My first child was born at home 9 years ago when I was one month shy of 17.  I was in labor for three days, and had my daughter at 2:52 am on February 8th weighing in at 8lbs 10oz.  I am happy that I had her at home and knew that I wanted that kind of birth for my next child also.

Matthew was due on February 21, 2006. Since my first child was a week late I figured that he would be late also.  It was Thursday, March 2nd, and I was still pregnant ten days past the baby’s due date.  I had been having contractions on and off for about two months, but they were light.  I went to my appointment that day at 11 am; I was a little late because I met my husband, who had decided at the last minute that he could get out of work to go with me.  When we got to Beth’s, she said that she would check me for progress. So I said while she was at it that she should sweep the membranes. 

She checked me and I was a stretchy 3cm.  She did a massaging sweep with a generous amount of evening primrose oil and she got me up to a four.  There was some blood, which is a good sign, but I did not start contracting.  My husband and I went to Wings-N-More for lunch after we left and then went to Dairy Queen so I could have a banana split. I had started contracting lightly on the drive over to DQ.  We then went to Wal-Mart to pick up some last minute items for the birth and just to walk around.  It was so nice to have my husband there to lean on. 

We then went home where I continued to lightly contract every 5 to 10 minutes until about 8 pm.  We had eaten some Papa John’s in the meantime and the contractions eventually started to stall out.  I was maybe getting a very light one every 10 to 20 minutes.  I played some “Frozen Bubble” on the computer while my husband decided to go to bed.  I then decided that tonight was not the night and went to bed at 10 pm. 

At 10:15, I was awoken by an INTENSE contraction.  I thought it was a fluke and decided that I would try to get more sleep.  Within 3 minutes, I had another one, and then another one.  My husband had awaken by this time and asked if he should call the Beth, I said “No, let’s wait to see if these keep up.” 

I decided to see if a hot shower would calm the contractions down but the shower only made me distracted and then I would loose it when I had the contractions.  I then told my husband to call Beth. But he said that he had already called her.  I decided to stay in the shower until she arrived and then I would get out so that she could check me. 

Beth peeked into the shower when she arrived around 12 am and asked how I was feeling, I said that I thought I was in labor and wanted to be checked.  She said that she and Jessica would set up.  I went into the living room where they had set up with a plastic tablecloth on the floor. 

Beth checked me and I was already at 7cm.  I was happy because until she checked me, I thought I was so sure that I had not dilated at all.  I then labored on the couch for I don’t know how long.  I laid on my left side, picked a focal point during the contractions and made sure to say ‘ow’ as in ‘cow’ rather than ‘oh’ like I had read in Ina May’s “Guide to Childbirth.” 

I eventually decided that I was not being very effective on my side. So I got on my hands and knees on the floor.  Beth checked the heartbeat and they decided it was a little slow since it would dip into the 90’s.  Before I knew it, I was at 10 with a slight lip.  Beth urged me to get on the birthing stool and tried to hold the lip out of the way while I pushed.  After a while the head eased out, he came out with marks right next to his eyes because he was sucking his thumb which caused him to be stuck for a moment. 

After his head was out Beth said that his shoulders were stuck and had me assume the hands and knees position.  She and Jessica maneuvered him out while I pushed with all the life I had in me.  He was stuck for two minutes.  He did not breathe right away. So they gave him a puff of air from the bag, they told me to talk to my baby because he needed me. As soon as I talked to him, he gasped and started to breathe.  I picked him up immediately.

It was such a stunning experience.  The cord stopped pulsing within minutes, Beth clamped it, and my husband cut it.  The placenta slipped right out with minimal effort.  His APGARs were 9 and 10.  We had an herbal bath, and then I cleaned up and went to the bedroom where they had been checking him over.  I had no tears, only a “slight skid mark”. 

Please welcome Matthew Jon Hudson, born gently at home on March 3rd 2006, 1:54 am, 10lbs 0oz, 21 inches to Jason and Grace Hudson, and sisters Cynthia and Daisy. 

Beth and Jessica did a great job starting with excellent and attentive prenatal care and ending with great postpartum care.  I am so glad that Beth and Jessica have the knowledge, ability, and skills under pressure that allowed my baby to be safely delivered at home. 

Thank you, Beth, Jessica, and Mercy.