Our family had the blessing of working with Beth Overton and her student, Liz Derry during the pregnancy, labor, and delivery of our sixth child. After moving to the Valley late in the pregnancy and searching unsuccessfully for a midwife in the area, we were thrilled to find Beth through the ATM website.
My husband and I read through the information Beth had posted on her website and we were pleased with her godly beliefs and natural outlook on pregnancy and childbirth. After our first visit we were sure Beth was the midwife God had planned for this birth. Having decided to go with an apprentice delivery, we were thrilled to meet Liz on our second prenatal visit. We could not have asked for a sweeter, more capable assistant.
It was so fun to get to know Beth and Liz during the remainder of the pregnancy. They were both very helpful, answering questions and making suggestions, especially as my due date drew near and then past. By this time, my mom, who is also a midwife, arrived from out of state. She had planned to stay until the baby was born.
We had an appointment with Beth and Liz when I was 10 days overdue. I was beginning to get anxious as none of my previous pregnancies had gone this late. We talked about different ways of getting labor started, but Beth felt things were fine with the baby and me.
The next day my husband and I decided to try Castor oil to see if we could get things moving. Beth said that would be fine and gave us instructions on how to best go about using it.
At about two o’clock in the afternoon I started having some strong contractions. After an hour or two we called Beth to let her know and then waited to see what would happen.
An hour later the contractions were closer together and harder so Beth and Liz started the 2 ½ hour drive to our home. But by the time they arrived, the contractions had slowed way down. After checking me out and asking some questions we decided it was only a “dress rehearsal” as Beth so sweetly put it. Beth and Liz headed home, and we headed to bed.
After two more days of “on and off” contractions I woke up at 2am with a really strong one. After a few more of them I started timing them. They were not consistent, but were staying strong and were around 15 minutes apart.
I woke up my mom and we continued timing them, but they stayed very erratic anywhere from 5 minutes apart to 20 minutes apart. We decided to try and get some more sleep. I rested on and off for a couple more hours, but the contractions were strong enough to wake me up.
At about 6:30am I called Beth just to let her know what was going on. She said to keep her posted and let her know if anything changed. The contractions continued throughout the morning and into the afternoon; still strong, but very haphazard. I kept Beth updated, but I had not had a labor like this before, so I was unsure of what to tell her.
When I spoke with Beth at about 5pm we all thought it would be best if she and Liz came down. After 15 hours of contractions we were pretty sure this was the real thing. Beth and Liz arrived at 8pm and after a preliminary checkup we all settled down in the living room.
After a couple of hours we put the rest of the kids to bed and Liz went to get some rest as well. At about 11pm the contractions started getting more intense. I changed positions several times and was still able to relax through most of them.
At about 1:30am Beth went to get some rest and Liz came out to stay with me. My husband, Dave, went to rest as well. By 2am I was having a hard time finding a position in which I could relax. I tried getting on my hands and knees with my mom providing counter pressure on my lower back. That seemed to help some.
By this time I was getting pretty tired, and while relaxing between contractions I prayed, “Lord, could I have a few minutes rest, or could we just get this delivery over with?!!”
I have been told to be careful about what you ask the Lord because you just might get it! With my next contraction I felt the baby move and I had another contraction immediately.
Liz went to get Beth and then she and my mom helped me into the bedroom. The contractions kept coming back to back. I quickly changed clothes and my water broke with the next contraction. I got on the birthing stool and started pushing with the next contraction. Liz got ready to catch and about three contractions later, at 2:44am Esther Dawn was born!
We were so pleased with the help and care both Beth and Liz gave during the entire labor and delivery. Their assistance was invaluable especially as the labor was so different than any I had had previously. Their calm, confident manner allowed me to relax and let my body work. It was such a blessing to have a midwife that would allow my labor to progress at its own rate and not interfere when there was no need.