Kent resident Tina Marie Lechner, 36, is one very determined woman. Four years ago, she and her husband, Andrew Lechner, decided it was time to start a family. Tina knew exactly how she wanted things to go. The plan: at least two children. Natural births with midwives. Close friends and family in attendance. A serene, relaxing environment. Soothing music. No medical interventions. No monitors beeping. And, of course, healthy babies.
Today, the Lechners are the proud parents of two beautiful, healthy boys: Liam, age 4, and Ryker, 3 months old. But things didn’t go exactly as Tina had planned.
First, there were challenges to getting pregnant. Tina has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a leading cause of infertility in women. She underwent treatment at Seattle Reproductive Medicine, and both of her sons were conceived via intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Next, she checked with her local hospital about using a midwife, but was told her body mass index (BMI) was too high, which could cause complications during pregnancy. Tina didn’t understand; she was healthy, and confident she could deliver a healthy baby. Terribly disappointed, the Lechners continued searching for options and were delighted when they found Puget Sound Midwives & Birth Center in Kirkland.
Although Tina developed gestational diabetes during her first pregnancy, she was closely monitored and was able to keep her health under control so that she could safely deliver at the birth center. “Liam was born there, with me on a birthing stool, with the help of a midwife, my husband sitting behind me, helping with every push,” Tina says. “With lights dimmed and music playing, I slow-danced with friends and family through the pain of contractions.” Her family found the birth center so relaxing that while she was pushing, they were eating pizza and her father was calling around looking for a used car to buy. To Tina, the scene was “beautiful beyond words.”
The Lechners hoped to reunite with their “birth center family” for the birth of their second child. “Only this time, my baby had a different birth plan,” Tina says. “Late in the pregnancy, my amniotic fluid level jumped well above normal limits and my baby was swimming around in every direction but the proper one. I had just become high risk, I was scared, 37 weeks along, and had to find an OB.”