No doctor, no midwife, no problem
Amy's family

Meet Amy, mom of four. Her last baby was born at home, which isn't unusual, until you learn that she had no medical attendant present — at all. Read on to learn why she and her husband chose that route and what their plans are for their next baby.

Born at home with mom and dad

Amy lives in Nebraska with her husband and four children, and is expecting a Christmas baby at the end of this year. Her fourth baby came into this world at the family’s home, but there was no doctor, midwife or other medical personnel there. It wasn’t an emergency — it was a planned unassisted childbirth (UC), and is not as crazy as it sounds.

We were able to catch up with Amy and learn why she chose this method of birth and what they have planned this December.


SK: Tell me a little about yourself — where you grew up, where you live now?

Amy: I grew up in the small town of Harvard, Nebraska. I lived there my whole growing-up years and graduated high school there. Went to college in Norfolk, Nebraska at Nebraska Christian College for a semester and then got married and we have kind of moved all over Nebraska and for a brief stint in Kansas where my husband is from. Currently we live in Lincoln, Nebraska.

SK: Did you have any attachment parenting role models in your life as you were growing up?

Amy: Funny you ask. I have been trying to figure this one out a lot lately. I wouldn’t say yes per se — although my parents were pretty hands-on, they definitely weren’t AP. I think I had an older cousin who was probably my biggest role model in that department (although I’m sure she had no idea). I know that is where I saw breastfeeding from the light of “no big deal, when Baby is hungry it’s just something you do wherever you are.” I’m very thankful for that.

"I knew very specifically what kind of mom I wanted to be"

Despite not having a huge AP role model from an early age, I always wanted to be a mom, and for me I knew very specifically what kind of mom I wanted to be — how I wanted to care for my children; I guess it was just instinctual more than anything. No one had shown me but also no one had taken that away, if that makes sense.

SK: When did you meet your husband? How did you know he was “the one“?

Amy: Austin was from Kansas but was going to school at Nebraska Christian College and needed a summer job. One of his good friends was going to work at a log home building business in my small town. We ate supper together a lot at their house as well as I worked at the grocery store and he often came in there.

He came back to work the following summer also and that is when he offered to fix the stereo in my car. I brought my car over for him to tinker with that night and after that we were pretty much inseparable. When I went off to college he quit his job, followed me — and the rest is history. We were engaged a month and three weeks later to the shock of our friends and family. And as far as how did I know, well, it’s cheesy but I just knew. I think when you know, you know.

SK: Did you both have similar philosophies when you began discussing having children, or did you both inspire one another as your children came along?

Amy: We discussed things a little but I don’t think you really know until you start having them. I think we just both feed off of each other. The one thing I did know was that I wanted to be there, to be physically present. I wanted parenting to be my main focus rather than a nine to five job. I didn’t want to miss one second of their little lives. And I didn’t want them to grow up with a babysitter who was closer to them than I was or feeling like they were constantly being shoved off with someone else.

Having babies

SK: What was your first birth like?

Amy: When it was time to choose a provider, the receptionist said, “Would you like to go with the midwife we have?” and I said, “Sure!” and that’s how it all began. I’m not sure I put much thought into that part but I remember being excited when I heard the term midwife and I vaguely knew what that was.

I ended up being induced on my son’s due date. It was of my own hounding that this came about not because of any medical necessity. I wasn’t where I am now and just didn’t think anything of it. Like many first-time moms, I was a frequent flyer saying, “Is this it? Is this labor?” I didn’t know it was OK and dandy to go after your due date.

"My plan was to birth in water. Oh that tub was heavenly"

I was very excited about the birth pool. My plan was to birth in water. Oh that tub was heavenly. It was a hard-sided Aqua Doula and the depth was amazing! I could go on and on about how it felt to be in there. Contractions slowed down so I ended up getting out so I could be hooked back up [to] the pit and that was kind of a trend… get hooked up, get them going and monitor, get unhooked, get back in the pool and relax. After some pushing in the water I ended up getting out and delivering him on land.

After two and a half hours of pushing, at just after midnight, (12:06 to be exact), I met my little boy Kalel. He was 8 pounds, 2-1/2 ounces. Everyone seemed suprised at his size. I was so so happy! We have it on video and the first words out of my mouth are, “Oh yay! Now we can have another!” Of course everyone laughed but I was serious. I was a mom and I was hooked! Recovery was wonderful!

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Comments on "Home birth, without a midwife: Unassisted childbirth"

Anita November 21, 2012 | 1:45 PM

This is a beautiful article! Having an unassisted home birth is really miraculous. I just gave birth to my third baby unassisted. As Amy says it's really not that difficult, your body is meant to do it. What helped me was to pinpoint any real fears and research them. A big one for me was: What if the baby is not breathing? My husband helped me out here. What would a doctor or midwife do? Give the baby oxygen and you can do that with CPR! It's easy to get certified and then you don't have to worry about this. It's not likely anyways. My baby had no issues whatsoever, but just in case, it's good to be prepared. www.diymotherhood

Amanda November 20, 2012 | 2:38 PM

I am 19 years old and I live in Nebraska as well, the second me and the father found out I was pregnant we looked into midwives, after lots of research I found out here and Alabama its illegal, you can have an at home birth just no lisenced practitioner can be there, this is my first child, I am only three and 1/2 months, but I have been trying to do as much research as I can before the baby comes, my sister had to have a c-section because the umbelical cord was around the babys head twice and Im concerned something might happen if i have an at home, though I am pretty head strong that I do. I talked to my doctor and a few other, we planned on buying a pool and having a room ready, just to be prepared for anything, my mother is if-yy about it but wants to help, and my doctor and womens center I go to Think it isnt a good idea. Im very worried and was doing research when I came across this story my heart sank when I found out she was from my own state, but that wasnt her first child either it was her fourth. I guess I am just looking for some clear thoughts and help from people that have went through this to know what is safe for my baby, and me.

Ariel August 13, 2012 | 7:13 AM

Hi Amy, my husband and I are planning our third home birth and are considering not using a midwife this time. Where did you get most of your research from? Do you have any books or sites you reccomend? Thanks so much for your story!

Christy August 07, 2012 | 9:49 PM

Congratulations Amy! We have four children, with this progression of births: birth center, homebirth with midwife, unassisted homebirth due to fast labor, planned unassisted prenatal care and homebirth. We are very comfortable with birth and believe complications are rare when the mom is undisturbed. She instinctively knows what to do. I did a lot of study on what to just in case of complication or emergency. I wanted to be prepared, but as I expected, all went well. I fully support moms birthing wherever and with whoever they choose.

Lindsay July 26, 2012 | 6:33 PM

this is exactly the reason my husband and I stayed home to welcome our first child into the world. I had an inner voice just telling me so. I did a lot of yoga and meditation those last six weeks, tried to work with the hospital (sign waivers and such) in the weeks leading up to her birth day but I never felt comfortable in the hospital. everything in my body was telling me to follow my gut and stay home, in my tub. so I did. best decision of my life. I have received a lot of "you're crazy" comments and people telling me I put my baby at risk but you're right - intuition knows more than any doctor, nurse, scientist, anyone. my intuitive voice was so loud, I couldn't block it out. I just KNEW that is how my baby girl was to enter the world. so with the help of my sister (my bestest friend)and my incredible husband, we had a great birth day. all 19 hours of it! whew! I was exhausted at the end of that but I have a beautiful baby girl who has been bright, alert and strong since the first day of her life on earth. congrats to you!!!

Erica July 25, 2012 | 9:38 AM

While this might seem unusual for modern times, we shouldn't forget that women gave birth without doctors or fancy medical equipment for hundreds and hundreds of years. I say, to each her own!

Julie July 23, 2012 | 11:26 AM

Critics of home birth might say this is "crazy" - but what is really crazy is the ongoing standard of hospital births in this country which creates a multitude of complications with negative results. Our "civilized" nation now has an embarrassing 32% cesarean rate - are we supposed to believe that a third of all moms are incapable of delivering their own babies? Kudos to Amy and her courage based on faith in the natural process.

Amy Bauman July 22, 2012 | 8:22 PM

There is one more thing I wanted to say,its a nice sentiment but it kinda makes me sad to see so many people say the words amazing, this should be a normal natural process and I feel like we are so used to being pushed and prodded and second guessed that it is hard for us to even view it in that light. I think pregancy and birth are normal but for the most part the way we handle them are what is not. I'm praying that changes.

Amy Bauman July 22, 2012 | 8:14 PM

Yes, I used a stethoscope to listen a few times during labor. Morso at he begining of labor.

Kim Mosny, CPM July 21, 2012 | 7:57 PM

What a great birth story. I didn't read whether or not you monitored your baby's heartbeat at all during your labor. Just curious.

Tina July 21, 2012 | 4:20 PM

Wow this is great. I agree with everyone else that Amy is amazing!! I don't know if I'd consider a home-birth, but I definitely want my next delivery to be a little more low key and simple. Not only is it better for baby, but having a baby in a hospital is VERY expensive. If I researched and was prepared, I would be wiling to do something a little out of the ordinary for birth.

Amber July 21, 2012 | 11:32 AM

Yes, Amy IS amazing. I dare anyone who knows her to profess otherwise. And to those who don't know her, your judgement regarding how many children she and her husband chose to welcome into this world...says something negative about YOU!

Teacher July 20, 2012 | 2:10 PM

Wonderful interview, Amy! I'm so proud that you were open to sharing your experiences even knowing you could face ridicule and judgment. You've given an amazing testimony here. Thank you. Carol, while comments are certainly open to the public, you state your thoughts as if it they are fact w/o presenting any peer-reviewed literature. We all make guesses at what our planet can sustain, yet at this point in time there is no scientific proof of overpopulation or an inability to sustain life on Earth. Evidence goes both ways. In fact, many make the argument that our planet could sustain over 50 billion if we did things like move from eating meat to eating a vegetable-only diet. Nevertheless, I hardly think this article on unassisted childbirth is the place to have such a judgmental debate over when it's time to "slow down on having kids...". Women's/parent's choice on number of children is just that, their personal choice.

Angie July 20, 2012 | 9:17 AM

Amy IS amazing. And her 5+ children born into a stable and loving home are the LEAST of this planet's worries.

Carol July 20, 2012 | 8:44 AM

I think it is time to slow down on having kids.....this planet is only able to sustain so much life....when are as humans going to take responsibility for this? So praising a mom who keeps wanting to add more, I think is adding fuel to the fire. C

Monica July 20, 2012 | 8:08 AM

Amy is amazing.

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