Everyone loves a great birth story and we love to share them when our clients are willing. They’re the perfect opportunity to get an insider’s perspective of a particular birthing facility, and can really illustrate the importance and significance of choosing and assembling a birth team that includes providers who will work with you.
Pyper’s Birth Story:
Let me preface this by saying that I had a lot of anxiety going into my second birth because of how I was treated during my first birth. It was hard enough dealing with the physical trauma of having an emergency c-section and feeling like my body had failed me or maybe I didn’t try hard enough or stand my ground enough. So before we even started trying for baby #2 I had started doing my research on VBACs, and looking at my options for providers that would take me. I knew I couldn’t go back into the hospital I had previously giving birth in without having major anxiety so that was out of the question, and I really wanted to see a midwife instead of an OB this time. I had heard a lot of good stories about Central Carolina and the midwives at Carolina Womens. I went to my first appointment and I immediately knew I had found the place I needed to be. And the next step was finding a doula to help me manage my anxieties and keep me on track with what I wanted. The decision came pretty easily when I started looking because I wanted someone I knew and could trust. I had been planning to hire Melissa from the start and then one day she did a drawing for a gift certificate and I WON, I never win anything, so I took it as a sign that this was all meant to be.
Fast forward to my due date coming and going. No sign of pre-e or any of the other complications I had the first go round, which was a huge relief. The midwives all agreed that one more week would be as far passed my due date as most anyone would feel comfortable letting me go due to my previous section. And since little miss decided she was going to be stubborn I was checked in for an induction. We started with the cervadil and the prescription to get a good night of sleep. That was easier said than done. I remember looking at my husband who was sleeping and my phone. I was too excited to sleep especially when I started feeling tiny little contractions (I never felt contractions with my first). I ended up texting Melissa because I wanted to get up and move around to help get things going, but she reassured me that I needed rest. The cervadil was remove and I was checked around 10 am and I hadn’t made much progress so it was time to start the pitocin. Throughout the day the nurse would come in and increase it little by little. Things picked up around 4 and since I was having a hard time relaxing we decided a shower might help. After that the contractions started coming back to back so they turned the pit down and eventually they turned it off all together.
“With each hurdle that needed to be crossed me and my team took the information and we collectively made a decision that we felt was best. I felt included and heard, and that made all of the difference.”
The next morning it was time to give the foley bulb a try only it came right out, I was at 3cm and it was time to give the pit a try again. Day 2 of pit went pretty similar to the day before, but with less noticeable contractions. By that night I was feeling a bit defeated and I knew what was coming, but I had no idea I would receive so much support from the medical staff. At around 9 it was time to discuss our options and we decided to go ahead and opt for a repeat c-section. I love that my midwife took the time to tell me that this was not a failure. I was hugged by both her and my nurse and we talked about all of the fears I had surrounding the procedure. The biggest of which was an extended separation from my baby. With my first birth I didn’t get to see her until she was 24 hours old and didn’t get to hold her until she was almost 48 hours old. I missed her first few days and I can’t explain how much that hurt me. They assured me and reassured me again that as long as nothing went horribly wrong that my baby would be brought to me by her dad in my room as soon as I was back in it.
So we got prepped and into the OR we went. I met the OB that was going to be performing the surgery, Dr. Flannagan, and she even took the time to learn Pyper’s name and spoke to her when she was delivered. And on top of that, my midwife, Janet, was able to come in and assist her. The atmosphere in that OR was so warm, loving and welcoming, and my fears melted away. I am getting teary eyed thinking of how amazing they all were. When Pyper was delivered Janet immediately walked her over so that I could see every inch of her before they cleaned her up and wrapped her up. I don’t know that she understood how much I treasure that picture and that moment (again something that never happened with my first). As soon as they checked her out she was brought right over to us so we could snuggle her while they finished dealing with me, and the only reason she left before I did was because they ended up having to put me to sleep for a bit because of some pain I was having. After the procedure I was brought back into my room where Melissa was waiting on me. Seeing a familiar face as I was waking up and literally feeling the weight of the world on my chest was such a relief. She was right there to help me get readjusted and help convey my concerns and tell me that my husband and my new baby girl were on their way to my room.
In the end I may not have gotten the all natural VBAC that I had really wanted, but what I did get was an environment where I felt loved and where my wants and needs mattered. I didn’t feel rushed or pushed. I didn’t feel like a failure or a bad mom. I felt like I took the lemons and made lemon aid, a cake, and a pie. I made the best out of a situation that wasn’t ideal. With each hurdle that needed to be crossed me and my team took the information and we collectively made a decision that we felt was best. I felt included and heard, and that made all of the difference.
(This birth story was written by a former client of Cruz Doula Services/The Fayetteville Doulas and shared with permission.)