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The Joy of YES

By Claire Caprioli

I remember one cold morning when my fourth child, Rosie, was a toddler. I had just sent my husband and three older children off to work and school, and I was cleaning up the remnants of breakfast: toast crumbs, banana peels, and cups of milk (always with just one sip left).  I desperately needed a shower. Rosie licked the butter off her fingers and happily finished her milk.

“Okay, I think we could both use a shower,” I said.

“Can I have some hot cocoa?” she asked.


“How about we get in the shower first and have cocoa a little later? I don’t know about you, but I’d feel a lot better after a shower.”

“How about you make me cocoa, and I drink it in the shower?” Rosie is accommodating, but she also knows what she wants.

“No way, goosey-Lucy! Nobody drinks cocoa in the shower!”

“Why not?”

And that’s when I had my golden mom moment: instead of the instant “no” that eagerly danced on my lips, I actually took a moment to pause. To think. Hmm. Toddlers seldom drink hot cocoa without getting at least a chocolate mustache and often dribbles down their shirt. Nothing to worry about when they are naked and already in the shower. (And no, there’s no risk of burn—who serves a toddler hot cocoa that’s actually hot?)

In the kitchen, there’s the risk of a full-out spill on the table and floor. In the shower, that would go right down the drain. The cocoa could go in a travel mug so there’s little chance of soapy water going into the drink. Hey, this isn’t sounding too bad. If she’s busy drinking cocoa, I might… *gasp* …I might have an extra minute or two to shave my legs!

“YES!” I enthusiastically cried. “Why not?”

I got to be the champ mom that said yes! She was happy. I was happy. It all worked out so dreamily that I briefly considered serving beverages to my children only while they were bathing. Less laundry! No spills! Okay, I never seriously considered that, but Rosie still remembers that first time, and she did get to do it a few more times after that.

The moral is: kids can have great ideas that work out for everyone. When you are tempted to say “no” out of habit or because something simply sounds silly, take the time to pause and consider. What do you lose by saying “yes”? What might you gain? If I had told her no and made her wait for the cocoa, she might have been grumpy and uncooperative getting clean and may well have made a mess of herself shortly thereafter. If I had given in to the request before I showered, I may have been grumpy and impatient for her to finish. Either way, our attitudes would have fed off each other making us both unhappy and not setting a great tone for the start of the day. Sure, we would have gotten over it quickly enough, but look at what actually happened just by saying YES!

[Claire Caprioli birthed all four of her children in the peach room at the WBWC and used to contribute regularly to the newsletter under her married name. She’s still happily married but uses her pen name. She is a children’s writer and has completed her first (as yet unpublished) novel. She is excited to once again share her articles about pregnancy and parenting with the WBWC. You can find her at https://twitter.com/ClaireCaprioli]

By |March 1st, 2017|News|0 Comments

The Birth of Sebastian Fox

By Chelsea Harmon

Throughout my pregnancy, I practiced hypnobirthing.  I was skeptical at first, but I decided to buy a few tracks on Amazon and listened to them during naps and going to sleep at night.  I didn’t feel like I prepared myself like I should have with my daughter, so I wanted to make sure I did this time around using any possible method. As soon as I felt my first contraction (they started Friday before my 41 week Monday appointment), I started practicing my breathing and stayed in tune with my body to stay relaxed. They weren’t very intense like I remembered with my daughter, but gradually increased tightening little by little as the weekend passed.

I woke up the morning of my 41 week appointment feeling defeated that I didn’t already have a tiny squishy nursling in my arms. I was mentally prepared to go overdue, but never expected to make it to this appointment. We only have one car, so I had to drop my husband off at work before I could make my way to Chapel Hill. It was an hour drive to the center and wasn’t one I wanted to make again until I was having this baby. I decided to pack our things, just in case a miracle happened like going into labor on the way to my appointment, but I already knew we were absolutely not having a baby that day.
I got to the hospital early for my ultrasound so I could grab a cup of coffee.  As I’m checking in for my ultrasound, the front desk lady asks if I am alone or if I had someone to watch my daughter.  I was alone, 41.1 weeks pregnant, and now being told I was probably not going to be allowed to have my ultrasound.  I wanted to go hide in a dark corner and cry.  Finally, they decide they would try as long as my daughter would sit still. As far as I knew, everything looked healthy except the fact that I had slightly elevated fluid.  He didn’t go into detail about what that meant exactly, so I was pretty clueless.  I texted my mom and husband and told them how it went.  My mom texts back “don’t be surprised if they want to induce you.”

Wait, what?

After my ultrasound, I headed straight to the midwife’s office to talk about what next steps we were going to take. Emily asked if I was comfortable with my daughter hanging out with the ladies in the front, and I knew something wasn’t going as planned. Unfortunately, because of the elevated fluid levels, I was automatically risked out of birthing at the center. I was immediately flooded with tears and a huge lump in my throat.  I felt like my body had failed me. We discussed my options, but ultimately the safest way was to get the baby out as soon as possible by way of induction. There was no way I was going to risk the health of my baby, so I loaded up my daughter and drove an hour back home to pick up my husband from work.
I cried the entire way. I had to get it all out before picking him up. I was sure he had already started googling all the problems and risks (prolapsed cord being the biggest one) associated with elevated fluid (and he did).  I felt I had to be strong so we would both stay calm.
We quickly grabbed lunch to go and made our way back to Chapel Hill. We dropped our daughter off with my mom and headed to the hospital.  The ride to the hospital to have a baby is a weird, surreal feeling.  It never feels like how you imagine it to feel. It was around 3:30 PM when we finally checked into the hospital.  We were clueless and had no idea where to go.  I tried to prepare myself for being induced, telling myself it was okay, and that I wasn’t a failure.  This had to happen to keep our son healthy. We were about to meet our son! We finally reached our room, got set up, and I was put on the monitor.

We were waiting for the induction to start when my midwife, Sarah, came in and asked if I could feel my contractions. I could, but they weren’t really intense and only felt slight pressure. She had been watching them as she was about to send in the request for Pitocin, realized how close they were, and we came up with a new plan: castor oil. I had heard of this before and was honestly terrified of it. My first gut reaction was to say no; however, I was more scared of Pitocin, so I decided to give it a try.  By this time, it was around 5 p.m. She told me to chug it like a beer, which I did. Except castor oil, mixed with grape juice, is not as easy to chug as a beer.  It’s safe to say I will never be able to drink grape juice again.  Sarah said she was giving me until 9 PM to see if the castor oil would do the trick. I was told all the other nurses and staff made fun of us while swearing up and down it wasn’t going to work. I wanted it to work. I made myself believe it was going to work. It had to work. I didn’t chug this nasty concoction for nothing!

While waiting for the castor oil to kick in, we tried to relax and watch a movie. Instead, we ended up watching the contraction screen almost the entire time.  I went to the bathroom twice and by 7:30 PM, I was swaying through each wave in my husband’s arms.  The baby had to be monitored 24/7, which basically meant it was a huge pain to get into a nice position to help ease the intensity.

When things started to really pick up, I quickly got into my zone. The room was dark and quiet. I was able to get myself into a comfortable position on the bed where the baby could still be monitored. To endure each contraction, I counted. When I got close to 30, I knew it was almost over. Nausea hit around 10:30 PM and throwing up was unavoidable at that point (even with the help of a little friend called Zofran). After throwing up multiple times all over my husband and myself, I had hit my breaking point. I was done and completely over it.  I talked to my nurse and asked to talk to the anesthesiologist for an epidural. I quickly signed my natural birth over.

That’s when my birth fairy, Sarah, stepped in (forever thankful for her). She supported me any way I wanted to go, but asked if she could check me to see my progression. I was at 7 centimeters, and she assured me I was almost there.

Holy crap, I could really do this!

Sure enough, about an hour or so later I felt the urge to push.  I have never felt such huge emotions; it was an out-of-body experience. My instincts took over, and I had no control over my voice.  At last, after 5 or 6 pushes, my sweet, slippery baby boy was handed over and placed on my chest.

Sebastian Fox Harmon was born at 12:37 AM on May 10th.  I was in a mixed state of complete euphoria, exhaustion, and intense relief from it finally being over. At least until it was time for the placenta, which felt like giving birth all over again.  He latched right away like a champ.  Six months later and I am still in awe of him – not to mention my body for pushing out an 8-pound, 3-ounce  human being.  I have given birth with an epidural and without. I have never felt more empowered and proud of myself than I have after my natural birth experience. 

Women are incredible and strong any way they birth.

By |January 26th, 2017|Birth Stories|0 Comments

Birth Announcements

Welcome, Sweet Babies!

*Angus Bram McCorkle – November 22 – 7 lbs., 9 oz.
Georgia Greer Nall – December 1 – 8 lbs., 4 oz.
Rhea Lynn Duncan – December 3 – 7 lbs., 2.5 oz.
Hatuey Henderson Little – December 3 – 8 lbs., 7 oz.
Micah Nathaniel Henderson – December 4 – 9 lbs., 15 oz.
Riley Adeline Johnson – December 5 – 7 lbs., 15 oz.
Eyram Sky Semawu – December 5 – 7 lbs., 10 oz.
Caroline Rodwell Payton – December 6 – 9 lbs., 4 oz.
Adelaide Fielhauer – December 7 – 7 lbs., 13.5 oz.
*Ember Rees McCullough – December 9 – 8 lbs.
Julian Hill – December 10 – 6 lbs., 10 oz.
Evangeline Jolee Brown – December 11 – 10 lbs., 3 oz.
*Victoria Violet Grether – December 11 – 8 lbs., 2 oz.
*Oliver Reen Jaworski – December 13 – 8 lbs. 5 oz.
*Riley Aurelia Jones – December 13 – 7 lbs., 4 oz.
Adley Elyse Towle – December 14 – 8 lbs., 13.5 oz.
Calvin Paul Mayfield – December 15 – 8 lbs., 3 oz.
Wesley David Stalbroten – December 17 – 8 lbs., 10 oz.
*Gemma Weil Hambley – December 19 – 8 lbs., 13.5 oz.
Kyleigh Alijah Hemphill-Carr – December 19 – 5 lbs., 8 oz.
*Simon Blake Fairman-Stokes – December 19 – 6 lbs.,15 oz.
Opeyemi Zendaya Shoderu – December 20 – 7 lbs., 6 oz.
Arlo Seth Fonseca – December 22- 7 lbs., 10 oz.
*Clara Lucia Nieves-Pavuk – December 25 – 7 lbs., 15 oz.
Haven Wilder Wheeler – December 27 – 7 lbs., 11 oz.
Brooks Otis Phillips – December 28 – 8 lbs., 3 oz.
Jack Rōnin Brown – December 29 – 8 lbs., 9 oz.
Wesley David Ingram – December 31 – 9 lbs., 8 oz.

December Stats:
Total babies born: 46
Biggest baby: 10 lbs., 4 oz.
Smallest baby: 5 lbs., 4 oz.

To be included in this celebratory list, please email Missy at missy@ncbirthcenter.org 
with your baby’s birth announcement information that includes 
their name, date of birth, and birth weight as well as a photo, if available.
If you would like to send us your birth story along with photos,

we are happy to include that in a future newsletter!

By |January 26th, 2017|Birth Announcements|0 Comments

Coping With Motherhood Group

Have pregnancy and motherhood turned your world upside down?
Coping with Motherhood is a peer support group for pregnant and postpartum women who are struggling with mood changes during the childbearing years. Facilitated by Nancy Albrecht, RN, MA, IBCLC, the group provides a safe place to share concerns, strengths, and ways to prevent, cope with, and recover from perinatal depression and anxiety.
     During a Coping with Motherhood meeting, moms are welcomed to a positive and private space where they can share feelings and support each other in the process of recovery. There are tears, but also laughter; talk about anxieties and fears, but also baby and breastfeeding advice; a chance to admit the pain, but also see the way to better days. Since the group began, almost two years ago, over 50 women have gotten support from the meetings and each other.

     Nancy shares the philosophy of the group, “We believe that while all mothers desire to be the perfect mother, we all fall short. You are a good mom as you seek help, take care of yourself, and do the best you can every day!”

   The group meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month, 10:30 am – 12:00 noon at WBWC, in the Living Room (Suite 304). Call Nancy at 919-933-3301, ext. 207 for more information. No need to RSVP, and the group is open to all women, not just WBWC clients.

You are not alone. You are not to blame. With help, you will be well.

Postpartum Support International

By |January 26th, 2017|Events & Workshops, Family Resources|0 Comments

WBWC Represented at the Women’s March on Raleigh

WBWC women and their babies showed up in force to join the Women’s March on Raleigh on January 21.  The group took a bus from the Birth Center to downtown Raleigh to march in support of women’s right, health care, reproductive rights,  LGBTQIA issues, gender and racial equality, and economic justice. There was an excellent turnout, and it was a great opportunity for peacefully empowering women and talking about important issues!

By |January 26th, 2017|News|0 Comments

Babywearing Dance Class

Starting January 27

Looking for something fun to do with baby? Come join this new dance class and wear your baby while you get your groove on! We’ll do some easy stretches and learn some simple, fun dance routines. It’s a great way to get fit and meet new moms. No dance experience necessary!! 

Bring your favorite carrier and wear clothes you can move and groove in. Toddlers are welcome, as well as those who want to join in without a baby. The class will be held in the meeting room on the third floor.

$10/adult or $40 for 5 classes. Cash or check only. 
***This class is now ongoing and will meet every Friday!***

By |January 26th, 2017|Events & Workshops|0 Comments

MILC Moment: The Truth About Pumping & Dumping

By Rebecca Costello, IBCLC

Pumping and dumping: not being able to nurse, and pouring your milk down the drain, is NOT a fun experience! Mothers are often told to stop breastfeeding and/or “pump and dump” because they are on medications, or needed to have a scan or test (like an MRI). This seems to be widespread – we hear about this advice being given by everyone from dentists to urgent care doctors to pediatricians. And yet so often, when we look up the medication or test, it is perfectly safe for breastfeeding to continue. You poured your milk down the drain for nothing! Moms may pump and dump for hours or days before finding out they could have breastfed all along. Why does this happen?

Which book or website your health care provider uses to look up medication or test safety can make a big difference. One study used a list of 14 drugs that were commonly prescribed to breastfeeding mothers, and looked how many were considered safe in frequently consulted resources. Several resources said NONE of the medications were safe. Others said about 50% were. It turns out, 85% were fine! Many health care providers don’t get any education about which resources are most accurate.

So where should you turn for advice about medication safety and breastfeeding? One option, of course, is WBWC! We often take calls with questions like “I had a CT scan today – they told me I couldn’t breastfeed for 24 hours, is that true?” or “I’m having a dental procedure next week – which pain meds are safe?” Our most frequently used accurate resource is the book Medications & Mother’s Milk, one of the “bibles” of breastfeeding and medication safety. It’s on the shelf in almost every office!

An even more accessible reference we sometimes use – and that you can use from anywhere with an internet connection – is Lactmed, a free website from the National Library of Medicine. They provide information on thousands of medications, herbal supplements, contrast used for scans (try typing “CT contrast” into the search box), and even specific procedures (try “MRI” or “X-ray”). Often the information makes it very clear that it’s safe to keep breastfeeding. If you have questions or concerns about what you read, please give us a call; we are happy to help you sort through it. We want you to continue nursing or pumping with confidence, knowing that you’re continuing to provide the best you can for your baby!

By |January 26th, 2017|Breastfeeding / MILC Moment|0 Comments

Mindful Birth Workshop

February 12th 1:30-4:30pm
WBWC, Suite 304
Cultivating Mindfulness Techniques
for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting

 Mindfulness is about being fully awake, in the present moment. When we practice mindfulness we can become more focused, relaxed and calm. Life slows down and we begin to experience the vividness of each moment. Learn and cultivate the Mindfulness Techniques as developed by Jon Kabat Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Mass. Not only will these techniques assist you in pregnancy and birth but will offer you a set of skills to use as a parent and throughout all areas of your life. This introductory workshop will include techniques for taming the stress response, mindful breathing, body scan (mind/body connection), and introduction to seated meditation. All of which will be useful tools for the labor process.

A short mindful movement (yoga) session will also be incorporated into this time. You will learn simple yoga postures that will help ease pregnancy and be useful as labor positions.

*pre-registration recommended, class size will be limited
$60.00  Early Bird by Jan 22nd is $50.00
Register with info@carolinawellnessintitute.com
Led by Paula Huffman BS,RN,ERYT, Mindfulness Instructor

Paula is a perinatal educator and has been working with pregnant women and couples in the area for 25 years in both a medical and educational capacity. She is holds specialty certifications in prenatal yoga, restorative yoga, childbirth education. Paula also provides Doula services on a limited basis. She studied through the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Mass, and teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Pain Management Classes at the UNC School of Medicine’s Program on Integrative Medicine. All of these services are offered by Paula through both group and private sessions. (919) 260-0255

By |January 26th, 2017|Events & Workshops|0 Comments

We Value Our Volunteers!

By Latasha  Jordan

WBWC is grateful to all the wonderful volunteers who share their time and talents with us! Volunteers are vital to keeping the clinic running smoothly and efficiently. They serve as clerical assistants for Women’s Birth and Wellness Center (WBWC). We have recently created a volunteer title called The Front Desk Helper. The Front Desk Helper serves as a valued team member who participates in completing daily tasks that help WBWC provide a positive, professional, yet personal experience for the client throughout their visit to the center. Each volunteer works with the Front Desk Manager to complete and perform daily administrative task that include  faxing documents, pulling charts, filing, making reminder phone calls, scanning charts, and taking messages. 

Length of Appointment: The Front Desk Helper is assigned to one day per week for a period of three months. After three months, the Front Desk Helper may be reappointed for another three months at the discretion of the supervisor.

Time Commitment: One day per week (Monday – Friday) for three hours (9 AM-12 PM or 1 PM- 4 PM.), for a minimum of three months.

Qualifications: Basic knowledge of computer and data entry. Pleasant manner, patience, problem-solving ability, dependability.

Support: On the job training for this position will be provided. In addition, the Front Desk Manager will be available for questions and assistance.

Dress Code: Business Casual

If you are interested in volunteering with the center please contact Latasha Jordan at Latasha@ncbirthcenter.org.

By |January 26th, 2017|News|0 Comments

Upcoming Events – February 2017

  • Coping with Motherhood – Thursday, February 2 & 16, 10:30 am-12pm, FREE
  • Babywearing Class – Saturday, February 4, 10am-12pm, FREE
  • Babywearing Dance Class – Every Friday 9:15-10:15am, $10/adult or $40 for 5 classes
  • Breastfeeding Basics – Tuesday, February 7 & 21, 6:30-8:30pm, $30/couple
  • La Leche League Meeting – Wednesday, February 8, 7-8:30pm, FREE 
  • Young Moms Meetup – Thursday, February 9, 4:30-6pm, FREE
  • Breastfeeding Cafe – Friday, February 10 & 24, 10:30am-12pm, FREE
  • Weekend Breastfeeding Cafe – Saturday, February 11, 10:30-12pm, FREE
  • Meet the Doula – Wednesday, February 15, 7-9pm, FREE
  • Cloth Diapering Class – Saturday, February 18, 10-11:30 am, FREE
  • Pass the Puree? Introducing Solids Class – Saturday, February 18, 10:30am-12:30pm, $30/couple
  • Craniosacral Therapy Clinic – Saturday, February 25, 2-4pm, FREE
  • Express Yourself, Pumping and Breastfeeding Class – Tuesday, February 28, 6:30-8:30pm
By |January 26th, 2017|Events & Workshops|0 Comments