When my husband and I found out that we were expecting three months after our wedding, we were in shock! That was something we had not planned for and had been trying to prevent. Since we were new to everything- marriage, pregnancy, children- we simply went with what we knew, and that was the obstetrician. We decided to learn more about pregnancy and childbirth, so we took a childbirth education class for twelve weeks, and after that, we knew that we wanted to have a normal, unmedicated birth experience. We took our birth plan to our doctors and they basically told us that our goals and expectations were unreasonable. After some discussion, a hard look at the available options, and a referral from a good friend, we decided to interview Linda Weaver. I only had a few weeks before my estimated due date, so we acted quickly and Linda agreed to accept us into hers and Amy’s practice. Four weeks later, we called to let them know that I was in labor.
They arrived at our home shortly thereafter and I embarked on the hardest, most exciting, empowering experience of my life. With my husband by my side, and our midwives at his, I worked harder and longer than I ever had before. Linda and Amy just knew what to do when we were at a loss for ideas- they had comfort techniques, massage ideas, soothing words, and essential oils to ease my discomfort. After I pushed out my beautiful 7lb 2oz baby girl, they were there almost imperceptibly, in the background allowing us to savor this accomplishment and enjoy the first moments of our daughter’s life. After she was established as an excellent nurser, they asked my permission to take her to the foot of the bed to do her newborn exam. I couldn’t believe they asked permission! They weighed and measured her efficiently so that I could have her back in my arms. As I looked around, Linda and Amy were cleaning up, doing the laundry, and answering my many questions. They stayed at our home for several hours just to make sure we were okay. About ten months later, I called Linda to let her know that we were expecting again! After the congratulations were out of the way, the reality set in. I was going to do this a second time!!! I had my first prenatal appointment around 10 weeks gestation. My appointment was at 10:00am and I was seen at 10:00am! My time with Linda lasted for an entire hour. We spent half of that time discussing my shock at being pregnant again, my concerns about being a mom to two children, and how sick I had been for several weeks. Then we listened for the baby’s heartbeat, checked for glucose and protein, and measured my blood pressure. We followed the same format for the next six months- during each visit time was taken to assess how I was doing emotionally as well as physically. The experience was so different from the OB’s office, where I waited for two hours each month to be seen by a hurried doctor for five minutes. I felt like I was cared for, loved, supported, and nurtured for the entirety of my pregnancy by my midwives. They gave me exactly what I needed to make it through many long weeks of morning sickness, backpain, and emotional issues. When they said that they were only a phone call away, I tested it, and they were! At 39 weeks and 4 days, I called Linda and Amy to let them know that I was in labor. They arrived at my home at 11:40pm and my second daughter arrived at 12:22am- and my husband caught her! Because that was important to him, Linda and Amy made that a priority… as my daughter was crowning, Linda scooted over and told Todd to come closer. He said, “I’m scared,” and she said, “we’ll do this together.” So, with her hands guiding his, Todd was the first to touch our baby, and he brought her to my breast. It was precious. I have to say that even though it is incredibly hard work, there is nothing like having the freedom to do as you choose during the most rewarding experience of your life. There is a choice now to have a birth experience that is free from tubes, needles, and machines, belts, scalpels, and gurneys; where you are free to labor how you choose, in whatever place or position you choose; where your choices and your time are respected, your needs are met, and your expectations are exceeded. My choice was Labors of Love!