I recommend best start to every momma to be!

8 lb. 2 oz, 20 1/2 inches long

We moved from Puerto Rico back to SD to care for my mom in law, Sandy who fought hard with cancer. The day after she went to be with the Lord I found out I was pregnant. We decided we had to stay in SD until our baby was born because we wanted to go with Best Start for every thing. I had such a great first birth experience with them.
My pregnancy went great. I continued to surf up till 4 months, then would swim or walk. On March 6, I went into labor with my first baby girl, and my second Best start baby. I started to feel the familiar mild contractions early in the morning. I was so excited because the 5th was my due date, and when it came and went, I was nervous. Around 8 am on the 6th I called Roberta and we both decided it was the beginning of labor but it was not to close yet so I waited till 9 am to go to the birth center. I got to the birth center around 9:30. Yea! No one else in labor, I get to pick the room I want. I went for the up stairs suite. It’s so nice and private with the huge tub. Roberta checked me to see how dilated I was. Shucks only 2 cm. When I had my son Banyan I was already at 8 cm when I arrived at Best Start, 3 and a half years earlier. I thought I might be going home but when I asked Roberta if I would be having a baby today she said ‘I think so! ” Roberta is so sweet and confident and gave me so much peace about the whole birth experience. She recommended that my husband Shayne and I go for a walk or go get an early lunch at Jimmy Carters Mexican Cafe. I enjoyed a huevos rancheros! People there asked when I was due, and it was fun to tell them that “I was currently in labor and would be having her today”. The contractions were a bit stronger but I knew it would be a while still. We went walking around Balboa park and sat in the grass talking about how this would be the last day we were parents of one child. We Cruised the park till about 2 p.m. then stopped at the flower shop and got a beautiful daisy to remind me to “open”. When I got back to BSBC Roberta checked me again. Shucks, only about 3 cm this time, but she could feel the baby’s hair. Hair? yea! She has hair! I was so excited to see her. (Banyan my first, was born bald.) We decided to get things moving by breaking the water. I called my mom to come down. She brought my dad, Son Banyan, and then my 2 brothers showed up. It was so cool having the upper room because all the guys hung in the living room area while I labored in the bed room and bath room. When the contractions started coming on stronger I moved in to the tub. The birth assistants were awesome, so helpful with getting cool rags for my head, any thing I needed, They were so great. The labor pains got worse. Shayne sat behind me, and I rested my arms over his knees, and squeezed my moms hand tight. It’s so crazy how painful the contractions can get then go away and I could talk and be totally normal. The warm water tub was soothing, and relaxed my muscles between contractions.
When I had my first Best Start child I had no idea what to expect, I tried to labor in the tub but it didn’t feel right. I kept squirming wanting to escape from the pain. I finally gave birth to my 9 lb. son on my back on the bed after trying the toilet, birth chair, tub, and every position on the bed. I felt like I could not get him out. When his heart rate dropped and Roberta confidently coached me through getting him out after taking the chord from around his neck. I love how confident Roberta is in a mother’s ability to have a natural birth. He nursed right away and seemed to have a happy spirit. The birth was painful, but as soon as he was out I was euphoric, It was a beautiful experience, I had to do it again.
When I was in the tub laboring with Coral I would moan lowly at times and scream like a banshee at times. Roberta would coach me to blow with floppy lips. My brother later told me he thought I was battling and screaming like American gladiators, my dad thought I was dying. Im glad they got to experience a taste of what women go through with labor. The final stages went really fast when it was pushing time. I was embarrassed I pooped in the tub, but they fished it out . I kept apologizing for that. It’s strange to have no control of your body and feeling like your gonna push your guts out. I remembered that the worst pain was getting the head pushed out then it was easy after that. So when I started pushing I did it hard and fast. I think within 5 minutes I gave 2 or 3 big pushes and she came out in the water at 5:20 p.m.. She had her first bath and was all clean when she was put on my chest. I was totally elated overjoyed and kept thanking everyone and saying “Thank you Lord , Thank you Jesus” . She was so beautiful, with dark hair and eyes. The happiness I felt was unexplainable! It was cool having my mom there coaching me on she was so emotional along with Shayne, both were crying with joy. Shayne’s mom Sandy had been there when Banyan was born. We felt like she was there with us this time also. It was really special to bond with Coral with the whole family there. She nursed right away, it was a crazy and beautiful birth experience, I loved laboring in the tub and having a water birth. Banyan loves his little sister so much and was so excited to meet her. I love best start and all the women that helped me through out my pregnancies. Thank you more than words can express! I want to have more best start babies, and I totally recommend best start to every momma to be!

By Shannon McIntyre,
Mommy to Coral and Banyan, Artist, and Host to TV Show “On Surfari”

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