Our Blissful Unmedicated Home Birth Story

Miriam Gubovicova
Author: Miriam Gubovicova
Our Blissful Unmedicated Home Birth Story
We are taught to believe that birth is a medical event. Yet, giving birth is the most natural thing and can be very blissful at home without any unnecessary interventions.

I believe pregnancy is a sacred time in a woman’s life and I was very private with mine. I didn’t announce it anywhere and really only our closest and dearest knew, for at least the first months when I wasn’t showing.

This week, our sweet boy turned 6 months, so I decided to share our birth story to honour him, but also to encourage any future mama to be who might stumble upon it.

belly of a pregnant woman

Keeping the pregnancy as quiet as possible allowed me to get in tune and present with every feeling the months brought along and to let my pregnancy unfold day by day. I took the due date as something that was given to me because of policies, but was never hung up on it. I knew the baby would come when it was time. Patiently waiting for the little one’s arrival, the day finally came.

From the very beginning, I was planning for a home birth. So when my midwife Siiri and doula Freta asked where did I get the idea of home birth, I didn’t have an answer for them. It felt like the most natural way to me and I haven’t considered other options. Of course, I was fully aware and ready, if a medical intervention was needed. I was not scared of that option. If the baby or myself were in danger, I wouldn’t have thought twice about going to the hospital. As one of my dear friends, Binnie said to me, we often get what we are scared of.

As the time passed, I was expecting some doubts to emerge, but they stayed at bay and my excitement for home birth grew every day. I had zero fear about the birth. I believe part of the reason for that was having the best support team anyone could ever hope for. My amazing doula Freta, the sweetest midwife Siiri and of course, my loving partner Andri. And can’t forget the big furry brother, Jacinto, who repeatedly came to give me kisses to comfort me when things got real during the birth.

Nature was kind to me and my little one and we got our dream home birth. Or as I see it now, a ceremony of life.

On the morning of November 19th, I started to feel something was shifting. I didn’t know what or how things were supposed to feel, but I knew the baby was ready. I messaged Freta and told her I’m feeling some cramping. And I went about my day. I took the doggie for a walk, baked a banana bread and even went to the supermarket. I felt like I was in my own bubble, holding the biggest, most exciting secret in the world from everyone I crossed paths with that day.

a woman in a bathtub during labor

By the evening, I knew it was the last sleep I would have with our little one in my tummy.

As the night progressed, the contractions started to intensify and they were very close to one another, some lasting for a few minutes. This was the first learning about official numbers and how we’re told things “should go” that I had to let go off. This was my birth, my process, my timing. We called Freta around 4am the next day as by that point I couldn’t sleep. She asked Andri to draw a bath to help me relax. It was honestly the best bath of my life! I spent about two hours in the tub and only got out because I was falling asleep. I thought to myself it would be really dumb to drown now. 

I went back to bed and tried to sleep as much as possible. Nothing changed for the next few hours. I knew we still had time and I even sent Andri for his usual morning coffee walk with Jacinto. After all, his fluffy life as an only child was about to change and we need to keep some rituals alive.

My sister called me in the morning. I didn’t answer and just sent her a message saying the little one is requesting his entry to the world and that we’ll keep them updated. She responded with a voice note and spoke through tears. We had a very strong bond before, but with me on the verge of entering motherhood, it intensified a thousandfold. Just thinking back about it makes me tear up.

The morning felt like it both, flew by and lasted forever. I was in and out of the bathtub and the bed, changing positions and breathing through the pressure as it intensified.

Doula helping a woman in labor to relax
My beautiful doula Freta helping me relax with what they call “butt jiggles”.
The best thing ever!

We called Freta again at around 2:30pm. She said she will come over now. I was in a tub when she arrived and something about her presence and just seeing her in the bathroom door made me feel completely relaxed. I felt safe. She was in constant touch with Siiri, my midwife, updating her while also taking care of me and helping Andri to know what to do. I could tell he was feeling a bit helpless and wanted to do more, just didn’t know what. But the most important thing for me was for him to be there by my side. Nothing else mattered.

Siiri arrived at around 5pm to check on me. A midwife usually comes and stays when the birth is very near. Freta just said, she hopes Siiri will stay. And she did. When she checked me, I was already at 8cm and it looked like it wouldn’t take another day.

Freta has an amazing sense of not only humour, but also a way to make people feel good. She said a few times it could still take till tomorrow. After Siiri’s check, we both laughed as she said it’s her way of motivation to give the most difficult case scenario as an option. I did feel really good about the fact that it wasn’t gonna last another 24 hours, that’s for sure!

We ordered dinner, though I couldn’t take a single bite. I was vomiting throughout the day and had trouble keeping water down, let alone any food. I just didn’t feel like eating. Siiri and Freta stayed on the bathroom floor close to me, eating their dinner. I don’t remember all of the conversations, but I remember laughing a lot and just being happy and present with them and with my beloved.

It must have been around 7pm when things started to really pick up. I felt something and thought it was the baby’s head. But it turned out to be a water bag, which finally came out. Now it was the baby’s turn.

The only problem was that my contractions slowed down, if not stopped completely. The water and maybe even the ambiance made me too relaxed and while we were waiting for the next contraction, it was just not coming. Siiri checked the baby’s heart rate several times to make sure everything was ok.

After a while, they asked me to come out of the bathtub. I was given a homoeopathic remedy and told to walk like a bear around the house. Thank god for the long corridor! As I’m a bit of a clean freak, I was concerned about the blood dripping everywhere, but Freta just waved her hand at me, laughed and told me not to worry about anything.

The contractions came back pretty fast and before I knew it, I was on the bed, getting ready.

I envisioned a water birth and catching the baby into my arms. It was clear that wasn’t gonna happen, but at the time, it didn’t even cross my mind to be honest. Somehow, subconsciously, I just let Siiri and Freta be my light and lead the way. I don’t know how long it took, it felt like 5 minutes to me. Everything was perfect at that moment. Andri next to me, Jacinto walking around, and the best support I could ever wish for was there to guide me. My “Baby Love” playlist was playing and the candle was burning as I pushed to bring a new life into the world.

There was a point when I thought I couldn’t do this anymore, but I held myself back from saying it out loud. I didn’t want to give those thoughts any power by verbalising them. Instead, I surrendered and gave it my all. There’s a danger in saying “no”. At that moment, I remembered what Binnie said to me. “No” creates contraction and it closes us up. “Yes” creates space and openness. So I repeatedly said “Yes, and Thank You.” I was grateful for the pain, the burning sensation, the people around me and mostly for my beloved choosing me as a mother. And that’s when the magic happened.

Midwife lovingly and patiently waiting for the family to meet their new baby.
Our midwife Siiri lovingly and patiently waited for us to meet our baby boy. This is definitely one of my favorite pictures.

Our beautiful baby boy was born at exactly 9:14pm, surrounded by an ocean of love and peace. As I held him in my arms, tears of joy came rushing down my cheeks. I remember looking at Andri, at the baby, at Siiri and Freta and baby again and feeling surreal, almost confused. It felt like I just crossed a mountain with one big leap and entered a completely new world. My life has changed in a split of a second. It still feels surreal and I don’t think I will, nor do I want to, ever feel different about that moment.

Later, when I was sharing my birth story with Binnie, I found out it was the best decision to come out of the water. Binnie is a big supporter of water birth and she was in fact present at the very first water birth in the US back in the day. To my surprise, she acknowledged that nature, the baby and of course my amazing midwife and doula knew best and did the right thing, and I’m grateful I listened. It would have been a lot more difficult for the baby and for Siiri and Freta if the baby was born into the water, as the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his tiny neck and shoulders.

If there’s one thing I can say for sure is that during the entire process, I have completely lost sense of time. I enjoyed every moment to the fullest. I couldn’t take my eyes off the little bundle of love peacefully breathing on my chest. The baby stayed attached to the placenta for an amazing 2,5 hours, though to me, it felt like 5 minutes. I think I can be certain that all the nutrients and blood from the organ that has been nourishing him for 41 beautiful weeks were received by his body and we let the placenta do the job it was created for till the very end. In the meantime, Freta and Siiri made sure everyone and everything was taken care of.

Even though I didn’t tear at all, I needed some minor outside surface stitches. So while Siiri was stitching me up and the baby was just a few minutes old, we called our loved ones. I know many families would choose to keep this moment completely to themselves, but we couldn’t wait to let our loved ones know the baby has joined us in the world. We called our closest family and proudly introduced our little bundle of love to them.

Two candles burning through an umbilical cord over a colourful bowl.

When it was time to separate the baby from the placenta, Freta brought two candles and a beautifully colourful bowl to collect the dripping wax. She first asked if I wanted to help Andri burn through the cord, but I just smiled and asked her to hold the other candle. I wanted to watch and soak up every single second of the moment. The candle wax dripped into a bowl for a good 15 to 20 minutes. I watched, while the baby peacefully rested on my chest. The flames seemed to have slowed and quieted everything down. I was experiencing the golden hour in its most beautiful and magical way. Only after the baby and the placenta were separated by the fire, Siiri carefully and lovingly took care of the rest. 

At that point, I had been thoroughly checked by Siiri and Freta helped me out of the bed and into the shower. The running hot water felt so good on my hair and body at that moment. Water really is a powerful element. It was the best shower of my life yet. In the meantime, Andri held the baby and Siiri took all the necessary measurements and explained to Andri how to take care of the baby now.

Dog watching as a new mother nurses her baby.
The morning after… Jacinto was very curious about this tiny human.
They understand.

Siiri and Freta stayed with us for a few hours after the baby was born. They really made sure everything is in order and we feel safe and relaxed. I’m eternally grateful for the safe space they created for all of us. It can be scary to face such an unknown. But with the right people around you, the sense of safety and being held overpowers any fear.

Sharing this story is the most vulnerable thing I’ve ever done and it took me a while to gather the courage to do so. But I hope it will reach and help the right people and be a source of encouragement for mothers. 

I would also like to share some information about the loving people I mentioned in the story. Maybe they’ll inspire those who need it 🙂

My amazing doula Freta’s IG account

Our loving midwife Siiri’s website

Dear friend Binnie’s website

Our interview with Binnie on Youtube