Guiding Light

All About Babies, Argyle, Texas, review.

Sometimes those texts “I think I might be in labor!” come at 3 am and I read them through a half opened eye. Other times I am getting my kids to bed when it comes and I dive quickly into my bed for a power nap!

But this time it was as I was just crawling under the covers that the text came, “My water just broke!”

That one gets me moving a little faster! I prepped my bags, got dressed, and settled onto my couch for a quick snooze, and quick it was! “I’m ready for you!” by far my favorite text.

Being on call makes me a little jittery. Because theres the constant what if’s. “What if they call and my babysitter is sick”, or “what if they call and I somehow miss the call”. The list goes on and on. But as soon as they say “come!” I am in full on doula mode. No more what ifs! Just one task to the next.

I had been to All About Babies in Argyle, Texas before as a birth photographer. But this was my first time serving as a doula. And both births were amazing, both births were fast, and both births were nearly pain free!

I love the size of the center, plenty of room to walk around when needed. And each room is nicely decorated without being too fancy. Cozier than a hospital room but not too fancy so you can feel at home. The rooms are plenty big as well with comfortable and soft lighting.

I walked in and my client was being attended to by the midwives and her children were playing and giggling underfoot. All members of the team smiled and made them feel welcome and not like an intrusion. All About Babies has toys that the children played with and enjoyed and a comfy extra bed for them or dad to rest/sleep on.

My client wanted the atmosphere to be light, joyful, and surrounded by her family. The midwives dove right into those expectations. There was no shortage of funny stories and jokes. I watched in awe as mom laughed through active labor contractions, told stories, and even shared some of her own wisdom and story with a woman on the birth team who was expecting her first baby. My client brought gifts for the whole birth team and made us feel special in a moment when it was her time to shine, and it made her shine all the brighter.

At no point was she given a single cervical check, nor was one even offered, to see how far dilated she was or how low baby was. She was listened to and respected by her care providers and given no time limits or expectations on her progression. They trusted her.

And I saw the same look of awe in them as I felt in me. Watching her go through the process and watching her husband truly connect with her and empower her. Watching as she was a mother to her children, getting snacks and giving snuggles through contractions was amazing to say the least. It felt so fluid. Like when did the labor begin and motherhood end? It never did, it was all joined together and interconnected.

She spent most of the labor walking and chatting with her birth team. A few contractions she would breath deeply and place her head on her arms. But other than that you could barely tell he was having them at all. Her midwife Kassidy and the rest of the team at All About Babies encouraged her progress and praised her coping strategy.

Care providers, nurses, and even sometimes doulas can tend to rely a lot on the cervical checks. (Remember that doulas cannot check a cervix but knowing where baby is can help them with suggestions on specific positions) It makes our job easier to know what exactly is happening. It gives us the false idea that we are in any way control over the process.

And looking back I am so curious to know exactly when she went through each stage of labor. In truth many care providers love those cervical checks because without them it can feel like stumbling around in the dark. But I, nor the midwives, at this birth were lost, because we had a guide, the mother. She was our eyes gently leading us where we have, not the right, but the privilege to go. She was a gracious leader.

She told us she felt baby moving lower and was ready for the birth tub. No one doubted her, no one checked her cervix, we just all moved to the tub. Transition to the tub was graceful and amazing. The jokes and funny stories came with us. Her husbands touch, some rain sounds, and the warm water helped with the transitions going on inside her.

After a few minutes in the tub mom looked up and I could see tears in her eyes. She said she was starting to doubt herself. I have seen that transition countless times in pretty much every mom. Moms who have labored for days and that have labored minutes. And moms who have labored with and without epidurals. As baby moves down it triggers a hormone rush and that hormone rush can be very overwhelming.

But I never saw it more clearly before. Because often times that rush comes along with a lot of other feelings and emotions. It often comes with intense pain. But this time I got to see it in its truest form. For a fleeting second I saw the power that sometimes makes moms believe they can’t, but is actually the power that means that they can, wash over her face.

Her husband was ready. He reaffirmed what she already knew, deep down below the hormone rush. Within two contractions she already regained control and within minutes after that her baby was born.

Kassidy helped mom through those first postpartum moments beautifully. The whole staff was so good at doing what needed to be done without interrupting those first few moments. The children who had fallen asleep awoke to the sweet voice of their new sibling.

I was privileged to serve this family at All About Babies. The staff and location are amazing, I can’t wait to go back and share some more laughs, stories, and empowering births.

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