It is amazing how differently I feel about this birth now that I know what I know. It was a beautiful experience that has brought me to the path I am now, but there are many things I've since learned about this experience that has taught me a lot about birth attendants and the necessity to biologically birth. You can read my 2nd birth story 3.5 years later, by clicking here... it truly is amazing how much you change after each birth - attending others, and experiencing your own. Nevertheless, this is the start of Esali Birth and an experience that completely changed my life.
My Birth Story
Isabella Jayde - 7lbs 13oz
Born at Home - May 26, 2008
"Only with trust, faith, and support
can the woman allow the birth experience
to enlighten and empower her."
I woke up Monday morning, May 26, 2008 at about 5:00 or 5:15am. I had to use the bathroom, but was still pretty tired, so I laid in bed for a little bit, and, couldn't go back to sleep. I finally got up to pee, and, noticed what looked like "show" in the toilet. I got a little excited, but, wasn't really sure what to expect. The previous week, I had been spotting (slowly losing my mucous plug) but, this was definitely the rest of it!!! I wanted to wake James up so bad to tell him, "this might be it," but, I didn't want him to lose sleep if it wasn't, or be tired if labor ended up lasting well throughout the night. So, I got on the computer and decided to work on some drafting projects to get a little extra time in for the week in case it was the real thing. My due date was only Saturday, May 24, so, I didn't anticipated going much past that and wanted to build of some money for maternity leave (sine the US FMLA is unpaid). While on the computer, I started feeling period-like cramps, sort of like the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been having, but, more like a lower cramp and without the shortness of breath type feeling. It was about 5:30am at this point. I went to the contraction timer website I had found the week before. My "contractions" seemed to be about 30 minutes apart, sometimes only 5 minutes, but, very irregular and so mild that I just couldn't tell if they were real.
James finally woke up somewhere around 8:00. I contemplated even telling him because I still wasn't sure, and, I didn't want to get him excited. Every time I went to the bathroom there was more "show," but, I still couldn't tell because the "contractions" still weren't getting stronger. The day before I had finally gotten the nerve to show off my pregnant belly at the pool & went swimming. It felt great!!! I had planned on going swimming again, but, that was out of the question at this point!
James seemed pretty excited when I told him, but, I think this was finally the point where he realized how much our lives were going to change. Everyone has been asking me "I bet you're ready to have that baby," or, "Are you getting excited?" No one seemed to understand why I wasn't trying to rush the pregnancy along – but, ever since I found out I was pregnant, I knew how much things were going to be different. James had been waiting for so long for this to happen, and, has always said, "it's like a Christmas present you can't open for 9 months." I never thought he quite understood how much work was going to go into it, and, I think reality started to sink in a little, but, he was still anxious.
Somewhere around 9:30am, our childbirth instructor, Susan Mooney, called with news that the other girl, Megan, in our class had her baby the Thursday before. She had started labor with her water breaking and the baby was in a posterior position, so, she had some pretty intense back labor and ended up taking an epidural at 7cm. The first girl, Anita, in our class to have her baby, had a footling breech and had a c-section quite a few weeks before, so, I was the last one to "go," and the only one to possibly have a natural childbirth.
Susan asked how I was doing, and, still not sure if it was real, I said, "well, actually, I had thought about calling you because this morning…" and explained the morning to her. She said, "Yea, that sounds like labor." I decided at that point to pack the rest of my labor bag in case I decided to go to my midwife, DeEtte's house to labor/birth (or in case a hospital trip was necessary). DeEtte has a fairly large house, so, we wouldn't have to worry about the neighbors or the small space in our apartment. However, I decided to go ahead and prepare the bed with the shower curtains in case we decided to stay. I was walking around the bed trying to get the curtains on, and, my left leg kept twisting. I could really tell that my joints were loosening up, and, preparing my body. It really hurt because I would barely twist my leg, and, it would feel like it was going to pop out of socket. I also e-mailed my supervisor, Robert, to give him an update on my hours worked for that week and to let him know that I thought I was in labor and if he didn't hear from me the next day, I had the baby, or, I was still in the process. I uploaded my projects to the server, and, finished up everything so I didn't have to worry about it when things got intense, or, end up forgetting about it completely.
It was getting closer to noon, and, my contractions were still pretty irregular and mild. I had some things I wanted to get from Wal-Mart before I had the baby, so, James and I decided to go shopping to take our minds off of the labor. James had consistently been making comments to me all day, and, I was pretty irritable. He would say things like, "gosh, did you start labor in transition?"
James was a little worried about my contractions, but, they were still pretty mild, so, we went. When we got home, I called my mom to tell her I thought I was in labor but wasn't sure, and, I would call her as soon as I got a chance. But, it might not be before I had the baby because I didn't know how things were going to go.
Susan called back to check on things, and, my contractions were starting to get into a pattern, but, still pretty mild. She asked if the baby was posterior (since things were moving along so slowly), and suggested leaning and/or sitting on the birth ball (exercise ball) for a while to help the baby get in a better position and progress the labor. I did that for a while, and, I'm not really sure if it helped or not. But, a while later, I did start having to concentrate on breathing through the contractions, though, there really wasn't any pain. James worked out a little while I was on the birth ball, and, I kind of joked with him, "you better not do that, you're not going to be able to help me during labor because your arms will be so tired." We decided to walk down to get the mail and get some fresh air, plus, walking also helps to get the baby into position and gravity helps bring the baby down.
When we got back, it was close to 4:30pm and my contractions were getting pretty strong and seemed to go from irregular, straight to about 4-6 minutes apart. I felt kind of scared at this point and asked James to call DeEtte and let her know I was in labor and we were going to her house. I said I didn't want to go unless we could leave now because the contractions were getting pretty strong and I wasn't sure I could deal with the 1-1/2 hour trip if we waited. DeEtte ha asked me not to call if I was in labor until my contractions were 5 minutes apart for 1 hour. She said yes we should come now before it gets to uncomfortable to make the trip.
James started rushing around to finish packing the labor bags and put all the birth kit stuff in the car. I was trying to help, but, kept having contractions and crying, more from being scared I think. This was really the first time I realized it was the real thing. The scary thing for me was not necessarily that I was in labor, but, the anticipation of how much worse it was going to get. I was leaning on the edge of the bed during my contractions, breathing, trying to relax, and bawling my eyes out. I remember being frustrated because James didn't even take a second to say, "are you ok?" he just kept rushing around me putting things in the car. We did need to hurry, but, I just wanted him to pay attention to me a little when I was in pain and scared. We finally got everything together and headed off to DeEtte's house.
My contractions calmed down quite a bit during the car ride which was probably a combination of lowered circulation from sitting, less gravity working with the baby, and psychologically stopping labor. Looking back, my early labor probably wouldn't have lasted as long as it did, had I known I was actually in labor and could have relaxed more. Going through the mountains was a little rough with the contractions; however, because my body was trying to resist inertia and tightening from the contractions as well. When we finally got to Elizabethton (right outside of Johnson City, TN) we got lost trying to find DeEtte's road. Our directions were a little screwed up (stupid Mapquest) and made us take a wrong turn. That was even more frustrating because I just wanted to get into DeEtte's and get things going.
DeEtte's house is absolutely beautiful. It is huge! It has an apartment below that her parents live in, and, she has a house keeper! I looked at James when we pulled up and said, "So, this is what I'm paying for!!!" DeEtte came out to help us bring things in and I was just breathing through the contractions. I said, "Hi! Happy Memorial Day!" with a sort of sarcastic tone. She said, "yes, and, this is one you're always going to remember!"
She brought us inside and showed us to our room, which was just a guest room with a small bathroom over top of the garage. She asked if I wanted to "empty my bladder" and said she would check to see how much I was dilated afterwards. She got out our birth kit and laid a chux pad down. She wanted to wait until I had another contraction to check me so she could see if the baby's head was moving down.
I told DeEtte "they almost feel like they're on top of each other," but not really sure if they were since I didn't really think that happened until transition. She said, "yes, that's called double peaking," and then I felt another contraction. She asked me to hop up on the bed. Oh! That exam hurt! She said she could feel the head and it was at 0 stage. She said I was at 4cm. I was surprised that the head was already at 0 stage, and, I was a little discouraged that I was only 4cm since I felt like the contractions were already double peaking, and, I was almost 3cm at my prenatal visit almost 2 weeks prior. I said. "only 4? Wow, it took almost 15 hours to dilate 1 cm!" DeEtte said, "yes, the longest part is over. It takes the longest to get from 1-4cm." She asked me to sit on the birthing stool during my contractions to help bring the baby down and further my dilation. Then, she went to call her assistant, Donna, to let her know to get ready. She said "It's not time for her to come yet, but, I just want to let her know you're here."
I looked at James and looked at the carpet, and got a little paranoid because it was the prettiest white carpet I think I had ever seen! I said, "I can't believe she has white carpet." I was so afraid I was going to get blood or amniotic fluid everywhere! Then, there was another contraction – at least 2 minutes apart at this point. I sat down on the birth stool (chux pad on top of course!) and leaned over on to the bed. Oh, that made the contraction much more intense! I could definitely feel the baby dropping more! Its amazing though, I remember it hurting, but, I cannot describe what the pain was like now. That sensation is almost completely gone from my memory! I know I could feel the head pushing down, a sort of bulging sensation, but, otherwise, I don't remember what the pain of the contraction was like. I know I kept thinking, "I always get a break. God gives us a break between contractions even when they're double peaking."
I couldn't really handle sitting on the birth stool anymore. Walking around helped a lot! I was scared more than anything thinking, "I must be a baby because I'm sure I have a lot longer to go and this is pretty intense." I would cry when I thought about that and I just went up to James and leaned on him. He gave me a hug and that made me feel a lot better! I was really concentrating on breathing now! The Bradley classes really came in handy at this point because I knew I had to relax. Slow, calm, and deep breathing! That helped so much because I probably would have been really panicky if I hadn't have known how much relaxation helped. I had to tell myself, "Just relax." James took a picture of me and I thought, "good, he's documenting this. He's doing so well at remembering what I asked him to do."
DeEtte was reminding me to "empty my bladder," and take sips of Recharge (a natural sports/electrolyte drink). It was rough "emptying my bladder." Her water closet was sort of tucked back in a little cubby, so, I would lean my head against the wall during my contractions and lift my "bottom" up a bit because the pressure was just like the birth stool.
I was definitely making some noises now and it's instinctual to want to make high pitched noises. DeEtte was rushing around, but, she would start to rub my shoulders and tell me "relax your shoulders, relax your body, breath deep…" She was really too sweet, but, I really didn't want her to touch me. James would try to help me relax, and, try to rub my back or my shoulders. I would push him away. I felt bad to push DeEtte away, but, not James. I wasn't mad at the time, it was just easier to push him away then to ask him to stop. I could tell he really didn't know how to help. The Bradley classes teach visualization and to massage and talk about relaxing every muscle in your body. That stuff doesn't really help me. I had told James during class that I didn't like that stuff. I had anticipated that that was how I was going to be – but, you never really know.
DeEtte asked if I wanted to try her whirlpool tub to help me relax a little and take the pain away. I said, "uh, um, yea, I guess." It was hard to even concentrate on answering questions at this point. It was pretty painful, and, I could just feel the baby's head pushing down. DeEtte was running the bath water, and, she asked me to "empty my bladder," This time was really hard for me to use the bathroom. I started making higher pitched noises, and, DeEtte would have to remind me, "deep noises Danielle." That really helped. You just want to make high pitched "oh it hurts" noises, so, DeEtte really helped to calm me down. I would still have to tell myself to breath slow and deep and just relax. I think I was probably crying at this point, and, when I finally got out of the bathroom, DeEtte said, "I think we should probably check you again before you get into the tub." So, we went back to our room, and, she checked me again. Wow, that really hurt! I remember kind of crying out, "Ouch, that hurts so bad." To have an exam during a contraction is not a pleasant experience. And, DeEtte said, "you're at 10cm, you're in transition, it won't be much longer now until you feel the urge to push." It had only been 1 hour since we had gotten to her house, so, I had gone from 4cm to 10cm in an hour! DeEtte was right, 1-4 was definitely the longest time! She asked if I wanted to get into the tub, and, I said, "uh, um, no, I don't think so." I felt bad for her running the water in her gigantic tub, but, I just didn't think I could even walk back to the other room. DeEtte said, "I better call my assistant to let her know she better come. You're progressing a lot faster than what I thought you were."
Not too much longer after that, I was up on all fours on the bed. DeEtte was talking about feeling the urge to push. I wasn't really sure if I felt the urge. I had the bulging sensation that is supposedly typical of pushing, but, I had pretty much felt that since I sat on the birth stool. I almost wonder if I was at the "pushing" stage a long sooner than we thought. When she was talking about it, I just kind of starting pushing – and, it seemed to feel a lot better. Not that the pain was gone, but, once I got the strength to push during a contraction, the pain would lighten up a little bit. I didn't feel like I needed to make the weird noises at this point. James and DeEtte were trying to rub my shoulders to help make me feel better – it was kind, but, I still didn't want people to touch me. James got a cold wash cloth and would put it on my face and neck – that felt so good! I was pretty hot, and, the cold cloth made me feel a lot better. But, as soon as my contraction would come, I would push him away. I just did not want anyone touching me when I was having a contraction. I had started to push again, and, then my water finally broke. I felt it go all over me and the bed. No one even noticed. DeEtte asked if I wanted to sit back for a little bit and try a different position. I had to tell her my water broke when I was pushing. Then, her assistant got there, and, I was kind of in the middle of pushing when DeEtte said, "this is my assistant, Donna." I really didn't care – I actually didn't even hear her name at that point, I had to ask it the next day.
DeEtte wanted James to hold one of my legs back, and, the assistant would hold the other back while I pushed. That was not comfortable. This was definitely the most uncomfortable pushing position!!! Strange, but, this is the position that basically everyone is in when they have a baby. I just think, wow, poor people in the hospital! I could not have stood to push like that the whole time! It was definitely more painful! I would have to hold me legs back, try to get the energy and a breath to push, and, James and Donna would both hold my legs at the same time to give me a little resistance to push against. James would let go of my leg after every contraction, and, Donna would just hold it and rub it. I wanted to tell her to quit touching me and get away from me, but, I felt bad so I couldn't say it. She was really a nice lady, but, she was really annoying to me in labor! She just wouldn't leave me alone.
I was getting pretty tired at this point. I think this position wore me out. It was so hard to get a breath to push. I would take a big breath, and, push really hard, and, DeEtte would say "take a breath for the baby," and then I would push again. Donna would try to coach me on pushing, and, she would ask me to push 4-5 times with each contraction and it was just so hard. After the first push, I would take a breath, and, I just did not have the energy to push any more. It seemed like the rest of the pushes were just wearing me out and not getting the baby down. They kept making James give me sips of Recharge to keep me hydrated, but, I did not want to drink anything. I would ask for water, and, they would give that to me sometimes, but, they really wanted me to drink the Recharge to keep my electrolytes up. I would take the smallest sip possible because I almost couldn't even concentrate on drinking at that point.
DeEtte asked if I wanted to try a different position. They wanted James to help hold me up while I squatted. I was trying to move into the new position, and, Donna wouldn't let go of my leg. She kind of twisted it, and, I kind of screamed, "ouch, my leg!" She finally let go. I really don't know what her problem was, but, I was happy to have her not touching me any more! I was a little amazed at the fact that I could handle the contractions, but, when DeEtte would examine me and when Donna twisted my leg, it actually was a pain that I yelled a little about… The squatting position was much easier. I was glad to get off my but because that was really hard and really uncomfortable. I could push a lot easier this way, and, I could keep my breath a lot better. I bet James wished he hadn't have worked out earlier, because I was pushing really hard and afterwards, he said it was really hard to hold me up. He didn't really realize how hard I was pushing, and, didn't really expect me to have that much strength. I would just sort of lean on him in between contractions. It was nice to have him help me – especially just him helping me, and not the assistant! It was a crazy feeling to push. It was painful to feel the head pushing against my "bottom," but, I could feel her legs pushing on the top of my uterus when I was pushing. We were told in class that babies will do this in an un-medicated birth, but, I didn't really know if I would experience. It is really indescribable to sort of connect with your baby like that. I pushed like that for just a little bit, then, I got back in to the semi-reclined position to rest a little bit. I was just out of energy at this point. It had almost been two hours of pushing, and, I just really didn't know how much longer I could push. I saw James sort of pacing back and forth beside the bed. I remember thinking, "I'm ok, don't worry about me." But, when you're in labor (at least in a natural birth), you sort of go into this other world; you're aware of everything around you, but, you can't really interact with it. It is truly hard to concentrate on anything but having the baby.
I got back into the "all fours" position, and, that was much easier to push. It may not have helped the baby move down as much, but, I could really use my arms to push as well, and, that saved me a little bit of energy. I could really feel her crowning now. It stung so bad, and I just said "it really hurts, it really burns." DeEtte said, "do you remember learning about the ring of fire?" I told her yes, and, I was thinking "this is when she is supposed to be crowning," but, I didn't know why they weren't telling me that she was crowning, so, it made it feel like it was going to last so much longer. I looked beside me, and, I saw DeEtte lay something that looked like a hair dryer on the bed. I remember thinking "that must be a vacuum extractor." I didn't really get worried though, I just thought she was making sure she had it ready in case something happened. It was so hard to push at this point because every time I pushed it felt like I was ripping in half. I finally just said, "Can you just pull her out?" DeEtte said, "yes." I remember actually being surprised that she said yes because I always thought that if you got to the point where you asked something like that, they would still try to motivate you to push more. But, nothing really registered at that point either, I was still in another world.
I finally just made a self-realization that I had to hurt myself. I had to just push with everything I had, make it burn, and just push the baby out. So, I pushed only a few more times, and, the head was really coming out now. I reached down to feel it, and, it was the weirdest feeling in the world. You feel this soft fuzzy little head that is all scrunched up. You feel wrinkles and lumps from where the skull is overlapping each other to move the baby through the canal. I don't think I could ever forget that feeling. They moved me back to a semi-reclined position, and, DeEtte said, "the baby is really crowning now." They had a mirror in front of me and asked if I wanted to look, and, I said no. I honestly didn't care at that point, I was just really focused on pushing the baby out naturally. I pushed a few more times, and, DeEtte wiggled the little baby around trying to maneuver the shoulders to get them out. That hurt really bad. I didn't expect the shoulders to hurt as bad as the head, but, it did. They finally got out, and, the rest of the body just sort of slithered out. What a crazy feeling! Its like someone is pulling your insides out, and, you just feel this big weight lift out of you, but, it doesn't hurt. Its just like a slimy lump that slithers its way out. I said, "Is it really a girl?" It was really a girl, and, they handed her to me. I was so happy that she was really a girl because I wasn't really sure if the ultrasounds were right. I just looked at her and said, "Hi Baby." She was all bluish, but, a really pretty baby. Her head really started to go back to its round shape fast, and, I really thought she was a very pretty newborn – though, that could be because she is my little baby! Lol
I looked over at James, and, he was crying, it was really too sweet. I asked him if he wanted to hold her, and, DeEtte & Donna said, "NO! She's still attached." I said, "oh yea, I forgot." I was still a little out of it from the labor, and, totally forgot about the placenta. DeEtte said, "the cord is still pulsating, so, we don't want to cut it yet." After a few minutes, Donna tried to help me get her latched to breastfeed so that we could contract the uterus and help expel the placenta. I was still having some mild contractions, though, these didn't really hurt. They were more like period cramps, like the contractions I was having all morning. I think I've realized that it's not really the contractions that hurt; it's the baby's head pushing down during the contractions that hurt so bad. I felt a bigger contraction, and let DeEtte know. She asked me to push, and, she pulled on the placenta just a little as it was coming out. That felt just like the body did when it was born. A weird slimy feeling!
DeEtte checked over the placenta to make sure everything looked ok, and, everything was attached as it should be. James and I both had similar disgusted reactions at the placenta. I still can't believe some people keep those, or make art out of them!!! They counted the arteries/veins, and, they were all there. James asked them how it looked, and, they said, "really good." He said, "would you really tell us if it didn't look good because I know some Dr.'s just say that." DeEtte said, "no, we would really tell you. We always tell people if we don't think it is healthy." So, we were happy to hear that. The cord finally stopped pulsating, so, DeEtte started to cut it from the placenta. I asked, "Can James cut it?" DeEtte said that he could, but, she had planned to cut it from the placenta, then, James could cut it close to the belly button if that was ok. I didn't realize she was going to do that, and, was just worried that James wasn't going to be able to if he wanted. But, he did get to cut it. He kept asking if it was going to hurt her, and, DeEtte kept saying, "No, it's just really tough. You have to cut pretty hard." James' face was hilarious – a little bit of disgust, and, a little bit of worry. Too funny! He kind of had to saw at it to cut it away.
Apparently I had a pretty big tear, and, DeEtte and Donna were contemplating how to repair it. It was on the inside, rather than the outside (a more usual place), so, they just wanted to make sure they used the best method. After all of that, everything was stinging pretty bad, and, I felt like I had a lot of pressure. I asked about taking Ibuprophen, and, asked if it would hurt the baby. I hear a lot of mixed reviews about medications and breast milk. DeEtte and Donna said that it wouldn't reach the baby, and, that it would be a better option to take it if I wanted so that I could concentrate on breastfeeding and getting that established, rather than being in pain. I asked James if he thought I should take it – I was really worried. James thought I should. DeEtte got me three Ibuprophen, but, I opted to only take 2. I said, "oh, I don't need that many. I really never take medication, so, 3 might be too much." So, I only took two of them. I wish I hadn't have. I wish I would have just dealt with that pain since I had already went through so much before.
DeEtte was getting ready to stitch me up, and, she was going to use Novocain. I asked if that would hurt the baby. She said it wouldn't since it was just a local, but, I still wonder if it would affect the breast milk. She used it, and, began to stitch away. The Ibuprophen hadn't started working yet, so, that didn't feel all that great. I was still breastfeeding little Isabella, so, I was still having contractions. Plus, I had to breath through the stitches because they were pulling me apart to get to the tear, and, that did not feel good after 2 hours of pushing! I asked if they thought the tear would heal up ok, and, they acted pretty confident that it would. They said that normally they would have had me blow through the contractions to slow her birth down a little, but, her heart rate kept dropping, and, they wanted to get her out as fast as possible. They assumed that it was her shoulder that cut me. So, apparently that is why DeEtte was so apt to say yes when I asked her if she could just pull her out. James, later, said that he was getting really worried because DeEtte and Donna just kept looking at each other, not saying anything, but like there was something wrong. We were always told in class, don't worry unless they birth attendants are rushing around sort of frantic – and they were.
Luckily, I got that last bit of motivation, and just pushed with all I had to bring her down and make her stop moving three steps forward, and two steps back; "the baby dance." I'm sure that if I would have chosen a hospital birth, like I was originally planning, I would have had an 'intervention' a lot sooner, and, more than likely a c-section. I'm really pleased with my birth experience. I am so glad to have had DeEtte as a care provider, she was really the best thing I could have asked for, and, I'm so glad I switched to her from my OB/GYN! If I would have had to sit in a hospital bed, rather than walk around the entire time – that would have been horrible. Or, if I would have had to use the semi-reclined position to push the entire time, it probably never would have happened. DeEtte keeps telling me how much gravity helped when I got up to push, rather than leaning back. It even felt better to me, and, I wish I would have done that sooner and longer.
I know that one thing; you really have to learn how to push. You have to learn where to push, and, for how long. Childbirth classes really don't help in that aspect, because you really have to be in the moment experiencing it and doing the act to know how it works. That really makes a difference when getting the baby out. Once I sort of learned where to push, it went by a lot faster, and, the baby really started moving. You just have to tell yourself "its going to hurt, but, I can do it. God always gives you a break."
Afterwards, James said that our childbirth classes did nothing for him. The relaxation/visualization techniques didn't help. I didn't want him to touch me at all, and, I'm really not the type of person who can do meditation or visualization exercises. However, we had talked about that when we were going through the classes. I did expect to need him to massage me more in early labor, but, my early labor ended up being nothing I needed to relax to, so, that really didn't help either. The birth experience was a lot different than I had ever imagined. I thought it would be a lot more of James helping me relax, and, burning candles, and listening to music – and, it was none of that. I just had to be strong, and, tell myself to relax, and really concentrate on what was happening to my body. The things that really helped me from class were learning the labor/birth process. Knowing what transition was, and, knowing about things like the 'ring of fire' really helped to give me the motivation that I needed to do what I had to do. If I hadn't have known about those different things, I probably wouldn't have been able to get that last bit of help to avoid a vacuum extraction.
Childbirth is the most amazing experience I have ever been through in my entire life. It is so indescribable, and so surreal. It is a wonderful journey, and, I really wish that everyone would or could experience it. It's life changing, and truly empowering. I never once thought I wanted medication. I never once thought I couldn't handle it. I did get so tired that I didn't know if I would have the energy to push anymore, but, that little bit of doubt was what I needed to realize that I just couldn't give up. If I had to do it all over again, I hope that I could have DeEtte as a care provider. I would go right back to her house, and cherish the wonderful comforting home birth experience again. I would deal with every ounce of pain and discomfort because it is just an amazing feeling to know that you were able to birth your baby! Childbirth is really the most amazing experience in the world - there is nothing that could ever compare.