As far as I can remember leading up to marriage I was actually very frightened at the thought of a baby exiting my poor body. The whole idea sounded gross, traumatic and more pain than I ever wanted to endure.
When I talked about having kids I would literally shutter and tell myself that I'd just have to put it off as long as I could and when the time came I'd "simply" have a cesarean and get it over with. That's what I wanted! Little did I know (literally I knew nothing about natural childbirth) that there were other options that would be way more of what I actually would want when the time came.
Around 2014 I was slowly being introduced to moms, some that I knew and some I did not, that were having natural births — one being my now sister-in-law, Ashley. She actually had all four of her kiddos at home! Go momma! After hearing stories first hand and witnessing such beautiful birth stories through blogs and other social media, I began to realize that a natural birth was something I really wanted for myself.
By the time I got pregnant in January of 2016 I knew that this would be the route I would take. Thankfully Logan was completely on board with my decision and fully supportive of the thought of using a birthing center instead of hospital. Turns out there is a pretty awesome birthing center in The Woodlands called Nativiti where not only my mom, but several other gal pals have delivered their babies, so we decided to check it out!
This being my first pregnancy, we really didn't know what to expect as far as the role of a midwife and how the whole pregnancy process worked through a birthing center. We were given a tour of the center and were able to sit down with one of the midwives as she explained their beliefs and how they treated pregnancy. The rooms were so homey and inviting, each one with a giant tub, a nice big bed, and dimmed lights. We felt so at peace with everything they believed about birth and how the process should go, that Logan and I both knew instantly that's where we wanted to bring our baby into the world.
As the months went by, every check up went so smoothly and they really made us feel important and cared for. Not only did they sit down with us at each check up and talk for however long we needed, but they genuinely wanted to know how we were doing with everything. One of the things I respected the most was that they gave us options.
I felt like I was in control of my pregnancy and never felt like they pushed anything on me during each check up.
They really made sure Logan was just as much a part of the process as I was and that really meant a lot. I always felt like I was learning new ways to prepare my body for labor, not only physically but mentally. I enjoyed having the natural options that were recommended to me, such as what herbs to take, teas to drink, and exercises that would help my growing belly. The entire pregnancy was so easy with them and I am extremely thankful we had the option to use Nativiti for my pregnancy and delivery. This was where I felt the most comfortable and I believe every mom should feel that way no matter where and how she decides to deliver.
The beginning of labor began when my water broke at 2am Thursday morning (10/13). I was very surprised when it happened because I have heard how uncommon it can be, but just like in the movies it was a big gush of fluid. Excitedly I woke Logan up and told him what had happened then tried to go back to sleep. Contractions started within a few hours of my water breaking and by around 9am we had our Doula, Claire over to start helping. (I highly recommend a doula by the way, even with a hospital delivery. They are life savers!) I began noticing that my contractions were getting stronger; I no longer could disregard them as they were happening as I was now having to focus and count my breaths during each one. Not sure why I started this but I would count by 4’s until the contraction was over - I think because I had to focus a little harder on counting which took my mind off the pain. After about an hour and a half my contractions started coming about every 3 minutes, so we decided it was time to head to Nativiti. Talk about a pretty surreal moment, knowing you will shortly be holding your own baby! Once we arrived at Nativiti we informed our family so that they could head our way. The birthing center is like one big house, so there were nice living rooms set up for our family to wait comfortably. Little did they know how long they would be waiting, hehe.