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We selected Brenda and LeAnn as our midwives for the birth of our 3rd child. The pregnancies and births of our first two daughters had been really pretty great. That was the experience we wanted again for our third. Our first was born at a hospital-based birth center out in Cambridge, MA. And our second was born here at home, however our midwife arrived minutes AFTER she was born. And while that was an invigorating experience and such a wonderful story to share (and a very proud moment for my husband) I really didn’t want to repeat it. When I met LeAnn and Brenda for this pregnancy, I was very impressed and confident in the expertise and skills they shared and I really wanted them to be present during labor to share those skills with us as we welcomed our 3rd child. So we began our journey with Brenda and LeAnn on board.

I think many people hear birth horror stories (don’t people LOVE to share these) and think “so many things can go wrong, why would someone consider not being in a hospital?” But the truth is, in my opinion, that the level of care provided by good qualified midwives allows women to minimize the chances of those things happening. For one, we were able to let the pregnancy to take its course naturally without a lot of artificial, and often unnecessary, interventions. And diet, diet, diet!! Brenda and LeAnn were wonderful at providing guidance and accountability in that department. For me the accountability was critical, letting them know what I had been eating, talking about it and tweaking a few things (more protein, more greens!) was so helpful. And although I was always pretty conscious of my diet in my two previous pregnancies, I felt like this time I was eating even better. I’m positive that really eating well prevents a lot of late pregnancy complications. As a chiropractor who has cared for pregnant women I am often appalled by the lack of diet and nutrition information women are given by their medical providers.

So our pregnancy was moving along through the hot summer months. I, by my nature, am a worrier and being pregnant always exacerbates that worry. There were a number of times that Brenda picked up on unspoken concerns of mine and helped me come to terms with them. Brenda’s intuitiveness and genuine warmth were a great comfort to me. She has a gift of connecting with the baby and that really helped me bond more during the pregnancy. This pregnancy was quite different than the others, I felt larger, I had more aches and pains and it was LeAnn who convinced me that I wasn’t having a giant baby! LeAnn was great at handling my neurotic pregnant self in that instance and a few others. I felt comfortable sharing some of my “crazy” with her. I loved working with two midwives, each of them brought a unique approach and perspective, and they complemented one another so well.

When I went into labor I woke up at about one in the morning. I was in a bit of denial because I knew my 2 year old was coming down with chicken pox, she had spiked a fever the night before and we had been hoping the baby would come after we were all done dealing with that. So the first thing I did was research (again) what, if any, complications we could be dealing with. I was reassured that in all likelihood everything would be fine. I walked around, I drank a lot of water and decided to wake Ed up to keep me company although I was not convinced (denial!) that this was “it.” Our previous birth in mind, he urged me to call Brenda to give her a heads up. She was ready to come over but I let her know that things were very low key and if it progressed I would call right away. At about 2 we recognized that we were going to have a baby within the day, so my sister arrived (she missed the last one and hasn’t let me live it down!) Somewhere around 3 we called Brenda back. Michelle (birth doula) was first to arrive, LeAnn shortly after and soon the whole crew was there. It was as far removed from our second birth as could be, we had a houseful! And that was what I had envisioned and hoped for! I felt like things were getting intense but still felt as though I had a ways to go because contractions were irregularly spaced, but they supported my decision to get in the water at around 5:30, maybe 6. I really thought we had a long road ahead yet, but, in recollection, it doesn’t seem like I was in the water long before feeling like I had to push. At 6:53 Ed & I, our two girls, my mom and my sisters, welcomed Vivien to our family. We had another beautiful girl and a peaceful, although intense, birth. I would not have done anything differently! And although we had no complications that needed intervention, I will say that I felt so confident that they were equipped to recognize and care for any glitches that arose. I needed to feel that confidence in order to have the birth I did. I am not lucky to be one of those women who feels no fear or has no reservations about birth in general. I have read and researched enough to feel much more safe with a homebirth than I would with a hospital birth. That said, when I picked Brenda and LeAnn it was because they inspired my total confidence. I felt it was the best possible care for our pregnancy and baby.

I love the postnatal care the best, not having to pack my baby up and leave was wonderful. She was close to two weeks old before we had to leave the house… a nice babymoon. I couldn’t imagine a better transition into the world! -Stacy LeQuire

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