A Sad Goodbye to the Birth and Women’s Center

A final photo of the Birth and Women's Center of Topeka, at least as I know it.September 30th marks the end of an era in Topeka as the Birth and Women’s Center (BWC) will be closing. I’ve known it was coming for a few months, but it’s been difficult for me to wrap my brain around. When I think about it, more often than not, I have to fight to hold back tears.

The obvious source of my emotion for this place is that I delivered all three of my babies there. Leo in 2009. Alex in 2013. Kate in 2015. All three births were assisted by different midwives, all of which felt like surrogate mothers/grandmothers to me. Each birthing experience was unique, and great, and totally perfect.

So of course that’s why I get sad about BWC closing…right?

When I think about it, even that doesn’t completely make sense. I know Tony and I are not having more children, so it’s not like I’m personally losing an opportunity.

Yet still I’m sad… And so I’ve thought about it, and thought about it.

There is more to those baby-having experiences than just producing small humans. Every time I came out of that old Victorian house, I emerged as a stronger, more empowered version of myself. There’s something about the confidence you gain from in being in total control, yet also completely surrendering to your body and letting mother nature do what it’s supposed to do. It’s like you’re a vessel for awesome superhuman powers. It’s one time you can truly see that you’re fully capable of completely amazing things.

So in the end, maybe that’s it. I’m sad because this place that’s meant so much to me won’t exist to serve that role for other women. And I think every woman should have the opportunity to experience that type of empowerment.

Thank you Birth & Women’s Center (and all of the nurses and midwives that have worked there through the years). I cannot adequately express my gratitude or explain what you have meant to me. You will always be one of my favorite places, even if it’s only in my memories.


2 thoughts on “A Sad Goodbye to the Birth and Women’s Center

  1. That makes me sad too. and not because I had any of my children there. I delivered three boys across the street though at St. Francis….and have always felt like the that the cross pollination of ideas and training for many of the labor and delivery nurses in the area made those experiences better for all women delivering in Topeka. I never felt the courage to deliver a the Birth & Women’s Center, but what you said above is exactly how I felt after each boy was born. Why are they closing?

    • Karen, I’m not entirely sure. I think it’s a combination of things – staffing, costs to keep the center open, increased documentation demands, etc. I know a couple of the gals that work there will be spinning off a home birthing business, and I take some solace in that – at least Topeka-area women will still have the choice to stay out of a hospital setting if that’s their preference.

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