Deana Marie is here! She came on the iciest, coldest, worst winter weather night of the year that is why my husband called her our ice angel. But I am getting ahead of myself for you see for us Deana is a miracle. Let me explain why.
I am 46 years old, what some obstetricians consider a high risk “mature” mother. To Toni I was just another mom. I had 4 children ages 20, 18, 12 &10 as well as a 14yr. old son that was added when I married my husband Pete two years ago. I was using progesterone cream to even out my mood swings and heat flashes — my pre-menopausal symptoms! A year ago I miscarried. I was certain that my “season” of birthing children of my own was over. When I moved, I kept my cradle, crib and high chair for my grandchildren to come! Little did I know Heavenly Father’s plan for my baby furniture as well as for myself!
When I realized I was pregnant, I decided that I was going to take control of this pregnancy and birth, making well informed decisions and having the experience of my choice. I knew a mother of seven who had had Toni for her midwife for her last child’s birth. Toni came highly recommended. And after considerable research I knew that a home birth was the only way for me and my baby. With Toni’s knowledge of hormones she was able to teach me that my progesterone cream could help me carry this pregnancy to term. Toni helped me with my morning sickness with non-medicinal ways from acupressure to nutrition. I was violently ill even with strong medications throughout the pregnancies of my other 3 daughters. This was my best pregnancy because of Toni’s knowledge and willingness to use alternative methods, those other than the conventional methods used in the main stream medical community. I am so thankful for her.
Because of my previous births being either induced, on their due date, or late I didn’t expect this birth to be anything but like the others, never early! So 4 days before my due date when my husband asked if I wanted to ride along while he delivered some firewood for some friends of ours in Sommerville, I saw no reason why not. I had been really busy around the house trying to get everything clean and ready for when the baby would come and my mom would be here to help. So besides strenuous housecleaning and a major rough truck ride, I fell into bed late, about midnight -I was doing some sewing for the baby.
I woke up with a sharp pain down my legs and up my back at 1:38 a.m. Sure I had just over done it through the day, I tried to go back to sleep. Ten minutes later the pain woke me again. I started to pay attention. After 6 contractions in an hour and a strong urge to go to the restroom I got up and started to walk. The contractions continued. I had been having contractions for months and even some fairly strong ones the last few weeks and with the weather as bad as it was I really didn’t want to bother anyone if this wasn’t the real thing. After all, two days before Toni had checked me and I was 2-3 cm and only 20% effaced. The contractions continued, and then when I went to the restroom, I passed quite a lot of blood. I called Toni at 3:00 a.m. and as the truly dedicated midwife that she is, she was willing to brave the weather, drive the dangerous roads to my house. I didn’t have to, this was the first thing that I was so very thankful for that I had chosen her as my birth attendant; there were so many more reasons to be thankful. I let my husband know we were soon to have company.
Nanci, Toni’s apprentice, arrived first at about 4:00 a.m., after I let her in I went to the bathroom, she and my husband when right to work changing my bed and preparing things for the birth. Toni arrived shortly and checked me. I was at 7cm, we were having a baby! My contractions were coming really hard and I was spending a lot of time on my hands and knees and on the birthing ball, it was the only way I was able to make it through, I was so tired. I hadn’t remembered with any of my un-medicated, previous deliveries having as much pain. Toni explained later that the pain was so intense because the labor was so intense and short. Thank the Lord for the later.
My 10 year old daughter, Elizabeth was awakened by all the busy work that was going on. She ask what was going on, Pete told her it was Christmas! I understood his sentiment; our child is one of our greatest gifts from God. Elizabeth stayed in the other room through the labor and delivery, although she did come in between contractions once to check on me; I knew she was close by, which was a tremendous comfort to me. Toni and Nanci were wonderful!! I got so tired and lost my focus but Toni, Nanci and my wonderful husband continually coached me to stay positive and as soon as they could get me to cooperate we were pushing. They talked me onto the birthing chair, my husband was on the edge of the bed behind me supporting me and encouraging me. I have never felt closer to my husband. It is so fantastic to know that I can so completely count on my husband to be there for me. When I felt I was at, in the way of being “pretty and put together” my worst, he was there for me still– in aces! And not only that he would be there but also he was not cross, angry, grossed out or stunned in any way but was so totally supportive, I couldn’t have ask for better! They were all so wonderful, they never got irritated, sharp or upset with me even though I got negative and unfocused (I’m not very proud of that). My husband, Pete, said he was surprised when Toni said that the baby was crowning, that it had come so fast! Toni asked me if I wanted to touch my baby’s head. I said no because I was afraid that if I turned loose of my leg that I might loose what little focus I had at that time. I growled through the contractions and pushed through the stinging until I could say “Thank you God! Thank you God! Thank You God!” when our beautiful, perfect, healthy angel was born. As soon as Toni turned her over in a soft white towel– her cord hadn’t been cut yet– my husband checked to see, for we didn’t know, if our baby was a girl or a boy. We had thought it would be a boy. Surprise! A girl! We couldn’t be happier! After the cord was cut proud “Papa” Pete immediately took Deana to meet her sister Elizabeth in our very own kitchen! I have never felt so blessed!! I was able to take a shower in MY shower, change into a clean old soft flannel gown of my own, get back into my own bed, warm and cozy, to nurse my beautiful angel baby girl! She latched on right away and we were on our way! Then finally some rest!
Our beautiful, Deana arrived at 6:17 a.m. She weighted 8 lbs. 10½ oz. measured 20½ inches. My whole labor was only about 4 ½ hours!
I was able to stay at my home through an awful night of freezing rain, sleet, icicles and dangerously slick roads and have a beautiful, warm, comforting, blessed experience with my family around me and it was all because of my wonderful husband, Toni and Nanci. My husband has had two children in a hospital; and me, as before mentioned I have four other children, and had them all in a hospital. So this was a first for both of us. HANDS DOWN, no contest, we would not only have any more babies with Toni but would encourage anyone to do the same!
The professionalism, knowledge, dedication, compassion, loving Christian support and personal care throughout my prenatal care and my delivery I feel was far superior to what I received from some of the top obstetricians in the Houston area. Toni always made me seem like the only mom she was taking care of. I feel that we have become friends I feel saddened by the fact that now that my Deana is here, I won’t get to visit as often with her. I am so grateful to God, my husband and to Toni and Nanci!