Willow Osborn

water birth

Lucia Florence Osborn-Stocker
Born in water at home
December 25, 2008
11:27 am
7 Pounds & 20.5 inches

Shiela became my midwife during my third month. She always took time during her visit to get to know me and my needs, often staying longer than scheduled for each visit. By the time I was in labor, not only did we know each other and I feel comfortable with her, but she was a dear friend in whom I completely trusted. She knew mine and my partner’s needs and expectations, my medical history and my expectations for the birth. I honestly could not have asked for a better birth experience.

I always knew that I wanted a homebirth, it’s the model I grew up with in Europe. But for my American partner, this process was a realization. He was at first apprehensive at the idea of a homebirth and had no experience of midwifery. To Shiela’s credit he now advocates for this model at any chance he can get!

The contrast with a hospital birth could not be stronger. Shiela’s approach was holistic, taking into account not only my medical but also my emotional and personal history and well-being. She guided me in meeting my nutritional needs and physical development. Thanks to Shiela’s expertise, despite being GBS positive and with previous vaginal surgery and hemorrhaging, I was able to have the birth of my dreams at home in water. Her trust in my ability to birth fostered my own belief in myself.

This beautiful experience of pregnancy and birth has been a true rite of passage for me. I now possess a new inner strength and sense of empowerment that I feel is in part a result of Shiela’s excellent midwifery care. Shiela was committed to us, before the birth, throughout the birth and during Lucia’s first six weeks of life. I know that Shiela will always have a special place in our family and I will turn to her again when we have more children.

– Willow Osborn, Lucia’s Mama

My wife has always wanted to have a home birth, but it took me a while to come around to the idea. Though I knew that our home would definitely be the most nurturing environment for both mother and baby, I was initially very nervous about the possibility of complications. Eventually I realized that, since we were having a normal pregnancy, stress for both mother and baby and disruption to the bonding process was a much greater concern, especially if we had the baby in a hospital.

So by the time we started interviewing midwives, I was nervously settled on having a home birth. When we initially met Shiela we had already interviewed a midwife who seemed like a great fit. But I was struck by Shiela’s affection and sensitivity toward Willow. I knew that feeling safe and free to express her needs would be crucial to Willow having a positive birth experience and it was clear that Shiela was a confident guide who could provide Willow with the quiet, safe environment she needed. But as a nervous father, what really convinced me was that Shiela’s clinical expertise clearly matched her ability to be a nurturing guide to Willow through the birth process.

All through the months before Lucia’s birth Shiela proved to be just the person we needed to prepare ourselves. She provided support, humor and understanding, and most of all she was such a good listener and really strove to understand our needs as individuals, a couple, and a family.

When the day of Lucia’s birth finally arrived Shiela was everything Willow needed. But her calm and confidence also helped me deal with what proved to be a very intense moment for me immediately after Lucia’s birth. I was simultaneously consumed with love for both Willow and Lucia, and with the fear that they were both so vulnerable. Shiela helped us all avoid focusing on our fear and instead focus on Willow and Lucia’s needs.

Thanks in large part to Shiela’s guidance Willow literally had the perfect birth experience she had wanted and Lucia is healthy and thriving!

– Peter Stocker, Lucia’s Papa