Annalyn Rose

With my second pregnancy, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to deliver at home with Hillary Kieser and Gentle Birth Care. Inc. She delivered my first at the hospital in the ABC room of West Suburban Hospital. While that was a great experience for me; growing up my mom owned a home birth practice, and I always wanted to have my babies at home. Hillary met with my husband, Mike, to address his concerns and he quickly agreed to the home birth provided we could have a very intimate, private home experience. We agreed that it would just be us and the midwives attending the birth. We had a water birth in the hospital and also hoped to have another at home.

I began laboring at about 9:00 pm on March 11. My husband walked with me through contractions, applied pressure to my back when needed, and kept track of the timing of contractions so I could focus on relaxing. We called Hillary at about 2 am and when she arrived I was already 6cm and fully effaced. I had been laboring in the shower and decided I was ready for the tub. The warm water was wonderful, but it slowed my contractions. I was ready to meet my baby, so out of the tub I climbed. After a bit, I decided I really wanted in the tub and was ready to start pushing. I pushed for a while against the bag of waters, which hadn’t ruptured, and asked Hillary to break my water for me. I pushed more and was beginning to feel very frustrated and tired. Hillary encouraged me to give on more big push as she held back a cervical lip. The baby’s head finally made some progress and Annalyn Rose was born with the next contraction at 6:45am. Mike and I reached down together and caught our daughter lifting her up to cuddle with me while Mike cut the cord.

One of the best parts of my home birth came when I climbed into my bed and started nursing my baby. My 2-year-old son wandered upstairs from his breakfast, still in his pajamas. He got into to bed too and he cuddled with his mom, dad, and new sister. Hillary Kieser allowed us to be in control of our birth while providing excellent support and encouragement.

- Althea Gillespie, mother of Annalyn Rose and Brennan Michael