“There’s two in there!” The last thing we expected to hear at our 8-week ultrasound with baby #5 (&6). Our family “plan” was always 4.
When we were nearly due with baby #3, we listened to Dr. Stroud speak regarding infertility and pelvic conditions he treated. My husband and I are both physical therapists; I was pursuing continuing education as a pelvic floor therapist. The knowledge of Dr. Stroud was refreshing and comprehensive. I looked at my husband after the talk and said, “If we are blessed with number 4, that is who I am going to.”
As soon as we found out we were expecting number 4, we made our first appointment at FMCC. Toward the end of my first trimester, I saw a post about the upcoming opening of The Holy Family Birth Center. I truly did not have any experience with birth centers, or a particular desire to deliver in one, but I was intrigued to learn more. As more information became available and after our “All Things Birth Center” class, it felt right. It felt like just the atmosphere I was looking for to deliver our last baby. We prayed the facility would be open in time for #4’s arrival.
Our prayers were answered and just weeks before her arrival the facility opened. We were birth #10 [at HFBC]. Our experience was everything we were hoping it would be and more. Truly, birth as it was intended. We welcomed our baby into the warm waters of the birth center tub peacefully. Shortly after the delivery my husband said, “That was awesome.” It truly was an amazing experience that is difficult to put into words.
We had some correspondence with Marianne about a year and a half after our delivery and she kindly informed us that those who delivered around the time our daughter was born were expecting again. The thought planted a seed, and my husband and I began discussing what a wonderful experience the birth center was and how we could do that again if it was God’s will.
Which brings us back to the 8-week ultrasound – TWINS!!! After the 5 minutes of shock wore off, I said, “Does that mean I can’t deliver at the birth center?” I fully understand the need and benefits of a c-section when warranted but truly was fearful. Due to the increased risks associated with twins, the birth center was not an option. I was immediately disappointed, but encouraged to know that the providers had many successful vaginal twin deliveries. My husband reminded me that our initial switch to Fort Wayne, nearly an hour from our home, was initially for the knowledge and compassion of the providers, not the birth center. The birth center experience was amazing because the providers are what make it phenomenal. Knowing that the providers we had grown to love and trust would be at the hospital was all I needed.
Knowing that the birth center had been my hope, and a natural delivery was my goal, the providers did a fantastic job preparing me for how the hospital birth would look and feel different in order to assure the safety of the babies and myself. They walked me through different scenarios and procedures that the hospital would require. We also discussed ways to make my hospital stay/delivery as close to my birth center goals as possible.
Upon arriving to the hospital, we were welcomed by the Dupont OB nurses who were all wonderful. I was initially anxious to be in the hospital setting again; however, the comfort of knowing we had the best resources should something not go as planned brought a sense of peace.
Throughout labor, Marianne was very determined to provide me with the availability to move around and utilize natural pain-relieving positions learned in the birth center while monitoring the babies to assure safety. I will never forget one of the OB nurses who helped with contraction pains providing sacral pressure – she herself had 5 homebirths. It was refreshing to be in a setting that was open to the natural progression of labor but knowledgeable to handle situations that would require more specialized care.