by Dr. Rob & Mary Blohowiak…
Sometimes things just don’t go how you expect. This seemed to be the theme of our lives when I got pregnant with our third child. We were settled in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. We weren’t going anywhere.
That is until my husband decided to purchase an equine practice in Neenah, Wisconsin. We lived apart for 10 weeks, lived with my mother for another 10 weeks, then finally settled into a home weeks before Fin’s birth.
I contacted Jane Peterson when I was 6 months along. Since we had 2 previous home births that were quite uneventful, I wasn’t concerned. Jane had assisted our sister-in-law with a hospital birth for her twins 7 year ago.
We only met with Jane and Christie a few times. The pregnancy was normal (although a bit stressful). I felt fine. We did all the normal tests and when I tested positive for Group B Strep, I was a little concerned, but my husband and I did some research and talked to Jane about our options.
Ten days before my due date, I went for a “pregnancy” massage with my sister. Afterward, I thought that I was leaking a bit. We stopped to go shopping. There in the front of the store, my water broke, and I knew for sure we’d be having a baby soon. I called my husband, then Jane. I figured I would get home and my labor would begin. Was I wrong! Several hours later, still no labor. Jane decided to come and stay the night, just in case. In the morning we had passed the 12 hour mark, and at 5am we decided that we should go to the hospital for my 1st round of antibiotics. Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a bacterium commonly found in the gastrointestinal and genital tracts. For healthy adults, the bacterium is not harmful and does not cause problems. In a small amount of pregnant women and newborn infants, however, GBS infection can cause significant illness if untreated at birth.
This is not what we had planned, but Jane assured me that we would have the baby at home, if it was safe for the baby and me. I got the antibiotics and headed back home. I think the best part of all this time together was that we chatted and really got to know Jane! What an interesting woman!
After a few more hours and no labor, we went back to the hospital to get a 2nd dose of antibiotics and misoprostal to start my labor. The doctors and nurses really wanted me to stay, and at that point I had almost given up on having the baby at home. The doctor said she needed to check my progress and ultrasound the baby to make sure it was facing down. She said that she would prefer we wait for 2 hours after the labor pill was administered, then see how things were progressing.
Jane, Rob and I talked about what my birth would be like in the hospital versus home. We started running bath water for me to stay in the hospital. I was 2cm dialated and my labor had just begun. Although laboring in the car did not appeal to me, my goal was to have this baby at home. At the 2 hour mark, we made a break for it… the 1/2 hour car ride now seems surreal, but Rob and Jane kept me laughing in between contractions. We arrived home at 3:30pm where I got into my own bathtub. At 5:15 they helped me up my stairs into my own bed. As usual, I had Rob in such a headlock while pushing that he didn’t get to catch the baby. Joshua Fintan Blohowiak was born at 5:34pm on March 16, 2007. Beautiful and healthy.
Thanks to Jane, I had the birth I really wanted. Uneventful, in the end, as I had hoped.
I think the best part of having my children at home is that I can hold my baby – my husband and children at my side, nurse him, take a shower, eat and drink whatever I want – all in my own space…. my home. It was not what we expected, but it was Fin’s perfect birth.