Congratulations, Kate, and thank you for sharing your birth story with us!
Images shared from Kate Stone, taken by Jamie Mercurio
1. What made you want to do a home birth? What intrigued you about it?
Ever since my first pregnancy I was interested in home birth. I was intrigued with it because I could be in the comfort of my own home, especially my own bed and bathroom and still have a safe and natural birth!
A little scared and costly to do it the first time so I decided to go with a hospital based birth center (we were living in San Diego at the time). It was a great experience but I was more than ready to go home after being there for 12 hours! With our second, we were living back in Maine, and I heard such great things about the midwives at York Hospital that I really wanted to see them. My experience there was, well.. let's just say I didn’t go back!
2. What about your previous two births went very well and you enjoyed, what was challenging with those? Were those home births?
Both births before were fast, simple, natural, and overall a good experience. I think the hardest thing for me was having to stay in the hospital after. I just wanted to go home and be in my own space. I was confident in my skills as a new parent and didn’t want to listen to all the hospital “rules” (I’m stubborn)
3. What did you anticipate being the best part about a home birth? What did you anticipate being a challenge with a home birth?
I anticipated my home birth as a natural birth at home with my husband, kids if they were awake and wanted to be there, my mom, girlfriends, sister and sister-in-law, photographer, and my midwives.
I wanted a peaceful setting. I have imaged having a homebirth for so long I just wanted everything to be right and I really wanted to be in the moment so I could remember everything that happened.
I think a challenge is to totally trust in the process with no medical intervention right there by my side if I need it.
4. What preparations did you make to help this birth go smoothly at home?
My midwives gave me a list of things I needed to have, pretty much everything a hospital would supply a room with, that I had to buy and have at my house. We talked about it a lot with the kids and just my husband and myself. As I said before both previous births were pretty fast so we just wanted to be prepared if it was the same this time.
5. How was preparing for this home birth different than preparing for a hospital birth? What different things did you have to consider?
When you have a hospital birth all you need is yourself, your partner, and your bag… I had to buy everything to have at home, things I never even thought of before! I also had to prepare myself, in case anything did go wrong, what hospital we would go to, how we would get there, who would come etc. etc.
6. What 5 words would you anticipate using to describe a home birth?
Exciting, anxious, nervous, happy, loving
Midwives and husband above, friends and mother below
7. How did you hope this experience will be? What were you picturing, imagining, looking forward to?
I hoped that everything went as planned and there was no reason myself or baby would need to go to the hospital.
I hoped everyone that was supposed to be there was there. I hoped my kids would become as involved as they are comfortable with. I wanted to fully trust in my body.
I pictured all my family and friends’ surrounding me as the baby is born bringing him into this world with so much love.
I was looking forward to holding him and taking a few minutes to pause life and really live in that minute that I will never get back. I just wanted to live in this moment as my precious baby is born! Also having a birth photographer, I always imagined having these beautiful pictures of the process and then pictures of right after!
8. Who was at your home with you during the home birth?
Husband, mom, sister, sister-in-law, friends, and photographer
9. Where in the house did you anticipate laboring most?
The bathroom, the toilet is just the most confortable place for me to sit.
10. Is there anything you were nervous about or worried about as you anticipated the home birth?
Just that everything went as planned and there were no needed interventions.
11. As you expected your third child, how were you feeling in general? What things were you most excited for adding this new person to the family, and which things were you worried about?
I always wanted 3 children and for some reason I always knew I would be a mom to 3 boys. Even though I thought for a while this one was a girl because my pregnancy was so different for the first two. I’m excited that this little boy will have 2 brothers to look up to. I can’t wait to nurse, snuggle, and love on another baby that’s mine! I’m not sure how I will handle 3 kids but I’ll figure it out! I have the best group of friends that I’m sure I will rely on A LOT…
12. Any words of advice to other moms who might be interested in a home birth?
Talk to other people that have done it, Facebook me, I’m happy to share my experience with you! Definitely find a midwife that you are comfortable with.
13. Any good books, Web sites, organizations of people you have worked with, etc. to prepare you at home?
Ina May’s Guild to childbirth is great. She also has a documentary called Birth Story, which is great… I would recommend it to anyone that is pregnant.
Contact my midwife if you are in the Maine/New Hampshire area. Seacoast Midwifery- Cilia Bannenberg
14. Share with us how the birth story went.
Well since it has taken me 5 ½ months to get this to you, I'll share my birth story with you… May 3, 2015 I had been feeling queasy all day but nothing out of the norm for this pregnancy. The past week or so I had been having really bad pain back contractions every night so that started happening again.
We had just put Noah and Elijah to bed for 8:00 and I climbed into bed with my husband to watch a movie. He fell asleep almost immediately and I started feeling worse, not in pain, didn’t feel like contractions, I just felt sick so I got up to use the bathroom.
Went back to bed about 5 minutes later and our middle child, Elijah was wanting to get into bed with us. I told my husband he had to go bring him into his own bed and lay with him in there because I wasn’t feeling well.
Another 5 minutes pass and I’m in the bathroom again. This time I start feeling some contractions look down and what I thought to be a head was right there. Oh no!!! I started screaming for my husband who was once again sleeping with Elijah. Finally he came into the bathroom took one look and said, “what are we going to do, he’s coming, did you call the midwife, your mom, ANYONE.”
I handed him my phone and told him to call, as soon as he hung up I sent a text to my mom, photographer and friend Ashley, COME NOW this was at 10:46 pm.
Aaron, my husband, was pacing back and forth, trying to hold it together! Our midwife lives 45 minutes away so he was pretty much telling me to hold the baby in until she got here or he was putting me in the car and taking me to the hospital. You all, well most, know how that goes!
Ashley arrives, comes upstairs to see that I’m still sitting on the toilet; she told me that I had to get up. If her and Aaron were delivering the baby it wasn’t going to be on the toilet because he would probably fall in. She convinced me to get up and when I did, what I thought was his head, popped and ended up being my bag of water.
I slowly made it to my bedroom, pretty much hold the baby's head up with a washcloth. My midwife had been there earlier in the week and had set everything up in our room.
As soon as I got in there and sat on the birthing stool, (husband) Aaron and (friend) Ash knew they had to deliver this baby! No turning back now!
Ash called the midwife and she told her what to tell Aaron to do. I was the most relaxed out of them all! Right as his head came my mom walked though the door. So thankful she made it just in time! It was just crazy and it all happened so fast.
River Wylie Stone was born at 11:09pm and was just perfect! And the most crazy thing was my husband delivered him! It was such a special moment, crazy, never want to do it again, but AMAZING moment!
My midwife didn’t show up for another 15 or so minutes so I just laid in bed holding my new little guy, nursing, with no distractions.
Our photographer, Jamie Mercurio didn’t make it in time but she arrived about an hour after he was born. It was perfect! Ashley had also video taped the birth but had to put the camera down so it's just a video of my closet doors but the audio is great! We had a good laugh listening to it back later that night.
The older boys slept through the whole thing!