real stories

Cali. new mom.

Eden's Birth Story

Cali started coming to Baby+Company in Nashville as soon as the birth center opened. She and her husband, Nyk, are an incredible team in both business (as professional wedding photographers) and in life! We were so excited to share this journey with them as they delivered their first child, Eden Huber, on November 20th, 2015. After the initial whirlwind of adjusting to life with a newborn, we caught up with Cali to chat about her experiences at Baby+Company and share a beautiful video of Eden’s birth.

Videography credit to Kalimana Film Stories

Cali, you were one of our first clients at Baby+Company in Nashville. What motivated you to seek out a birth center?

There were so many decisions to make when I got pregnant, and I didn’t have a ton of friends with kids. My friends who did have kids had all done different things: one had a water birth, one gave birth at the hospital, one did a home birth…They all advised me to “do what I feel is right,” but it was my first child, and I didn’t know what would feel right!

I spoke to the midwives at Vanderbilt, and they told me that Baby+Company would be opening soon in Nashville. I hate hospitals – I love medical people, but I just don’t like the environment. I knew I didn’t want to have a home birth, either. My husband and I thought and prayed about it for several weeks, and after talking to the team, I knew the birth center was for me. My first few appointments made me feel like, “Oh, this is what my friends meant! This is right for me!”

Tell us about your birth story! What was your delivery journey like?

Well, I started having contractions on Thursday morning, and I just tried to let Nyk get some sleep while I worked through them. They subsided around lunch time, but when I laid down to go to sleep that night, they got worse. They continued throughout the night and in the morning I called Margaret at Baby+Company. She encouraged us to wait a little since the contractions were still eight minutes apart. Nyk and I walked around the house, did some yoga poses, and tried to sleep a bit. The contractions were more extreme, but not any closer together. Margaret suggested we come in so she could check on me and see how it was going.

It was a good thing we came in, because despite the slow contractions, I was nine and a half centimeters dilated! Around four in the afternoon, I started pushing, and Eden was born two and a half hours later.

What techniques did you use to help you through that time?

I didn’t really have a plan. I figured I’d be pretty calm because that’s how I normally am. I didn’t want a lot of distractions, like music or people talking to me. I just wanted my husband by my side so I could sit and focus inward during contractions. I regularly use essential oils, and Margaret at Baby+Company was very positive about that; they even had a diffuser in the room. I really liked that I could use essential oils at the birth center; they probably wouldn’t allow that at a hospital.

Birth Plan: Preferences vs Demands

I used the birthing ball and the shower, which really helped with pushing. I thought I might use the tub or the nitrous oxide, but I actually totally forgot about the gas as an option during the whole thing. It was very difficult but very exciting. When Eden started crowning, I remember Nyk telling me that she had long, beautiful dark hair. It motivated me to keep pushing – I couldn’t wait to meet her!

What surprised you most about going to a birth center?

The environment was so relaxed. I was able to ask questions at our appointments and get great answers. The midwives didn’t dictate anything; they just offered suggestions. They focused on what my body and my baby needed, rather than general guidelines and one-size-fits-all rules.

I was also surprised by Margaret’s constant presence during the process. She stayed by my side for hours, helping me every step of the way. She and Nyk were so patient and helpful. She’d suggest alternative positions to help me push. My friends who had gone to the hospital talked about how different people would come in and out of the room, but Margaret stayed with me.

I also didn’t expect Baby+Company to play a role in my life after the birth of my daughter. But I feel like I’m a part of the community. I’ve made friends through the New Moms Group. I can come back to visit with Eden, and everyone knows my name. That personal aspect was huge for me – it’s like visiting relatives who are checking up on you.

How are you enjoying motherhood so far? Has it all been as you expected?

Breastfeeding was tough for me at first. Baby+Company sends a nurse to your home the day after you give birth, and that helped a lot when Eden was having trouble latching. A lactation consultant came a few days later as well, and having that really eased my mind.

As for actually being a mom, I really, really enjoy it. I love that Nyk works at home with me, so now that things have calmed down it’s just the three of us at the house every day. I feel very spoiled! It’s super exciting to be in charge of a little human being. It’s one of those things that you can want so much, and then when it actually happens it’s even more amazing than you thought it would be. Nyk and I each have three siblings; I’m already ready for more!

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