Everly was sunny side up, but she still came pretty quickly. I wholeheartedly believe that this was because the midwife was showing me the positions I needed to be in to get her down the birth canal. If I was in the hospital, I probably would have had a C-section.
Everly's Birth Story and Video
Sarah describes the birth of her oldest daughter Kaiya as “a very clinical experience, from start to finish.” It took her and her husband, John, several years to conceive Kaiya through IVF. Living in Washington DC, at the time, there was only one midwifery program and their diet requirements were too strict for a very nauseated Sarah to follow. The hospital nearest to her job only dealt with one OB, and her prenatal care, labor, and delivery were not what she had hoped for. She recalls a series of blood tests, genetic testing, and ultrasounds, and she gave birth after receiving an epidural very early in labor. When she became pregnant naturally with Everly, she wanted a totally different experience. She found it at Baby and Company in Nashville.
Photography and videography by Kailee Riches Photography
“I hated that I couldn’t feel anything when I was in labor with Kaiya, and I didn’t like all the testing my OB had done. The care at Baby and Company was so much more personal. I really enjoyed my prenatal visits. I’d always take the first available appointment in the mornings. I’d get a cup of coffee and wait for them to call me back into the room, and then it was just like having coffee with a friend. The midwives would ask how I was feeling and listen to my complaints. They measured my belly, and I’d go home. I didn’t have to take my pants off or get in the stirrups or anything. It was lovely.
Instead of constant testing and ultrasounds, I just had a basic blood test and an ultrasound at twenty weeks. That was pretty much it. I felt like I was allowed to be pregnant instead of being treated like a patient. It was much more empowering; I felt in control of my pregnancy.
I took the breastfeeding basics class at Baby and Company, which was a good refresher because there’s a lot you don’t remember from your first child. I also took the new baby class with my sister, who was pregnant at the time as well. This gave me some insight into the differences between a hospital birth and a birth center birth. I loved that they were kid-friendly. I brought Kaiya and they really incorporated her into the class. She still mentions how we learned to diaper the dolls together. It was a really cool way for her to be involved in the birth of her sister.
I was worried that I wouldn’t know when I went into labor, but when the time came I was ready. They checked me early that morning to see if my water had broken, and then sent me home to rest. By noon the contractions were stronger, so we went back to the birth center. It was lovely there – very quiet. As my labor progressed, the midwives gave me recommendations to move or change positions, which helped to break things up.
My contractions were very close together, so I didn’t get a lot of time to rest. I focused on my breathing while my husband rubbed my back and my mom rubbed my hands. I was really in the zone. Everly was sunny side up, but she still came pretty quickly. I wholeheartedly believe that this was because the midwife was showing me the positions I needed to be in to get her down the birth canal. If I was in the hospital, I probably would have had a C-section. She never would have made her way through the birth canal if I had been stuck on my back. The delivery itself was painful, but the encouragement of the midwives and my family made all the difference. I’m not usually someone who needs a lot of support, but in this case it was incredibly helpful.
After she was born, everyone left us so we could just enjoy the new baby. It was very sweet – exactly the way I think birth was for hundreds of thousands of years before it became so institutionalized. Everyone at the birth center was there to support me in having this child the way I wanted. As a pregnant woman, you’re going to go into labor and deliver a child no matter what, and it makes all the difference in the world to have someone who’s your partner rather than a doctor who tells you how everything will happen. Birth isn’t something that happens to you; it’s something you actively do. I had Kaiya at the hospital, but I feel like I really gave birth to Everly at Baby and Company.”