heather's natural birth center birth

heather's birth story is beautiful and you can feel the dedication she had to a natural birth as you read. i got chills as i read. thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us heather!!


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I was due with my first baby on the 16th of August, 2009.  We had chosen to have our baby at a birthing center here in Idaho. We saw the midwives first when I was pregnant the first time, which ended in a miscarriage. Because of their love, and compassion with that experience along with a lot of research, discussions, and most of all prayer; we knew that we wanted to deliver with these wonderful women. Colleen has delivered over a thousand babies, and loves what she does. She believes that she was called to midwifery, and we could feel that just meeting with her. My pregnancy was healthy, and normal and never considered high risk. Throughout my pregnancy we took an excellent class, and continued to research and study birth options. Delievering in this peaceful, homelike enviroment was exactly what we wanted.
So, finally after much anticipation....our "due date" rolled around, and we were ready to meet our angel. I had been in and out of labor for about 3 or so weeks before the big day, just contracting and stopping and so on and so on. (It was changing my cervix, and really there is no such thing as "false labor").  I eventually  stopped getting excited when I would feel contractions, because they would always inevitably stop. But one fine day they didn't!! On Wednesday the 19th I went to my appt at the birthing center,  and decided to have them check me because at this point I was three days "over due." ( I will never again keep a specific day in mind! ) I just  wanted to know if I needed to mentally prepare for another week.The midwife checked me and I was at  4 cm and 80% effaced, with baby at 0-station. (very low) We were excited, but didn't want to get our hopes up for nothin; knowing that I could remain that way for days, even weeks longer. I contracted that whole day and night but they weren't bad, never got more intense, and were only about 8 minutes apart. I had been having contractions like this for weeks, so didn't even think twice about it.

The next morning I felt the same. Kinda' yucky, and really tired. I had plans to go swimming with my friend Jennifer that we met in our birthing class. She was due about one month behind me, and we werewanting some relief from the 103 degree weather! So, I left the house at one o'clock after having some lunch (thank goodness) with my hubby. Funny thing is, we met her friend Jen, who was due the same day as Jennifer, and one of the student midwives! Danni was the one who had checked me the day before, and now here we were all swimming. Danni and Jen both had two kids and were telling Jennifer and I all about their birth stories. All the while not knowing that they were going to be a part of MY birthing story!!

After a couple of hours of swimming, I started to feel like I just needed to go home. I wasn’t feeling anything new, just a very strong feeling that I needed to go home. So, we headed out. I got home and got in the shower. I felt really funny when I got out, so I sat down on the couch for a minute. All of a sudden I felt a sharp pain in my lower tummy, and in my back. I ran to the bathroom and sat down. I stood back up...and gush! My water had broken!!!!  I was thrilled, freaked out, and soooo excited all at the same time! GAME ON BABY!!!! This time I knew it was real! No second guessing or false alarms! It was the real thing for sure.  So, I called my husband and told him the great news. He made it home from Eagle in five minutes or less! My water had broken at 4:15 and he was home by 4:20! I called the labor line for the Baby Place, and Danni answered! I told her that she wasn't going to believe it, but my water had broken. She laughed and told me that she would meet me down there. I told her it would take us about 30-40 minutes to get everything together and get down to Meridian to The Baby Place. My mom arrived at our apartment right after my husband showed up. We gathered all of our stuff and headed off!

We actually beat Danni to The Baby Place, because of my husband’s record speed..so I labored in the parking lot for a little while. Nice! Not to mention it was REALLY hot that day..103 to be exact. By this point my contractions were only about a minute apart and man did I want to get in there and soak in that giant tub! I was really excited when Danni came, and I immediately asked her if we had gotten the "good room." They are all beautiful, but we were blessed to have the brand new birthing suit! It was georgous, spacious and so lovely. When Danni got there I got right into the large garden tub.  She checked me a few minutes later. I was already at a 6!!! So, I was pretty much in “active labor” from the time that my water broke. There was no “easing into it.” I spent the entire time in the tub other than when they had to check me, and when I was pushing . It was HEAVEN!!! I don’t know how women have a natural child birth with out it! Chancy was so wonderful  and helped me with my breathing and staying in control. He was always reassuring me that I could do it, that I WAS doing it, and that our little one would be there soon. My mom was great too. It was neat because I could look at my mom, and know that she had done the exact same thing for me. It gave me a lot of encouragement to know that I wasn’t alone. My sister was also there, and knowing that she had delivered both of my nephews there gave me that extra boost that I needed to get through some of those hard contractions.

I was progressing at a little over a centimeter an hour, which for a first time mom is pretty intense! I was only having 30 seconds in between contractions, and they were lasting for about a minute and a half, to two minutes. I remember looking at Colleen (the head midwife) at one point and saying “I thought there was supposed to be a break in here somewhere!? Where is my break!?”. She just smiled and told me that I was just that much closer to having my little girl, and that I could do it. She was so sweet. I had it under control,  and then transition labor came….

This is where the baby is really moving down into your pelvis. And let me tell ya…I honestly thought at one point that my pelvis was going to just crack in half. In fact, I think that I vocalized that as well. :D... As time went on, I was feeling the “pressure” to push. So, they got me out of the tub and laid me on the bed to check me. I was at a 9 and ¾! ! What the!?!?!? So, Colleen (the main midwife) told me that I could push and that she was going to hold back the tiny bit of cervix that was up at the top of baby’s head and see if it would just slip on back. Well, I pushed. Baby’s heart rate went down a bit, and the cervix was not cooperating. Mylee was also trying to come out face up, so Colleen gently messaged her head and asked her to turn over. It was the coolest thing ever!! Because she actually listened! Baby was still trying to figure out how to get outta’ there, and my body wasn’t ready. So they had me get back in the tub to “blow through” my contractions for about another half an hour. For anyone that has been told not to push when the feeling is OVERWHELMING to do so, this is NOT good news!!!!! So, I got back in the tub and “blew through “ them. I actually had more control over my breathing at this point than I had earlier in labor. I think it was because I knew if I just relaxed and did what I was supposed to do, the baby would be here soon and I could finally PUSH! 

After a half and hour I was able to get back out and push! YAY! I tried once again to push laying down on the bed and hated it! They immediately moved me to the birthing stool. The birthing stool is a "U" shaped stool, and it is in my opinion the most effective way to push a baby out! :) I pushed like a “champ” according to the midwives, and 23 minutes later our little Mylee Claire was born. She had a hard time getting her little lungs to work at first, but after she was good to go Chancy got to cut the cord and they handed me my beautiful baby girl. I will never in my life forget how that felt. To finally meet this little person that had been inside of me for all of those months. The baby that we talked about, dreamed about, and prayed for was finally here in our arms. We both cried tears of joy as we cuddled her close. All of the pain was gone, and I was just over come with happiness. Happiness that she was finally here, and that I had actually pushed her out! Before they even cleaned her , they moved us to the bed and I was able to nurse her and bond with her.  It was so surreal. This was the moment that I had been waiting for my entire life. I was a mommy. Finally. She truly was a dream come true.

Mylee latched so well right away! It was if she had been waiting for this moment just as much as I had.  When she was done nursing, the midwives came back in and weighed and measured her, and washed her little hair. From the second she came out she was alert and wide eyed.  She was just taking it all in. She had  the sweetest, calmest spirit about her. That first night after everyone left was amazing. I couldn’t sleep if I had wanted to because of all of the hormones, and adrenaline. Mylee was pretty much awake the whole night as well. We were pretty much left alone to bond with our baby and enjoy being a family. They only came in to make sure we were doing okay. Nothing invasive was done, and they were so respectful. I couldn’t believe my whole world was right there next to me in bed. My amazing husband, and our beautiful baby girl. I felt a love that I could never have imagined existed. I was overcome with happiness and joy.  Our family was now complete. 

I wouldn’t change one thing about that day. It was perfect. The pain was nothing compared to the joy of bringing our daughter into the world. I know that we have nothing compare our birth experience to, but we are so happy that we chose to deliver at the birthing center that we chose. It was incredible. The mood was peaceful and quiet, we knew everyone involved, my husband was made to feel like he was a part of everything, and the priority was me and our baby. Nothing was done without an explanation, and we always felt safe. I can’t wait to tell Mylee all about the day she was born. It was the happiest day of our lives!! We are so grateful for every minute of it.