From Liss, mom of Jesse, born October 2014

small birth (3 of 214) Yes, some people do knit while they are in labor!

My second home birth was my first with Motherland Midwifery, and Christy's knowledge and warm humor helped to make it a healthy and - dare I say it? - FUN delivery of our baby boy. At each prenatal appointment, Christy & Janeyne checked in with me both physically and emotionally, helping me to keep tabs on the baby's development, my state of being, and all of the concerns and excitement that my husband, four-year-old son, and I had. By the time active labor began, the five of us were a solid team ready to rock this birth! And rock it we did.

Big brother Calvin comforts his mama while enjoying a snuggle on the birth ball!

The birth team checking on the heartbeat right before things pick up!

I spent most of my active labor (about 4.5 hours - thank Christy's advice in regards to nutrition, exercise, resting & sitting positions, and my regular chiropractic appointments) on a physio ball in my bedroom while everyone else hung out downstairs. It was quite a party - husband, son, doula, photographer, midwives, pets - and I have to say that the midwives' graciousness to my carnival was incredible. And can I tell you how comfortable it is to hang out in one's own bedroom, knitting, snacking, and chatting with the occasional visitor from my crew? Christy and Janeyne are so good at giving exactly the level of support that is asked for or required. They gave me lots of space to labor how I wanted to, maintained the vibe I had going when checking our vitals, and offered very unobtrusive suggestions.

About 3.5 hours in, I was at 7cm and ready to use the birth pool. My son went to bed and the real work of labor began. I will always be grateful for the calm, quiet way the midwives went about *their* work while I got on with mine. As the photographer remarked, they are total professionals - competent and capable. As I began making some unbelievable noises, the atmosphere in the room was both sacred and joyful. The louder, deeper, and longer I groaned, the bigger my husband grinned. We all knew we were very close to meeting this baby! Big brother was brought into the doorway, half-asleep, to fulfill his request that he be there no matter what.

The moment of crowning was almost overwhelming, I remember locking eyes with Christy and she intuitively showed me just how to breathe through it. And then baby's head was born! Sweet relief. I heard but mostly ignored some excited whispering - it turns out that he was born with the bag of waters intact. On the next surge, he burst through, I caught him and brought him to my chest, and we all rejoiced! My son's first words to his baby brother were, "Don't worry, Baby Carrot, your mommy is right there."

I am so thankful for our healthy birth journey, and how it was truly our whole family's. Those first few hours, snuggled up in bed as a family of four, are etched in my heart forever, and so precious to me. Thank you, Christy. Thank you.


All photographs in this post are copyright of Jamie Siever Photography 2014.