I was confident that everything would be fine and that they would let me do what I needed to do. That sense of empowerment has stayed with me. When you have such a good labor and delivery, it strengthens you during those months when a newborn is most challenging.
Welsey's Empowering Birth Story
Nurse Lindsay Petitt has had both of her sons at birth centers, and she wouldn’t go any other way. She and her husband, David, were excited to find Baby+Company when they relocated from Florida to Nashville. It proved to be the ideal setting for her to bring her newest child, son Welsey, into the world. We talked with her about the experience.
Hi, Lindsay! You’ve had both of your children at birth centers. Why did you choose to go that route instead of giving birth in the hospital?
After years of working in the hospital, I knew that I wasn’t interested in being a patient unless I absolutely had to be. My whole family is very natural-minded, and my sister has given birth to five beautiful babies. I’m a bit averse to interventions, and in the hospital there are certain protocols in place because of the nature of the business. I’ve seen so many different scenarios in the hospital, and I didn’t want care providers who simply followed rules; I wanted a more personal experience.
Did you go to Baby+Company for prenatal visits?
I did, and one of the wonderful things about Baby+Company is that in the beginning I only had to go every six weeks. I could go more frequently if I wanted, but with a two-year-old to take care of, it was nice to be able to go less often.
Did you take any of the classes at Baby+Company?
I took the childbirth refresher class, which was just one Saturday. It was a good reminder of the different comfort measures and positions for labor. It was pretty quick and to the point, since everyone there was at least a second-time mother. That was nice because we didn’t have to spend time going over the basics.
How was the big day?
Well, I was nervous because I was nine days overdue and the doctor on call at Vanderbilt really wanted me to be induced. Wesley scored an eight out of ten on the biophysical profile, and she suggested that they induce me that night. I convinced her to wait and do another biophysical profile the next day – my oldest son Anson was twelve days overdue when he was born, so I think my body just holds on a little longer. Fortunately, the ultrasound tech was booked the next day, so they scheduled me for Thursday. I went into labor naturally on Wednesday night!
That’s fabulous! What happened once you got to the birth center?
I came in as soon as labor started because I was positive for Group B Strep and I wanted to make sure I got all the rounds of antibiotics in before the baby was born. I could tell that labor was going to go quickly, so I got into the tub rather than the shower and I think that slowed things down a bit. I labored in the tub for about four hours. I had back labor, and that gorgeous soaking tub really helped loosen things up. My lower back felt very weak during the contractions, and the water made me feel stronger and more flexible. I couldn’t have done it without that amazing tub!
After I got the second dose of antibiotics, I moved to the bed and the midwife broke my water at my request. Wesley just came out! It was literally the perfect birth. My husband stayed with me the whole time and fed me snacks. I really wanted to labor in the tub and give birth on the bed so we could have immediate skin-to-skin, and that’s what happened. The midwives honored my wishes, and knew the exact time I had to get out of the tub to dry off. It worked out so well. I honestly don’t think it could have gone any better.
What did you like the most about giving birth at Baby+Company?
Oh my gosh, so many things! During the birth, everything felt so natural. I could do anything I wanted to do. They just let me take control and do the things I needed to give birth to my baby. I could eat, I could rest in the tub…it’s the complete opposite of a hospital. It was like giving birth with a group of friends.
After the birth, we got to go home right away, which was wonderful. We were back in our own rooms just five hours after Welsey was born. And they did the 48-hour postpartum visit in my house, which was probably my favorite thing. It was so comforting to be able to just stay in bed and feed my baby while they came to me.
What stands out to you about your experience?
You know, you forget how hard labor is until you’re actual doing it, but I felt so in control of what was going on. There were trained people around in case anything went awry, but it didn’t feel overly sterile. I was confident that everything would be fine and that they would let me do what I needed to do. That sense of empowerment has stayed with me. When you have such a good labor and delivery, it strengthens you during those months when a newborn is most challenging. And having such an awesome experience even makes me look forward to doing it again!