DawningLife Midwifery

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

Kathryne Elaine

Kathryne 015
My husband Shawn is studying to be a chiropractor and he is the one that first introduced me to the idea of homebirth. I remember thinking that he was crazy!! I mean who would have their baby at home when there were two perfectly functional hospitals within 10 miles of them? Why would anyone take that kind of risk? I would not even consider it. I knew I wanted a drug free birth, but I planned to have my baby in the hospital just like all the "normal" people do. So Shawn did not push and we found a great midwife that was going to deliver our baby at North Fulton Hospital.

Kathryne 015
My husband Shawn is studying to be a chiropractor and he is the one that first introduced me to the idea of homebirth. I remember thinking that he was crazy!! I mean who would have their baby at home when there were two perfectly functional hospitals within 10 miles of them? Why would anyone take that kind of risk? I would not even consider it. I knew I wanted a drug free birth, but I planned to have my baby in the hospital just like all the "normal" people do. So Shawn did not push and we found a great midwife that was going to deliver our baby at North Fulton Hospital.

After I became pregnant, I decided that I was going to educate myself as much as possible about pregnancy and childbirth so that I was ready when it was time. So, I started reading. But I did not start with "What to expect when your expecting" like most people, thanks to my husband I started with "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth". Looking back, I think he had a plan all along!

I wanted to read books that were positive about natural childbirth so that I was not scared to death about the labor and delivery! How many horror stories have we all heard? How many times has someone stopped you to tell you how hard it was, how badly it hurt, how they just quit because they were so tired, how badly they tore, or my favorite…why they “needed” a c-section. So rather than take advice from family, friends and the strangers that offer it to you when they realize you are pregnant, I read Ina May's book and others like it and formed my own opinions of what it was supposed to be like. As a gift, I am sure from God; during my education about natural childbirth I was also educated on home birth vs. hospital birth. What I found out was life changing!!

No one tells you that home birth is as safe or safer than hospital birth, or that having no intervention during a hospital birth is a joke to the hospital staff. No one tells you that when you bring your birth plan into a hospital that they literally laugh about it when they walk out of the room and make bets on how far from your plan your experience will be! No one tells you that once your baby is born at a hospital your midwife, no matter how great she is has absolutely NO control over what they do with your baby after the cord is cut! The more I read the less I was looking forward to my "safe" delivery at the hospital.

At 20 weeks, I told my husband I had changed my mind and wanted to have a home delivery. As you can imagine he was ecstatic! But still he left me in control and told me to start looking for someone that I was going to be comfortable with. So I searched and read and asked and prayed and that is how I found Claudia and Debbie. What a blessing they have been for my family.

Kathryne is our first baby and we made that very clear when we mistakenly diagnosed food poisoning rather than labor at 36 weeks. At 3:00 am, after many calls and much advice on how to stop the contractions that the “food poisoning” was causing, including cramp bark tincture, a warm bath and a Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Debbie came over just to ‘check on us’. I have to add this because Debbie thinks it is so funny. In one conversation with Shawn, I had described my discomfort as cramps and he relayed that to Debbie and told her that he had been putting some pressure on my back because that seemed to help relieve them. Obviously we know now that my cramps were actually back labor, but at the time I had no idea. How are you supposed to know what labor feels like if you have never been in labor? I digress, back to the story. As I said, Debbie came over at about 3:00 am to check on us and much to my surprise, I was at 9 cm! I had almost gotten through the entire first phase of childbirth without even knowing that it was happening.

I remember everything about that morning. I remember that as soon as she arrived Debbie brought with her this wonderful peace. I remember that she smelled good to me, and I have no idea what she smelled like, it was 3:00 am and I am sure she did not dab on a little perfume before she came over to give me a pelvic exam! I just remember that she smelled good. I remember that I was so thankful that she was there and I told her. I remember not being scared at all, not being worried that I was only 36 weeks, not being afraid of that next phase and not worrying if everything would be all right. I was completely confident in what was happening and was sure that I was in the perfect hands, first God’s, then Shawn’s and finally this sweet angel that He had sent to help me deliver my first baby. I remember that Debbie had to explain to us that there could be complications because Kathryne was early and I remember telling her that everything was going to be fine, that God was there with us and He was going to take good care of me and my baby girl. I remember Debbie smiling because I was so sure the baby was a girl.

Nicole and Claudia came shortly there after. Claudia came in case there were complications with Kathryne. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law were both here visiting, and my mother, father and sister were on their way. It was about 4:30 am.

The truth is that no matter where, when, or how you plan your labor and delivery, it is not ever going to go "as planned" because it is not something that we can control. We had planned a water birth in the living room with candles, relaxing music, and my mom and sister there for support. What we got was delivery on a birth stool at 5:20 am in my tiny bathroom with both Claudia and Debbie present along with Nicole, my husband and my mom. Let's not forget to mention the 4 other unexpected guests that were waiting for her arrival in the living room of our 800 sq ft condo during the "blizzard of 2008"!! ;-) What should have been complete chaos was the most awesome experience of my entire life!!

I pushed for about 40 minutes I think. Yes, it was hard, yes, it was exhausting, and yes, it hurt. But you know what? When she arrived and I got to hold her for the first time after her daddy handed her to me, there were no monitors, or needles, or machines, or cold hands, or bright lights, or rough towels, or loud noises, and we were not in a building full of sick people. There was only peace and love and happiness in a house full of people that loved her and it was perfect. She was beautiful, we were both healthy and when it was over I got to hold her in my bed with my husband lying beside us and just rest together as a family in our home. It was the best day of my entire life and to think I was going to give that up just to be like the "normal" people.