Monday, 7 February 2011

A little late...Ms. Laila

On Halloween night, 2005, I discovered I was pregnant. As this was not a planned pregnancy, I was in shock for at least the next two months. Finally after accepting the drastic change in my life (and finally getting over my "all day" pregnancy sickness) I frequently stated to my boyfriend (of 8 years) Geoff, that I had my birth plan all figured out. It was quite simple really, knock me out with whatever you've got and wake me up when you are putting a clean fresh baby in my arms. Being skeptical of "The Man" at every turn in life, he asked if I would consider a drug free pregnancy for the baby's sake. At this I laughed, Very Loudly! I said the baby would be just fine and that all babies are born that way so don't worry about it. It was my body and in this situation I was going to do what I had to do to get through it.
We were living in Portland, Oregon at the time and were planning to move home a couple months before the baby was born. Geoff was working all the time and I found myself with lots of time on my hands. I went to the public library and checked out every book on pregnancy and childbirth that I could find and started reading. I value education very much and am still shocked over how long it took me to even think of educating myself about the biggest event ever to take place in my life

Day by day of reading my whole view on birth changed. I could not believe how important it was for me not to take drugs, and since I was lucky enough to have an uncomplicated pregnancy, to have my child anywhere but a hospital. I got on the internet and searched for these crazy things called birth centers. There were very few in the whole United States and I was lucky and amazed to find one in my small home town of New Braunfels! I called right away and talked with a woman named Amber Riedel. She instantly make me feel really good about giving birth and how amazing it could actually be. No one so far had made me feel comfortable about anything!! Through a few phone calls I knew that this was how I wanted my child to come into the world and this was who I wanted to bring her there. I had also decided to have a water birth at my mother’s house. Just a small change from drugs and a hospital!

I arrived home at the end of April and met Amber in May. My appointments with her were quite different than my previous prenatal visits. There were comfortable and reassuring. Then on July 11th I woke up in labor. That sure was a crazy day. Amber was good at keeping me calm until I actually needed her. I of course thought “this is it” at least five times. Eventually I was right and Amber and Salli (her assistant) made their way over to my mom’s house. I was lucky my labor was going very quickly. It was of course extremely painful, but Geoff, Amber, and Salli were so helpful. Amber said to reach down and I could feel the top of her head. I wanted to “do it on my own” and was doing well, but at this point Amber had felt her head should have been born so she checked around and discovered that my right hip was askew and I was not being able to push her past my pelvic bone. So what should have been thirty minutes of pushing turned into two hours. Amber tried so many positions in the water that got my leg out of the way but I just could not push productively. She said I had to get out of the water and try squatting. It was hard and it finally got to the point that she wanted to use other than natural means it had been so long. The threat of chemically induced round of contractions helped me push her right out. That and some good old black cohosh, natures pitocin. Once the head was born I was so relieved. From watching my water birth videos I knew the body birthed easily. It was the most amazing thing feeling her body twist and turn out of mine. At 10:24 PM I held my beautiful baby girl on my belly. As she stared up at me so peacefully, surrounded by her family in a warm dimly lit room, I knew that I had brought her into this world in the best way I knew how. We were never separated, she was never stuck with needles, and she was so alert. Geoff and I spent the rest of the night in our own bed with our precious little angel. We called her that for four days until we named her!!! Laila Davan Moon is her name.

I am ever so glad I educated myself. Life is different when you decide to step out of the box. I could not have done this without Amber and Salli. They worked so hard right along with me. I never felt scared. Amber really helped give me confidence when I felt it starting to fail. I was so lucky to have the support and involvement of the most amazing man I know. He was there every step of the way and then some. I am so blessed with this amazing family and Amber Riedel, Thank You for bringing her into this world.


  1. This was a little late because Ms. Laila is now 4 years old and the big sister of Jaden and Maxwell. Nevertheless, oh how I love this family!!

  2. Beautiful Birth Story! Thanks so much for sharing your story of Laila's birth, Jennifer. Now we need to hear Jaden and Maxwell's birth stories!

  3. Well seeing as how I nearly missed Jaden's, it shouldn't be very long!!