Home Birth in the Country
When Meg first contacted me about documenting her birth she told me about her beautiful family of all boys, their homestead, and how she came about making the move from a hospital to home birth. To say I was excited was an understatement.
Meg had a true spiritual conviction to take her birth back and have her last baby at home, despite what others might think. She was surrendering. At age 37, she knew how her birth process would go. She would be considered high-risk, which would involve more tests, more appointments, and fewer choices. Home birth had never been a desire of hers but as she did the research, considered all the pros and cons, and talked to other women who had experienced it first hand she knew this is what she needed to do. Her home would be the place where she would give birth to her 4th baby boy.
Late February 18, I turned into a long drive that lead Megs' house. Buckets hung from the maple trees. Sap lined the buckets and everything was still. It was a cold night and I could smell the wood that was burning from their fireplace.
As I walked in, the house was dim and quiet. Meg was upstairs walking around her room laughing with her husband; Tommy and midwife; Amy, as I entered. She was relaxed, seemingly unaffected by the labor that was before her. A surge would come and Meg closed her eyes and took long and slow breaths, moving her hips back and forth. Then back to her conversation and laughing.
We made our way downstairs where Tommy made everyone coffee and stoked the fire. Meg was hoping for an even birthday date and that meant baby would have to make his way before midnight. We laughed and joked about how she would be able to do that because it only gave her a few hours to bring her baby boy earth side. Another contraction came and Meg stop talking and Tommy quickly made his way to Meg's hips to give her counter pressure. Another contraction closer to seeing her baby. Her body was in control and preparing the path for birth. Meg took deep breaths and smiled. She was doing it.
Amy encouraged Meg to eat and nourish her body. (It's a marathon momma, we need energy).
Contractions continued to get stronger and closer. Each time Meg would call for Tommy to assist her. It was a beautiful team to watch.
We made our way upstairs to the dim lit bedroom of Megs. As contractions picked up Meg started to get chills and the warm pool was calling her name. Meg climbed into the pool at 11:30. She asked Amy to check her progress. She was 9.5 cm. Moments after her water broke and Meg was feeling the urge to push. "He's coming!"
Tommy sat at the edge of the pool holding Megs' hand as she would closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and bared down with each contraction. She was strong, in control, and focused.
It only took 12 minutes of pushing.
At 11:59, there he was. Caught by his mom and dad. Placed on Megs chest. A baby boy, born at home in the quiet candle-lit bedroom. It was calm. Safe. He was home.
The next day...
"When daylight broke that Sunday morning, my parents brought our big boys up to meet their baby brother. I overheard my dad ask Tommy if there was ever a single moment during my labor in which he wished that we were at the hospital. Tommy just grinned and shook his head no. Whenever someone asks me how our homebirth went, I simply say that it’s a darn shame that every woman doesn’t get the experience. There is no comparison between birthing in the system versus being in complete control of your surroundings."
Midwife: Wellrounded Midwifery
me as photographer
Thank you Meg and Tommy for inviting me into your birth space to document these beautiful moments. Your birth was a testimony to God's goodness and how he wants to give good gifts.