It had taken us a while to become pregnant; so when we were finally expecting, I knew I wanted a positive birthing experience. Like many other expectant couples, we had watched some documentaries about birth in the United States. We quickly realized we did not want a conventional hospital birth where our voices and wishes might go unheard. However, we were also not prepared to have our first baby at home. Thankfully, we learned of Ruth and The Birth Center.
Our prenatal care at the Birth Center began at 12 weeks. I could tell early on that my care would be different from the care my pregnant friends were receiving. The staff was always friendly and supportive, and I was able to work with Ruth from the beginning until the birth. The trust we had in her and her staff grew during each visit and we were confident that this was the team to help us achieve the birth we had been dreaming of. We were so grateful that they were supportive of our other “alternative” choices, such as preparing for the birthing using Hypnobabies techniques.
We had been expecting that our little guy would come sometime around his due date of October 31, if not a little after. I was certainly surprised when my water broke around 2:30 PM on October 21 with no contractions to give forewarning. I called my husband, who hurried home from work. My next call was to Ruth. When it seemed like the contractions were not starting on their own, she encouraged me to help them along by drinking a couple ounces of castor oil. That certainly did the trick, and I was feeling those contractions in no time. Unfortunately, I am not the greatest self-reporter, so it was difficult to tell her exactly what I was feeling and how long the contractions were lasting. After several calls back and forth, Ruth asked us to come in around 8:30 PM. She made the right call considering I was dilated to 7cm upon arrival.
Throughout the contractions and the rest of the birth, I utilized my Hypnobabies techniques and remained focused. My husband was an incredible source of strength for me and he would regularly remind me to relax and breathe through the discomfort. Though uncomfortable, I wouldn’t say that I was in real pain. The labor was not easy, as our little one was in the posterior position and required turning. Ruth, Christa, Jen, and Janet were an amazing support for my husband and me. They helped us maintain a calm and positive atmosphere. They ensured that I changed birthing positions regularly. They also became quite creative in their techniques to turn my baby.
As the hours passed by, I grew more tired. Ruth, knowing how determined I can be, informed me that we may need to consider going to the hospital to possibly have the baby vacuumed out. That was all the incentive I needed. There was no way I was leaving the comfort of the Birth Center to have my baby in a place completely foreign to me. That was when I had my second wind, so to speak. I “got with the program” and employed all of the techniques these women were recommending. I also eventually listened to my own body and did what felt natural. And, at 4:12 AM on October 22 we brought our beautiful baby boy Zen into the world, weighing 8 pounds 6 ounces. Tired and happy, we were home just four hours later. And, in the days that followed, Ruth was especially helpful in providing breastfeeding support. She made herself available to us at all times.
My husband and I cannot fully express the love and gratitude we have for these women. Their knowledge, expertise, and compassion made me confident during my pregnancy and our son’s birth. They helped us create a beautiful memory to last us a lifetime.