Amy Cisek, My Birth Experience
My birth experience By: Amy Cisek From the first moment that I walked into the birth center I knew this was the place for me. I have 2 children (other than my new baby) that were born at the hospital with medical intervention. My husband and I felt strongly about a “natural birth” and fortunately I found out about TMC. Everything was different there. I felt so welcome and comfortable. My thoughts and concerns and beliefs were accepted and the midwives listened and meant it. I never was rushed through an appointment, what a different experience this was so far. These were without a doubt the best prenatal visits I had ever had. My older children, Brad, then 10 and Bailey, then 8 were always welcome and involved with the visit and educated about the baby and what to expect.
My family was of course concerned that I was having a baby without a doctor. I spent many visits bringing my mother with us and educating her as well as the rest of my family. (My father even came to one of my visits). Sometimes there was very little space left in the exam room because I had so many people there. The midwife would calmly take her time and explain to everyone what she was doing that day.
When the “big day” arrived I was more prepared than ever. I had learned so much. The midwives taught me that this is a “birth” not a “delivery”. I woke at 2:30 a.m. with wet pajama bottoms. My husband called TMC. Kathy was already there with another woman giving birth so she told me to relax and come in when I felt I should. Well, this was definitely different from my last two babies. I labored at home with my husband for the next 3 ½ hours. The contractions started at 2-3 minutes apart, but were short at first. We woke the kids and left the house at 6:00 a.m. We arrived at 6:30 a.m. and were put into the room I had requested (the ocean room) immediately. I had also requested to labor in the water and Linda (the nurse) was filling the tub as I arrived. I was then checked and was already 7 cm. I already was proud of myself for staying at home and getting to this point on our own. I couldn’t wait to get in the water. My contractions were so much stronger now. The water was great. Nancy and Linda stayed by my side along with Mike. They talked me through each contraction while holding my hand and always made sure I had a cool cloth on my head and Gatorade to drink. I brought relaxing music and lavender candles to focus on. Meanwhile, my children were playing upstairs with our niece watching them. After 2 hours in the bath I felt like I had to push. I hadn’t had that feeling ever before since I delivered my other 2 children with epidurals. I was taken to the bed and checked, I was just about 10cm and given the okay to push. Mike sat behind me for support on the bed and I pushed for almost 45 minutes. Words could never explain how I felt the moment she was born. Nancy put her on my belly and I moved the cord and yelled “it’s a girl!” We had requested in our birth plan that my mother cut the cord, so after a minute or two my mom was called in to cut. This was incredible for her since she wasn’t even awake when her children were born. Bethany was here at 9:54 a.m. weighing 8lbs 10 oz and 21 ¼ inches long! Our family came in and were invited to look at the placenta and Nancy taught them the different parts of it and it’s role in pregnancy. After a well deserved lunch and nap we were home by 6:00 p.m. that evening. What a day!
Everything went as planned. Amazing! There were times when I was in labor that I didn’t think I could continue. And without the support I probably wouldn’t have. Never in my wildest dreams could I ever have imagined how painful and wonderful something could be at the same time. Linda came to my home for my post partum visit and said the greatest thing to me. She told me that giving birth naturally takes a woman to the edge and prepares us for what life brings, the hardships that we all will face. It makes us stronger women. I think about that a lot.
I cried while writing the laboring and pushing parts of this letter. It’s been over 4 months since the birth and I still remember it vividly, I think I always will. This definitely was a labor of love.
Thank you Nancy, Linda, Kathy, Ann, Laura and Lori, and how could I ever forget Mickey.