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homebirth1By Kristy MacKaben

 Noel Sophia Goudy came into the world much like her mother—by way of a home birth in her Severna Park home with the help of her grandmother, a midwife.

The 7-pound, 4-ounce baby girl was born at 12:09 p.m. the day before Valentine's Day in a warm birthing tub in the middle of her living room. Noel's mom, Alexa Goudy caught Noel's head, and her grandmother Susan Dodge, a licensed nurse-midwife, helped pull out the rest of her body.

As Noel snuggled on Alexa's chest and her husband, Chet, embraced them tightly, Alexa's homebirth convictions were strengthened.

"It was an easy decision. I was born at home and my mother delivers babies at home," Alexa said. "I kind of always knew I would do that."

Unlike her daughter, Dodge wasn't exposed to the concept of home birth at a young age. She didn't hear about the option until she was pregnant with Alexa and a friend gave birth at home.

"It appealed to me," Dodge said. "I think home birth feels like a normal thing to do. We want to use our bodies to birth babies, and home is the setting where that is expected and supported."