Updated: May 4, 2019
Elvy's birth announcement was written by Emily, our fantastic doula with a wonderful sense of humor. Emily is a mother of 6, and when she’s not doulaing or deepening her faith at church, you’ll find her joy riding on her Harley.
We join Shannon and Marc as they celebrate the arrival of their petite and perfect little Elvy Mae Aldridge, born weighing 5lb 9oz and 19 inches long. She made her debut at practically the same time as her scheduled induction, May 1st at 5:30 a.m.
This sweet little bundle had an estimated due date of May 20th, 2019. Shannon and Marc's care provider was concerned that baby might be on the small side and scheduled an induction to deliver early. Sometimes babies who are small for their gestational age are better able to gain weight once they’re delivered. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “labor should be induced only when it is more risky for the baby to remain inside the mother’s uterus than to be born.” (As it turns out, Elvy had other plans! I love it when babies say, "I will decide when to come"! More on that later…)
None the less the couple prepared for a Mindful Induction but secretly hoped to avoid it! What’s a Mindful Induction? It’s a detailed look that the Mindful Birth Doulas use to help our clients look at why a medical induction is being proposed, questions to consider as you make the decision with your provider, possible alternatives to consider, setting realistic expectations for what an induction entails including timeframes, and lastly ways to cope through an induced labor. We basically want to be sure that you know your options and that the decision to induce is a well thought out decision.
As Shannon approached her estimated due date her checkups proved that she wouldn't make it to the 39 weeks for the induction. Her body was moving towards labor as she walked around several centimeters dilated for weeks. This proved to be ideal as they were able to celebrate their first-born child Julien's 2nd birthday as they waited. How neat is it to have two birthdays in the same week!
On Tuesday April 30th, I received a text from Shannon stating that she didn't think she was going to make it to the scheduled induction because she was experiencing regular contractions throughout the day. She used warm baths to slow the contractions down to give her and Marc a chance to get some rest at night. It worked until 2 a.m. when they decided it was time to head to the hospital.
Checking in already at 5 cm may have been a surprise for the couple, but for me I knew that the second part of this labor was going to move pretty quickly. Because Shannon showed all the signs of transition I knew she was closer than she realized! Transition is when the cervix dilates from 8 cm to 10 cm and while it’s the shortest phase of labor, it’s also the most intense. I'm sure her husband Marc will agree with me when I say that Shannon proved to be a birth Warrior! She handled the toughest part of labor without even knowing that she was in the thick of it! All she needed was the loving presence of her husband (and her doula!) to keep her grounded and to reassure her that she was able.
Surprise, surprise, surprise! In a short few hours her bulging bag of waters helped her cervix to dilate which quickly moved her into the pushing stage. Eager to deliver but waiting on her care provider to arrive, Shannon pulled out every ounce of strength to resist the urge to push. It seemed like perfect timing, as her care provider made it just in time to catch!
Now I will leave the details for the lovely couple to share, hopefully at the next Birth Circle (that’s where we all get together to share birth stories and reconnect with our past doula clients, as well as our current doula clients! It’s a really supportive environment as we help new moms ease into the postpartum period and process the joys and struggles of life with baby). But I'll never forget the smile on her face and the look of relief when she was given the green light to push!
In Shannon’s own words she reflected, "It's true about what they say, the second baby really is a lot faster"!
Nancy, who patiently waited in the waiting room (thankfully she didn't wait very long) was so grateful to share the love she has for both of her grandchildren, Julien and now Elvy Mae. We jokingly concluded, if only grandchildren can be born first! A great big congratulations to the Aldridge Family!
In doula love,