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  • Writer's picture Rebecca Burkett, LM, CPM

The Birth of Mara Garrison:

Written by {Becca} and shared with permission, on 3/21/21

"Our second baby was due to arrive on Thanksgiving Day 2020 but I knew I wouldn’t reach the full forty weeks. My first baby was born prematurely so I was nervous about having another premature baby. My midwife, Rebecca, was so supportive in putting my worries to rest. We told ourselves that this baby wasn’t going to come that early!

Election day was when I hit my bare minimum to be able to have a home birth and I was feeling great! Shortly after, thirty seven weeks came, and then thirty eight weeks. I would joke with my husband about how I was beginning to feel overdue since my first pregnancy did not last nearly this long. My toning contractions had been irregular so far and I was filled with excitement for when I would meet this baby.

One afternoon my toning contractions didn't feel like labor contractions and were all over the place but I began to time them. With my first labor, my water ended up breaking prematurely so I never labored at home to know what that was like. We called the midwife and she put all of our worries to rest, they were just toning contractions. She advised me to drink some water and relax.

A few days pass by and I'm still having infrequent toning contractions and not sleeping well so I knew my body was preparing itself for labor. We had recently bought a house that was also a major fixer upper so I was working hard to get the house ready for the baby. When I woke up at six in the morning on November 17th, I didn’t really think much of it so I grabbed a snack and laid back down to rest. By 6:30 I'm timing contractions because they were getting more painful. My husband, Jake, starts to rub my back and chat with me.We then realize I've had a handful of really painful contractions lasting multiple minutes within an hour. We call the midwife and she says she's packing up and heading over! Jake packs up our daughter Mazy with our dog Boomer to take them both to his parents house. Jake asks where the keys are, I yell back “I don't know, just hurry up!” I wasn't laughing then but that conversation makes me laugh now.

Jake comes back home and starts to blow up the birth pool. The midwife checks up on me as she had just arrived too. I don't know how she knew this, but she gave me exactly what I needed at that moment which was a little encouragement and a nice back rub as I'm in that vulnerable state that labor can leave you in. I eventually move from the bathroom to the bedroom and it all just hurts so bad, but I keep thinking to myself "I'm so glad I'm home". At this time, the COVID-19 cases are rising again. This was exactly why I had planned a home birth and although I was in so much pain and having things happen to my body that I wish weren't, I just was so happy to be in the comfort of my own home.

The midwife starts to set her things up and I realize things are moving quickly again. My first labor lasted about three and a half hours so I knew things would move quickly this time too. Jake is getting ready to fill the birth pool with water and is told to hold off as I'm now ready to start pushing. It's only 8:30 in the morning. I'm on my knees and I'm shocked at how my body knows when to push because last time I was directed when to push. The midwife checked the baby's heartbeat and it was low so we needed to change positions. I'm now leaned back and I've got to keep pushing to get the baby out. Only a few pushes later and my baby girl is on my chest at 9:01 AM. We deliver the placenta and I start to bleed. The midwife gives me a round of medicine by a shot in my thigh, which doesn't stop the bleeding. Then she says, "Alright Becca, I'm gonna give you this medicine to put under your tongue and let it dissolve." I think "ok, whatever you say, I've got my baby now" and I'm falling in love with her as I'm not even fully aware of the amount of blood I've just lost. All I can do is look at my baby girl and smile for pictures with Jake and the newest member of our family, Mara. I lost a lot of blood in that moment, my skin was pale and my lips were blue but my wonderful midwife did everything she could to keep me safe at home. And it worked.

My family had a lot of resistance when I told them I was planning a home birth this time around. They were not shy with their disapproval of this choice which was very upsetting to me. Rebecca was able to meet with my mom for one of our prenatal visits to answer her questions and put her worries away. Rebecca was also there to help support me in my decision to have a home birth and provide me with education on the safety of having a home birth. Here I am today, still safe, still happy, and still healthy with my newest baby girl who is now four months old and laughing at her big sister as I write this.

Sometimes things don’t always go as we plan in our lives. I was planning a water birth in my home and instead delivered my baby in my bed. I wasn’t planning on experiencing complications in delivery, but I did. I lost a lot of blood bringing my baby girl into this world but I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. My midwife has become a huge blessing in my life as she looked after me in pregnancy and postpartum but most importantly kept me safe at home while delivering our newest bundle of joy, Mara Garrison."

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