Welcome to WomanCare

WomanCare is an independent midwifery practice providing health care for women of all ages

WomanCare provides prenatal care, homebirth and postpartum care

WomanCare also provides health care for women who are not pregnant: annual exams, birth control, Pap smears, screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, bladder infections and vaginal infections...and more

LeAnn van den Bosch is a midwife who will be there for you and with you. She has more than 30 years of experience in women's health care: welcoming more than 700 babies, providing innumerable exams, diagnoses, prescriptions and hours spent guiding you and listening to your needs. 

WomanCare's office is located in Winona, MN
Please don't hesitate to call or email for more information
phone: 507 450 3422
emial: LeAnn@womancareofwinona.com 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Rochester, MN home birth: Kyla

It all started one week ago, the morning before her due date. Ironically, I tried not to tell people Kyla’s due date, since it’s so easy to get fixated on that date and feel anxious as it approaches or disappointment as it passes. I woke up around 2 AM on Sunday, March 6th with some cramps and just restlessness. I got up every hour until 8 in the morning and then slept in. Nick and I spent the rest of the day relaxing around the apartment. My mom, my sister Dawn, and nephew Everett came to visit in the afternoon. We got coffee from the coffee shop below our apartment and went for a walk outside. The cramps and frequent trips to the bathroom continued throughout the day, but I was still in denial that this could actually be the start of labor. My midwife LeAnn called me around 6:30 pm and I told her things were fine - no noticeable pattern of cramping, but they were slightly stronger than earlier in the day.

We watched some TV in the evening, then decided around 10:30 we should probably rest just in case we didn’t get a full night’s sleep. I soon realized, sleep wasn’t going to happen at all. Around midnight, I called LeAnn. I told her the cramping was getting stronger. I hadn’t paid attention to the frequency or length because I had been trying ignore them. I guessed that they were close to 5 minutes apart, but would keep closer track and call her in an hour. LeAnn called Amanda our birth assistant and filled her in. I was happy to see her text me and say she could come over whenever. After about 20 minutes I decided I wanted Amanda to come over. My thought was that once Amanda was here, she would know if it’s okay to have LeAnn come or if it was too early still. I decided to move around the apartment, then shower. Amanda arrived at 1:45am. I was just finishing in the shower when she got here and then moved out to the living room to labor. Warm rice socks on my abdomen and moving around seemed to help the most. Amanda told Nick to start blowing up the labor tub. I remember being surprised, thinking we’d have plenty of time to o that later. I don’t remember if we called LeAnn back or if it was Amanda who told her to come, but I knew she was on her way. My doula Mandee had also been called and was on her way.

I think LeAnn and Mandee both arrived sometime between 2:00 and 2:30am. I remember there being a bit of commotion as supplies were brought in, set up, the pool being filled, and pots of water being boiled on the stove. I didn’t mind the busyness and found my own rhythm of labor by focusing on breathing and moving around as I needed to. LeAnn joined me on the floor to listen to baby’s heart rate. Mandee, Nick, and Amanda took turns sitting by me, rubbing my back, and giving me water or ice chips. I retreated to the bathroom a few times on my own. About 4:15am, it was suggested that I go for a walk outside. I was not excited about the idea of this, but I figured since they told me to, I should try. It took me a long time to get my shoes on in between the cramps. Nick, Mandee, and I made our way outside. We walked up and down the alley and I had to hold onto Nick about every 20 feet that we walked. Mandee had her camera along to take pictures and I remember saying, it’s gonna look like our baby was born in the ghetto as we walked past the bar and some dumpsters. We climbed back up the 20 steps to our apartment and I made a beeline for bathroom. I sat on the toilet for just a few minutes, when I heard a “pop”. I made a few moaning and groaning sounds before Amanda peeked her head into check in on me. I told her my water broke and she had LeAnn come in right a way. There was an immense amount of pressure and it felt like the baby’s head was right there. LeAnn took a quick peek and calmly said that I could go into the labor tub now. We made our way to the tub as quickly as we could, I changed into my swimsuit top and stepped in. It was such a relief to be in the warm water. After a few minutes I had a contraction, and I tried pushing a little, but I felt afraid of it. I told LeAnn that I was scared of pushing. She just nodded her head, told me I can do it, and that I didn’t have to do anything until I felt the urge to push again. I leaned my head over the edge of the pool and held onto Nick’s hands. Soon, I felt a contraction and I went ahead and pushed. I remember reaching down and feeling all the hair on her head. At the next contraction, I pushed harder, but I still had the fear that everything “down there” was just going to rip apart. I remember saying a prayer to help me through the pushing and asking God for the strength to deliver the baby quickly. The birth team had me drink some iced and eat a honey stick. What I think was the next contraction, I pushed as strong, controlled, and relaxed as I could and could feel the baby’s head coming down and out. That amount of progress, gave me the motivation to keep pushing and the rest of baby came out! LeAnn and Nick lifted the baby up to my belly and Nick said “It’s a girl!” I couldn’t believe it and asked him a few seconds later if it really was a girl. She had a full head of dark hair and I was so relieved to just hold her in my arms! She was born at 5:24 AM. I couldn’t believe I had done it. We patted her back a little to see if she’d let out a cry for us and she did. A few minutes later I was told I had to get up out of the tub and go to the bed to deliver the placenta. When I stood up, a bunch of blood was running down my legs. It was a bit messy, but everyone helped me over to our plastic covered bed. Baby got to stay right on my chest and about 10 minutes later the placenta came out.

LeAnn monitored bleeding for a while and I just held my baby girl in my arms. Nick got to cut the umbilical cord. After a little bit, baby latched and began to breastfeed. I don’t remember too many of the details after that, but I did get 2 sutures put in for a small tear. The birth team took care of all the clean up and cooked us some food. I was starved and the macaroni and cheese tasted wonderful, even if it was our breakfast. We also had tiramisu in celebration of baby’s official first birthday.

I truly felt that it was the best labor I could have asked for.  I felt so comfortable being in our home with familiar surroundings, candles burning, music playing, and lavender oil diffusing. The birth team worked well together and I felt so comfortable with everyone that was here. I am so grateful that I was able to have the birth experience I always imagined! What an amazing blessing!