Shiraz, born at home

Posted in Birth Stories

Laura and her husband, Daniel, had been living in Jerusalem, Israel for most of her pregnancy and moved to Ithaca so Daniel could attend Cornell University. They found my website online and we communicated a few times over email and “met” each other during a Skype consultation a few months before they arrived in the U.S. The first time I met them in person was at our first visit at 31 weeks, and I found both Laura and Daniel to be sweet and soft-spoken with luminous smiles. They were excited about the birth of their first child, and we spent most of the first few visits translating their records from Hebrew into English and discussing their visions and plans for the upcoming birth.

Six days before the due date, Daniel texted me in the morning to say that Laura had some bloody show and started having irregular contractions that were about 10-15 minutes apart. They lasted about 30 seconds and were still pretty mild, so I told Daniel to stay in touch with me if labor started progressing. Around 1:30 in the afternoon he texted again to say that contractions were less then 5 minutes apart, but were still only 20-30 seconds long and still pretty mild. Thinking this was still early labor, I gave him recommendations for Laura’s comfort, hydration, and nutrition, and told him to stay in touch with me over the next few hours. I didn’t hear from Daniel for a few hours so I decided to go for a walk on the trail by the Cayuga Lake inlet. While I was on my way back home, I received a phone call from Daniel and when I heard his voice I immediately knew something was different. He said there had just been a large gush of clear fluid and Laura was starting to push with each contraction. He said he could see something coming down with each push. I was shocked and began to run the rest of the way home. I flew inside the house, grabbed my bags, and headed back out. I quickly called my assistant, Erianna, and told her to meet me at the house as quickly as possible. Laura and Daniel’s house was close by, about a 10-minute drive, but there was a lot of traffic that afternoon. I streaked through side streets, ran red lights, parked quickly, and ran inside the house . . . to find Laura and Daniel both beaming at me from the floor of the living room with a sweet baby girl in Laura’s arms.

The baby was pink and alert and snuggled closely against Laura’s chest as both her parents gazed at me with wide surprised eyes and gigantic smiles. They said she had been born moments before after about 10 minutes of pushing. I quickly took out some equipment and supplies and checked on the baby’s and Laura’s vital signs and checked to see if Laura was bleeding. All seemed well, so I sat back and just shook my head in wonder and asked them how they were feeling and what had happened in the last moments before the baby was born. Laura’s first words to me were, “That was so easy!” I can’t say that I hear that very often from brand new birthing parents after their first birth!

Erianna arrived at the house about five minutes after me, and together we helped Laura and baby Shiraz get comfortable in bed and began to monitor both. Shiraz took to nursing easily as Laura and Daniel gazed at her with love. A few hours later Erianna and I were ready to head out and leave the new family to rest. Before we got in our cars, we stood together and laughed in wonder at the unexpected speed of this first labor, and how surprising and exciting birth can be. Our jobs are never boring!

Welcome to the world Shiraz! Congratulations Laura and Daniel!

For more photos of Laura and her family, check out the Photo Gallery of BirthRoot Families.