My pregnancy was not planned; in fact, I didn’t even think I could easily get pregnant at 38 years old. I was frightened when I found out. I have been battling anxiety/PTSD issues since 2012 after something traumatic happened to me.
I discovered Sweet Child O’ Mine from the Internet. After reading their reviews and each staff member’s profile, I decided to make an appointment for a tour. The first person my fiancé and I met was Rachel, the front desk assistant. She was beyond sweet and comforting. She confirmed I was in fact pregnant and though I was extremely scared at that moment, she made me feel like it was going to be a positive thing in my life as she congratulated us.
Then we met Kim, the owner/founder. First of all, I have to mention—her voice is seriously the most calming voice I’ve ever heard. It almost felt like a meditation session. She completely calmed me of my fears about my age and my anxiety issues and encouraged me to have the baby naturally despite the fact I had to completely give up the medications I have been taking for years. All while making me feel she had the faith in me to do this.
We took the tour, and this birthing center is absolutely breathtaking! Dim lighting, quiet atmosphere. NOT FREEZING COLD like most doctor’s offices. The birthing suites are beautiful and tranquil.
I was sent home with a notebook filled with important information on all-natural births, vitamins, diet, exercise, etc. They leave NOTHING out! At every visit they’d require that I bring the notebook and go over everything as my pregnancy progressed, and ask me to document a food diary to make sure I was eating properly and getting all my nutrients not just from vitamins, but from my food intake. They stressed how important diet is to pregnancy without being nagging. The way they do this really taught me everything I needed to know about being pregnant and being as healthy as possible for my baby. Each visit was pleasant. They took their time to answer my questions, and I never felt rushed or like I was just a number. They made sure that I got a visit with each midwife in the beginning to ensure I got to know each one as it came closer to my birth date so the midwife helping to deliver your baby isn’t a complete stranger. They also have an online portal, so any time of the day or night that I had a question, I didn’t have to call the office. You just write (as easy as a text basically) and whoever’s on call responds, making things so much more convenient. And if it’s a loaded question, multiple midwives will chime in with answers and suggestions to help.
As it got closer to the end, Areline taught the birthing classes. (She was one of my favorites). She’s also one of the nurses who took my vitals at each visit so I got to know her along my entire journey really well. She’s been a doula for like 30 years and really knows what she’s talking about. Plus, she’s so personable and witty!! The birthing classes are mandatory. Because you’re not having your baby at a hospital (so non-personal) and your SO is usually going to be the “baby catcher,” you must be knowledgeable. There are four classes, about three hours long, twice a month, so you’re not overwhelmed with a TON of information all at once.
You’re taught what to do when you’re in actual labor—and if you forget, you’ve got that notebook you’ve carried around and studied for 9 months! Once your contractions are less than 5 minutes apart, you are supplied an emergency line to contact. And if you have a “quick labor,” they’re equipped to come deliver your baby in your home if you can’t make it to the center!!!
When this happened for me, it was Oct 17, around 2 a.m. Laura picked up the phone. I told her how far apart my contractions were and how long they had been going on. We agreed to meet at the center around 3 a.m. She immediately checked me out to discover I was 4 cm dilated. IT WAS TIME! I had already printed up my birth plan and chosen the suite I wanted, the Garden Suite! My labor was painful, being all-natural, obviously. But Laura was very professional and comforting, all while giving myself and my fiancé and MIL our privacy. She checked on me about once every hour, allowing me to be in labor around my loved ones only for the most part. I personally found comfort staying in the walk-in shower in the birthing suite, squeezing the bar during each contraction while enjoying the hot water on me. Laura told me before I started active labor that the birthing center does not run out of hot water. So I spent literally HOURS in that shower, holding that bar. Then around 8:15 a.m. the contractions got WAY more serious. Laura checked and I was 9 cm dilated. So she filled the birthing tub up. My fiancé and I were both able to be in the tub comfortably as I pushed. Laura was SOOO amazing! There were times where I started to feel scared and she’d just communicate to me with her eyes, reassuring me I can do this! My own music playlist playing from my iPhone through the center’s Bluetooth speakers. My favorite essential oil scent (Satsuma) burned. It was sooo calm. Just Laura, her assistant, my fiancé, his mom, and my best friend were in the room. No one else was in the building! Laura didn’t even wind up giving me the laughing gas, which was on my birth plan. The labor was so calm she felt I didn’t even need it! Once it got to the end, I started to feel anxiety from the pain and the “there’s no backing out now” factor. I was also completely out of energy at this point. Laura took a look and told me exactly how close my daughter’s head was and how much hair she had! This gave me that last boost of energy I desperately needed—during the next contraction, my fiancé delivered our daughter!
After giving birth, I went in for two postpartum checkups. Kim, Laura, Rachel, and Areline were so ecstatic to hold my daughter! At my last postpartum checkup I jokingly asked Kim if I could write them on the online portal until my daughter turns 18 with questions! And she answered “yes, of course.” My baby is three months old, and I’ve written Sweet Child O’ Mine more times in that three months than I did the entire pregnancy! They’re firm believers in breastfeeding and understand just how hard it actually is and have continued to help me throughout it, along with helping me through my baby having colic issues. In addition, they have answered questions about co-sleeping and any other random questions I’ve needed answers to!
These midwives know exactly what they’re talking about and believe in old school, homeopathic ways of pregnancy/childbirth. I had the most beautiful birth experience thanks to Sweet Child O’ Mine and HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend them!