My husband was more tentative about home birth but was supportive. We prepared together by taking a prenatal class by Lara from Hypnobirthing Hamilton, attending a home birthing session at Mountain Midwifery Care, and renting a birth pool. I opted in for a stretch and sweep at Access Midwives when it was first available and I was so excited to be 3 cm dilated! Following my morning appointment, cramping throughout the day led to that night contractions and after downloading a contraction timer and eating a popsicle after midnight, I woke up my husband as I knew this was the beginning of labour. We lay in bed timing, and in the early morning came downstairs.
After a couple hours, I called Emma and updated her on the situation. She was at St. Joe’s hospital for another birth and encouraged us to keep timing and wait for the 4-1-1. I called our doula and she made her way over. As my contractions gained momentum slowly, my partner and doula held my hands as I let the contractions pass. My doula and I held hands, looked into each other's eyes, for shared, deep breathing to calm me down as I strained to maintain focus as I was fatiguing. After a couple showers to relax, many different labour positions, attempted snacks (but mostly just tiny sips of water), and lots of hip pressure release, it was time to get in the tub! This was so relaxing and the contractions came in quick succession.
We called Emma again and said we were at the 4-1-1 and ready to go! She was still at the hospital and sent Amanda, a backup midwife to come. When Amanda arrived, she got set up and was ready to check me. I was 7-8 cm dilated! All the labour work was paying off. I got back in the birth pool and my body took over as I was ready to push. Zoe was coming quickly! A second backup midwife was called and Genevieve arrived (after knocking on my neighbours door previously!). I was having difficulty pushing and felt maybe I wouldn’t be able to push Zoe out after all. Amanda and Genevieve were so encouraging.
Emma arrived from the hospital and Zoe came out shortly after. My water broke just as Zoe came out - Zoe was almost born fully in her sack of water. I was stitched up by Amanda on my family room floor as Zoe came out with her hand up by her face (ouch). After getting weighed, measured and checked out, Zoe latched and I fed her while we were snuggled in our own bed (as snuggled as I could be after labour, stitches, feeding my newborn for the first time, etc.).
Access Midwives as a whole, the wonderful receptionists, caring midwives, clients, and whole community, is a professional, nurturing organization. From knit hats and booties sitting on the front desk, to up-to-date information on resources, literature and community endeavours, Access Midwives is a wonderful option for Mom and Baby care. I wouldn’t have it any other way! Thank-you from the bottom of my heart for your care.