If you missed them, go back to the beginning and read Part 1 and Part 2.
Baby is here! Now it's time to love and cuddle the newborn, and for Mom to take it easy. That means a lot of pitching in from the rest of the family.
Before the midwife leaves, she will give instructions to Mom and Dad about what to do over the next 2 days. This includes nursing, eating, and lots of resting. Specific instructions are given 'not to lift anything heavier than baby for 2 weeks.' I like that one. : )
Daddy and siblings will pitch in with housework, meals, and of course, watching over baby. Usually relatives will be around to help with these things, too, in exchange for time with baby. : )
In 2 days, the midwife will return for a check-up. At this check-up, she will weigh baby again, do a blood test on baby (the dreaded heel-prick), and basically check him/her over for good health. My midwife also does footprints on the birth certificate and in the baby book. She will also check on Mom to make sure she is healing up nicely.
There will be 2 more post-partum check-ups: at 2 weeks and again at 6 weeks. These are done at the midwife's office.
I have been very blessed to have normal, uneventful births every time. I know this is not always the case. If an issue was discovered before birth, I would be more than grateful to have my baby in a hospital. I am not anti-hospital, but I believe that a normal, healthy pregnancy can produce a natural and peaceful birth at home. I've heard it said that 'pregnancy is not an illness, and should not be treated as such.' I agree.
I have been using the same midwife since 2000. My current pregnancy will be the 5th one f0r her (including a late miscarriage at 4 months, which was also handled at home). She was in the DFW metroplex for all these years, but she recently relocated farther north to establish a birth center. You may visit her website here.
Check back for Part 4 where I will address some common questions.