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On today’s podcast, we’re going to talk with Grace Murphy and Roderick Murphy about their home birth during COVID. Grace Murphy has been married to Roderick Murphy for the past two years, and they were high school sweethearts. Grace and Roderick are graduates of the Evidence Based Birth® Childbirth Class with EBB instructor Heidi Duncan. They welcomed their firstborn son on June 14th of 2020. Roderick has been in the Army for the past six years, and just transferred to the civilian world in July of 2020, so they’ve been through three nine-month deployments throughout their dating and marriage.  

We will talk about their experience with having to plan and prepare for a homebirth during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also talk about helpful suggestions for other families who are wanting to homebirth.

Resources

RESOURCES:

Learn more about Clarksville Midwifery here (http://www.clarksvillemidwifery.com/). Follow Clarksville Midwifery on Facebook here (https://www.facebook.com/clarksvillemidwifery/) and Instagram here (https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/clarksvillemidwifery/). 

Learn more about Heidi Duncan here (https://expectingnewlife.com/). Follow Heidi on Facebook here (https://www.facebook.com/ExpectingNewLife/) and Instagram here (https://www.instagram.com/expectingnewlife/).

Transcript

Rebecca Dekker:

Hi everyone. On today’s podcast, we’re going to talk with Grace Murphy and Roderick Murphy about their home birth during COVID. 

Welcome to The Evidence Based Birth® Podcast. My name is Rebecca Dekker, and I’m a nurse with my PhD, and the founder of Evidence Based Birth®. Join me each week as we work together to get evidence based information into the hands of families and professionals around the world. As a reminder, this information is not medical advice. See ebbirth.com/disclaimer for more details. 

Hi everyone. Today I’m so excited to welcome Grace and Roderick Murphy to The Evidence Based Birth® Podcast to share their home birth story.

Grace Murphy has been married to Roderick Murphy for the past two years, and they were high school sweethearts. Grace and Roderick are graduates of the Evidence Based Birth® childbirth class with EBB instructor, Heidi Duncan. They welcomed their firstborn son, Edmond, on June 14th of 2020. Roderick has been in the Army for the past six years, and just transferred to the civilian world in July of 2020, so they’ve been through three nine month deployments throughout their dating and marriage. Before having Edmond, Grace worked in the emergency department as a unit coordinator for three years, and also became a third wave barista. Grace loves good coffee, family time, running, outdoor activities, sunshine and long walks. And Roderick likes writing and playing music and enjoys being in the outdoors, shooting, hunting, and fishing. Welcome, Grace and Roderick, to The Evidence Based Birth® Podcast. 

Grace Murphy:

Thank you. 

Roderick Murphy:

Thank you. 

Grace Murphy:

Great to be here.

Rebecca Dekker:

So can you tell me a little bit about how you found out about the Evidence Based Birth® childbirth class this past spring?

Grace Murphy:

It was our midwives with Clarksville Midwifery, Christy and Jenny. They told us, and came highly recommended. They’re both huge fans, so yeah, they were the first introduction.

Rebecca Dekker:

Did they connect you just to Evidence Based Birth®, or directly to Heidi Duncan?

Grace Murphy:

They gave us her contact information. So I think that they have worked with her before.

Rebecca Dekker:

And so when did you start taking the class? Did you start taking while it was still in person, or had it already moved totally online?

Roderick Murphy:

It just moved online just as we signed up for it, so it was all-

Grace Murphy:

And Heidi was really just transitioning as well. 

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah. So this was kind of the beginning of when everything was locking down, in March then. 

Roderick Murphy:

Oh, yeah.

Grace Murphy:

I think I believe that is the month, yes.

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah. And what was your experience like taking the class?

Roderick Murphy:

Yeah. I was say it was an adjustment doing that over Zoom, but it was really nice. Heidi did a good job of keeping us involved. Yeah, I would say it was a pretty good experience.

Grace Murphy:

It was super informative. My mom has 13 children, and nine of them have been home water births. So I had quite a bit of experience with that, but Evidence Based Birth® really gave so much more insight for both of us actually, on what childbirth would look like, kind of for us as individuals, I guess. And it was so much information, but it didn’t feel overwhelming. I felt way, way more knowledgeable than even having been in births for years and having watching them.

Rebecca Dekker:

So you come from a family with 13 kids. 

Grace Murphy:

Yep.

Rebecca Dekker:

And you had been at some of your mom’s births.

Grace Murphy:

Yep. I’ve been in on at least seven of them.

Rebecca Dekker:

Wow.

Grace Murphy:

Yeah, which was amazing, and I’m so thankful for that.

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah. What was that like? Were you a teenager or young adult when you got to be at your siblings’ births?

Grace Murphy:

Yeah. So our first one, I’m trying to think, Hudson must be 14 now.

Roderick Murphy:

Yeah.

Grace Murphy:

Yeah, so I mean, he was the first one, so I would’ve been 10 maybe. And it was awesome. We thought it was so cool that we got invited in to Mama’s birth. It was all the girls, and we have four, now we have five girls. But at the time, it was just four girls that we all got to be in there. And she had home water births, and it was amazing experience. We loved it. It was always the highlight of when Mama was having a baby that us girls got to be involved, whether it be carrying water up and down the stairs because we were out, and having to boil it. Or just getting to stand there and be with her, it was awesome.

Rebecca Dekker:

And what was it like when you would see your siblings come out into the world? 

Grace Murphy:

Honestly, I loved that part. But I will say, watching them underneath the water, I always, it gave me so much … Or it stressed me out so much, watching them, their head be born. And then they would stay underneath there. And I was always so concerned that they were going to breathe, or try to breathe. So I think that was the most stressful part of all birth, is watching them come out partway, and then worry that they would breathe before they could actually be fully born. But they were totally fine. And watching them take their first breath was so cool, but I will definitely say that it’s so different when it’s your own, and when you get to experience it for your own baby. That was way cooler than I ever expected.

Rebecca Dekker:

So you said you learned a lot from the class. What are some examples of some things you didn’t know about beforehand, maybe for either of you?

Roderick Murphy:

I would say a big part of it is hospital statistics when it came to C-sections and VBACS.

Grace Murphy:

100% sold. 

Roderick Murphy:

I wasn’t exactly, yeah, I wasn’t 100% sold on the home birth just because I didn’t have the same childhood experience that my wife had. But the more and more we started going through the hospital statistics and just some of the-

Grace Murphy:

Standard…

Roderick Murphy:

Yeah, the standard procedures that are done there, and that they don’t adjust to the mother’s needs, if you will, more so as much as a midwife would. Yeah, it gave me a little more insight as to the reason as to why we were moving forward with a home birth. And then also, just to know how to, if we were to go to the hospital, because at the end of the day, the hospital is still there, and it is very useful for if something does happen. But to understand how to talk to the medical personnel there, instead of just being in the dark, not understanding the language and how to address whatever it is. 

Rebecca Dekker:

And were you planning a home birth then from the beginning of your pregnancy? Or did that-

Grace Murphy:

Yes, we were. We were. 

Roderick Murphy:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). 

Rebecca Dekker:

So you were already planning a home birth for the summer of 2020 when the pandemic hit.

Grace Murphy:

Yep.

Rebecca Dekker:

And what were your feelings about your decision by that point?

Roderick Murphy:

We were extra glad because of a lot of our friends were having babies, and the hospitals wouldn’t allow … For a while there, they weren’t allowing the fathers to be there. And then they opened it up, so then the fathers could be in with the birth, but if they left the room, then they couldn’t come back in. So we were, I guess, even just for that, that was like, oh.

Grace Murphy:

We were super thankful.

Roderick Murphy:

Yeah. 

Rebecca Dekker:

So take us to the end of your pregnancy then. You were planning a home birth. What was your mindset like? Did you have any other plans or hopes for this birth?

Grace Murphy:

When we had to write out for Heidi our birth plans and give kind of a variety of, I guess, of what it would look like, we were so excited and totally ready. 37 weeks hit, and my midwives were like, “Well, you’re good, so any day now if you go into labor, it’s fine. The baby’s fully grown.” And it was so cool when we reached that point of even 38 weeks, 39. It was so awesome just getting to that point, and we were ready. But we definitely were planning home birth. We wanted labor at home, be just us two if we could, but definitely with the mindset that we would be doing it at home. But we were excited. I was stoked.

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah. So you sound like you felt prepared. You felt ready. Everything was a go.

Grace Murphy:

And I will say that by the end of our class, we both, I remember talking to him on Saturday because we had our Zoom meeting that Sunday with Heidi, and we were just talking about how it was our last class. Were we ready? Did we feel prepared? And we were both like, “Yeah.” This was so much information. We feel prepared. We’re ready for the next step, which is having our baby. And we’re excited to have a home birth, so we definitely left the class feeling more, I don’t know what the right word would be for it, but more equipped for our birth afterwards, and just way more educated.

Rebecca Dekker:

So share your birth story with us. How did it begin? How far along were you in your pregnancy?

Grace Murphy:

So I was 39 weeks and four days. And it was Thursday night, I guess, so I was 39 weeks the beginning of. Thursday night, I started contractions that evening, and they were five minutes apart all of Thursday night. We tried to get some sleep, Roderick walked with me a bunch. We walked all around our loop probably thousands of times. But Thursday night, all of Friday, my mom and my sister were there, so they drove down from Minnesota to Tennessee to be with us. And we went shopping. Roderick, I don’t think you were too keen on that. When we said we were going to Target, he was like, “What? They’re six minutes apart. What are you doing?” But it was good. We went to Target. They were pretty consistent, going all day Friday.

And we had not called our midwives yet, mostly because I was like, “This is not it. I don’t feel like they’re close enough.” But got to, I think Friday night, when we were about to try and go to sleep again. The only time my contractions ever spaced were, I think it was 30 minutes at the most. So even sleeping, if I was up, they were five minutes apart, but sleeping was pretty hard for either of us, I feel like.

Roderick Murphy:

And then we did call in the midwives that night to-

Grace Murphy:

Saturday. 

Rebecca Dekker:

Early Saturday, you called the midwives, early in the morning?

Grace Murphy:

Yeah, because I messaged them on Saturday at, I don’t even know what time it was in the morning, but Jenny called me and was like, “So it sounds like things are progressing. I’m packing my bag up right now, and I’m coming to you guys.” And that was cool because we hadn’t even asked her to come, but she was just like, “I’m going to come check everything out, and we’ll see how things are progressing.” So she came and did a whole checkup, and saw how baby was doing, saw how I was doing. And I think while she was there, my contractions were about four minutes apart. And this was Saturday morning at 11:00 in the morning. And so then Roderick was trying to decide, they’re four minutes apart. Does that mean I fill up the pool now? What do I do next? 

And Jenny, she checked everything and thought I was probably, from her guess, I was three to four centimeters dilated. But she said that she could feel baby. He was so, so low. But she thought that he might just not be in ideal position. So I think they call it prodromal labor, but that’s what she described for the past three days for me from Thursday to Saturday. And then she left, actually, she went home at 11:00. And I know as she was leaving, she was like, “Well, this could be a week, or it could be tonight.” And I remember just looking at Roderick when she said, “A week,” and his eyes just got huge and concerned like, “A week. What?” And I turned to him and I was like, “It’s not going to be a week. It’s okay. This is happening tonight. We’re progressing.” 

So then as she was leaving, she was packing up all of her stuff, and she’s like, “All right. I’ll see you guys tonight.” And she left, and we both laughed because I was like, “See? I knew it was tonight. I’m pretty sure we’re progressing faster than what she’s letting on.” But she was so sweet and encouraging. So two hours passed, and she gave me a couple stretches, actually, to do, like the cat stretch and whatnot, to just try and get baby into a better position. And I think within an hour and a half, they started, you guys started filling the pool at 1:00. So it was 11:30, and then 1:00, they started filling the pool. And then the contractions definitely picked up. And it was just him and I. We labored all day, all the way through, I don’t even know what time it was at. I think, sorry, I’m trying to remember what times we were. At 9:30, I believe, was when my water broke. And then he was born at 12:54 that morning. 

Rebecca Dekker:

Oh, wow. So he was born after midnight, then?

Grace Murphy:

Yep.

Roderick Murphy:

Yep.

Rebecca Dekker:

Okay. And what was it like laboring in the tub? You said you got it filled up that afternoon.

Grace Murphy:

Yeah. Roderick was really on top of that, actually. He got it as soon as he could, he filled it up. And actually, I loved laboring in the tub for sure. 10 out of 10, recommend. But it did slow down my contractions, so we ended up doing more slow dancing actually, just him and I, and just trying to actually watch Andy Griffith, which Barney Fife, I will say this over and over again, he is not the most soothing voice to hear while you’re dealing with contractions, so that didn’t last very long. But we spent a good amount of time just him and I, all day together. And it was super special, actually. I loved just having him. It was interesting because we had thought we would probably be more private just with our labor overall, and just who we wanted in there. It was pretty small group that we wanted. And it was funny, when the midwives would come in, or anybody would come in actually, my contractions could be four minutes apart, making good progress. And then somebody would come in, and outside of just him and I, and they would stretch out to seven to 10 minutes apart. 

Roderick Murphy:

Yeah. Your mom did ask why weren’t they in there as much as would’ve imagined that they would be in there as much for her. And one of the midwives did say that it seems as though she does better when we’re not in the room. She just handles it on her own, goes through these contractions, and is able to concentrate a lot more than when we’re coming in and constantly checking up. The midwives were there, they were just kind of in the sidelines because they wanted to give Grace her space.

Rebecca Dekker:

And Roderick, what comfort measures did you use? You spent all afternoon together, much of it alone. You said you guys were doing slow dancing, watching a little TV. What other comfort measures did you use to help Grace stay comfortable? 

Roderick Murphy:

Well, we listened to some music, some classical music. And then I went through the talking her through the contractions, just kind of reminding her to breathe, to relax her shoulders and neck.

Grace Murphy:

And I will say, I thought it sounded so stupid, even in the class, it sounds dumb.

Rebecca Dekker:

The little scripts that the dads, or the partners, can read to you. And it sounds, it feels silly when you’re doing it in class.

Grace Murphy:

Yes. But then when you’re in labor, it was so helpful. He was so observant and just able to tell exactly where I was tensing. And he would tell me exactly where it was, and it was so helpful. I absolutely could not have done it without him. 

Roderick Murphy:

So yeah, I think that was one of the main ones because she was doing really well other than that she just wouldn’t relax. So I was able to help out there, which thanks to the class, because I wouldn’t have known what to do otherwise, so I think that’s one of the biggest upsides to that, just because I was able to contribute and be able to be there for Grace as she is trying to navigate through all the different contractions.

Rebecca Dekker:

Did you try any of the acupressure points? 

Roderick Murphy:

Yeah, I did, actually. Yep, which some of them were hard just because she was in the pool for a good amount of it. I think before you got into the pool, we did some of the leg and back. It all depended on the position she was in, in the pool, as well. When we were going through it, I think the pressure points, I don’t think I was finding the right ones at the time that she needed because I think it was a little more agitating or painful to do that during some of the contractions. Or I was doing them during the contractions, which she wasn’t too fond of that as well. So I don’t know, I adjusted. And I think she did a lot better when I just talked her through, so I think that was one of the main reasons why I stopped doing the pressure.

Rebecca Dekker:

You were reading the room. You were like, “Okay. If this isn’t working, I’ve got to stop this and try something else.” 

Roderick Murphy:

Yeah. 

Grace Murphy:

He was super on top of it.

Rebecca Dekker:

So how did you know then that you were getting closer to your baby being born? Did things change around midnight?

Grace Murphy:

Roderick, he does really good with a lot of gross, disgusting things, but puke is not one of them. So it was pretty comical. We had some really funny moments during labor, where I looked at him, I was like, “Oh, my goodness. I’m going to puke.” And he’s like, “You’re going to puke?” And he had a cool washcloth he had been applying, so he grabbed the bucket he had been using, and as I lean over the pool, I’m projectile vomit all over, and it splashes all out and hits him, goes everywhere. And I look up and I’m choking back. I was like, “I’m so sorry.” And he’s like, “Oh, it’s just fine. You seasoned my coffee a little bit.” It was great. So then that was one time. And my midwives thought that was a good sign because we were making really good progress.

And then I actually slept quite a bit in between contractions. So I would fall asleep and then wake up for another contraction. And then the other time, I guess I projectile vomit, I knew I was going to puke again. And he grabbed the bowl, and kind of same thing. But then I felt this explosion while I’m in the pool. And I was like, “Oh, my. My water just broke.” He’s like, “Your water broke?” I was like, “Yep. My water broke.” He said, “Are you sure?” And I was like, “I am positive. It broke.” So then the midwives came and checked up on us again. But that was three hours I think before he was actually born. But for those last several hours actually, I was pretty out of it, just sleeping in between contractions. So I think even at the very end, my contractions in between pushing were about seven minutes apart still. 

Rebecca Dekker:

And why do you think it was you were able to relax enough to sleep in between contractions?

Grace Murphy:

It dumbfounded me. I had never even thought that was possible. But I do feel like even with the prodromal labor, or the three, two days before, Roderick had helped so much in just learning how to point out the areas where I wasn’t breathing through. It really was working with your body because your body’s just naturally doing it. So I think when my mindset was definitely, this is totally doable, this is natural. God made us to do this. So I was able to work with that at lot, and relax, just for the people that were in there, definitely having Roderick there. But then even just breathing through the contractions, it was amazing.

Rebecca Dekker:

So you were able to just really completely relax your body in between each one enough to fall.

Grace Murphy:

Yeah.

Rebecca Dekker:

And then when did you start pushing? 

Grace Murphy:

So at I think … I only remember actively pushing on three, maybe four contractions. But then I would push a little bit, and then fall asleep again. And seven minutes later, I would wake up and then push a little bit. And it is fun actually, because originally when Roderick and I had talked about water birth just overall, when I had asked him if he wanted to be the hippie dad that gets into the pool with me to catch the baby, he was like, “Absolutely not.” So we had just both kind of concluded, okay, you’ll catch the baby from outside the pool. That’s totally fine. Well, then I think on my third contraction that I remember pushing on, Edmond’s head popped out. And I can feel his head, and I saw him. I was like, “Oh, there’s his head.” And the midwives asked, “Does he have hair?” And I could see his hair. He has dark brown hair.

So then when his head popped out, then the midwives were like, “Okay, on this next push, you should have the baby. So Roderick, are you ready to push, or ready to grab him?” And Roderick is like, “Yep.” And Christy I think asked, “Are you going to get in there?” And he’s like, “Yep.” And he just jumps in the pool and is ready to catch Edmond. And then I don’t believe I had another contraction.

Roderick Murphy:

No. It was pretty quick after that.

Grace Murphy:

10 minutes after. It felt like forever in the moment. But I didn’t have another contraction afterward, so I ended up just kind of pushing him out on my own. And he just came flying right out, and Roderick caught him. And then he cried right away, and we were both so relieved and overjoyed.

Rebecca Dekker:

What did it feel like, Roderick, to catch your baby into your own hands underwater?

Roderick Murphy:

It was a bit surreal, just kind of, it was a little overwhelming, understanding that you have a little life in your hands, that you’ve been … The only way you’ve known him was over the past seven months, nine months of pregnancy. So it’s pretty cool, and I was glad I got in the pool.

Grace Murphy:

I was too. It was awesome.

Rebecca Dekker:

Did you jump in fully with all your regular clothes on? You didn’t have a swimsuit on or something.

Roderick Murphy:

No, no. I just had some shorts and a shirt. So yeah. I was kind of prepared to get in the pool anyway.

Rebecca Dekker:

That’s awesome. 

Roderick Murphy:

Yeah, I just wasn’t sure if I was going to or not. 

Rebecca Dekker:

You were leaving it open ended. 

Roderick Murphy:

Yeah. 

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah. So then what was your recovery like? How did the next hours go of bonding with your baby?

Grace Murphy:

It was awesome. We got to immediately … He got to be put on my chest right away. We loved it that not once did Edmond get taken away from us. That was huge. It was just between him and I that we got to hold him for the next, I don’t even know how many hours. It was several. And I bled a little bit. They ended up giving me a little bit of pitocin, which was totally fine. But then he did … Our midwives, Christy and Jenny, are amazing, so they did most of the cleanup. And they had a birth helper, birth assistant, there as well, so she helped as well.

But they took care of basically everything. Afterwards, I think we were both absolutely exhausted for sure, but it was awesome. I’m trying to remember. It was 4:00 in the morning I think when they left, so we were all pretty shot, just exhausted. It had been a long several days, but that last day was super, super, super exhausting. But it was awesome. It was so cool to be able to actually have him, the baby you prepared for the past nine months, and then all of a sudden, he’s in your arms or just laying right next to you. It was so cool.

Rebecca Dekker:

In your own home.

Grace Murphy:

Yeah. We didn’t have to go anywhere. We did talk about that afterwards of just how thankful we were that we were in the environment that we wanted to be in. If we wanted the lights off, they could be off. And if we wanted music on, or whatever, it was just so easy. It was our bed and our room. 

Rebecca Dekker:

I always felt that was weird. With my second baby was my first home birth, and I just remember that kind of last night, I went to bed, and the baby was inside of me, and I was still pregnant. And now there’s this baby next to me. It’s just the next day of your life, you just have a baby on the outside. It’s pretty surreal. 

Grace Murphy:

Yeah. That was surreal.

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah. So what was your postpartum experience like over the next few months? I know we were still kind of in the beginning months of the pandemic and everything.

Grace Murphy:

It was actually pretty good. I think recovery was harder than I’d expected. Birth was easier than I expected, but recovery was definitely harder, just in the sheer exhaustion. And it definitely catches up to you more so than I realized it would, and for both of us, I think, because Roderick didn’t have the ones that would keep you awake or just keep you going and going and going, but then he was just exhausted and could take a nap once in a while. But we were just both exhausted. That’s the best way of putting it. 

So when we finally got a good amount of sleep, and I feel like it was a couple weeks after Edmond had been born that we finally felt like, “Okay, we’re recovering a little bit.” But I would still have it identical to what we did have it again in a heartbeat. I would still choose the environments that we had. We had a lot of external things happening as well, though, like Roderick got out, so we had him June 14th, but then he got out of the military on July 10th was his official end date. So we just had a couple weeks in between, and then we moved across country from Tennessee to Minnesota within, I don’t even know.

Roderick Murphy:

Couple weeks.

Grace Murphy:

Yeah. He was six weeks old, or five weeks, so it was just really busy.

Rebecca Dekker:

You were going through a lot of transitions while also recovering from childbirth and entering parenthood. 

Grace Murphy:

Yeah.

Rebecca Dekker:

Was there anything that you did? Did you feel like you had enough support? Or was there anything you wish you could’ve done differently?

Grace Murphy:

We definitely had a lot of support. That was huge. Both of our families are up here, and they were so helpful, whether it be us staying with them for a couple weeks, or while we were transitioning, and waiting for a rental. I mean, just everybody was over the top supportive. So it was definitely not for lack of support. But it was also, like I said, my mom and my sister were down there helping. And they left, I think, so I had him on Saturday night slash Sunday morning. And they stayed all of Sunday, and then left Monday night. And they had prepared several meals, stocked our entire refrigerator, cleaned our house spotless, all while we were just enjoying the first day of having Edmond. And they were amazing over the top supportive. But it was super helpful. Even when they did leave, we felt like, “Okay. We’re a family of three. This is cool to be able to transition to and kind of get a new groove going, I guess.”

Rebecca Dekker:

Speaking of transitioning, do you have any advice for people listening who are planning on entering birth or parenthood soon?

Roderick Murphy:

Yeah. I would just say trust the process. One thing I did notice was that for Grace, it was a natural, it wasn’t any extra work put in than what her body was giving her. And I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that she just trusted that her body was going to do what it needed to do in order to get Edmond out. Instead of having those extra stresses of what ifs. And do I need to … Because a big thing that could’ve happened is we didn’t trust our midwives, and that we could’ve decided to go to the hospital or something.

And then it’s just a lot of different variables that we didn’t allow because we just trusted that, that’s what your body was made for, and that’s why you go through all these different stuff, even growing up as girl is to prepare for having children. So I would just say trust that. And then for, I’d say the husbands, just try to understand your wife’s body and what she needs during that time, and to equip yourself with the knowledge to be able to be a contributor during the birth, and not someone I guess that your wife has to worry about as well. 

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah. I can just imagine how different it would’ve been if you didn’t have that education and training. You could’ve just been flailing and feeling helpless. But it seems like you really super actively engaged in helping her stay comfortable. 

Roderick Murphy:

But yeah.

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah. 

Roderick Murphy:

And it relieves your own stress too by doing that because then you’re just doing something except just watching. 

Rebecca Dekker:

You’re helping. 

Roderick Murphy:

Yeah. 

Grace Murphy:

I would definitely say for having Roderick there, leaning on your support person, leaning on her husband, that was unbelievable. And I absolutely couldn’t … I remember one of the hardest contractions that I was by myself for, just sitting, I was actually sitting on the toilet. And I remember thinking, “Oh, my goodness. If Roderick was not here, I would want them to just… take the baby out,” because it was just an intense contraction. And I was like, “I could not do this without him,” and I’m 100% positive about that. So I really do think that how comfortable he felt and how active he was involved, it helped so much. And I couldn’t have been more thankful, so that, and really trusting my midwives. 

The resources that they have, even as being pointed to you guys, or Evidence Based Birth® overall, they’re such big promoters of. And so they just want to be as helpful in the situation that they can be, and as informed and knowledgeable about what could possibly happen. So I do think that we went into it definitely with the mindset that this is our plan or our goals. But if it goes differently, then our midwives, we trust them to make those calls too. So just trusting those people that we were with. We were amazingly blessed by our birth, and would totally do it again. It was amazing. And we told so many people about not only your class, but also just about home birth in general. But it’s totally possible, I oftentimes, we’re way more scared when it comes to birth. But it’s so different.

Roderick Murphy:

Just not informed that you’re able to. I know quite a few people that just didn’t know that they could do it because they did have a C-section before. Or the baby was too big, or I think even just being informed. 

Rebecca Dekker:

So being informed and having a trusting relationship with whoever you pick for your provider, and then you said trusting your body. But sounds also like just feeling a connection with your body, Grace. You could tell things were normal, and you were listening to your body.

Grace Murphy:

Yes, definitely. 

Rebecca Dekker:

Roderick was listening to you.

Grace Murphy:

Yeah, and definitely trying to work with it rather than against, because I did, even in the beginning of kind of prodromal labor and having contractions five minutes apart, I think I really even, I don’t know if grew would be the right way of saying it, but expanding my knowledge even through those first contractions, of looking back and being like, “Oh, wow. I was really tensing during those initial contractions.” And just really learning to work with your body. It is not how the movies portray it at all.

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah. They don’t usually portray people sleeping in the final.

Grace Murphy:

No.

Rebecca Dekker:

Final minutes of labor.

Grace Murphy:

No, not at all. Not. We do have a video of just the ending. And this was no praise for me at all, but not even a peep from me at all. I wasn’t screaming. Those were not my responses to labor pains at all. It was completely peaceful in there, and so, so quiet, but just amazing that we were able to labor and actually birth a child without making noise, like excruciating pain, or just it was definitely a peaceful environment even still. 

Rebecca Dekker:

That’s amazing. I love listening to your story. I love hearing about the bond you two had, and how it sounds like it was even more of a bonding experience to go through this together.

Grace Murphy:

For sure. Yeah. 

Rebecca Dekker:

And I also loved hearing about how you had been to so many of your siblings’ births, and how that kind of instilled in you a belief in your body that a lot of people don’t have today.

Grace Murphy:

And I think it was super cool, even for my mom to be able to watch and realize that was something she definitely passed on to me because I watched her do. I’ve heard from several people just with the story of my birth being told, that it sounds like you birthed like your mom. It sounds like you labored like your mom did. And I’m so thankful for that, even of how she portrayed it, because she definitely would get into the groove of just, okay, here’s the next contraction, and was able to breathe through it. But I think for us to take the class, it gave us way more, I don’t know, even confidence of that with our first baby and feeling like, “Yeah, we are ready for this.”

Rebecca Dekker:

So was your mom at your home birth then as well?

Grace Murphy:

Yes, she was. Yep.

Rebecca Dekker:

That’s amazing. And what did she think?

Grace Murphy:

She was amazed. She has told so many people about it, and then two nights ago, she turned to me and she’s like “Hey,” she’s wondering, “What’s that class you took? What’s the class you took?” Because she’s telling other people about this class. Yeah. She loved it. She thought it was super informative, but then she loved watching actually in live action, I guess, watching both Roderick and I work through our birth. She thought it was amazing.

Rebecca Dekker:

And it is. It’s amazing that the cycle shifted, and you went from attending to attending her births, to now she’s attending the births of her grandchildren. That’s incredible.

Grace Murphy:

She was pretty excited about it too.

Rebecca Dekker:

Well, Grace and Roderick, thank you so much for sharing your birth story. It was lovely, and we just really appreciate you sharing this story with all our listeners. 

Grace Murphy:

Yeah, of course.

Roderick Murphy:

Absolutely.

Grace Murphy:

We’re so excited for all these new people that get to hear it, and hopefully they’ll feel comfortable and just, yeah, it’ll help them feel more at peace with their births too.

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah. There’s something really powerful about a positive birth story, so keep sharing your story. And thank you so much for coming on the podcast today.

Grace Murphy:

Yeah.

Roderick Murphy:

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. 

Rebecca Dekker:

This podcast episode was brought to you by The Evidence Based Birth® childbirth class. This is Rebecca speaking. When I walked into the hospital to have my first baby, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Since then, I’ve met countless parents who felt that they too were unprepared for the birth process and navigating the healthcare system. The next time I had a baby, I learned that in order to have the most empowering birth possible, I needed to learn the evidence on childbirth practices. We are now offering the Evidence Based Birth® childbirth class totally online. 

In your class, you will work with an instructor who will skillfully mentor you and your partner in evidence based care, comfort measures, and advocacy, so that you can both embrace your birth and parenting experiences with courage and confidence. Get empowered with an interactive online childbirth class you and your partner will love. Visit evidencebasedbirth.com/childbirthclass to find your class now.

Listening to this podcast is an Australian College of Midwives CPD Recognised Activity.

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EBB 157 – Year End Wrap Up of 2020

EBB 157 – Year End Wrap Up of 2020

Don't miss an episode! Subscribe to our podcast:  iTunes  |  Stitcher On today's podcast, I wrap up all the resources we created at Evidence Based Birth in 2020, as well as the challenges we faced as a team. I also talk about what our plans are for the year 2021. This...

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