The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
Here is my homebirth story:
My second daughter was born at home with a certified nurse midwife. She was born in a birthing tub that I rented from my midwife. I labored for 27 hours, with only the last three being hard. In early labor, I slept when I could, ate when I was hungry, drank when I was thirsty. I had a friend over for lunch, and we spent the afternoon talking. I would stop talking and look away during a contraction. After a light supper, my labor became more difficult to manage with my 2 1/2 year old also needing me. We had pre-arranged for her to go to a friend's house for the birth so that I could focus all of my energy on bringing a new baby into the world. Labor really picked up after Chelsea left. My midwife came after my water broke.
The only internal exam I received during my ENTIRE pregnancy occurred after the midwife arrived at my home at 10:30 PM. I was 8 cm dilated. I decided to get in the water at 10:50 PM. It felt WONDERFUL! My weight was supported by the warm water, and relaxation was very, very easy. I had my first contraction in the water. As I felt it coming, I got into the kneeling position while holding onto the side of the tub. This is what felt most comfortable for me. When it was over, I sat back down and waited for the next contraction.
When the next one started, I got back into the kneeling position. Halfway through, it changed to a pushing contraction, and suddenly my body was pushing my baby out! The intensity was incredible. It hurt to push, but I couldn't not push. I was a little scared by the speed at which everything was happening.
As the baby was crowning, I remembered to reach down and touch its head. Suddenly, I started thinking that my baby was almost here, and that soon I'd be able to hold it and to nurse it. Those thoughts centered me and made the fear go away. I was able to relax as my body pushed the baby down and out, so that everything could stretch gently.
With a little effort, I pushed out the head. I was about to push more, but my midwife said "wait, do it slowly - the hand is up by the head." After a little more effort, the midwife caught the baby and pushed her between my legs and into my arms and said "here's your baby."
When I lifted the baby out of the water, it urinated an arching stream as I looked between the legs, so I wasn't sure what it was. Then I rubbed its back to encourage it to breath. Water babies are very peaceful and often don't cry. Then I looked again and saw that it was a girl. I looked up at my husband and said "[Baby's name]!" And he took my picture, which now sits on my dresser. She only cried when the midwife touched her to examine her.
After the cord was cut, I got out of the water and sat on a birthing stool and watched the midwife examine my baby. My placenta came 10 minutes after my baby. We then got in bed and I nursed her while the midwife cleaned up.
I had a small tear because her hand was up by her head, and the midwife stitched me up while I lay on my own bed. Chelsea came back from her friend's house to meet her new sister.
After the excitement wore off, we all went to sleep in the comfort of our own family bed.
This is an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
My first baby's birth left me with a gaping hole inside me, which is
what led me to become a natural childbirth educator. My second baby's birth
filled that hole, and made me complete again.
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