More Than I Ever Dreamed
We have really been celebrating LIFE here at Breath Of Life Women’s Health & Birth Center! Since our client numbers are growing daily, our birth numbers are also climbing. In fact, our staff is kept very busy scheduling all those prenatal, postpartum and women’s annual exams as well as keeping up with the midwives and birth assistants who are providing care to the women who walk through our doors. Whew! A grand total of 140 babies have been birthed here at the Birth Center and nearly 80% of those have been water births.
Where do our clients come from? Some are referred from our Pregnancy Centers, and we love to continue that special life-affirming care those clients receive at our three Centers! Most find us through internet searches or insurance web sites, but many women tell us they have been referred by friends, church family, chiropractors, childbirth educators and so on. Here is Donna Palomino’s birth story, including her account of how she came to Breath Of Life.
My experience with the Birth Center began when I first found out that I was pregnant. My close girlfriend asked me if I had considered Breath of Life. I told her that I hadn’t but I would watch a DVD I had at home and we would talk later. I did watch the DVD but decided that a 2 day hospital stay was something that I didn’t want to give up so I didn’t think any more about it.
A few weeks later another girlfriend and I were talking after church and she told me that she was teaching classes at the Birth Center. “WOW”, I thought. Two friends in less than a month told me about this place, I should really check it out. But life got busy and the thought of going home after 6 hours really got to me and I just plain decided that a Birth Center was NOT for me.
Fast forward to my 7th month of pregnancy. I was picking my girls up from a drama class and I saw a friend who I hadn’t seen in a few months. She walked up to me and said, “I didn’t know you were pregnant! Where are you delivering?” I told her Morton Plant and she told me that she was a birthing assistant at Breath of Life. OK, OK that is it! I HAVE to at least go and tour this place. I truly felt like the Lord had brought all of these women into the picture and if I didn’t at least check it out I would never know if it was right for me.
So, when I got home that day I called the Birth Center. I was greeted by a very friendly voice on the other end and I explained my situation. She set me up for the next tour and lo and behold I fell in love with the place! I just knew in my heart every step that brought me to Breath of Life was divine intervention (I have a very strong faith and I don’t like to mess with God’s plan!).
The next day, I called my doctor and explained my plan to switch and from there I began my short, but amazing journey.
It was finally time and when I arrived at the Birth Center, Chris had the birthing suite ready with the tub going and candles lit. The lighting was low and the atmosphere was calm. By 9:30 pm my contractions were getting pretty strong so I decided to get into the tub which Chris had heated up for me. It was amazing. I was able to relax and breathe and the water was such a help. Not being on my back was a help, too! I could not believe the difference in being able to move around in the water to whatever position felt right for me. I stayed in the water for the rest of my labor and Chris was right there the whole time, talking to me, telling me that I was doing a great job and helping me through each contraction. I was able to labor to 10 centimeters while breathing through the contractions, something I would have never dreamed I could do.
This whole experience was more than I could have ever dreamed. Now, I won’t say that the end was easy but it was easier than my previous births. I was still in the water which alleviated most of the extreme pressure but it was still LABOR. But in the end my sweet girl, Claire was born and Chris allowed me to be the first to pull her out of the water. She came right to my chest and she immediately opened her eyes. I couldn’t believe my sweet girl was here and the pain was over. Chris and the 2 birthing assistants were amazing and I couldn’t have asked for better care.
After Claire was born we moved onto the bed and she was able to come right to me (from big sister’s arms) and she was able to nurse right away. I was so in love and so happy about the care I had received. I felt like God’s hand had been on the whole situation all along and everything happened according to His will. This was why I felt such a sense of peace and was able to be mentally prepared to go home the following morning. Throughout the hours after the delivery Chris monitored Claire and me and at 5:30 am the following morning I was ready to go home. My two year old was at home sleeping and I wanted to get there before she awoke so she could meet her new sister.
I have to say that choosing Breath of Life was the best decision for my family. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to feel loved, comforted and in control during one of the most out of control times in their lives. The staff has been so kind and caring each time I have been there.
God bless the staff, volunteers, and clients. It was an experience I will never forget. Breath of Life holds a very special place in my heart.