My pregnancy was a surprise but an extremely happy one. It was the first month of my junior year in college, and my husband and I really had wanted to wait until I was through school but we were so excited when we found out.
I had wanted a home birth, being afraid of hospitals and not being in control, and after doing lots of research, I wanted a home birth even more. However, no midwife who would do one was to be found. So I opted for a midwife with a large practice at a birthing center. I wasn't happy though and kept looking for a home birth midwife.
Finally, at my sixth month, I found one and started the process of interviewing and making sure I was a good candidate. I was and we spent the next 3 or so months together discussing all aspects of my preganacy, something severely lacking at the practice earlier. I had had an ultrasound and so I knew we were having a girl. We picked out her name early on and began talking to her and calling her name often.
I didn't particularly love being pregnant. Hated not being in control of my body etc. My midwife, who had 5 children, all homebirths, was so understanding and supportive, telling me I was beautiful and urging me to take pride in my "roundness."
My husband, being in the military, was often out on various excursions and when my due date came and went, I was anxious to have the baby before he was due to go on a trip. I tried an herbal remedy and at 11:30 that night my water broke, although I didn't know it at the time -- that is, until the contractions came. We were so excited. I had planned a water birth as well and had set up a plastic inflatable pool weeks ago in our bedroom and my husband began furiously running to and fro from the kitchen filling the pool.
I was in the thick of it by 12:30, two minutes apart. We had gorgeous Celtic music playing and the room was lit with candles and lanterns. The next 6 hours were somewhat of a blur, with me yelling and my midwife telling me how strong I was and that I was doing great. The first light of day broke through as my baby's head crowned and after several minutes of pushing amidst my groans and the chant in the background, my beautiful Courtney was born. She started swimming away in the pool and was caught by the midwife who placed her on my tummy. She opened one eye and gazed at my husband and I. We were both crying. It was the most incredible experience of my life.
I hope to have my next child the same way, in a quiet, calm setting, with the low, whispering voice of my midwife mother saying, "You're strong. You can do it."