The short answer is, we both wanted to take the experiences we had with childbirth and pay forward the lessons we learned, the impact our decisions or lack there of had on our families.
You see, we both come from very different backgrounds when it comes to birth. Michaela was presented with the opportunity to take childbirth courses with her first pregnancy and Crystal was not and these two very different experiences shaped our passion for education and empowering women.
Let’s start with Michaela’s story, shall we? In May of 2003 the pregnancy test was positive, her mind whirled with thoughts, and she immediately started watching TLC’s The Baby Story to “educate” herself on what birth looks like. This was a MISTAKE! Panic and FEAR started to set in. The next day, she was talking with a friend who also happened to be pregnant, this friend introduced her to the concept of childbirth classes… what? You don’t just show up to the hospital and have a baby like she saw on TV? Much to her husband’s dismay they started to attend these classes that required a two- hour time block once a week for 12 weeks! Little did they both know, the education that came out of the course would not only prepare them for birth but also how to communicate with one another, their providers and family. The courses were invaluable and helped them achieve the birth that they didn’t even know they were dreaming of. Michaela and her husband went on to become childbirth instructors so they too could help share their knowledge in hopes that others would walk away from their birth experience with feeling of power, strength and dignity.
Crystal’s birth story with her first looked very different. Instead, nobody shared with her the options that were out there, she was left to navigate it all on her own feeling as though she didn’t have a choice, which resulted in her being told what to do and what not to do from her provider. A cesarean section was the result. As Crystal would describe it, the care she received was an uphill battle from the beginning and even into motherhood. After battling with infertility years later she got pregnant with TWINS! First came joy and excitement, and then came more challenges. This time, her husband and her had the opportunity to take childbirth classes and were able to walk into their providers office knowing the choices they should have, but it wasn’t that easy. Finding a provider to respect their wishes seemed impossible. Instead they were met with fear, discouragement and empty promises resulting in yet another cesarean. The 3rd time was the charm! Taking the information that they had learned years before, living in a new city, more education, and a determined outlook, they achieved a beautiful homebirth after two cesareans!!
You see, the journey to where Crystal and Michaela are today was very different but the end result is the same. They both want women to feel as though can truly have whatever birth they desire.