Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Greer's Birth Story

I want to preface Greer's birth story with the fact that I did a lot of research on where I wanted to have our second baby.  After having Brooks at the hospital near us three years ago, I knew I didn't want to go back there for many reasons.  I also knew I wanted to have an unmedicated, natural birth.  I have a bit of [what my midwife likes to call] "white coat" syndrome...I don't like hospitals, needles, medical equipment, blood, etc.  Who does? I suppose some tolerate it better than others.

Anyways, I first looked into the home birth midwives in our area.  A home birth made me a bit nervous [and my husband too].  I wasn't sure if this was the right option for us so I continued to look for something in between- a birth center was what I really wanted.  In my search for the closest one I found the new "birth center" that was attached to the hospital in Leesburg, VA.  I went to my first appointment [at 8 weeks] there and knew it wasn't for me.  I kept thinking I didn't want to go too far away, so when my search on a birth center website turned up NOVA Natural Birth Center in Chantilly, I was hesitant.  However, I hadn't found the right fit for me yet...so my sister and I decided to go to an information session there one evening in June.  I knew immediately this was where I wanted to have my baby.  [Coincidentally, the midwife who did the info session that night is the same one who caught Greer!]  It takes right around 1 hour to get from our house to the BC and the drive never bothered me once! I could not be happier with my experience at Nova...I know I felt great the whole pregnancy due to my low stress levels and I had the birth experience I wanted largely in part to this setting.

So, on to the story!

On Tuesday evening, January 5th I had a few more light contractions than usual.  I told Pat and added that maybe we should go to bed a little early- so we did.

Around 5am on January 6th I woke up with some pain in my back- it felt good to stay lying down in bed and rock my pelvis back and forth as I slept.  At 6am I got up because I was hungry and wanted to make sure I kept these contractions going- I was sure that was what they were at this point!  Pat got up with me and then Brooks woke around 6:30am.  It was a school day for him.  I got in touch with my dad to pick him up and let him know that they'd need to keep him after that.

After Pat dropped Brooks at school my sister came over to help.  At this point I had been texting my doula and midwife to let them know what was going on- between 9 and 10am I was having strong contractions that I could no longer talk through about every 2-5 minutes.  I had taken a shower (and shaved my legs!) so around 10am my midwife said to make the drive to the birth center.

The hour long ride to the birth center was surprisingly pleasant- with the heated seat on high it felt awesome on my back, and we played my ocean relaxation CD the whole way.  I know I peeked at the clock every time I contracted to makes sure I was still keeping up with every 5 minutes and I was!

We got there and I came in the back door (it was 11am and I wasn't sure how many other patients would be there!) my room (the Aspen room) was all prepped and ready for me, tub filling up.

  My doula asked how I was feeling and I told her I was excited! Everything was happening quickly- just like I had described in my "dream birth" situation on my birth plan...except faster!  My midwife timed contractions right after I got there [they were 2-3 minutes apart] and I answered a couple questions...she asked if I wanted her to check to see how dilated I was and I told her I'd think about it for a little bit.  I tried every position I could to get comfortable- all the contractions I had were in my back.  I was most comfortable standing and supporting myself on a wall with my hands over my head and swaying back and forth.  I knew my feet were going to get tired if I did that for too long so I also tried lying on the bed and sitting on the birth ball.

Since I was eating and drinking, I soon had to go to the bathroom.  I noticed some blood in my underwear at this point ["that's good, right?!" I said to everyone] and when I was done I felt like I wanted to get in the tub.  Pat got in with me [in his bathing suit] and the hot water felt so good.

  We turned the jets on too which was awesome!  I'm not sure exactly how long I was in there [maybe 30 minutes or so?] - taking sips of coconut water and smelling the DoTerra Breathe oil to keep me calm.  Suddenly my body started to push.  I remember opening my eyes and seeing my midwife with her gloves on and I knew it was happening...I was going to meet my baby so soon! This was the hardest part...holding the baby down in the birth canal and not going too fast.  I pushed about 4 times and out she came! I could not believe I had done it.

Greer Mae was born at 1:30pm on January 6, 2016...about 8 hours after labor began [with absolutely no internal checks to see how dilated or effaced I was, I might add]!  8 pounds, 6 ounces and 20 inches long. I am so unbelievably happy with how my labor and delivery went.  It was the hardest thing I've ever done physically and I could not be more proud.

Greer is the most perfect baby girl, and Brooks is the best big brother!  We've all adjusted to our new life as a family of four and are loving every minute of it.

If you're pregnant and want to know more about the birth center please message me or send me an email! I'd love to chat about it. 


  1. thank you for sharing your beautiful story. Loved reading it. I love that you are making your experience with a natural birth center birth public. It's so important to educate others on how amazing birth can be when in the right setting with the right providers. I love the pictures too. Congrats again!

    1. Thanks Justine!! That's my goal. A lot of people don't even know about these options! I

  2. I found your birth story through NOVA Natural Birth's Facebook page, and I just loved reading it! Thank you for sharing about the beautiful birth of your daughter! We actually had our babies in the same room! :) I delivered my son in the Aspen Room last June. Here is his birth story if you are interested in reading it: http://avirginiahomestead.blogspot.com/2015/11/a-birth-story.html. Best wishes to you and your family!

  3. Thank you ! How funny that you have an Aunt Greer - I only know of one other lady with that name besides my daughter!! I loved your birth story too. You're right, everything is such a blur afterwards. I barely remember certain parts of laboring! Thanks for reading my story - I want to shout it from the rooftops to pregnant women everywhere so they know how wonderful birth can be!

  4. Love this! So happy to have been there to meet Greer on her "Birth" day! You did fabulous and it was an honor to serve your family!