I learned I was 2 weeks pregnant on March 4, 2003. I had been going to my OBGYN for 20 years and originally planned to use that practice for my prenatal care and delivery which would have been at LIJ, Manhasset. I did continue to see my OBGYN for close to 5 months. During that time, Thom started researching midwives. Thom found Gaia Midwifery online. It is located in Greenlawn, near Huntington. The midwife attends births in Huntington Hospital. Since this would mean a 10 to 15 minute drive to the hospital rather than a longer drive into Manhasset we were happy not have to face possible rush hour traffic.
We made an appointment to meet the midwife. Dale was very friendly, open and informative and gave me helpful advise such as drinking raspberry leaf tea which I doubt I would have gotten from my OBGYN’s practice. She was very in tune with my pregnancy and asked how I was feeling, were there any changes and really took the time to listen and talk to me. She was accessible by phone anytime to answer any questions I had.
I try to lead a healthy, organic lifestyle and Dale is right in tune with that. We wanted the birth of our child to be as natural as possible without the use of any drugs. I went to a Bradley class to prepare for the birth of our child and learned about all the possibilities of what can happen at a birth. The more I learned, the more I wanted to try to have a natural delivery and was glad that we chose to go with our midwife. We also knew that Dale works with an OBGYN, so if any medical intervention was necessary, the Dr. would be in the hospital on call to assist.
On Monday evening, November 1, my water broke. I called Dale and we decided that I would call back when my contractions got stronger. By 8:30am the next morning I was in her office for a check up and then by 9:30am I was checking into the hospital. Though hardly dilated, I had tested positive for GBS, and needed to begin antibiotics. Around 6pm, we decided that I needed something to get the contractions going. Shortly after I received Cervidil, my contractions changed. By 9:30pm I was in active labor. It was painful, especially in my lower back. I wanted to give in and get an epidural or something, but Thom talked to me and literally massaged my lower back through every contraction. I squeezed his hand so hard with every contraction. He was a real trooper! By 11:00pm, Dale checked me again and I was 9 centimeters! We were in the home stretch. I was relieved and pressed on. I could not take lying in bed and since I wasn’t medicated, Dale suggested I get out of the bed. I stayed upright leaning on the bed until our son was born at 12:50am! Finally, after 27 hours from when my water broke, I was a mother! It was a long but beautiful experience.
Hayden breastfed for the first time shortly after his birth. Dale showed me how to get him to latch on. I felt so lucky that I had a natural delivery and was receiving such good care. Thom and I were glad that we’d decided to birth with a midwife. I think my experience would have been much different if we had gone another route. We only have good things to say about the care we received at Huntington Hospital. All the nurses were friendly, supportive and caring.