We have been with Damaris for the birth of all three of our children. Each one has resulted in healthy, life changing birth. The first birth, our son born in 2007, did not go according to our plan, and I don’t just mean it did not measure up to the fanciful poem that we wrote for our Bradley birth class. Though we had made every preparation for homebirth, and started labor in normal fashion at home, we ultimately transported to our local hospital for additional help. My wife had labored hard and made some progress, but after two days Damaris recommended we take the fall back plan. It hurt my heart after setting idealistic expectations, but it was the right move. Damaris was able to get us pre-admitted so the transition to the delivery room was seamless. At this point Damaris had to revert to the role of our doula, but she supported us invaluably to the end. Our son was born without complication shortly after arrival thanks to my wife’s more desperate pushing and the doctor’s vacuum assist. My wife and I still ponder all the reasons why things went the way they did and I admit the experience left a mark, but my wife and son are healthy through and through.
My wife was somewhat nervous about our second birth given how things went the first time. Damaris was confident in my wife’s ability to follow through with a home birth and we knew from our first experience it was the best option. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit to my daughter that the second birth was so smooth, it did not leave as deep an impression. It was great, really. While my chief objective immediately after the first birth was to get my wife and son home before the hospital drove us sick or crazy, I found with the second birth I did not have the pleasure of walking into my house and saying, “I’m so glad to be home!” We were there the whole time, in the place we belonged.
The last birth in December 2011 was also very smooth – albeit my wife will not ever say it was easy. In fact she said while laboring, “I’ll never do this again!” then she went on to say, “That was great!” after the birth. No kidding! Damaris and my wife seemed to communicate in that mystical womanly way about the progress of this birth. My wife had been laboring silently through the afternoon, and while driving home from a house warming party she made what I thought was a check-in call to Damaris. She knew to get on her way. While I quickly fed and bathed the kids, Damaris and Lori arrived to help. The excited kids struggled to say their good nights to the ladies and then I got into the garden tub to do my small part. Little did I realize the bulk of the laboring work was about over and Damaris soon agreed it was time to push. By our normal bed time the birth work was done and the midwives had cleaned up the rooms, and they were ready to move out of the way and let us rest. It was a great night!