Meet sa

second time mom

I felt able to personalize my birth experience in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to do elsewhere. I could eat, choose my music, use the essential oils I liked. And I even caught my own baby!

Gavin's Birth Story

Second-time mother Larysa Lopez has a special place in her heart for Hawaii. It’s where she met her husband and gave birth to Peyton, her oldest son. After an incredible experience laboring in the ocean at Waikiki Beach and giving birth naturally to Peyton, she had a very specific birth plan for her second son, who would be born in the lower 48. She found what she was looking for at Baby+Company in Cary. We chatted with her about baby Gavin’s debut!

Did you go to Baby+Company for all of your prenatal visits?

gavins birth story larysa newborn shootI transferred to the birth center when I was 26 weeks along. My husband is in the army and is stationed at Fort Bragg, so I spent the first several weeks receiving care at the military hospital. I wanted to get into a more comfortable environment as quickly as I could while making sure their insurance would cover as much as possible, payment-wise.

Describe the birth of your newest son. What were you doing when you went into labor?

It was actually pretty chaotic. Peyton arrived early so I thought Gavin would, too, but at 40 weeks and 6 days, he showed no signs of making an appearance. I stayed active throughout my pregnancy, and the day before I went into labor we picked grapes at a vineyard, went for a swim, and then went to a friend’s house for a barbecue. That night one of our dogs was sick and we had to take him to the hospital. I think the stress from all that put me into labor (although my husband maintains it was a Bob Marley song!). Either way, I woke up the next morning with contractions four minutes apart.

I knew it was coming, so we rushed to get Peyton ready and off to his godmother’s house and to get the dogs situated. I didn’t even eat breakfast or drink coffee. We started the drive up to the birth center, but I don’t remember much of it except that we were playing some of our favorite Hawaiian reggae music.

Shockingly, we didn’t forget anything! When we arrived I was having painful contractions so I didn’t do much talking. My husband went to the store for food, and I knew I wanted to do a water birth so we filled up the tub and I stripped and hopped in.

What else did you have in your birth plan?

gavins birth story larysa just bornI’m big into essential oils, so I set up some diffusers. My husband brought speakers so we could listen to island music, which always helps me chill out and feel loved. We kept the tub nice and warm since that’s where I was staying throughout my contractions.

Did that help?

It was hugely helpful. I had a spinal fusion as a teen and water relieves a lot of that pain. At one point, I took a Zofran and then threw up all over my poor husband about ten minutes later. I got out so they could refill the tub and I tried bouncing on the ball and taking a hot shower in the meantime, but nothing worked as well as the tub.

When the contractions became fiercer and I had to bear down, my husband rested a cold washcloth with essential oils on the back of my neck. That was very grounding and relaxing for me. I felt most comfortable resting on the edge of the tub in a sort of kneeling position. After a few hours of painful contractions, the midwife wanted to check me so I went to the bed. She said I was at 10 centimeters, and just then my water broke. I ran to the tub and pushed for about 45 minutes.

How did you feel in those moments?

gavins birth story larysa breastfeedingI had all the feelings! I didn’t think I could do it…the baby was almost here…I needed to quit…the baby wasn’t going to come. I held my husband’s hands and even tried to bite him at one point. When the baby started crowning, I turned onto my hands and knees. After what seemed like forever, he came out and I was able to catch him between my legs. I instinctively pulled him up to my chest and didn’t let go as they helped me out of the tub and into the bed.

That’s wonderful! What stands out to you about your experience at the birth center?

I felt able to personalize my birth experience in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to do elsewhere. I could eat, choose my music, use the essential oils I liked. And I even caught my own baby!

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