Blossom Birth and Wellness Center Staff Brit’s Story (back to list)
There really aren’t enough words to express how much gratitude I feel for Mary, Nichelle, and the entire Blossom staff for supporting me in bringing my sweet girl into this world in exactly the way I dreamed of. The entire journey through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum with my daughter has been by far the most intense, transformative, and meaningful experience of my entire life. It has honestly turned me into a complete birth junkie.
It’s very apparent by the model of care at Blossom that this is a passion project for Mary, who is a midwife and Nichelle, an obstetrician. They actually took the time at every appointment to get to know me, answer all my crazy first time mom questions, and focus on mine and baby’s overall wellness so that we could stay low-risk and have the safest birth possible. I loved having providers that are both experts in natural birth who TRUSTED my body and my baby, but I also felt comforted knowing that if anything were to go wrong, I already had an OB who could continue my care in the hospital setting if the situation were to arise. I appreciated the fact that everything I wanted for my birth was already built into the foundation of how Blossom does things and there was no fighting for what I wanted in labor.
By the time I reached full-term, I felt SO excited and prepared to give birth. My labor was long and difficult (for me), but I had everything that I needed to get through it. I was able to bring my own comfy pillows and blankets from home. My partner had been educated through our 12 weeks of Bradley birthing classes that we had taken with Frances and was an amazing support system. Jacqueline, our birth assistant, was such a calming presence and was there feeding me scrambled eggs, protein shakes, and berries to help keep my energy up, giving me sips of their amazing herbal labor tea for hydration in between contractions, massaging my legs with the essential oils I had brought, keeping my labor playlist going strong, and generally just helping me get through it emotionally. The giant whirlpool tub was a huge relief and I was so thankful for the freedom to move around and do whatever I felt my body needed. Nichelle, who was the one who ended up delivering Elia, really followed my queues as I started to feel ready to push and gave exactly the encouragement I needed to finally get through that last stretch. Once my daughter was born, she never left my chest. They did a relatively quick examination on us both to ensure that we were doing well, and then gave us those precious first hours uninterrupted to bond as a family and love on our girl until we were ready to go home a few hours later.
Should we be blessed with more babies in the future, we will definitely be back at Blossom. I cannot recommend then enough!!
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Hosanna’s name was given to us way before she was conceived. It means praise God in the highest. Indeed, praise God in the highest for this great blessing!
Hosanna was my first pregnancy. Each prenatal visit with Mary, Nichelle and Diane was sacred. We spent a lot of time focusing on my nutrition, praying over my job stress and most importantly- Hosanna’s birth and who would be in the birth room. As a hispanic, the culture of my family is to have everyone join in on the celebration! But I just didn’t want that for my new family. I wanted those early moments to be ours, and private. This caused me a great deal of anxiety and through Blossom’s persistent support, I was able to fight for the birth my husband and I envisioned!
Labor was intense, but greatly eased through the loving hands and compassionate guidance of my husband, my doulas (Sommer & Jacqueline) and midwives/OB (Mary & Nichelle). Every need was met before I could utter it from my lips. When Hosanna finally joined us earthside, the room was filled with so much love- it was overwhelming!
The care I received was tailored to my circumstances. I was important to the staff at Blossom. They called Hosanna by name before she was born! Everything about Blossom is lovely and my memories of Hosanna’s birth will always be cherished. Even our breastfeeding needs were met postpartum as the staff at Blossom worked relentlessly to ease me into motherhood and encourage my confidence in feeding my newborn.
Mary & Nichelle are incredible lights to the world of women health. My family has been blessed to know these women and to have been under their care!
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I was due Friday, May 19, 2017. It was about 10 p.m. that night when the contractions started. I showered, ate, drank some water and the contractions kept coming. I went to bed, just to be sure. Sure enough, around 5 a.m. Saturday morning my contractions woke me up. My husband started to time contractions. They were about 5 mins apart. We paged the birth center and went in to be checked by Mary at 7:30. I wasn’t dilated. I was so mad! The contractions were still constant. Mary reassured me that it was okay I hadn’t progressed, it was my first baby after all. Mary offered for us to go home or stay at Blossom. I chose to stay at Blossom so that my mindset stayed positive.
Jacqueline stayed with Trey (hubby) and I. We did the Miles Circuit to help baby girl get onto the correct side. The exercises went on til about lunch time. I ate and got checked again. I was only dilated to a 2 or 3. Grrr! Maybe I was frustrated easily. 😉 We tried to sleep as much as possible in between contractions. I kept drinking my labor tea and water. Trey massaged me, held me, and played my favorite worship songs (as I could tolerate).
Things finally started to ramp up Saturday evening. My mom even made it into town (all the way from Oklahoma) about 7 p.m. I was no longer in early labor. Jacqueline and Trey continued to love on me. Mary and Diane attended as well. I loved having so many people there!
I got in and out of the tub and eventually decided on the shower (heavenly!). My body finally was starting to transition. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my body had started to push. I fought it with tears and groans of pain. My abdomen convulsed with each contraction and I was exhausted. I fought against it! As I begin to dilate more, the urge to push came suddenly. We tried so many positions. I was glad to have the freedom to do what was best for me. Everyone helped me to get into the most “comfortable” position. We tried hand and knees, one leg up on a stool in lunge position, squatting with the support of Trey, on my back with my knees up, and finally the birth stool. The birth stool was the winner!
It was early Sunday morning by now, but I had no concept of time or modesty! I was ready for the baby to be out! I had wasted my pushing power by yelling too much, so rather, I held my breath and pushed. The only thing I heard was my mom telling me to think about the last part of a Cross Country race. Think about that last kick you must give to finish the race. Having ran for so many years, this was just what I needed to hear. I visualized a grassy lane coming around the last curve being able to see the final stretch lined with people. I pulled out my last bit of strength and ran the last few hundred meters. This imagery got me through to the end.
I pushed until I could feel her head with my hand. Apparently, my expression of shock was quite amusing. I pushed, as if I had done this before! After several more pushes, we discovered Gabriella was still in en caul (the bag of waters). Once her shoulders were out, I pushed a couple more times and she was out. The bag of waters burst as Gabriella came the rest of the way out. Diane handed me my new little baby as I sat shocked. I took a few steps back and lied down with her on my chest. Trey was on his hands and knees, bowed down, thanking God with tears of joy.
I remember not really feeling anything other than relief. I felt the urge to nurse. I kept asking to nurse, but couldn’t until the placenta was out. Trey got to cut her cord. She was covered in vernix and had a full head of hair.
Gabriella was wonderfully healthy and so was I. She was born at 5 a.m. Sunday, May 21, 2017. We could go home around 10:30 a.m., that was amazing! I later asked my mom and Trey how long I had pushed. Apparently, what felt like one hour to me was actually four hours of pushing! I had no idea. That 24 hour labor was exhausting, but adrenaline kept me going!
The amazing midwives, doulas, my mom, and Trey were instrumental in the birth of Gabriella. I recall someone praying out loud for me as I labored in the tub and as I pushed. How sweet a gesture, I’ll never forget it! I will come back to Blossom for the next baby, God willing.