When I became pregnant with my first child, Mikael, I was incredibly nervous and felt so unsure about my abilities to be a good mother and especially birth naturally. It had always been a hope of mine to birth my children naturally like my mother before me. Home birth had always been something I was interested in doing but lacked knowledge about. Around here, it isn't the norm, and mention of it to some is meet with doubtful looks and shaking of heads. I thought it would be impossible for me, especially since I was a young mother on welfare.
When I was maybe six or seven months pregnant I mentioned to my midwife (non-home birth) that I wanted to discuss my birth plan and that I intended to have a natural birth. She was surprised that I said this and directed me to a birthing class in town where I could learn how to birth naturally and create my own birth plan without her. That didn't make sense to me, her lack of invovlement in my birth plan left me feeling skeptical.
My husband and I started attending the class and were amazed by what we learned; everything from hospital interventions, c-section epidemics, to health and nutrition beyond the ordinary mention in pregnancy books. Many of the other couples there were having home births and I quickly became more and more hesitant about a hospital birth. Hospitals period, give me the creeps, I couldn't imagine birthing my baby there under such strenuous conditions. My biggest fear was not having my children naturally and under extreme pain I would succumb to the plethora of medicine to numb the pain. Like I was told, giving birth in a hospital is like being a kid in a candy store. You're going to take the candy or drugs if it's around you. I began talking with the instructor saying how I wish I could have a home birth but couldn't because I was on medicaid. She was astonished that no one had ever informed me most home birthing midwives are covered by medicaid in New Mexico. She passed along a couple of names of midwives and Heather was one. It took time to finalize paperwork since I started meeting with Heather so late, but still she took me in as a patient at about eight months pregnant. I loved meeting with her every week. I didn't just feel like a patient, who was an inconvenience to my doctor. I wasn't a name on a chart and my concerns over my pregnancy and fear of birth weren't just pushed aside as normal pregnant thoughts. Even though with this first pregnancy we didn't see her for long, I still learned so much and created a bond with the woman who help me to bring my sons in to this world. I am especially grateful to have had this woman around me postpartum. With my first born we had breastfeeding problems which caused me to start getting postpartum depression. She was there to coach me on breastfeeding as well as lift me up from my sadness with kind words. I swear, my husband and I called her everyday for at least on month to ask about any concern we had for our new child. She always gave us her attention and provided us with information and advice for raising our child the way we wanted to.
I feel blessed that she has touched my life, and helped on the path to one of life's most important journeys. Giving birth at home is the most soothing and touching experience I have had. In my second birth it was especially amazing to be filled in room with all the strong, powerful women in my life, my husband, and my first born. Everyone's energy was there to guide me on the journey of giving birth and without Heather and her wonderful apprentices my ability to peacefully get through birth would not have been the same. Homebirth can seem frightening from a distance but once you have one, you can see why it is such a natural and perfect way for birthing children.