The center felt like home to me from the get-go. It was a comfortable, casual environment. They never rushed through the appointment. I didn’t feel like I was just getting care for the pregnancy – it was like my entire self was being cared for, if that makes sense.
Kain's Water Birth Story
Kara Mischke was fascinated by birth culture in America before she ever even thought about having children. When she started doing her own reading and research, she was saddened to find that many women fear birth, and that most obstetricians and hospitals treat this “condition” as a medical emergency. She was determined to birth her children in a calm environment, where her body and choices weren’t just respected – they were supported, embraced, and loved. We chatted with her about her experience at Baby+Company in Nashville.
Congratulations on the birth of baby Kain! How did you hear about Baby+Company?
I’m actually a well patient there. We were thinking about getting pregnant right around the time they opened. I was due for a well woman’s visit anyway, and I was looking for a health care provider that would be with me for the long haul. I was thrilled when I found out that they were open and did well woman visits as well as prenatal care, labor, and delivery. Within a month or two of my visit, I became pregnant. I still go to the center for my well care!
What were your prenatal visits like?
I don’t have a lot of past knowledge or experience to compare it to, but the prenatal care was wonderful. The center felt like home to me from the get-go. It was a comfortable, casual environment. They never rushed through the appointment. I didn’t feel like I was just getting care for the pregnancy – it was like my entire self was being cared for, if that makes sense.
How was it dealing with the insurance company?
I thought the insurance might be an issue since birth centers are still a bit of a new thing, but even if it had been it wouldn’t have swayed me from my decision to go there. Thankfully, I had no issues with our insurance. It wasn’t tough at all.
Did you take any of the Baby+Company classes?
Yes! My husband and I both did the childbirth class series, and then we did the newborn care class and the breastfeeding class. When you sign up for these classes, you kind of worry that you’re going to spend all this time driving to and from the center and it’s going to be a big waste of time, but after we went we were so thankful. They were very helpful in preparing for our first birth experience and my first breastfeeding experience, so we were glad they were available and really kind of wrapped up in the whole birth center experience.
Let’s talk about the big day! What were you doing when you went into labor? How did everything happen?
My water broke the night before, but since I wasn’t having contractions I was kind of trying to ignore the fact that this was actually happening. I lollygagged around and even gave my husband a haircut. Finally, he told me to call the birth center. Taneesha was very relaxed and told me to take my time. I had tested positive for group B strep, so we drove up there for the first round of antibiotics. Since contractions were still irregular, they said we could stay there or go home.
We went home so we could take care of our two boxer rescues and get some rest, but drove back to the birth center at four in the morning. Margaret arrived and basically told us it was time to get things moving. I was a little stressed because one of my biggest anxieties during pregnancy (and a major reason why I didn’t want to go to a hospital) was that I would be “on the clock” or have to get induced. I wanted things to move at my pace.
Margaret was incredible. I have no words to express my gratitude and love for her as my midwife. She encouraged me when I needed encouragement and brought about a sense of calm and quiet when I needed to focus. She didn’t rush us – John and I went out for breakfast, and then when we returned to the center she gave us some suggestions to intensify the contractions. I walked around, bounced on the birthing ball, and did squats, but using the breast pump was what really got things going.
I hadn’t even told my doula to come to the center at this point because I thought I’d have a long labor. I took a hot shower and tried to take a walk outside, but the contractions became very intense so we went back inside. Right after my husband ordered lunch, I told him to get somebody in here. Margaret checked me and was surprised to see that the baby was about to arrive! She drew me a hot bath and I got into the birthing tub. Kain came fast and furious – it was the opposite of what I had expected of my first birth. I’d describe it as intense, powerful, tender, and surreal.
What stands out when you think of your labor and delivery?
I can’t think of a more perfect day, and I’m beyond grateful for such a wonderful birth experience. I feel so incredibly lucky to have had providers who were so gentle, kind, loving, supportive, and empowering. They constantly and consistently educated me throughout my pregnancies and confirmed my belief that I was able to bring my baby into this world the way I wanted. Ina May Gaskin said, “Whenever and however you intend to give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body, and your spirit for the rest of your life.” I know that the experience I had at Baby+Company will have a powerful and lasting effect on me and my family.