Amara's Birth

When my wife, Aline, came to me and said that she wanted to have a home birth my initial instincts were probably like many people’s, "Won't that be dangerous?" followed by "why would we spend that kind of money when we have insurance?". These sentiments were just testaments to how little I knew about birth. What I loved about this process, is how clear my wife's instinct was that having a home birth was what she wanted deep in her heart, and the amazing education I received about this tremendous and momentous life event. Working with Michelle is an absolute joy. The thing that struck me was that we were working with an expert who's passion in life is caring for pregnant women and birthing babies. Our experience with Michelle felt like having our own private pregnancy physician. The care my wife received for the months beforehand was so holistic and comprehensive, that the depth of care Aline received so far outstripped our other doctor visits as to almost seem like we were existing in two separate worlds entirely. Michelle would spend hours with us really curious about how Aline and the pregnancy was going, while our doctor visits lasted fifteen minutes at most and we were one of the possible hundreds of women each OB/GYN was seeing. For the actual day of the birth, I felt Michelle was dug in and with us from the very first contractions. Early labor lasted most of the first day, and even though Michelle was not at our house, giving us space to rest and get ready for what was to come, we were in constant contact. Once the more vigorous stages of labor began Michelle was with us, and her support felt very quiet, strong, and spacious. I really felt she was there to honor our experience, whatever that would be, and to assist our beautiful daughter, Amara Atlas, into this world. Of the many things I could rave about midwifery, one of the things that was my favorite is allowing for the baby and mother to come into this relationship and world on their own time. No one is rushing you, and there are no other agendas in the background (like I think there can be in hospitals) to dictate when the baby comes into this world. And what a sacred moment. Amara was born in the birthing tub, and came out grey, took a huge cry and immediately turned pink (followed by a robust pee on Aline!). From that moment onward, Aline, Amara, and I were on the couch and bonding, while Michelle quietly and unobtrusively checked Amara, but really gave us the space to cherish a moment we will never have again. Truth be told, I feel absolutely honored that Michelle helped birth Amara. Amara is not some anonymous baby to Michelle, but a new life that Michelle had cared about from early in the pregnancy. Our postpartum care with Michelle was as extensive as all our other visits, and she was such a wonderful anchor for Aline and I as we took our first feeble and stumbling steps towards being new parents. As a family we have felt genuinely cared for, and for that our experience with Michelle is truly priceless.