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The Birth of Jack Henry Kennedy April 3, 2010
Shortly before becoming pregnant, I was inspired to have a gentle, drug-free birth after watching the film The Business of Being Born. I learned having the least amount of medical intervention was safest for mother and child, and I saw it as a right of passage. I knew it was important to go through the experience of childbirth as women have done for thousands of years. I had faith that my body and baby would know what to do.
So when I became pregnant, I figured it would just come naturally to me. I knew nothing about preparing myself for such a feat. As I got farther along, I began to seek out as much information as I could. I was still with an OB-GYN. I tried looking for a mid-wife, but the closest one was 2 1/2 hours away. My doctor seemed to be on board with no medication, but other interventions were going to be hard to avoid. At our hospital tour they made it very clear to us that they had rules and policies and were not willing to stray from them. I decided to turn to the Le Leche League for more information and guidance. I wanted to network with women who had similar beliefs with childbirth; and most of them did. One of the girls recommended The Bradley Method®. I made an appointment with my local instructor the next day, I was already in my sixth month of pregnancy. My husband and I immediately knew that Bradley would give us the tools we needed. At our second class I expressed my concerns about being in a hospital and my desire to have a water birth. My teacher told us about the Holy Family Birth Center in Weslaco, Texas. We went directly over there to check it out, and it was perfect. The next day I dropped my doctor and transferred my care to the mid-wives at the center.
Jack Henry Kennedy was born on Saturday, April 3, 2010 at 1:07 p.m.. He was 8 pounds 6 ounces, 20 1/2 inches long and six days past his “due date”. My labor went very smoothly. It lasted fourteen hours starting at 11:00 p.m. the night before. My contractions at first were forty-five minutes apart, so I meditated and slept through the first few hours. When they sped up to every thirty minutes I woke my husband to tell him I was in labor. He coached me through the rest of the morning from 2:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. It was around 9:00 a.m. when I had a contraction that lasted almost nine minutes! After that my contractions went from eight minutes apart to three minutes apart. My husband decided it was finally time to go to the birth center. I was six centimeters when we got there. Once I was able to get into the tub and float in the water I went into deep relaxation. So much so that I slept in-between one of my contractions. My husband was in the tub behind me and talked me through each one rush. It took me less than an hour to dilate to ten centimeters and I was finally ready to push. I pushed for about forty-five minutes; it only felt like five to me. The next thing I knew Jack was in my arms. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck so it took him a minute to respond, but I knew not to worry. When I heard him cry it was stunningly beautiful. When they took him from me I went to lay on the bed were the mid-wife examined me. Only one stitch was needed, and I did not have medication for that either. That was the most painful part of my birth! Once the mid-wife was finished, my husband joined me in bed with Jack in his arms. I had my little family snuggled close for the first time. I would give anything to live that moment again. As we laid starring at our precious son, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I had never felt so empowered in my life. I accomplished my goal of giving birth in a gentle and compassionate way. I did not require any medication. I was not in a hospital. My husband was an active participant the entire time. Four hours later we bundled up our son and went home. I was the most fortunate person in the world that day.
THE ARRIVAL OF MYA MARIE PEREZ, 2/10/2010
MY NAME IS NANCY PONCE PEREZ, 26 YRS OLD, SINGLE MOTHER, WITH A STRIVING CAREER AS A MANAGER OF A LOAN COMPANY IN HOUSTON, TEXAS. GOT MARRIED WHO I THOUGHT WAS THE LOVE OF MY LIFE AT A VERY YOUNG AGE (21 YRS OLD). WE TRIED & TRIED TO HAVE A BABY BECAUSE I KNEW I WANTED TO BE A MOM VERY BADLY. AFTER 2 MISCARRIAGES MY HEALTHY DAUGHTER WAS BORN NATURALY ON THE 10TH DAY OF FEBUARY 2010 @ 11:44AM, 6LBS 9OZ WITH A BIG HELP FROM NICOLE HOFF. AFTER NURSES SAID I WAS'NT PUSHING RIGHT & SHE WAS GOING TO GIVE ME A CAESAREAN, NICOLE QUICKLY PUT THAT NURSE IN CHECK. SHE HELPED ME KEEP CALM & PUSH EVERY WHICH WAY I WAS ABLE TO MOVE MY BODY IN. ONLY PUSHED FOR ONE HOUR, SHE SLIPPED RIGHT OUT. I KNEW IF MY HUSBAND DID'NT MAKE THAT CALL TO NICOLE IN THE WEE HOURS OF 6AM, I WOULD HAVE HAD TO HAVE A CAESAREAN SCAR THAT I WOULD HAVE REGRETTED FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. EVEN AFTER THE BIRTH NICOLE ENCOURAGED ME TO BREAST-FEED MY DAUGHTER. I AM PROUD TO SAY I PUBLICLY BREAST-FEED HER FOR 18MONTHS, WITH NO REGRETS. NICOLE HOFF IS REALLY AN ANGEL SENT FROM GOD & TRULY LOVES WHAT SHE DOES. ANYONE THAT COMES IN CONTACT WITH HER WILL NEVER FORGET HER, SHE HAS FOREVER IMPACTED MY LIFE & MY DAUGHTER MYA.
The Birth of Baby Emil, Born 8-14-12By Nicol Hoff, Doula
Monday night after ladies' bible study, where we discussed seeking God's will, walking by faith and not by sight, I asked God if he truly, really, absolutely wanted and needed me to continue helping mothers and babies, if I should become a midwife, and build my dream of a birth center.. even after I have my 4th baby in January. The reason I had prayed asking God for direction was because after my now 2yr old was born, I attended 4 births in the weeks after she was born because I was very much needed. But it was hard-talk about guilt, anxiety and engorgement (!) leaving my newborn and 2 boys at home. Those mommies truly needed me and it was a blessing helping them, not a job at all. And we made it work, as we always have, so I prayed wanting to know if I'm supposed to continue assisting families or quit for awhile after my birth in a few months or am I to just be home with my family (my 1st priority and my 1st job). You know there's a lot of pressure these days to only stay home and I admire all those mothers that do; but what if I feel called to serve in the community too? I prayed "Lord, the passion is there, the desire is there, is this my calling, will there be favor, will moms come, can I really do this with 4 kids and a husband, am I really needed? You must show me a big sign, Lord!". Monday night I needed direction and a sign...
At 12:20am Tuesday, several hours after bible study and my prayer, I was getting into bed when my doula client called. She was happy to be having some contractions, somewhat regular, and said she felt fine. So I told her to get into the tub a bit, see if they stop, and to call me after 30 minutes or so, timing them, to see if she needs me. At 12:45am, she called, said please send my doula apprentice and to please come because they felt intense and weren't stopping. I packed up my stuff and headed to McAllen 45 minutes away, obeying the speed limit at that hour, kind of!
On the road, my apprentice called and said things seemed to be moving fast so we discussed getting her in comfortable positions to ease the pain and possibly getting in the car to head to the hospital. They said they would meet me at the hospital. I arrived there at the hospital before them, sat and waited, but something in my heart said "Go to their house! Now!" So I called them back and said I'm on my way so I can at least follow them to the hospital. The dad said, "she's really grunting", (a sign of pushing), so I said "call an ambulance to get her to the hospital" (or in my mind I said "to be there to deliver the baby if needed!") I, at this time 1:45am, pass 20 cops on 10th Street, hit every red light, & make a wrong turn!
I arrive at their house a bit after 2am I think, and walk into a room to see a beautiful, strong mama ready to have her baby on her couch. A cop arrived when I did, but just stood & watched asking questions like "what's everyone's name & age, how far along are you, can you get in the car?" I was like "um can you transport her in this position and make it in 5 minutes? She's ready to deliver! And needs to get this baby out!" Baby was coming so fast he hadn't completed rotating, so I had mom on her hands and knees to help baby turn. The cop just said, "no do what you need to do!" So I just took action, grabbing my supplies, and coaching mama on how to breathe & push, remembering to tell dad to get the camera, and bossing my sweet, diligent apprentice around. The paramedics walked in with a stretcher and just watched through several pushes, looking like deer in headlights, handing me a bulb syringe and foil blanket. Foil, really? I told my apprentice to throw me my soft blanket that is in my "emergency birth kit", I knew that $11 kit might come in handy. In one big push Mama gave it all the she had, and at 2:18am the most precious little face popped out, followed by his cute open hands, saying "catch me", and then his 10 tiny toes.
He was pink instantly & let out an amazing cry! In my head I let out a "Praise the Lord!" Mama put him straight to her chest, skin to skin, & he rooted to nurse. The paramedics, cop, & all of us there said congratulations while my apprentice took some pics. There was a stillness and peace as we waited for the cord to stop pulsing; I explained to the paramedics the benefits of waiting, and dad cut the cord saying "this is just so amazing! Wow!"
The paramedics said to me, "Thank God you were here!" and soon took the family to the hospital where they settled in for the morning. They looked so comfortable and happy-Baby nursing like a champ, Mama & Daddy beaming with pride as they held their 2nd child, first son. When I asked his name, Daddy said he thought of a name in the middle of the birth. It was when I told her that she needed to push baby out and she realized it was going to be a home birth so she said "PRAY, everyone pray!" He had never heard of the name that came to him, it wasn't on the list, but he told his wife at the hospital and they both liked it; but they wanted to look up the spelling and meaning first. I pulled up a google search... "Emil" means eager. Perfect.
We talked a bit before I headed home. I admit, even though it was beautiful, amazing, perfect, out of my control, I felt a bit as though as a doula I had let her down. As a doula, our goal is to help give clients as close as possible the birth in their birth plan, based on their wishes, which in this case was a hospital birth with an Ob! I also felt a bit anxious in how the Ob responded once she arrived at 4am only to deliver a placenta. In one sentence Mama eased my mind and any doubts I had, she said to me "Deep down I knew that this was the birth I wanted and needed, for both me and my baby. Thank you".
God is good & always answers our prayers... I am still needed and God isn't done with me yet. There's my sign...
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