When I moved to Dallas in May of this year, I was 2 ½ months pregnant. I wanted to find a CNM, but didn’t have the resources here. My husband’s family told us to go with Presbyterian Hospital, that they were the best for birthing. As I hit about six months, I decided to ask questions about what they would allow at the hospital, as I wanted a natural birth. No was the answer to the majority of my questions, and I was told that an episiotomy was a medical decision. I felt differently, and decided to look into birthing center, as I didn’t like hospitals anyhow. This is how I found the perfect place for me to birth my baby.
I had a long labor, and felt every bit of it. Due on November 12th, I started having painful contractions about 1 a.m. on November 9th. For me, these early contractions were impossible to sleep through for some reason, so I was awake throughout my labor. Not knowing how far into labor I was, we called Dinah the next morning. She advised me to try resting or to speed up labor with certain techniques. Since I was unable to sleep, I opted to speed thing up by walking and then headed in to the Birth Center to check my progression. I was a bit disappointed to find I was only dilated to 1 ½ and 70% effaced. I went home, and again tried to sleep. I dozed slightly between contractions, but was still unable to sleep. My sister stayed up through the next night with me, and massaged me while I labored in a hot bath. The next morning, the contractions were getting more painful, but I was starting to feel the effects of loosing two nights sleep. My sister called Dinah for advice, and she pleasantly surprised me by offering to drive to my place and bring some herbal tinctures to cut the edge off the pain and help me sleep. This time, wanting to rest, I decided against being checked, as to avoid bringing on more painful contractions. Sleep still eluded me as the contractions continued to grip me. Again we called Dinah, and agreed to meet at the Birthing Center around two.
At this point, I was 5 cm dilated and completely effaced. As I had been doing, I continued to sway my way through the contractions. I took a warm shower, and Dinah put me on the birthing b all, and then backwards on the toilet. I preferred the birthing ball, though I progressed less, I felt less labor. After a few hours, Dinah decided to break my water to speed things up. As my water broke, a contraction hit and I rushed to get in the tub. From this point, I went into a daze, from the sleep depravation, the pain, and the relaxed environment of candles and music. At this point, I felt labor would never end, and didn’t feel I could continue, but Dinah and her assistants were there to keep me going with positive feedback. I clung to the tub though it slowed labor down. Finally everyone convinced me it was better to have more pain for less time, so I got onto the toilet again. Dinah checked, and I was dilated to a 9 with a lip. She tried to move it a couple of times, as my husband held me, but it kept slipping back. Judith suggested the knee/chest position to get rid of the lip, and it worked. From there, I hopped back in the tub, in a semi-squat position, and pushed. This was by far the best part of the labor, as I could feel my son moving through the birth canal, and then reached down and felt his head as it crowned. My husband said he came out swimming, and Dinah pushed him to me in the water. I was the first to hold my new baby and look him over. Having no drugs, he was so aware, and turned to look at his dad when we spoke. I had him nursing within the first five minutes of his life, and haven’t had trouble with it since. My husband was able to cut the umbilical cord, and then we were left alone to bond with out new son.
To me, this was the best birth I could have had for my first child. The atmosphere was very relaxed and I was able to labor any way I felt like laboring. I was left alone in my own world of labor to feel the natural beauty of it. I had very positive and helpful people surrounding me, there when I needed a positive note or someone to relax me. I was able to choose my positions of labor and birth, and therefore did not tear and healed very quickly from this birth. I was also grateful to have Maya capturing this beautiful moment in pictures. Dinah was very wonderful in informing me of my options, and still letting me choose the way I wanted my birth to be. I will forever be grateful that I found the Lovers Lane birthing Center, and would highly recommend it to anyone having a baby. I truly appreciate Dinah and her birthing staff.