Note from Beth: Pamela’s primary care was provided for her by Mercy Eizenga, our student midwife. Some clients choose to use a student midwife for their care for a discounted rate. This saves the client some money and also gives our students the experience of being primary care providers. Students are always fully supervised by a licensed midwife at Gentle Beginnings.
My name is Alyssa Rae Bryant. My Mommy and Daddy found out that they were pregnant with me on October 10, 2005. They immediately called all our family and friends to tell them the good news. They started discussing their options. My Mommy had always wondered about using a midwife. She knew she did not want an epidural and definitely did not want a cesarean section unless it was absolutely necessary.
They started doing research and my Mommy found the website for Gentle Beginnings in Corpus Christi. She knew right away that God had led her to that website and Gentle Beginnings would help her bring me into this world. My Mommy called as soon as possible to make an appointment to interview the midwives that worked at Gentle Beginnings.
When they went to the interview my Daddy was able to meet them and ask some questions about how midwifery worked. He then knew that hiring them to deliver me was the right thing to do. They then made our first appointment for the next week which is when they found out that I was due to make my grand entrance on June 11, 2006.
We were able to get to know Beth and Mercy very well over the next nine months. Beth is the owner of Gentle Beginnings and Mercy is the student midwife, Beth also has a daughter named Jessica who is also a midwife for Gentle Beginnings. We were not able to get to know Jessica as well since our appointments were normally on her day off.
On March 23, 2006 my Mommy had an appointment with Precious Insights to have a 3D ultrasound. My Daddy and grandma went with my Mommy to the appointment. They said it was a neat experience and they found out at that time that I was a girl. At my Mommy’s 28 week appointment they had to check Mommy’s iron level which they found was at an 8 when it needed to be over a 10 to safely deliver me.
The midwives told my Mommy if she didn’t get it up over a 10 she would probably have to go to the hospital and might have to have blood transfusion if she bled too much. My Mommy told a prayer warrior from our church, Miss Denise, about what happened. She said she was praying for Mommy to get it up to normal and that delivering me would be the easiest thing my Mommy had ever done. Miss Denise came in every week [to Mommy’s work] to check on how Mommy was doing.
At Mommy’s 37 week appointment they checked her iron again and she had gotten it up to a 10.1. My Mommy was so excited that she started taking Labor Prep which is a combination of herbs to help prepare a woman’s body for labor. At our 38 week appointment her iron dropped back down to a 9. My parents were very confused because she hadn’t changed anything. Then my Mommy started doing research on iron and she found that black and blue cohosh keeps the body from absorbing iron correctly. Black and blue cohosh just happened to be the first two ingredients in the Labor Prep. So she quit taking it.
My Mommy had a dream that Sunday night that her iron count was going to be 10.3 and when we went to our 39 week appointment on Tuesday that is exactly what it was. We were all very excited and thankful for all the prayers and God’s healing power to allow me to make a safe entrance into this world.
On Friday morning June 9, 2006 my Mommy woke up with a strange feeling and she knew I was coming soon. My grandma called her not five minutes later asking her how she was doing because she couldn’t sleep all night. Grandma also could tell that I would be here before the end of the weekend. Well my Mommy and Daddy decided to go to work as normal. Then my Mommy started having contractions and they sent us home.
My Mommy immediately started nesting and making sure the house was ready for my big arrival. She called Mercy to let her know what was going on and she came right over to check on us. Mercy said we were both doing great and to get as much rest as possible now because as soon as I was born she was gong to need it. My Mommy took Mercy’s advice and went to bed although she did not sleep very well with the contractions coming and going. But she knew it was nothing to get alarmed over just yet because they were not regular.
Saturday morning my Mommy woke up and continued to clean the house. She then realized they needed a couple more supplies to be ready for the birth. So they went to Wal-Mart to purchase a few last minute items. They then went to the restaurant to eat lunch and all the employees were mad at my Mommy for not being at home resting.
That night the family wanted to go out to eat at Los Cornales in Rockport but they were worried about us going. So my Mommy called Mercy and she told her to go and have a good time. If we had any problems, Mercy lived 4 blocks away. While we were eating, my Aunt Tammy kept telling me that I needed to come out because she was ready to meet me. But I wasn’t coming out until I was good and ready.
After dinner my Mommy and Daddy went outside and made 3 laps around the restaurant. On the third lap two women were walking to their car and stopped and asked my Mommy when she was due. They laughed when Mommy said tomorrow. They told her they understood what she was going through. On the way home my Mommy called Mercy to let her know that everything went good. Mercy told her she would meet my Mommy at the house to check on us before we went to bed.
When we got home my Aunt Tammy took my Mommy for a walk down the street to see if more walking would help get me here quicker. They were walking back towards the house when they saw Mercy pull into the driveway. So they decide they had better hurry up and get back to the house. Mercy checked us and my Mommy had dilated to about four centimeters and I had dropped to a little more. Mercy said we were still going great.
As soon as Mercy left, my Mommy went to bed and slept even worse than the night before because the contractions were becoming more intense. My Mommy woke up at about five in the morning because she wasn’t really getting any sleep. She timed her contractions and found that they were coming every five minutes. She decided not to wake anyone up though just in case she was in labor all night long. She figured there was no reason for everyone to be exhausted. My Mommy then went to take a bath and she found that the hot water relieved a lot of pressure and really helped with the contractions.
After her bath she went outside to get some fresh air. She was sitting in a plastic lawn chair rocking from side to side when my grandpa came out and asked her how she was doing. She sighed a little and answered him saying that she had better days. He laughed and said it was going to be over soon and he was heading to work.
At about 8:00am Mommy decided to wake up my Daddy and let him know she was now experiencing active labor. She then called to tell Mercy that her contractions were about five minutes apart and growing in intensity. Mercy arrived at the house to find my Mommy soaking in the bathtub. Next Mommy got out so Mercy could check her. Beth showed up right after that and they told my Mommy that she was dilated a little over a four centimeters and she was 90% effaced.
Beth said that she still had a while to go. One of the ways they could tell was because my Mommy was still in a really good mood. Beth left to pick up Jessica and said they would be waiting by the phone. Mercy also left to give my Mommy and Daddy some special bonding time. At about 4:00pm my Mommy was once again in the bathtub when she told my Daddy to call Mercy again. Mercy laughed when it was my Daddy calling instead of my Mommy and told him that was a good sign that we were getting closer. Mercy arrived at the house about 30 minutes later. She found my Mommy in the bathtub again.
When Beth and Jessica got there Mercy told them that she thought my Mommy was going to give birth to me in the bathtub. My Daddy went into the bathroom to keep my Mommy company and let her know that my Uncle Roger, Aunt Misty, Grandpa and Grandma were outside cutting down trees.
My Mommy decided that the water was no longer helping with the contractions and she looked up at my Daddy and told him “I am SO not doing this again and are SO adopting next time.” My Mommy got out of the bathtub and went into the bedroom where she found Mercy getting everything ready for my birth. My Mommy looked at Mercy and told her “Mercy I want the drugs.” Mercy laughed and asked her “Do you really want to go to the hospital, they are going to stick a needle this big in your back?” as she held her hands about six inches apart. She knew my Mommy is very afraid of needles. My Mommy sighed and replied “No, but it hurts Mercy. It really, really hurts.”
Mercy checked my Mommy and told her she was dilated to an eight and she was in transition stage which means the contractions were incredibly intense and there was no break between them. It was only 20 minutes later when my Mommy told them that she felt like she needed to push. So Mercy checked her again to find that Mommy was fully dilated. Jessica had brought her 3 month old baby boy Ethan with her. Beth went and handed him to my grandma and asked her to watch him because we were about to have a baby.
My Mommy got on the bed on all fours and laid her head down on the pillow to help relieve some of the back pain. About that time Beth came back into the room and said that my Uncle Rodger was cleaning out the gutters. She had asked him to do her house next. He told Beth that they were trying to make as much noise as possible so they couldn’t hear anything that was happening in the house.
My Mommy started pushing and that’s when she decided that she could no longer keep quiet through the pain. Beth told my Mommy that I was not making enough progress in the position she was in so they rolled her over and made her sit on a telephone book and grab her ankles. They checked my heartbeat about every five minutes. Every time my Mommy became more excited because they were moving the Doppler lower and lower to find it each time.
Beth said that I was coming down quicker with my Mommy on all fours. So my Mommy rolled back over. Beth then went and got the birth stool, set it up and told my Mommy to sit on the birth stool. As my Mommy was getting off the bed she almost fell in the trash can that was right beside the bed. At some point during this, my Uncle Roger asked my Aunt Misty to get him a hammer out of the covered patio. As Aunt Misty was going back outside, she heard my Mommy screaming. Beth, Mercy and Jessica said Mommy was only making normal labor noises.
But Aunt Misty handed my Uncle Roger the hammer and told him if he needed anything else it had better be in the truck. She wasn’t going back in there again. Jessica kept telling my Mommy that once she got the head out, it would relieve most of the pressure and be easy after that. My Mommy thought she was crazy but she found out that Jessica knew what she was talking about. I was born June 11, 2006 at 7:30 pm weighing 7 lbs 5 oz and measuring 18 ¾” long.
After I was born they discovered a double knot in my umbilical cord. I believe God must have a very important plan for my life since there was no stopping me from entering this world. My Mommy’s midwives stayed with us for a little over an hour after I was born to make sure were both perfectly healthy. My Uncle Brian and Aunt Tammy came over as soon as they found out I was here to meet me and bring my Mommy a Quarterpounder with cheese from McDonald’s.
My Mommy says that she was very thankful for the wonderful women at Gentle Beginnings. They are an awesome team and my Mommy wouldn’t want to deliver a baby any other way.