Well I never thought I would be here. The journey that brought Jared and I to Sioux Falls was filled with the unknown. The oil fields of North Dakota were blowing up. Crime was on a rise and house prices (along with everything else) were so inflated. We were in a 100 year old house and wanted to upgrade. We didn’t want to be in a reverse mortgage once the oil left. Jared decided that it was smart to sell and move. I wasn’t sure it was the right decision but trusted in God that my husband was making the best decision for me.
Being in Sioux Falls for one month (four years prior) when my dad passed away was long enough for Jared to decide he liked it. I did have a brother and sister here so we wouldn’t be without anyone we knew, but it still was eight hours from home. It was spontaneous to say the least. We packed up everything we owned into an enclosed car trailer and hit the road. I didn’t sleep a wink the night before we left.
Well fast forward two years, we were in Sioux Falls, we were happy. I had a job I loved working with the adult behavioral health population and Jared was working for a metal manufacturing shop. We had built a beautiful house and were ready to start a family. We took a trip to Mexico for a friend’s wedding thinking it would be our last hoorah! Month after month, we kept getting negative pregnancy tests.
Being a nurse, I spent every waking moment researching how to get pregnant. I was consumed. I came to learn I wasn’t ovulating at all. My physician didn’t have any answers for me. She tested my hormone levels and nothing obvious was wrong. We decided to try Clomid. For four months we tried this, I supposedly ovulated twice but my levels were still low. The next two months I didn’t ovulate at all. I was becoming a mess. I couldn’t think about anything else. I always wanted to be a mother and couldn’t imagine my life without children.
We were referred to a fertility specialist. The first appointment was over $400, nothing covered by insurance. We were told from then on every intervention would be $2000-$10,000, nothing covered by insurance. My mind started spinning. We maybe would have to sell our house, our vehicles… I decided to take a step back. I cancelled that first appointment. We were still so young, I had time. I didn’t need to rush things.
That is when a coworker started talking to me about a local Chiropractor, Dr. Pulse. She told me that she and her husband struggled and once they started seeing her, they soon got pregnant. She told me even if it didn’t work that Dr. Pulse was amazing and emotionally supportive. I was willing to try anything, I made an appointment. I started seeing her twice a week. She had me taking all sorts of supplements, taking basal body temperatures and getting regular adjustments. She kept referring to my future child, saying things like “When baby is here I want to be doing adjustments right away.” I thought, who is this lady, she doesn’t know me!? She acted like she can fix my problems right away. I didn’t buy in right away. By the end of my first month I was feeling more comfortable with her. I had an appointment one morning and I was three days late. I decided to test even though I didn’t want to see another negative. IT WAS POSITIVE?!?
I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was only one month after I started seeing her. I went in to her office early, and told her she was a miracle worker! She happily proclaimed she was helping 4-5 women get pregnant every month!
Since I now believed everything this woman said, I agreed to take her recommendation and see her favorite midwife Teri. I hadn’t thought of using one before this. Well I fell in love with the Avera midwives just as quickly as I did with Dr. Pulse! Before being pregnant, I spent so long feeling broken. I now felt so healthy and happy. Everything was going great in my pregnancy.
Even though I felt great, I didn’t know what my birth would be like and couldn’t even imagine it. It scared me to think about it to be honest. My mother had three natural labors, I thought if she can do it so can I. The only thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want an epidural. Seeing that needle in nursing school was enough to tell me that.
I asked the midwives about education classes we could take. They referred me to a local teacher who taught natural childbirth classes. Jared couldn’t get past the amount of money it would cost us, I too didn’t know if it would be worth it but I needed to be educated. After the first class we knew it was what we needed. Week by week we were starting to understand why natural birth was important. We became believers. I found a confidence in myself and Jared started really supporting my decisions and being a more active part in my pregnancy.
That is where our wonderful doula came in, Heidi. Up to that point I honestly had no idea what a doula even was. In class we started talking about them and learning there were many in the area. A classmate said “They are worth a million dollars.” That statement really got us thinking. I started doing some research and reached out to a few local doulas. They all responded but Heidi got my attention with the detail of her emails. We met up and after that meeting Jared and I decided to make the investment.
Everything about our labor and delivery experience went exactly how we had hoped. We felt supported and uplifted. Heidi was there every step of the way, helping me ride out every contraction. She was there for Jared and helped him feel confident in his support for me. The room was dark and quiet with the watchful eyes of our midwives. They allowed me to birth my baby my way. I was never asked if I needed pain medication. They respected my request to not have an IV and to have intermittent fetal monitoring and I was allowed to labor in the tub. The experience was joyful and perfect.
When Heidi left the hospital the morning Jonah was born, I remember thinking, wow I am going to miss her. I felt the same way leaving my midwife’s office after my six week follow-up appointment. I didn’t want to say goodbye to these amazing women! I thought, well I better get pregnant again (HA). Instead I decided to either be a doula or an educator. My childbirth educator encouraged me to look into Birth Boot Camp. After doing some research I decided it was a great fit for me.
The cascade of events that brought us to conceiving and down the natural birth route changed my life. Without these women coming into my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I knew I needed to be a part of their community. This community of women supporting and loving women. That is why I am now an educator. There is now a part of me that wants to support every couple through their journey into parenthood. I am passing on the love that was once given to me.
Fast forward five months, I am now certified... and pregnant. :)
When people ask if we regret our decision to move to Sioux Falls, I tell them we don’t regret it for a second.