The birth of our third child in January of this year (2014) was our second one at home, our third with a midwife attending, and our first with Alyssa in particular. We love all the midwives we've had, but honestly Alyssa was the most easygoing of the three, and she and her assistants felt the most "comfortable" to us. From the first prenatal visit, and even before, Alyssa, Sara, and Teresa were very generous and understanding in regard to all the decisions we wished to make, and all the concerns we had. I think their relaxed nature has to do, in part, with the gentle, unhurried lifestyle they've chosen for themselves and their families, and that can't help but affect their work for the good. They were of course willing to be our primary support team, but just as willing to be a backup resource should we decide to go another route. (In the first trimester, we were still weighing the other options - a distant birthing center, and the local hospital.) We went with Alyssa, and don't regret a thing.
The labor was protracted and at times intense, but it was made easier by Hypnobirthing techniques (which we would recommend), a birthing tub Alyssa provided (used in active labor - this is something else we would enthusiastically recommend), and our midwives - both in their instinctive choice to stay away or in the background when they weren't needed, and in their positive and supportive presence when they were. When we called the night before our baby was born, and they felt it was time to come (we live 1.25 hours away), they wasted no time, but started our way with pre-arranged supplies in tow, and at an awful hour of the night! We noted many specific instances - before, during, and after the birth - in which their knowledge, skill, and (perhaps most important) keen intuition were evident. Because their care was so comprehensive, especially in the latter part of the birth, we were able to focus almost exclusively on each other and our baby. They allowed me ("Dad") to receive him in the water, which was a great privilege for me, never having done that before. Sara was especially "present" with my wife during active labor, and was instrumental in helping her through the roughest parts. We had a beautiful, sacred, and (mostly!) peaceful birth at home, surrounded by the love of God, and in the sympathetic presence of trusted caregivers. Our baby was born with no complications, in a very healthy state, a fact to which I know their help, advice, and expertise contributed.
All three of them displayed impressive competence during my wife's labor, and genuine concern for her and our baby in both the pre- and post-natal visits. All told, we couldn't be happier with the birth of baby Colin! He's almost 9 weeks old at the time of this writing, and doing very well. Lifelong thanks to Alyssa, Sara, and Teresa for the gifts of their time and their unique calling!
Charles and Kris
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