My baby girl's birthday is tomorrow. She'll be one. I'm still amazed...wasn't it just yesterday that I was waiting for her to arrive?! Time has flown by-and we've had highs (milestones and new memories) and lows (big brother adjustments and long, sleepless nights). However, as I reflect over this past year, I really wanted to take the time and tell my birth story again. Most of you who read this have probably heard it all before, but I'm going to tell you again-because it's important to me!
Ethan's delivery, three and a half years ago, was an amazing experience! He is my firstborn, my precious son. And while I am so happy to have him here with us, I wish I knew then (before his birth) what I know now.
We delivered him in a local hospital; I was induced and had your typical interventions. It wasn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't exactly what I wanted. I am so thankful that we had the assistance we did, when we needed it. But Leo and I both knew that next time around, we wanted the experience to be different.
Unfortunately, in Alabama, we are limited to what our birthing options are. We have a hospital birth or an unassisted home birth. We, as parents, are not permitted to legally choose to have a midwife attend a homebirth and assist with our deliveries. So, we chose to drive to Mississippi.
I labored at home, all day, on August 2nd, 2009. It was so relaxing - I sat on our couch, took a shower in my bathroom, played games with Leo, ate whatever I wanted to, watched tv, took naps, and anticipated the arrival of our precious daughter! When we realized it was time to go, we loaded up the car and started the drive to Mississippi. Thankfully, we live near the state line, so it was less than an hour's drive to our destination, but that was still a long time in a car with contractions every two minutes! We were at the cottage less than an hour before Lydia Jane made her grand entrance! I didn't even have time to enjoy all the things I had planned - like a nice warm lavender scented bath :). But even still, it was great! Just me, Leo and our midwife. Nothing we didn't want, and pretty much whatever we did want. It was so amazing, such a different experience for us! The next morning, we were back at home with Ethan.
Now, there is most definitely a time and place for hospital births; and whether it's by an emergency or simply your preference to be there, you'll get no condemnation from me. I've had both experiences.
What I've become so passionate about though, is our ability to choose that location. Personally, I would have much rather have been at home, than had to drive an hour simply to have my baby the way I desired.
Which brings me to my point - I have become very involved in raising awareness for midwives in Alabama. I want to be able to decide whether to go to a hospital or stay at home and legally have the assistance that I want and need, but we're not there yet. I will be giving updates as we get closer, but mark your calendars for September 25th. That will be the day for the Walk for Midwives! Groups all over the state of Alabama will be walking to raise support and awareness for midwives. Here in Mobile, it will be at Cathedral Square, downtown, at 9:30am. The fee is $15 and will include a shirt, as well as some goodies! Feel free to send me a message for more info, and I will be posting updates as they come available.
Also, if you have any questions about midwives or homebirths in Alabama, please send me a message or visit the Alabama Birth Coalition for more info!