Surprise! Unassisted Home Birth? No problem!

By Joan Stevens


Baby Peter was technically due on October 31, but when we initially called my mom to tell her about being pregnant, she was very excited and said she'd had a dream that I had a baby on November 4, so we figured that was when he would arrive.

On November 3, I started to have contractions that seemed to be working towards being regularly spaced. When we started timing them, they were coming at off intervals and were at least 30 minutes apart, so big Peter figured we were in this for the long haul. I assumed the same.


Most new moms hear of parents being turned away from the hospital because they aren't in active labor and we've all heard stories of 36 and 48 hour labors. I was dealing with the sensation but recognized that this was going to be an intense ride. It felt like I was being turned inside out with each one but there were also much milder contractions every once in a while that made me doubt that I was really laboring yet.

By evening, the contractions had gotten even less regular. We called our wonderful doula, Haize Hawke, and she said I should try to relax and get some rest. Peter wanted to make sure he was rested and strong for what we imagined the next day would bring and I was hoping to relax enough to also get some sleep. We called it a night around 9.

I woke up around midnight from stronger contractions. These were intense waves. I would moan my way through them and practice the balloon breath, making space in my belly with my breath and leaning forward, but it was hard to concentrate on anything except how intense it was. I got the birthing ball out and rolled around on that and moaned. I tried leaning forward onto the bed and moaning. Mostly, I just moaned and felt sorry for myself. I figured I was just barely laboring and how the holy f&*k was I going to deal with this all the next day if it got worse?!

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Joan Stevens - I am mother to two amazing little boys who keep me spinning. I'm also a part time biology professor and have a home floral farming business at I have blessed with the most generous and patient husband that ever existed :) and I find that any time in nature is worth it.