If someone would have asked me 10 years ago about having children at home I would have laughed at them. I was too busy downing diet cokes and eating Twizzlers to make plans as serious as that.
Fast forward to November 2, 2009 at 1am and there I was in the back seat of our car speeding down 294 to get to the birthing center to deliver our first born, Callum. That road is ridiculously bumpy, so I vowed never again.
The logical choice was not to have to leave the house at all in active labor with my second child, which began on the afternoon of April 14.
I didn't sleep well the night before and thought to myself, "I really hope labor doesn't start today, I'm functioning on about 3 hours of sleep here..... " There had been a few contractions over the past few weeks but nothing that felt serious. My mom came over to watch Callum so I could nap, my friend Sarah had stopped by earlier to do some acupuncture to help keep me sane so I planned on having a little lunch and taking a nap. I popped a cheese pizza in the oven (why?) and realized I was having some erratic contractions. I was sitting at the kitchen table talking calmly to my brother when I really felt things start to pick up and by the time the pizza was ready I knew there was no way I was eating it.
Wow, time to call in the troops. I phoned Tricia Fitzgerald first and then my midwives who said they were on their way. Tim arrived home and started to set up the pool.
The contractions were really strong and steady, but manageable and the moment I stepped into the pool, I felt relief. One by one these awesome women arrived--first Tricia, then my midwives, Christina and Stephanie, Karen their nurse, Dr. Sarah with her acupuncture needles, and Maggie, the photographer. Everything seemed to be progressing but I definitely did not want to get stuck in my head wondering how much longer this baby wanted to hang out...so I was happy to hear I was dialated 6-7 centimeters when Christina checked me. She suggested I get out of the tub and stand a while to help move things along. I did but it wasn't pleasant--Sarah stuck some more needles in my legs and feet.
Reflecting back on the evening, our experience with homebirth was ideal. I know there is a time and a place for hospital birth, but for us this was a life changing experience, the love and support we felt from our "team" was immeasureable. We laughed, and cried all in the comforts of our own home.
Dr. Stacy A. Phelps
5155 W. 111th Street
Alsip, Illinois 60803