Saturday, May 25, 2013

Centering at Austin Area Birthing Center

This week I had my first Centering group appointment and I cannot wait for my next one! So what exactly is "Centering?" My Birth Center offers a very special group-based program that allows mothers to actively participate together in their prenatal care. There are 8 sessions throughout our pregnancies, and everyone in the group has an EDD (expected date of delivery) within a few weeks of each other. There is also a reunion after all babies are born (can't wait for that one!). Each session is two hours and includes:

  • A Private Belly Check for baby and mom - blood pressure, weight and private time with your health care provider 
  • Time to socialize with other members of the group, to meet other new parents going through the same period of their lives
  • Time for discussion with other pregnant women, facilitated by (not led by) a midwife to help answer questions we have
  • Midwife instructed education, information, and medical advice on pregnancy, birthing, nutrition, infant care, breastfeeding and everything baby and child related etc.
  • And of course.... Snacks!
I've been eagerly awaiting this experience to start, to meet new moms to be and hopefully grow my network of friends with babies here in Austin. Having other women who are going through the same stage of pregnancy is overwhelmingly comforting. Having no other real close friends in my life right now who are nearby and pregnant, sort of makes me feel like this odd alien going through a strange great unknown transformation of mind, body, and spirit while being surrounded by (non-pregnant) earthlings. I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to join this group! 

The group that I'm in has 6 October moms. All of whom seem really nice, some of which I really feel like I could see grow into close friends- and of course have similar views on childbirth (why we are all members of the group, and the birth center in the first place). 3 of the dads were there as well, which I think is also so awesome! Some of them had great questions, and are just as much a part of this process - since (I think all) of the 6 dads will be the ones assisting our births. Jason wasn't at this meeting because of his work schedule, but I asked which sessions are the most important for him to go to and he's planning on scheduling off work to attend the two that are suggested, because they are the ones that are the most informative and "lecture" heavy. I hope he can make them, because I think he would also really get along with some of these other dads too!

There are also some additional classes that are scheduled outside of the regular centering meetings, and after all of the 8 centering sessions are completed and we approach our 40 week marks, we will have our own private sessions until the baby is born, and then of course we have the baby reunion in December. My heart is exploding with anticipation to see all of us on the other side of this mountain, as new mothers, with our new babies.

I had so much fun with these women, all first-time moms as well. There is a Musician, an Obstetrician, a Nurse, and a lady who does Christian youth out-reach. The 6th mom wasn't at the first meeting, I'm wondering if she'll be at the next one. There is another vegetarian, and also another vegan (though she admits that she's been caving to her non-vegan cravings during pregnancy- which I told her do what feels right to her- no judgements. Her husband was asking me for recipes which I thought was cool too!). I really feel like I got along with all of these moms, though we are all different in our own ways, we are all together sharing in this experience of creating a new life and going the natural birth route.

What's cool about the group too, is that there is also an "anonymous" question basket, where we can ask the group a question to discuss with each other and the midwife anonymously - which I feel will be important for honesty especially when it comes to our health - and if later on one of us is experiencing something that we might be too embarrassed to talk about, we can still bring it up in the group to get all the info we need - which can help all of us in the long run. 

We are all getting a lot of personal attention, but also learning more from each other's questions and experiences that we either hadn't thought to ask, or forgot to. It is such a cool way to go through pregnancy, and I can't wait for my next session! Yay women!!


  1. Tyler! I love this blog and I loved connecting with you at the centering class. Vinnie and I aren't going to be at the next 2, which is a huge bummer...but I can't wait to catch up the end of July! Thanks for sharing your stories on here, it's so comforting to know I'm not alone!!


  2. Hi Kimberly! :) Thanks for reading! It was so great to meet you two as well. Jason is going to try to attend the 3rd (which you guys wont be at), and 5th sessions, so hopefully you can meet him too! I'll have to represent our group word game for all of us if you're out next time haha, I think we'll "win"! :) Good luck on your move, and safe travels.