Birth of Baby Zeke: A Grand Mother’s Story
When my daughter Katelynn told me she and her husband Austin were planning to have a home
delivery with a midwife my first reaction was fear, after all I have been a nurse since 1975. I’ve
always been interested in natural health and doing the best you can for your body. This was
Katelynn and Austin’s second baby, a girl that was due the first week of March. We planned
that I would arrive to help out on the sixteenth of March.
Kate’s first baby was delivered in a hospital and came early so she was prepared completely by
the first of March for this second little girl. Nothing happened, so she did all the typical things to
start labor with no results. By the time I arrived on the sixteenth of March Katelynn was discouraged.
All I could think about was that the two grandchildren I have that were delivered past their due dates
had serious complications. One was in the intensive care unit and nearly died and has had lung
problems ever since.
On the twentieth of March she went to her midwife for a prenatal appointment. The good news was that her membranes were already separated from her cervix and she was two centimeters dilated.
She was instructed by her midwife to pick up herbal tinctures from a health food store. They were to soften and thin her cervix and start her contractions if the baby was ready to come. She and Austin went to sleep that night after several hours of alternating doses. I was skeptical. I really liked the midwife’s personality but my concerns for my daughter and the baby were growing.
At 2:00am in the morning Kate awoke with steady contractions and at 4:40 her midwife arrived and checked her and baby. Katelynn was dilated to four centimeters and baby’s heart rate was normal. A short time later the birth assistant came and we all rested, waiting while Kate calmly labored to complete. A few hours had passed and by 8:00am my daughter was ready to deliver.
Big sister Ashlynn and I stood outside the bedroom door. When the first cry was heard Ashlynn clapped her hands and said, “She’s here!” A few minutes later the door opened. Austin and Kate were sitting on the floor by their bed holding their little bundle. “It’s a boy,” Austin said, then Kate repeated the same thing.
Then it sunk in that their second girl was really a boy! He was a big boy weighing a little over 9 pounds. It’s amazing Kate didn’t tear. She was tired but she looked so beautiful and peaceful.
Then her midwife and assistant cleaned, weighed and measured the baby. It all seemed too easy. It was the sweetest, most wonderful delivery I had been a party to. Kate explained how her midwife had told her to stop pushing when the baby’s head crowned. She had her get in an easy position for the baby to pass through the pelvis naturally without tearing the perineum. Little Zeke had come through without traumatizing mother or baby.
There is a huge misconception among many medical practitioners that a home delivery with a midwife is a dangerous decision. It is true that the midwife needs to have a good track record and a large amount of birthing experience. It is also important to do your homework when choosing a midwife just as it is when choosing a physician. Katelynn and Austin did this. Charlotte had told Katelynn the baby would come when it was ready and he did. I am now a grateful advocate of midwife home deliveries.