This month’s featured story is personal to me and I am ecstatic to share it with you. Adrienne’s story, otherwise known as my baby sister, gave birth to both of her sons at home with a midwife in a pool with no meds, all natural! Adrienne is as an incredibly strong woman in all aspects of her life and when you talk to her about her beliefs in home births, you can feel her passion. I am happy to turn this over to her so you can read about her Proudest Moments; giving birth to both her sons at home.
Long before becoming aware of their greater purpose in my journey, some key milestones occurred, which laid the foundations for my proudest moments of all.
When I was in high school, I struggled to stay interested until discovering the Early Childhood Professions Program (ECP). This 2-year program focused on the different aspects of childhood development; first aid, CPR, the business of running/owning a day care, and as part of our schooling, ECP ran a reduced cost daycare for the local community. It was during the child development course that I discovered giving birth in a birthing pool was an option and I was amazed! It just made sense and I knew it was for me when my time came to be a mother.
During my junior year, my best friend gave birth and I was with her through her labor and delivery. I was amazed at the birthing process and looking back, I realized I was instinctively her doula. I was grateful to be a part of her birthing journey and to witness her miracle first hand.
Eleven years later and I was pregnant with my first baby. A few ultra sounds later and we found out we were having a boy! I had a wonderful OBGYN Dr. Robert Biter, who is doing much needed work in the birthing community, but I discovered my insurance only covered a hospital birth, and not midwives, doulas, or water births. After reflecting back on the experience of my best friend giving birth in a hospital, I knew only my own home could provide me with the setting and support I needed for all that was to come.
So the search began, and after a handful of interviews we found an amazing home birth midwife, Andrea Meyer. At the time, she had two apprentice midwives, Sarah Venzara and Nicole Franklin Morales. They were exactly the right team of women I needed. I prepared myself as much as I could and knew how to at the time. I discovered and fell in love with prenatal yoga; there was something special about doing yoga with a group of pregnant women. I also walked, stretched, did tons of squats and most importantly, I envisioned the labor and birth process over and over again. I talked to my baby and told him how we were a team and together we were going to bring him into this world and how mommy and daddy loved him.
As the time got closer, we set up the birthing pool and let the waiting game begin. One evening I felt a little different and shortly after, my contractions began. My contractions surprisingly started out hard and intense, so the pool was filled and Andrea (midwife) was on her way! I got in the tub and labored motionless on my left side for 6 hours. For those strenuous hours, I found comfort in the dark, besides the candles flickering, and one relaxing song that was played on repeat, the entire 7 hours of labor!
Suddenly I had the urge to push and the hard work of labor began. I never knew my body had this much power and strength. About an hour later, my partner brought our baby out of the water and placed him on my chest. We did it! Mommy and baby boy were a team and together we brought him into this world. I was transformed in every way possible. The old me died during the labor process, and as my son was born into this world, I too was born, born again.
Skip ahead 22 months and my water was breaking with our second baby. The sex would be a complete surprise as I chose not to have an ultrasound. This time around the intensity of contractions increased slowly through out the coarse of the day, thankfully! I was mobile and was able to take several walks and nap midday. By the evening I was really enjoying myself as I rocked and danced away the contractions to reggae music. After all these activities, I felt pain in my back and lower region, and into the birthing pool I went with intense and active labor. Lights out, candles on, and the same peaceful song on repeat, as with our first baby. My same midwife, Andrea Meyer and her wonderful midwife apprentice Debra Bochinski were on their way.
Through out this labor, I was in the most excruciating and intense pain I had ever felt in my life! The only thing that existed for me was the present moment. I dug down deeper into myself than I ever had. I came to a place I had never been before, yet it felt familiar. After some time, I reached down and felt my baby’s head, gave one more push and brought him into this world and onto my chest. I held him and said over and over again “we did it, we did it, we did it…” Happiness! We worked so hard. After a while, I checked for the sex and saw he was another beautiful boy! My partner was behind me and when I said it I could just feel the intense joy radiating off of him. I told him it was a boy before he was born, the first time too. Mama just knows.
I feel blessed for my experiences and grateful for the team of women who assisted me through my entire process; I love them all dearly. They knew what I needed and exactly when I needed it. They passed on so much wisdom compassion and love that I will forever pass on as well. I’m grateful that my mother was there with me for both births and I’m grateful for my loving, supportive partner.
I felt as though I was reborn during our first son’s birth, but now I had been even further transformed with the second. I now know I can accomplish anything after giving birth. I am a woman! I am strong! I am divinely intuitively intelligent! I am a warrior! I am amazing! I am beautiful! I love myself! I am loved! I trust myself! I trust my body! I trust birth! I am so very proud of myself!
My name is Adrienne Smith, and the births of my beautiful creations are my proudest moments!
“I believe that if we are to heal the world, we must begin with birth.”- Adrienne Smith