Monthly Archives: August 2012

New Arrivals

*Gabriel Christopher Slaughter – 7 lbs., 14 oz. – February 1

*Judah Stone Schoenherr – 7 lbs. – May 29

*Noelani Reese Puryear – 6 lbs., 15 oz. – June 26

Madelyn Ava Chin – 8 lbs., 9 oz. – July 2

 Luke Isaiah Carr – 8 lbs., 1 oz. – July 4

*Navah Kalai Terrell – 5 lbs., 9 oz. – July

Joseph Caspian Ransom – 6 lbs., 15 oz. – July 5

*Lola Sumac Matijasevic Khirikhan – 7 lbs., 11 oz. – July 5

Lukas Maynard McVey – 11 lbs., 1 oz. – July 10

Amelia Jane Elizabeth Goldman – 7 lbs., 2 oz. – July 11

Jeremiah Benjamin Jamal Williamson – 7 lbs., 1 oz. – July 13

Desmond Sydney Doherty – 7 lbs., 14 oz. – July 14

Sophia Lynn Clark – 6 lbs., 8 oz. – July 15

*Savannah Aliese Cousett-Keyser – 6 lbs., 10 oz. – July 16

Joseph Weldon Foster III – 8 lbs., 14 oz. – July 16

*Gabriella Grace Matsumoto – 8 lbs., 10oz. – July 17

Alejandro Luis Irizarry Baker – 7 lbs., 1 oz. – July 21

Eva Sofia Rycerz – 7 lbs., 7 oz. – July 25

Luca Robert Stokes – 7 lbs., 11 oz. – July 29

*pictured above

Welcome to world, sweet babies! 

If you’d like your baby’s birth announced in the newsletter, send an email to  Include baby’s name, weight, and birthdate; you can also attach a photo.  We’d like to hear from all WBWC moms, whether you delivered at the birth center or UNC!


By |August 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Spotlight: Heather Hogan, CNM

Please join us in welcoming Heather Hogan, CNM, back to WBWC!  Heather, who has cared for women at the Birth Center both as a nurse and a midwifery student, joined our team of midwives in July.
Before starting on the path to becoming a midwife, Heather worked as a massage therapist.  After she realized that midwifery was her true calling, she began nursing school at UNC-Greensboro.  There, she was an active member of the association of nursing students and was elected class president.  She was also inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau international nursing honor society and received the undergraduate leadership award.
Heather graduated with honors from UNCG in 2005 and began her career as an RN in the neuro-intensive care unit at Moses Cone Hospital, where she provided specialized care to recovering stroke and trauma victims.  In 2006, she came to work at WBWC as a nurse.  She says, “I knew when I wanted to be a midwife that I wanted to eventually work in an out-of-hospital setting. I really feel that healthy women should have the right to birth outside of the hospital if that is what feels best for them.”  She gained invaluable experience caring for laboring women at the Birth Center, which she was able to put to use in her midwifery studies at Frontier Nursing University.  In 2009, she spent a clinical rotation as a student midwife at WBWC. She graduated from Frontier with her Master’s of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Midwifery later that year.
After graduation, Heather moved to rural New York and began work with the National Health Service Corps.  She served as a midwife at a small community hospital. “I was the first midwife to have been granted hospital privileges there, so it was a huge learning experience for me and the staff there.” She provided midwifery care for a medically underserved population and also continued to grow her own family. 

Heather and her husband Trey have three young children: Eleanor (6), James (3), and Kentley (15 months).  When she’s not busy catching babies, her favorite pastime is spending time with her family. “I love just being with my kids. I try to keep things low-pressure around our house, so we spend a lot of time just exploring nature and their interests as they arise. I try not to plan a whole lot, and let them lead when we are together.”  

She’s glad to be back in North Carolina working with WBWC moms again, and we’re excited to have her with us again in her new role!

By |August 29th, 2012|Staff Spotlights|1 Comment

Recipe: Grilled Summer Fruit

By Claire C. McKiernan

Getting tired of the same old summer fruits, but want to make the most of them while they last?
Firm peaches, plums, or nectarines
Brown sugar
Optional toppings: goat cheese, Greek yogurt, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream

1)    Halve and remove the pits from the fruits.
2)    Place a teaspoon of brown sugar in the concave area where the pit used to be (this will help sweeten and caramelize the fruit).
3)    Place cut side down on a very hot grill until the fruit begins to soften (maybe 5 minutes).
4)    Turn each piece over and move to a cooler spot on the grill. If using cheese, fill with goat cheese and allow to begin to melt, and, if necessary, allow the fruit to soften some more (it shouldn’t fall apart, but it should be easy to cut with a fork or spoon).
5)    Cool a few minutes and serve as is or with yogurt, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream.

By |August 29th, 2012|Recipes|0 Comments

News from the WBWC Board

by Kaaren Haldeman

     Hello WBWC and happy almost-fall! At our last meeting on July 18, the Board approved our final lease, including the use of Suite 206. Many thanks to Bruce Nelson, Vice-Chair, and Brianna Honea for the extra extra hours they put in to finalize this work! Several of us met in the suite yesterday and it looks fantastic! Thanks to the staff who helped move furniture and arrange a warm and inviting atmosphere.
     We would like to thank Brianna and Maureen Darcey for all of their extraordinary work toward our re-accreditation during the weekend of July 28. Long hours of preparation and hosting went into this very important work.
     The Board also learned of the new addition to the WBWC family, Heather Hogan, CNM. Welcome, Heather! We look forward to meeting you soon and hope your transition has been a great one.  
     Please stay tuned for a board-staff social event when we can introduce the full board to our staff and put faces to all of our names!
     Finally, we are looking for a CPA to join our board, so if anyone is interested or you know of someone whom we might contact, please email me, Kaaren Haldeman, at

By |August 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Attention January Moms-to-Be!

      Are you due in January and interested in taking part in Group Prenatal Care at WBWC? Well, it’s not too late!  We still need two more mamas to complete our January Group.  The first session will take place Wednesday, September 5 at 3:00 PM.  If you’d like to join the Group, please call us at (919) 933-3301. Whether you’re an experienced mom or a first-timer, Group Prenatal Care is a great way to meet other like-minded women, learn a lot, and stay healthy during your pregnancy.  We really want to keep our Group going!

By |August 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Bizarre to Basic Birth Control

by Claire C. McKiernan
          Did you know that if you attach a spider’s egg to your body with deer hide before sunrise it will prevent pregnancy for a year? Well, it won’t. If you can get your hands on the kidney of a mule and mix it with the urine of a eunuch, that won’t do much good, either. Good luck finding a eunuch, anyway.
I didn’t make up these bizarre concoctions, but they were believed to be effective means of birth control more than 2,000 years ago (think Cleopatra’s day). Interestingly, around the same time, women were also prescribed herbal remedies that included poplar, juniper berries, and giant fennel, which actually do have some qualities to reduce the chances of conception (but don’t try this at home). Condoms, albeit ones made from fish bladders or animal intestines, are even older, dating to at least 1000 BC.
          Ancient vaginal suppositories were used that killed sperm or blocked it from entering the cervix; crocodile dung was a favorite base for these concoctions. Rudimentary diaphragms were also common: African women used plugs of grass; Islamic, Greek, and Egyptian women employed honey and oil moistened wool; Japanese women used balls of bamboo paper; and ancient Jewish women preferred silk-wrapped sea sponges with a string attached. Obviously, the idea of birth control isn’t, even remotely, a new idea.
          The ineffective rhythm method has also been in use for thousands of years, but people not only employed the rigid time frame of the rhythm method, but also had little understanding of when a woman might be fertile during her cycle. For example, from 2,000 years ago until as late as 1920, it was believed that fertility was highest at the time of menstruation!
          How about other free, no-ingredients-needed, birth control? From medieval times through today the method of withdrawal (coitus interruptus, or “pulling out”) has been very popular.  Applying pressure and forcing the semen into the bladder rather than through the urethra (coitus obstructus) was recommended in Sanskrit texts, and avoiding ejaculation entirely (coitus reservatus) was also used by Hindus. I can’t find statistics on the last two, but keep in mind that, according to the World Bank, the 2011 population of India was 1, 241,491, 960, and India is slightly more than 1/3 the size of the U.S. (I’m just saying…) As for withdrawal, the efficacy rates are between 70-95% (similar to the condom), depending on consistent use and, well… how good he is at it. Two seconds too late, and you haven’t used any method at all.
          Imagine the days of American westward expansion in the mid-to-late 1800’s. These women were traveling in bumpy covered wagons to the west coast through rugged country in all kinds of weather and terrain, through food shortages, dysentery, cholera, wagon accidents, wolves, snakes, bison stampedes, and occasional attacks from the Native Americans. They could have begun the roughly 8-month journey pregnant or risked becoming pregnant along the way. They may have been newly married or already traveling with a crew of six children. If they made it to the west coast alive, there was a very real risk of having lost a child and/or husband along the way. You’d better believe they were interested in birth control!
By 1840 the condom was in use in this country (though its use became more acceptable and widespread after WWI as a means of controlling STDs). A female preventative called a pessairre (a French term Anglicized to pessary), or colloquially, a “pisser”, was also available (though not everywhere). Today we would call it a diaphragm. It came with directions and according to a letter exchanged between two women in 1885, it cost a dollar. Douching recipes were also used at the time, though douching is hardly effective.
In the 1930’s, a German Catholic priest named Wilhelm Hillebrand developed a natural family planning method based on basal body temperature, and twenty years later Dr. John Billings realized the state of cervical mucus was directly related to fertility. By the 1970’s, a third sign, cervical position, was added to this base of knowledge. With blessings from the Pope, Catholic organizations have been teaching these methods of natural family planning ever since (although NFP can be an umbrella term for less accurate methods, as well). On the secular level, Toni Weschler has been teaching these same fertility signs with her Fertility Awareness Method since the 1980’s. She published her enormously popular book Taking Charge of Your Fertility in 1995. Every woman should own this book, regardless of her choice of birth control, simply because it will help her become intimately familiar with her personal cycle. “Know thyself,” as Socrates famously said.
In 1960, with money raised by Margaret Sanger (who coined the term “birth control” and founded the first birth control clinic), Frank Colton invented Enovid, the first oral contraceptive pill. It had serious health risks (a topic that still comes up in the lower dose versions of today) and was legalized, regardless of marital status, by the Supreme Court in 1972.
Also during the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, IUDs were marketed in the U.S. and tubal ligation became popular (getting the ol’ tubes tied was first reported in 1881, and was performed when believed medically necessary). Vasectomies, too, became more popular particularly since, compared to tubal ligation, they have fewer complications, have a faster recovery rate, are considerably cheaper, and some studies show them to be more effective. Doctors experimented on dogs in the 1800’s, and in the early 1900’s vasectomies were performed for various reasons ranging from enlarged prostates, facilitating the removal of bladder stones, and on criminals. It was used as a birth control method on healthy men beginning in the 1950’s.
The 1980’s and 1990’s saw the introduction of hormonal implants, injections, low-dose pills, patches, and vaginal rings. In the 21st century we have seen the female condom, Mirena IUD, and the morning after pill come on the market.
From the preposterous mule kidney preventative to the second-only-to-abstinence vasectomy, we’ve come a long way, baby. In the course of our child-bearing years many of us will have tried numerous forms of birth control, sometimes because different ones suit us at different stages, and sometimes because we are on the endless hunt for the “right” one. If you are currently on the hunt, I have two suggestions:
1)                 Know and trust your body because it cannot be compared to anyone else’s! Too many of us suffer months or years using a method that simply does not work for us. It may be preventing pregnancy, but if it causes unpleasant mental/emotional or physical side effects, or you simply don’t feel happy with it, keep looking. Sex and stress shouldn’t go together.
2)                 Research your options! Start with brochures or a chart such as:

(Note: there are no statistics on crocodile dung, so don’t go that route.)

Then, pick out the options that might fit and really study them to narrow down how they will work with your individual needs. Just because your sister, mother, or best friend, swear by a method, doesn’t mean it’s for you. Good luck!

By |August 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments

What’s New at the Boutique

By |August 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Donation Needed!

Do you have an old TV/DVD player that you’d like to get rid of? Consider donating it to the Birth Center!  We’re expanding our office space to include the suite across the hall from our current location, and we’re looking for a combination TV/DVD player that we can use to show patient education materials in our new offices.  If you have one you’d like to donate, give us a call at (919) 933-3301, or let someone at the front desk know.  Thanks for your generosity!

By |August 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments

How Madeline Harris Spring Was Born

by Natalie Spring

Monday, February 2, 2009

Madeline was born at 41 weeks weighing in at a healthy 10 pounds. While she lingered in utero for a bit longer, when she decided it was time to be born she hurried on out in less than three hours.

I took the day off of work on the day Madeline was born. I had an appointment with the midwives, and I didn’t want to go into work and deal with the “so you haven’t had the baby yet” and “when are they going to induce you” conversations. Instead, I stayed home and cleaned, took a short nap on the couch, ran errands, and just generally tried to tire myself out. At my appointment Leigh Ann declared that I was indeed “a good four” and that she was rather stingy on her centimeters, so I should expect the baby anytime. I told her I wasn’t getting my hopes up, but okay. She reminded me to call the midwives if I started having contractions so that they could eat/rest in preparation for a middle-of-the-night labor. I dismissively agreed.

When I arrived at 5:45 p.m. to pick up my partner Harris from work I realized I might be in labor. Up until this point I thought I was just a miserable 41-weeks-pregnant woman who had gained 50 pounds and was having a hard time at life.

We were chatting with his coworkers when I realized that I was really having contractions and not cramps. I tried to time one on the lab timer, but while I counted 25 seconds, the lab counter timed it at 45 seconds. They all thought I was joking when I said I was having the baby that night, and they  kept on with their experiments. About five minutes later when Harris was done, another contraction had already started. We got back to his desk, I explained that I was having contractions and that HE should probably drive us home. As he drove through traffic,I was focused on getting home and lying down for a nap.

Once we got home I was only able to rest for about 2 minutes before I felt like I was going to lose my milkshake. I moved to the bathroom, and Harris brought me pillows and a blanket. Contractions started coming quickly and were starting in my abdomen and then moving to my back very quickly. It was very painful, and I had a hard time imagining this going on for 12 hours or more. Each time one would stop, another would start. Harris called the Birth Center to let them know that I had started having contractions. Sarah asked him (at 6:11 pm) how far apart my contractions were and how long they were lasting. Harris told her that we had just gotten home and that they seemed to not stop, but we hadn’t timed them yet. Sarah, anticipating a slow first baby, told him to time them for half an hour then call her back. As I lay on the floor another one was starting. He grabbed the first thing he found, a folder containing a Nintendo Power magazine (Super Mario Brothers 3 strategy guide) and a teal crayon. He timed each contraction running back and forth while putting away groceries and making sure bags were ready. I kept time on the clock and asked him to call Sarah. Time was so very important to me. I kept counting, kept watching the clock. When he spoke with Sarah he dutifully reported that the contractions were lasting about minute and were 2-3 minutes apart. She told him to get in the car and get me to the Birth Center right now. Be safe, but get here. Despite our birth classes, neither of us fully appreciated what was going on.

I jumped in the shower because in those childbirth classes we had learned two things that were very important to me at that moment:

1) Water makes laboring women feel better

2) The car ride is horrendous, mostly because there is no way to be comfortable and the loud noises you are making freak out anyone else in the car (i.e., the driver). Add to this any nausea, and you get a car ride from hell.

It sorta took the edge off. I hobbled out of the shower, and Harris brought me a cotton dress that really should have been a t-shirt. I covered this with a huge old jacket from high school and climbed into the backseat of the car. I might or might not have been wearing shoes. It was freezing cold outside, and I loved the chill on my skin. I laid my head in the previously unused car seat and squatted on all fours on the back seat while Harris drove us from Durham. I moaned into the car seat with each contraction and tried not to think about the nausea or the at best 20 minutes it would take us to get to the Birth Center. I figured at some point it would be 10 contractions, and I could totally do 10 contractions in the car, but then I lost count of how many contractions I had had.

I was so afraid that this was going to go on and on like this for hours. I just wanted to take a nap, and it seemed like that was not going to be an option for me. I was tired. I wanted a nap, damn it, and these contractions sucked. I thought I had mentally timed the trip from different intersections and turns, but when I looked up from the backseat, we were still not there. I saw Harris tailgating a car with the license plate reading “Aloha KC”. They were driving under the speed limit on a back road near the Birth Center. We were not there yet because of this a***. In the driver’s defense, it was dark, the road was curvy, and it was raining. I guess they were just being safe and didn’t realize that the car behind them held a woman in labor.

We finally got to the Birth Center, and I made a rather pathetic figure limping out of the car. A yoga class had just ended and some women were milling about the parking lot. I crawled out of the backseat, blood running down my leg, barefoot, ass hanging out, making all kinds of noises a woman coming out of a yoga class should never hear.

I felt like the biggest wuss in the world. Here I was saying that natural child birth was the way to go, that we were prepared, and that it would be great, but I couldn’t imagine how to cope with the contractions or how I would hold up for the next 10 hours. I crawled onto the bed, whimpering, and Sarah examined me. Fully dilated, baby’s head was down and currently trying to get past my pelvic bone, and we were going to have a baby. It was about 7:30pm. Harris asked her if he should get the stuff out of the car, and I asked her how far along I was because I didn’t think I could cope with this for very much longer. Sarah told us both that the baby would be born within an hour and that we were about to start pushing.

What we both thought was early labor in the car had really been transition. After that realization hit, that the worst was pretty much over and labor was NOT going to last like this for many, many hours, I felt a surge of relief and competence.

Cheryl gave me a birth ball and that made so much difference. I was exhausted but didn’t really feel like I had done very much. My body was doing all of the work, and it was my mind’s job to cope with that involuntary work. Mentally, I went to a very quiet place. They told me how to position my body, I told them how that felt. We talked, Harris brought me water, and every time I said, “Can we please just rest? I want a nap,” they encouraged me that I was about to nap with my baby. The moment of change was when I said, “I can’t do this,” and Cheryl whispered into my ear, “You ARE doing this.”

Sarah and Cheryl helped my legs into their shoulders, and sooner than I thought possible, my Madeline was born. When we looked up at the clock, after snuggling with our little girl, it was 8:30. Sarah was right. Sarah very jokingly and lovingly told me later that I was utterly ridiculous. Here I was, having my first baby in three hours, and that baby was an unexpected 10 pounds strong.

We chose to leave the Birth Center in the middle of the night so we could sleep at home. There was a light snow falling over Chapel Hill. We drove home to Durham with our daughter and were snuggled up eating peanut butter sandwiches by dawn.


By |August 29th, 2012|News|1 Comment