I went into labor on the 15th of December. It was a beautiful Sunday. I woke up at 5 AM, it was still dark outside, and the snow was beginning to fall. I texted Julie and told her I thought it was going to be baby day. She responded almost immediately and we said we touch base after an hour or so. Then it was time to wake up my husband. He jumped out of bed and asked if he needed to fill up the birth tub. He knew that was his main duty and he was ready to go! Ha ha. I had to remind him the baby wasn’t going to fall out that second. We made coffee, watched our toddler catch snowflakes on his tongue, and soaked up the last moments of us being a family of three.
A little while later, the Contractions pick up and I start getting nervous about Julie and Kara making it here in the weather. Julie happily made her way here and we just drank some coffee and chatted. I started getting emotional because I was missing my first baby. He went to my mother-in-law‘s house knowing he would come home to a new baby brother waiting to meet him. My contractions weren’t as consistent at this point because I was feeling stressed out. Julie was doing her best to get me back on track and suggested we make cinnamon rolls. I loved this. I am a baker so that was right up my alley. I go to grab some flour only to discover I didn’t have enough. Dang it.
At this point, it’s probably 12 o’clock or so. My contractions were getting a bit more intense but I didn’t feel like anything was happening. I remember thinking “ugh, I just want to be a 7!” I didn’t feel like I was progressing at all. By this time, I was feeling defeated and thought I had called her out here in the snow for nothing. Julie suggested she could check me if that was something I’d be interested in. I was all about it. She checked me and guess what??! I was a SEVEN! My mood totally did a 180! ”YAY. We are having a baby soon!“
My husband finally gets to fill up the tub. This is his moment. Ha ha. I pace up and down my tiny hallway. My body then started to take over. I start counting my breathing and pointing my toes like my old ballerina days. I didn’t expect that’s what my body would do, but hey, it was working. That’s worth saying again. YOUR BODY KNOWS WHAT TO DO. Trust it.
We had the birth tub set up in our living room. It was almost Christmas so our tree was on, fireplace was on, and the snow was falling. We don’t have a TV in our living room, so my husband brought up his tiny laptop and we watched elf. It was basically my dream moment.
I start getting emotional as the pain sets in. Once I was fully dilated, it didn’t take long. I think I pushed maybe three times. I told them both before hand that I wanted to catch him. After I got him out, I didn’t think that I could do it but Julie said “yes you can“ and I pulled my baby out of the water. Ahhh, he was here. We stayed in the tub for a bit before going up to our bedroom to examine him and cuddle. To me, it was the most perfect and beautiful birth. Kara and Julie were there every step of the way, in the best way. Charlie came into the world surrounded with love from his parents AND his midwives. They cleaned everything up, started some laundry, and left us to enjoy our new baby. Almost immediately after, I sent my husband to go pick up my first baby. I hear the door open and the sweetest voice shouts “where is my baby brother???!“ Before I knew it, I had my two baby boys with me in bed and life was complete. <3
I accidentally delivered my third child in the car while we attempted to drive to the hospital, so I knew when I got pregnant with my fourth that I wanted to have a home birth. The experience was nothing short of incredible. Around 9 am I knew I felt different and our baby would be coming at some point that day. I was able to continue doing life with my other three children as I labored on and off throughout the day.
My husband was here along with my best friend and I was able to labor with ease in the comfort of our home. As things grew more intense Julie arrived and I had such peace knowing I was in her care. Just over an hour after she arrived our son entered the world surrounded by his siblings, who watched the whole process in awe.
Bringing new life into the world is one of the most vulnerable and intimate things a woman can do. To do it in my own home was incredibly empowering. I would never choose to do it any other way again.
When I met Julie and Kara at their office “meet and greet,” I immediately knew these were the women I wanted to provide my prenatal care and attend the birth of my 3rd child. My first birth was in the hospital with a large midwife practice and my second was at a freestanding birth center. Unfortunately, I felt the care I received in those practices and at birth resembled a “medwife” philosophy and I was just another rushed number in a long queue of patients. True informed consent was not provided and I was at the mercy of each establishments “rules.” Therefore, when it came time to choose my prenatal care for my 3rd pregnancy I decided homebirth was the right path. After my first prenatal appointment, it was clear that I had made the right choice I loved going to their cozy office with no long waits I frequently brought my children and both Julie and Kara involved them and allowed them to help. I never felt rushed and often we would get lost talking and getting to know each other.
There were some tests I wanted to skip or seek alternative testing options and they both provided true informed consent, meaning they presented the pros and cons, what they usually do in their practice, alternatives, latest research and then left the choice up to me and fully supported what choice I made. Additionally I was given both their cell numbers and was encouraged to call or text with any questions or concerns and they both always responded in a timely fashion. My labor started when Kara out of town, but Julie was wonderful during my birth. We communi by text in the early stages of labor and she even offered to sleep in her office to be closer to my home. My labor moved swift, so she only arrived about 90 minutes before my son was born, but she was very respectful of how I wanted to labor and although I was in the zone laboring , I remember seeing her sitting in my hallway being a quiet observer allowing my body to do what it needed to do. I wanted to catch my baby and I did!
Julie unobtrusively observed while I snuggled my son in the birth pool and it was a peaceful and gentle welcome to the world, such a contrast to how my other two were welcomed with rough towel rubbing and nurses interrupting to touch baby. It truly was everything I wanted in a dreams birth. When it was time to transfer to the bed and shower, her compassion and love of the entire birth process showed and it was such a blessing to be aided by someone so caring, thoughtful and respectful! Thank you Jukie and Kara dor amazing care during such a special time for my family i am left with nothing but positive and amazing memories of my prenatal care and birth!
I had a gratifying experience with Midwife Partners Julie and Kara. They truly took great care of me throughout my office visits and definitely at labor and delivery They have exceeded my expectations by far being that I was a VBAC patient hoping for a water birth.
What led me to having a home birth was a horrible experience I had in the past at a hospital. Lomg story short I opted for the epidural, next the doctor broke my water manually, then I was told the baby’s heart rate dropped and I needed an emergency C-section. I was in labor for 6 hours and had dilated to 7. It wasn’t until I left the hospital that I realized I was rushed to deliver my baby and robbed of a natural birth experience. Julie and Kara definitely gave me this natural experience I had hoped for. They were consistently welcoming, honest and positive about delivering my baby at home. They honored my birth plan and were my biggest cheerleaders as I was pushing, it was very encouraging, empowering and pleasantly unexpected. They have definitely raised the bar on home births and I will never choose a hospital birth again.
Julianna, being my fourth child and second home birth, seemed to be my most relaxed birth. I knew exactly what I wanted when looking for a midwife. When I met with Julie for the first time, she told me about her and Kara’s practice and their experience. After I shared my expectations (having the most natural pregnancy and labor as possible) regarding homebirth, I knew that I would mesh well with Midwife Partners.
The morning of labor (though I wasn’t sure if it was labor), I started to have light bleeding followed by what seemed like Braxton Hicks contractions. I never had bleeding with my other labors, so I wasn’t convinced that “today was the day.” The contractions spanned throughout the morning and afternoon. I texted Julie and made her aware of my symptoms. That evening I went to my previously scheduled appointment with Julie. My contractions were becoming uncomfortable. Julie even asked me if I was sure I was not in labor, to which I replied “No.”.
After the appointment, my family and I went to dinner at a nearby restaurant. During the meal, I couldn’t sit down because of how much the contractions hurt, though they still seemed pretty random and far apart. We hurried our meal along just in case though. We arrived home and immediately put the other three children to bed. I sat in a bath for a little bit it wasn’t helping. I then accepted that I was in labor. I texted Julie and let her know that the contractions were becoming stronger and more regular. She immediately called and assured me that she would be there soon. I told her to take her time and that it would probably be awhile since I usually labored around eight hours and the contractions were still five minutes apart. I am glad that she didn’t take my advice because as soon as i hung up the phone, the contractions increased to two minutes apart. Thankfully, 30 minutes later she and her team arrived.
I was barely aware of what was going on, but Julie, Kara and Ashley (a student) seemed to work effortlessly to prepare the room while my husband helped me through labor. Everyone was so helpful and patient. They offered ideas of different positions to labor in to help make me more comfortable. At one point, Julie even pressed on my back during a few contractions. Everything just seemed to go so quickly and seamlessly that I hardly remember it. But that‘s a good thing! Baby Julianna came about 30 minutes after the arrival of our team! She was beautiful, perfect and had a full head of dark brown hair! As soon as she came I asked if it was really a girl! (My other 3 are boys and I never fully believed the ultrasound technicians!) My husband and I are so thankful for Jukie and Kara and how they made every bit Of our exoerience wonderful and memorable.
After a relatively easy pregnancy, I went into labor at exactly 41 weeks. For more than a week I had been feeling contractions in the evenings and on multiple nights felt certain labor was going to begin. I felt a bit cranky and more ready than ever to meet my baby. At my 41 week appointment that afternoon, Kara was so calm and positive. She assured me the baby was fine and was ready to come at any time now. That night around 1:30 am I was woken up by my contractions. I knew it was finally the real deal when they didn’t let up after I got out of bed and went to the bathroom. I laid back down for a little bit and when the contractions started to get stronger I let my husband MJ know labor had begun. I continued to labor in bed for a while and moved to the birthing ball when the contractions became too uncomfortable to stay laying down. As labor progressed I alternated between the birthing ball, the shower, and eventually the toilet when the contractions really got intense. MJ kept asking if I wanted to call Cara and Julie, but I kept assuring him that I was fine and didn’t need to call yet because my water hadn’t broken and I was fine.
Finally, around 4:30 in the morning MJ insisted I text Kara and Julie, which was great judgment on his part. Right after I sent the text I started throwing up and I knew it was go time. Julie called me, asked me a few questions and said they’d be on their way. MJ got the bed ready putting down the plastic and extra sheets, and got out the birth kit.. Kara and Julie arrived and got their stuff set up just before I started pushing. I knelt on the bed holding onto MJ while I pushed. When he needed a break I held onto Kara and all the while Julie monitored the baby’s progress. I’m not sure how long I pushed or how many pushes it took to bring Ayah into the world, but it didn’t seem like too many. I had one brief moment of doubt when I was feeling really tired and the pain was at its most intense that I doubted if i could finish pushing her out. That moment of doubt didn’t last long when I remembered she was already partway down the birth canal and it was much too late to quit. With Kara, Julie, and MJ’s encouragement and gentle coaching I pushed a couple more times and Ayah was born.
Ayah was born just before 6:00 am that morning. I felt elated that the hard work was done and that I could finally meet her. Julie laid her on my chest and MJ and I just marveled at how beautiful she was and how miraculous birth is. After I delivered the placenta, MJ’s mom brought in our older daughter, Maryam, to meet Ayah. Maryam looked stunned and confused by a whole new person appearing in our house while she was sleeping. Kara and Julie stayed for a little while to help me into the shower, weigh Ayah, and clean up. Resting in my own bed afterwards and snuggling Ayah felt incredible.
I never thought seriously about having a home birth until I was pregnant with my second daughter. My first was born in a hospital out of state, with a wonderful OB and without any interventions. Although it was a constant battle to have an intervention-free birth in a hospital, the birth went as well as I expected. We relocated before I became pregnant again, so I had to choose a new provider, and decided a midwife was probably a better fit than an OB. I didn’t start thinking about a home birth until I came across Kara and Julie. My husband thought I lost my mind, “what if something goes wrong? Babies are born in hospitals for a reason!” he said, over and over. But we did some research together, and he agreed to go to an initial appointment with Kara, then another one, and slowly started to trust her more than my previous OB Eventually, in the final weeks he admitted he was very glad we didn’t have to go to the hospital.
Unlike my first baby, I thought I was in labor several times, starting around 37 weeks. I was certain the baby would be early, and hoped she would hold on until my best friend arrived the week before my due date. She obliged, but still hadn’t arrived on my due date, or the day after, and my friend was flying home the next afternoon! I was 40+1 and knew we had to be close. We had a very active day with lots of walks, and shortly after getting my 3 year old to bed contractions started and didn’t stop. Finally! Kara arrived first, around 9:30, even though my contractions weren’t that intense yet - she didn’t want to risk things progressing too quickly. Julie, their student Ashley, and our doula Rebekah arrived shortly after.
Being in labor is never easy, but staying home was a wonderful experience. We sat in my room and talked and laughed for a few hours until things started to get intense, then moved to the pool in my bathroom. The pool was a dream - I had intense back labor, but the water made it so much more bearable. Kara and Julie were diligent with their monitoring but let me labor however I needed to and Rebekah was a lifesaver with comfort measures. The room was peaceful and full of laughter, positivity,, and empowerment - the complete opposite of my hospital birth. I was open to a water birth, but glad I didn’t set my hopes on it - the buoyancy of the water made pushing incredibly difficult for me. The last stage is a bit of a blur, but I knew I was close because the only thing I remember very clearly is telling Julie that I could only last 20 more minutes, or I would die. We went back into the bed, my water broke (in Julie’s face and she didn’t even flinch!) and baby arrived very shortly after, at 4:37 AM. The birth was amazing!
My husband helped deliver the baby he once thought needed to be born in a hospital, I pulled her up to my chest, and was given all the time I wanted to snuggle and feed her. Immediately after the birth Ashley woke up my three-year-old and my best friend, and watching my three-year-old meet her minutes-old baby sister was the most magical moment of our lives! A moment she will never forget, and one that would have been impossible in a hospital. When I was ready, I was helped into the shower and came out to a freshly-made bed, laundry started, and no signs of any mess. My homebirth is easily the most cherished moment of my life. There was never a moment of fear, doubt, hesitation, or negativity from the moment labor started until baby was in my arms. We are forever grateful we chose to give birth with Kara and Julie in the comfort and safety of our own home, and my husband is officially a homebirth advocate!
A few years ago, I had a wonderful experience of watching one of my best friends deliver her second baby at home and I knew that if I ever had children I would want to do the same. I wasn’t planning on having a baby anytime soon, but when my husband and I became unexpectedly pregnant I knew I wanted to pursue having a homebirth. Thinking about pursuing a homebirth and actually doing it are two different things! I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know any first-time moms who had a homebirth with their first baby, but Julie and Kara made me feel so confident and comfortable throughout the whole process.
My sweet boy came into the world fast and furious. I woke up around 6 AM to my water breaking and assumed that, like most first-time moms, I would have a long labor and have him later that evening. However within a few hours my contractions were only five minutes apart. My husband and I were hesitant to call Julie and Kara because again, we were expecting to have a long day ahead of us. When our doula showed up around 10 AM, she said we needed to call Julie as soon as possible. Thankfully we did because by 12 PM I was pushing and our son arrived at 2 PM. The experience was intense and challenging, however, the thing I love the most about having him at home was that I was able to just ride the wave of labor versus halting it to head to the hospital. I know that I will have my future babe(s) with Julie and Kara, as I honestly can‘t imagine or picture having it any other way.
On my side of the family, the home births with midwives outweigh the hospital births. On my husband’s side of the family they schedule births around holidays and the doctor’s schedule. When we went looking for an OBGYN to have our first, we were recommended to the office where Julie and Kara were locensed nurse-midwives who birthed babies in the hospital. That was a good middle ground for us. Fast forward through two beautiful natural births in the hospital with Julie and Kara by our side, guiding us and protecting my rights. Then we got pregnant with our third. Our second born was almost 3 at the time. I had heard rumors, but when I emailed Julie it was confirmed. They were doing home births now! I was not super sure about it, but my husband (who comes from the scheduled epidural side) said, “Let’s go for it!” Let me be clear, I had total trust in Julie and Kara; my insecurities were more about not really loving our home and not seeing it as a beautiful place to birth a child. HOWEVER, i did not want to go looking for another idwofe when I loved the ones we already had, who had been there for me and knew how my body worked when birthing a baby!
So we went for it!
Along the way with the pregnancy there were concerns, which Julie and Kara helped us through, getting us to a great specialist and even being mindful of the fact that we have no insurance. Thankfully we were able to continue with our original birth plan, and February 5 arrived with a birth pool ready to go in the nursery and me trying to be patient and let the baby come when he was ready. I started having contractions around 9 AM. We had two false alarms before that and so I tried showering to slow the contractions but it didn’t help. So I called Julie, and we stayed in contact until her arrival around 11:30 AM. I was pacing the floor, which is much more comfortable than riding in a car to the hospital! My husband fixed coffee, baked a frozen pizza and we all watched the Superbowl parade on TV (Go Chiefs!). Julie and Kara checked my vitals and hung out with us until about 12:30 PM. Then they got the pool filled up, and I labored for about an hour in the tub before I started to feel like the baby was ready to come! Julie was pouring water on my back and Kara was making sure the water temperature was right. My husband was getting me snacks and water to drink, and I was praying to God to help this go quick!
Lincoln Joseph was born at 2:16 PM in the water with a total of about three pushes! Julie guided him out and I even got to help pull him out and up onto my chest! Kara captured the whole thing on a cell phone video for us, and they worked together to make sure everything was handled while I cuddled our big boy, who weighed in at 10 pounds 8 ounces and I ended up with only a very tiny tear. I didn’t even have to get stitches! I had two spells of dizziness after, and both times Julie and Kara were working as a team to make sure I was take care of and baby and I were both healthy.
The thing I was most amazed about though was that when Julie and Kara left later that evening, it was like they had never been there. The pool was gone, I couldn’t find a trace of anything saying I had birthed a baby in our home. Just my perfect baby boy, and I never even had to leave my home! Forever thanks, Julie and Kara! IF we ever have another baby in the future we will be calling Midwife Partners in Women’s Wellness!!