By Jessica Morgan It was a dark and stormy night…well, it was a dark night anyway. I had gone downstairs to sleep on the couch, because that was where I was most comfortable for most of my pregnancy. I woke up at 2:30 AM with a pain in my abdomen. At this point in the pregnancy, if Ella kicked while I had a full bladder, I experienced a similar pain, so I simply got up and used the bathroom. Meanwhile, I had another pain…and then another, and I knew it was labor. Once again, my labor started with contractions five minutes apart and, after two babies, I have never had any issue differentiating between Braxton Hicks and true contractions since they are so different (at least for me). After an hour of timing my contractions, I called the birth center. Due to my long drive and previous history (me arriving in labor with my oldest, Judah, and him being born 4 hours later) the midwife on call gave me the green light to go ahead and come in. By this time it was close to 4:30 AM. I called my parents so that they could come to the house and be with Judah, and then I went to wake up my husband, Josh. If you’ve never had the pleasure of waking someone out of a deep sleep to tell them you’re in labor, it’s quite comical. This is how it went: Me, walking into the bedroom fully dressed and showered: “I’m sorry honey, but it’s time.” Josh, sleepily turning over: “What? Are you having contractions?” Me: “Um, yes.” Josh: “Did you call the birth center?” “Yes.” “Do they want you to come in?” “Yes.” (This would, in fact, be the reason I am waking you up) “Have you called your parents? Do I have time to take a shower? Do you need a shower?” “Please go take a shower, honey, I need you to be a little more with it before you get behind the wheel.” We made the uneventful drive to Chapel Hill, and this time around it was much easier since I hadn’t waited until I was in transition to start the trip. Although we did still have to stop at Sheetz so I could pee (and Josh could get coffee). By the time we arrived at the birth center and got checked in, around 7 AM, my … Read More
Welcome to the world, sweet babies! Ava Shiloh Braxton – June 1 – 7 lbs., 15 oz. *Lukas Charles Keiger – June 2 – 7 lbs., 1 oz. *Owen Matthew Surratt – June 4 – 7 lbs., 9 oz. Luca Sage Fink – June 5 – 7 lbs., 6 oz. Baby Girl Schonberg – June 9 – 7 lbs., 9 oz. Scott Michael Burton – June 10 – 7 lbs., 5 oz. Wren Eliza Galeazzi – June 11 – 7 lbs., 2 oz. Cassidy Elizabeth Wiggs – June 12 – 7 lbs., 12 oz. Wesley Logan Merrill – June 20 – 8 lbs., 11 oz. Oswell Antone Cowles – June 20 – 6 lbs., 2 oz. Mason Emanuel McFarlance – June 21 – 6 lbs., 8.5 oz. *Conrad James Farris – June 23 – 7 lbs., 11 oz. *William Hull Ribbens – June 25 – 8 lbs., 14 oz. *Noah Thomas Palcic – June 30 – 9 lbs., 4.5 oz. June stats: Total babies born: 31 Biggest baby: 9 lbs., 4.5 oz. Smallest baby: 6 lbs, 2 oz. To be included in this celebratory list, please email Missy at firstname.lastname@example.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! Also, if you have a printed birth announcement to share, we’d love to have a copy to add to our bulletin board in the clinic!
By Allison Koch, CNM How much do you know about the life transition we call Menopause? Menopause is what is known as a retrospective diagnosis. That means that women are defined as “in menopause” or “menopausal” when they have had no period for a full year. Women may go 10 or 11 months without a period, then have a period. We call that “peri-menopausal.” Once women have achieved Menopause, they are considered Post-Menopausal. In the USA, the average age of menopause is 51. Despite women’s shorter lifespan throughout history, age 51 has remained the average age of menopause for the past 300 years. Most women will experience some symptoms that make them aware that their bodies are changing, but few women that I have seen in my practice are aware that there are nearly 100 symptoms that may coincide with the menopausal transition. The hormones involved in the changes of menopause are likely to be estrogens and progesterone, but also could be DHEA, testosterone, or an imbalance in another body system brought on by changing hormones. Hormones are natural chemicals present in our bodies that interact with each other or with our cells and organs. Hormones exist primarily to regulate processes and keep our body in homeostasis, a state of natural balance. Menopause is a process, frequently taking 10 years or more, designed to change our bodies and prepare us for a lifetime beyond the fertile years! In perimenopause, most women experience some of the same hormonal symptoms that heralded menarche. Anxiety, emotionality, irregular periods are all normal in young girls approaching puberty. Worsening PMS is often the first symptom noted as we enter the perimenopausal period. Although our youth-oriented culture doesn’t generally approach the Elder “rites of passage” with as much anticipation as other milestones, there is still cause for celebration (raise a glass of red wine!). Beginning in September, the main focus of my practice at Women’s Birth & Wellness Center will be peri-menopause and menopausal care. I am here to guide and support you through the menopausal transition. I want to optimize your experience, your health and your adjustment to the power of a new way of life. Together we will explore the process and your options for managing challenges. Our mission: Your Life. Your Health. Our Commitment. Beginning in September, I will be hosting a recurring 2-part workshop titled, … Read More
Emily Moody, RN has recently joined the WBWC staff as a full-time labor and delivery nurse.Emily grew up in Lexington, North Carolina. She graduated with her nursing degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007. She started as a medical-surgical nurse, but always knew that supporting and empowering women in labor was her passion. It was the midwifery delivery of her first child that directed her to move towards women’s health where she has worked in the mother/baby and special care nursery settings. She traces her fascination with pregnancy and her appreciation for the sacredness surrounding a woman in labor back to various opportunities as a child to see animals go through the beautiful, natural process of birth. She considers it a privilege and dream to provide sensitive, informed, individualized support to women during the laboring process. Emily lives in Durham with her husband and 2 kids. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family, being outdoors, live bluegrass, good conversations, and volunteering with the local refugee community.
WBWC is excited to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2017! In keeping with this year’s theme of “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together”, we will be holding an extra, and extra-special, breastfeeding café on the morning of Friday August 4th from 10:30a-12p. If you can, please join us for for treats, activities, and fun! If you can’t, keep an eye out on our Facebook page – we will be posting questions and links all week to hear your stories of how breastfeeding is supported by your community.
by Claire Caprioli How many times have you read parenting advice and thought: “Pshht. Yeah, right. Like THAT would work on MY kid!” Me too. Ironic coming from a writer of parenting articles, eh? Nothing works all the time or on all kids. And, often times, the writer adds a disclaimer about you knowing your child best (thanks for the affirmation, stranger!) So, here are some parenting tips that didn’t work for me (plus one tip that threw me into a fury.) Tip 1: When the baby is resting, you rest. This tip is ubiquitous and excellent advice. For the first kid. This may be obvious, but I rarely ever read any acknowledgement of that fact. It didn’t matter too much, since my darling first child was a terrible napper who would frequently be awake for 14 hours, with only a 15 to 60-minute nap all day. Also, she had colic. Also, she gave up napping entirely by the age of 2. When my son came along before she turned 3, he nursed 8 times a night, every night for the first month, and she would race into my room full of vim and vigor by 6:30 every morning. The only napping I did was when I visited my parents (thankfully nearby!) and fell asleep in the guestroom while they played with the kids. Tip 2: Plant a garden in order to get your kids to eat veggies. What gets me about these articles is the certainty with which the writer asserts that a kid can’t resist eating a crop she has grown herself. My husband plants a significant garden every year. My youngest daughter will happily sow carrot seeds with her father and later joyfully harvest them. My eldest son willingly weeds and pinches tomato hornworms into oblivion. A lot is gained from these childhood experiences (quality time, learning how plants grow, self-sufficiency, fresh air, etc.) But…my daughter has no interest in eating carrots and my son will not eat tomatoes. Tip 3: Delegate responsibilities. This is also good if you can do it. You know, without having to explain at great length how to do everything. Without chipping your teeth when you can’t find a single thing in your kitchen the next day. Without biting your tongue when someone vacuums for you and there are dust bunnies the size of tumbleweeds skittering across the floor while you nurse … Read More
Breastfeeding Basics – Tuesday, August 1 & 15, 6:30-8:30 PM, $30/couple Coping with Motherhood – Thursday, August 3 & 17, 10:30 AM-12 PM, FREE Babywearing Class – Saturday, August 5, 10 AM-12 PM, FREE Meet the Doulas of Triangle Doula Collective – Saturday, August 12, 2-3 PM La Leche League Meeting – Wednesday, August 9, 7-8:30 PM, FREE Breastfeeding Cafe – Friday, August 11 & 25, 10:30 AM-12 PM, FREE Weekend Breastfeeding Cafe – Saturday, August 12, 10:30 AM-12 PM, FREE Cloth Diapering Class – Saturday, August 19, 10-11:30 AM, FREE Meet the Doulas of Piedmont Community Doulas – Wednesday, August 16, 7-9 PM, FREE Craniosacral Therapy Clinic – Saturday, August 26, 2-4 PM, FREE Express Yourself, Pumping and Breastfeeding Class – Tuesday, August 22, 6:30-8:30 PM, $30/couple Car Seat Safety Class and Installation Checks – Wednesday, August 30, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, $10, preregistration required
By Holly Lindsay-Miller It was a Wednesday, late December, 2009. I was perusing WBWC’s website, reading the short bios of all the midwives. I didn’t know who was going to be at my second birth. The baby always chooses and so I was fine with whomever. As my eyes scrolled, I stopped on Sarah Akers (now Dumas) and read that she had attended nursing school at the University of Cincinnati, where I had gone to college. She graduated the same time I did. And so, it was meant to be. That’s my midwife, I thought. A couple hours later, reading in bed with my toddler asleep next to me and a pillow in between my legs, my water broke. I cried quietly. This was forever going to change the relationship I had with my first born. I knew it and she didn’t, laying there next to me precious and unassuming, a sleeping child. I phoned the midwife on-call and it was SARAH! “Head’s up, I just gushed some water outta me AND OH MY GOSH, SARAH, WE WENT TO THE SAME SCHOOL!” If you know Sarah she had a steady, comforting reaction, though I’m not certain she was as excited about our alma mater as I. She thought I’d be in later that night as this was my second pregnancy and the first was a steady, easy 12 hours. Ah, but don’t these kids have a mind of their own from the get-go? I was not doing much in regards to laboring. So I slept. We all slept. Next morning, New Year’s Eve, a Thursday, still nothing to write home about, though as the day progressed so did my contractions. The doula came, the toddler went to the neighbor’s house, all of us on standby. I took a nap. I awoke and hello there! Contractions. Steady, ready, and let’s get ourselves to the Birth Center because you just know when it’s time. The night was ridiculously gloomy, foggy, and quiet for a typically rowdy holiday. I could barely walk in the building, hunched and moaning, unable to talk. That’s when you know you’re not going to get sent back home, because contracting in a car is as close to hell as you’ll get in this lifetime and the last thing I wanted was to be sent back home. Sarah was there waiting. (Today I think about how being on call two … Read More
This summer Clinical Midwifery Director Sarah Dumas celebrates 10 years at Women’s Birth & Wellness Center. A second-generation midwife, Sarah joined WBWC in 2007 after completing her Master’s Degree at the University of New Mexico’s nurse midwifery program. “I met Maureen at a midwifery convention and we hit it off,” said Sarah Dumas, CNM. “I loved the idea of a birth center outside of a hospital. The only time I had seen it was my cousin’s birth at birth center.” Sarah grew up in an army family living in Germany, Kentucky and Washington, D.C. She met her husband Jed through birth – she caught his aunt’s baby. They now have an 18-month-old son. “I’m not sure Sarah realizes how much strength and confidence, as well as compassion and softness she exudes, and I’m always so amazed and in awe of it,” said Mariah Velazquez, CNM at WBWC. “You can see in every part of her that she truly cares about her patients, her fellow midwives, the students she works with, as well as herself as a midwife, woman. She has been involved with so many aspects of my growing as a student midwife and as a midwife and I appreciate it immensely. I feel like I have learned so much from her and have so much more that I am yet to learn from her.” Sarah embodies the meaning of midwife, which means “with woman.” “Sarah caught my 10lb 5oz stubborn and posterior son. I never once felt like I was alone through my long, intense labor,” said Ariel Walker, WBWC mom. “I wish every woman could have a midwife like Sarah.” At WBWC we value family-centered birth and Sarah has helped many patients and their families feel supported through pregnancy and childbirth. “Sarah was reassuring and calm, but her experience and knowledge made us all feel protected and safe during this process,” said Laura Ratcliffe Walker, grandmother of a WBWC baby. “She is the epitome of a quiet, caring professional. Sarah’s expertise made our grandson’s entry safe and loving.” Sarah’s strong, comforting presence is a gift to all mothers at WBWC. “I’ll never forget Sarah’s reassuring touch and graceful, calm presence throughout my first labor,” said Shannon Ritchie, WBWC mom. “During those ‘oh my, I don’t know if I can do this’ moments all it took was looking at Sarah and I knew I could and was in capable hands.” … Read More
By Deja Nicole I’ve always wanted to be a mother. When I reached my twenties, it became something that I put in the back of my mind in order to achieve my academic goals as well as finding a career. Now approaching thirty, I started to question whether I would conceive sooner than later. In June of 2016, after noticing some unusual weight gain, I found out that we were pregnant. Although it took both my partner and me by surprise, it was a moment we both celebrated immediately. My thoughts swirled. What would we name him or her? Am I ready to be a mom? Would I want a girl or a boy? We contemplated what our new life would be like with a sweet addition to the love we already had. One thing was for sure, I wanted a completely natural birth. I have always been uncomfortable with the idea of epidurals and hospitals never feel welcoming. I wanted this new soul to arrive in the world as peacefully and calmly as possible. I wanted an atmosphere of love and positivity, not continuous prodding and beeping. Women’s Birth & Wellness Center offered us that and more. Time started to fly by. Month after month we would watch our baby grow in my belly and before we knew it, February had come and we were expecting a little girl. I had a few Braxton Hicks during due date week but nothing to shout from the rooftops. As the day approached I became more and more anxious. 40 weeks came and went and although dad was patient, I was starting to feel tired and nervous. Four days past baby’s due date I was ready to try anything I could to get this show on the road. My partner Jamar and I decided to get up that morning and take a walk around the lake hoping it would get something going. After our walk we stopped for breakfast before returning home. Jamar was going to work that day so I planned on doing some work at home. As soon as he left for work, I started to feel strange. Soon after I felt the first wave that labor had begun. From that point everything happened so fast. Within the hour my contraction went from every eleven minutes to every six. I knew it was time to go. I first called my doula … Read More
Crust: 1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed 1/4 cup wheat germ 1/3 cup coconut oil (can substitute butter) 1/4 cup sugar Filling: 1/4 cup pure maple syrup 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (reduced-fat optional) 5 cups of sliced strawberries (reserving 1 cup, can substitute or mix with other in-season berries) Juice of 1/2 lemon 1/4 cup sugar 2 tblspns cornstarch mixed with 2 tblspns water Mix the crust ingredients with a fork in a large bowl (or pulse in cuisinart). Pat crust down into a pie plate. Blend the maple syrup and cream cheese until smooth and pour over the crust. Chill for about an hour in the fridge while preparing strawberries. Reserve about a cup of the sliced strawberries, and place remaining 4 cups into a pot with the lemon juice and sugar. Cook on med or med-low for about 10 minutes and bring to boil. Quickly mix in the water-cornstarch mix until it thickens. Take the pot off the stove and cool to room temperature. Spread the reserved cup of uncooked fresh strawberries on top of the cream cheese and then pour the cooked strawberry mix on top. Chill at least an hour (can be made a day ahead of serving.) Serve with whipped cream. Recipe courtesy of Claire Caprioli