Knowing Birth Series: Carmen (3)

knowing birth


Here is the link to the original Knowing Birth post.

There are so many books and studies claiming to know the truth about birth, but what I’ve found in my conversations with mothers and birth professionals are so many unique experiences surrounding each birth. A book or study can’t possibly take into account the actual voices of individuals. So what better way to find out than to simply ask.

That led me to what I call Knowing Birth interviews. I have come up with a handful of questions that, moms, dads and care providers will answer. I’ll then take their answers and put them directly on this blog.

The only requirement is honesty and openness, and maybe a few pictures too. If you would like to share your experience and answers to the following questions, please email me at and I will get the questionnaire to you directly. Anyone can participate and there’s no judgment from me about your answers. I promise to keep a close eye on the comments and keep ‘em clean.


Carmen Adams and her lovely family, husband Keith and baby Riley Keith.

Born:  May 12, 2012 at 9:02PM at The Baby Place (now New Beginnings Birth Center) 6 lb. 9 oz. 21 ½ in.

Labor was just over 30 hours.  You can read my labor story at:


Where did you choose to have your birth and why? What are your feelings about that choice now?

I received all my prenatal care and delivered my son at The Baby Place, now known as New Beginnings Birth Center.  I chose this location because I wanted an all natural birth and a calm environment for my son to be born in.

I look back at my decision with nothing but pure joy in knowing I 100% made the right decision.  I will be eternally gratefully for the women that gave me the secure and nurturing experience I was looking for.

How did you prepare for your birth?

I took in as much information as I possibly could!  I read dozens of books, my favorites were Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Birthing From Within.  I read hundreds of women’s stories about their own labors.  My husband and I took Kyndal May’s Confident Birthing class (the best thing we did).  I also hired a doula to be there with us during labor.  I recommend this for all first time mothers.

Who was invited and present at your birth?

Other than the midwives it was only my husband and our doula.

If it was not your first birth, please compare/contrast your experiences.


What qualifications do you look for in a midwife/OB/primary care provider?

Trust is the most important to me.  I am putting mine and my unborn child’s life in their hands.  I also want someone that I feel completely comfortable with.  Someone that understands my needs, supports my decisions and encourages me during the natural labor process.

What is your ideal relationship with a birth attendant?

A very easy relationship that comes naturally.  I want to feel comfortable asking any question I have without fear of being judged.  Someone that is a knowledgeable provider but also someone that truly cares about me and my baby.

If you have received maternity care from both the medical and midwifery models of care, what are the biggest differences? Pros/cons of each?


Did you feel adequately informed of your options?

Honestly, no.  There were lots of rumors and untrue stories being told about my birth center just a couple months before my birth.  I started to doubt my decision.  The birthing center addressed all my questions and concerns and it was then I realized I was making the right decision to birth my baby at their center.  It saddens me that some mothers may have turned down this facility because of the false accusations they heard.  I believe all birthing facilities should have to provide their statistics, including hospitals.  I without a doubt believe more mothers would start delivering out of hospital.

Describe your ideal birth environment at this point in time.

New Beginnings Birth Center.  I fully support women that birth at home.  Personally for me I like the change of space when labor picks up pace.  I absolutely loved the environment at the birth center.  It was calm and peaceful and felt like being at home but everything is taken care of by them.  To me it was like a “care center”.

How do you feel about the safety of birth in a hospital vs outside of a hospital?

Without a doubt I received the most personal, safest care available.  I know many people argue that at a hospital you are where you need to be in case of an emergency.  But they also fail to realize all the medication and interventions that the mother and baby are being subjected to.  Midwives are trained to identify when labor is becoming a medical emergency and can get you to a hospital if needed.  I feel labor is rarely a medical emergency.  I also believe if I had delivered at a hospital I would have had a c-section.  My son did not need a c-section, he just needed time.  Thanks to my patient midwives he had that.

Is there anything you would change about public policy relating to birth/maternity care? Why/how?

I think midwives and birth centers need to be praised and encouraged.  Midwives, birth centers and home births are vastly more cost effective than a hospital birth.  Insurance companies could save thousands of dollars if they would contract with these providers.  Our insurance did not pay a dime for our birth and I think it is ridiculous.  More importantly I think babies born without all the medication during labor will lead to a healthier future.

What do you feel were the most influential factors surrounding your birth? Why?

Personally I have wanted a natural birth since I was in high school.  I watched a movie of a mother giving birth in health class and my teacher told me “The epidural is the greatest invention!” I thought “Mothers have been giving birth for hundreds of years without an epidural.  Why do I need one?”  Many years later, when I started to consider getting pregnant, I watched “The Business of Being Born” and knew if I wanted to have a natural labor the hospital was not the place for me.  My husband had numerous people in his family deliver at New Beginnings and they all cherished their experience.  It was through them and my determination to have a natural birth that I chose a birth center.

Who owns birth?

The mother and her baby.  Every mother has a right to have the birth experience she wants.  She should be able to birth in her own space, style and time.  Whatever that is.  Her body automatically does what it needs to do.  But ultimately it is the baby.  Babies come when they are ready.  They know what to do and they take the time needed to get here.  I had a 30 hour natural labor and my son was born at the exact moment he was supposed to. He needed extra time to turn and that was why my water didn’t break and why labor took so long.  If you let birth be, it will happen all the same.



Email me at and I’ll send you the questionnaire directly. There are no requirements, only that you have a voice about birth and want to share it openly and honestly.


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