Jessica. new mom.
Henry's Birth Transfer Story
It was never my desire to have my baby in a hospital. In fact, I was adamantly against it. So much so that when I began exploring my birthing options I decided to have a home birth. I was thrilled with the idea that I could walk freely around my house during my labor, give birth in our soaking tub, and recover in the comfort of my own bed. The idea never scared me, my sister was born at home and I was born in a birthing center. It seemed only natural that I have my baby in a similar way. Though due to circumstances beyond my control, my plan to birth at home did not work out. I knew I needed to explore other options.
I was thrilled when I found Baby+Company. It was the answer to my prayers, a home-like setting that allowed me the freedom I desired during labor while still having access to medical personnel, if need be. But I believed I would not need medical intervention. I was determined not to go to the hospital. As my bump grew larger and larger I did everything in my power to ensure my natural, birth center birth would be smooth. I began walking religiously, I changed my eating habits, and I worked on my meditations. I was completely prepared.
When my water broke at midnight on January 6th, 2016 the excitement began to grow. I knew I needed to rest if I was going to take the long and difficult journey into motherhood. After getting more sleep and enjoying a peaceful morning at home with my husband, Tyler, we ventured to the birthing center to get checked after lunch. My contractions, at this point, were building but I could easily talk through them. Much to my dismay when Stephanie, my midwife, checked me I had only dilated to 2 cm. My husband and I were sent home to try to speed up my labor. We walked and I bounced and rolled on the birth ball. By 7pm my contractions were getting stronger. I tried to remain focused on my baby and the flood of emotions I was sure to feel when I had successfully pushed him out.
Tyler drove to the birthing center and I remember the feeling of peace that I felt. After arriving and getting settled, Stephanie checked me and I had only dilated to 4 cm. My contractions were getting stronger and I tried to find relief. I ended up in the soaking tub. I went into a trance-like state for a few hours. Rebeca, our nurse, held my hand and helped coach me through my breathing. I got out of the tub at midnight. I had been in labor for 24 hours and I had dilated to 6 cm. I was on my way. A little slower than I had hoped but my baby was coming.
At around 5:30 in the morning, Stephanie checked me again and I had not budged from 6 cm. Rebecca and Stephanie had us make one final attempt to progress my labor but with no success, they said the last thing I wanted to hear “I think it’s time to go to the hospital.” It was at this time I began to cry. Tyler packed up our stuff and we (myself, Tyler, and Stephanie) headed to the hospital. When we arrived, we went straight up to Labor and Delivery. Rebecca and Stephanie had already called ahead to let them know we were on our way. I was immediately taken to a room and placed on fetal monitoring. Stephanie stayed with us until we got settled, something we were very grateful for.
There we were, in the one place I never wanted to be, the hospital. I got an epidural with the hope that my body would relax enough to allow my cervix to fully dilate. After the anesthesiologist administered the epidural, my labor pain eased. Shortly after, my baby’s heart rate began to drop. At first it was not very noticeable, just some small dips with each contraction. However this problem was enough to have the doctors suggest a C-section. Having been in labor for almost 36 hours running on little to no sleep, Tyler and I were not prepared to make this decision. Of course our son’s health was the top priority but we also knew that hospitals seem to push people into C-sections unnecessarily. We called Baby+Company and Becky (one of our other midwives) graciously came to the hospital to help us decide. It was not that we did not trust the doctors, they were wonderful. We just needed someone we were familiar with to give us another opinion. Becky was in agreement with the doctors. During this time, there was a sudden, large drop of our son’s heart rate from 140bpm to 60bpm. After Becky’s agreement with the doctors and this last drop in our son’s heart rate, we knew there was no other choice.
As soon as we consented to the C-section, I was quickly prepped and wheeled in to the operating room. My husband was not allowed to be with me until just before beginning the surgery. I was scared and disoriented from the drugs they gave me but I remember when Tyler came in. He was dressed in the yellow surgical gown, his hair in a cap, and a mask. I will never forget staring at his beautiful eyes. They provided me with such comfort. We talked, about what I am not sure, but it was peaceful. And then after much tugging and pulling the doctor said “Here he comes!” My husband stood up and was able to watch as our baby boy was pulled out. With that our son, Henry Finnegan Addy Price, was born at 1:30pm. He was 7lbs 13oz.
A nurse gave him to my husband for skin to skin. It was a strange feeling, seeing this tiny baby that I had dreamed about finally here. I did not have that feeling of success and relief when he was born. Most of my emotions were dulled.
I do not remember much from the first few days of Henry’s life. Most of my memories are foggy, made clearer by my husband and mom telling me what happened. I do remember the Baby+Company team coming to visit me. It was wonderful to have their support even though I did not deliver with them. I also remember how kind the hospital staff was. They even released us a day early because they knew I would recover better at home. Even though the birth did not go as planned, I could not have asked for a better experience.
Still, the fact that I had a C-section was difficult to cope with and still is to this day. Yes, I am happy Henry is healthy and I am so grateful for the doctors, nurses, and my midwives for being there through the difficult labor. But I must also grieve the fact that I did not push my son into this world. I think back on his birth and I try to remember the good moments. I am grateful that I was able to still have my 6 week postpartum visit at Baby+Company.
The women of Baby+Company will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you to Stephanie, Rebecca, Becky, Alice Ann, Kristen, and Jessica for showing my family and I such love and support throughout my pregnancy, labor/delivery, and postpartum.
Now, Henry is almost 5 months old and he is a happy, healthy baby. I am so blessed to be a mom to this beautiful little boy. He brings me more joy than I could have ever dreamed.