by Amy Loomis
I feel so blessed to have had the chance to welcome the women of Dance of Life Midwifery into my life. What a wonderful experience it was to have them with me as
I welcomed the arrival of my second child (my daughter) with them by my side.
My birth story is more of a journey in that it actually began with the birth of my first child. To keep it brief, for my first pregnancy, I never really considered or even
thought about a homebirth for myself. It was important to me to have a pregnancy and delivery that was calm, peaceful, empowered and natural, and I thought I
could accomplish this goal by working with a midwife, but I was working with a midwife that oversaw deliveries in hospital settings only. I had an easy pregnancy and all was well until I arrived at the hospital. In short, it was deemed after several hours that I was not where they needed me to be in terms of dilation and I felt the entire process taken from my control. My first pregnancy resulted in everything I never wanted…epidural, petocin, lots of fear based intervention, and yes, a c-section. To say that I was heartbroken does not even begin to describe what I was feIt; I was so happy to meet my son (to this day he is perfect and wonderful), but I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t admit that I felt his arrival was overshadowed by a sense of loss, grief, sadness and guilt. If you’ve ever watched the film The Business of Being Born…there you have my experience. FTP, or Failure to Progress was my “condition”.
I share with you the story of my first birth experience because, without it, I wouldn’t
have the journey of my second. I became pregnant with my second child fifteen
months after my son was born. My husband and I wanted our children close in age,
so I was very excited….followed by a second emotion of fear. Fear of the delivery.
I knew with all of my being that there had to be a better way. Enter Dance of Life
Midwifery. Kathi and Katy are not a better way….they are the only way.
I met Kathi when I was about 8 weeks along and pretty much cried throughout
my first visit with her (pretty sure I cried through the second and third, too). I
had been working on and praying to heal my feelings of grief and guilt and even
anger and I have to say that I walked out of our consultation feeling like 1. I actually
met someone who completely understood me 2. I found the care provider I was
meant to be with and 3. that I was taking a serious and strong step in my road to
healing…spiritually, emotionally, mentally….ALL of it. Kathi encompasses every
attribute that every woman should have by her side while pregnant…she’s so full
of love, peace, knowledge, warmth, compassion, nurturing….one of the few people I
have met in my life that has truly found their calling.
So the pregnancy care was wonderful…I really enjoyed the recommended reading
and videos from Kathi and also felt that while I was learning and growing spiritually
during this second pregnancy, I was also learning and healing from the c-section.
Every month brought further understanding, strength and resolution that I would
have the birthing experience that I desired. It sounds weird, but I also found
forgiveness. I forgave myself and I let go of the anger and disappointment I felt
surrounding the hospital experience.
It came up at one of my appointments that Kathi be unavailable August 5 and 6, due
to prior commitments to be out of town. My due date was August 5, but I wasn’t
worried, as I knew that I was in good hands regardless and that those who were
meant to be physically by my side would be. I also had a feeling that this meant
I would probably deliver one of those two days!! Sure enough, at about 2am on
August 5, I felt the very beginnings of labor. I called Katy at 10am to check in and
again at 12pm or so and she came right over. Let me say this…in the course of my
appointments with Kathi I had the chance to get to know Katy and felt completely
comfortable with her. I also knew that there would be reinforcements with her and
that I would have exactly the right group of women supporting me. I did feel sad
Kathi couldn’t be with us…but only because I wanted to share my day with her, not
because I felt she NEEDED to be there. Katy exudes all that a midwife should…that
sense of love, peace, serenity and….important during the birthing process….quiet
understanding, a gentle knowing, and firm support. Katy had along with her Allie
and Laurie and they were wonderful and just complemented the entire process (as
did my husband!). I felt and was surrounded by true professionals.
I had active labor until about 4pm or so at which point I was far enough along to
start pushing. I later teased Katy that she guided me through the circuit training of
birthing a baby. When it was clear that a water birth wasn’t going to happen, we
cycled through birthing techniques in the shower, bed, floor, birthing stool and a few
others. After hours of pushing and “circuit training”, I delivered via the birthing stool
(I know, I can’t believe it either) and welcomed my sweet, perfect daughter.
Looking back, I remember that I never really felt tired, only excited and even curious
to see how it would unfold. Katy is phenomenal. I know at one point I looked at her
as I was on the birthing stool and said “I don’t want to get discouraged” and she
said “Then don’t, everything is going great”. Such support, such love….so what we
need and they freely provide.
I have come so far in my journey and in my healing and could not have done
it without Kathi and Katy. I was over 35 for the birth of both of my children,
I had a c-section…so to many, I was not a “candidate” for a vaginal birth,
much less a homebirth. I say fight the fight. Be your own advocate. I hear the
word “empowering” when it comes to natural birth or home birth and it is true, but
I have to say for me it was also more than that….it was a reclamation. I reclaimed
what is inherently natural (something I thought I lost the first time around). Turns
out I never lost anything, but with the right care for me (Dance of Life), I simply
welcomed into my life the way birthing IS.
I am incredibly humbled and grateful to have had Kathi and Katy with me through the pregnancy and birth of my daughter. My journey was an educational one and I have to say that I am very grateful for my first birthing experience because without it, I wouldn’t have the experience of my second and BOTH have given me what I need to be the person I am today….stronger, better and with a story and a healing to share.