When my wife, Christina, first told me that she wanted to have a home birth for our second child, I was a little apprehensive at first. I was like most people and thought it was crazy to have your child at home and not in a hospital surrounded by doctors and nurses. I personally do not care for most doctors, but even so, I still thought she was nuts. Since I am a person who likes to try new things and go against the norm, I expressed my concerns to her and we decided together that we would try a home birth.
My wife did the research on some local Midwives, at title I didn’t even know existed, and found Michelle Doyle out of Troy. This was a good 25-30 minute ride for us from Slingerlands and my first thought was “How the heck is she going to make it to our house in time when the baby comes?” Since it didn’t seem to bother my wife, I figured, why not, let’s meet her. So Christina and I set up an appointment to go meet Michelle. Before we even got there, I was running through some scenarios about what a Midwives office may look like. At first I pictured us walking into a room, with incense burning, strange but soothing music playing, and Michelle meditating or something. I was definitely wrong. To my surprise there was no meditating, music, or incense. We walked into Michelle’s office were Christina was greeted with a hug and I received a firm handshake which in fact says a lot to me about a person. We talked about having a homebirth and expressed our concerns to her. Michelle gave us straight facts about homebirths, things that can go wrong, and gave us some of her credentials/accomplishments as a Midwife. She seemed like a very nice, caring individual who just wanted women to experience birth the way it should be. I left her office now knowing what a midwife was and knowing that Michelle would be our choice.
Months and multiple office visits went by and Michelle just kept being attentive, supportive and awesome. She talked to our growing child each time we were there so lovingly and ended each appointment with a hug. She wasn’t like the doctors that we had to deal with during the pregnancy of our first child. Those doctors seemed like they didn’t want to talk, do exams, or ultrasounds and we felt more of an inconvenience to them. With Michelle we could talk about anything and she would listen and provide answers, not BS. She was definitely changing my view on what women deserve and need during pregnancy. They need caring and supportive people around them to make a pregnancy memorable. Michelle was definitely the right person for us and to have a part of this process. As the time went by Michelle was there for my wife when she needed her. Whether it was a text or phone call, Michelle responded. That is not something you can get from a regular doctor.
The time finally came to have my second baby girl and to finally see what Michelle was made of when it came to delivering babies. My wife started to get cramping feelings and called Michelle to let her know. Over the course of a few hours and some conversation Michelle arrived and checked her to all of our surprises she told us our baby girl would be coming soon and then spent some time looking over her on the couch while the tub filled, rubbing her hand and head as she had her contractions. I was still wondering if she would have some crazy Midwife things up her sleeves for child birth, like some weird birthing accessories. I was wrong again, she didn’t. As the tub continued to fill we got Christina in the tub and settled for what seem to be the start of stronger contractions. Michelle and her assistant Elizabeth were great. They talked my wife through her contractions and gave her the words of encouragement she needed to get through. I even got into the birthing pool so I could hold my wife up since she was getting tired. I never thought that I would be in a pool in the middle of my dining room while my wife was in with me trying to give birth. It was very surreal. The contractions kept coming and the baby was getting closer. Michelle and Elizabeth continued their words of encouragement throughout the entire process holding her feet as she pushed and helping her focus when she got frustrated. We eventually had to move to our bedroom because Christina’s leg kept cramping in the pool. While my wife was on the bed, the baby started slowly emerging and this is when Michelle really showed me what’s up in the world of Midwives she was so confident and efficient yet graceful and adoring. First, the baby’s head appeared and she was little blue. She had this scrunched up little face with the fattest little cheeks ever. My wife appeared to be fine but in some pain she just wanted the rest of the baby out but like our first she was stubborn and took her sweet time and much more of her momma’s energy to get her out. After she crowned I glanced at Michelle and Elizabeth, we all knew my wife was tired and that she was ready to be done pushing. Michelle and Elizabeth went into action encouraging Christina to focus and bare down to push the rest of our little chunk out. I am still unsure to this day how my little petite wife pushed out this almost 10lb child! She will forever be a rockstar to me, it was just incredible. Ashlynn, like our other daughter, seemed to have swallowed some fluid along the way so her breathing seemed congested and she was still a little blue. I was a little concerned but Michelle and Elizabeth were so confident and capable and got her to breathe correctly and “pink up” in no time. It was absolutely incredible. They did all of this on our bed and kept the baby within an arm’s reach of my wife at all times. At the hospital for our first child that didn’t happen for us so we were elated to have our baby near us.
All in all, I was happy that there were no complications with the pregnancy because this insured that we would be able to use Michelle all the way through. Michelle proved to me that there are health care professionals that actually do care about woman and their pregnancies. There are people that provide the calming advice at any time of day. Michelle proved that these people do exist and she is one of the best. I hope more people give homebirth a try and see how great it can be to have your baby be born into loving hands. Michelle definitely gave my daughter that and left a long lasting memory in my head that I will never, ever forget.