Anyone that knows me even a little will know that I’m a huge birth advocate (among other things related to parenting/birthing). I understand women wanting epidurals and to just relax and push a baby out when a doctor tells you to. But for those of us that want something MORE, I’m all for educating! I wish someone had been around to educate me on all my birth options with my first. By my second I knew more and was determined to have the birth I dreamed of. Home Birth was a perfect fit for me.. I could be in control, I wouldn’t have to fight off doctors and nurses trying to stick IVs in me or confine me to a bed, I could labor in the comfort of my own home and even catch my own baby. Well I got my dream water birth I always wanted, although it was at the only freestanding birth center in Colorado and happened to be 2 hours away. Unfortunately, home births with a CPM were illegal in WY at the time, but I gladly made the 2 hour drive to the birth center, and enjoyed every second of my labor!
Fast forward a year.. Avery was my last baby and I’m longing to stay involved in the birthing community. I’ve wanted to do birth photography for a while now, but I’ve been waiting for that moment when I could leave Avery for more than a couple hours at a time. That time is finally here (I hope, as I haven’t tested the waters yet!).
I am honored to be able to attend this awesome couple’s first home birth. I had the chance to meet them at their 37 week prenatal appointment this past week and brought my camera to get a few shots of how home birth appointments are done. Some women aren’t familiar with home births, or they may be intimidated by them, curious about them, or maybe would even consider having one if they knew more.
So this was the “big” appointment. Where everyone talks about the final details and goes over what’s in the birth kit. It lasts about 1.5 hours give or take and this one was done in their home. The feel of home birth appointments is so much different than that of a hospital visit which usually includes waiting in the cold room for 20 minutes to see the OB for 10. Consider a midwife your new BFF for the next 10ish months!
This is just a simple snap of everyone chatting and going over the details once again. The end is near and everyone is getting excited, you can feel the positive energy in the room.
After a tour of the house, the midwife does the rest of the exam.. the typical workup, just in the comfort of her own bedroom.
Fundal height right at 37 weeks. Paper tape measures mean it hasn’t touched a dozen other women’s bellies throughout the day… and a scrapbook souvenir if you wish
Baby is head down! Midwives are excellent at using touch to find the baby’s position and many can even pretty accurately guess birth weight (of course this is always a guess, no one can ever tell you how much your baby will weigh, even with an ultrasound).
If a woman doesn’t want to use a doppler, her wishes can safely be honored. There are other alternatives to dopplers. Here Kim is listening to baby’s hiccups