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Madalyn Clarella Sonnheim

MY BIRTH STORY  By: Tracy Sonnheim

I have had all my children come early.  Three boys at 33 weeks, 34 weeks and 34 weeks, 1 day and a girl at 36 weeks.  The second and third boy were also breech (butt first).  After finding out about midwifery and natural birth I knew I would never, willing, walk into a hospital to have a baby again.  I found Morning Star and Paula on the internet and knew I wanted to have our fifth baby there.  But…there was my "high risk" status, would she take me?

Paula didn't consider breech birth "high risk", just another way to give birth!  As far as the preterm deliveries, they all stayed in a bit longer (I used progesterone cream for the previous and this pregnancy) and we prayed it would continue that way.  We had a scare though, at 34 weeks I started having contractions as I nursed our 16 month old.  I quit nursing, applied more progesterone cream, "rested" (as much as possible with 4 children) and prayed.  I slowly dilated over the next few weeks and the baby's head was moving down.  One day I just sat and cried, "I'm not going to make it another 3 weeks!"

God answered our prayers and labor didn't start until I was hours away from 37 weeks.  Since I'm never quite sure if it's the real thing when labor starts, and it would take hours for my husband and my Mom to get to our home and over an hour to get to the Birth Center, I called them both to come.   We just made it, I went into transition during the last turn into Morning Star.  If I had another contraction like that, I would have been on the floor of the van.

I almost cried when I walked into the room.  Erin had the lights low, music on, the tub drawn-it was so peaceful.  When Paula checked me I was fully dilated and got into the tub.  "Isn't this the time that everyone at the hospital would be screaming at me to push?"  Paula, Erin, and Amy (doula and great photographer) just quietly waited, giving me sips of water and checking the baby's heartbeat.  I squatted and slowly moved my baby down.  Paula told me I would hold my baby soon.  After about an hour my water broke.  The water definitely eased the stinging sensation of the baby's head.  The baby's cord was around it's neck and Paula or my husband couldn't unloop it.  It didn't matter, the baby was coming, twisting out of the loop and swirling around in the tub.  I laughed as Michael and Paula brought the baby up out of the water.

It's a girl!  Just what we hoped for.  We named her Madalyn Clarella.  I got to nurse her as they drained the tub.  The midwives got us tucked in bed and made us dinner.  It was nice to be able to go home in 4 hours, our children hardly missed us.  I've always hated the long hospital stay but, staying at Morning Star wouldn't have been so bad.  It was such a peaceful and perfect birth.  Thanks Paula, Erin, and Amy!

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