After this article was written, Angelica gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Eden, on June 8, 2017, at Baby+Company Knoxville.
I’ve been a nurse for eight years. I’ve always taken care of pregnant women, and I’ve worked in labor and delivery for four years. I’ve seen countless births, and have witnessed almost every imaginable scenario in the hospital. When I became pregnant with my first child, all of those experiences led me to one belief: a hospital birth was not for me.
My oldest daughter was born at home, and my second was born at the Lisa Ross Birth and Women’s Center, now Baby+Company in Knoxville. I’m currently about a month away from the birth of my third child, and I couldn’t be happier with the care I’m receiving at Baby+Company.
A laboring woman deserves to be loved, respected, and empowered. Sure, at the hospital I could pick the nurse and OB I wanted, but most women don’t get to do that. To me, the biggest difference between a hospital and a birth center is in who ‘owns’ the birth. At the birth center, I’m the boss of what happens to my body and my baby.
One of my favorite things about Baby+Company is their emphasis on education. The midwives want you to know what’s going on and to understand your options. Then, they help you make well-informed decisions about your care once you’re educated. I am respected and empowered to take part in every aspect of my prenatal care, and I’ll do the same during labor and delivery.
The midwives are perfect for me because they follow evidence-based practices. They follow the recommendations and understand the science behind birth, but they also have a natural model where they assume that things will probably go well – and they do!
“But what if things don’t go well?” my friends might ask me. In those scenarios, I have complete and utter confidence in the care team at Baby+Company to know and do what is best for my child and me. My experience working in labor and delivery is useful, because I’m able to walk through exactly what can go wrong in a birth. There are risk indicators and red flags, so I feel very comfortable knowing that in the unlikely event something does go wrong, I’ll get the care I need. Baby+Company partners closely with High Risk Obstetrics Consultants (HiROC) and a local hospital. They have plans in place that cover any situations that would require transfer during prenatal care and labor. This is especially reassuring and not something you necessarily get with a home birth practice.
I believe that the birth center is the best and safest place for a low-risk woman to get prenatal care and to deliver her child. The birth center model of care is about watching and waiting. During the birth of my second child, the midwife was a calm and steady presence. She didn’t need to do anything but be there to support me and make sure nothing went wrong. The birth center model of care is one that respects me and my body’s ability to do its job.
Now that the center has become Baby+Company, I’m even more excited to deliver this baby in a few weeks. The new facility is gorgeous. It looks like I’m going to give birth at a spa! The two days that I gave birth to my older daughters were two of the best days of my life, and not just because I got to meet my wonderful children. I felt so deeply loved during both of those birth experiences. My husband supported and loved me, and the women who were serving me loved me. I truly believe that the best chance for a great delivery is an out-of-hospital birth, and I’m looking forward to another beautiful birth day at Baby+Company.