My first daughter Caroline was born in the hospital. I was put on potocin because I was believed to be late, though throughout my pregnancy there was a discrepancy regarding my due date. I don't think I was given enough information about how my delivery would be affected by potocin. Because I was fully strapped in to all possible monitors and an IV, I was unable to cope with the fast and furious, and unnatural progression of contractions. I ended up with an epidural and three hours of pushing. With the help of my doula Alice, (who is also Sybille's assistant)  Caroline was finally born vaginally and though my recovery was a bit rough, we were both fine and I was happy and consumed with my beautiful, baby girl.

For my second pregnancy I knew I wanted a different experience. Though I was a little nervous about the idea of a home birth I knew I wanted the care of a midwife. My husband Sunny was born at home and was very supportive of the idea, though no one in my family had ever considered giving birth outside of a hospital. We committed to working with Sybille and Alice and after the first couple of prenatal appointments, I was convinced we had made the right decision. My pre-natal care was personal and comprehensive; each appointment lasting an hour, as opposed to the busy doctor's office where I was whisked in and out in ten minutes. I felt that Sybille provided access to all the information available so that we made informed decisions. Her experience gave me confidence and I felt that over the course of the pregnancy through my prenatal care, she and Alice and I had become a team, with the goal being a healthy pregnancy and delivery for me and my baby. It was extremely different form being a patient in the hospital.

When my due date rolled around and I began to fear that I would be late and unable to go into labor on my own, Sybille assured me that  my body could be trusted to know when the baby was ready to be born and that there was no rush. I was delighted to wake up on the morning after Thanksgiving, a week after my due date, to mild contractions. In the back of my head I was really afraid that I would somehow end up on potocin again. After my mother came to pick up Caroline the contractions became more intense and regular and Sybille and Alice arrived. I labored on a mattress which we had brought into our living room. With each contraction either Sybille, Alice or Sunny was rubbing my lower back and holding my hand which made all the difference in the world. It was interesting because for my first birth in the hospital I didn't really want anyone to touch me. The birthing tub was also set up in our living room. I got in when I was fully dilated and it was so soothing. I was only in it for about a half an hour; with four pushes our second daughter Rita Sunshine was born just as the sun came out after two days of non- stop rain. It was so amazing to sit in the tub in my living room holding my new born daughter. After Sybille and Alice checked us out and cleaned up, Sunny, Rita and I spent the rest of the day relaxing in our cozy home and that's when I truly realized the beauty of a home birth. We never had the stressful transition to the hospital. I was allowed to progress smoothly through my labor with no interruptions. The support that I got during labor from Sybille, Alice and Sunny was exactly what I needed- never too little or too much. My recovery was quick and easy, I believe because of the comfort of my environment and the healing water of the birthing tub. Having a home birth was not merely the best way to deliver my baby; it was a truly amazing and beautiful life experience for me and Sunny. I feel so fortunate, especially considering that we live on an island and are forced to travel to the mainland for so many things, that I had the best birth experience with such competent, caring, and knowledgeable birth attendants right in my own home!