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Becoming Mothers: A Halloween Homebirth

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At 3:05 a.m., after five hours of contracting every 10 minutes, I finally called my midwife to tell her how I was progressing. By 7 a.m., gap times shortened to six minutes, and by 8 a.m., DeAna and her assistant had arrived.

My husband Steve and I were supposed to have set up the birthing tub in our bedroom during early labor, but we had been so convinced this was not the real deal – until it was too late for me to be of any help at all. Candles were lit by the far side of the tub and a collection of my favorite music played softly across the room. I had the space I needed to focus and breathe. I lived within each contraction, forgetting the previous one, unconcerned with the next, losing all track of time.

I remember the moment I wanted to give up. I felt defeated, that maybe I couldn’t go through with this birth after all. I had to surrender to the task. I surrendered to the pain with each contraction. I surrendered to the idea that I may very well die trying.

This moment signaled the urge to start pushing. It’s an overwhelming sensation, the need to push. I could not keep my body from doing its job. My breath stopped, and I was suspended.

I knelt in the pool, leaning over the side to grab DeAna’s hands during each contraction. Only five pushes in 35 minutes before I felt my baby’s head emerge in one thrust. An eternity-long two minutes passed before my next push, delivering my baby’s body all at once into my husband’s ready hands. 2:24p.m. on Halloween.

I sat back into Steve’s arms. All these months of waiting, imagining, and our baby was finally here. I was in awe. A girl! And she was absolutely gorgeous. Perfectly round head, beautiful blue eyes, precious nose, olive-pink skin. Emma Lucile.

Emma joined me in a bath where she nursed for the first time. She latched on right away, and I relished the feeling of my daughter’s tiny, warm body against mine. I had spent years searching for a career path that would make me whole. But here, in one magic moment, I found fulfillment. Becoming a mother rendered me complete.

We kept the lights dim and the air warm, comfortably situated in the quiet of evening. The midwives brought us dinner, dismantled the tub, and tidied the kitchen before tucking us in for the night.

We had three groups of trick-or-treaters come to the door that Halloween evening, and DeAna met them with the fruit snacks and popcorn that we had stocked up for the occasion. My extra-large orange shirt was still laying out – the one I had planned to wear as The Great Pumpkin alongside Steve’s Linus.

Texas-born Lauren grew up in Westminster with a flair for photography and the backstroke. After traveling the world, she landed back in Denver and met her husband. Five years, two dogs, and a baby girl later, they’re still enjoying Colorado life together.

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  • comment avatar Amber Johnson May 11, 2012

    Love that DeAna greeted those trick-of-treaters. 🙂 What a great story!

  • comment avatar Erika May 11, 2012

    So beautifully written. I, too had a homebirth and you captured it so well.

  • comment avatar Lori Lavender Luz May 11, 2012

    This is the birth story I had envisioned for myself (minus the die trying part, hehe). Thank you for allowing me to live it vicariously through you!

  • comment avatar Catherine May 11, 2012

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful home birth story. It’s the kind of peaceful home birth story I am relishing reading as I gear up for my impending home birth.

  • comment avatar Lisa - Laughing Yoga Mama May 11, 2012

    So beautiful – the pain, fear, and wonder of it all.

  • comment avatar Sarah May 12, 2012

    This is such a beautiful story, thank you for sharing! Home-births can be so empowering and it sounds like you had one of those amazing experiences.

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