Welcome Baby Q.!
The birth of Baby Q. was long-anticipated by Mom and Dad. I was hired early on in Mom’s pregnancy so that she could prepare herself in every way possible for her VBAC experience. She worked so hard- she prepared her mind, body, and spirit to welcome her second son into the world! I could easily see that the choices she made throughout her journey were made not only for her health, but for the love of her son.
As due dates draw near, it’s always hard for a doula to not get a little antsy. So many mom prepare for for an unmedicated VBAC, and it’s an all-too-familiar scenario for us to see the old “bait and switch” maneuver by an obstetrician. What was okay before is all of the sudden not okay anymore, and Mom is left facing a decision, in a vulnerable time, that she thought she wouldn’t have to make. We all know that circumstances change- and as a doula I am certainly aware of the fact that birth can be unpredictable. But… These situations are certainly the exception, rather than the rule.
Mom was given a deadline and ultimatum by her OB, an ultimatum that Mom chose to ignore. Her confidence was astounding to me as she told me that she left the hospital against medical advice! Not many moms are confident enough to make such a decision- but this mom knew her stuff and listened to her intuition. She found a new OB who would support her choice to VBAC with a medical induction, and Mom felt sure that this was the best choice for her family. I trusted her.
Days later, Mom began her journey to meet her baby boy. She was induced first using a foley catheter bulb, then later augmented with Pitocin. This journey was long, though she was strong, in-charge, and informed the entire time. She asked questions and waited for answers. She insisted on the best care. She knew when she felt she was being manipulated. She was on a journey that her husband and I could coach her on, but ultimately she had to walk alone.
I showed up on day two of her journey, in quite a dramatic moment. Mom’s Pitocin had just been increased and her contractions became very intense very quickly. Several student doctors and an injection later, her contractions had been slowed to a more manageable rate. She labored that way for a long time… Slow and steady, then a bit dramatic, then slow and steady some more. Despite everything that happened, she worked hard the entire time. For herself, for her baby, and I think maybe a tiny little part to show the world what she was made of!
At one of the dramatic points, baby’s heart rate dropped significantly. We spoke and I tried to keep her calm and help her be aware of the situation, which she seemed to understand. She was very quickly wheeled to the OR for an emergency cesarean section, but as they checked baby’s heart rate again he had stabilized and was fine! Mom asked to be brought back to her labor room to continue her labor journey!
She continued her work for several more hours. Her body continued to dilate and she progressed as she knew she would. At 10 centimeters and fully effaced, she began to push her baby down and out. Baby Q. tried to come naturally but he told us through his heart rate that he insisted to be born the same way as his brother was. Mom was brought to the OR again and this time, she met her baby boy! Baby Q. arrived in the early hours of the morning, welcomed into our world by his loving Daddy and amazing Mommy.
In recovery, Baby Q. nursed and got to know his Mom and Dad, who were exhausted but definitely in love with their new little son. Her labor journey had ended, but a new life had been born and the new family started on their own journey; he had been welcomed into a home full of love, of that I had no doubt. These two parents, willing to stand up for themselves in the face of adversity yet not afraid to make decisions contrary to the original “plan,” had taken control of their birthing experience but yet listened to the needs of their son. How selfless- to put the needs of another before your own personal desires! Yes, he had been born into a home full of love!