Michele Fitzgerald was wonderful to have as our midwife for our first son, born at home during the first week of April, 2015. From the get-go she supplied us with a binder of information on home birth and her practice, and answered all of our questions in detail. Throughout the pregnancy she listened to our typical new parent paranoias, and while she took our concerns seriously, she had a wonderful manner of setting us at ease by arming us with information and encouraging us to trust our instincts. Her apprentices, Ellie and Jolene were also excellent. Ellie conducted a great birthing class and did our placenta encapsulation and tincture, and Jolene was present for the birth and did a great job assisting Michele, taking pictures, offering encouragement, and giving fantastic foot massage while pressing pressure points that helped alleviate the pain.
The birth itself was exactly what we’d hoped for, largely thanks to the relaxed but alert service of Michele and her team. We were able to enjoy the first stage of labor at home just the two of us, and Michele made herself available the very moment that we requested her presence. She was thorough in her check ups whenever she monitored the baby’s heart rate and the couple of times that she checked my dilation. She also coached me through different breathing techniques and gave positive reinforcement whenever I had a dip in energy. One of the best aspects of the experience was the fact that it was led by my body and my baby– when I felt I had to walk, I was encouraged to do so, and when I felt I needed a warm bath, she made sure I was comfortable. She made helpful suggestions for positions to labor in to help my dilation progress, but at no time did I feel like she was trying to take over or coerce me to do anything that I didn’t consent to. She was able to pinpoint when I went into transition, and immediately help us perform some techniques to help the contractions come closer together, such as nipple stimulation by breast pump and breaking my waters, so that I could get to the pushing stage with as much energy as possible.
Michele was also very inclusive of my husband and mother in the experience, and incorporated them by suggesting ways that my husband could help me through contractions, instructing him on how to catch the baby, having him cut the cord, and asking my mother to time when the head and baby were born.
The aftercare was just as great as the birth. Michele and Jolene did excellent work detailing the event in their paperwork, cleaning the house and starting the laundry, and making sure we were taken care of and had our instructions before leaving. The follow up house calls were also very helpful, positive experiences.
One of the reasons I chose Michele was because of her years of experience, and her trust in the human body. My mother gave birth to all five of us at home and had a very good impression of Michele’s ability, and now having had a successful home birth, I can attest to that as well. I highly recommend Michele and her team!