Now Sacred Roots Birth & Wellness Center, Sacred Roots Midwifery offers the only free-standing birth centers in central Indiana. In high school, a mentor of mine had a waterbirth. She spoke about it with such joy and excitement that I was certainly intrigued, even at the young age of 15. I had always wanted to be a mother and loved children so much, even from a young age. When she and her husband needed to be at the hospital for an emergency, she dropped that sweet little girl off with me for a few hours. Along with the baby came a diaper bag with frozen breastmilk. Let me tell you. I heated that milk up and prepared her bottle for her just as if she were mine.
I was pregnant just a few years later myself, at 19, after only four months of marriage. When those two sweet pink lines hit the screen, my whole body froze. It was an incredible mix of emotions. I was shocked, happy, scared, and oh so very nervous. This sweet baby was so wanted but also unexpected. I sought out a birth center in Knoxville, Tennessee where we were both enrolled in college. I planned for that beautiful water birth I had spent so many moments thinking about through the years. The best-laid plans… I was admitted for induction and didn’t get to have a water birth. My next two children were born under the care of an OBGYN at a hospital because there were no birth centers accessible to us.
Then, at the end of 2016, I saw two pink lines for the fourth time. Though I was now 30 and had three young children, I remember going through many of the same emotions as my first pregnancy. There was joy because this fourth child was so very loved already. There was fear because I knew what pregnancy would mean for my physical and mental health. After three pregnancies with HG (hyperemesis gravidarum), I knew I was in for a similar fate. I called a local clinic that had a midwife on staff as she came highly recommended though she delivered all babies at a hospital.
When I was five months pregnant, we all lost my grandpa. Papaw, as he was known to the grandkids. I held his hand as he passed away in the ER of the hospital I was planning on delivering at a few months later. The next day, I had an appointment at that same hospital and was asked to put on a gown just like the one he had passed in the day before. I had a panic attack in their office that day and walked out, resolved to find care. Any care was fine as long as I didn’t have to replay his death in my mind during the birth of his namesake, this sweet child I carried.
I got in my car and googled “Indianapolis birth center”. I was met with only one option and I frantically called them. The kindest human answered the phone and we are still friends today. She could tell, I believe, that I was panicked. She was warm and calm and she explained their entire process. I still had four months of pregnancy ahead of me and made an appointment on that call to get in within the week. At the time, there were two midwives and I would get a chance to meet each of them during the 30-45 minute appointment. I took a deep breath because I had found a provider that would take my concerns seriously.
The initial visit covered my medical and pregnancy history. She discussed my goals, and birth plan, and did a physical exam. My little guy hated the Doppler and would run and hide. She patiently and calmly waited until he was ready, not rushing me in and out. My concerns, discomforts, and questions were addressed in full on every visit I had.
On the day of his birth, I was only four centimeters dilated at check-in. So, we took a walk around Target and grabbed a bite to eat because I wasn’t restricted on food or drink. As we continued to walk, I picked up cupcakes for his “Birth Day” to share with our care providers and family. Heading back to the birth center, we got settled into one of the suites. I was thoroughly evaluated and told a clear timeline of when they would be back and at what intervals. Lights were dimmed in the room for my comfort and we called our birth photographer. I was free to move, eat and drink, refuse cervical exams, and be given patience and understanding.
The rooms are very spacious and comforting. A bed sits at the entrance, minimally but beautifully decorated. I was offered a birth ball to sit and bounce on until I was ready for hydrotherapy- one of the reasons I was there. I had never had a med-free birth and I was starting to get nervous. A few hours later, my water broke and the tub was filled. I was able to relax in the tub for over two hours as I progressed and Angela came in for regular checks. Not only did she check in with me and the little guy but she ensured everyone in the room had what they needed. The impeccably clean bathroom was large and inviting when I stepped into the shower. I remember the sprayer was phenomenal as I headed back to the newly-filled and warm tub.
Free to birth in any position I wanted, I was also given the time and space I needed for my body to know what it needed.
Our little guy made his entrance at just past 7:30. He was immediately placed upon my chest after delivery. I just remember him grabbing tightly to the strap on my bra as I moved from the tub to the bed. We had 2 glorious hours of skin-to-skin before they started with the newborn screening. He was weighed and measured from head to toe. He received the gentlest of care I had ever seen. We have photos of these first few precious moments. My parents and his siblings had been waiting all day to meet the little guy. At this point, they were brought into the room and allowed to meet our new arrival. Since it was dinnertime, they headed home and we opted to order in.
After dinner, we were all three given time to take a nap. Seven hours later we left Sacred Roots Midwifery and I went home to bed. After days on end at the hospital with all my other babies, I can’t tell you how comforting home was at that moment. I have a photo I took with my phone shortly after arriving at home of me holding my new best friend and my husband sleeping. Pure joy on my face. The next day, the kids came home and I just remember basking in love.
Having never had a birth without Pitocin, I was unprepared for how amazing I would feel post-birth. I remember the check-in phone call the next day. I asked if I was supposed to feel this good and then asked how would I know if I was doing too much. They were kind and clear in their responses as they let me know what warning signs I would need to be looking for while reassuring me that my experience was perfectly normal. The day after, we welcomed a nurse into our home as she examined our baby, ran the newborn screening, went over well-baby care, and offered breastfeeding support. I had two additional appointments at one and six weeks postpartum.
Sacred Roots Midwifery truly offers the only experience of its kind in the greater Indianapolis area. This birth center offers 30-60 minute prenatal visits which can be up to 3-4 times longer than a typical appointment at a hospital. They offer childbirth education and breastfeeding classes, all included in your fee to deliver at the center. With 24/7 access to your provider, assistance with formulating your birth plan, a homey atmosphere, and no restrictions on visitors or children at the birth Sacred Roots Birth and Wellness Center is truly the best. I delivered my baby at their West location and they also have a location on North Shadeland Avenue.
When considering a photographer for your maternity, newborn, and family portraits I would love for you to think about me. I offer a unique experience for Indianapolis families. As a luxury photogrpaher, I present clients with the opportunity to purchase fine art framed prints, fine art albums, heirloom albums, and high-resolution hand-edited digital images. I focus on the connection between mother and child during each session while providing opportunities for the whole family to bond. Let’s chat and talk about how I can serve your family best.