Maggie’s Birth Story:: Review of VT Birth Haven


I don’t know about you, but I love hearing other women’s birth stories. I think there is something inside us as momma’s that enjoy having the opportunity to hear other women’s experiences and rejoice in the miracle of new life.

So here is Miss Maggie’s birth story as seen through her momma’s eyes.

I was 39 weeks 6 days and had been having contractions off and on for the past several days, just like I had with Nora. Lot’s of pre-labor that was getting my body ready, but nothing significant. On the morning of May 8th I had my 40 week check up. I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced and my midwife asked me if I would like to have my membranes stripped. I didn’t do this with Nora, but at this point I was ready to have this baby so I readily agreed.

I left the Dr’s office at around 9:30 and we dropped Nora off at her friend’s house since we thought for sure this would be it. Then we realized that my contractions were coming much strong and closer together (yay!). I then realized that I was hungry and hadn’t eaten breakfast yet…not good laboring when you are hungry! So we headed down to Henry’s Diner on Church St. and grabbed some delicious breakfast.

It was at this point that I noticed how close together my contractions were getting. (3-4 minutes apart). I should add here that my labor with Nora was only 11ish hours so everyone was a bit concerned with how fast this labor might go. So we headed home, did some last minute prep, called Francesca, and we were on our way to the hospital. We got there around 1pm.

Let me insert here on why I desired to hire a doula with this birth. I had a great experience with Nora’s birth, but was disappointed with a few of my wishes that were ignored by my midwife and labor and delivery nurses. Nothing that ruined my birthing experience, but I was really looking for an advocate for me in the birthing process. I also really wanted someone who could support me as I labored naturally and help with pain management.

I discovered Francesca through VT Birth Haven when she volunteered to guest blog for us, and I am so glad that I did! She immediately put all of us at ease as she began building a relationship with our family. We met together several weeks before I was scheduled to give birth and went through my previous birth, my birth wishes, etc. It was so wonderful to feel like I had someone who was there specifically for me as I labored, even though my husband Robin really was amazing during the birth of Nora. He readily admits that it was so nice to have someone there who could understand what I was going through and how to help.

OK so there I am around 1 pm at Fletcher Allen. My desire was to have a water birth so I received that room at the hospital. Boy was the tub nice! Last time with Nora my contractions slowed down when I got to the hospital, but this time around they intensified pretty quickly. I got into the tub almost right away and it was amazing!! I didn’t know what I was missing as the water definitely helped with the intensity of contractions.

Birth tub Fletcher Allen

Let me also say at this point that our labor and delivery nurse was AMAZING! She asked all the right questions, listened to my wishes and immediately put me at ease. Between Francesca, her and my midwife Diane and my hubby, I had an absolutely amazing team of people around me! I sucked on some popsicles, joked with everyone around me, and relaxed in the tub until the contractions really started to pick up. This was around 2:30 or so. They were really intense and at this point the joking was pretty much done 🙂

I breathed through the contractions, had Francesca giving me a massage with essential oils and everyone around me eagerly anticipating the arrival of baby Maggie. It was around 3ish when I started to feel the need to push. I started to do some pushing in the tub since I intended to do a water birth, but I found that it was difficult for me to really get behind the pushes in the tub. Sorry if this is TMI, but at this point my midwife said that I really needed to try and go to the bathroom because I was full of stool.

Just what you want to hear as you are trying to push your baby out! So I headed to the toilet and attempted to empty myself. It was at this point that I felt the “ring of fire” as we women like to call it. I yelled that it was burning and that got everyone’s attention! All of a sudden I’m being lifted off the toilet by Francesca and everyone is asking me what I would like to do…get back in the tub, lay on the table?

At this point I could barely move, so what did I decide? I’ll just birth standing up, leaning against the bed. I have to say at the point that my midwife Diane did not flinch. She started getting everyone ready, instructing how the baby would come and what everyone needed to do.

Maggie's birth

All I had to do was push. I must say that it was amazing. Here I am standing and pushing and all of a sudden there she is. They lift her up to me still attached and I’m looking into the most beautiful little face. I stand there holding her while they let the cord blood drain (I did a delayed cord clamping) and I immediately noticed how small she was compared to Nora. Nora was 9 lbs. 2 oz. when she was born and Maggie looked so small! She was born at 3:53pm.

I got onto the bed and they let me hold Maggie for as long as I wanted. I had a small tear so they stitched me up and I delivered my placenta with no issues (last time I had to have it manually extracted). I held Maggie for a long time and she was able to start nursing. They then finally took her to cut the cord, weigh her, etc. She came in at a whopping 6lbs. 4 oz…our little peanut!

Robin Supthen

Francesca stayed with us to make sure we were OK and didn’t need anything else. I was able to take a shower, have some food and get ready to go to the recovery rooms. Everyone commented on how I did not look like I just gave birth. Honestly, I find giving birth to be such an adrenaline rush and so empowering. Yes it’s painful, but I love feeling so in tune with my body and being able to overcome the pain knowing what the end result will be.

Greeting Maggie

Overall, I had an amazing birth experience. Everyone at Fletcher Allen was wonderful and I felt so cared for during my stay.

If you are looking for a doula in the area, Francesca is amazing. She helped me work through the pain, she advocated for my and my birth wishes, and she continues to care for me through a follow up visit and meal.


If you are looking for a great group of midwives/OBGYN’s, I had a fabulous experience with Maitri. I loved all the women I saw and Diane was amazing during my birth.

Maggie is now 3 weeks old and we are adjusting to life as a family of four. My hubby had almost 2 weeks off from work and my parents have been here for the last week, so I have had lots of help, which has been amazing! Now I couldn’t leave you all without showing off some Maggie photos done by the super talented Tara from Birdie Lou Photography




Maggie feet



  1. LOVE that you shared your story so openly! It was such an honor to support you during your birth. You were so strong and graceful!
    And check out the doula photography!! I need some for my website :-).

  2. We had a doula for our second (and last) child. She was amazing and the two of us were the calmest people in the room (I had home-births for both of my kids). I also gave birth standing up and it was amazing. Four pushes and there she was. This was 13 years ago!

    My husband and I went to Ecuador when i was 7 1/2 months pregnant with our daughter. During our 2 week stay, we toured the hospital built by Elizabeth Elliot. It’s right on the edge of the rain forest and the birthing room was of particular interest to me. There’s a large chair that lays back with stirrups. The doctor giving the tour said that women that live in the rain forest often come in to have their babies, but they refuse to use the chair. They insist on standing up because gravity is allowed to do its work. It’s counter-intuitive for them to lay back and have to push when gravity is on their side while standing. It was then that I decided that I wanted a standing birth. Shortly after returning home and only 3 1/2 weeks before our daughter was born, I slipped on the ice in my parents’ driveway and broke my ankle in two places (spiral fractures). My midwife decided that a water birth would be better to take the weight off my ankles. The water was way too hot for me to give birth in and my daughter’s labor was only 1 1/2 hours and by the time I’d hobbled over to the tub, I was ready to push. I stood with one hand on the counter and one hand on the tub and my midwife got under me just in time to catch my baby. I decided at that point that if I could give birth while standing up, I didn’t need my crutches anymore and so I ditched them at that point. I still used my air cast for a few more weeks, though.

    I did eventually get to use the tub. After I’d delivered the placenta, I hopped in the tub to relax and eat breakfast. 🙂

  3. I thought the tub made a HUGE difference during contractions!! I also had a hard time pushing in the tub and ultimately got out 🙂

    I loved reading about Maggie’s birth, it sounds like a great experience. Congrats again!

  4. Glad to see I’m not the only one that wanted to quote you about your stance on childbirth. I find giving birth to be one of the most spiritual encounters I’ve ever had and that is why I look forward to doing it at least one more time. Being in that kind of pain Christ truly becomes everything to me. It makes all those analogies of childbirth in scripture really mean something, too! lol

    Congrats on your two little girls, Nissa. Maggie is beautiful and I couldn’t be happier for your family! 🙂

  5. “Honestly, I find giving birth to be such an adrenaline rush and so empowering. Yes it’s painful, but I love feeling so in tune with my body and being able to overcome the pain knowing what the end result will be.” Yes!! I always wonder if I’m a little weird because I actually kind of look forward to the birth process :). Thanks for sharing your story, Nissa! I’m not in VT, but I enjoyed reading it :).

  6. What a beautiful story! Diane delivered Luna, too. 🙂 I had a doula with Xander, and I still say it was the best money we ever spent. It made such a big difference. Congratulations on your lovely new addition!


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