Mandesa checked me and said I was already 9 centimeters dilated, which made me very nervous and anxious. She was really great, though. She kept telling me, “You’re fine, you’re safe, and I’m going to help you through this,” which was very reassuring for me. Even at the other birth center in Florida, I hadn’t had someone who really zoned in on me and made everything so personal.
Luke's Birth Story Told by the Proud Parents
Lindsay and Eric Garcia moved to North Carolina in July of 2015 when Lindsay was pregnant with her third child. She knew she wanted to have the most natural birth possible; her first two sons, Noah and Eric Jr., were both born at a birth center in Florida. Eric went back to school after their oldest, Noah, was born and the family relocated when he got a job as a software engineer in Research Triangle Park. We chatted with them about their experience at Baby+Company in Cary.
Congratulations on the birth of baby Luke! What was your experience like? What were you doing when you went into labor?
Lindsay: Actually, we were sleeping. It was a few days after Thanksgiving, and I woke up in the middle of the night with contractions. They subsided during the day, but the second night they were a little stronger. I woke up Eric and told him that this might be it! He called and spoke to a midwife at Baby+Company. She told me to take a warm bath, walk around, and be patient. I felt contractions the next day, but I thought they were Braxton-Hicks. I woke up in the middle of the night, but I thought it was another false alarm. Eric called the midwife and she said we should come in.
Eric: I called and started explaining how Lindsay was feeling, but the midwife could hear Lindsay in the background and knew right away that Lindsay was in active labor. She told me to hang up the phone and drive straight to the center! Our family was there to take care of our two boys, so we left right away.
How did it go when you got there?
Lindsay: Mandesa checked me and said I was already 9 centimeters dilated, which made me very nervous and anxious. She was really great, though. She kept telling me, “You’re fine, you’re safe, and I’m going to help you through this,” which was very reassuring for me. Even at the other birth center in Florida, I hadn’t had someone who really zoned in on me and made everything so personal.
Eric: Mandesa was incredible. She made Lindsay feel strong and empowered, and reminded her that she’d done this before. It brought Lindsay back to reality, and helped her to breathe through the contractions.
Lindsay: The first thing we did was fill the tub. The minute I got into it I felt like I had to push. Mandesa guided me, which made all the difference because I was really nervous even though I’d done it before. Eric was there with me, of course.
Eric: It was a very intimate setting. I was really able to be present and comforting and soothing for her as much as I could, and I was allowed to be as fully in that experience as possible. It was very rewarding as a father and husband to be there like that.
That’s great! How did it go in the tub?
Lindsay: I’ve always been okay with dealing with contractions because they last for a short period of time. I would say pushing was just as hard as it was with my other two kids, but being in the water was more relaxing. I definitely think the water helped with the pain management. It’s hard to describe…it’s like the pain is masked.
Eric: She only pushed for eight or ten minutes before Luke was born!
So it was a water birth?
Lindsay: Yes, he was born in the water. After I delivered the baby I moved to the bed, and Eric cut the cord which was such a proud daddy moment for him. Then Mandesa delivered the placenta and it was all so perfect. One thing that was really interesting was that the midwives left Eric, Luke and I undisturbed for a long time – I’d say 45 minutes to an hour without interruption. And I think that that skin-to-skin bonding time made breastfeeding a lot easier as far as him being able to latch on. The experience was better, quicker, and easier, and I didn’t need as much intervention as I had with the older two.
What stands out to you about your birth center experience?
Eric: It was very comfortable, clean, and inviting. The design and aesthetics looked very peaceful. Our visits were comfortable and we liked every midwife we met with.
Lindsay: It’s so different from a traditional doctor because the midwives were more like friends. They sat down with me and asked about how I was handling the move and how other areas of my life were going. I just felt very welcome, and I felt really good about having my baby there. It was the right place to go.