In the spring of 2015, with my wife a few months into our first pregnancy, I found her in the media room one day watching a documentary called “The Business of Being Born”. The film fascinated both my wife and me. It prompted a process of my wife researching the benefits of natural home birth.
We found an endless accumulation of information and research, and my wife made a firm decision that that is how she wanted our child to enter the world. I was very intrigued by the idea -not without some fears or concerns, but if my wife wanted a home birth then I wanted a home birth. I felt it important that she, as the child bearer, should determine the method of delivery that she believed was optimal. I have a fantastic wife, and although I would allow her to make virtually any decision in this regard, she valued my opinion. I concurred with her decision, and we developed a relationship with Seven Cities Midwifery. The most notable fact that I took from the education I received during this process was that my wife was not sick… she was pregnant.
Midwifery is limited by legislation in Virginia that exists transparently to protect the OBGYN profession. We learned how these doctors have inserted themselves into the process of birthing. Like many special interests these doctor’s have a powerful lobby for influencing policy -a policy that puts more money into their pockets by delivering babies in hospitals. When we informed my wife’s OBGYN about her decision to give birth naturally at home she reacted extremely unprofessionally. From that point we only used the doctor’s office for sonograms.
My wife and I enjoyed the appointments and checkups. We found Terri and Jennifer to not only have great aptitude, but they were also fun to work with. Every single interaction was pleasant, informative, compassionate, and with each of these interactions the relationship between Jen, Terri, my wife, and I became more harmonious.
My wife labored for 50 hours before giving birth to our son in the comfort of our dimly lit bedroom with our labor playlist gently filling the air with our favorite soothing music. There were no strangers, no bright lights, and no drugs as Jen, Terri, Rebecca, my mother-in-law, and I encouraged my wife that she could accomplish our goal of a home birth. She struggled mightily with the painful contractions. Throughout this long labor it seemed as if the midwives thought of everything… impeccable preparation.
It was a Friday morning around 5AM when our son came into the world. My wife held him skin to skin as he breathed in the air of his new existence. After some time congratulating each other and handling the post birth procedures I held my son for the first time. I had tried to remain stoic throughout the labor -to be a calming and helpful presence (you’ll have to ask my wife if I succeeded). I held him and felt such immense pride and admiration for my wife for enduring such an extended labor for the sake of what we felt was best for our newborn baby.
We layed with our son as the midwives cleaned up around us. They even ran a load of laundry and took out the trash. Later on that first night our son began making a noise, and we felt as though he was laboring to breathe. The fear of something being wrong grew quickly, and we called Terri to try to explain the situation and how very concerned we were. Terri came back over to our house in the middle of the night. She examined him, held him, and determined that he was fine. She explained that what he was experiencing was normal, but to our great comfort she stayed with us for over an hour in our bedroom talking and sharing and teaching. We have never lost the impression that our midwives had, and continue to have, a special relationship with my wife and I and especially our son.
My recommendation of Seven Cities Midwifery should be interpreted as an endorsement of the highest level. The personal care, attention to detail, and education you receive from these women is like something I’ve not experienced before, and is well, well worth the fee. If you are considering a natural home birth my wife and I hope this testimonial will help guide your decision.