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Bradley’s Birth Story

Written by Hattiesburg Midwifery Mama: Brooke Von Eiff

After having a hospital birth with my firstborn daughter, I knew I didn’t want to do that again. I was pressured into an induction that I didn’t need, which made my whole birth experience more restrictive than I wanted. Hooked up to so many cords and monitors, going hours without a nurse even checking on me, and then being bugged constantly during my recovery— even though my labor with her was fairly short (just 9 hours) and there were no complications, we knew that wasn’t how we wanted to do things moving forward. 

So when we moved to Mississippi, I immediately started researching midwives in the area, and connected with Amanda just weeks after she opened her business in Hattiesburg, and six months before I was even trying to get pregnant. 😂 I knew that I liked her immediately, and was drawn to her because of her Christlike spirit and sweet, motherly tone. ❤️ I texted her the same day I found out I was pregnant, and was so happy she had room for me in her calendar! 

My very first visit, I knew I’d made the right decision. This wasn’t like a doctor visit. It wasn’t rushed. I felt seen as a whole person rather than as a faceless appointment. During my pregnancy, Amanda was so kind and supportive, and handled any concerns or potential complications that arose with professionalism and kindness. As my due date drew near, she provided me with an amazing amount of resources, information, and product recommendations to keep me healthy and prepared for birth! 

My due date came and went. Instead of being pressured to induce, Amanda was totally calm and happy to let me keep going as long as baby needed! I was over a week late when I had an appointment with Amanda, and we decided together to try for a membrane sweep to get things going naturally. Even though my cervix was sitting too far back to be successful, the attempt kickstarted some contractions and produced a bloody show that told us I was getting close! However, the experience was a bit stressful for my sweet baby, and his heart rate became erratic and jumped up and down unpredictability. Rather than making me to go to the hospital, Amanda gave me a couple of different options for how to make sure my baby stayed safe. We chose to have a a biophysical profile to make sure my baby was still safe to stay inside and for me to remain at home. Once he'd calmed down from the stress, he passed the test with 10/10-- so I was THRILLED that we hadn't rushed to the hospital out of fear! 

My contractions continued lightly and sporadically overnight and into the next day. Around 5:45 pm, Amanda suggested I lie down to either help labor get into gear or get some rest! By 6:10, my contractions had picked up significantly and were now consistently 4 minutes apart! I called Amanda and she was on her way (45 minutes to my house!) By the time she arrived, I was already heading toward transition. She and my husband and the birth team worked on filling my birth pool, which was already set up. I moved into the tub arounnd 8:45 and enjoyed the relief from the water very much.

Everything was so calm and peaceful. I had my worship music on, and I was breathing the words out with each contraction.

My daughter (2 1/2) was there with me, softly cheering me on and stroking my arm so sweetly. My husband was there giving me kisses and holding my hand and just being so calm. I changed positions in the tub a few times, but by 10:15, I could tell we were getting close and I started bearing down into the contractions.

By 10:30 I was pushing in earnest! At 10:40, I gave it my all, and all at once, he crowned and slid all the way out into the water! I picked him up and pulled him to my chest, and it just felt so perfect and surreal! My daughter kept saying, "Daddy, the baby came out!" Amanda and her birth team were there, with warm, dry towels, giving me space to look at my baby but also making sure we were both okay. 

The next three hours were fast and chaotic, but it a wonderfully nurturing, calming way. I was helped out of the tub and into bed right away, where I delivered the placenta, got out of my wet things, and held my son skin to skin. The birth team monitored my vitals, listened to baby, and checked me for any tearing and excessive bleeding. They spent time and undivided attention on us and made sure that I got cleaned up and to the bathroom. They brought me water, snacks, and supplements to make sure my blood pressure was regulated (since it was kinda high right after birth.)

They weighed and measured my baby, AFTER I'd had plenty of time to snuggle and breastfeed him at my own leisure!

Before they left, my bedsheets were changed, the laundry was started, and my kitchen was cleaned up-- they basically tucked us in so we could get some sleep, and didn't leave my house until after 2 am! I think my favorite part of my home birth was being at home in my own bed with my own shower and fridge during those first hours and days of recovery! Amanda came back to my house (a long drive I would have hated with a tiny baby!) for his 2-day and 5-day follow-up appointments to check on us and make sure he was healthy and eating properly! We had three more appointments with Amanda at 2, 4, and 6 weeks to make sure that we were both healthy and doing well! 

I cannot express enough how thankful I am to have given birth to my son at home with such excellent caregivers. I rarely use this word, but the entire experience was so incredibly empowering! For months after he was born, my daughter looked at me and kept saying, "Mommy, thank you for pushing the baby out! You did a great job!" And not only does that make me cry -- but it fills my heart with thankfulness that my daughter will not grow up in fear of what God created us as women to do. She will grow up with her first experience around birth being the most amazing, natural, and positive thing! I'm so thankful to be an example to her this way. Amanda and her team were so helpful to me in involving my little girl in this life-changing experience, and I am so thankful for that as well! 

I wouldn't change a thing about my birth experience, and that's largely due to the incredible care I found at Hattiesburg Midwifery! In a world so overrun by birth trauma stories, I hope some woman can hear from me that it doesn't have to be that way. Finding a health care professional who believes that is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself, your baby, and your future mental health! 

With a heart full of thankfulness, 

Brooke Von Eiff 

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