Birth Story from Stephanie Precourt

May 12, 2010

My baby girl, all grown up.

It’s funny, how the hardships of life can lead to some of the best decisions, to events that will forever change us.

My first son had a life-threatening disease and (very thankfully is healed today) through his diagnosis and treatment we were plopped right into the path of natural remedies and treatments. When it came time for our fourth baby to be born, our first girl, I desired so deep down in my heart to my bones, for a peaceful birth at home. It made complete and absolute sense for our family. I knew exactly who I wanted for my lay midwife, the kind of midwife like Ina May Gaskin, with hippie ways and lots of experience as a “baby catcher.” My pregnancy was perfection. I felt amazing, and blessed with every expansion of my belly.

Flooding came upon our town in the days leading up to my due date. Waters filled the streets, closed the roads, and on Sunday September 14, my water broke while I sat at my computer tweeting and blogging. We called my Mom, we called our midwife, and prepared for a party. Earlier that day I had cut up fruit and veggies and baked bread and a cheesecake. I spread it all out on the kitchen counter and we celebrated. I wasn’t feeling any contractions just yet, so we watched Baby Mama (and out of the corner of my eye I’d catch my midwife watching me, my face, my comfort level.)

As soon as the movie was ending, around 10 pm, I was ready to go to my bedroom. I paced beside my bed and rocked from side to side as my three boys slept in the next room. I breathed, I prayed, (I crunched on celery between contractions), and I allowed my body to do what it was supposed to do.

Around 2 am I began to feel the pain over-whelming me. I remember so clearly asking God to please let me have her by 3. I just wasn’t sure I could make it past then. At 2:30 am I felt like it was time to push. I called downstairs to my midwife and shakily called, “I think I need to puuuuuusssh!”

She came upstairs, my room still dark. We lit candles and she held a flashlight. My Mom was there, and my husband. I went to the end of my bed and wanted to be on all fours. It seemed like time stood still but another urge to push came upon me and it was indeed time. My Mom held my shoulders as I beared down and out my daughter came, at 2:41 am. She was behind me as they cleaned her up and I remember whispering, “well… is it a girl?” and yes, they laughed. It was a girl.

My midwife passed her through my legs and I took her, felt her soft, meaty body (8 lbs 12 oz) and the rest was magical, dreamy, and just like I’d imagined it would be.

It was like Christmas morning, like a dream come true.

From Stephanie of Adventures in Babywearing. You can read a longer version of this birth story here.

PS — Kate Lao Shaffner writes lovely letters to her baby here.

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Note from Design Mom: throughout my pregnancy, I’ve been posting advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family on Wednesdays. I just had my baby and am taking a blogging break for a week or so. I’ve received so many wonderful stories and thought it would be great to post as many as I can during this little “maternity leave.” You can find all the stories in this series by clicking here.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 claire May 12, 2010 at 9:11 am

Amazing! I am in awe of mothers who give birth at home. I’ve given birth in a hospital and while it wasn’t horrible I can’t help but wonder how the experience might have been in the comfort of familar surroundings. Maybe for the next baby….

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2 Esther Crawford May 12, 2010 at 11:07 am

Oh Steph – I just love lil Ivy’s birth story! As you know it’s part of what inspired me to try for a home birth with baby Jude… and although it didn’t go as planned I’m so glad we tried. *big hugs + love to you*

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3 QuatroMama May 12, 2010 at 11:15 am

I love reading these precious magical stories. Knowing that I can’t/couldn’t have my own…it brings me joy to hear the beautiful journey of friends.

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4 Megan@SortaCrunchy May 12, 2010 at 11:19 am

Oh, I remember this story so well! I also remember when you revealed to us – both tentatively and confidently – that you had made the decision to pursue a home birth. Your story is so inspiring and full of calm reassurance.

I’m so thankful you were able to share it here today.

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5 Adventures In Babywearing May 12, 2010 at 11:22 am

Thank you so much for allowing me to share in your space, Gabrielle! And thank you everyone for your wonderful comments. It’s still like I dreamed it!

Steph

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6 Rhonda May 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm

I relived Ivy’s birth story and got teary eyed. I am so glad I was able to be there and share in this special event. Every time I read your birth story it makes me more proud of you as your mother and to have a special part in this.

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7 Brenna May 13, 2010 at 12:11 am

What a lovely story Steph! It really seems like a perfect dream…

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