Owner Stacey Bergin-Melito ICCE, CD(DONA), childbirth educator and doula shares the birth story of Natal to Nest in Highlands Ranch.
My family portrait didn’t always look like this. In this picture, at this point in my life, you are seeing the picture of complete happiness. Sometimes a picture can’t tell a thousand words. In 2000 I gave birth to my son Jackson (pictured far left). I truly believe Jackson picked me long before birth. He was placed in my life to teach me patience and selflessness. My pregnancy and birth was to teach me about my body, respecting my natural purpose in life. This is not to say my only purpose, just the purpose my female body was created for. The overall experience was to lead me to a fulfilling profession as a childbirth educator and birth doula.
I became a certified childbirth educator and birth doula in 2001. I love working with women and their partners, teaching them about their options in birth and parenting and supporting them in the choices they make. It’s an honor when someone registers for your class or asks you to support them through birth. This is the one moment in everyone’s life that they remember vividly and these moments profoundly affect the rest of their lives. I can’t even remember my wedding like I can remember the birth of my children. From 2001 to present I have lived and worked in both Colorado and California. I’ve worked independently and in hospitals as both a childbirth educator and a birth doula. I’ve supported women from all ethnicities and cultural backgrounds and the physiological aspect of birth never changes.
In 2007 I met my husband, Mike (it’s pretty obvious where he is in the photo). Mike also had a son, Will (pictured right). Our boys are four months apart in age. We always new we wanted to have a child together, so after we married we started “trying” to get pregnant. I was 36 at this point so we had no interest in waiting because I was already having irregular cycles. I sought treatment through acupuncture to regulate my cycles. I got pregnant and miscarried 12 weeks later. This was devastating. I started acupuncture again. After three months of “trying” and no longer being able to regulate my cycle the acupuncturist suggested I see a fertility specialist. This was also devastating.
After choosing our provider, we began all of the necessary testing to gauge both my husband’s fertility wellness and mine. Due to my age and amount of remaining healthy eggs, it was presented to me that it would be very unlikely for me to conceive again, less than 1%. Now the other two devastating events were no longer rallying for first place. I’m not going to get into detail here, but I will say the next two years were the hardest of my life. We wanted a baby. I wanted a baby. My family and new marriage were feeling the effects of mom struggling with infertility. My body was feeling the effects of hormonal treatment. I needed to look inward and find something to give me peace. I made a bucket list and proceeded to check it off. I finally found a hobby that I loved but I longed for personal communication with other women going through the same experience. I had a friend who confided in me she was going through fertility treatment. I think she figured me out somehow and took a chance that we could find a safe haven with each other. She was right. But other than this one person, I found nothing but online chat rooms. The cycles continued.
I found out I was pregnant (through IVF) in 2011. Everything was so surreal. We were ecstatic but cautious. As someone in the birthing business for so many years, my outlook on my own pregnancy and birth was very different than what I had felt the first time I was pregnant and gave birth to my son. To me, everyone else could have a healthy pregnancy but I was already broken (not able to get pregnant/IVF), everyone else could have a normal labor and birth except me, and everyone else could breastfeed successfully. My outlook was so drastically different it was at this point I decided to teach and developed the “Childbirth After Infertility” class that I currently offer. The class is for people who have struggled with infertility and conceived through fertility treatment. I wanted to provide a great childbirth class to these individuals in an environment of their peers that could understand the emotional rollercoaster they may be going through.
My pregnancy with Ella seemed to be filled with “you’re the 1% of pregnant women that has this or that”. That 1% followed me around 100% of the time. After dodging the 1%ers I gave birth to my daughter, Ella, on December 23, 2013 (yes, she’s the baby in the picture). She was our Christmas gift. We brought her home to her family Christmas Eve. She is precious, loved and cherished by all of us who waited and wished for her for so long. After Ella was born I soon discovered, yet another 1% freaky happening. Ella was born with a natal tooth! She had her first dental visit when she was six days old and had her first tooth extracted.
OK, put the brakes on. Back up a couple of years to when my husband and I decided to go through fertility treatments. We sat talking one night over dinner after an appointment at the fertility clinic. I told my husband, while sobbing, that I knew there was a reason I was going through this. I knew there was a reason I had to get pregnant this way. There would be something that came of this experience for me. I knew it, because I knew I learned so much from my first pregnancy and birth of my son.
After giving birth and taking time off to spend every second enjoying my new daughter, the reason came. It literally hit me like a brick wall one day. My “Childbirth After Infertility” class was not enough. The community I live in was lacking in providing support to those with infertility. It was also lacking in providing services to women wanting a fit pregnancy and a place to connect with other new families. A place that felt peaceful, serene. A space that focused on wellness and community. My community was lacking community! This is the day my third baby chose me. Natal to Nest became a real entity in my mind. Nine months later, April 1, 2013, Natal to Nest was born!
Natal to Nest proudly serves Colorado including Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Centennial, Lone Tree and Denver.