I started looking into birthing options in 1999 when I was a freshman in college, where I would watch A Baby Story on TLC in my dorm room. One episode of the show included a mom who had a home waterbirth, and as soon as I saw it, I had to know more. That episode started me on my journey of research into natural parenting. Looking back from this point, I just have to laugh at the picture. What college freshmen are even thinking about having kids, let alone researching birth options? Ha! Well I was actually engaged already, and all I really wanted to was to be a mom, so there I was, enjoying finally having fast internet (this was the age of dialup!) and reading all I could find about home birth.
After college we moved to Florida and by this time, we’d been married for 3 years and I knew I had some clear signs of infertility. I went to a doctor who diagnosed me with PCOS and referred me to a reproductive endocrinologist. I found myself in the middle of the medical world where it seemed like a prescription could solve all of my problems. I actually remember the RE asking me what I wanted to fix – the acne, excess hair growth, weight issues, or did I just want to get pregnant? He literally offered a pill for whatever I wanted to fix. I wanted the baby, of course, and decided that even though this whole model was way outside of my comfort zone that I would take a step into it, and once I got pregnant I could return to my comfortable world of more natural living.
Long story short, I was lucky enough that the little pill did actually work, and conceived my son after 6 months and 3 rounds of clomid. I was released from the RE’s care when we got a strong heartbeat on a 6 week ultrasound and confirmation there was only one baby, and I ran to the homebirth midwife I’d already interviewed. I couldn’t wait to be away from the medical model and back into the natural where I felt more comfortable.
I ended up having a wonderful pregnancy and home waterbirth with my son in 2005. When he was two and a half, I went back to the RE for another magic pill and conceived my daughter, then used the same midwife for her lovely home waterbirth in 2008. It appeared this medicine was just the way I was going to become a mother, and I was at peace with it. My husband and I were also at peace with just two kids, as we decided we didn’t want to have to use the medication again. We were so grateful for our kids and the relatively easy experience of conceiving them even with fertility issues.
Fast forward ten years, and I find myself pregnant. I had been on a very different eating plan for the past year, lost 20 lbs, was feeling amazing and looking forward to even more weight loss. Apparently my body liked the changes I had been making so much that whatever reproductive issues it had also healed, and I spontaneously conceived. To say that we were shocked is an understatement. Very happy and feeling blessed for sure, but very shocked!
It’s been interesting to experience this again after so many years of parenting and assuming I wouldn’t have another baby in my belly. My pregnancy was very different from the start, mostly because I had zero morning sickness this time. In my other two pregnancies, I was miserable with nausea and no appetite until about 12 weeks. How nice to feel good this time!
Though my experiences were good before, I ended up choosing a different midwife for my birth this time. The office is 5 minutes from my house and I thought I should see if it was a good fit just for the convenience factor alone. From the very first visit, where I asked a lot of questions about their routine care during pregnancy, labor, and with the newborn, I felt so comfortable and supported. I had a few different questions this time around, since I’m so much older than I was before, and everything I requested was enthusiastically supported. I joked about being a total pain of a client, but my midwife assured me that I’m not and seemed to genuinely appreciate that I care about small details. This was so refreshing and made me feel safe as I got closer to the birth of this new little person.
I’ll be sharing more of my story, and more about my observations as a new mom again, moving forward. It’s exciting to be back in the space of mothering a newborn and infant, after so many years in the realm of bigger kids.