Contributing Blogger Monica Sackandy: Planning a home birth

Beginning to plan for my first ever home birth, I had my first group informational meeting at Birth and Beyond several weeks ago. It was all the way in Madison, CT from 6:30 to 8 pm on a Thursday night. Living about an hour and a half away, I was not looking forward to making the drive through New Haven traffic at rush hour. Nevertheless, I was excited to see what their practice was all about and meet other moms-to-be delivering around the same time. I left early and luckily arrived just in time. Expecting an office plaza or medical building, I was happily surprised to find myself pulling into a long private driveway leading to a cozy home nestled back from the road and surrounded by tall trees.

There were LOTS of cars there…far more than I expected. A candle lit path led the way to the lower level at the back of the house where I saw everyone entering. Inside, one of the midwives Vicki (who owned the home) greeted us all warmly. Everyone sat in a circle; there were healthy snacks on a small table and ice water with lemons. So many people came in fact, that another group was sent upstairs to speak with another one of the midwives. I felt instantly relaxed. There was a full examination room directly across from me, a large yet cozy bathroom with a medical scale, and the warm inviting waiting area. We spent the next hour or so talking about the entire home birthing process and were welcomed to ask questions. We met the other midwives, all of whom were lovely, accomplished women. Afterwards, Vicki met with each and every one of us separately to set up a file and a subsequent private appointment.

When it was time to go, all of my fears about not delivering in a hospital had disappeared. I drove home thinking “I can do this.” The Midwives at Birth and Beyond said that when I went into labor, 2 CNM’s (Certified Nurse Midwives) would arrive at my home with 2 large duffel bags each, full of all the typical things the nursing unit at the hospital would have- stitches for tearing, pitocin (used only for hemorrhaging), a monitor for baby’s heart rate, a vitamin K shot for their heel after birth, a scale to weigh the baby, etc. Birthing tubs could also be provided if we wanted to reserve one. There will be no pain killers at all, that I know and have been prepping for with my prenatal yoga and breath work.  But I would be allowed to eat, drink, and move around as much as I needed for this birth- hallelujah!  My first child was delivered after 26 hours of labor. 26 hours of not eating anything but ice chips and staying mainly in a bed in one position. My second daughter was induced (still not sure why, she was only 2 days late and not that big), so all I can really remember was a drug induced haze (although pain free, not worth it). After the birth they would stay for several hours, one monitoring me and the other monitoring the baby. They would also come back several times over the course of the next couple weeks to examine myself and the baby. Paperwork would be provided for obtaining the baby’s social security number. If needed, they have a relationship with an individual who performs circumcisions. And, they even offer a service that will dry the placenta and encapsulate it into a pill to be taken later as a form of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).  Supposedly this helps with healing, energy levels, and postpartum depression. Who knew?

Last week I had my final appointment at my regular OB/GYN before preparing to switch everything over to my Midwives’ Practice.  It was my 20 week ultrasound and I had told myself as long as everything was healthy and normal, we would move forward with planning the home birth. Lying on the table as the tech examined my unborn little baby, I looked on as she showed me each little part which seemed to be normal and healthy from what she could see. Thank Goodness. Being pregnant a third time is a blessing in itself, and a healthy baby can truly not be taken for granted, such a gift.

After the appointment, I felt relieved and excited to move forward with my home birth, but a little nervous and reluctant to tell the doctor before leaving the office that I would need to request a records release. I had heard mixed things from women who have decided to take the” road less traveled” so to speak, many saying they experienced push back from the medical community, attitude from their doctors, grilling questions, pressure not to do a home birth, etc.  I met with my Nurse Practitioner afterwards, and she could not have been more wonderful. It turns out she herself had studied a path in midwifery in the past and basically wished me well and told me she was sure I would “have a beautiful birth”. Wow! SO relieved.  I asked for my records, said I would see them after the baby was born, and that was that.

Praying for a healthy complication-free delivery, I am thrilled at the possibility that my next child will enter the world right here in our home, surrounded by loved ones.  Looking forward to the journey! Namaste (:

Information about Birth and Beyond can be found at:   http://www.birthandbeyond.info/

Contributing Blogger:  Written by Monica Sackandy, Owner and Director of Little Yoga LLC Ellington CT 

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