To fully understand how much Lori means to my family and me you have to know a little back story. We had our first son on November 2nd, 2014 in a hospital. I had always loved the idea of a home birth, but it wasn’t an option for us since we lived in NC and were on Medicaid for the pregnancy (and honestly I didn’t even know it could ever be an option). It wasn’t the worst hospital experience, but it wasn’t what I wanted either. In July 2015, we were surprised with another pregnancy. Everything seemed to be going great until we went in for our ultrasound on October 30th, and the tech told us there was no heartbeat. Although we had in fact lost our baby at just 7 weeks, my body continued to act as if I was pregnant though. They told me I had to have a D&C that afternoon…not much time to even fully come to terms with what was happening. Two weeks later I was still bleeding from the surgery so they started having me come in every week to test my hcg levels and wanted me to continue that until it was zero. This is where Lori comes in (at this point she had already been the midwife for my sister-in-law and I knew if she loved Lori, I would too and wanted to have her as my midwife for a home birth).
I called her for her advice about getting my blood drawn every week, and she reassured me (after hearing my hcg level) that at that point I was ok. I immediately quit going to the doctor and called Lori for all my questions from that point on. She was always understanding and helped me through everything. She also told me that it was ok to start trying to get pregnant again. So, a couple weeks later, we did. It took longer than expected (we got pregnant right away the first time, and our second baby was a surprise. I understand it takes some women years to conceive), but in April of 2016 we found out we were pregnant! And thus begins Simon’s birth story.
I called Lori within an hour of finding out I was pregnant. She of course was super happy for us and we went ahead and scheduled my first appointment for about a month later. When she couldn’t find the heartbeat, I started to get really worried, so she had me come back the next week. Again, no heartbeat. I was so scared that between Lori, my husband and I we decided it was best if I went and got an ultrasound (Lori and Jeremie both believed everything was fine, but there was no convincing me). At 11 weeks I got to see my beautiful baby and listen to his heartbeat. The rest of the pregnancy went wonderfully.
I was a lot healthier this time around and didn’t get sick like I had my first pregnancy. Lori was always so encouraging in everything (eating, exercise, stress of family, etc.). When my iron got low towards the end, she helped me figure out how to get it back up. And then came my due date month. I was ‘due’ December 26th, 2016. Looking back I wish I had taken Lori’s advice and told everyone I was due the beginning of the year, because my day-after-Christmas due date really upset a lot of people since I was planning on having my baby at my mom’s house in SC (which is where everyone gathers Christmas day). So pretty much all of December was super stressful for me with family causing drama, plus on top of that my husband was an over-the-road truck driver, and I was convinced the baby was going to come early (simply because this wasn’t my first) and he was going to miss it. Lori was very calming during this time, and even let me try some natural induction techniques after 39 weeks. On December 25th, I had a few contractions and totally jumped the gun and had Lori come over. By the time she arrived they had completely stopped and I felt like I had ruined her Christmas (she was super sweet about it though!). It turns out, Lori knew what she was talking about, because my sweet son decided to wait until January 6th to make his debut, 11 days "late".
January 6th, 2017, was a Friday. I was babysitting my nephew at the time and had previously told my sister-in-law (the one who had a home birth and was going to be at mine) that if she needed to bring her son it was no problem. Well, she dropped him off at 8:30am and around 10am consistent contractions had started. They weren’t painful at all so I texted her and asked her to come over to get him when she got off work, but to stick around for a while to see if this was the real deal. Jeremie had been over at our house working on it all morning, so I texted him and asked if he was almost done. He got back to my mom’s around 12:30 pm (with lunch for me!) and my contractions started to get strong and slightly painful. At 2 my sister-in-law showed up, by which point I knew it was the real thing. I texted Lori around that time and asked her to go ahead and come over (since the contractions were getting really intense) and she got there around 3:30. I was so happy to see her and asked to get in the tub right away! I remember thinking rather quickly that I couldn’t take it anymore.
Lori had me get out of the tub and sit on the toilet. Jeremie kept reminding me that she knew what she was doing and that she was helping things along, not trying to torture me. At one point while on the toilet I looked him right in the eyes and said very intently, “I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE” and he so calmly replied, “yes you can, you have to”. At that point Lori had me squat using the tub to hold on to. I remember screaming at her that I just wanted to get back in the water. After squatting through a couple contractions she let me back in the tub, and I started pushing. But pushing this time was a lot harder than I remembered with my first son. Lori finally had me stand up and as soon as I did, Simon came “shooting out” as my husband would say. At 5:17pm, Simon landed in his daddy’s hands. His hand was up next to his face which is why it was harder to push him out.
This experience didn’t go anything like I had planned, but I am so thankful for it! I love Lori and can’t wait to do this again with her.