A Home Birth Story
This was the Vera family’s second baby and birth experience. Their first, two-year old Isabella, was born at the U, epidural-free, in the water, and was a very positive experience for the family. Montse is also a bilingual (and local!) DONA trained doula who fell in love with birth & doula work when she was pregnant with Isabella. For this birth experience, Montse dreamed of birthing from the comfort of her home. She wanted a birth altar, to move freely between the pool and bed, use her own bathroom, eat her mother’s delicious food, and to have Isabella present for the birth.
The Vera’s chose to birth at home under the care of Beautiful Mountain Birth Suites in Draper with tending Midwife Maria Cranford. Also attending the birth was Montse’s husband Jonathan, Montse’s mother, baby’s Godmother, their doula (Candace from Centered Birthing), 2 dear friends & sitters for Isabella, and me—their photographer.
In the weeks & days leading up to baby’s birth pregnancy life was exhausting. A nasty cold, pink eye, ear infection, sinus infection and a last-minute move kept things interesting. Birth history & mother’s intuition told Montse that birth would be fast and likely happen before baby’s guess date. He was born 9 days early!
At 12:30 am Montse noticed some clear fluid and shortly after, mild waves began. I had the hardest time sleeping that night. At one point I woke up and tried going back to sleep, but kept having vivid dreams of missing baby’s birth. (These are the things that birth photographers awake at night!) I finally gave up trying to sleep and called Montse to check in. And after just a few seconds on the phone I could tell it was time to leave.
I arrived just before 2 am. Maria & the birth assistant were unpacking as Montse walked between the living room, kitchen & bedroom. She was so calm & focused through each wave, then back to her happy, conversational self. Jonathan was a little nervous until he saw the birth support team come together. The Vera’s describe it as “magical,” and I’d have to agree.
As the waves intensified Montse & Jonathan moved to the bedroom to sneak in some rest in between waves. Around 2:30 am Maria suggested getting in the pool if that’s where Montse hoped to deliver. After entering the birth pool, the waves intensified, and the water seemed to help.
The part that pulled at my heartstrings the most was after Montse was in the pool. The way they held onto each other and looked at each other. The way he held the perfect kind of space for her, in exactly the way she needed. The way she met the peak of each wave and melted into relaxation. The way she looked up at him just after their baby was born, his eyes filled with tears. So beautiful.
Montse’s body began pushing on its own and at 4:50 am, Andrew Nicholas Vera was born!