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, March 7, 2018

Minnesota home birth 

After 21 hours of labor, we had CFL at home on September 6. My labor began with my water breaking on Tuesday at 10:15 p.m. (September 5). After contacting the midwife, we went to bed and tried to get some rest. Contractions began around midnight and by 4 am, they were becoming regular. I was nauseous and throwing up intermittently (this continued throughout my labor, making it difficult to keep food and liquids down). Dehydration was a concern but I kept drinking liquids between every contraction. 

Early labor contractions were easy and I was smiling and joking throughout. Active labor started around 2 pm after walking through the neighborhood. [Q: What did contractions feel like? A: A strong tightening/burning of my uterus, terrible gas pains.] I relaxed through contractions by opening my palms to the sky, sitting in a rocking chair, swaying and hanging on C, doing deep yogic breathing, moaning, and having C open my pelvis with his hands by pressing on and around my hips. My moans would drop from a high pitch to a low “uhhh” when C applied pressure. C felt very helpful - and he was. 

I never had a strong urge to push. In retrospect, I was afraid to push because I was so confident in my handling of contractions. I could have worked through contractions forever. 

At 5 pm, I was dilated to 9cm (but I didn’t know the number, I really didn’t care). I had a cervical top lip, so when I dilated to a 10, our midwife directed me to push so that she could help fix it by applying direct pressure to the lip with her fingers. The lip receded in a half dozen contractions. The midwife feared that if I pushed with the lip that it could become swollen and impede the head from progressing downward. 

I tried various active pushing positions: on my side, on my back with hands behind quads, and on hands and knees. I hated every position and felt I was making no progress. My birth team assured me that I was making progress. I was continuing to vomit and I felt I was running out of steam. I only had the stamina to push 2-3 times through a contraction. The birth team tried to coach me to push 3-4 times through a contraction. At the end of a contraction they wanted me to push but I wouldn’t have the energy. 

My birth team kept reminding me to not scream high-pitched, but instead to lower my pitch and grunt/yell through the pushing. They also coached me to breathe slower. 

At 6 pm, I moved into the birth tub and the water gave me much relief and renewed sense of energy. I initially tried pushing on all fours. I then moved into a squatting position with my back against the tub. The baby’s head was yo-yo-ing: down and out a little, then back in. At one point my birth team suggested that I reach down and feel the baby’s head. I did, but I didn’t like the feeling because I realized how far my vagina had to grow to get his head out. I felt frustrated because it seemed impossible. 

My midwife checked CFL’s heart rate after each contractions and always assured me what a good, healthy baby he was because his heart rate was always stable. I pushed C out at 7:16 pm. C and the midwife caught him. 

The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck twice and once under his arm pit. They plopped him on my chest like a baby hippopotamus and he started to cry with the rest of us.

CFL is perfect and we couldn’t have asked for a better birthing team. We are so happy with our experience. Our doula was great and we had full confidence in our midwife. C was my rock and I couldn’t have birthed this baby at home and unmedicated without him. 

I understood labor would be hard and the most difficult thing I had ever done. I didn’t understand it would be next to impossible. I didn’t have an orgasmic birthing experience. I hope I can be an inspiration and reminder to others that a healthy baby is on the other side. For me, having a list of strong women who had birthed before me was a wonderful motivator and reminder. 

I tore “less than 1 degree” in 3 places and opted for stitches (the other option was to just let them heal on their own). My tailbone has been very sore and is likely bruised and inflamed. The long lasting bone pain is unexpected and uncomfortable. 
Breastfeeding was difficult because CFL would latch but not suck, but after two newborn chiropractic adjustments, CFL is a great eater, albeit a 7-course grazer. He is exhausting.

CFL weighed 6 pounds 7.5 ounces and was about 20 inches long at birth. At his two week appointment he’d gained an entire pound.