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Announcing the sweet Ava Mackenzie, born May 18, 2019 to proud parents Jessica and Jim

Ava Mackenzie born May 18, 2019

I would say determined is an understatement when trying to explain how committed Jessica and Jim were to their VBAC. After a traumatic cesarean with their son, this couple went the distance to ensure a vaginal birth with their daughter. They had already overcame a two year struggle to get pregnant, surely this was the easy part. Right?

Jessica did her research after her cesarean. She learned all about natural birth and our current birth practices. When she finally got pregnant, she set up her birth team. She found a doctor who would support her VBAC, hired me as her doula, and attended our Birthing From Within Classes with Chris. She practiced Spinning Babies and even got her little girl to flip when she was breech at 33 weeks. When early in her pregnancy, she was told she had a rare antibody that may affect when she could deliver, she advocated for herself. Jessica even changed providers when her OB told her she was no longer a candidate for a VBAC.

The birth fairy had sent Jessica quite a curve ball with this rare antibody issue. There was little information she could find on the internet. Her new midwives didn’t know a lot about it. Her only source of information came from her maternal fetal specialist, who told her she should deliver by 37 weeks. Jessica knew this doctor was being overly cautious and that an induction at 37 weeks would be extremely difficult. Being her own best advocate, she negotiated for 39 weeks and prayed she’d go into labor before.

Big brother Caden welcomes baby sister

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and Jessica endured a three day induction. After almost 48 hours, her body started to respond to the induction. Contractions were strong and frequent. Jim was a rock for Jessica. He literally held her up and encouraged her. After several hours, Jessica was exhausted. She opted for an epidural. This allowed her to get some much needed rest and her body to relax. By afternoon, she was fully dilated. This is where the birth fairy chose to throw in another one of her tricks. After about an hour of pushing, baby Ava started to show some signs of stress in her heart rate. Jessica’s midwife was concerned. We tried some positional changes but three days of labor had tired both Jessica and baby Ava. A decision for a cesarean was made.

As Caden, her brother, would tell her in his adorable way, “Ava. Get out of the belly and make it small. I’m tired of telling you, baby, get out of that belly!”

Please join me in welcoming the much anticipated Ava Mackenzie, born May 18, 2019 at 7:19pm. She was 7lbs 11oz and 20 inches. It was my pleasure to walk beside this amazing family!

In doula love,



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