Community Prenatal Care

What is Community Prenatal Care?

Community prenatal care (CPC) at Women’s Birth & Wellness Center is a unique program designed to meet the needs of the family delivering in a birth center. CPC is inspired by an evidence-based/researched model of delivering prenatal care to women in a group setting. After two individual prenatal visits in the clinic, you begin monthly group visits from 16-20 weeks in your pregnancy until your due date. You will know the dates of all six of the group sessions in advance. You will also have regular visits in the clinic between group sessions.

Why Community Prenatal Care?
CPC is woman-focused, enhances a woman’s ability to make decisions regarding her own care, and encourages the social support that is so critical to successful out-of-hospital birth. You also receive the benefits of one-to-one care and meeting all the WBWC providers during your regular clinic visits.

For the family planning a birth center birth, the group sessions offer the opportunity to meet with like-minded women and partners who have made the same choice. Having a forum for discussing questions and concerns about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and parenting provides you with a supportive community which will enhance your pregnancy and birth experience and build your confidence in your ability to birth, feed, and parent your baby. In community, you have the opportunity to challenge the traditional philosophy of birth that treats pregnancy and birth as disease states, embraces technology, and builds fear. You will help to empower each other with confidence in your body’s knowledge and wisdom, trust in your ability to cope with pain, and belief that you know more about your body and your baby than “experts” do.

What happens at group?
A group of six to ten women with similar due dates meet for six monthly sessions for 90 minutes in an informal setting with two WBWC co-facilitators: a midwife, who rotates, and a nurse, who will be the same for all sessions. Partners may participate as well. You check and record your own weight, blood pressure, and weeks of pregnancy and keep a copy of the information in your “chart”. Growth of the uterus and fetal heart tones are checked by the midwife in a private area of the group space. You will only be apart from the group for three minutes for the tummy checks! The group sessions follow a syllabus but the majority of the time is spent in conversation with others, learning about and sharing pregnancy, birth, and parenting concerns. And we serve snacks.

Is there an additional charge for group care?
CPC is part of your prenatal care so there are no extra charges. If you have health insurance, group care is covered. If you are self-pay, it is included in the fees you are paying for your care.

Can I bring my other children?
No, to avoid distraction for all those in group, as well as space and time constraints, we are unable to include siblings in group care. Children of any age find 90 minutes in a group boring! Since you will know the date and time for all of your CPC visits ahead of time, you
can make child care arrangements more easily. WBWC staff is unable to provide childcare during group. You are always welcome to bring children to your individual appointments.

What happens if I have a personal problem or complication of pregnancy?
If you have a problem that needs additional evaluation by the midwife, there will be time before or after group to address these concerns. Please call the day before the group session to reserve additional time, if possible. You may also schedule problem visits between group sessions. If specific health conditions emerge during the pregnancy, those conditions may be managed in group or may require extra individual visits in the clinic.

Will I still get the lab tests and ultrasounds that I may need?
Yes, you will still get all of the same testing offered if you participate in CPC that you would get with traditional care. Any labs, prescriptions or ultrasounds can be ordered for you as needed by your CPC midwife. Your labs will be drawn during your individual clinic visits.

Would I still need to take Prepared Childbirth classes?
Yes, prepared childbirth classes are required for all first time pregnant women and highly recommended for first time fathers-to-be. If for some reason you are unable to take childbirth education classes, you must make an alternative plan to prepare for your birth and review the plan with a midwife.

This is a group. How is my privacy protected?
Special confidentiality rules are maintained throughout the program. All participants, including support people, are required to sign a confidentiality agreement at the first group visit. We stress that a person’s specific concerns should not be discussed outside the group setting. Any information shared with the group is up to each person. No one is ever pressured to disclose private concerns.

Why does each group session last 90 minutes?
Discussions get pretty lively when women (and partners) get together to talk about pregnancy & birth! The commitment we make to group participants is that we will start and end ON TIME – so instead of sitting in the waiting room when the office is busy or your midwife is running behind, you will start your visit as soon as you arrive and be learning and interacting the entire time. We have found that once women get to know each other, the time goes by very quickly.

“We participated in group prenatal care when we were pregnant with our daughter, and I
loved the experience. It was great to have people to talk to throughout pregnancy that were
at the same stage as I was and experiencing some of the same things. Especially for first-
time parents, I can’t recommend group prenatal care at WBWC enough!”
Sarah, group prenatal care mom

If you’re interested in participating in Community Prenatal Care, please contact Nancy at or Allison at


By |March 15th, 2017|News|0 Comments

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]

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

Birth Announcements

Welcome, Sweet Babies!

*Eyram Sky Semawu – December 5 – 7 lbs., 10 oz.
*Evangeline JoLee Brown – December 11 – 10 lbs., 3 oz.
Madeline Cecile Smith – January 1 – 9 lbs., 1 oz.
*Gwen Harper Saia – January 4 – 6 lbs., 7 oz.
Amelia Kathleen Dudley – January 4 – 6 lbs, 10 oz.
Morrison Dean Champagne – January 4 – 9 lbs., 6 oz.
Trenton Dean Miller – January 6 – 7 lbs., 12.5 oz.
Isabel Onyx Chicharro-Schoonmaker – January 12- 8 lbs., 5 oz.
Memphis Lee Klingler – January 16 – 9 lbs., 9 oz.
Seth Herndon Jourdan – January 24 – 7 lbs., 12 oz.
*Aiden Archer Bahntge – January 28 – 8 lbs., 5.5 oz.

January stats:
Total babies born: 28
Biggest baby: 10 lbs.
Smallest baby: 6 lbs., 7 oz.

 To be included in this celebratory list, please email Tori at 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 |March 1st, 2017|Birth Announcements|0 Comments

A Story of Strength

By Lindsey B. Bickers Bock

On the fourth day after our daughter was born, my husband and I were struggling. We had a distressingly sleepy, jaundiced baby, and we were concerned that my milk wasn’t coming in after dealing with a retained placenta after her delivery. We were exhausted from someone being up with her 24 hours/day to keep her on the biliblanket that was provided as treatment for her jaundice. We were overwhelmed when a suggestion was made that she might need to go to the hospital if we couldn’t get her feeding and regaining weight better. Thankfully, the midwife on call at the Women’s Birth & Wellness Center suggested that we could at least try an appointment with an LC before heading to the hospital. Then, if we still felt like we needed to go, they could at least facilitate our admission, instead of having to go through the ER.

That afternoon, we spent nearly two hours talking with the LC, learning more about ways to keep a tired baby awake to feed, strategies to maximize the energy our daughter did have, and a game plan until we met again. We walked away with clear written notes about what to do, what to be concerned about, and when to come back again. Over the next ten days, we returned to the Birth Center 5 or 6 times for additional LC visits and weight checks. When our daughter checked in at her birth weight after 15 days and we got the okay to stop an exhausting schedule of pumping and feeding every two hours, we cheered…but only long enough to gear up for outpatient surgery that I had to put off while being pregnant. Again, the LCs were an amazing help, assisting us with putting together a new game plan that would ensure our little one continued to be fed breastmilk on demand around my surgery and follow-up care.

Five weeks after she was born, I was delighted to “graduate” up to the local La Leche League meeting, where I was able to share and troubleshoot more routine challenges of breastfeeding with other mothers, as well as celebrate milestones along our nursing journey. After those difficult early weeks, I knew how valuable the support of others could be in reaching my breastfeeding and parenting goals. I have been exceedingly thankful to have an awesome local evening meeting with lots of other working moms.

Our first breastfed for 20 months, when the upcoming arrival of her sister brought an end to her nursing journey. As we were expecting our second, the staff at the WBWC, our prenatal care group, and my LLL crew were so valuable in helping us think through the things we could do in order to avoid some of the challenges from our first go round.  We weren’t lucky enough to avoid another jaundiced baby, but we were much better prepared, so we got through it much calmer and quicker. Now, twenty-seven months later, we’re nearly to the end of our second breastfeeding journey. I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to breastfeed both girls, and so very thankful to have had such a support team that helped make it possible.

By |March 1st, 2017|Breastfeeding / MILC Moment, Stories of Strength|0 Comments

March 1 is IBCLC Day!

In honor of IBCLC Day, we’re celebrating our wonderful Lactation Consultants! Nancy Albrecht, Ellen Chetwynd, Rebecca Costello, Elley Schopler, and Deborah Adler work tirelessly to make sure every mother has the best available breastfeeding assitance.  Here are some of the ways they’ve helped women navigate the sometimes difficult world of breastfeeding:

We are a few days away from our 6-month nursing anniversary. We would not be here without Ellen. By the time I saw Ellen, my daughter was one month old and the nursing struggles had left me an emotional mess. Ellen was so kind and invested so much time into figuring out what was going on – after a few visits and a tongue tie clip, we have not looked back and breastfeeding became a wonderful, pain-free experience. I treasure my time nursing Zoya, because it helps me connect with her, and I would not have this opportunity if we hadn’t met Ellen. Her attentiveness and thoughtfulness are something I will always remember.” – Haniya Mir 



The wonderful IBCLCs, especially Rebecca since that’s who I saw mostly, always helped to ease my worries. They made me feel like I was doing an awesome job nourishing my baby, as I pushed my way through diet restrictions, constant nursing, pumping at work, and low supply. The best advice I got from Rebecca was that breastfeeding is not all or nothing. That statement helped to normalize how hard breastfeeding was for me at times and made me feel better about having to use donor milk.” – Sarah Jackson 

“Sometimes I worry Rebecca will think I’m a total creep for the amount of praise I give her. I was probably at my most vulnerable after Rowan’s birth when I went to see her. He was born at 31 weeks due to severe pre-eclampsia. Nothing had gone right, or even right-adjacent. We were finally home from the hospital (I was inpatient for three weeks, owan for almost six), and he was really struggling to nurse. He was not transferring much milk and was choking every time he ate. I was falling apart emotionally from the trauma mixed with sleep deprivation from trying to pump, nurse, and bottle feed.

The first thing Rebecca did was give me permission to skip the nursing part during the middle of the night. She spotted the same tongue and lip ties that I had suspected, but been told not to worry about by the NICU. She wrote her “prescriptions” down on pieces of notebook paper for me. Not just ways to change the way we nursed, but ways to slow down the bottles. I believe one note said to make bottles ‘tortuously slow.’

After a few visits and a tongue/lip tie clipping, everything started to fall together. When my insurance refused to cover the visits, she worked so hard to try to fix it. Rowan will be two in April and is still nursing. And I am 100% sure that would not be the case without the WBWC IBCLCs.” –Rhiannon Giles

“I am so thankful to Rebecca! She helped out many times: teaching me new positions, reassuring a new
mom, getting rid of a milk bleb that I couldn’t do myself, and establishing this amazing group for us. Thank you Rebecca!!”  Jenae Delayen

I can’t say enough about the IBCLCs at WBWC. Between my two babies, I’ve seen all of them at least once. My first was a traumatic delivery which resulted in pituitary damage and delayed/insufficient milk supply, and by the time we realized there was a problem, my daughter had lost over a pound and had forgotten how to eat. We sat on Ellen’s couch, often sobbing, at least once or twice a week until Ada was about 12 weeks old. Ellen reassured me that we were doing everything “right,” that it was more important that my baby was fully fed than that her food came completely from me, and that my worth as a mother wasn’t measured in ounces of milk – all of which I desperately needed to hear at the time. We also saw each of the other LCs with my daughter (incidentally, I think she might have been the first birth center client that Rebecca saw! If not THE first, certainly on her first day there), and they were all wonderfully supportive and helped us figure out how to maximize my supply while re-teaching my kiddo how to nurse. I should add that this was at a time when many folks, even lactation specialists, didn’t believe that low supply was real. We got a LOT of inaccurate information from well-meaning supporters of breastfeeding, but the WBWC IBCLCs never questioned that what I was experiencing was real, or that it was devastating. My daughter nursed until she was 28 months old even though I never achieved a full supply (and would have gone longer, but I was pregnant and had to stop her because my pituitary condition precludes nursing while pregnant), and I’m positive that would never have happened without the support we received in the beginning – I didn’t think we’d make it to six weeks at first.

My second is a completely different story, but we’ve received just as much support this time, mostly from Rebecca. Simon was born via a dramatic VBAC, so no trauma or damage this time, but my milk still was delayed (not surprising, given my history). So we had a prenatal appointment with Ellen to make a plan and saw Rebecca on day 3 to assess his latch and transfer – he had lost almost 10% of his body weight, so we began donor milk immediately. It wasn’t enough to prevent a readmission to UNC for jaundice, but he never forgot how to eat, and we realized very early that he was tongue tied. Our weekly visits to Rebecca from the very beginning have gotten our nursing relationship off to the best possible start – he’s got a fantastic latch, we addressed my supply concerns very quickly, got his tongue tie revised, and this baby is a committed and enthusiastic nurser. He has gained four pounds since he was born… and he hasn’t gotten any donor milk in over a month! More sobbing on the couch this time, but now it has been happy tears as we’ve celebrated the completely different path that this journey is taking. Rebecca finally told me this week that it’s silly for me to keep making appointments when the baby is consistently gaining over an ounce per day. It has been a lovely security blanket, but I’m excited to be out on my own, just feeding my baby the way that I’d hoped I’d be able to. The phrase ‘EBF’ is not something I take at all for granted, and again, I’m sure that I wouldn’t be here if not for the support and guidance that I’ve gotten from the amazing MILC IBCLCs.” – Sarah Stokes 

I’m very grateful for the support and care I got from Rebecca and Elley with my son Mason. Since I had had some difficulties with early latching and mastitis with my first baby, we scheduled an early (day 2) lactation visit for Mason. When I arrived, Rebecca immediately noticed that Mason’s color was off; she helped me me positioning and latch then called the midwives in to check on him. Sure enough, his bilirubin levels were super high and we needed a direct admit to UNC. Her acute observation, outside of strictly breastfeeding, got him into the hospital quickly. He was barely under the level at which he would have been put in the NICU for a blood transfusion. On the second day of our stay at UNC, Mason was improving, and I was desperate to get home. Elley came for an LC visit and really listened and validated my distress about being in the hospital and unable to care for my postpartum needs. She suggested we do a weighted feed, which Mason passed with flying colors, so she then helped advocate for me to be able to be discharged that day rather than staying another night. Both Elley and Rebecca’s help with breastfeeding was great, but it was their care and attention to me and Mason’s health as a whole which made an immense difference for us, and I’m extremely grateful.” –Sarah Marsh 

I was an emotional wreck in week 2 postpartum as the result of 1) being on my own for the first time after all guests left and 2) reading very unhelpful not breastfeeding-friendly resources in my panic. Rebecca reassured me and turned my panic completely around! Did the weigh-in before and after feeding and turned out my baby was getting everything she needed, told me to throw out those unhelpful resources, and gave me better things to read instead. Left visit so grateful and 180 degrees different than when I came in. Thank God! And thank you, Rebecca !!!!!!!!” – Nancy

By |March 1st, 2017|Breastfeeding / MILC Moment, Staff Spotlights|0 Comments

Upcoming Events March 2017

Click to view detailed calendar

  • Coping with Motherhood – Thursday, March 2 & 16, 10:30 am-12pm, FREE
  • Babywearing Class – Saturday, March 4, 10am-12pm, FREE
  • Babywearing Dance Class – Every Friday 9:15-10:15am, $10/adult or $40 for 5 classes
  • Breastfeeding Basics – Tuesday, March 7 & 21, 6:30-8:30pm, $30/couple
  • La Leche League Meeting – Wednesday, March 8, 7-8:30pm, FREE 
  • Young Moms Meetup – Thursday, March 9, 4:30-6pm, FREE
  • Breastfeeding Cafe – Friday, March 10 & 24, 10:30am-12pm, FREE
  • Weekend Breastfeeding Cafe – Saturday, March 11, 10:30-12pm, FREE
  • Meet the Doulas – Wednesday, March 15, 7-9pm, FREE
  • Cloth Diapering Class – Saturday, March 18, 10-11:30 am, FREE
  • Choosing Quality Childcare Seminar – Wednesday, March 20, 6:30-7:30 FREE
  • Craniosacral Therapy Clinic – Saturday, March 25, 2-4pm, FREE
  • Express Yourself, Pumping and Breastfeeding Class – Tuesday, March 28, 6:30-8:30pm
By |March 1st, 2017|Events & Workshops, Family Resources|0 Comments

Madeline Cecile’s Birth Story

By Kate Smith

I was 38 weeks exactly. It was New Year’s Eve and my husband, three-year-old daughter, and I were tucked into bed together asleep by 9 PM. I don’t know if it was the normal discomfort of the third trimester or if my body was telling me something, but I was so restless. Then, right before midnight, as my neighbors were setting off fireworks in the street, I felt my water break! I wasn’t having any noticeable contractions, but I was so excited! I tried to rest some more and could not, as I was thinking how fast my first baby girl had come after my water broke and worrying that the second usually comes even faster.

I had seen Belinda at my last appointment, and she had told me that the midwives like to know when things are brewing, so I went ahead and called in at 12:45 AM. I was thinking that I would just let them know and then come in when my contractions started coming closer together. To my surprise, when I called, Emily told me to come in right away since I needed to get the Strep B antibiotics started. We live 45 minutes away without traffic, so she recommended we come in and try to sleep there between rounds of the IV antibiotics. I was not prepared mentally to go in so early, as I had been planning to labor at home as long as possible. My husband, Nathan, and I called my mother to come stay with our daughter, and off we went to the birth center around 2 AM. We were worried about New Year’s Eve partiers on the road, and we did see a few pulled over, but it was an uneventful drive.

When we arrived, we had the whole place to ourselves! It was dark and dreamy in the birth center. We tucked in with the IV antibiotics delivered and tried to nap. Unfortunately, between contractions which were just strong enough to wake me every few minutes, and my excitement over the idea that I would get to see my baby soon, I did not get any more sleep. Also, those mattresses give a new definition to the word firm!

By 8 AM it was shift change, and Asha and Belinda arrived. They would be the team that would help me deliver later that day! My labor continued to be light throughout the morning, and again I found myself questioning why I was there. I was even a little embarrassed that everyone had to be called away from home on a holiday morning just to sit around and watch me barely laboring. Everyone was so helpful suggesting sitting on the ball and leaning on the bed to help me rest even if I couldn’t sleep.

My husband and I drove to get some breakfast around 9 AM, and that is when I realized the contractions were actually getting quite intense – there is nothing like a contraction in a moving car while in the seated position! I was suddenly so thankful that I was not going to have to make the 45 minute drive to the birth center later in my labor!

Once we were back at the birth center, I wanted to walk through the contractions.  We walked around the birth center parking lot, my husband supporting me every few minutes while I bore down through each wave. It was amazingly peaceful and beautiful. The morning was gray and drizzling; a quiet hush fell over us for that time outside. Since it was a Sunday morning, and New Year’s Day, there was no one out and about, and the only cars in the lot belonged to our little group at the birth center.  As we walked and I labored, the birds sang gently to us. At some point during that walk, the contractions were starting to become intense enough that I was losing track of time.

When we came back inside, the contractions were painful enough, but not coming closer together, that I wanted to try an herbal tincture Belinda suggested to help speed things along. Within 30 minutes, I was seeking the shower for comfort and starting to feel very primal! Nathan held the shower head over me as I held on to the rails. He told me how beautiful I was as I rode the waves of the contractions. I have never felt more beautiful in my life as when he told me that, in that way, and I will never forget that moment.

This labor was so different from my first, as with my first the contractions were a very clear wave, with a peak and a fast recovery. This time, the contractions felt very powerful, but I couldn’t discern a clear peak and valley.

After a while Asha, came to suggest we move to the tub, unless I wanted them to catch the baby in the shower. Once in the tub, it was immediate relief from the contractions. I had a blessed break, and then the real work began. Belinda asked if she could check me; based on the sounds I was making everyone thought I must be close. I was very close – fully dilated! I can’t say how long I labored and pushed in the tub, only that I was surrounded by support and strength with my husband, Asha, and Belinda.

Finally, the moment arrived and I could feel my baby’s head. Belinda helped me catch her myself as I delivered in the tub! It was such an awe inspiring event! Finally my little girl, Madeline Cecile, was here in my arms!! Born 1-1-17 at 14:14, 9 pounds, 1 ounce. I delivered her within about 14 hours of my water breaking, and within 7 hours of the contractions starting.

Afterwards, Belinda checked me for tearing, and I did indeed need stitches. I was terrified. My first birth experience had left me traumatized, because they had stitched me up without the local anesthetics working. I was a shaking mess, and Asha held my hand while Belinda talked me through everything. I will forever be grateful for those two getting me through it.

I felt physically weak, but very empowered, and I had my baby girl in my arms! Belinda and Asha and Nathan helped me in ways I cannot completely articulate. I am so grateful for their presence, coaching, and support during this birth experience.

By |March 1st, 2017|Birth Stories|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 
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