For all intents and purposes my relationship with the midwives started a few months into my pregnancy when my husband and I moved back to this area for his new job. Using a midwife was something I was positive I wanted to do after doing years of research and coming to the conclusion that hospitals have a very hard time treating birth as a natural event rather than a pathology.
In the prenatal appointments I was treated with respect and kindness. They always explained themselves fully when they had requests of me, in labor as well! This was super important to me as I'd been present at a couple hospital births and heard scores of other stories where the families were not treated so.
My labor started with a spontaneous rupture of membranes on the way home from a prenatal appointment a week and a half before my due date which was a complete and rather messy surprise. I informed Alyssa and she said to just keep her posted so I went home and had a joyful evening with my husband. The next day a friend joined me at the house as she was to act as my Doula and we worked through my contractions all the next day mostly alone. It was clear I was going to be a slow laborer so I appreciated that Alyssa and Sara didn't insist on coming out until the 24 hour mark. Once they arrived they used the breast pump and tinctures to stimulate my contractions. It was agony being tied down in one place by that breast pump and I came to have a fairly deep loathing of the thing since we used it multiple times. Next time I'll be sure to have one around that's got a longer cord or something.
Things get pretty hazy after that but my contractions weren't impressing anyone (that excludes me of course) but the ladies never mentioned transferring and seemed perfectly content to let things unfold as they would all the while checking mine and the baby's vitals. All this time I had not been checked for dilation because I didn't wish to introduce any unnecessary bacteria but after what had to be somewhere between two and four hours of fighting the pushing sensation I agreed to it. It was around dawn of the second day when she checked me and with some surprise announced me to be fully dilated with just a bit of cervical lip persisting. Alyssa gave me the choice to wait to see if it would recede or to have her hold it back for one pushing contraction. I was absolutely exhausted by this point and the word 'waiting' was no longer in my vocabulary so we went ahead and started pushing. (Side note here: never when she checked me nor when she held back that cervical lip was I in any pain from what she was doing. My few experiences with hospitals didn't prepare me for this as the women I had attended all showed pain when being checked by the nurses and doctors). It only took the one contraction and I was fully dilated and ready to push.
Pushing was a positively lovely change of pace and I had renewed energy with my body's natural boost of adrenaline. They had me moving around in several different positions as I was still not breaking records with my contractions; they were never closer than 4 or 5 minutes. This stage took 2.5 hours but I still preferred it to laboring. I ended up crowning while pushing on my back with one leg up so that's where I stayed. After laboring for 41.5 hours Miles was born and was immediately placed on my chest. I did end up hemorrhaging a bit due to those lagging contractions but the midwives were very efficient and had everything ready for just such an event. I did not tear which was a relief.
Finally, I would like to say that it's so nice not to have to travel to appointments after the birth. It was positively lovely having them come to me and for so MANY appointments too! I felt very special.
I have been blessed to have Alyssa and Sara as midwives for my last two pregnancies and births. With both of my pregnancies I had some unexpected complications, they referred me to great specialists, were very supportive and helped to empower me with information. That is one of the things I have loved the best, they don't just make decisions for you, they give you the information you need to allow you to make the best decision for you and your baby.
Alyssa and Sara were also wonderful at the births. They stayed so calm even in stressful situations and were incredibly attentive to me throughout the whole labor and delivery.
I really appreciate all the care and attention they provided and I would highly recommend them.
I had a wonderful home birth experience with my daughter (now four months old), thanks to the expert care and guidance of the midwife team--Alyssa, Sara and Teresa. This was my first birth and my partner and I didn't know very much about what to expect about the pregnancy, birth and early days of life with a newborn. I loved having regular check up meetings with the midwives where I felt like I had their undivided attention for as long as I needed to ask any and all questions, borrow books, share my worries and more. I felt very respected through the whole process leading up to the birth, and I felt trust that they were tracking my health and the growth of our baby throughout.
I had a breech pregnancy up until the last few weeks, and I had a lot of uncertainty about what kind of birth I would end up having, whether a natural birth at home or a C-section in the hospital (with the midwife team supporting me there). The midwives helped me with exercises as well as with connecting with an acupuncturist, chiropractor, and obstetrician to do an external version that ultimately flipped our baby head down.
I ended up having contractions start a full 60 hours before our baby was born, and I called the midwives several times as the contractions built in intensity and frequency. They arrived before I was fully in active labor in order to help my labor progress using several natural methods--pumping to stimulate oxytocin, taking tinctures, and moving me around. Finally it did progress and I had to fully dive into the intensity of the experience. I was so relieved to get in the birthing tub (provided by the midwives) and labor in there for awhile. I was so focused and in my own space that I didn't realize until later that the midwives were continually monitoring the baby's heart rate and mine throughout. There were times when they helped coach me with visualization exercises and they checked my dilation progression a few times. Most of the time I just wanted to focus on my own on the contractions and pushing, so their presence seemed just the right amount throughout. They helped me try some different pushing positions toward the end, and I ended up giving birth on the birthing stool. It all happened very quickly then and I was so exhausted and overcome with joy that I couldn't track all that was happening, but immediately I had our baby pressed to my chest and she quickly stopped crying and latched on to start nursing. It was so wonderful, everything we hoped it would be. Immediately I felt fully present with our daughter and the moment. We had plenty of time to be together before weighing and check up, while the midwives worked to clean me up. They didn't leave till we were totally secure and ready to rest.
It was so great to sleep in our own bed with our baby right there, and then to not have to move for any of the subsequent check ups over the coming days. I felt so supported in those early days while we figured everything out. I could call them any time I had a question or concern and they came to check in frequently.
I would definitely recommend having a home birth with Alyssa, Sara and Teresa to anyone reading this who is considering it. I thought I would share photos of the checkups, birth and after birth to help anyone visualize what this experience with them might look like!
La Plata, MO
Shortly after moving across country from Wisconsin to Missouri, my husband (Aaron) and I found out we were pregnant! We knew very little about the community of natural birth in the Kirksville area but were eager to find a midwife who would join our pregnancy and birthing team. After some research, we discovered Homebirth Naturally and quickly read everything on the website that we could find. With excitement, I phoned Alyssa and we set up our initial consultation meeting. Aaron and I left the appointment so thrilled to have found such warm, welcoming, down to earth midwives who were so supportive of the mommy-baby and mommy-partner relationships during pregnancy and labor/delivery. Throughout the pregnancy both Alyssa and Sara were very thorough, professional and approachable to discuss anything that we had questions, concerns or thoughts about. They were very animate to tell us they were available 24/7 and reminded us of that quite frequently. At the onset of labor, the ladies were very available to come to our home and offer support at any point we thought necessary - even before I had progressed enough into active labor. They quickly arrived and very quietly and swiftly began to prepare our birthing room for delivery. As they shared with us ahead of time, one of them would tend to mom & baby during labor while the other one stood by ready to switch. They offered as much assistance as we desired but also gave us autonomy as a couple to labor in privacy. They were wonderful to step in at times and relieve Aaron from assisting me and were very proactive to keep me well hydrated and fed! As I began to enter the final moments of labor, pushing, I found myself very calm as I looked to Alyssa for assurance and comfort in my exhaustion and anticipation to be near the finish line. Both Alyssa and Sara remained incredibly calm and gently coached me through the pushing process. During this stage of labor, the ladies both teamed up offer assistance; one continually available to mom and one to baby. As soon as our baby emerged into the birthing tub, the caul still fully intact, Alyssa very swiftly and yet calmly tore open the sac as she simultaneously pulled baby up out of the water. It was a beautiful moment as she put our baby on me, that mother-baby bond instantly formed. The ladies immediately began to make sure both baby and mom were stable, healthy and comfortable. Aaron thought it was such a neat treat that the midwives encouraged him to participate with them in weighing, measuring and assessing our baby in the comfort of our bedroom. Before leaving, they quietly washed and organized laundry used in the birth and were very gracious to tidy up our home without us even knowing it until after the fact! We were so thankful for such personable and kind midwives to be there for our labor and delivery. Throughout our pregnancy and especially at the birth both Aaron and I grew to see these wonderful women as not just a part of our birth team but our dear friends! We would highly recommend their expertise and services to anyone looking for a natural birth!
I cannot say enough good things about Alyssa, Sara, and Teresa and the experience we had with them as our midwives. Initially, my husband was pretty nervous about going the home birth route and the ladies of Homebirth, Naturally put his fears at ease from the very first appointment. It was such a great first pregnancy and birth experience for us both. When it came time for the birth, Alyssa, Sara, and Teresa were simply amazing. My labor went from zero to active labor very quickly. Without their encouragement, breathing with me, and quiet presence I would have easily given into the fear that I couldn't do it. I will always cherish the birth of my first child, but especially so because of the loving and personal care given by these wonderful ladies.
I really appreciated the calm, peaceful atmosphere that Alyssa and her midwife assistants brought to my birth. They did not rush any aspect of it, and encouraged me to work through the process at my own pace. Each of them brought something unique to the situation, and I particularly appreciated Alyssa's support towards the end, when I needed help knowing what to focus on, just before my baby was born.
After having our first child in a hospital, which was a less than positive experience, I sought homebirth for our subsequent children. Alyssa, Sara and Teresa are a wonderful, amazing midwife team. We were treated as people rather than a liability. The care they offer is incredible. Our first birth with them was beyond what I expected birth could be. When I realized I was pregnant with our third child, there was no question that we wanted to work with them again. Her birth was more 'hands on' than our previous, which allowed us a view of just how knowledgeable they are. We are so grateful for them and their knowledge and exceptional care.
My husband and I have three children, all born at home with Alyssa. We have nothing but good things to say about her, Sara and Teresa! They are kind, caring, thoughtful, professional, and knowledgeable. They are experienced and enjoy what they do. I really appreciate being given the choice of what testing to have/not have without pressure; the individualized care; their respectfulness in always asking for permission and letting me know before doing anything; and their support and encouragement during labor (especially Sara!).
There are so many more things I could say, but I think one of the things that's been the most important to me is that Alyssa's first priority is the the health and safety of both mother and baby. When I found out I was expecting my first baby, homebirth wasn't even a thought. Not an option. I only knew stories of things going terribly wrong, so I never considered it in the beginning. I didn't know anything about pregnancy or labor or birth, so I started researching online, finding out everything I could. I really didn't like the way things seemed to be done with an OB, how cookie cutter-like it was and that you didn't really seem to have much say in your care (why is this done? it just is-standard practice). I didn't want to have a particular test just because it was standard practice, when I didn't have any risk factors, and I wanted to be left alone in labor unless something came up. The more I read, the more I liked the midwifery way of doing things, and the view that pregnancy and childbirth are natural- not a medical condition that needs to be constantly managed.
So I ended up looking for a midwife, found Alyssa, and I think asked her some questions, but I was disappointed when she said she didn't deliver babies in the hospital, only at home. A bit more time/research/questions later, and we became convinced that having our baby at home with Alyssa WAS actually the right thing for us, provided the pregnancy went well and I was low risk.
In all of my reading, and I spent many, many hours reading everything I could related to pregnancy and birth, I read a ton of homebirth stories, both good and bad. What stood out to me was that in nearly every story of something going wrong, it wasn't because of the birth being at home, but rather that the warning signs were ignored because they did not want to have to transfer to a hospital. The midwife put "not going to the hospital" over the safety of baby and mother. Obviously when you choose to have your baby at home you do so because that's your preference, and you'd rather not end up in the hospital; but it's so important to have a midwife who IS willing to transfer you if that does become necessary, and puts health and safety first. And Alyssa does. She doesn't hesitate to send you to a doctor if there's something concerning that she's unsure about; she's equipped and knowledgeable to handle complications during and after labor (I hemorrhaged after each of my first two babies' births which she handled quickly and competently) and discusses with you the situations in which transferring would be necessary; she discusses with you ahead of time your hospital and doctor preferences should something come up during labor and you need to transfer; and she is known by, and respected by, doctors here in Kirksville (I don't know many doctors here, but the three I do know all speak very highly of her). We trusted her during and after the pregnancy and birth of our first baby, but that's just been confirmed more and more with each of our other babies.
Alyssa, Sara, and Teresa provide excellent care. They will be our first choice with any future babies.
Our first child was born at a friend’s beautiful mountain home in Northern California. When we decided to have a second child, we knew we wanted that child born in our home. After moving back to the midwest we were given much positive response about Alyssa, Sara, and Teresa from friends in the community. They did not disappoint! Right from the beginning we felt at ease and able to discuss any topic openly. Everyone was so thorough, and it was wonderful that most tests could be done at Alyssa’s home.
We had a very unique experience due to the fact that we found out early on our baby was breech. We were coached on what we could do to try and encourage baby to turn. Everything from acupuncture, to a special chiropractor, to pelvic exercises were discussed and recommended. At every appointment much attention was given to finding baby and determining the position. We explored each suggestion as our baby grew and our emotions rose and fell. At one point we thought our child had turned, and days passed with higher spirits.
A few days before the due date Alyssa was concerned about the baby's position, and suggested an ultrasound because the baby’s heart tones were a little high on my stomach. On my due date we got the ultrasound, and found out that our baby was frank breech. We went to the hospital that very day to try a version (a manual attempt to turn the baby). Everyone was right by our side. That attempt did not work. I left feeling very stressed about the alternative (cesarean), but definitely supported and never alone.
Three days after the due date I thought I was going into labor very early in the morning. Alyssa, Sara, and Teresa met us ASAP at the hospital. It all felt very surreal to be in the hospital, but again, I was never alone and offered the utmost support. Sara very lovingly helped when I had to get an IV and almost passed out. I was then taken to get prepped for a c-section, and given a spinal (it hurt worse than labor!).
In the operating room our doctor (Dr. Stocks) agreed to try one more version. I felt a popping sensation and remember the doctor saying, “Got it!”. I could feel the love and support being sent our way, and could almost hear the collective cheer in the hallway when the news was delivered!
When I was released from the hospital I could see the true joy in everyone’s eyes. That following Wednesday Alyssa suggested I get acupuncture and try a little castor oil. That evening I knew this was finally going to happen soon. Everyone came to our home (and no one made me feel bad that my baby didn’t actually arrive until the next morning). During the whole labor I had a very secure feeling that I had 3 people here who were focused on me and my baby and nothing else.
Alyssa, Sara, and Teresa each made me feel calm with their respective tasks. Things were kept quiet and I was given gentle suggestions. I loved the addition of the water tub. When I was in the final pushing stages I was also very grateful to Sara for the constant attention to liquids and food, I don’t know where else I would have pulled the strength from.
We feel very blessed that this is how our sweet Tallulah Ann was brought into the world. Additionally, we cannot say enough about the excellent care received after her birth. We were very supported for every step of the healing process, including breastfeeding. If there was something they couldn’t help with, they knew who could. Our second home birth more than compensated for the lack of care and support we experienced with our first. I would recommend Alyssa, Sara, and Teresa to anyone.
Evie’s arrival in to this beautiful world was more than I’d imagined with the help of Alyssa, Sara and Teresa. I love telling my birthing story; it is a day my husband I will always hold dear in our hearts. We are both so glad these girls do what they do.
The idea of a midwife and homebirth first crossed my mind when J.C. and I were moving across the Illinois-Missouri state line. This meant we would need a new health insurance policy and we would be required to wait another 18 months for the maternity coverage to kick in. Turned out we did wait those 18 months, but I still couldn’t let go of the midwife/homebirth idea. We started to research and continue to pursue the possibility.
The midwives were so great about answering all our questions. My husband was more cautious about the idea of homebirth than I, but after our first meeting with them he was 100% on board. Our visits to Alyssa’s home were something we always looked forward to. Their patience, kindness and genuine care for not only a healthy pregnancy, but an overall great experience for our growing family was invaluable. They listened, reassured, asked the right questions, and helped me work through some anxiety over the possibility of a hospital transfer with my first birth.
When my birthing time came I was so excited. I started feeling my first contractions at 5:00 a.m. Alyssa helped keep both J.C. and I calm and decipher if this was in fact the day. All 3 girls were willing to head our direction whenever we were ready. When they arrived I felt a safety knowing with their presence and oversight it was safe to have Evie at home. They were also willing to give me lots of space to birth in whatever way felt natural at the time. They were so patient and reassuring every step of the way during my 12 hour labor. They let me know when it was time to get in the birthing pool without much risk that it would be so relaxing it would stale labor. The water was wonderful. It was the first time my husband, mother, Alyssa, Sara and Teresa were all gathered around me. I knew something wonderful was about
The moment Evie was born my husband placed her on my chest; Evie kept ahold of his finger. We were a family. I was elated. I said, “This is the most amazing thing ever! I can’t believe it’s over. I am so glad everything went just the way it did.” My Mother said, "It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. You gave your baby a beautiful entry into the world; thank you for that.” The midwives let us enjoy that blissful time for 45 minutes before we even cut the cord.
They gave us lots of time to enjoy our baby and the very new moment while checking Evie, making sure she was healthy and strong. I liked that they offered all the tests and treatments Evie could have received at the hospital, but the midwives took the time to explain each one in advance and allowed us to choose which were right for us without any pressure.
Our first days with Evie were wonderful. Having visits or calls from Alyssa each day was so helpful. I had all the advice, encouragement and care Evie and I needed at my fingertips. Each postnatal visit was exciting, we were really in it together. It was so nice being able to stay home and have the girls come to me. I didn’t leave my upstairs for 2 weeks.
The midwives made so much of my pregnancy, birthing time and postnatal care so comfortable and customized to just what I wanted. I am confident the decision to trust our care to Alyssa, Sara and Teresa was one of the best decisions J.C. and I have made. I am excited to do it all again someday.
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
A little over a year ago, when we were hoping to add a third child to our family, I found Alyssa's website. It was an answer to prayer as we wanted a midwife that would come to our home instead of asking us to travel to her home/clinic for the delivery. The emails I shared with Alyssa made me very excited for our first prenatal visit to her home in August. The care and skill I felt in the emails became even more evident throughout our monthly visits to her home. I had some worries to work through as I had lost my previous pregnancy in a miscarriage. Alyssa and Sara were both very understanding and encouraging. Our visits never felt rushed and soon became fun little family outings. Our daughters, 6 and 4, were very welcome, and besides enjoying Alyssa's toys, they loved watching all the heart beat and blood pressure procedures.
I also really liked how Alyssa offered so many routine tests without the trip to the Dr. office - Group B Strep - Glucose Screening - Hemoglobin - and for the baby, PKU and Congestive Heart Test, along with several others.
The week before the delivery I called them all out on a false alarm! I felt so bad for dragging them out into the dark and cold only to send them packing an hour later. They were all very understanding and kind about it, never once making me feel stupid!
The night our little Kipton Grant arrived, was a sub zero night. Alyssa, Sara, and Teresa, arrived about 5 hrs prior to the delivery. I was excited to try a water birth for the first time. The water was very relaxing and helped take the edge off the contractions as they got harder. I did not push long. My water broke just as baby was entering the birth canal. As all of this happened, his heart rate dropped, and we all worked together to get him here in a matter minuets. Never did I feel like anyone was panicking or feeling out of control. They all worked together so well, knowing just what to do at the moment. It was amazing to hear that first cry, and to see our son for the first time!
Alyssa noticed right away how much I was bleeding. I was quickly tucked into bed, and given the best of care. Alyssa was able to offer anti-hemorrhagics, stitching, a catheter, etc. It felt as though I had the care of the hospital in the comfort of my own bed, all the while able to cuddle our new little bundle.
The three of them work together so incredibly, creating a beautiful atmosphere. They each have such a special touch and gift! And we thank them for the wonderful birth experience we had!! If we ever have another baby I wouldn't want anyone else to deliver it!
Choosing to have a homebirth was one of the best decisions my husband and I have ever made. The births of our two girls at a hospital were a blessing but there were things we felt were not necessary and could be more natural.
After much research and prayer, we felt we were truly led to our midwife, Alyssa and her two apprentices, Sara and Teresa. Being pregnant with my third, it was about halfway through before we met with them. We loved them from the very beginning and decided this is what we wanted to do. It was so nice to casually meet in a comfortable living room where I could even have a snack and drink water while all my questions were answered thoroughly. Alyssa and Sara were very knowledgable and I was amazed at how much new information I learned my third time around! Our appointments were very laid back and never felt rushed. They even let our girls listen to the baby through their fetoscope and help pump up the blood pressure cuff:)
I had a surprisingly quick labor, about four hours long. I feel a lot of it was because I was comfortable in my own home and got to freely move around and do whatever felt right to get through my contractions. When the midwives arrived my baby was about to be born. I felt a relief as soon as they walked through the door.
Shortly after, we were blessed with a beautiful, healthy 9 lb., 3 oz. baby boy! Better yet, he was born on my husband's 30th birthday! We had a great water birth experience. What an amazing day! Such a miracle!
I greatly appreciated the fact that I could then be in my own bed afterwards. I also loved I didn't have to go anywhere for postpartum care. They came to check on me and baby several times and were always available if I had any questions or concerns.
We were very happy with our decision to have a homebirth with some caring, knowledgable ladies. We highly recommend Alyssa, Sara, and Teresa and the whole homebirth experience for anyone considering it. It was such a blessing and Lord willing, we look forward to next time!
It felt so relaxing and right to have our second son born within our own home!
I was halfway through my pregnancy when I heard about Alyssa and we started thinking of a home birth. I totally fell in love with the idea. My husband was able to be along on every prenatal visit and we quickly learned to trust Alyssa and feel confident in her skill.
When my water broke I was five days early and hadn't felt any strong contractions yet. When I called Alyssa she was upbeat and reassuring that my body would go into labor on its own. She was right. That evening I felt it coming. Because I had had an epidural with my previous delivery, I felt unsure of how soon I would need Alyssa for the delivery. I checked with her several times and she was patient in helping me interpret the contractions and assured me I was doing fine, but promised she would come as soon as I wanted her there. It felt relaxing to be home, just my husband and I, as we waited. When we felt we wanted Alyssa and Sara to be there, my husband called her and they started on their way. They arrived around 1AM and quietly set up the tub for a water birth. The warm water helped so much in helping to keep me relaxed through the pain. Sara helped me through each contraction and reminded me to breath. Zachary DeAndre was born at 3:26AM. It was so incredible to hold him, and know it was over, and to marvel with my husband at his newborn perfectness. Alyssa and Sara explained everything they did, as they checked Zachary and I, and settled us in bed. My own bed. I loved waking, a little later, to the quietness of my own home with our new tiny one beside me. We have nothing but wonderful memories of the birth. Thank you, Alyssa and Sara!
My Abigail was lovingly delivered to me by Alyssa and Sara's warm hands. From the beginning when I was scared and needed support Alyssa was there for me, she held my hand in the bleakest of moments. I was so blessed to have such a caring and steadfast midwife. Our prenatal visits were occasions my entire family looked forward to keeping. Sara literally kept me afloat during our water birth at home, not to mention the aftercare of Abi and healing of my mastitis! Alyssa and Sara are the best midwives and I am so very happy that they were in our lives to help Dave and I (and Elle, big sister) bring Abigail into the world.
After having three babies in the hospital, my husband and I decided to have our fourth baby at home. Alyssa and Sara were wonderful during my pregnancy. They provided excellent care and also got to know my family, our wishes for our birth and how a new baby would fit in our lives. They encouraged my older children and my husband to participate in each appointment to their comfort level. For the first time in four pregnancies, my husband and I felt like people rather than patients! During my labor, they were extremely respectful of my private space, protecting the quiet peacefulness I really desired while making sure the baby and I were doing well. The postpartum care Alyssa and Sara provided went above and beyond anything I have experienced in my three other births. I was truly supported during those first weeks and that made the transition to being a new mom so much easier. I will always cherish the memories of my daughter's birth and I will always be grateful that Alyssa and Sara were a part of it.
My husband and I were fairly new to the north Missouri area when we decided we wanted to add another child to our family. We had choices of all female birthing staff where we were from originally and this choice was not available here. We began searching out options including a hospital far away and home birth. I started looking online for any midwives in the area and was connected to Alyssa.
At the point that we met with Alyssa, we were still considering a hospital birth. I was very interested in a home birth, but my husband was concerned for my safety and the safety of our child. Neither of us knew what to expect when we met Alyssa and Sara, but I was very impressed. Alyssa had much more experience than I realized and she was very professional. In addressing our concerns and questions, I realized that they were very prepared as they explained the equipment they bring and the knowledge they had to handle the possible problems that could arise. They explained things to me that I had asked during my previous pregnancies and had never been given a full answer. I felt our personalities matched very well and that I could trust these women with my life and the life of my baby.
On the way back home we discussed what we thought. My husband had been impressed by their knowledge and ability to handle many possible complications. But for safety reasons we would still need a hospital to go to if an emergency did arise. So, we also met with a doctor at a hospital farther away. She had started in the medical field to be a midwife and was very supportive and was the type of doctor I was looking for. She was perfectly fine if we decided to have her available for an emergency or to continue the prenatal visits with her and have her do the birth. She was also expecting, but a few weeks after our due date. Now I had two great choices and needed to pick one.
After much deliberation, we chose a hospital birth. We had a normal pregnancy with everything going well and then two weeks before I was due, my doctor went into early labor and had her baby. She was not going to be available for the birth. (She and her baby were fine) So, I contacted Alyssa again.
Having the birth at home was so unique. It was so relaxed. I wore what I wanted and not that annoying gown. I was able to move around all I wanted and not be hooked to a machine. Sara listened to the babies heart beat and my own every so often, but I was never restrained by a monitor. My hospital experiences had never been bad but, previous doctors had always told me I could walk around and not be connected to the monitor, but the nursing staff always said differently and pushed to have moms on the monitors. So many things were different from what the doctor would tell you and what the nursing staff allowed. You never knew what to expect even when asking a million questions. This was not so with Alyssa. I was able to do anything to be comfortable and work through the contractions. The whole experience was focused on what I wanted and my choices.
During the birth, Sara kept track of the babies heart beat and made us aware very close to the end that the baby needed to come. Alyssa told me the baby needed out in one more push. At this point the cord was wrapped loosely around the baby’s neck twice. Alyssa knew exactly how to manage the cord and the baby to keep it from tightening on the baby’s neck. The baby was perfect! I had never been handed any of my children IMMEDIATELY after the birth. Before they had been cleaned up or other things done first, but we helped Sara clean the air passages and rub the baby down and this child took her first breath in my arms. The first little cry was squeaked in my arms and at that point we had been so focused on the child’s breathing that I did not know if I was holding a boy or a girl. We turned the baby over and our little girl was as perfect and healthy as can be. And in case you are wondering, hospital births are messy, but not a planned out home birth.
So much that is done in a hospital after the birth is just a fog. The doctor and nurses are rushing around and you are not sure what they are doing. Alyssa and Sara took time to explain each and everything they did. They asked for permission to do so many things that are done during hospital births without being explained to the parents. They explained all the measuring on the baby and what they are looking for and what things to be concerned about would look like. I learned so much!
Perhaps one of the greatest things about a home birth is sleeping in your own bed without a nurse coming in to check the baby just as you and the baby are finally asleep. This birth was the first time I rested well after everything. There was something satisfying about the whole experience.
I am so glad we ended up doing a home birth. Alyssa and Sara were excellent and I would recommend them to anyone interested in a home birth. If we decide to have another child, I will be calling them.
Thank you both for such great care!
Green City, MO
I felt completely supported by my midwifery care. I was able to take time to discuss the questions that were important to me during my prenatal visits, I felt supported in my decisions, and listened to around my concerns. At every turn the midwives were patient and supportive, while all the time holding the "big picture" to ensure my health and the health of my baby. It was a real gift to be able to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy ten pound baby girl at home.
La Plata, MO
I cannot imagine having had anyone else other than Alyssa and my other midwife friend at my birth. I had a really long, hard labor and Alyssa was completely calm, present, patient and loving the entire time. I always felt safe and supported, with just the right amount of loving presence and guidance from Alyssa as well as space for myself and my husband. We also had some complications postpartum, and Alyssa was totally calm and competent the whole time. I had complete faith in her abilities to assess the situation and do what was needed, and I never for a second, throughout the entire process, doubted her. Alyssa truly embodies the art and science of midwifery!
My prenatal, labor and birth experience with Alyssa as my midwife were nothing short of wonderful. I looked forward to appointments because I knew she really cared about my family and me, and I appreciated her relaxed nature. Alyssa's focus on nutrition and health and making the experience a positive one for all involved was welcoming and comforting. I would recommend her to anyone and everyone!
I received superb care from Alyssa and Sara throughout my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter. Alyssa was profoundly respectful of me and of the birthing process. At such an intensely personal time it was a gift to be accompanied and assisted by someone as sensitive, skilled, and supportive as Alyssa.
I came to Alyssa and Sara after having my first baby with an OB at the hospital. Though my experience wasn't bad, I felt like I had a different perspective on childbirth than they. I was so happy to find Alyssa. She was like a breath of fresh air. I looked forward to my visits. I wasn't just another patient. I was a real person to her and we had a real relationship. Her attention to the details of my health and baby's safety left me entirely confident in her care. The knowledge and outlets of information she provided helped me go into my labor and delivery without fear. I had a beautiful birth! My experience couldn't have been more perfect.