Dear Liza, 

Great news! Our baby boy was born on Sunday, Jan 18 at 2:55am, at our home. He came in at 8 lbs and a full head of hair.  We’re very thankful to have had the birth that we had envisioned while taking your Bradley Method Childbirth class (natural & at home).

His due date had initially been estimated for January 8, so we had been ready for him to arrive for quite a while.  Jan 8 came and went.  We saw many bets lost, as most family and friends had predicted his birth to be right around the due date.  We tried not to worry, since everything seemed normal and the baby was beaming healthy from his cockpit. But our eyes were on the clock. And with a constant stream of inquiries coming in, it was hard to think about anything else.

Then, early labour started around 11.30pm on Thursday, Jan 15, with more regular contractions, spaced out about 20 minutes apart.  On Friday evening around 7pm, we saw signs that active labour would be starting very soon. It was then we decided for a quick grocery run, as we knew we were unlikely to get out of the house for a while.  With the baby’s delay, we had time to talk about a birthing menu (yumm!) and the crockpots were out and humming along.  

Friday night into Saturday was a difficult night.  We remembered from your Bradley Method ® class that the most important things at this juncture are: Eat, Pray, Love (or was it Eat, Sleep, Hydrate? :). But sleep definitely wasn’t happening. With contractions spaced about 4-5 minutes apart and lasting anywhere from one to two minutes, it was a long night.

Kaydee, our midwife from Birth Matters arrived early in the morning along with her assistants, Lauren and Rachel, and would spend the next 24 hrs with us. Arlyn was in active labour, moving from the birth tub, to the shower, to the bed, to walking around the house. There was pain, but not much else, as dilation was very slow, beyond 7cm… then 8cm… than stuck at 9cm for a few long hours. 

Pushing was another level, with its own pains and set of required skills. That took at least 3 hours — we think — though time was very elastic during those hours. Baby Ratiu eventually emerged and joined his mom. 

It was a long journey, but both Arlyn and baby are healthy and happy. We can’t say enough good things about the midwife angels from Birth Matters that ushered our baby into the world.  Their knowledge, passion, and love for natural birth is an inspiration.

We’re also thinking about our mates from the Bradley Method® class and wish them all a happy and healthy labour and birth.

As we’re waiting for the registration package to come in, we’re still pondering a name…

Arlyn, Cata & baby