Our youngest daughter was born at home at the beginning of a winter storm. While the icy wind whipped around outside, I labored through the night in our warm, peaceful home. All around me was quiet: my young children sleeping down the hall; my husband, the midwife and the doula a calm and supporting presence. I was barely aware of anything except the new life moving through my body. I walked through the darkened rooms of the apartment, breathing and singing through my contractions.
My older children were born in the strong white light and indifferent bustle of the hospital. Their births were natural, uneventful and joyous. But my daughter's birth in our home was something else entirely. There was no pressure, no distractions or protocols to take my focus from the labor. Instead, there was only the storm outside, life bursting forth within, and my midwife's watchful care.
After the birth, my daughter stayed with me in the bed where she was born. We slept as we pleased, ate when we wanted and entertained visitors without moving a bit. My husband and I gave our storm baby a middle name that means serenity, for the peaceful way she came into the world.