Nashville nurse Jessica had her first son, three-year-old Josiah, under less than ideal conditions. Her water broke early, but her labor didn’t progress and she was induced at the hospital. Eight grueling hours after induction, she was told she needed an epidural to help her relax. Jess hadn’t done much research beforehand and wasn’t aware of any other options, so she took the doctor’s advice. When her blood pressure bottomed out, she was given epinephrine and her heart rate skyrocketed. Josiah was born safely, but she felt like no one had listened to what she wanted or taken the time to be really present with her. So when it seemed like history was repeating itself during the birth of her second child, she was glad that she was in the care of the midwives at Baby+Company in Nashville. Here’s her story:
I had taken the Birth Journey class and I really credit my pain management success to Angela, the instructor. She emphasized the importance of meditation and positive visualization. That class was so beneficial for me in having faith in myself and my body during labor and delivery.
Birth Center Birth After Hospital Birth: Nora's Birth Story
“I knew I wanted a different experience with my second baby. When I saw that Baby+Company was opening, I knew that was where I wanted to be. I loved my prenatal visits – the nurses were so welcoming and very informative. I especially enjoyed my visits with Lauren. She has such a peaceful, calm presence and really put me at ease.
I had shared my fears about my water breaking and the possibility of induction with the midwives, and they were very reassuring. I couldn’t believe it when – just as it had with Josiah – my water broke ten days before my due date. It happened around 10:30 at night, so when I called Baby+Company the midwife told me to try to rest. I passed my mucus plug the next morning, and the midwives suggested I take a walk to get labor going and then come down to the center in the afternoon. I took a walk, ran up and down the stairs, ate spicy food, and tried everything I could think of to help labor progress.
When I arrived at Baby+Company, Lauren checked me. I was three centimeters dilated and my water had definitely broken. My anxiety went through the roof; I was terrified that I wouldn’t progress, and I knew we only had 24 hours to get active labor started. I went home to spend time with Josiah and my family and to collect my birth center bag. I also took some castor oil, which was a big mistake. It didn’t help with contractions – it just caused horrible diarrhea and left me feeling miserable on the toilet.
At Baby+Company, the midwives suggested I try pumping. That worked like a charm. After two hours, I had dilated to five centimeters. The midwives discussed my options with me and asked what I wanted to do. It was such a calm environment. It was about seven in the evening at that point, and I was happy to stay at the birth center. I got in the shower and that helped with the contractions, but I felt most comfortable in the tub. I had taken the Birth Journey class and I really credit my pain management success to Angela, the instructor. She emphasized the importance of meditation and positive visualization. That class was so beneficial for me in having faith in myself and my body during labor and delivery.
After spending a couple of hours in the tub, I had only dilated two more centimeters and we were starting to worry that I might need to transfer. Suddenly, the contractions began coming so quickly that I felt like something was wrong. Lauren told me I was going into transition, and then it was time to push! I pushed for about an hour, but the baby just wasn’t engaging. She’d come down a bit and then go back up. I started getting nervous because it had only taken a little over a half hour to deliver Josiah. I switched from the tub to the birthing stool, and after a lot of pushing, I finally gave birth to our beautiful baby girl. She was sunny side up and came out looking right at us. My husband supported me from behind, and the midwives were cheering me on in front. We hadn’t known her gender, and I was thrilled to announce that my husband, Joe, and I were the proud parents of a daughter.
When I first signed on to Baby+Company, they were just getting ready to open their doors. In fact, we didn’t get Tier 1 approval from our insurance company until I was 32 weeks along! Even if insurance hadn’t covered it, I would have paid for it myself. Everyone made me feel so at home when I walked into the center, and I knew I wanted to have Nora there. In the end, insurance covered way more than we had first thought, and they actually reimbursed us for some of what we had prepaid, so it was truly a blessing.
Even though it seemed like history was repeating itself, the outcome was totally different. My birth experience at Baby+Company renewed my faith in myself.”