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A simple blog about seeking the Lord, savoring life and joyfully serving.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Our Birthing Center Experince

For our fourth baby, we chose to give birth at a birthing center. We felt comfortable with the accessibility of a hospital should something go wrong. The birthing center had infant resuscitation devises and birthing tubs in each room plus more equipment than we could have in our home. This birthing center was also covered by our health insurance.

The prenatal visits, birth, postpartum visits and the baby's first 6 weeks visits were covered in the price of the birth at the center. Each visit was informative and relaxed. I loved the warm environment and friendly staff. The birthing center had a luxurious, bed and breakfast feel. There are several midwives on staff and the center made sure I had a prenatal appointment with each of them. I never felt rushed and my children were always welcome. I felt complete freedom during my labor. They gave advice freely but were respectful of our wishes and gave us full control over our experience.

This was the peaceful scene that greeted us when we arrived the day we gave birth.

They were diffusing "Calm Baby" and lavender. We added a few drops of clary sage to help make the contractions more productive and hopefully speed the labor process. It was a beautiful experience and a peaceful time. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous. There was an element of apprehension as I anticipated another natural birth but the aromatherapy had a calming effect. It was also a comfort to know the midwives were so gentle and attentive to our well-being.

 The center is about 45 minutes away from our home. As the day grew closer I began to get more anxious about the drive. The memory of my quick delivery with my last child was lingering in my mind and I was uneasy about arriving in time to give birth. Three weeks before our baby was born, we actually went in thinking we would be coming home with a baby. The staff were so kind and patient. I was immensely disappointed when we went home. I had severely powerful Braxton hicks contractions that fooled me into thinking it was "time" on numerous occasions after that.
The day before our precious one's arrival.

 The night before our baby was born, I was convinced our baby was coming and my husband better call the fire department because we wouldn't make it out the door! Thankfully I am married to a calm, discerning man who gave me a glass of water and waited it out a few minutes. Alas, my contractions stopped and we drifted off to bed, disappointed yet again. He said we are all going to the birthing center in the morning to be "checked". I called ahead to inform the center of our arrival and our entire family loaded up and went in. They checked me and I was dilated to a 4. The midwife on call decided to attempt to progress the labor.

Getting excited.
We get to see our baby sister!

We called my father-in-law and the sweet man and his sweet wife drove forty five minutes to pick up our kiddos and take them back to our home in our van. He then drove our van back to us so we could come home in our own vehicle. Sweet, sweet man. I was so happy to have our little family together in that birthing room as we prepared for the labor to come. As Psalm 8:2 says, "From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength..." I did draw strength from my joyous little ones that day.


My midwife concocted three herbal tinctures and put me on the breast pump to see if that would regulate my contractions. Indeed it did. It was thirty minutes and my contractions became stronger and more regular. My midwife asked me if I wanted her to wait in the room with me or if I preferred to be alone. I like my solitude so I told her I would call her when I was ready. She and the PA came in often to check the baby's heart rate and mine. I was not hooked up to wires or I.V.s so I was free to walk around (which I did and I must say it helped with the pain and descending the baby).

My daughter created this lovely Scripture art to encourage me during labor. We printed several free Scripture pintables from Pinterest. These were very uplifting and comforting. My children traced their hands on the back of the Scriptures and wrote love notes that I will treasure always.

My contractions became stronger and I was encouraged to have the midwife break my water. I was not ready to take this step as I had read that breaking the bag of waters could produce more painful contractions. The pain I was experiencing was already different, more severe than when I had my last child. I read that the breast pump can cause the uterine contractions to be more painful. I'm a believer. The pain I experienced when I was dilated to a six was synonymous with the pain I experienced with my last birth during the transition phase. So, ladies, I know how it feels to want to deliver that baby but if you can wait and let your body progress on it's own, do. That being said, I wouldn't change a thing about my birthing experience. I'll tell you why in a minute...

As darkness began to fall, I decided I was ready to have them break my water. I started the playlist of worship music I created for this very moment. I held my Scriptures with my children's' handprints in one hand and my husband's hand in my other. I recited Zephaniah 3:17, "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." It wasn't as bad as I anticipated. My midwife said I was just about to go on my own. 45 minutes passed and I knew it was time to push. My husband called for the midwife and her assistant. As they came in I asked if I should get into the birthing tub they prepared for me. One look and they knew there would be no time. I was in excruciating pain and I felt I could not go on. I asked them what I could do because I did not think I could do this. My husband said the baby was crowning and to push. I pushed with every fiber of my being. Twice. Our baby girl was born at 6:17 pm.
She was a chubby little sweetie!

This baby has made many people very happy. You see, the reason I wouldn't change a thing is because she was born on my husband's grandmother's birthday. We were all delighted but she was overjoyed. She said that baby was the best birthday gift ever. They now share the same middle name and birthday.

 "Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world."
John 16:21
"He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb,''
Deuteronomy 7:13

 We were given the option to stay the night but we were aching to get home to our other babies. We couldn't wait for our children to greet their new baby sister. The staff could see this was not our first rodeo. The baby was healthy and nursing well, my body was recovering at a rate of speed that amazed even the midwives. They released us around 12:00 am.

Midnight road trip!
The girls were elated to see their baby sister. A tornado could not have woken up our son from his slumber however, he was over the moon the next morning!

Our joy is complete.

I am thankful for the Lord's hand in all of our birthing experiences. I enjoyed each experience in a different way. The main differences between the hospital and birthing center were the freedoms the birthing center offered. They would inform us of the decisions we needed to make and graciously sit back and let us contemplate our action. At the hospital we were typically not asked, the staff would act in the way they thought best. If we wanted something contrary to the hospital's normal practice we would usually be greeted with opposition and strange looks. At the birthing center our wishes were respected and honored without hesitation. I can appreciate the fact that the hospital staff help many patients and feel they are acting in the best interest of all involved. A natural birth is not for everyone nor is laboring at a birthing center. I do recommend you consider a birthing center. It is nice to give birth in a place where only mommies and babies are the priority and you don't have to think about a bunch of scary germies from other patients in the hospital. Natural birthing is also my preference because the recovery time is so much quicker.

Grace and peace,
Adoring Family

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