When we finally made it back to the States, I was already almost halfway through my pregnancy and we still had to find a midwife. We were both set on doing everything the natural way and this now included pregnancy, birth and child-rearing. When we came across Karen, something felt really right. I had my heart set on her even before meeting her.
By the time I attended the first consultation with our home birth midwife, I already knew her story. I read her website, followed her Facebook page, and spoke to friends about her birthing philosophy. During our meeting, she mentioned a few times “If I hired her…”, but I already knew.
This journey was about so much more than just birth for me. It was about healing, and believing, and redemption. So pardon me if I ramble, or become unfocused in telling it, or if my spelling and or grammar is off.
I decided to have a home birth, even though I was unsure of myself. She believed in me. I'll never forget coming into her home office and saying, "I'm just not sure I'll be able to do it." She replied with, "Why not? You got her in. You can get her out."
When my husband and I found out we were pregnant after a short 9 months of being married, there were so many mixed emotions! We were of course thrilled to start the next chapter of our lives (sooner than expected of course, but excited nonetheless)!
I loved every second of being pregnant. The trips out to see Karen became this sweet little pilgrimage that was dedicated to our growing baby and being present with the incredible process that was taking place inside my body.
My pregnancy with Juniper was amazing! I hadn’t been pregnant in 5 years, and had been on the other side of things, working as a doula. I had hyperemesis with my first two, but not this time. I was pretty sick the...
I heard their words of encouragement, I could feel my husband’s firm hands and deep love, and could sense my sister’s and sister in law’s loving presence. A couple of hard pushes and our beautiful baby boy was here! With us!
So I made an effort that when I felt a contraction coming I relaxed every muscle in my body from my fingers to my toes... Instead of standing strong against the wave I began to be washed away with it. During the first contraction after that, I could feel my cervix opening!
Through my pregnancy, the lesson I learned during labor and the day after she was born – The Lord is using Lyra to teach me to be present and live in the moment He gave me. Not to dwell on the past or plan for the future but to live today.
I was hesitant to call her too soon because I didn’t want her to have to wait around for hours but as Dan watch me labor he kept suggesting that I call her sooner than later. By 6:30 I agreed with him and sent Karen a text.
I’ve shed countless tear recalling all this, not ever wanting to forget a single detail. I still have melted beeswax on the back of the toilet in the bathroom where I labored and a drop of breast milk on the floor in the Birth Room from when my milk came in, and I refuse to clean off either.
The most remarkable thing to me about my second son’s birth, was how perfectly well things work when you’re able to simply let a process unfold. The first thing his father tells people was how awesome it was, and that the birth record states, “Managed by: Valerie.”
There was no rush to do anything besides cherish all the first moments after birth. I remember thinking, as I still do, it doesn’t get any better than this, what I just experienced, what I am experiencing and what I still do when I think about it and just how much it has influenced my life!
I liked the idea of a homebirth, it made sense to me since birth is normal and natural. I also didn’t feel comfortable being away from my son since I never had been gone overnight before. It was time to trust my instincts.
It was such a cool experience to have birthed my baby without intrusions, yet still with so much care and support. I felt so proud of myself for having had my baby the way I wanted to. I am so grateful to Karen & Laura for everything!
Her birth was like my re-birth - the physical wounds from my c-section healed long ago, but the emotional scars barely fade. Julia's birth reminded me of the strength I have as a woman and in the power of birth.
Then I felt a good strong contraction and I felt like I jumped on the wave of it heading down a long narrow canyon. I visualized something in the southwest, red bedrock, steep sided walls, tiny river down below, and I flew through the canyon.
It was nice to sit around in the bedroom and everyone talk about what a wonderful job I did. My labor was smooth and I was in control. I have never felt so good about myself! I think it was a life changing experience in how I viewed myself.