my chest. Emily observed, checked that all was well, and she and her team began cleaning up.
After catching my breath and spending time together with our new baby, I showered. The midwives had laundry going and removed all the birth evidence by the time I was done. They performed a full newborn exam, prepared us a meal, and made sure my son had a good latch and was nursing. With fresh sheets on our bed, we called our parents to let them know it was time to to bring our daughter over to meet her baby brother. It was a lovely, relaxed morning.
Why I Decided on a Midwife
I once thought home birth was for people who don’t wear bras or who didn’t make it to the hospital in time. But then a good friend shared her experience. And then another friend, and another. Listening to these stories of home birth (from normal, everyday women, might I add) moved me deeply. They spoke of birth as though it was the most sacred, beautiful thing they’d ever experienced. Like it was incredibly empowering, and at the same time, totally normal.
When we meet our pregnancy care providers, we have a lot of questions, probably some doubts or fears, and a lot of excitement. A midwife approaches this time from the assumption that you don’t need her to tell you how to do this. Your body knows how to give birth and your heart knows how to mother. Because it does and you do. She helps us realize that truth. The support and information she provides during pregnancy and the early postpartum weeks give mothers confidence that they can do this well. A midwife constantly puts the parents behind the wheel. You make the decisions. She is a guide.
Midwives are highly trained professionals. They have gear. They have energy. And perhaps most importantly, they’re passionate about empowering women. Because of Emily’s loving guidance, I approached my births with excitement and curiosity rather than fear. We never had the “now what?” feeling I’ve heard described when parents arrive home with their new babies. We were prepared and empowered.
Midwife Costs and Details
In Colorado Springs today, the going rate for midwifery services is $3,000-$3,500. Many insurance providers reimburse, and if not, the grand total for a home birth is often lower than your insurance deductible. It’s a cost-effective way to give birth. It’s also at least as safe as other birth options. Those are the tangible things. I could write a book about the intangibles.
If you want to know more about home birth, call a local midwife and ask for a consultation where you can ask your questions. It’s so worth exploring. Or contact me, because it’s one of my favorite topics.
Laboring naturally was the best preparation I could’ve had for motherhood: hard, hard work, literal blood, sweat and tears, and then the unspeakable joy. And I’d argue that joy was much richer because of the hard work that preceded it. Labor so soulfully captures the beauty of motherhood. It’s like we were made for it.