Charles Owen Simms

11/11/21 —- 11:49 pm Born at Home

November 11th, 2021 seemed as if it was going to be a day just like any other. The weather was becoming colder while my family prepared for the holiday season to arrive. At this point we were nearing 42 weeks of pregnancy and truly becoming impatient to meet our newborn son. After all the phone calls from family asking if he was here yet and the braxton hicks contractions that started back when I was only 34 weeks along – I could not have been more ready for labor. The contractions I was having that last month or two had faked me out a couple times so I didn’t think much of it when I had them throughout the day – strong but nothing consistent enough to track. Still, it was time to discuss what comes next if I was still pregnant the following morning. Patrice, my lovely midwife, and myself had been texting on and off about the next step in prenatal care if I ended up reaching the 42 week mark. She told me she would set up an appointment at Gerber Memorial Hospital to do a non-stress test the following morning. Once I got the text from her that confirmed our scheduled time, I responded with something along the lines of “well maybe making this appointment will jynx me into labor!”. I always talk about the power of speaking things into existence – granted we were so far along in our pregnancy that it wasn’t a long shot that I would be so very right.

Sebastian, our 8 year old, was having dinner, around 6:00 pm, while I spent my time picking up, and ensuring all that we needed for our home birth was ready to go. After a trip to the bathroom to empty my bladder I walked back to the kitchen to check on Seb and make something for myself to eat… a few steps in I felt a small amount of fluids that I knew in my heart was a sign that it was starting. I messaged Patrice to keep her in the loop and we decided it would be a good idea to have Barb, our other lovely midwife, come check on me since she lived much closer to us than Patrice did. I called my husband, Scot, to come home from work early and my son’s father to come get Sebastian for the evening just incase this was the real thing. Sure enough the contractions became stronger and consistent as each one came and went. Apparently my body was ready to go and fast!

Scot had to hurry to set everything up: The birthing pool, the bedroom, and food for us. Between 7:00 and 8:30 pm I had my husband, Patrice, Barb and Ana at my side. I was ready to meet our son. The four of them kept me hydrated, focused, and comfortable while I moved through each contraction with deep breaths and positive affirmations.

As I sat in the warm water of my birthing pool my husband held (and squeezed) my hands as I productively moaned and groaned with each strong sensation. The ladies kept tabs on the baby’s heartbeat while ensuring I had everything I needed between contracting. Ana, a training midwife, provided counter pressure and did a fantastic job supporting me and encouraging me with kind words. Surrounded by all four of my labor guides we neared the point of crowning. I could feel my son’s head lowering and pushing his way through my pelvis and beginning to crown. I was so very surprised how fast this moment came! The intensity washed over me and I did my best to allow my body to take the lead. I do recall at one point looking at Patrice and saying “This is ridiculous!”. To which she responded with a laugh and a smile. They all reminded me to breathe through the contractions as my body pushed his head towards his exit. The look on my husband’s face is something I will never forget. His attention went back and forth – looking at his son emerging and looking at me with loving words of encouragement. I could not wait to give him the son he has spent the majority of his life hoping for. But the pushing wasn’t done yet! As midnight approached I had a few more pushes left before our son was out of me and into our arms. He came out with wide eyes, and was already trying to hold his head up to see what all the fuss was about. At 11:49, eleven minutes before midnight on 11/11 – They handed him to me while Scot and I cried out with joy and excitement to finally meet the boy we created with our love and commitment to one another. We were so overcome with joy. Overflowing with love. Dripping in amazement of how precious and perfect he was.

At this point, to be honest, I was rocking on a high of adrenaline that made me forget a bit of the timeline of events. I know we got ourselves to the bedroom where Scot and our son spent some time imprinting on one another while the midwives and I completed the afterbirth. Ensuring that my placenta was intact, the bleeding was minimal and all was well with me. I was able to quickly shower before returning to bed to nurse and cuddle my sweet son. We named him Charles Owen, a name passed down from his great grandfather. By about 2:30 am, if I remember correctly, we were in our bed staring at our son in awe of him. From start to finish, it was an amazing experience. Truly perfect in every single way and I would not change one thing about it. I feel so very blessed to have been able to bring my second son into this world happy and healthy and AT HOME. It gave me a new dose of strength and confidence, just like it had when I gave birth to my first son at home 8 years prior. I am forever grateful for Patrice, Barb, and Ana for helping us create such a beautiful moment in time for us to look back on proudly. My husband and I are thankful and will cherish our son and every moment we get with him.