The Rapidian

Cedar Tree Birth and Wellness Center boasts first baby born in suite

With the completion of the birthing suite on the second floor, Cedar Tree Birth and Wellness Center saw its first birth over the holiday weekend.
Birthing suite lounge room

Birthing suite lounge room /Andrea Barry

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Cedar Tree Birth and Wellness Center

915 Cherry Street

Dana Boyer and Russ Gorton with newborn Hazel June Gorton

Dana Boyer and Russ Gorton with newborn Hazel June Gorton /Andrea Barry

Birthing suite bedroom

Birthing suite bedroom /Andrea Barry

On Sunday, August 31, Hazel June Gorton was the first baby born in the birthing suite at Cedar Tree Birth and Wellness Center located in East Hills at 915 Cherry Steet. The healthy baby girl was born to parents Dana Boyer and Russ Gorton, the first clients to sign up with the Center. 

Since preparations to open in the spring, the full completion of the remodeled second floor has come to fruition. It includes a family room, childrens play area, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. On June 2, Sara Badger, who is a midwife was honored with a call to action award by the East Grand Rapids City Commission for her life saving efforts to resuscitate a newborn. 

Badger's team at the Wellness Center that assisted with the birth of baby Hazel consisted of Jody Borsk, Casi Russo and Laurie Vance.

Boyer describes the entire 15 hours of labor as laid back and comfortable. When not being assessed by the team, both Boyer and Gorton were free to take a walk in the neighborhood with access to the suite at their leisure. 

"We didn't feel like we were on the clock," says Gorton. 

Had they been in a hospital, Dana says, "I think I would have felt pressured to perform."

Boyer was the first client to sign up with the Wellness Center before the birthing suite was built. For Badger, the birth of Hazel brings it full circle. 

The Wellness center continues with postpartum care, with visits at one, three and six weeks after birth.  

"Having suffered from postpartum anxiety with my first child, I'm a little bit more apt to monitor moms a little bit better. Because if even I, having been a midwife in practice, could not see the signs in myself I wanted to make sure that I see them in other women," says Badger.

Boyer says that opting for a home birth, in this case a "home away from home" birth, took some adjusting to. The prenatal visits that typically take place in a sterile doctor's office were done on the couch. Boyer says she had to "let go of the idea of what it's supposed to be like." 

Both Boyer and Gorton agree that the wellness center was a perfect fit for them and encourage others to explore alternatives to hospital births that treat pregnancy like a medical emergency.

"This is definatly the way to go," says Gorton. 

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