I’ve made friends with (the midwives) – they always greet me when I arrive at the birth center, and will text me for updates on the baby. Everyone knows who I am. It’s a really personal experience, and that’s just what I wanted for my son’s birth.
Raiden's Birth Story
Second-time mother MJ and her husband are as busy as can be. In addition to taking care of her three-year-old daughter, Terra, and working at Bohemian Baby in Knoxville, she and husband Dagon have just closed on eleven acres of land. They plan to build lots of hobby farms, raising bees, goats, and other animals, and growing their own food. It sounds like the perfect place to raise Terra and her new baby brother. MJ shares the story of how her family of three became a family of four.
Hello again, MJ! You were one of the first women to give birth at our newest center in Knoxville. What inspired you to seek out a birth center?
I was only 18 when I had Terra, and I hadn’t done much research on my options. I didn’t realize there was anything else out there. Everyone I knew gave birth at the hospital, so that’s what I did. When I was 39 weeks pregnant, the doctors told me that they were worried she’d be too big, and so they induced me even though I really didn’t want to do that. The hospital was such a sterile, bright, stressful environment where I was constantly surrounded by people.
When I started working at Bohemian Baby, I learned about birth centers and home births and all the alternatives available to women. That was when I knew that I wanted things to be much different the second time around.
Tell us about the big day!
Well, I was having breakfast and chatting with my father-in-law that morning, and he joked that we may have to wait a while if this baby is as stubborn as my husband, Dagon. Just five minutes later, my water broke. Labor progressed slowly for most of the day, but I went into the birth center in the early afternoon so they could keep an eye on me.
When I arrived at Baby+Company, my contractions were about 10 minutes apart and weren’t overly painful. The midwives walked up and down the stairs with me to get things going, and I tried castor oil and a tincture of blue cohosh around eight that night. After the blue cohosh, things began to pick up. Once contractions were more intense and coming every five minutes, I asked the midwives to fill the tub. We waited a bit to make sure that the water wouldn’t slow down the contractions, but I began transitioning before the tub was full! They had to turn off the water midway so I could push. After just fifteen minutes of pushing, Raiden was born at 9:55!
Did you have any special techniques you used to help you through the intense contractions?
We had scheduling conflicts, so we weren’t able to take any of the classes, which was really unfortunate. I think that my best advice for future parents would be to make sure they take as many classes as they can. The midwives were really good about giving us lots of sources for information, like websites and books to read.
Having my husband there to hold me up and support me physically and emotionally was critical. He encouraged me so much throughout my contractions. I already meditate to work through tough situations, and that helped me to stay focused on bringing the baby into the world.
What stands out to you about your experience at Baby+Company? Was it what you had expected?
It was incredible. It was more than I had expected, really. I figured that if my contractions hadn’t picked up they would send me home, but instead the midwives and nurses took great care of me. They encouraged me to walk around, gave me a breast pump to stimulate contractions, and massaged my back. They didn’t intervene too much, but they knew exactly when I needed help and didn’t push me to do anything I felt uncomfortable with.
The overall care was amazing. The midwives are kind, professional, and absolutely fantastic women. I’ve made friends with them – they always greet me when I arrive at the birth center, and will text me for updates on the baby. Everyone knows who I am. It’s a really personal experience, and that’s just what I wanted for my son’s birth.