Home birth is best choice for the Longs

Chiropractor turned to Iola midwifery firm

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Wittenberg residents Casey Long and her husband, Keith, made the choice to have all three children — from left, Porter, Beckham and Brynley — born at home with the help of the midwives from the In the Beginnings midwife service in Iola.

Brynley Rene Long was born at home at 8:05 p.m. Dec. 13 during a snowstorm. Normally that announcement might raise a few eyebrows, but the home birth was planned by parents Keith and Casey Long with the help of a midwife from In the Beginning Midwifery Service in Iola.

Casey has been a chiropractor in Wittenberg for the past six years. The chiropractic concept is to treat the body without drugs or surgery, she said. When she was pregnant with their oldest son, Beckham, the Longs considered a hospital delivery but ultimately decided a home birth was more in keeping with her practice and general philosophy.

Casey noted that some of the pluses to doing a home delivery include having control of your environment and less need for drugs. By doing a water bath birth, she said, the warmth of the water helps with controlling the pain and less tearing for the mother.

The midwives do screenings to make sure neither the mother nor the baby is at risk with a home delivery. They won’t schedule a home birth if there are any health concerns.

Patients of midwives have monthly appointments at first, just like seeing a regular doctor, and then more frequent visits toward the end of the pregnancy. At 36 weeks a midwife comes to the home to sure everything is set up.

“There are three of us who work as a team,” explained Korina Pubanz, one of the midwives at In the Beginning Midwifery Service. “We average about four to 10 births per month.”

The cost for home birth service varies according to income level and insurance coverage, Pubanz said.

The deliveries of Beckham and his younger brother, Porter, went smoothly, but Brynley was a little more guess work as the contractions didn’t follow a regular pattern. Despite the snow, the midwives managed to get to the Longs’ home 45 minutes before Brynley’s arrival.

Dr. Lycia Linke, of Wausau, who had interned at Long Chiropractic Center, arrived just after the birth to help.

The Longs knew ahead of time the sex of the boys but didn’t with Brynley.

“It was a surprise to have a girl because all this generation on Keith’s and my sides are all boys. She’s the first girl,” Casey said.

Keith, who has been a farmer most of his life, said he had never thought much about a home birth. After he and Casey got married on the farm, the idea of having such important events at home seemed more appealing.

“After I got educated on it, I thought it would be cool to have the kids born at home the way they used to do,” he said.

In the Beginning has helped with births in Wausau, Shawano, Antigo and near Iola.