Here is her video:
Here is her birth story, in her own words, and posted with permission:
The Birth of Aidan Michael
Having already had 3 Cesareans, the last one being a homebirth transport, I was at a loss for what to do in the way of birth plans with this pregnancy. What I really was hoping for was to find someone who could take a look at my medical records with me (including mention of my ‘markedly thin lower uterine segment’, my ‘narrow pubic arch’, my ‘single-sutured uterine closure’, my ‘incisional hernia’ and whatever else labels I had worried myself about) and talk with me about the risks and the benefits of having another Cesarean vs. having a homebirth. I spent a lot of hours praying and asking God to please instill in me the wisdom to know what His will was for this birth and this baby. I quickly ruled out a hospital vbac, knowing that it wasn’t an environment where I could labor effectively or feel comfortable in; therefore, I really wasn’t interested in pursuing it as an option. This left me with the options of having another Cesarean or birthing my baby at home. I called around, talked to various midwives, and got a referral to a DEM who had gone back to osteopathic school to become a doctor, opened her own birth center, and still did home births as well (along with having a family practice). She was in a very rural community 3 hours away and I decided to make the trek down to see her. The minute I met her, it was an instant “click” and I knew that I wanted her involved in my birth in some capacity. As she listened to the stories of my previous Cesareans, she said to me with tears in her eyes, "There is nothing wrong with your pelvis, your uterus, or any other part of your body. What you need is to be left alone while you labor. You need to feel free to do whatever you need to do without anyone watching you. Your assignment is to figure out what you need in order to feel uninhibited and to birth this baby." I thought a lot about that in the subsequent months, and came to realize that she had hit the nail on the head, and what I needed in order to feel safe was to be left alone to do the work of labor, to not feel watched, or timed, or scrutinized in any way. I also knew that I definitely wanted Sarita to be a part of this journey, so I hired her, knowing that she could only come if it was on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. I interviewed several other midwives in the area. I ended up hiring another midwife, Donna, as my primary attendant. The thing that most attracted me to her was that her philosophy could really be summed up in two words: Birth Works. I don’t think I have ever met another person who believes this as wholly and adamantly as Donna does. Funny thing is, from the time I hired them, I always had a feeling that neither of them would be there for the actual birth, but was hiring them for what they might be able to provide me along the way.
I woke up around 3:40am on April 3 to use the bathroom and found that my pajama pants were soaked and so was the bed. “Hmmm… that’s strange,” I thought. I wondered if my water had broken or if I was maybe having some weird dream about going to the bathroom and peed on myself. “But that is a LOT of liquid; I really don’t think I would pee my pants.” So I got up and walked to the bathroom and nothing was leaking out, and after all it was still another 5 days before my due date. I was expecting to go somewhere between 41-42 weeks like last time. So I changed my pants, laid a towel down on the bed and tried to go back to sleep. But I was soon hit with a pretty big contraction. I glanced at the clock and 5-6 minutes later, another one hit. They continued coming fairly regularly but were only lasting about 30 seconds. “Oh NO! Just like last time!” I thought and I started to cry, thinking this was surely the result of another malpositioned baby, even though I had worked so hard, and tried so hard to get this baby into the right position. I decided to go downstairs and read a couple of my most inspirational birth stories that I had saved for such an occasion. As I got up, a huge gush of fluid came out. Okay, now I knew I didn’t pee my pants that time. So I went to the computer room, and instead of reading birth stories, I decided I’d better finish the assignments I had due for school that week. I started typing term papers, breathing through contractions, and doing laundry all at once (such is the life of a mom I suppose). The contractions continued on for another 2 hours or so and when Steve got up for work, I told him that “today is the day” and he began setting up the birthing tub and cancelling meetings and such. Shortly thereafter, my contractions completely stopped. They didn’t just space out or become less intense. They were totally GONE! But I was actually thankful for the break, as it would allow me time to get the kids to school, get my assignments dropped off, and get some last minute errands done before labor geared up.
I called Donna and also Sarita (knowing that she wouldn’t be able to make it since it was a Tuesday, but still wanted to let her know what was going on). Donna advised me to try to get some rest and eat well for what was to come. Nothing. Not another contraction all day long!! So I went to bed that night a bit discouraged and disappointed. I prayed that God would give me patience and faith to make it through this time of uncertainty. If there was one thing I didn’t prepare for it was PROM. (Note: PROM- Premature Rupture of Membranes) I had worked on issues in my mind, such as going postdates, posterior baby, back labor, etc. etc. But never PROM; it just never entered my mind. I thought as long as I had maintained excellent nutrition, which I had, then my amniotic sac would be super strong, and my labor would surely not start with ROM. Wrong! So what could I do? I went on about my day as usual, then settled into bed early that night. Around 3am, I was awakened by a contraction, followed 5 minutes later by another, and another. They weren’t the kind that you can just ignore or sleep through. These required all of my attention and so I got up, got onto the birth ball and breathed and moaned. Steve heard me and woke up, asking what he could do. I told him I wanted him to get some sleep because we may have a long road ahead of us (little did I know). The contractions continued on for about 3 hours. And as the sun came up, they stopped, not another one.
I was still leaking fluid and it was filled with white substance, which I couldn’t figure out what it was, worried that perhaps I had a yeast infection or something. Donna came that afternoon and when I showed her the pad, she told me “That’s vernix.” “Vernix? From my baby?” Somehow this notion was just so exciting to me!! It meant there was really a baby in there. S/he seemed so close now that I was seeing his/her vernix. Wow!! Donna checked my vital signs, fetal heart tones, etc. and everything looked perfect. “Well, it certainly won’t be long now.” she said as she left. I look online to find that 90% or something like that of women go into active labor within 72hours of their water breaking, if left alone. That was so exciting and I began to wonder if it would be this afternoon, or tonight, or maybe even tomorrow. I asked my friend Clare & her husband to come stay in our basement until the birth, as she was my chiropractor / acupuncturist / photographer / moral support for the birth and I didn’t plan on doing it without her there! So the 72 hours passed and I was faced with what to do. Do I attempt to nudge things to get started? Sex is out, swimming is out, warm baths are out…ugh! Donna showed up on Thursday with a big bottle of castor oil, “just in case” I wanted to get things going. Was she starting to worry? Starting to doubt? It didn’t sound like it by her words, but why then, did she bring that castor oil with her? I decided that she just must not be used to patient women, and wanted me to have options. So I sat it up on top of the refrigerator, where I would take it down and look it over from time to time, but I knew that it wasn’t what I wanted. I was monitoring my pulse, temperature, and blood pressure every few hours during the day, as well as monitoring the baby’s heart rate and everything was perfect, solid as a rock. As I would pray for guidance, I would realize that I truly was okay with waiting, and Donna was okay too.
I continued to trudge along, day after day, wishing I had told NO ONE about my broken water, not even Donna or Steve or Clare. If I hadn’t, they would just be looking at me like a normal 40 weeks pregnant woman, but instead I felt like they were looking at me like a “watched pot” all of a sudden (which they all swear was my perception, not their feelings). Each night I would have regular contractions and each morning they would disappear. . On Friday afternoon I had my first (and only) bout of “daylight contractions” and they were incredibly strong, and all in the front around my scar area. This did worry me a bit at first, but soon I began to welcome them and to be thankful that at least it wasn’t all back labor like last time. Sarita came to spend the weekend with me that weekend, and she seemed okay with everything. I really think she thought I was going to have a baby that weekend; I was hopeful that I would too. It was Easter weekend. We had fun, pretending to be on a mountain vacation, talked a lot about my hopes and fears and worries and it was incredibly therapeutic. But…she left and still no baby. I still felt okay with waiting for this baby to emerge when the time was right.
I figured that Monday’s middle of the night labor episode would be the one that turned out to be the “real thing”, since the kids would be back in school from their spring break and I could concentrate on laboring. I was going on a week now with ruptured membranes, and had moments of complete panic and worry, but when I would stop and really sit with things for awhile and ask what I was being called to believe, I would have a real sense of peace that all was okay. It was a strange peace that I have never had about anything before. In the moments when I felt weak and was ready to take herbs, or drink the castor oil, or do the nipple stimulation, I would stop and ask myself if it was really the right path for me, and get a resounding NO. So I wouldn’t do it. The waiting was SO hard though, but still I was okay with waiting. At the times that I would be ready to give up and go sign in at the local hospital for a c/section, I would get a kind word or email, or showing of support from someone that would keep me going and remind me of what I was waiting for. The greatest gift from this experience was that I was able to see a hint of my strength even before “real” labor began. I was able to really get in touch with my body and what my needs and wishes were during all of this. I did do a lot of acupuncture in those days to get the baby lined up optimally, to keep me calm and in a good space, and to get my body prepared for a smoother, gentler labor when it did kick in.
The days went by slowly, each one longer than the one before. I was vigilant about monitoring my wellbeing, and the baby’s. I began to take antibiotics as a preventative measure, going into the second week. I haven’t ever been a big fan of antibiotics, but their use seemed prudent to me as the days wore on. I think this was the only hint of “intervention” I had during the process. I was beginning to grow impatient, but still I knew that waiting was better than any of the alternatives.
Saturday, April 14 rolled around, and while it seemed to be much like the previous 11 days, there was also something distinctly different about it, about me that day. The peace I’d been feeling for the previous weeks seemed to have dissipated; I was CRANKY! I was irrational, unreasonable, and just beside myself. I was thoroughly finished with being pregnant, was certain that this baby was just not going to come out without being cut out, and that I was surely broken. As Clare tried to convince me otherwise, and coax me onto the treadmill, or into some other sort of movement or motion to elevate my mood, I lost it. I told her how “I have done everything within my power to get this baby into a good position and try to get it to want to be born. I have done chiropractic and acupuncture every week for the past 9 months. I have meditated, I have visualized, I’ve talked to the baby, I’ve exercised faithfully, I’ve done OFP so much my knees are bruised, I just can’t to anymore. I can’t listen to you blaming me for not doing enough! I have had it. I am DONE! I am just DONE!! Why can’t you just admit that I am BROKEN? It is time for me to just throw in the towel and admit that my body is broken! My pelvis is messed up and I can’t birth this baby!” and with that I stomped off in a rage. All the while, she is going on about how that is not the truth and that she is NOT going to accept it, how I *know* it is not the truth and for me to stop sulking, snap out of it, and get back to focusing on truth.
After taking the afternoon off from everyone and spending the great majority of it sobbing and wailing and lamenting of how I was tired of being pregnant, I managed to pull it together that evening and went to church with the family. It was a nice service with songs that seemed to be chosen especially for me. I was able to ground myself once again and start to capture some of the peace that I felt was trying to elude me. By the end of the service around 8:00, I had made amends with my body, and had decided once again that everything was okay, that things were happening on the timetable they needed to be on and that I was okay to be pregnant for another few days, at least until after Tuesday, the new moon, and then I would re-evaluate (for some reason, it helps me to just take things a few days at a time). About 2 ½ hours later, around 10:30 while I was sitting in the living room talking with Steve and Clare, I was nailed with a contraction. “Oh boy, here we go again,” I thought, as it seemed that my stop-start labor was going to start again tonight, albeit earlier than usual. The contractions were coming every six minutes or so apart and were requiring my attention. They continued on as they had over the previous “labor episodes” in their pattern of 5-6 minutes apart, yet only lasting about 30 seconds each.
Around 1:00am, everyone decided to go to bed and I thought it would probably be best if I got some sleep too “just in case” this ended up lasting awhile. As soon as I lay down, however, the contractions became almost unbearable. I needed to be up on my feet and moving my hips to cope with them. So I got up and put on my MP3 player, already loaded with all of the music I had chosen for this labor. I started walking around the bedroom, lying over the birth ball between contractions. After a few more, I went downstairs and spent the next hour or so “dancing” through the contractions. At one point, I decided that I felt nauseous and it seemed like a good idea to force myself to throw up (ugh!). It actually did make me feel better, for whatever reason and I went back to the work of laboring. It was a beautiful spring night, so I decided to go out on the front porch and I wrapped up in a blanket on the wicker furniture. I would stand up during a contraction and move my hips around in large circles or figure 8’s, and turn up the “labor music” and breathe and moan as I felt the surge overtake me. Then between the contractions, I would turn the music off and sit quietly, enjoying the sound of the crickets and the brightness of the moon. I think it was at some point during my time outside that I realized “I think I might actually be in labor this time. It’s been over four hours now, and things do not seem to be going away, but getting more intense.” As soon as that thought entered my mind, an instant excitement filled the air, and I was almost giddy with anticipation. Here I was in the stillness of the night, laboring alone in peace and working beautifully through each of these contractions! It was as if I was dreaming and I started to cry & think to myself, “I have waited for so many years for this moment and it’s finally here!!”
As I stepped up the step to go back inside, I could literally feel the baby’s head moving down lower into my pelvis and feel my pelvic bones slowly stretching apart. The contractions became even more intense and immediately went to about 3 minutes apart. I started to feel a little panic rain over me, as I attempted to work through the contractions by holding on to a ledge in our kitchen that is about chest high and then letting my body just kind of “hang” from my arms. I was thinking back to how, in my last labor I wanted to be constantly leaning forward, whereas this time leaning forward was painful. I had to be upright, or almost leaning back, moving my hips around the entire time in order for the contractions to feel “right” (albeit VERY intense), rather than painful. I was thinking how some support would probably feel really nice right now, but I didn’t think I could make it up the stairs to wake Steve. So I continued on like this for…no idea how long…I’m guessing another hour or so, with thoughts of how thankful I was that the contractions were so much more in my front than in my back. I was certain now that this was the real deal and that sometime today I would meet my baby, although I was figuring it would probably be somewhere around dinner time.
Finally, at the end of a contraction (which now had gotten to be about 2 minutes apart), I literally bolted up the stairs as fast as my hugely pregnant self could carry me before another contraction hit. I burst into my bedroom and yelled “Steve, I’m in labor! Get up NOW!” Poor guy, a bit of a rude awakening for 3:45 in the morning!! I told him, “I think you’d better call Donna and let her know the contractions are 2 minutes apart, but only lasting about 45 seconds.” So he did, as I focused on a contraction and making it through, telling myself that it was the last one I would have to do without his support. “Donna wants to know if you are ready for her to come now.” “No, I just wanted her to be aware,” I said, surprising myself a bit by this response. So he hung up the phone and said, “She said okay, but please call back whenever they start lasting longer, or you feel like you are ready for her. She will come whenever you need her.” He then got to work filling up the birth tub, and I ordered him over to put pressure on my sacrum. “Harder…lower…2 hands…” I bark, as the contraction begins to feel as though it will consume me. After the contraction, he goes back to his work with the birthing pool, but no sooner does he get started that another contraction hits. “Steve, my back, please!” (Much to my (& everyone else’s) surprise, I was a very polite laborer). “LOWER! 2 HANDS! Horizontal, not vertical!” (direction of his hands). It was all I could do to eek out little 1-2 word phrases to express my needs at this point. This became our routine, he would press on my back, I would rotate my hips & do this strange thing with my arms, where I would shake them really fast through the contraction. Then it would end, he would go back to his ‘birth tub’ work and I would rest for a minute or so until the next contraction hit and we would slip back into our routine again. My state of mind seemed to be sort of hypnotic, where I became unaware of nearly everything around me, other than the powerful sensations coming through my body.
We continued on with the routine for probably 15-20? contractions, at which point I announce, “Uh oh!! I really am going to be sick!” and I rushed to the bathroom and started throwing up WHILE having a contraction. This was the only time during labor that I worried my uterus might rupture. There was such an incredibly strong, painful force seemingly going in 2 different directions in my body, with the vomiting and the contraction. It was almost more than I could take. After the contraction ended, I told Steve “I think you’d better call Donna back and tell her I’m throwing up. They say that can mean transition, but I’m sure I’m not in transition yet.” So he called her back and she said she would leave right away and be there in an hour. I then asked Steve to go down to the basement and wake Clare to come up. While he was gone, I had 2 more contractions that I had to find a way to cope with on my own, without our routine. I decided to sit on the toilet through those contractions and do the arm shaking thing (still no idea why I did this, but it felt right at the time). Those 2 contractions felt very ‘forced’ to me because I wasn’t able to swivel my hips the way I needed to. I was so relieved when he came back into the room and Clare too, and quickly got back into the routine over in the corner by my side of the bed, in a space so small that Steve could barely fit in there with me. But that is where I felt comfortable and secure. I would look around to make sure Clare was still in sight, grab hold of Steve, place my right leg up on this stool, keep my left knee on the ground, swivel my hips, shake my arms, and have Steve pressing firmly on my sacrum. My mind was just filled with such a feeling of strength and triumph and anticipation already, interspersed with moments of fear and doubt. “I can’t believe this is happening. I am doing this work of birthing my baby!” I would think, followed by “There is no way I can do this for much longer. The intensity of this is just ridiculous. Why would anyone want to do this?” As soon as I would begin to entertain such thoughts, I could feel Steve’s strong, protective hands back on my body in just the right way to re-center me and re-affirm that all is well.
Around an hour or 2 after we made the 4:30am call to Donna, the doorbell rang and a few moments after that, Ruth (the back up midwife) appeared at my bedroom door. “Why is she here? Where is Donna? What is going on?” were thoughts all running through my mind, but I wasn’t coherent enough to verbalize anything or really even to care much. I continued to stay deep, deep inside myself, deeper than I had ever gone before, doing this incredibly intense, difficult work. I later found out that Donna’s road had been flooded and she was having a hard time getting out of her driveway. Ruth asked how I was feeling and I gave her a look and a grunt. She started talking with Clare about what had been going on, how long, etc. etc. and I just pointed at them both and screamed, to which my loving husband translates into, “If you two want to talk, you need to step outside the door. She doesn’t want you talking right now.” I nod my head “yes that is right. Thank you.” and we got back to business.
It was strange really, looking back. Before Ruth arrived, I had no conscious awareness of anyone else in the room, or even the world. I had this concentrated belief that this was all within me, I was the ONLY one who could do this job. But then when she arrived, I began to get sidetracked and a bit panicky. I started looking to her to save me or something, asking her “Am I okay? Is everything alright?” to which she would reply, “Do you think you’re okay? Do you feel like everything’s alright?” and when I would ask, “What if I need to go to the hospital?”, she would reply “Do you feel like you need to go to the hospital?” and unfailingly turn all of my doubts and fears back onto me, and force me to go even deeper within myself and trust my instincts, to which I would immediately get an answer, “Of course I’m okay. I am birthing my baby” or “No, I don’t need to go to the hospital. Drugs sound mighty nice right now, but I am doing just fine without them.” At some point, Steve made the crazy suggestion that I might be more comfortable up on my bed for a few contractions (I think *he* would be more comfortable with me on my bed LOL). Up I went for one horrendous, terrifying, excruciating contraction. I started just SCREAMING! (up to this point, I had been moaning and making beautiful birth sounds during the contractions). After it ended, I couldn’t get off of that bed and back into my corner quickly enough. Then Ruth started blathering something about a blood pressure cuff, to which I snapped “Don’t know where it is. DON’T CARE!!”
At one point during my laboring, I could hear some rattling sounds over top of my music…the sound of a sterile glove being unwrapped. My body clinched up, I turned off the music, and I started crying like a big baby, “Oh please PLEASE no! I don’t WANT a vaginal exam. If it shows that I’m not making any progress, I will be SO disappointed. Please no!” Ruth answered, “Teresa, I’m not doing a vaginal exam. You sound very ‘pushy’ and I just want to place my hand down there underneath you to make sure there’s not a baby about to fall out onto the ground.” Uh…did she say “pushy”? Did she mean…does this mean…nah, can’t be…I don’t get to pushing. My body is broken and I give in way before any pushing starts. Fast forward another, probably 5? minutes or so (I had/have no concept of time whatsoever in this birth…I only know what time the first contraction came, what time everyone went to bed, and the times that I woke Steve up and had him call Donna, thanks to the phone bill). So 5 or so minutes later, I heard the crinkly sound again overtop of my music, “What are you doing? No! No exams! I am probably not dilating at all and I can’t hear that news. Please!! Please!!” I say, figuring I will only be setting myself up for huge disappointment. Again, she assured me that “Of course you’re dilating, you are pushing!” and she placed her hand underneath me to see if there is a baby head hanging halfway out because I sound like I’m pushing at the end of each contraction & it is impossible for another person to get back into this tiny space I’m in, particularly in this peculiar position with one leg up on the stool, one knee on the ground.
After that contraction, she asked if I would be willing to move out to the middle of the room, or into the birthing tub, or somewhere else (she is seeing that birth is imminent; I am not seeing it). “No, I like it here. I want to stay here.” Steve then picked up the stool I’d been leaning on and said “Come on, T. We’ll go to my side of the bed. There’s more room over there.” And so up I go. As I got halfway around the bed, I have a contraction in the middle of the room. It’s terrible, painful, scary! I feel so exposed and vulnerable! As soon as it ends, I rushed back into a corner on his side of the bed (which does have more space, but not much), “assume the position” that I have become so fond of, and turned my back to everyone else in the room. About that time, this unbelievable, out-of-nowhere, extraterrestrial-feeling compulsion invades every cell of my body and I feel every single inch of myself start to push and heave and thrust and work and groan. What on earth? And then a small voice inside my head says “Hey, I wonder if I’m pushing?” (Okay…so I’m a bit slow to figure things out). I put my hand down and reach inside my and I feel the most indescribable, inexpressible, utterly beyond words sensation that my fingertips have ever felt. There it was, no more than an inch or 2 inside my body, my baby’s head. My. baby’s head. It was at that moment that I believed, wholly believed, for the first time since the scalpel made its first cut eleven years earlier, that I was going to give birth to my baby. I was capable, my body was perfectly made, my pelvis was adequate, my uterus was strong, and my baby was about to be born. I was suspended in this hazy, quasi-reality…the moment froze and a flood of emotions just rolled over me. I was caught between wanting to just stop everything right there and savor this most miraculous experience that I have ever been a part of and wanting to push with everything I had in me to get this baby out here and kiss his/her beautiful face and touch that squishy head with my chin and my lips and hold him/her close to me.
Eventually the latter won out and I started pushing with another contraction, all the while thinking “Well, I am almost 100% sure this baby is going to come out my butt. But there is not a thing I can do about it, but get it out.” I was remembering other women’s similar experiences on the ICAN list about pushing being “shockingly rectal” or something like that, and that gave me some comfort, but mostly I just felt like I didn’t really care if it did decide to come out my butt. Again, I put my hand down there and felt that amazing baby head, and someone asks “What are you doing? Why are you putting your hand down there?” “Because, there is a baby right there. It’s about to be born.” At this proclamation, the scurrying began, grabbing cameras and blankets and getting in position to hopefully get a hand on this baby, although as the midwife said, this had to have been the most difficult position for her to get in there and catch the baby, and to which I replied, “I really was unconcerned with your comfort or ease at that point.”
I laid my head down and rested and maybe even dozed for a few minutes while waiting for the next contraction. It was so quiet and so surreal to me right then. There was nowhere else in the world I would want to be, nowhere in the world was anything as important going on as this undertaking right here. As the contraction began to build, I raised my head, gathered up every ounce of anything I had and gave a huge push and felt this incredible sensation of the slippery, squishy head sliding through and out of my body, followed by the body. I looked up in my foggy haze and asked “What do I do now?” to which my darling husband quickly replies, “DON’T SIT DOWN!” LOL…the baby was right under me. Ruth calmly unwrapped the cord from his neck and handed him to me. “6:56a.m.” Clare announced. So he was born after about 8 ½ hours of active labor, 20 or so total hours of some intense prodromal labor, and nearly 2 weeks of ruptured membranes. I am SO thankful that it happened the way that it did and I got a lot of the ‘work’ out of the way as I went along. And also so thankful that I never had a vaginal exam so I never knew whether to be excited, frustrated, discouraged, etc. other than what my body told me to be.
I took him in my arms and the first thing I did was to thank him, “Thank you, thank you so much for doing this with me baby.” Then I turned to my husband and I have never seen such a look of awe and admiration and love in anyone’s eyes as I did in his at that moment, which probably mirrored what he say in mine. We just sat there for a moment and looked into each other’s eyes as I proclaimed, “We DID IT!!!! I did it!! I just pushed a baby out of my vagina. I really did it! I just can’t believe I did it!” I looked up and noticed another midwife, Martha, sitting by us. I didn’t even know she was there. Apparently she had arrived about 5-10 minutes before the birth. I continue to just ooh and aah and kiss and squeeze my baby and then it occurred to me that I had been calling the baby, “Baby Boy”. I didn’t even look to see if it was a boy. Oh no, what if it’s a girl, will she be traumatized? I quickly unwrapped the blanket and took a quick peek, “Oh, I KNEW you were a boy!!” and I started sobbing and just praising God with sheer joy and disbelief in my heart.
Someone helped me up onto the bed and I just laid there staring at my baby, all nestled up against my skin. I felt so warm and so full, so complete. Someone woke up the older kids, and my second son Evan came in and hopped up on the bed with us, meeting his new baby brother and having an image of ‘normal birth’ forever etched into his mind. About 20-30 minutes after the birth, Donna arrived and I got up and pushed out the placenta, got cleaned up a bit and hopped back into bed, where Clare soon served me the most delicious breakfast I have ever eaten in my entire life, of eggs, bacon, French toast, orange juice, etc. and I devoured every morsel of it. We chatted a bit with the midwives, to which one of my first questions to all of them was “What made you guys decide to take a chance on me? Why did you ever think I could do it?” and to which they each gave a variation of the same reply, “Of course you could do it. Why WOULDN’T we think you could do it?” Simple as that.