I married my high school sweetheart in 2011 and a few days before our 1 year anniversary we found out I was pregnant. I was a 21 year old newlywed and had no idea about birthing a baby! I just knew I wanted little intervention with someone I felt comfortable with. I read book after book, trying to educate myself. Like many other women I found comfort in reading Ina May Gaskin's book, “Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth”.
I live in a very rural area where the hospitals are small and not so keen on low intervention, so my husband and I knew we would have to travel no matter where we decided to have baby. I prayed about what to do because I was getting closer to my due date, and still didn't have a plan!
I had a reoccurring thought to give The Farm midwives a call to see if they had an opening. I am from South Dakota and the farm is in Tennessee, but we were willing to travel for the best care we could receive. To my sheer joy, there was an opening and Pamela Hunt was to be my midwife.
We honestly had no idea of when I conceived so my “guess date” was January 28th. As a first time mother I was anxious and wanted to get to The Farm as soon as possible. We arrived around January 15th and got settled into our birthing cabin. Once there, Pamela gave me a different due date of around February 5th.
My husband and I waited as the weeks went by, and I wondered if baby was ever going to come. By February 14th Pamela thought it was a good idea to try to encourage labor to begin, so I mixed some castor oil with my juice as a natural induction. The next morning I lost my mucus plug, and by that afternoon (around 4pm) Pamela checked me and I was already 6cm dilated. She said, “You are going to have this baby!” and those words still make me smile!
Pamela arrived with Joanne Santana (another Farm midwife) and a student midwife. They hung out and chatted while I played cards with my husband until I couldn't really concentrate anymore. I got up and walked around while I got rushes, listened to music, swayed around a little trying to embrace the waves. Eventually, we tied a bed sheet around the door for me to hang onto while the rushes came on stronger.
My water bag was bulging so much and hadn't broken yet so Pamela did go in and poke the water bag to break it. I got really nervous then, but I had so much reassurance that it was totally OK, so I relaxed. I then got into a nice warm bath with candles lit and I stayed in there until I felt like it was very close to pushing time.
I felt the urge to be on my hands and knees. So I crawled up onto the bed, and pushed gently with each wave that washed over me. I had my husband turn on thunder/rain sounds which was so comforting to me. My midwives and husband (Wes) were SO loving and helpful, I felt so safe and calm. I had Wes put a cool washcloth on my neck when things started to feel more intense. I felt like I was working with baby, and that made it easier to handle the intensity.
Eventually I felt myself crowning and I ever so slowly allowed baby to come when that was happening. I would push a tiny bit then ease off and baby would go back in a little. I pictured myself opening up BIG so baby could slide out and no tearing for me. Soon I was relaxed enough, and baby slid right out. My midwife caught baby, and we waited 10-15 minutes for the cord to stop pulsing and then my husband cut the cord.
I heard my husband excitedly shout, “It's a boy!” I was elated! I was so overwhelmed with emotion. I was still on my hands and knees and hadn't looked at baby yet, so they passed baby under me, and I looked at my little boy for the first time. It was the most incredible feeling on earth.
Pamela weighed baby and he weighed 7lb 10oz. Perfectly healthy little man. Joanne helped me to get a good latch, and I bonded with my sweet new baby. The midwives let us all be together and said they would come back in the morning. It was pure bliss. After a few days of talking it over, we decided on a name for our son, Tristan Emmett.