On June 4th, 2021, after laboring for 36 hours, Andrea McDonough gave birth at her home to a healthy baby boy named Tiernan. “We had wanted to stay at home because it was the height of COVID,” Andrea explains. “The delivery went really well, but then the placenta wouldn’t come out. I was so exhausted and my vitals were all off.” At the suggestion of her midwife, Andrea decided to call 9-1-1. 


The ambulance took her and baby Tiernan to BMC — first for a quick check-in in the ER, then to the operating room to remove the placenta, and finally to recover in the maternity ward. “The first ride my little man ever went on in his life was in an ambulance,” Andrea smiles. “But from the moment we got to BMC, everybody was very respectful and understanding of our choice, and just super nice."

Andrea needed a blood transfusion, so she ended up staying at BMC for three nights until her health was restored. During that time, Tiernan was having some trouble latching, so she was also able to meet with a lactation consultant who taught her a few tricks, including how to express her earliest breastmilk, called colostrum. “I probably would have never known that you can use a syringe to give a baby colostrum. There was a lot of really great information I got from the lactation consultant, which was the silver lining in all of this.”

At 13 months, Tiernan is now healthy, happy and crawling all over the place. “He’s got such a great little personality. He’s always smiling and babbling and just so cute!”. Though she admits that she feels like a “zombie,” Andrea’s is also staying healthy. She’s hopeful Tiernan will start sleeping through the night soon.

When they get pregnant again, Andrea and her husband plan to do another at-home birth, and will make sure they’re close to the hospital again. “I think there are pros and cons to everything,” she explains. “Western medicine is the most beautiful thing, but there’s also nothing wrong with doing an alternative birth at home. If I wanted to do a hospital setting from the start, BMC provides a really, really nice experience. I was pleasantly surprised.” 

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