"Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine.
The Creator is not a careless mechanic...think positively about your body."
-Ina May Gaskin

Lesley

Ryden Family

As I write this, my biggest hope is that someone would know with their first baby what I had to learn with my fourth... That they would get to experience the beauty and power of birth without the risks and complications I was unnecessarily put through. It is my even greater desire that if someone has had painful, damaging, or unfulfilling birth experiences that my story would give them hope! There is another way and you can do it!

My oldest daughter was born in a hospital with an epidural. I was in labor for 27 hours, pushed for over two, and delivered my 8 lb.13 oz. baby with the help of forceps. All I heard after the delivery was how BIG she was. 13 months later I was given very little choice in being induced with my second baby because the doctor was worried my son would get even BIGGER if we let him go full term. When his heart rate did not respond well to the pitocin induced contractions I was rushed in for an emergency c-section where my 8 lb. 10 oz. baby boy was delivered. A few years later I didn't realize I had any choice but to schedule another c-section with my third baby. It felt so strange to just check into the hospital for surgery and leave with a baby. At 8 lb. 6 oz. she was my smallest. My husband and I thought we were finished having children and my body certainly needed to heal from three very invasive and traumatic births.

When we found out we were expecting our fourth child I had so many conflicting emotions. I was excited about a new baby but simply dreading the doctors visits and eminent c-section and recovery. I felt invisible as I went in for my first prenatal visit. I basically set up a payment plan and scheduled a surgery. There was very little talk about me or the baby!!! Nothing sat well with me about any of it. I saw my doctor up until my 20th week and then I saw a documentary called, "The Business of Being Born." So much of what I learned watching it confirmed all that I was feeling. There were so many statistics about the amount of inductions that lead to c-sections, about the skyrocketing c-section rate in America, and about wide acceptance and use of midwives in other countries. I couldn't get it out of my head!

As I began the dialogue with my husband about looking into The Birth Center I was met with much resistance. He didn't think it was a viable option for me after two c-sections. I honestly didn't know if it was or not. When I called Shanna at The Birth Center she invited my husband and I to come in and discuss the possibilities. The home like environment immediately put my skeptical husband at ease as did her continual reassurance that a healthy mom and baby was their goal. It was evident that the midwives at Motherly Way were very normal, well educated women who were passionate about their services. After hearing my history they felt confident in taking me on as a client, and after reading lots of research about successful, all natural VBACs after two c-sections my husband agreed.

The initial resistance that I was met with from my husband paled in comparison with the reaction from my doctor. I was shocked when he refused to have his office fax my records to The Birth Center because he did not "approve" of my choice. In the following days I felt harassed as I had to defend myself, my intelligence, and my decision to several nurses who called to question me. The confrontation culminated with a certified letter that my former OBGYN sent stating that he believed I was putting myself and my baby at risk and he would not be available if I had to be transferred to the hospital's care. Finally he stated that I would need to find a new doctor after my pregnancy because I was no longer, and never again would be, a patient of his or the group of doctors he served with. This only confirmed my decision and strengthened my resolve to remove myself and my baby from that kind of close-minded care.

For the next 20 weeks I became more informed and equipped through Shanna and Kelli than I had been in my previous three pregnancies. I read several books from The Birth Center's extensive library that helped me understand the history of midwifery, the process of natural childbirth, as well as the specific challenges associated with VBACs. I felt like I was studying for a test, learning and preparing myself and my body for a very different birth experience. It was so exciting to really be able to be a part of the process in a way that I had never been allowed to before. I loved that the person I talked to on the phone when I called with questions was the same person who performed my prenatal check-up's. And the same person I wrote checks to and scheduled my appointments with was the same person I knew would deliver my baby. They KNEW me. They also knew my family. I loved that my other children were welcomed at The Birth Center when they came with me to appointments. They were invited to listen to his heartbeat and ask questions. They were being prepared as well. I also used the services of Baby Mine for several pre-natal massages as my due date drew closer.

On February 10, 2011, 3 days past my due date, I went into labor with my fourth baby. I came into The Birth center in the morning to get checked and then left to labor at home for most of the day. My husband and I returned that afternoon when my labor was progressing actively. The next six hours are a little blurry for me. Yes it was hard and yes it was painful but I was supported and confident through it all. I could move and walk, I was allowed and encouraged to change positions to ease contractions. My husband was obviously more of a participant than he had ever been before. And while I was in labor my amazing group of friends had gathered in the living room to pray for me and to proclaim the promises of God over this birth! I delivered my beautiful 10 LB. 11 OZ. Hillman completely naturally with the help of Shanna and Kelli! I think the Lord has such a sense of humor!!!

He was allowed to nurse immediately after he was born. No one took him away to be weighed or washed or pricked or prodded. He was checked over thoroughly a little later without ever leaving my side. I took a shower and had a cheeseburger just a couple of hours after giving birth and my husband, our new baby, and I snuggled into bed together. It was SO different than all those nights I had spent in the hospital after my other children were born. The baby actually felt like mine from the very first moment... No one was telling me when I could or could not have him, feed him, etc. the midwives at The Birth Center trust a mother to care for her own baby and that is a privilege most do not get in those first magical hours. We left the next day and I had very little recovering to do, which is helpful when caring for four small children!

I wouldn't have traded Hillman's birth for anything in the world. Through it I learned so much about myself, our culture, and most of all the faithfulness of the Lord and I have a beautiful little boy to show for it too!! Shanna and Kelli believed in me and gave me the chance to experience that miracle and for that I will ever be grateful!

Lesley

Lisa

Lisa

Safety is important to me when giving birth both physically and emotionally. Thank you Motherly Way, for providing that safety along with individualized love, support and prayer. After a terrible experience with my second child in the main stream medical community, God blessed me with you amazing midwives to redeem the beauty that birth was meant to be!

Lisa

Brandi

Brandi

I have been blessed to have had 2 babies with the lovely midwives at Motherly Way. From the very first appointment I felt like I was their top priority, and the appointments weren't always just about medical exams, it was also about the emotional level of me, the mommy, to ensure that I was peaceful and therefore making a peaceful baby. The atmosphere is so loving and calm and I just can't imagine having my babies born anywhere else. The midwives are more like family and they treat you like family. I highly recommend Motherly Way!

Brandi

Heather

Heather

The first time I met Kelli and Shanna, I was expecting my second child. A year and a half before I had given birth to my oldest in the hospital. It was a miserable experience. When I found out I was expecting again, I decided to try a home birth, it had to be better than the hospital! I Googled "Christian midwives in Texas" and was directed to a birth center in Tyler. The midwife there directed me to Kelli. Upon meeting Kelli, my husband and I both knew we had made the right decision. As we talked and she explained the process we knew she shared similar birth values . Later in the pregnancy I meet Shanna. They made the perfect team!

My daughter Autumn was born on Dec. 31. They came a couple of days before because I was having lots of irritable contractions but hours and hours later still no baby! The morning of the 31st they decided that they would go home and spend time with their families but now I was really in labor so they stayed and Autumn finally came! My friends and extended family fell in love with them. It was such a great delivery, considering what I had experienced in the hospital.

Four years later, again on Dec. 31 my third child was born. Once again, they had to come multiple times because I was contracting consistently. It seemed that once they arrived the baby would just quiet right down. But because of all the false labor my body was worn out. There were complications, but I gave birth to a very healthy 8lb. 1oz. baby girl, Annie Grace.

Less than a year later, I was expecting my fourth child. Because of the last delivery I was very apprehensive about having another baby. A couple of months after I found out I was expecting, my mother, who was such a great strength and friend, was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. Those were some of the most difficult days. My mother came to stay with us and my husband and I cared for her while I was pregnant. The visits from Kelli and Shanna were times of encouragement for me. I really don't know what I would have done without them. They brought such peace with them each time they came. On August 2, I gave birth to an 8lb. 2oz. boy, Isaac Timothy. He truly has brought joy and healing to our home.

I feel so blessed and privileged that I would receive such excellent care during such special times in life. I look back over the last nine years and lots of our favorite memories as a family are the ones with Kelli and Shanna and birthing our babies!

Heather

Lena

Lena

My husband and I have had all four of our beautiful babies at Motherly Way Maternity Services. We feel so blessed to have had Kelli & Shanna attend all of our births. We had originally planned on going to the hospital with our first baby but changed our minds and decided to try the midwife route. I'm so glad we did, I can't imagine having my babies anywhere else! We have two beautiful daughters and two handsome sons who were delivered with gentleness and love. Thank you Shanna and Kelli for being there for us, we love you guys!

Lena

Tina

Tina

We felt led by the Lord to choose a midwife for the birth of our 4th child, 5th and 6th child. The first 2 we had at home and the last one we chose to use the clinic. When we first met with Kelli and Shanna, we were impressed at how professionally and personally they treated us. We sensed from the beginning that they cared for us as a family. I was blessed with the time they took with us during prenatal visits and the family-friendly atmosphere evident through their attitudes and the setup of their Birth Center. We could bring our children along and not feel that they would be in the way. For the deliveries, I was thankful for Kelli and Shanna's patience with me when I wasn't sure if I was in real labor. Their grace in helping me to learn from and listen to my body gave me assurance that I could go through with a natural birth. An aspect that I was so refreshingly different from our hospital experiences was the freedom I had during labor and delivery. They came to our house, checked my progress, made themselves at home, and allowed us our privacy. They work so well as a team with Kelli keeping me the whole process and even enlisted his help on several occasions, which he loved.

I was truly blessed to be able to have our last three children delivered by Kelli and Shanna, who helped make bringing a child into this world a natural and miraculous experience for us. They have become very special friends to us!

Tina

Tina

Tina

Excerpt from 2011 Christmas letter:
Dear Kelli, Shanna & Melody, I have been thinking about the three of you so much these past several weeks! I miss seeing you and visiting your birth center! There have been times that I was tempted to get pregnant just so I could see you on a regular basis, lol! But then one of my boys will remind me why I'm not quite ready to have a third baby by screaming at the top of his lungs while the other one pretends to be "Iron Man" and beats his younger brother while destroying everything in his path! My boys certainly keep me on my toes! Evan just turned five and is asking when he gets to go to school, I guess he thought that as soon as he turned five we'd be sending him on his way! Mason and I are in the middle of potty training. He was ready way before I was! I hope you guys know what a blessing y'all have been in my life! I can't imagine having brought these two little ones, and any other babies that might be, into this world without y'all there beside me! I feel like you are my family and have such a deep respect and love for each of you. I pray that you will all be blessed this Christmas and I wish y'all a wonderful New Year!

Tina
Kelli Shanna
Shanna Cloyd, LM, CPM
Kelli Beaty, LM, CPM
1201 W. Texas Avenue, Midland, TX 79701
Phone: (432) 687 4645 Fax: (432) 687 4645
Email: info@motherlywaymaternityservices.com