the Leiberman family with a nurse

My husband and I wanted a natural birth for our first baby, so we were delighted to find the midwives at the University of Maryland. Right from the start, they took an extraordinary amount of time answering our many questions in a holistic manner that always made us feel in control of our experience.

Instead of typical birthing classes, they recommended we take a course in Hypnobirthing. It is a type of self-hypnosis that allows you to relax and focus your energy on the birth experience. Mothers who use Hypnobirthing tend to approach birth with less fear and be able to store, rather than use up, energy during labor. While at first we were skeptical, this turned out to be an invaluable recommendation.

Because I had previously seen an OB at a different practice, I was surprised at all the questions the midwives would ask me at each prenatal visit. It was obvious how deeply committed they were to seeing my desire to have a comfortable, natural labor come to fruition.

On May 25, my water broke at 1 am, and my husband and I headed to the hospital where my midwife was waiting. I labored in the shower, the tub and on the birth ball while listening to Hypnobirthing CDs, and the midwife stayed with us the entire time, providing constant encouragement and support.

Because I felt so comfortable and relaxed in the care of the midwives, I gave birth to our son, Bryce, after just five and a half hours of labor. He weighed 8.35 pounds and was 21" long. Bryce was alert, happy and healthy. We were all a little stunned at how quickly the labor progressed, but my husband and I were thrilled to have been able to have the natural birth that we wished for.

We are so grateful to all of the midwives at the University of Maryland. They made the most memorable day of our lives one that we will look back on with pure joy.

Michele and Jon Leiberman