These mothers brought their babies into the world surrounded by family and friends in the comfort of their own home, with guidance, encouragement, and celebration during this intimate moment.
Read on and discover their experiences with Pittsburgh Midwife.
At 8 weeks I was rear ended and went to the hospital to be checked out. They came back three times after my ultrasound and told me my baby’s heartbeat was something to be watching for because it was far too low. Then they came back a final time and told me they had misread the numbers and that then heartbeat was perfectly in range…
Before I got pregnant Mati and I tried to conceive for almost two years. I had four failed fertility treatments each one more devastating than the last. I lost the majority of my hair, gained weight, injected myself with shots, and took the highest dose of letrozole possible. After our failed IUI we tried one more time with medication and had the chance of conceiving twins. That cycle ended with me going to the hospital with an ovarian torsion. We decided that my body desperately needed a break from the over stimulating hormones…
I have been blessed to birth 8 beautiful children. My first a c-section, followed by 5 hospital VBAC’s, 4 with an epidural and one natural. In hindsight I believe I let the fact that I came home from the hospital with healthy babies overshadow everything it took to get them here… until I decided there had to be a better way. With my 7th child I knew I wanted to have a home birth. My husband was hard to convince but in the end was supportive…
Eames was my second home birth, and because we recently relocated to Pittsburgh, my first time working with Jennifer. I say “working with” because that is truly how it felt- she was our partner- empowering us to make choices that felt right for us and giving us support and direction where we needed it.
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I’m not just your average cookie-cutter care. I’m a healthcare provider with decades of experience who knows all too well the pain and discomfort that often comes with traditional birthing experiences. As a woman, I give mothers like you the power to take back your healthcare and have a fully transparent, knowledgeable, and peaceful birth, right from the comfort of your own home.
The first 20 weeks of my pregnancy were beyond stressful. It felt like I had been put through the ringer with no end in sight.
At 8 weeks I was rear ended and went to the hospital to be checked out. They came back three times after my ultrasound and told me my baby’s heartbeat was something to be watching for because it was far too low. Then they came back a final time and told me they had misread the numbers and that then heartbeat was perfectly in range.
After this I started my first few appointments with a midwife center. They knew my health history and made everything seem like it was going to be smooth and easy. Then out of the blue I received a call saying that I could not give birth there due to a prior surgery (that they had been aware of since day one).
I then was led to the McGee midwife center where in the first meeting it was very clear they were not going to listen to any of my wishes in the birthing process. I was absolutely furious leaving there. I didn’t know where else to go after this and felt like my options had run out. I had never considered a home birth and was a bit nervous about the idea however a friend passed along Jennifer’s contact and we reached out to have our first meeting.
I was in happy tears as soon as we started talking to her. It was if God led her right to me. She listened fully to everything I had to say, all my fears, my concerns, and my questions. She felt like family instantly. As soon as I met with her I had zero doubts about the fact that this was the way my birth was supposed to take place. Each appointment never felt rushed, I never felt like a number, and I always felt a new sense of confidence when leaving.
Family and former doctors continuously reached out along the way to give their two cents on my decision. A former doctor who had not seen me in 5 years went as far as to call me up at around 30 weeks pregnant and tell me that I was to have a scheduled c-section at 37 weeks at the latest or my uterus would burst. I trusted God and trusted Jen through this though and stood by my decision for a home birth. In the moments of weakness when people were starting to seep into my head Jen was there to listen and guide me without ever telling me what to do.
I went into labor the night after his due date at 11 pm. We called Jen and started tracking my contractions which were immediately back to back. By 2 am my team was there and ready for anything. I was hoping to have a water birth so we had everything ready. By about 7 a.m. I started to break down and cry not knowing if I could take much more simply because I was so tired. At that moment things started to speed up. Jen had me come down stairs and walk between contractions. Around 9:30 a.m. I was walking and made it to the kitchen and couldn’t make it any further. I just remember Jen saying well this is where it’s going to happen and then in a flash they had everything they needed for the birth of my baby boy. It was the most powerful experience I have ever had. These strong women guided me through, holding me up, cheering me on. My husband fed me a popsicle in between contractions. We laugh now because he said I sounded like the Hakka chant.
At 10:27 a.m. my boy came into the world at 10lbs, 7 oz. He took a second to breathe but Jen and Marybeth were on it and my husband (a chiropractor) adjusted him and he came right to life. The whole time they were all so calm and focused. They all got me settled and then weighed and measured him. They stayed just long enough to know that I and my baby were comfortable. We had follow ups after to ensure we were all still doing well. I could not imagine having any other experience. I am looking forward to what my next birth adventure will be with Jen!
Before I got pregnant Mati and I tried to conceive for almost two years. I had four failed fertility treatments each one more devastating than the last. I lost the majority of my hair, gained weight, injected myself with shots, and took the highest dose of letrozole possible. After our failed IUI we tried one more time with medication and had the chance of conceiving twins. That cycle ended with me going to the hospital with an ovarian torsion. We decided that my body desperately needed a break from the over stimulating hormones. We decided not to try the month of August and to go to Siesta Key instead. We got pregnant naturally that month and we stopped trying. Creating this baby was not an easy journey and I soon realized that bringing her into this world was going to be met with the same challenges. I knew I needed to change my birth plan after doing some research about what was happening to pregnant women all over the world. Going to a hospital was no longer an option for me. When I contacted Jennifer I wanted to book with her right away. She was very knowledgeable about her practice. She answered all of my questions and concerns about a home birth and wanted to meet my husband and I as soon as possible if we decided to book with her.
I was exactly 36 weeks pregnant when I made the switch to home birth and Jennifer showed up at my house. Not once did she ever rush us. She listened to us, answered any questions we had. I felt like I was her priority, not just a number on her to do list. Her meeting felt like visiting an old friend. She made me feel important and gave me choices and options about my birth. She went through my medical history with me and asked me questions about my relationship with my husband. Our meetings always felt like a midwife mixed with a therapist in the best way possible. Once our visit was over my husband and I both agreed that we should have done a home birth from the beginning.
Every week she came back to our house for a follow up and checked on me, my husband, and the baby.
Once I was full term, all we had to do was wait for the arrival of this little girl. My labor began with contractions two days before where I would have them all night and by 8am the next morning they would go away. My water broke the night of the 29th, after laying my grandfather to rest and an evening of catching fish. I had tried to keep myself distracted that whole day from the contractions but once my water broke I knew it was true labor and I was so ready. Immediately after my water broke, I called Jennifer and timed my contractions with her and I also began to shake. She knew it was go time and left her house in the middle of a heavy rain storm to get to me. I was in active labor for 12 hours where both the baby and I were closely monitored. I would have been able to push 4 hours earlier if it wasn’t for the lip in my cervix. It had become inflamed and Jennifer put me in different positions to naturally ease it. She had me shake my hips during contractions and walk around my house. I had to high five her at one end of my house and get a kiss from my husband at the other, all while walking through multiple contractions. I had moments where I felt I was being pushed to my limits but I didn’t give up. Once Jennifer gave me the okay to push I gave a few pushes in our bedroom and then she told me if I wanted to deliver in the pool we needed to get there quickly. Sliding into that pool knowing I could push after 4 hours of holding it back was the greatest moment for me. I delivered her head at 2:05pm and the rest of her body at 2:07pm. Jennifer and Tara were a fabulous team. My family was a great support system. And my husband was my absolute rock.
I’m only sharing this because I believe fear is caused by a lack of education. I had a normal, healthy pregnancy, and most importantly I had determination. I want all pregnant women to know their strength. You have rights, you have options, with or without a global pandemic. This was not what we originally planned but it was better than we expected.
Malina Estelle, you were fearfully and wonderfully made.
I have been blessed to birth 8 beautiful children. My first a c-section, followed by 5 hospital VBAC’s, 4 with an epidural and one natural. In hindsight I believe I let the fact that I came home from the hospital with healthy babies overshadow everything it took to get them here… until I decided there had to be a better way. With my 7th child I knew I wanted to have a home birth. My husband was hard to convince but in the end was supportive. One of the first things I remember him saying to me after the birth was, “We should have had them all this way!” I felt exactly the say way! With our 8th child we were living in a new home and needed to find a new home birth midwife. I am so grateful we found Jen!
Jen is one the most caring and sincerely genuine people I have ever met. She is knowledgable and experienced on the topic of birth. She puts decisions about birth and care in your hands and will then work hard to help you have the birth you want with no judgment or ill will for those decisions. I always looked forward to our prenatal visits because it felt like getting together with a good friend. She is the embodiment of empowering women around birth!
My 2 home births are at the top of my favorite memories that I like to remember over and over again. I felt like I could do anything afterwards! I felt a sense of strength, confidence, importance, and sheer bliss on levels that I had never felt previously or since.
Choose home birth! Choose Jen! You will not be disappointed!
At our prenatal appointments Jennifer was always professional, knowledgeable, excited for us, reassuring and accommodating- All in the comfort of our home!
At Eames birth- her presence was reassuring and calming. I knew she was there to support me where I needed it and to make sure everything was moving along safely but she also allowed space for me to birth him my way. It was truly a day that was about my family- me, my husband, my daughter and our new baby boy.
In postpartum and beyond I know that Jennifer is someone I can call for advice as i navigate motherhood (and I have many times!)
Jennifer has such a positive presence about her, we always felt uplifted and supported by her- a friend and a healthcare provider in one!
I can’t imagine having my baby any other way but in the comfort of my home and with Jennifer’s help I felt truly cared for, supported, empowered and safe- I am forever thankful for her!