By the time my mom arrived to watch my three older kids, the contractions were pretty intense, but it was close to time to head to the birthing center anyway, so my doula, my husband, and I headed over. The contractions intensified on the drive and were coming closer together, but we only live ten minutes from the center, and I was sure I still had plenty of time. I arrived at the center, and Kitty was there, ready for me. She asked me if I thought I could leave a urine sample, and I said yes. I was feeling fine except for during contractions, which were coming every couple of minutes but I wasn’t very worried. I went into the bathroom. This is when things went wild. As soon as I sat down, the contractions intensified to the point I couldn’t get up. I called my doula in for help, and Kitty came in to check on me as well.
At this point, I began to feel pressure — and I began to feel myself panic. My doula was calming me down, and Kitty was right there. She helped me stand up and asked if I would like to move to the birthing suite. I tried to walk and made it only a couple steps before I said, “I can’t.” I could feel the baby bearing down, and I couldn’t move. I was starting to panic again, but Kitty was so very calm and reassuring. She adapted on the spot, grabbed her equipment, and then my husband, my doula, and Kitty all squeezed into the bathroom with me. I delivered my baby standing up — in the lobby bathroom — and it was the craziest, most unexpected, most EMPOWERING experience of my life. My doula supported my weight as Kitty coached me through delivery and coached my husband through catching the baby, all while she was also helping support me and pausing to unwrap the cord from the baby as he emerged.
The moment I realized, “This is really happening,” a sense of calm came over me, and I trusted Kitty completely. She was right there every moment. Alistair was born with no complications, and Kitty calmly suctioned his mouth while my husband held him. As he let out his first cry, this immense sense of empowerment washed over me. I had done it. I had given birth to my baby, without being hooked to IVs and stuck in a hospital bed. I had birthed him STANDING UP. I will remember all my children’s births, of course, but this one — I will never forget that unique feeling of awe and how strong I felt in that moment. Kitty helped me to the birthing suite, and the birthing assistant, Maureen, arrived moments later. My entire labor from water breaking and first contraction at home, to the baby being born, was
under two hours! But Kitty adapted to my every need and made it a fabulous experience, despite it shocking all of us. They took wonderful care of both Alistair and me as I recovered. I felt great, the baby and I both were stable and healthy, and a couple hours later, I was cleared to go home.
When I returned home, my kids were still sleeping! Everything happened so quickly, they hadn’t even known I’d left. I was able to wake them up with an introduction to their brand-new baby brother. But my reasons for loving Sweet Child o’ Mine don’t stop there. Two days later, I went in for
my followup with Kitty (on a Sunday!). My blood pressure came back slightly elevated, but I had no other worrying symptoms. Kitty asked me to monitor my blood pressure
from home (I told her my parents had a cuff I could borrow), and she ordered some bloodwork for me. I came in the next day for the bloodwork… my blood pressure was still slightly elevated, but I still had no other concerning symptoms. They expedited my bloodwork, and I went home. That evening, I got a call from Laura, the on-call midwife. My blood work had come back with elevated liver enzymes, and she was concerned I might be experiencing postpartum pre-eclampsia. She suggested I go to the ER immediately. I was skeptical, because I still had no other symptoms — no swelling in hands or face, no headaches.
My blood pressure was high, but even that wasn’t high enough that I’d been overly alarmed. But out of an abundance of caution, I followed her advice and checked myself into the Emergency Room. She was right. Within hours my blood pressure spiked and my liver enzymes continued to elevate, but I was already in the ER, and they immediately began treatment. I had no other clear symptoms, even then. Sweet Child O’ Mine’s careful attention to my health may very well have saved my life. They were even on-call for me while I was in the hospital, reassuring me about having to take my newborn to the ER with me so I could breastfeed. (I was concerned about him being exposed to sickness there, but they calmly reassured me that continuing to breastfeed him would provide him the best protection. They were right — my husband caught something while at the ER with me, but my baby never got sick.) Alistair is four months old now, and thriving. I will forever be grateful to this center — and to the wonderful staff and midwives, who were fabulous not only during my labor and postpartum care, but through my entire pregnancy. I highly recommend Sweet Child O’ Mine for any expecting mother who wants a caring, reassuring, natural birth environment.