We waited until the cord stopped pulsing, and then my husband cut it. I delivered the placenta and had skin-to-skin time with the baby. It all seemed so natural and calm. My husband, son, and I got to spend time together, just the three of us. It was like being in my living room (if I lived in my dream home!).
Bowie's Birth Story
Bowie was the very first baby boy born at the Baby+Company birth center in Nashville, Tennessee. Margaret and Taneesha worked with mother Megan Johnson to make sure her labor and delivery went as smoothly as possible. As with many births, it didn’t quite go as planned, but after about twelve hours of labor, Megan delivered a beautiful, healthy baby boy. We spoke to her about Bowie’s birth day.
Congratulations, Johnson family! Tell us a little bit about your prenatal care. Did you go to Baby+Company?
For the first few months of my pregnancy I went to see a very popular obstetrician, but I was less than thrilled with the experience. It seemed so impersonal – I felt like I was a cattle in the herd.
I hadn’t thought about going to a birth center before, partly because there weren’t any in Nashville and also because I wasn’t sure if I could handle a natural birth. But I’m a regular meditator, and after I was introduced to Hypnobabies I began to think that I might be able to do it. When I found out Baby+Company was opening a new birth center, I called Margaret and asked if they could fit me in. I did some of my prenatal appointments with the midwives at Vanderbilt, and then when the center was finished we moved over there.
So what were you doing when you went into labor?
My parents had come into town a few days before the due date, and we were walking around the mall. I started feeling what I thought were Braxton-Hicks contractions, but they continued. We went home and when I was still feeling contractions that evening, I figured it was going to happen soon. I called my doula, Merrill Durham of Nashville Doula Services, and told her what was going on. Then I called Taneesha, and she told me to come in when my contractions were closer together.
How long did that take?
I was using an app to time my contractions, and at about eleven at night we drove to the birth center. When I arrived, I wasn’t very dilated, but thankfully they let us stay there instead of driving back and forth. I just rested and enjoyed the comfortable bed and soothing atmosphere. I progressed slowly; things didn’t really start moving until about five in the morning, and Bowie wasn’t born until 11:45!
What kinds of techniques did you use to manage the pain?
Hypnobabies worked really well for me for the first part of labor. Taneesha was very familiar with it and she knew that I’d be more comfortable staying in bed rather than moving around. I spent an hour or so in the tub, but when I transitioned into the next phase of labor, I moved to the bed. Hypnosis was great for the first half, but in the second phase I was ready to leave the birth center, head to the hospital, and get an epidural. My doula was so wonderful here. She kept me really steady and encouraged me to work through it.
So everything went well?
At about six in the morning, my water broke and Merrill and Taneesha saw that the baby had passed meconium, which basically means he had pooped in the amniotic sac. This can be dangerous if the baby aspirates the fecal matter, and in most circumstances I would have been transferred to Vanderbilt. But since I was fully dilated and ready to push, I stayed at the birth center.
Margaret called the Vanderbilt Newborn Ambulance Team, and they came to the birth center and were ready to take action if anything went wrong. I delivered Bowie in bed with the coaching help of my husband, Merrill, and Taneesha. I felt very encouraged and supported. I was reassured because the newborn team from the hospital was there in case anything did go wrong. Luckily, when Bowie was born he was healthy and started crying right away. He was clearly just fine!
What did you do after the birth?
We waited until the cord stopped pulsing, and then my husband cut it. I delivered the placenta and had skin-to-skin time with the baby. It all seemed so natural and calm. My husband, son, and I got to spend time together, just the three of us. It was like being in my living room (if I lived in my dream home!). The energy was so peaceful and calm. I nursed Bowie and he met his grandparents. After about five hours of resting and rehydrating, we went home.
How have you been enjoying motherhood?
It’s even better than I expected. I was never a big “baby person,” but when it’s your own, it’s your family – it’s your little person! You just have this connection that’s unlike anything else. I’d recommend that moms just nest and stay in bed with their newborns for the first couple of weeks, if possible. Just get to know each other. It’s a wonderful thing.