Monthly Archives: October 2012

Tell Me About Your Mommy Body!

by Claire C. McKiernan

    I am working on a follow-up to my Celebrate Yourself article for next month. Tell me in which expected and unexpected ways your body changed during or after pregnancy. Please email me at with the subject title “WBWC: Body” (or something similar, so I know it’s not spam). I will not use any names in the article! Thanks!

By |October 30th, 2012|News|0 Comments

New Arrivals


*Lucia Ellen Noykos – 7 lbs., 13 oz. – June 26

*Rachel Lorelai Chavez – 8 lbs., 15 oz. – August 18

*Calvin Patrick Herr – 7 lbs., 7oz. – August 22 

*Agata Emilia Misior – 8 lbs., 8 oz. – August 27

*Clayton Anderson Jablonski – 7 lbs., 1 oz. – August 30

Cora Sayre Bachhuber – 9 lbs., 8 oz. – September 1

Baby Boy Beeler Furtado – 6 lbs., 11 oz. – September 2

Evan Rodriguez – 9 lbs., 9 oz. – September 8

Silas Copeland Raye – 9 lbs., 3 oz. – September 8

Finn Pearce Carter – 8 lbs., 15 oz. – September 9

Reed Avery Currin – 9 lbs., 8 oz. – September 10

Odin Antonio Ruiz – 9 lbs., 4 oz. – September 10

Evan Michael Pasquale – 9 lbs., 14 oz. – September 11

Emerson Wade Hadley – 6 lbs., 2 oz. – September 12

Josephine Lorraine Higgins ­– 9 lbs., 12 oz. – September 12

Madison Brylee Miller – 9 lbs., 1 oz. – September 13

Grady Lee McCutcheon – 9 lbs., 4 oz. – September 13

*Solomon David Hollowell – 7 lbs., 5 oz. – September 15

Eloise Elizabeth Green – 6 lbs., 15 oz. – September 16

*Elliott Ruth McKelvey – 8 lbs., 15 oz. – September 16

Henry Winther Bennett – 7 lbs., 7 oz. – September 16

Kendall Claire Ann Lloyd – 7 lbs., 10 oz. – September 18

Abigail Charity Bradley – 8 lbs., 4 oz. – September 20

Juliet Leonard Howell Peréz – 7 lbs., 4 oz. – September 20

Andrew Levi Seagroves – 9 lbs. – September 21

Fletcher Khalil Pineo – 8 lbs., 4 oz. – September 26

*Lillian Sophia Mangione – 8 lbs., 4 oz. – September 26

Jonah Reay Willson – 7 lbs., 11 oz. – September 27

*Laali Singh Lindsley – 8 lbs., 7 oz. – September 30

Cora Josephine Tinkler – 8 lbs., 4 oz. – September 30


By |October 28th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Birth story of Cillian Luke Bradburn

by Casey Bradburn

When I found out I was pregnant I was excited but also a little shocked and scared. We had barely even been trying for a few weeks. And we weren’t even really trying; we were just finally to the point where we figured if it happened it would be great and we wouldn’t try to inhibit it anymore. My immediate family members have had numerous issues with pregnancies so I thought it would take quite a while to get pregnant. I guess I thought wrong. My husband, Cole, and I now joke that we are probably so fertile that all Cole has to do is wink at me from across the room and I’ll likely get pregnant again.


With the good news I called my parents, brother, and sister. They all live 15 hours away so telling them in person wasn’t really an option. I was nervous to tell my sister, who is ten years my senior, and had been having trouble getting pregnant. After a long pause she finally told me that she had just found out that she, too, was pregnant and due the day after I was. Our mother had been begging for grandbabies for well over a decade and my sister and I talked about how crazy it would be for our kids to possibly be born in the same week. My sister didn’t want to tell anyone else about her pregnancy yet and get their hopes up too soon. I also thought this would be best because our mother’s name is Joy and she certainly lives up to it with her excessively jovial tendencies. The sheer thought of how chipper she would be to hear that she had her first two grandchildren on the way at the same time sort of gave me a headache.


Now that the immediate family had been informed the next step was to figure out how and where we wanted to give birth. The biggest decision was to figure out whether I wanted to go with a hospital birth, home birth, or birthing center. I did a lot of self searching as to what I wanted the birth to be like. Cole and I try to avoid all medicines and interventions when possible so we knew we would like the birth of our child to be natural. Also, the last thing I wanted to do was to be lying on my back in a hospital with my feet in those horrendous stirrups and with a ton of devices hooked up all over my body. No thanks. After doing our due diligence researching the safety and philosophy of going with a traditional hospital birth versus using a midwife, we decided that a midwife would be a better fit for us.  The birth center had great reviews and I liked the thought that they were close to and had privileges at the nearby UNC hospital in case any major complications did arise.


We took a tour of the birth center when I was around seven weeks pregnant. On the way back to work I nearly freaked out by myself in the car thinking that this was real. And it was probably going to hurt pretty badly. That was not a fun realization to have sneak up on me when I wasn’t expecting it to get so real so quickly. Then I decided that I just wasn’t going to be pregnant anymore. I would somehow wish it away and we’d try again later when I was more prepared. My mind went back and forth and I finally somehow calmed myself down by telling myself that a.) pregnant ladies sometimes go straight crazy and often can’t think sensibly and b.) some of my ridiculous friends have competently given birth so it really was something I could manage (sometimes I’m a jerk). But seriously, if 20 bazillion ladies had given birth in the past then I certainly could too. I am strong-willed and stubborn and I was suddenly determined to absolutely dominate this birth.  Actually, this determination didn’t come until much later on, but thankfully it did or else my birth story would likely be very different.


Cole and I spent the next months enjoying our last days as non-parents. Our friend Wes basically moved in with us to design and paint our son’s very detailed Zelda nursery (which is awesome, went viral, and became very popular in the video gaming community). When we weren’t working or spending time at home with Wes we were staying busy. We were taking a 12 week Bradley Method birthing class, reading a lot of pregnancy books, buying all the baby essentials, trying to agree on what kind of parents we wanted to be, and making promises to each other that our relationship would remain a top priority. And, of course, we were spending an increasing amount of time at the birth center as the months went on. I enjoyed the appointments with the different midwives and always looked forward the most to hearing my little man’s heartbeat—fast and strong. We seemed to have the most appointments with three midwives: Emily, Maureen, and Kate. After having a couple of appointments in a row with Kate, Cole had a feeling early on that she would be the one on call when I went into labor. I dismissed his feeling, figuring that there was a one in six chance for any of the midwives and that our son would ultimately choose.  It all just depended upon which day he decided to grace us with his arrival. 


Around 38 weeks I finally went through the nesting phase which Cole was pretty sure would never happen because in the 11 or 12 years we’ve been together he has never seen me become Suzy Homemaker. I also wanted to go through all my pregnancy books again and mentally prepare for what seemed like it was going to be a marathon when I sometimes didn’t even feel ready for a 5k. At the 39 week appointment, on June 29, I told Emily that I was pretty sure my son was going to come soon. Cole and I left the birth center and I texted my sister to see how her 39 week appointment went, which was also that morning. She immediately called me and said that her water just broke at her appointment and she was waiting for contractions to start and was heading to the hospital.


 I was concerned about her and my future niece, so I woke up at 5am the next day, Saturday June 30, and started a text conversation with my sister-in-law since she was at the hospital, too. I tried to wake up Cole, who had promised to make breakfast, but he was exhausted and said he would make it in a couple of hours. We both easily went back to sleep.


Then just before 9am I got up and my water immediately broke with a gush. Holy ish! My sister and I were going to possibly have our babies on the same day. I started walking around the neighborhood until there was too much liquid and it was dripping down my leg (labor is super sexy like that sometimes). Cole called the birth center and Kate was indeed on call that day, just as he suspected. My contractions hadn’t started quite yet but Kate said they generally do soon after the water breaks. We had planned that as soon as the contractions started being consistently between 2-3 minutes apart we should head over. Considering the fact that my mom and sister both had very long first labors, I figured that I’d be the same way and it would probably be much later that night before it was time to go to the birth center.
Contractions started sometime around 10:30a.m. Cole and I were excited and spent a lot of time trying to compile a music playlist for the labor. I soon decided I’d had enough with the playlist since my contractions were getting stronger and closer together. Then my body decided it needed to suddenly rid itself of everything I had eaten that day. Uh-oh, I remembered hearing something in our birthing class about that meaning labor was progressing. I had always heard how long labors usually lasted with a first child so I was surprised at how fast everything was moving along.  One good thing that I had going for myself was that I was getting adjusted by a chiropractor, which generally makes labor go more quickly, but this still seemed to be moving almost too quickly.


By 3:30pm my contractions were very strong and more painful. They had been around 3 minutes apart for close to an hour and had just started getting closer together. That week broke heat records and each day was between 102 and 108 degrees. That was certainly fun while nine months pregnant. Of course, as luck would have it, my company car for that time was a black car with black leather. Cole loaded the car and started the engine so it could cool off.  We figured we’d call the birth center and head in. We called and talked to Kate again and she advised getting in the bathtub for a while to see if that slowed everything down. I was just ready to have my child but I got in the tub to see what happened. In the bathtub the contractions were still painful but they felt a little more manageable. I’ve always had the ability to fall asleep in really awkward places so in the few moments between the contractions I was so calm and at peace with everything that I was falling asleep in my bathtub. Then I realized that I had no idea where my husband was.  I remember screaming at him to come time my contractions for me. He came in and sat on the toilet beside me and I would hit his leg to inform him when to start and stop the timer (you remember the part about labor being super sexy, right?). The first few contractions slowed down but then they quickly sped back up. The last one was under two minutes and we thought it was time to call back and get ourselves to the birth center. I called Kate back and after she asked a few questions she told us to head in.


 Cole repacked and restarted the car then realized that our dog probably needed to eat and go out right then or else we’d have to ask one or two friends who had keys to our house if they were available and could take him out later. I remember half-yelling at Cole, “You can take him out but I’m not kidding when I say that you need to hurry your @$$ up about it.”


Finally, everything was taken care of and we were on the way for the 50 minute drive to the birth center. New parents are never the smartest and for some reason we had put the car seat in the base behind me which made the front seat completely vertical. I couldn’t imagine being any more uncomfortable. In the car was the first time I really had the thought that maybe I didn’t want to go through this naturally and drug-free. I somehow had the peace of mind to realize that I must be close to second stage labor if that was how I was feeling and I intrinsically knew I could accomplish this feat.

We arrived at the birth center just before 6pm where Kate and Lydia were waiting for us. Kate checked me and I was already at 9cm dilated. No wonder I was miserable on the car ride; I was going through transition during the drive. I definitely don’t recommend that! Soon my body was starting to push on its own which was quite a strange feeling. Kate asked how I felt in the bathtub at home and I said that I was relaxed and kept falling asleep. We figured maybe I’d be most comfortable in the bathtub so I tried to move to it. I remember being past the point of caring about anything other than having my baby. I had a sports bra and a really cute bikini top in my bag, but didn’t even think about grabbing them. I just stripped down and got in the tub. Jeez, what a sight to see.  I was a completely naked and fat pregnant lady with a few light tan lines and a lot of large, reddish-purple stretch marks. Let me just tell you that I have the utmost respect for anyone who can deal with that mess all day.


Once I was in the bathtub, just like that, it was time to start pushing. To me, pushing didn’t hurt nearly as badly; it was more of a relief and gave a purpose to the contractions and something to focus on. I pushed for less than an hour and only the last few pushes, when the baby’s head was crowning, were really painful for me. But then guess what happened at 7:21pm– my son, Cillian Luke Bradburn, was born and that pain was gone. It was replaced with my son in my arms and an exciting new world ahead of me. I got to hold my amazing baby boy and watch my proud husband shed a few tears of amazement.  Within an hour after Cillian was born I was back to my normal jokester self.  Within a few weeks I wondered what I ever did before the little man was a part of my life.


I certainly don’t feel like I could have gone through the labor and delivery as easily without the support and encouragement from Cole and Kate. I’m telling you, though, once you’ve accomplished that—once you’ve been coherently aware of and physically in charge of your birthing process—the whole world is suddenly within your grasp and you’re empowered enough to realize that absolutely anything is possible.


          To sum it up with a quote, “Labor is hard work. It hurts. And you can do it.”



By |October 28th, 2012|Birth Stories|4 Comments

Spotlight: Mariah Velazquez CNM

         Please join us in welcoming Mariah Velazquez as a CNM at the WBWC! Mariah has been at the birth center since November as a student midwife, then a nurse, and is now transitioning into the role of midwife while Jewell is on maternity leave. Mariah also works part time as a nurse at the WBWC.

          Mariah was born and raised in Chapel Hill, but moved to Charlotte for a while before realizing she belonged back home. She returned to Chapel Hill two years ago. She completed her undergraduate degree at UNC Charlotte and her graduate midwifery degree at Frontier Nursing University.

          Married to her high school sweetheart for the past six years, Mariah has a son, Kaiden (5) and a daughter Lilia (3). Lilia was born at home, and Mariah is due with her third baby at the end of March! Mariah enjoys spending all of her time off with her lovely family.

What does Mariah like best about the WBWC?  

“I love the heart of WBWC. I have never seen another practice that truly cares so much about their clients. I love being out of hospital and practicing true midwifery care. I feel privileged to be a part of the practice, and I really cannot picture myself working anywhere else now.”

By |October 28th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Bean Recipe

recommended by Marcelaine Tanner

This is my favorite recipe for beans. I got it from my sister-in-law, who shared it on our family recipe blog, I used to think beans were bland, but with this combination of spices I am happy to eat them all by themselves for lunch. You can use the beans in any recipe that calls for beans. Beans also freeze well. I make a double batch and freeze the beans in one-cup portions, which I pull out whenever I need them for a recipe.

2 cups pinto beans (or any beans), sorted and washed
2 tsp. granulated garlic powder
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried cilantro (or 1 1/2 tsp. fresh cilantro)
1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
6 cups water
6 bouillon cubes, either chicken or beef
2 tsp. crystallized ginger, chopped (or 1/8 tsp. ginger)–the ginger helps reduce the gas-producing effect of beans

Rinse the beans–the easiest way to do this is to put them in a colander and spray them with the sprayer on your sink. Soak the beans. You can do this by placing them in plenty of water and leaving them for about eight hours. A faster way is to put the beans in a pot on the stove with 6 cups of water, bring it to a boil, then turn the stove off and let the beans sit for 1-2 hours.

After soaking the beans, rinse them again. Return the beans to the pot and add all the spices and the 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so that the water is just simmering (I turn the knob to 1 or 2 on my stove). Let the beans cook until they are soft–usually this takes 1 1/2 hours, but it depends on the beans.

If you want refried beans, mash the beans using a mixer, blender, or potato masher, adding a little of the cooking water if needed.

By |October 28th, 2012|Recipes|0 Comments

News from the WBWC Board

by Kaaren Haldeman

Welcome to fall everyone–what a gorgeous October! The board met this month to hear our director, Maureen Darcey CNM, speak about her own history and how it has intertwined with that of the WBWC. She took us on a stroll down memory lane to tell the origin story of WBWC and to explain her vision for its future. On October 21, we celebrated our 9th anniversary as WBWC with a party at the Sertoma Arts Center in Raleigh. We had a great crowd and kids and adults alike had a ball. We’ll look forward to the 10 year celebration next year! Thank you to Layne Townsend for her tireless work in securing a place and designing the invitations. Nice work, Layne! Enjoy the leaf-peeping of October before the cool of winter moves in…

By |October 28th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Our Moment of Truth Campaign

    Many women are not having important conversations with their health care providers about how to maintain their health during pregnancy (62%) or about preparing for motherhood (80%), according to new research released by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). Results from this new survey show a major gap in what women say they want from their health care and what women are getting across a spectrum of health needs.

    To improve the dialogue, the WBWC is proud to announce Our Moment of Truth™: A New Understanding of Midwifery Care. Through this national truth-telling campaign, ACNM aims to raise the bar for women’s health and re-introduce midwives and midwifery care as important options that should be the norm for women’s health care services in the United States.

    Midwives are critically important in providing care to women from adolescence to beyond menopause, but their expert knowledge of women’s health is often overlooked. Even though the general public often associates midwives exclusively with maternity care, many women visit a midwife for a range of services before and after pregnancy. This is just one of the many truths that Our Moment of Truth™ aims to reveal.

    The WBWC is spreading the word! We hope that you too will consider getting involved in this important initiative to inspire women across the country to become active decision makers in their health care.
    Visit the Our Moment of Truth™ website at for more information and an overview of survey findings. Or leave a comment to share your moment of truth.

By |October 28th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Celebrate Yourself!

by Claire C. McKiernan

Did you know that October 11th was the first official United Nations Day of the Girl? The day was meant to call attention to all girls, whether they are up against the rules of their society, a lack of access to health care and education, a school bully, an eating disorder, or any of a number of horrors faced by girls–and women–everywhere.

This topic naturally leads me to your spider veins. Or flabby belly, or stretch marks, or that weird third eye that developed on your forehead in your third trimester. Pregnancy changes a woman’s body and instead of embracing it, we fight it, deny it, and mourn over it. What does this teach our daughters (and sons, for that matter)? What does it communicate to our partners and to society about women?

Many things about pregnancy, child birth, and post pregnancy are not sexy. They are not meant to be. You are not, after all, designed for the mere pleasures of man any more than he should be purely designed for yours. But pregnancy, child birth, and post pregnancy IS beautiful. These moments contain a beauty that is rich in their femininity as well as in their strength. And learning to love your body in spite of the weird and unexpected changes it endures can be a part of this strength. These changes depict the unique story of you and your transformation into motherhood.

I’ll get the party started and describe a few strange things that I experienced in pregnancy:

I grew a mole. Sometime in the third trimester of my first pregnancy, a protruding ugly thing, about the size of a half a currant raisin emerged on my temple. I accidentally swiped it with my finger nail during the throes of labor and bled like a stuck pig all over the pillow. I returned home with a baby in my arms and a bandage on the side of my head.  Thankfully, the mole did not grow back.

I sprouted wisdom teeth. With each pregnancy, somewhere in my 2nd trimester, I sprouted a wisdom tooth: four pregnancies, four wisdom teeth. I’d like to say they provided me with extra wisdom, but they mostly required extra time to keep clean, one kept carving into my cheek and giving me canker sores, I developed a cavity in another one, and I wound up needing them all extracted.

My feet grew. After my first pregnancy, my feet grew a half size requiring me to ditch every shoe I owned and purchase new ones. Some people might see this as a great opportunity, but I hate shopping, so this was no fun for me. After my fourth pregnancy, some seven years later, my feet somehow returned to their original size. Go figure. I now own both sizes, depending on the shoe.

My hair changed. After my first pregnancy, my hair turned a darker brown. It no longer gets natural auburn highlights in the summer sun, but I like the richness of it, so, that was a pleasant change. In my fourth pregnancy it became thick and coarse, giving me volume I had always dreamed of. I never liked my limp, fine hair, and now suddenly I had thicker, coarser hairs. You know what? I hated it. It felt like I was brushing someone else’s hair. It felt rough in comparison to the hair I had always had. Less than a year after the birth, it returned to normal (still quite dark). That brief encounter with the hair I had always thought I wanted was a turning point for me. Suddenly I realized that the hair I had always seen as limp and fine might actually be seen as shiny and silky-soft. I loved it for the first time and realized I should have loved it all along.

Of course, I experienced less oddball changes, some of which are permanent features. I went through the mourning stage and the futile attempts to erase the signs that my body had been through a metamorphosis in order to produce a thriving healthy child. But then, over time (and after the hair experience), something wonderful happened. I started putting a good spin on changes that have occurred, including stretch marks, which, on a good day, I can even SMILE about because they remind me of the babies I once held within my expanding belly.

Next time you look in the mirror and see something you’d rather not see, take the time to reflect (a pun—haha!) on why this change bothers you. Should it? Or is it that you just need time to get acquainted with yourself, accept yourself, and embrace the fact that your body shows off some of your life experiences?

So, what changes have you experienced? Common or quirky, temporary or lasting, positive or not-so-positive, these changes make us beautiful, strong women. If you want your daughters to feel that way about themselves and your sons to view women in this way, then it starts with how we view ourselves. Send some emails my way at, and I’ll write a follow-up article (I won’t use names) celebrating the various changes our bodies have gone through in order to keep the human race alive!

By |October 28th, 2012|News|0 Comments