In May of 2010, I found myself climbing into a birthing tub and – just minutes later, climbing out a mother. The road that took me to our first homebirth was unmarked territory.

But I knew what I wanted (candlelight, music, freedom to move at my own pace, my baby to be able to make his journey on his own terms and in his own time, to labor and give birth in water and to shower and climb into my own bed when it was over). Okay, so I knew exactly what I wanted and I got it. In the end, it was a blessed experience from start to finish.

I wasted no time in creating my second birth plan; after all, planning is what I do best! I called my midwife, Renee Sicignano, LM, CPM, owner of the SCV Birth Center to share my “plan.” Renee “gets me” and her belief in the process and faith in what a woman’s body was created to do is so empowering. She also knows all about my “plans!” She still nodded with a grin when I told her I only wanted to push three times and I planned to have my 2 year old in the tub while I labored and in the room the whole time. Only this time I believe that grin was a knowing one; after all, it was my plan and it very well could happen no matter how grand it seemed.

I did all my early testing through Facey and this pregnancy went by so fast. I guess that’s what happens while you’re chasing a toddler around.

Before I knew it, Renee and I were seeing each other regularly and preparing to put my plan into action. While this pregnancy was very easy on my body I started having severe lower back pain around month five. I knew I needed to be proactive so I contacted the Unruh Spine Center. I walked into my first appointment with Dr. Chace Unruh just in time. His adjustments were gentle, safe for my baby and highly effective. My discomfort quickly subsided from what I would call an “eight” to maybe a “one” on a bad day and the remainder of my pregnancy was nothing short of perfect. I even waddled in there the day before I gave birth for one final adjustment – I’m nothing if not thorough!

My first birth was quiet, calm and romantic. My second birth was more like a party – after all, we were celebrating Cassel becoming a big brother! We still had all the elements of the first birth but this time there was double the people, noise and love. Cassel woke from his nap just in time for the “party” and he labored in the tub with me from 6 cm dilated to 9. He splashed between the contractions and helped his dad rub my back during them while saying “Good job, Mama!” which made the pain more bearable; looking at my gift from God reminded me of what (And who!) would shortly come.

Cassel may have thought I was doing a good job, but it was Renee who really kept me in the zone. Her voice is equal parts firm and soft; the mixture combines to a tone that instantly instills faith and ability within me. I needed both. I will forever hear her saying “Jeanna, take deep breaths for your baby,” and I will. It could be five years from now when he gets his first set of stitches but I’ll take those deep breaths to bring comfort to him as I did when I gave birth to him. That’s how connected I feel to her. My second birth was neither shorter, nor less painful than the first, but in keeping with the plan, I pushed three times.

And he is beautiful! Caynen was born at 7:22 p.m. on June 21 surrounded by love. Cassel immediately got back in the tub and took to counting his fingers and eyes as I praised God that he had arrived healthy and safe. He was held skin to skin by his dad inches from me as Renee and her assistant attended to my needs (But not before I took a shower!). Just a few hours after he was born, my family, now complete, cuddled in bed together savoring the joy of our little miracle – born blessed, right at home.

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