How did you hear about the birth center and what made you decide to consider giving birth there?

I knew that I did not want to give birth in a hospital setting, but I didn’t start looking at my options until after I was pregnant. I discovered the Wichita Falls Birth an Wellness Center through online searches. I honestly did not think I would find what I was looking for in Wichita Falls and was thrilled to find it!

Did you have any concerns about giving birth in a birth center? What were they (if so) or why not (if not)?

The only concern I had about being in a birth center was the distance to a hospital if something happened.

If you had concerns how did you overcome them?

Visiting the birth center for the first time I realized it was just blocks from United Regional. Lenora also went over the protocol for what would happen if I needed to be transferred, and told me how they have done a test run to see how long it would take.

Was your husband/spouse/partner on board? What about extended family members or friends?

My husband and family were 100% on board. My husband knew that it was always what I wanted for my birth experience so he was not surprised. My family was a little shocked at first, but never tried to talk me out of it and were very supportive.

How did you know you were in labor?

I had been having contractions on and off for a couple of days but the night before my daughter was born they moved more into my back and started coming at regular intervals. By about 10:30 pm they were about 7 minutes apart and we called (or maybe texted, I cannot remember which) Lenora to let her know.

How did you know it was time to get to the birth center?

Around 2:30 am my contractions were starting to hurt and were occurring every 5 minutes. We called Lenora and she had me come in so she could see how I was progressing. I was only around 5 cm dilated so she gave me the option to go home and labor there a little longer or to stay, I decided to stay.

Tells us how your birth went-did you use water, nitrous, movement, a doula, etc.? How did you cope?

I used the birthing tub and labored in bed, in the Martha Suite. My husband was supposed to be my support, but the poor guy froze up from the shock of it all. Thankfully when Wendy got there she stepped in and supported me. My mom was also supposed to be there but she lived in Austin and didn’t get there in time. I had white noise playing as well that really helped me relax.

What was the best part of your birth, aside from meeting your baby?

The compassion and support. Wendy and Lenora were there for me and the baby 100%. Lenora was there from beginning to end. When Wendy got there she stepped in (even though it was around 6 am) she made sure I was as comfortable as I could be. I will always be grateful to both of them for giving me an incredible birthing experience.

What was the most challenging part?

I needed penicillin and we discovered I am allergic! I ended up having a reaction, but thankfully Lenora had Benadryl and was able to get it under control. It made me a little groggy. However it also encouraged me to get through the last moments, she told me it was almost time for another dose and my daughter arrived a few minutes later!

How did you feel about going home so soon after the birth?

I loved being able to recover in my own bed. It was also nice to have visitors come to my house, where I could easily slip into another room if I needed privacy, instead of to a room where I would have to ask people to leave.

Did Lenora come all the way to your house for a home visit? What did you think about that?

Lenora did come to my house and I really liked not having to get out of the house when I still did not feel 100%. It was also nice to not get the baby out.

Are there any parts of your story with us you’d like to share? Anything funny, heartwarming, or even something that was hard but you overcame it?

I wanted to give birth in the Martha Suite for two reasons, one being that I wanted a water birth. The other was that my grandmother’s name was Martha Jayne and she had passed away in 2015. My daughter is named Jayne after her and it made it feel like she was there. That meant the world to me, and meant a lot to my family who miss her as well. This isn’t related to my birth experience- but something that is unique is that my experience with Lenora did not end once my daughter was here. We are now Facebook friends and she is still interested in how Jayne and I are doing.

Story submitted by: Jenna