Melissa Jay – 1st Baby story!
How do I even begin to thank Labor of Love for two of the most incredible moments in my life – the birth of our daughter Alexis (6/9/9) and the birth of our son Ryan (3/8/11).
How I decided on Labor of Love –
I never considered or ever imagined I could endure natural childbirth until I was 10 weeks pregnant with our first child. Upon learning I was pregnant, my husband Tim and I started researching our options. We toured local hospitals, spoke with doulas (birthing coaches) to gain their perspectives, and inquired about different OB groups. The first time I heard about Labor of Love was from my doula and she simply raved about Bea, Andrea, Kristi, and all of the amazing birth assistants. What she described was everything we were looking for – quality, individualized care, a warm, home-like environment, and a peaceful, healthy, drug-free birth for our children.
Tim and I immediately felt at home when we arrived at Labor of Love. For me, it felt like a breath of fresh air and after researching our other options, it was the only place I felt comfortable and fully cared for to deliver our daughter. That was the best decision we ever could have made for our family.
Our parents and friends were more skeptical and weary. We didn’t have any friends at the time that had ever given birth outside of a hospital. However, after witnessing the unsurpassed care we received and peaceful birth we experienced, we made true believers and advocates for Labor of Love.
Alexis’ Birth Story (first baby)
I didn’t know what to expect with natural childbirth so I enlisted a variety of support to help me. We were fortunate enough to meet my doula Stephanie with Touched by an Angel Childbirth Services and also Denby with Happiest Babies to learn how to incorporate Hypnobirthing into my labor. What a blessing those two women were!
Alexis was born on her due date. There was no false labor or warning signs. I woke up at 1 am on the morning of the 8th and began to have contractions. I had experienced Braxton-Hicks throughout the last trimester, but labor contractions are completely different as they peak and subside. I remember hoping I would notice the difference – no need to worry there.
I called my doula Stephanie around 8 am to let her know the contractions were consistent and that we were in labor. We were so excited to finally be able to meet our daughter!
Much of the day was spent laboring at home. When I tell people I cleaned the house, wrote thank you cards, and called friends while I labored at home they don’t believe me, but it’s the truth. A contraction would come, I would stop, relax and practice my breathing and then resume whatever I was doing until the next one would arrive. It was a very relaxing and exciting day at home with my husband.
We headed over to Labor of Love around 4 pm when my contractions were 3 minutes apart. Bea and Stephanie my doula were there to greet me. I was 4 cm when we arrived and I labored on the birthing ball while we told jokes and shared stories. During contractions, the room would quickly grow quiet and everyone allowed me to breathe through the surges in silence.
As transition approached, I was eager to climb into the birthing tub. The contractions really began to intensify and the water immediately helped ease the intensity. When I was 10 cm Bea had me begin to push. We quickly learned that Alexis‘ head was not positioned correctly so part of my cervix was in the way. Looking back, I am so thankful to have been at Labor of Love over a hospital as I most likely would have received an unnecessary cesarean delivery. Instead, Bea had me climb out of the tub and reposition myself to help Alexis get in the correct position for a successful birth. Instead of delivering in the tub and having a quick birth like I had hoped for, I pushed for over four hours and successfully delivered Alexis Sienna Jay on the bed at 4 am, 27 hours after my first contraction and 12 hours after arriving at Labor of Love.
After delivering our daughter, there isn’t anything I can’t do. It was the most empowering and moving experience of my life. I am so incredibly grateful for Labor of Love, Bea, and my amazing birth assistant Juline.
I have learned from this birth that I am not an extraordinary woman, but an empowered and educated woman who is lucky enough to know my options and have been introduced to Labor of Love.
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