This is a home birth story from a grandma’s perspective….my daughter became pregnant on or about her 1st wedding anniversary….we were so excited to await the arrival of our first grandchild! Amber found a local ob/gyn and began her monthly visits…so excited to see the first ultrasound with our Lil “Teddy Graham”!!! Amber had about 4 more visits and was not very happy with the fact that she had not even met the doctor who would deliver their baby yet or with the care she was receiving…I suggested we take a walk over to our long time friend and neighbors house Quincy. That day would change my daughter’s birth story forever. We knew Quincy was a Doula on her way to becoming a midwife and thought we could ask her a few questions. Well, she spent over an hour talking to us and suggested a movie we might watch that could give us a perspective on home vs. hospital birth and the benefits of home birth. We watched The Business Of Being Born and that combined with Quincy’s knowledge, expertise and caring attitude changed Amber’s decision to opt for a home birth rather than hospital birth. Dad, JC was a little more hesitant and had concerns for his wife and child’s well being in the event of an emergency or unexpected turn of events but as the months progressed, his fears were put to rest. The professional and caring prenatal appointments were held either at my home or my daughter’s home and we never felt rushed or like anything was left undone or unsaid at these appointments…we heard the Lil bundles heartbeat and learned valuable information about pregnancy and birthing at each appointment…as well as lots of laughter and fun. As the time drew near for (as we found out in an ultrasound) our granddaughter Addison to be born…we had a very informative and reassuring family appointment involving all who would be attending the birth. It put everyone’s minds and hearts at ease. Well, the day finally arrived for Addison to be delivered into this world. I have inadequate words to describe that amazing day…I watched as my daughter began laboring not knowing what to expect. It’s difficult to see you child in pain…but it is part of this beautiful amazing process. Quincy knew it would be a while before Amber needed to get in the tub to prepare to deliver so she suggested we go about our day as normally as possible, so we went to Starbucks and had coffee then we went to Wal-Mart and walked around and Amber picked out a few beads and bobbles and we went back to her house where she created two beautiful necklaces during her labor….after dinner things began to change…we called Quincy and she said she would be over soon…when she arrived it was amazing….the tub was set up and the birthing ball was suggested which gave my daughter a lot of relief. Really Quincy and Karen her assistant and also our long time friend, we’re there but kind of in the background, a calm, reassuring presence during Amber’s labor. Quincy would check the babies heartbeat and watch Amber’s breathing and monitor her as needed, but was never invasive or hovering. She really allowed Amber to do what God intended her body to do…Karen helped Amber relax and breathe easier to get past difficult contractions and both Quincy and Karen gave JC, myself and grandma Kathy tips on massaging Ambers lower back and helping her to relax and breathe easier. Time for the tub…this was the most beautiful, serene, lovely scene. Softly playing instrumental worship music in the background with dimly lit candlelight was the backdrop for the birth of our Granddaughter. Amber was coached to feel and listen to her body and do what her body was telling her….delivery was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and have been a part of in my life. I will never forget Addison coming into this world. To watch my daughter and her husband and this beautiful new life bond afterward was amazing….no rushing to the nursery for whatever it is they do at the hospital…just a family becoming a family. We enjoyed watching dad JC cut the cord and weigh his newborn daughter as they all snuggled up on their own bed together. We still learned during this entire process about how the placenta worked and saw the amniotic sac that Addison had been growing in these 9 or so months…it was fascinating. The most emotional, beautiful, memorable event of my life…Thank you Quincy and Karen for allowing and facilitating my daughter the privilege and honor of a beautiful home birth..
A year or so later we learned we would be welcoming our second grandchild into the world…there would be no other choice than homebirth for my daughter and son in law. Again we had home visits for prenatal care and this time little sister got to help! Quincy always tried to involve the whole family in this adventure and journey…many sweet fun visits were had…I have to say though one of my favorite experiences during this pregnancy is when the mobile ultrasound tech came to the house to do the ultrasound and revealed the gender of baby #2 .
As our son in laws parents moved out of state…we were able to Skype with them and they got to basically be there as the tech told us all baby #2 was a boy! Jackson was to be due on Christmas Eve but came a week later on New Year’s Eve. This time just like with Addison birth we called Quincy and she said it’s going to be a while so carry on with your day…so we took Addison to the park and walked around a bit…went to Starbucks for grandma and got a bite to eat…went home put in a movie and laid down to rest a bit and next thing we know…it’s time…we called Quincy, began to fill up the tub and again Amber had the most precious beautiful birth. I cannot tell you how personal and intimate and lovely these two experiences have been..I gave birth to both of my children in the hospital and I truly wish I knew back then homebirth was available to me. I am in awe of how God designed our bodies to grow and deliver babies…in most cases without any invasive intervention. I respect and admire my daughter for making the decision to have her babies naturally at home and 2 for the amazing women like Quincy Bates and Karen Dobbins who assist women and their families in having the most amazing birth experiences…God bless you and keep up the fantastic work.