Eight years ago today, I had a wonderful Christmas present, my daughter Cora, who was born peacefully and naturally at home. Each year on my children’s birthday, I republish the story of their births, updated with a current photo that I think represents my baby well. It’s more for me than you <3, but I also hope that these stories can help normalize birth, a beautiful, and natural process that has turned so wrong in our birthing culture.
Four years ago, on December 26, my third child, Cora, made her appearance in our lives. Like all my children, she was born at home with the help of a Certified Nurse Midwife. My first two babies were born in Colorado Springs, and my last two babies were born in our little town in Iowa. I’m pretty sure they’re the only babies in recent history to have been born in the town since it’s too small to have a hospital, though we are lucky enough to have our own midwife not far out of town, and I do know another mom planning a home birth in the next few weeks!!
Of all four of my births, Cora’s was my favorite. I hesitate to say that because I don’t want it to sound like I am identifying a favored child, but the elements were just aligned to make her BIRTH really beautiful. For starters, the setting was absolutely perfect. It was a cold winter day. Snow was falling softly outside, and a fire was roaring in the fireplace. Our home was decorated for Christmas and smelled like evergreen trees. The ambiance was just lovely.
It was also my first water birth. I had tried to have water births with my first two babies, but when push came to shove, it just didn’t work. With Cora, everything worked as planned (once I convinced my husband to get the tub set up…he didn’t believe me when I told him it was time!) and she was born gently in the water after a very short labor and only three pushes. This is my very favorite picture from her birth: our midwife and her helper checking their watches at the exact same time to see when she was born. They told me after the fact that they had almost forgotten to look at the time and I think it’s so typical of midwives that they would have thought to do so at the same moment.
At 9 pounds, 2 ounces, she was my biggest baby, but my easiest labor. My fourth was also quite easy, but my first two were more “work.” Maybe the reason I think Cora’s was the easiest was because of what it followed. But my husband never actually thought I was in labor with Cora. I could have killed him when it took three calls to answer his phone and he was in no rush to set up my water birth tub! He finally decided I meant business, though, and got his job done! 😉