Spokane Midwives

Kristenea LaVelle

I’m one of those people who would have never considered having a home birth.  Sure, I’d heard about using a midwife, but the thought just never crossed my mind.  I even had family members that used a midwife for their children.  They would rant and rave about the wonderful birth experience and one on one treatment they received, but I just didn’t think that home birth was for me.  Especially not for someone with my labor record… Whew! Four children, three girls and a boy.  Four deliveries, and four lousy experiences in the hospital left me thinking there was something seriously wrong with ME! For years I carried this thought with me, and then I began to notice a pattern… others were going through the same experiences that I had gone through four times… Induced Labor!  To this day I cringe when I hear that someone is going in to be induced!
While carrying my fifth child, I noticed that I felt a certain sense of impending doom every time I thought about going through the entire ordeal of labor, again.  Wasn’t labor supposed to be a wonderful experience?  I thought it was, but I was hearing less about the wonderful labor and more about the trials and pains brought on by induced labor.  I began seeking an alternative method of delivery, and what I found was remarkable. After discussing the matter with my husband, I contacted Linda and made an appointment to assess my eligibility.  I was 34 weeks pregnant with my 5th child.  I definitely did not want to go through another induction, and I was intrigued by the thought that I could actually go into labor by myself, in the comfort of my own home.  I didn’t have a clue as to what that kind of an experience would be, so I was rather excited at the prospect.

After meeting with Linda, I felt as if a heavy burden had just been lifted from my shoulders.  My husband and I decided that we were going to try a home birth, and both of us were very excited for the event. Now, there were some important things to consider.  I had already had three forceps deliveries and all my girls had been posterior.  I also have a history of blood sugar problems that I have to monitor when I’m in the later stages of pregnancy.  My babies are large, ranging from 8 lb. 10 oz.. to 9.0 lbs..  Because of this, I was told that it would be too difficult for me to go full term with a pregnancy.  I was usually induced around the 38th week, give or take a few days.  My labors were long (22+ hours) and hard (once, I walked away with more stitches than they could count). After all this, I really felt like I had failed in the labor and delivery department. Linda graciously accepted me as a client and that’s when I truly began to learn about delivering babies.  It’s not really as difficult as they make it seem in the hospital.  It’s a very natural process designed by God, not something to fear.  I found out how difficult it is on your body when doctors give pain meds and labor inducing drugs.  I began to understand that conventional methods of labor are very restricting and actually work against your body during labor, which causes long drawn out labors and painful, often complicated deliveries.  I was delighted to find out that Linda had delivered over 350+ babies and never had to use forceps, or a vacuum or any other potentially damaging equipment.  That alone was an incredible thought for me.

The time passed quickly until the 41st week.  I was already past due and the baby was getting bigger by the day.  I was beginning to wonder if I would be pregnant forever.  12 days past due, I went into labor… naturally, without drugs or doctors and in the comfort of my own home.  I did not have to be tied down to a hospital bed and I was free to eat whatever I wanted (not that my mind was on food).  This was true freedom.  When my pains had progressed to a minute in length, then I called Linda just to give her a heads up that I was in labor.  From that point something incredible happened… my labor progressed VERY QUICKLY (for the first time ever!).  Again I was on the phone to let Linda know that it was time.  She arrived just in time to change her clothes and get ready for the baby.  When she arrived I was dilated to a 7-8 and feeling ready to push.  Linda checked me and the baby and could tell that the baby was posterior.  We already knew the baby was big, so this was going to be a challenge.  The baby would not turn, so I just had to keep pushing until there was victory.  At 8:15 PM on December 20, 2000, my fourth daughter was born weighing 9 lbs. 15 oz.!  A whole pound bigger than the others!  All without drugs and without forceps!  A miracle for me and my family.  The best experience I have ever had.

The follow up care was very well done and I was delighted to know that I had 10 days of rest without having to get out of the house for a doctors appointment.  Linda came to my house and checked on my progress and the baby too.  After having a home birth, I would never go back to labor in the hospital.  I highly recommend Linda and her partner Beth to anyone considering a home birth.  You won’t regret it.