Molly. new mom.
Adeline's Birth Story and Video
When Molly Harris, a Compliance/Legal Specialist at Baby+Company in Cary, found out that she was expecting her first child, it was almost impossible to keep it a secret. She knew even before she began working for the center that this was where she wanted to have her baby, and everyone was so thrilled for her that she couldn’t help but share the news! We chatted with Molly about the unique perspective she had as a Baby+Company employee giving birth at the center.
Photography and video credit: Raleigh Birth Photography | Amanda Ditzel
Congratulations on the birth of Adeline, Molly! How did you find out about Baby+Company?
I was actually one of their first patients. I have always been interested in the birth center model, so when I moved from Greensboro to Durham, I was looking for a place like Baby+Company. I wasn’t pregnant at that time, but I didn’t see the point in going to an OB-GYN for well woman care if I wasn’t going to stay there once we were expecting. I wanted to form strong relationships in the beginning and get personalized care for my whole self, even before I got pregnant.
So you started out as a well woman patient?
Yes. During one of my first visits, I struck up a conversation with the center manager about the birth center model of care. She introduced me to the executive team, and that’s how I ended up getting a job here!
How did it feel to receive prenatal care from your colleagues?
It was wonderful. I already know these incredible women from a business perspective, but it was amazing to get to know them at a personal level. I got to see their personalities and energies as midwives and nurses. It was a different dynamic and really deepened my relationships. It feels like home there already, so it was like going to see my favorite aunt for my appointments. It made the whole process much more enjoyable.
Let’s talk about the big day. What were you doing when you went into labor?
I was very active throughout my pregnancy. I do a lot of yoga and walking, and the day before Adeline was born I took a walk in the morning. I felt some contractions, but things calmed down in the afternoon. By the evening, though, I was noticing some of the telltale signs of impending labor (like an upset stomach and contractions) so I called the birth center and told them I thought the baby would come that night or the next day. Then I just continued on with my day. My husband works second shift at a hospital, so I did have him come home a bit early.
The contractions weren’t too intense that evening, and I would have liked to stay at home and labor but I had tested positive for group B strep. We decided to head to the center in the evening to see if I needed antibiotics. When I got there, I was three or four centimeters dilated. I could have taken the first dose, but then I’d need to return for another dose every four hours. The midwives and I agreed that it would be better to get some rest, so I headed home.
So when did you end up coming in?
I knew that this was the real deal by about 11:30 that night, so I took a bath and relaxed until about 1:30 in the morning, when I went into the center. Everything went very quickly from there – almost overwhelmingly quickly! I went from 6 centimeters to fully dilated in just over an hour. I wanted to utilize the room more, but there wasn’t much time. We were planning a water birth and by the time the tub was filled, I was ready to get in.
How did you keep calm?
Hypnobirthing had helped during the first phase of labor, but I began to feel overwhelmed. I couldn’t catch my breath, and that was scary for me. Everything moved much more quickly than I expected as a first-time mom. I remember the midwives telling me to focus, and my husband was incredibly supportive.
Did your midwives do anything special to make you feel reassured?
When I was settled in, one of the newer midwives knelt down in front of me and took my hands and said, “We’re going to do this, and we’re going to do this together.” She told me to look into her eyes and I breathed through the contractions with her. I felt so grounded when she did that. I needed that verbal reassurance.
It’s funny because I had been hoping that one of the midwives I’d known for a while would be on call when I came in, but it ended up being two women I didn’t know nearly as well. I was nervous at first, but these two were the exact people who needed to be there. Their presence and how calming they were in their words and actions reminded me that I was strong enough even when I felt like I wasn’t. Their energies were so compatible, and were just what I needed in that moment. They even managed to keep me laughing in between contractions!
So what advice would you offer to other expectant mothers?
Approach everything – pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the postnatal period – with a positive lens. Be grateful for everything you experience, because it means that your body is strong and capable and able to sustain and give life. Your approach will determine your experience.
The midwives who helped me deliver Adeline enabled me to do exactly what I am made to do. The support and encouragement I received from them and from my husband were instrumental during those moments when I wanted to give up. Although the midwife I was hoping for wasn’t on call, in the end I gave birth with exactly the right caregivers in the room, and I’m so grateful for that.