I want to start by saying that when I imagined having children, I NEVER had considered home birth an option. I always assumed I would have your typical hospital birth, just as my mother, and the majority of people do; just as I had done with my first daughter.  A home birth is not for everyone, but I would highly recommend it to anyone who is low risk and has the option to have one.I initially started researching home births because I had lost my insurance, and home birth appeared to be a bit more cost efficient than getting hit with an enormous hospital bill. However, as I continued to research, I read about the many benefits of home birth (you can read more here, or here).  I also spoke to a few mothers that had home births and met with a midwife that came highly recommended for the first time.  Meeting my soon-to-be midwife was actually what gave me the certainty that a home birth was the right decision for me.

*Disclaimer: This post discusses my experience with a home birth, which means there are details that I have written about that may seem TMI to some, and make others a bit squeamish. While I try to be as tactful as possible, this is childbirth we’re talking about 😉

My ENTIRE experience with a mid-wife assisted home birth, from start to finish has been the most empowering, incredible, amazing experience one could have while bringing a new life into this world.



Many of my girlfriends have asked me for a recap of the escapade, as many .of us don’t know a whole lot about how it works, the logistics, or the aftermath. There seems to be a lot of us who are interested in a midwife adventure, but are too unsure about it to actually pursue it. I am here to dish out all the deets!




The process of pregnancy and pre-natal visits is very much similar to your pre-natal visits with your OB-GYN, with one exception. My visits with my OB left me waiting in the waiting room for sometimes 1-2 hours, only to be followed by a 10 min visit where they rushed through my vitals, measured me and gave me about 2.5 seconds to address any questions I had.  With a midwife, I wasted no time in the waiting room, and spent ~30-45 minutes at my pre-natal appointments with the midwife, who took the time to answer questions without rushing, go over concerns, and educate me on various topics regarding pregnancy, childbirth, and everything in between. She welcomed my daughter at all visits and even let her help take my blood pressure and listen to the babies heartbeat each time. She offered homeopathic and holistic alternatives instead of throwing antibiotics and medications at me for common colds, UTIs, nausea, and headaches (but was willing to go that route if medically necessary).


When the day finally came for our baby girl to make her debut, I felt mentally and physically prepared to endure a natural labor in the comfort of our home. I had purchased a custom birth kit that Mary (the midwife) had created that had anything and everything we could possibly need for labor and delivery, and I spent the morning of my labor playing with my daughter, relaxing on the couch, and doing some light cleaning.  My fiance created a few playlists to appeal to any mood I might be in, and I was in contact with Mary all morning.  While I didn’t want to eat much, I did nibble on a piece of toast, and sipped vitamin water all day.

When my contractions began to get stronger and more regular, Mary made her way to my house to stay with us.  When she arrived, I was already measuring 5cm dilated. I decided to get in the tub, which almost immediately provided some relief; when she checked my progress an hour later, I was 9.5cm dilated.  The intensity of contractions were making me sweat, curse, and cry, and I was beginning to have that well known feeling of “I have to poop” – which I actually yelled mid-contraction (hopefully the neighbors weren’t home), while Mary said “that’s great, she’s exactly where she should be” as if I should be excited about this overwhelmingly painful sensation. If you have experienced childbirth without an epidural before (which I HADN’T up to this point), than you can relate when I also say that the “ring of fire” is a VERY REAL feeling and there is no other way to describe it more accurately.  The last few minutes of my labor, I don’t think I have ever yelled louder in my life.  I wanted to be silent and internalize the pain, but my body would not allow me to process the pain in any other way than screaming at the top of my lungs.  And then, with one final push, I welcomed my baby girl, Sloane, into our great big world!



After I pulled Sloane out of the water, and in to my arms, I took 10-15 minutes to relax inthe water with her, at which time, Mary delivered the placenta (which she left attached for another 15-20 minutes – talk about delayed cord cutting! – you can read more about the benefits/risks here).  Brielle came in to meet her baby sister, and only when I was ready, we wrapped Baby Sloane in a towel, and handed her to her daddy, while I was helped into the shower (YES, ladies, I got to shower immediately, praise the Lord!).

No tearing, no cutting necessary. Showered, and fed in bed 5 minutes after I laid down. Within hours, I felt good! Of course, I was sore, I was cramping (fairly intensely, actually), and my stomach felt hollow, as if my abdominals had been ripped from my core, but I felt alert, and the pain I was experiencing felt minimal compared to how I had felt in the hospital two years earlier. The herbal cleanse that I was filling my peri-bottle with was soothing to my lady regions and the herbal drops I was taking were helping with the cramps. NO TYLENOL. NO IBUPROFEN. NO PERCOCET. I felt euphoric, invincible, accomplished, and empowered – and also exhausted 😉





My Family of FOUR

I didn’t choose a home birth because I had a “bad” hospital experience the first time around, and in no way am I bashing the hospital experience or anyone who chooses to have a hospital birth.  They didn’t force me to have a C-section like I was terrified they might (and many hospitals PUSH for this to suit their own agenda). My nurse, Donna, was amazing, and had the most positive, uplifting spirit, and I delivered a healthy baby girl.  However, in retrospect, there were a lot of little things about my hospital birth that I wish were done differently, had I known better, been more thoroughly informed, or had the option.

I felt pressured into pitocin and epidurals and the way it was “pitched” to me made me feel like it was medically necessary.  I felt scared into decisions that prior to my hospital admission, I knew I didn’t want.  I hated being stuck in a bed, on my back (which was uncomfortable for me), unable to waddle around the hallways, change positions with ease, or eat or drink at my leisure – afterall, I was in the middle of the biggest marathon of my life – I needed to be able to sustain myself to finish the race.  Let me also mention that I didn’t even get a sandwich until 3 hours after delivery (talk about HANGRY)

A lovely woman I met after my home birth made a great point when she told me that “having a baby is a naturally occurring process that us women have endured for thousands of years – but when you enter a hospital, they treat the experience as if you’re sick, which makes it harder to relax and embrace the moment”.  Having the feeling of being in control of my experience, in an environment that was comfortable, relaxing, and natural, and supported through my decisions without push back, made my choice of home birth the most incredible experience I have ever had.

** If you’re in the South Florida area and considering a home birth, Mary Harris of A Loving Start is absolutely amazing and I HIGHLY recommend sitting down with her to determine if home birthing is the right experience for you**Questions, Comments, or want to share your own successful hospital or home birth experience? I would love to hear! Comment below or email me! (arienne@doctorarienne.com)