6 months ago today

It was March 13. My husband and I drove up to the birth center at 7:30 p.m.

It was dark. I stopped on the sidewalk to have an overwhelming contraction in the moonlight.

birth-center-entrance

We walked through the door and were greeted by warm lights and the gentle, assuring voice of our nurse. As she put sheets on the bed and prepared our room, we walked back and forth in the welcome area and through the kitchen. It was so calming there, so quiet - just us two and the nurse in plain clothes.

No IVs. No scrubs. No beeping monitors. No wires. No hospital gown. No glaring lights and barren white walls. No scurrying about. No - it was not at all like that.

birth-center-welcome-area

I labored. I sang. I leaned against the bureau with each contraction, moaning with music in my voice.

birth-center-room birth-center-room-2

The nurse asked if I wanted to get in the tub. I said, yes. I glided into the tub - the water comforting me. My contractions intensified. My water broke. I was on my hands and knees, afraid yet empowered. I pushed...

tub-at-birth-center

And then there she was. Beautiful. Perfect. Calm and Sweet. My husband and I smiled at each other. We couldn't stop looking at her, our baby.

day-after-baby-was-born-pictureIt was 8:30 p.m. Almost exactly one hour from the time we arrived.

We checked out at 1 something in the morning, stopping to pick up our older daughter at my in-laws' house (we had dropped her off on the way to the birth center earlier that evening). By 2:30 a.m., we were all home. We tucked in our then-2-year-old and got into bed - our bed - and fell blissfully asleep.

Quietly, gently...we became a family of four.

***If I can help it, I will never, ever deliver a baby in a hospital again. Ever. Did I mention that the birth center was a thousand times better? It was. It really, really was.

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17 comments on “6 months ago today”

  1. Oh how I long for that perfect experience of birthing naturally and breastfeeding for a long time. I grow more and more doubtful I'll get the chance again, the older I get, but I'm still holding out a little bit of hope.

    Nell

  2. I can't believe in all the years I've been a nurse (In obstetrics and neonatal nursing) that I've never seen or been inside a birth center. I would have loved the experience of a natural birth....it looks like "home"! I can't believe you left so soon....that's amazing...seriously...I have such a "medical" view of birth because of my experience in hospitals for the past almost 10 years....It's refreshing to know that all births don't have to be medical!

    Sadly, it's just not possible for me (my doctor said I have a less than 30% chance of a successful vbac...not worth risking it for me) ...definitely not looking forward to another c section but I know that it's the safest option for the baby and myself...

  3. SO amazing! We had both of ours in the hospital, however we had great experiences both times. I had two VERY fast labors so we didn't spend much time there at all. My doula kept trying to tell me that I was made for home birth! Not so sure about that, although we weren't even in the hospital for 24 hours with #2. My labor was 2.5 hours, was only in the hospital for 1 hour before he arrived, no meds before, during, or after (with either baby). We could have stayed for two days but we wanted to be home where it is comfortable. We also wanted the transition to a family of four to be as smooth as possible for our daughter and home is the best for that! Thanks for sharing your story and experience! Birth is truly an amazing thing!

  4. That sounds wonderful! I am thankful that there are just so many choices for having our babies and that we now have such great options like this!!

  5. Happy 6 months little one!
    Wow, that sounds so perfect! It also looks so wonderfully comforting! I had wonderful experiences with my hospital births, but have often thought a birthing center or home birth would be nice if we ever have another.

  6. What a beautiful, touching birth story! I would love to have had my babies in a birth center, but state regulations here make it tough. They had a wonderful one here in my town all ready to go, and then the doctor backing it pulled out. It now sits empty. So sad...

  7. I love your birth story, it is so awesome.

    We don't have a birth center here so its have your baby at the hospital or home. Because of the place we lived at the time we choose the hospital. Lily also chose hospital by coming 4 weeks early.

    I wish I could have had a natural birth center or home birth. Maybe with the next one.

  8. I'm so proud of you, Steph!! Two natural births! You were born naturally, and I'm so glad you have discovered how wonderful it is!

  9. What a great place! No birth centers near here, but I did have a water birth in a hospital with a midwife and it was great!

  10. Fabulous! Both of my babies were born at a birth care center attached to the hospital. They have monitors, etc. but try to be less invasive with everything. It was really nice. But also nice when Jasper developed breathing issues several hours after he was born to be wheeled through underground tunnels to the NICU.

  11. We, unfortunately, don't have a birth center near our home so instead my statement would read:

    If I can help it, I will never, ever deliver a baby with a doctor again. Ever. Did I mention that a midwife was a thousand times better? It was. It really, really was.

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