Our story actually starts about 4 years ago with the birth of our 3rd child Amanda. I had my first child in a hospital (in the city) complete with pitocin and stadol even though I had requested to have a completely natural childbirth. I won’t go into the details because the only good part about it is that I had a healthy 8 lb. baby boy, Ricky. My second birth was also in a hospital but this time out in “the country”. This is where I was first introduced to midwifery. One of the nurses had worked in a birthing center before and when she found out that I wanted a completely natural childbirth she began encouraging me. She told me she had worked with midwives before and had seen many unmedicated births. She was the one who made me believe it was truly possible and I credit her with helping me deliver my second child, Jessica (8 lbs 5 1/2 oz), with no medication whatsoever. When I became pregnant with my 3rd child, Amanda, I tried to get the same doctor but was referred to another doctor. The first time I saw her, I was very uncomfortable because I had a yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis. She prescribed some medications I had never heard of so we checked them out on the internet. It turned out that the manufacturer of one of them stated that this medication was not to be used by women who are pregnant. When we questioned the doctor, she said she had prescribed it to numerous other patients and had never had a problem. She also seemed a little upset that we were questioning her. This was enough for my husband and I to decide to start looking for someone else to help us deliver our child. Since we live in “the country” there is not a large supply of doctors to choose from and we wanted to make sure we could have another natural birth without having drugs pushed on us again. This is when we decided to start looking for a midwife. I searched the internet and was not able to find anyone in our area so I sent an email to the Association of Texas Midwives. Toni contacted me and this is where our relationship began.
We live in the far west corner of Fayette county so we were a little concerned about Toni getting here on time once our labor began. After I called Toni around 4:30 pm, I noticed that the contractions would slow when I was sitting so I sat down occasionally to make sure things didn’t progress too quickly. It only took about 3 1/2 hours for Toni to arrive and she and Joani both had plenty of time to get things set up and ready. After laboring for a few hours, I had a bowel movement and felt that I needed to lay down. I told them that my water broke as soon as I laid down with my 2nd pregnancy and sure enough it broke and Amanda started on her way out. I don’t believe I pushed more than once or twice to deliver her. She actually seemed to come right out all by herself. My husband and I were elated that we didn’t have to present our baby car seat and pass inspection to go home. We were already here safe and sound and comfortable with our 8 lb. baby girl.
Almost 3 years later we knew exactly who to call when we discovered we were pregnant again with our 4th child. Everything progressed normally with the usual checkups but I didn’t keep a good record of when I might have become pregnant or when my last menstrual cycle was. I had a ball park estimate within a week or so that we used. Unfortunately, that due date came and went and we still didn’t have our baby.
Toni’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary was coming up and she and Monte had reservations for a cruise to celebrate. We all thought that Justin would be here before they left but he never showed up. Toni regretfully gave me the name of her backup midwife and told me when she would be back “on land” and I could contact her again.
One week later, we were still waiting for Justin to arrive. Toni was scheduled to return on the 13th but she called me from Alabama on the 12th to see how we were doing. We mentioned that we had been having a few small contractions but not real regular. She offered to come home that night but she admitted she probably wouldn’t do me much good after traveling all night. We agreed that it probably wouldn’t be that good of an idea and said we would go ahead and give Debbie (her backup) a call if things progressed. I laid down and had a few little contractions in bed. At 11:32 pm. I had one that really got my attention and I got out of bed. I had a bowel movement and took a shower and laid back down. My contractions started coming about 20 min. apart but were small so I stayed in bed hoping that we might be able to make it until Toni came home the next day. At 3:37 am. the contractions started getting stronger but were still about 20 min. apart. At 5:30 am. I sat up and asked my husband if he thought I should bother Toni or just go ahead and call Debbie. We wanted very badly to have Toni deliver our 4th baby and we knew that Toni really wanted to be the one to deliver him too so I picked up the phone and called her at 5:30 am. in Alabama. I told her what was going on and she said she was planning to leave about 7:30 am but that she would start getting things ready to leave a little sooner. She called around 8 am and said if the traffic was good, she would be home around 4 pm and could be here around 6 pm.
We knew if things started progressing, we would need to call Debbie but we hoped we wouldn’t have to. We all said some prayers and asked that if it be God’s will to please let Toni be the one to deliver our child. Toni called from Beaumont around 1:30 pm to check on us and said she would probablybe home around 4:30 pm. The contractions kept coming about every 20 min. but most of them were small with only a few here and there getting my attention. About 2:30 pm, I got tired and laid down.
At 4:41 pm. Toni called and said she had her things loaded up and was getting on her way here. At this point the contractions were coming about every 7 to 10 min. I stayed in bed to make sure things didn’t progress too quickly and Toni arrived around 6:30 pm. with Nanci, her assistant, arriving a little later. After Toni got here, I got up and started concentrating and letting the contractions progress. By 9:30 pm, we had our 4th child, Justin (9 lbs 23 inches) safely in my arms. There is no doubt in my mind that it was truly the will of God to have Toni deliver our child and I thank her and her family for their sacrifice in making the trip all the way from Alabama on the last day of their vacation. I haven’t done any research yet but it wouldn’t surprise me to find out this could be a Guinness Record for the most number of miles traveled by a midwife to deliver a baby!