Stephanie Wilson’s births

I have had two babies so far at Labor of Love and even though their stories could not be more different one thing was the same: the love, support and empowerment I felt from every woman on their team.

Growing up I was terrified of needles. Kind of ridiculous I know but it lead me down the path of knowing I’d never want an epidural. Back then I didn’t know that midwives or birthing centers existed, just that I didn’t want to be stabbed in the back while trying to have a baby. When I finally got pregnant years later I happened to have a good friend who was a doula. She encouraged me to watch The Business of Being Born. After than I knew, I had no desire to have my child in a hospital. This is when my search for a birthing center began.

Everything from the first call to the orientation was so inviting. I felt like I had walked into a friend’s home and was immediately welcomed and at ease. Not a single appointment was invasive and I really felt the love from the birth assistants and midwives as they worked with me and did their best to prepare me for the unknown journey of my first birth. I remember them telling me I’d probably go to 41 weeks as a first time mom but I thought, ha, not me. And then it happened, my boy was a week late. But that week was not without excitement as I had gone into predermal labor…for three agonizing days. I have no doubt that if I was in the care of anyone else they would have cut him out of me. But not these women. These women believed that my body knew what it was doing and could handle the job. Even though they had to break my water, even though my cervix swole after the first hour of pushing, even though they eventually had to hold my cervix out of the way for my son’s head to get through after 24+ agonizing hours of labor, he finally arrived. The delivery was hard on him too and he was gray when they first laid him on me. But quickly they began to work on getting my son to breath deep and soon he was bright pink and giving healthy cries for us all the hear. I wish I could say that was the end of the excitement but when I finally felt the urge to pee I stood up and passed out after dropping a decent sized clot of blood on the floor. Without hesitation everyone was back at the bedside making sure I recovered. Emily quickly ran to make me a placenta smoothie to try and replenish my body from everything I had lost. 

Now let me just say, I was never one to think I’d consume my placenta. In fact when I first had heard about it I was pretty put off. However after learning all the benefits I decided to have mine encapsulated. I believe taking them helped me heal faster and kept me from experiencing crazy hormone fluctuations or baby blues. I would say, totally worth it and I’m glad the midwives helped me have an open mind about it.

Now let’s go onto my second labor, my sweet baby girl. I could not wait to call the ladies at Labor of Love as soon as I found out. In fact in told my husband and then immediately called to make my first appointment. Again I was welcomed with excitement and love. This time I decided I’d actually follow all of the advise I was given. I stayed as healthy as possible with my diet and exercise and had a lot more self control than my first pregnancy. This time I listened to my body. I had a feeling that she was going to come early and at 39 weeks and a day I started having true signs of labor. This time I relaxed instead of spending all my energy trying to walk her out. I went to the chiropractor, stopped by the store to pick up lunch, came home, showered and took a nap. Once my contractions stayed in a pattern I told my husband to come home from work. I called Labor of Love and talked to Michelle who I had never met. At this point I was a little concerned. I started to worry that I might not feel comfortable enough and this would delay my labor and delivery. She encouraged me to come when I was ready. I said goodbye to my toddler and told my husband maybe we should go just to beat traffic. I’m glad we did because my water broke as soon as I stepped out of the truck in the Labor of Love parking lot. Michelle was immediately there to walk us in and get me cleaned up. She examined me and I was 5 or so centimeters dilated. I labored for about an hour before deciding I’d like to get in the tub. While I was in the water I made sure to eat and drink as I could to keep my energy up. Of course I threw up twice but Michelle was right there with a cold cloth and peppermint oil to breathe to help subside the nausea. And then it happened. My contractions intensified but I was afraid to push because of my cervix swelling with my first labor. Even though it was or first time meeting after watching me go through two of these contractions Michelle looked at me and asked if I was feeling the urge to push. Once I vocalized my concern she simply encouraged me to try to push on my next contraction and if I felt movement to keep with it. All hesitation that I previously had about not knowing her went out the window. Thirteen minutes later I was catching my girl and pulling her from the water to my chest. I could have not felt more invigorated than in that moment. From the time I stepped onto the LOL parking lot to the time I held her in my arms was only 3 hours. I was up and on my feet much quicker this time around. Soon our son came up with his grandmas to meet his sister. That moment could not have been sweeter. He felt just as much at home as I did there with no fear of bright lights, loud beeps, or Mommy being hooked up to IVs. It allowed our new family of four to have a great sense of intimacy as we started our journey. I am forever grateful to the beautiful team at Labor of Love and have no doubt that they are the only pregnancy, labor and delivery care for me.

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