DawningLife Midwifery

Experienced homebirth midwives serving Metro-Atlanta and North Georgia families for over 35 years!

Eva Rose

Eva Rose
As an only child of an only child (my mother), I didn’t have much exposure to babies or birth in my early life. Both my mother and grandmother gave birth under anesthesia so when I was first pregnant and the Nurse at the OB/GYN asked if I would like a natural birth I thought she meant do I want to be awake. It’s funny to think back to that now - like another life. My first child was born in a hospital with a Certified Nurse Midwife in attendance. I labored 14 hours at home and used the last 4 hours to travel, admit, settle in, and deliver my daughter, Jordan Elizabeth.

Eva Rose
As an only child of an only child (my mother), I didn’t have much exposure to babies or birth in my early life. Both my mother and grandmother gave birth under anesthesia so when I was first pregnant and the Nurse at the OB/GYN asked if I would like a natural birth I thought she meant do I want to be awake. It’s funny to think back to that now - like another life. My first child was born in a hospital with a Certified Nurse Midwife in attendance. I labored 14 hours at home and used the last 4 hours to travel, admit, settle in, and deliver my daughter, Jordan Elizabeth.

My second child is 6 years later, my Eva Rose. When I was first pregnant I went back to the OB and same midwife (CNM) for initial visits. I always said that when I had another it would be a homebirth, but I fell back into the same pattern. Eventually, I contacted Claudia. I was nervous still, even though I wanted a homebirth, just because it was something no one in my life had ever done, I guess. Who knows - but it is again one of those times in my life where I can look back and factually remember that I had reservations, but now it is like I have always known that home birthing was right for me.

This was my dream labor/birth even though I had never really thought about what I wanted in detail. I got a full nights sleep, woke at 5am with my husband, David, leaving for work and wrote in my journal for a bit, went back to sleep and woke when Jordan came in my room at 7am. I felt a crampy sensation and thought this might be it, but still wasn’t sure. I called David to make sure he wouldn’t be traveling with his job that day - just in case. About 8am, I went to the bathroom and noticed a bloody mucus plug in the toilet. I called and told him it was really happening, which, by the way I could not believe because this was my doctor given “due date”. I was sure that I would NEVER go into labor on my “due date”. The baby comes when the baby comes is my philosophy. What a coincidence. David came home, bringing me a biscuit from a local restaurant we like.

The hot days of summer had arrived but this day wasn’t like that. It was a misty cool morning on June 26. I went out in the yard with Jordan while she gathered pears that had fallen off the tree and I picked blueberries and ate them off the bush. Ahh…. Relaxing, misty, deep breath kind of morning. The birds and squirrels were appreciating the coolness and were out frolicking. I sat on my front porch with contractions coming occasionally, just enjoying the morning. I thought about my first labor and delivery 6 years ago and about how I hoped it would be this time. I must mention that I now live in my grandparents house - my grandmother passed away a few years back at this house after a battle with cancer. While sitting in the rocking chair on her front porch, I thought about her and felt at peace.

The labor started getting my attention around 10 or 11. By “getting my attention” I mean that my contractions were more intense and wouldn’t “let go” in between. My labor with my first child was the same way - contractions peaked from 2-5 minutes apart all day long - never really allowing me to relax before the next peak. All this time I was talking with first Claudia and then Nicole, the apprentice midwife. They had attended a birth the day before and were going back to check on the mom and baby. Debbie (just back from an Alaskan cruise ) and Nicole were to attend my birth. Debbie called and decided she and Nicole would drive on up (I lived about 1 hour away). At 1pm the midwives arrived and did some checks on me and the baby while I was standing in my kitchen (I tend to labor walking and standing). We slowly made our way to my bedroom to see where I was with station, dilation, etc. Nicole was to take a bigger part in my birth experience as she had reached that level in her apprentice training and I had agreed earlier that it was ok with me (I liked the idea that I was helping the next generation of midwives and all).

My husband had been getting my kiddie pool ready in our living room and I was anxious to get in. Debbie answered my question of can I get in the pool with a Yes. Yeah! I slowly made my way to the pool and stood by the pool for what seemed like an eternity because the contractions had such a hold on me that it seemed too much effort to step over into the pool. I jokingly said to David “just throw me in”. I finally made it into the pool and was relieved that the contractions finally “let go” because of the warm water - it was like I finally had a break after a contraction. My body responded. My next contraction came with a BIG urge to push. Debbie of course said do what your body tells you (I love that). This was around 2pm - Debbie and Nicole settled in around the pool.

David was by my side and I would squeeze his hand as contractions came. My mom came in (I had sent her to the grocery store to get fresh fruit supplies as I expected labor to last longer) and she began video taping. Jordan was with my father at a chiropractor appointment. Nicole would check the baby periodically and I would push with the urges as they came. Debbie and Nicole gave me guidance in pushing. The thing I remember most about this was how connected I felt during the pushing stage. I was able to look around at my living room and feel so there. I was planning on playing soothing music but things went so fast that I didn’t. It was so very quiet. I loved that. At times, the only sound was the lapping of the water in the pool. At one point, I felt suddenly hungry - apparently the baby had moved down and made some room for my stomach. At another time, my pushes felt different - like it was tight. The next push or so, I felt a POP! and looked down into the pool. I could see the meconium stained water that had just ruptured. It was neat to associate the sensation with the sight. I remember pushing through the burning sensation as the baby moved toward being born. In total, I pushed for about an hour and Rose was born at 3:06pm with Nicole catching her. Rose had her cord wrapped around her neck which Nicole removed. She had the loudest, most piercing scream I had ever heard. We didn’t know the sex and I was sure it was a boy, but a girl she was and she was as red as can be all over. She even had red hair, (what hair she had). I think that is why we ended up with Rose as a name and Eva because of my grandmother’s mother had that name. As I mentioned before, the house I now live in is the house my grandmother lived in for 20+ years and passed away in in 2003. I appreciate the continuity that I feel knowing I was with my grandmother for her last breath and my Rose for her first breath in the same room, mere feet apart. My grandmother had red hair, too, just like Rose.

Debbie suggested I move to the birthing stool to aid in nursing position for Rose and to deliver the placenta. She was right, and the placenta was delivered shortly. I realized that Jordan was still 20 minutes away with my father and she was going to miss the cord cutting. We had been talking about how involved she wanted to be in the birth and seeing the cord cut was to be the first thing she wanted to be there for. Debbie said that we could wait for Jordan and my dad to get there. So we made a fine parade to my bed - David supporting me by my arms, me holding Rose in my arms with the cord still attached to the placenta which was in the bowl that Nicole was carrying.

Jordan arrived and was excited to see her sister (she said I knew it was going to be a girl!) David cut the cord and Nicole attached the clamp. While doing the newborn exam (which by the way was done only an arms length away from me), Nicole noticed unusual pimple like spots on Rose. Debbie had never seen anything like this and we contacted the family doctor I had seen and would be Rose’s doctor if an emergency arose. Debbie took photos and emailed them to the doctor. Later Nicole researched and found what she and Debbie thought it might be - Transient Neonatal Pustular Melanosis. It only occurs in like .02% of Caucasian babies. The family doctor confirmed using the pictures emailed to her. It only lasts for a short time (3 months at the most) and there are no long term effects nor any treatment required. I was so worried at the time, but it was a relief to me that Nicole and Debbie researched and brought me information the very next day about this. (Just to note - this might have been missed in the hospital due to the fact that they typically rub the vernix away and would have busted the pustules most likely). Rose was beautiful and so tiny (even though she weighed 10 pounds!). She was amazing.

Around 5pm, my family came over to celebrate and see new baby Rose. My great aunt cooked for every one - lasagna and potatoes, which was amazingly delicious to me.

It was an amazing experience and I felt so in control and powerful and connected during the labor and birth. I am thankful.