Gideon’s Birth

I walked into Amber’s office, 2 months pregnant, so that my husband and I could see if Sacred Song would be a good fit for our family. As we chatted with Amber in her comfortable and home-like office, I began to cry with fears that I would lose this pregnancy (I had previously had 3 miscarriages). Without batting an eye, Amber asked if I wanted to see if we could hear the baby’s heartbeat to help alleviate some of my fears. I was so taken aback by her calm and caring demeanor that I knew we had found our midwife. The next 30 weeks of prenatal care and the 6 weeks postpartum were exactly what I needed to feel healthy, strong, and supported. At 40 weeks, early labor began in the middle of the night. I texted Amber in the morning and told her that contractions had begun but that they would take a while to build into anything, since my first baby’s labor was 36 hours. She responded with, “let us know when you want company!” It felt good to be acknowledged. A couple hours later after a walk, I lay in bed and let them know that I would be in for my 40 week appointment, as the contractions had slowed down. But they had different plans, and Amber and two student midwives came by my apartment at 1 PM and checked on me instead. She told me that she expected to be back that evening or night. I wasn’t so optimistic! After they left, I took a nap and then went on a walk to the park with my two-year-old and mom. That is when active labor kicked in–I knew because I kept walking away from the playground during each contraction so that I could focus! Fearful about calling Amber back and having the contractions slow down again, I waited 3 more hours before my husband asked them to come. When my husband got home at 5:15 PM, he blew up the tub and began filling it up. I ate a good dinner, went on a couple more walks up and down the hill behind our home, and did a lot of swaying and low moans. My doula arrived at 7 PM and Amber and Gloria arrived at 8 PM. When Amber arrived, I was in the back bedroom and did not even hear them enter through our front door. They came in with so much reverence, it was as if they were entering a sacred space and did not want to disturb anything. I felt safe. I wanted to get into the tub so badly at this point, but I was afraid because I didn’t want my contractions to slow down. Amber just said, “the worst thing that can happen is you get back out.” I loved how she did not demean anything I said or wanted–I was in charge. I got into the water at 9 PM, and loved gazing out the window into the calm spring night. At one point I asked Amber how I would know when it would be time to push. When I was delivering my first baby, the staff at the hospital yelled at me to NOT push. But here in my bedroom, Amber just reassured me that I would know when it was time to push. As I felt my body getting ready to push, I asked Amber to come over and check my baby’s heartbeat again. She did not question the validity of this request, but instead came over immediately and let me hear his strong heart through the doppler. That sound reassured me that all was still well, and I could proceed. After only a push or two my water broke, and then 7 minutes later, my son was born under the water into my hands. I had been given complete freedom to choose which position to birth in (on my knees), and Amber was right there with a mirror and a flashlight to keep an eye on my baby’s progress as he made his entry into the world. After I pulled him out of the water onto my chest, she immediately checked his heart, examined his color and muscle tone, and reassured me that he looked just fine. A whole flood of emotions washed over me as he took his first cry, and I was amazed at how much more peaceful his birth had been compared to his older sister’s in the hospital. It was incredible to lay in my own bed after his birth and snuggle my new baby for an hour before his cord was cut and he was weighed and examined at the foot of my bed. The midwives took care of everything–they even did a load of laundry–and made sure I was stable and happy, before heading out. They continued to check on me via text through the next week and made another home visit 36 hours after his birth. All of my hopes and dreams had been fulfilled, and I realized the bar had been set very high for our next baby in the future. He is a calm and happy baby, and I am incredibly grateful I decided to trust my life and that of my baby’s with Amber and her team at Sacred Song.