Doula Heidi Duncan with clients Randall & Amanda after their beautiful birth at Baby+Co Birth Center in Nashville

Lilah + Baby+Company = A Birth Story

 

Let me introduce you to Lilah. (She’s in there under the cute yellow hat.) This precious girl had the honor of being among the babies born during the first few weeks after the Nashville birth center, Baby+Company, had opened its doors. Hers was the first birth I attended there and I was delighted!

Lilah was baby number 3 born to my clients, Amanda and Randall, and her big sisters, Sophie and Ava. Third babies can be a bit of a “wild card” when it comes to labor, but knowing that Amanda’s second labor had gone fairly quickly, I was prepared for a sprint.

(Have I mentioned lately that repeat clients are my favorite?)

Here is Lilah’s birth story in her mother’s words.

It was the night before my due date, October 9, 2015. My husband Randall and I were staying up late watching movies because I was too pregnant and uncomfortable to sleep. We were fairly confident that our daughter would NOT be arriving the next day since our second was born on her due date. We “knew” the chances of that happening twice, with back to back babies, were slim to none. We figured we had a few more days before labor would begin. We were wrong!

My contractions started around midnight. I waited to tell my husband because I wanted to be sure. Feeling a little nervous now about not going to bed on time, I told him we should switch off the tube and get some rest. We lay down around 1 am and I woke to my water breaking at 2 am! I woke Randall knowing this was it, and he set off to pack the van and wake our two older girls while I phoned my midwife, Margaret. I thought we would labor at home a while before driving from Clarksville to the birth center in Nashville, but Margaret told me we should come right away. She knew that third babies could come quickly, or take their time, so we should err on the side of caution! She was right and I’m so GLAD we listened. Otherwise, we might have had our sweet Lilah on the side of the road.

I changed clothes quickly and phoned Heidi, our birth doula, and Rebecca, our sibling doula. They said they would meet us at Baby+Co.

We put our two sleepy girls, Sophie-4, and Ava-2, in the van in their PJs with blankets and pillows. They were exhausted from being woken up in the middle of the night, but excited and chatty! They talked the whole way about how they couldn’t wait to meet their new baby sister. I was managing contractions {which were coming closer together now} while my husband FLEW down the interstate towards Nashville.

We arrived at Baby+Co around 3:15 am. Margaret met me at the back door while Randall parked and got the girls out of the van. Margaret got me situated in our birthing suite and ran a warm bath for me. I got into the tub and continued laboring there. Heidi arrived about 5 minutes later and sat next to the tub, talking with me while I labored. She rubbed my arms and whispered words of encouragement while my contractions got stronger and closer together.

[I actually had arrived a bit earlier, while Margaret was assessing Amanda’s vitals in the bed. It’s understandably a blur!]

While I was in the tub, our sibling doula arrived. Randall got them situated in the family room of the birth center with sleeping bags and then joined us in the birthing suite. It was wonderful that Heidi was there to help me manage pain so that Randall could just focus on being there for me.

After a few minutes, I suddenly felt light headed and overheated {transition} so Margaret recommended that I get out of the tub. I needed to go to the toilet so Heidi helped me over and I labored there for a few minutes. I suddenly felt the urge to get up and move to the bed. Heidi met me there, just in time, as a very large contraction came. I leaned over the bed while Heidi hip-pressed to relieve the pain.

After that contraction, Heidi helped me onto the bed. She placed a labor ball in front of me to I could labor in a modified hands and knees position. The next contraction was another big one and Heidi helped me get through it with another hip press and more words of encouragement.

Margaret was asking me to tell her if I thought we were getting closer because she would phone the nurse to head to the birth center. I guess I was so relaxed {thanks to Heidi and Margaret!} and the spa-like atmosphere at Baby+Co that I didn’t realize I was getting ready to push. Before I could answer Margaret, I got the urge to bear down. Heidi’s experience kicked in and she told Margaret she should hurry over to the bed. Margaret got there just in time and asked Heidi to grab some blankets to put underneath me. Moments later, with a couple of pushes, our Lilah was born at 4:27 am! She was beautiful and covered in vernix. Heidi and Margaret helped me lie down on my back so I could bond with and nurse my little girl.

It was the most beautiful and peaceful birth experience I’d had.

I was blessed to have Heidi for my previous birth at Vanderbilt hospital for the birth of my second daughter Ava, in 2013.

As with the birth of Ava, Heidi helped me to relax, stay calm, pray, and focus on letting my body deliver my baby. She was invaluable to me and I don’t know if I could have done it without her! My husband played a vital support role for me, obviously, but the feminine, peaceful presence of Heidi was what I needed most. Birth is a powerful, feminine rite, and Heidi is like a birth angel; offering Christ-centered peace, love, and protection over the mamas she supports.

These kinds of births are treasures.

It was a whirlwind morning, indeed, yet there was never an anxious feeling among us. The whole time was peaceful, slow, relaxed. In hindsight, it’s hard to believe that it happened so quickly. It felt like many leisurely hours rather than barely more than one!

I’m forever grateful that Amanda and Randall chose me – again – to be witness to their miracle and that I was able to add little Miss Lilah to my family of beloved “doula babies.”

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