The Story of Caleb
I had the wonderful blessing and privilege of having my first non-hospital delivery and fifth baby at Special Beginnings. My first four children were born in a traditional hospital setting. At the birth of my fourth child, I became increasingly aware of the limitations of having a baby in a hospital. There were SO many rules and restrictions. It was very obvious that the hospital staff was in control. I had little, if any, say on the delivery of our baby.
When we found out we were expecting our fifth child, we first researched a birthing center birth because of our lack of medical insurance maternity benefits. Since we would be paying out of our own pocket, the difference in the price of a hospital birth versus a birthing center birth was very appealing. I am a Registered Nurse and so as I searched for an alternative, I was very interested in making sure that the midwife I found was not only an experienced midwife, but also a Registered Nurse. This was important to me in the decision I was making. I found Special Beginnings during my search. I first discovered the web site, which interested me. I believed from what I read that this was the kind of setting that I was looking for. However, what convinced me was when I met Betty Winford face-to-face. I knew that she was exactly the midwife I was looking for. My questions didn’t unnerve her and I could tell by her answers that she knew her stuff. I was very impressed.
As my pregnancy continued, I grew more and more convinced of our decision. Betty walked me through so many scary moments including hemorrhaging late in my pregnancy. She handled every situation with skill, knowledge and compassion. I never felt at risk or like I was in a dangerous situation. Betty is calm and reassuring, but also not overconfident or afraid to ask for help when she needs it. The birth of our precious Caleb was a wonderful experience. Although Betty was a vital part of it, she truly let it be my and my husband’s birthing experience and not hers. It truly was a labor of love. The birthing room was filled with peaceful joy, even in the midst of the painful moments. It was a unique and memorable delivery that I will never forget.
Jill – Colleyville
Some years ago, I research the benefits of Midwifery and had my first child at a birthing center. It was a wonderful occasion, however I had some minor complications with healing from complex tearing. I was told by family to have my next baby at a hospital. Pregnant again, I initially went to an OB/GYN, but my gut instinct told me that a birth center would be better for me and my child considering the pregnancy was going well.
My husband and I decided to travel across the Metroplex to deliver our child under the supervision of Betty Winford. What a special beginning for this baby! Betty is a great person, foremost, and a great medical professional. She made me feel that I was receiving the best of care.
I went into labor early one morning, called Betty and headed over. She listened to all of my requests and was very attentive throughout all of the madness… family here and there, tackling her business matters (paper work and set-up), and of course my child and me. A couple of hours later in the nice tub with my husband and Betty coaching me I yelped and pushed out a beautiful little… well big, 8-pound girl that was presumed at first to be a boy by the father. Hahaha. It is good not to know the gender if you like the suspense…I should have bet more on it being a girl.
The Special Beginning Center is with out a doubt like grandmother’s safe haven – comforting and protective. Any person is in great hands and heart with Betty Winford, she is well informed, a good listener, and a talented advisor.
LaToya – Plano
Prior to Hannah, I had 1 typical hospital birth, 1 unmedicated homebirth and 1 unmedicated hospital birth with a CNM. We had moved since baby #3 was born. So the search was on for a new care provider – one who would embrace our “birth as a normal physiological process” mindset.
Unfortunately, my 2nd and 3rd babies had both been 10 pounders and experienced shoulder dystocia at birth. I was having difficulty finding someone willing to manage my pregnancy in any way other than to do a caesarian section or induce me at 37 weeks. After much searching, a local lay midwife directed me to Betty Winford and Special Beginnings Birth Center. I was pleased to find someone willing to work with me – a nice lady who embodied all of the compassion and personal care one expects from a midwife. Betty reassured me that a vaginal birth was a reasonable possibility for this baby.
At 26 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Though tested, I had not been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my previous pregnancies. This diagnosis gave the likely explanation for my history of giving birth to giant, broad shouldered babies! More importantly, by controlling the gestational diabetes during this pregnancy we could limit the weight of this baby.
Betty sent me to a Diabetes Clinic at the hospital of my choosing. They provided me with nutritional counseling, a free glucose meter, and set me up with a mail order pharmacy to receive diabetic supplies. For the remainder of the pregnancy, I followed a diabetic diet, tested my blood sugar 4 times daily, and recorded my blood sugar levels in a log. It took a lot of effort and exercise but the numbers stayed low enough throughout the remainder of the pregnancy that I was able to stay under Betty’s care.
I had very painful and confusing Braxton Hicks contractions during this pregnancy and Betty held our hands at the birth center one night until it became obvious that it was false labor. I was slowly dilating over the weeks leading up to the birth though. At 38 weeks I noticed a small leak of amniotic fluid whenever I would move around but there were no contractions. The next evening there was a large gush of fluid and very intense contractions began right away. Within 30 minutes the contractions were 4 minutes apart and we were on our way to the birth center.
It took us 20-30 minutes to get there and the contractions were 2 minutes apart, lasting 1-2 minutes in the car. On arrival at the birth center my cervix was a stretchy 8 and soon I was pushing! Just a few pushes and the baby was crowning! Betty did a wonderful job of supporting my perineum as the baby was born and I had no damage to the area. Unfortunately, the baby had the cord wrapped tightly around her neck. Betty performed her job as “lifeguard” expertly as she cut the cord, had me push, and Hannah Noelle quickly made her entrance into the world! It was 1:23 a.m. – just 2 hours from the time contractions began!
Betty later described the birth as a “tight fit” but not a case of shoulder dystocia. No wonder it was a tight fit – Hannah weighed 9 lbs And 10 ozs! She breastfed soon after the birth and did not receive sugar water or formula. Betty monitored Hannah’s blood sugar while we remained at the birth center and her levels were well within the normal range. We were able to go home 3 hours after the birth and Hannah and Mom have done very well.
Giving birth at the birthing center was a wonderful experience! Thank you, Betty, for helping us achieve a gentle, natural, low intervention birth. It was truly a special beginning for Hannah!
Sara – Fort Worth
My husband and I had recently moved our family from Georgia, where I had given birth to my oldest son in a hospital with a doctor (which was a bad experience). For my second son, I used a midwife in Georgia and had a wonderful experience. We delivered in a hospital, under her care, which is the typical way that midwives operate in Georgia. When we moved to Texas, I was introduced to the idea of giving birth in a birthing center – instead of a hospital. It took some getting used to, but I am SO glad that I had my daughter at Special Beginnings.
I thought our due date was the 26th. The ultrasound technician told us it was the 23rd. Betty had it for the 27th – and she was exactly right! However, for the last 3 weeks, we anxiously awaited my daughter’s arrival – hoping she would come early. My husband and I had an appointment on Thursday (26th), and I was 3 cm – Betty said that my cervix was softer than it had been on Monday at my last appointment – so she could definitely tell something was happening.
On Friday night (27th), my husband and I were waiting for our supper order in the drive-thru at Popeye’s Chicken, when my water broke (at 6:30 p.m.)! I called Betty to give her warning. We arrived at Special Beginnings at 8:30 p.m. and the contractions were pretty strong and 1 minute apart. As soon as we arrived, Betty checked me – my baby was at 0 station – fully effaced – and 5 cm. I sat on the birthing ball for a few contractions then decided to get in the hot tub. I stayed in the tub for about 30 minutes. I had some pretty hard contractions and decided to try the ball again, but by the time I got out of the tub, I just wanted to lie on the bed! At that point I was ready to push. I pushed twice and could feel Julia’s head come out. Her cord was wrapped around her neck and Betty told me to hold off pushing. She had to cut the cord before my baby came out. After Betty knew that Julia was safe, I pushed 2 or 3 more times and she was out. She was beautiful.
After I was cleaned (no stitches/tears), the birth assistant prepared a herb bath for me and my baby. I got to give her the first bath! Afterwards, Betty did all of the measurements while I relaxed in the tub. We stayed for a couple of hours at Special Beginnings to make sure that Julia and I were OK. We walked out of the birthing center at 1:54 a.m. (exactly 4 hours after giving birth!). We arrived home around 2:30 a.m. I LOVED the experience of Special Beginnings – and I love the fact that I was able to have and active part in my birth experience. Thank you Betty!
Traci – Cedar Hill
And what a “Joy” she has been! The Lord brought Betty and Special Beginnings Birth Center into our lives after learning that we were expecting again! Melody makes five! I’ve got to say that we never thought we would have anymore after our son, Thomas, now two. We had our first experience with a midwife, with him, after three hospital births. Thomas was born at home. Not knowing what to expect I was scared and fearful of the unknown. It was a long (18 hours) and painful birth. I’ve got to say though, I felt like Superwoman afterwards!!
Then, there we were, surprisingly, pregnant again and not sure what kind of birth we really wanted this time. I entertained the thought of a birth center but couldn’t find one that accepted my insurance. That’s when God worked a miracle! We found Betty!
My prenatal care was exceptional and Melody’s birth was even better. My labor began on Sat. morning at 1:30 am and after arriving at Betty’s at 5:30 am Melody was born, in the tub, at 7:48 am. Wow! I still can’t believe how quick it was! She was also my smallest baby weighing in at 6 lbs and 4 oz.
We have no regrets other than we now wish we had lived in the moment just a little longer. Time flies by too quickly and more often than not we fail to enjoy the precious moments God gives us with those that are special in our lives.
Thank you Betty for your friendship, advice, guidance and love.
To God be the Glory,
Robert, Leeanne, Olivia, Trey, Lexi, Sara, Thomas, and Melody Joy!
When I found out I was pregnant with Kira. I just assumed I would have a hospital birth, as with my first child. I was in my 2nd trimester. Things were going well with my pregnancy and after much thought I decided to go to Special Beginnings for Betty’s care. I had known about her from my mother-in-law, who had just given birth herself there the past year. Also my sister-in-law, who was due 2 weeks before me, was seeing Betty.
I felt so comfortable seeing Betty. She took the time to hear me out. You could tell she really cared. I knew there, I could have the type of birth I desired. I was going to be able to be in control of my birth.
The morning of October 7th ( the day after my due date) I woke up to a painful contraction a little after 4:00. I laid there for a few minutes to see if I was going to have another one. It very quickly became apparent that I was in labor. I was trying to wait at least an hour before I called Betty. My contractions got really close together and were quite painful. My husband called and let her know what was going on and we were off to meet her.
When we got to the center, Betty checked me and I was at a seven. I knew it would not be long. I wanted to get into the tub. That helped a lot with the pain. Soon it was time to push. I got out of the tub and with Betty’s help tried some different positions. At 7:55 a.m., Kira Mikayla was born. She weighed exactly 8 pounds and was 21 inches long.
I had an awesome birth at Special Beginnings. I am so very glad it was there. Betty was great and I am very thankful for her.
Amy – Grand Prairie
I wonder what you think about
And what your tiny eyes see
When I hold you closely in my arms
And you’re gazing up at me.Can you see that I have blue eyes, too
And that your chin looks just like mine?
When you look at my face, do you know I’m your mom
And that we’re together by God’s design?
Do you know I giggle each time you sneeze
And your yawn brings a grin to my face?
My eyes dance with joy to see you smile.
I delight in your embrace.
What do you feel when you hear my voice?
Do my lullabies quiet your heart?
Our family is so much more full with you here.
Your life is a valuable part.
Such inadequate words to express how I feel
When my heart is running wild.
As I run your silky skin across mine
I whisper, “I love you, my child.”
Child of the King: a prayer for our son.
May this baby become a mighty warrior.
May he be courageous for the King
Fighting to pierce the enemy’s heart
With the power Your Spirit brings.
Give him beautiful feet that bring Good News.
May he follow wherever You lead.
Let the lamp of Your Word enlighten his path.
May his feet dance because they’re set free.
Give him a heart to know You, O God;
May that be his passion in life.
Teach him to love the things that You love.
Equip him for sacrifice.
Crown him with the wisdom of Solomon.
Illuminate his mind with Your truth.
Grant him faith to believe what others can’t see
And intellect to guide his pursuit.
May his hands bring healing to those he will touch.
Make him diligent to build what will last.
Develop his tiny fingers to hold
To Your truth with a vigorous grasp.
Train his words to be bold, yet gentle
Full of grace and seasoned with salt
Bringing hope and joy to the nations
Let his mouth overflow with Your thoughts.
Teach his eyes to see from Heaven’s perspective.
May they be full of compassion and love.
Give him vision for Your unique call on his life.
Focus his gaze on Your Kingdom above.
When You whisper his name may he reply,
“Speak, for Your servant will listen.”
Tune his ears to perceive the sound of Your voice
So his life fulfils Your mission.
Consecrate this child for Your service.
We surrender his life to Your hands.
Knowing that Your love runs deeper than ours
We entrust him into Your plans.
We pray not for a life without hardship,
For what warrior is a stranger to pain?
Our prayer is his life would be useful to you
And bring the glory that’s due to Your name.
Stacie – Arlington
I had planned a natural childbirth using the Hypnobabies technique and I really wanted more of a cozy atmosphere for my birth. However, I did not think that giving birth outside of a hospital would be covered by my insurance because I was on Medicaid. I was lucky to find Special Beginnings less than 3 months before the end of my pregnancy. We just moved into the area, so I had left my old OB/GYN.
Betty was excellent as a midwife. I had gestational diabetes but Betty was able to help me monitor myself during my pregnancy. Also during my labor my baby was turned the wrong way and Betty helped me reposition him by sleeping in different positions. There was one point when I was not sure if I could go through with the natural childbirth. I am so glad that Betty gave me the encouragement to continue. With her guidance I pushed when I needed to and did not tear at all.
This was my first child so I have never experienced a hospital birth. From my friends’ stories it sounded like the doctors and nurses took the babies right away to weigh them and so forth. However, we got to hold our son right away. I cannot even describe how wonderful it is to have your child in the same room with you following the birth. Julien did not leave us even once it came time to be weighed and measured. I felt very comfortable with the whole environment. I had the chance to use the Jacuzzi when I was in labor and I could not imagine being so relaxed in a hospital setting. I got to leave about 3 hours after having my son and I had a pretty fast recovery.
I had the most beautiful birth that I ever could have imagined at Special Beginnings. I can’t think of anything but wonderful things to say about my birth.
Tabitha – Seagoville
Betty Winford has made Special Beginnings a wonderful place to have a baby. The name of the birth center is very fitting.
When I first decided that I wanted to use a birthing center, I looked into three of them. There was one that was In-Network for my insurance and they were “ok.” But I decided to go look at Special Beginnings. The moment I walked in the door I felt at ease and at home. The atmosphere is just so… well…. HOMEY. I found out that Betty’s center was not In-Network for my insurance, but even so, it was STILL going to be a couple thousand dollars less than an In-Network hospital and OB. Later I lost my insurance, and THANK GOODNESS Betty accepts Medicaid.
Betty is just such a kind and loving person. During my prenatal appointments I never felt rushed. When I had to call for concerns, Betty never came across as annoyed or inconvenienced that I called.
The morning of Levi’s birth, my water broke at about 3:45 am. I called Betty around 5am to let her know what was going on, and we were at the center around 8:00 am. To my HUGE disappointment, Betty told me that I was only dilated to 2cm. I almost yelled at her “2cm? TWO cm? That’s it? You’re kidding, right.” Betty smiled knowingly and said “Oh sweetie, I never joke about dilation.” So my husband and I did some walking.
In a while, I was ready to get into the tub. Betty obliged. I immediately felt better. Later when I decided that I wanted something for the pain, Betty was very clear to make sure I knew what kind of effects the medication would have on me, and was very supportive when I decided I wanted a half dose initially and then the other half later.
When the going got tough, I said to Betty “I can’t do this, I can’t do this Betty.” Betty just calmly and softly told me “Yes you can. You can do all things through Christ. Rely on him and you’ll get through this.” That was EXACTLY what I needed to hear at the time, and I kept repeating that scripture verse to myself.
This was the perfect birthing experience to me. My two older children were born in hospitals, and if I could go back and do it all over again, knowing what I do now.. I would DEFINATELY do a birthing center again over a hospital.
All in all…. Betty does everything she can to make you as comfortable as possible, and could not be any more supportive. The women that she chooses to assist her are also fabulous! I felt very at ease and. You want an environment to feel safe during this time that you feel so vulnerable.. and that’s EXACTLY the atmosphere that Betty has built in the Special Beginnings birth center.
If you want your beginning to be perfect and as special as possible… this is the place for you!
Michelle – Arlington
Many precious souls have wonderful stories of watching their children grow, year after year, filling their lives with the light of laughter and love. However, some have only begun to experience this joy, only to see such a beautiful and precious little light dimmed. Words cannot express the deep felt sorrow of losing of a little one. Only an eternal God, in the expression of His compassion, can begin to heal such hurt. Please be assured that if you are one of those who has held a child, and then watched helplessly as it slipped away, that God the Creator of life will always manifest healing in your life. You are never alone, we want you to know that we join with you and others in the memory of your precious little one. We’ve put this Memory Garden page here for you.