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Birth Story, natural delivery: Welcome Oliver Jay 6/3/24 with Mindful Birth Doulas in SWFL

First time parents doula care in Naples FL

6/3: Our morning started with a breakfast and coffee date at Sunburst Cafe prior to seeing the OB. I was crampy, and could tell the baby was sitting a little lower, but wasn’t having any significant pain or contractions. Over the last few days my back pain got more constant and I was struggling to find any positions of comfort, especially to sleep.

We had an appointment with Dr. Nguyen since Dr. Brothers was out of town. At our last appointment, they said that if I hadn’t gone into labor yet, they would have me call the hospital at 6pm to see if they had a bed available to induce me. Tyler planned to go to work after our appointment, so my mom was there to take me home. There was no specific medical reason for an induction, but their practice tries to deliver every baby by 41 weeks. When we got to the doctors’ office she checked me and said that I was about 3.5 cm dilated (I had been 3cm dilated and 80% effaced for a week already). The doctor offered that if we’d rather go in now (9am) than at 6pm, the hospital had a bed available. With my back pain typically progressing throughout the day, I felt more comfortable being induced in the morning than late in the evening. So we drove across the street to The Birth Place at NCH.

Fortunately, our bags were packed, so my mom was able to come pick them up for us. We checked in and were brought to our labor and delivery room. The first room had a large, live cockroach in the bathroom. Tyler said he’d do anything I needed for the next few days, but he wasn’t killing the bug. The nurses were very apologetic and took us to another room.

It was about 9:40am when I got changed into a gown. The nurse came in, asked lots of intake questions, and discussed getting an IV. I consented to a hep-lock, but not IV fluids, and made sure to keep hydrating. She hooked me up to a portable monitor but warned me that they don’t always work well and if there were any issues with it, she would have to connect me to the traditional one.

At 11am we decided to turn a movie on (Disney’s Brave) while we waited for the hospital to get in touch with Dr. Bevins. The nurse informed me that I was already having contractions, but they just felt like cramps at that point.

At 12pm, the nurse came in and said Dr. Bevins would like to start me on Pitocin and IV fluids. I asked for the lowest possible dose which was 2 mL per hour.

How to have a baby with doulas in SWFL

At 12:30 Dr. Nguyen came in to break my water. It wasn’t painful at all, but there was so much more water than I expected! The next 3 hours were fast and furious. After my water was broken contractions came on quickly and with much more intensity. Tyler let our doula, Tara know we were ready for her at about 12:45pm and she arrived by 1:30pm. My contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and getting more intense consistently.

I labored on the ball leaning on Tyler, the toilet (also leaning on Tyler), and then on the ball again (leaning over the end of the hospital bed). While at the end of the bed, I was hooked up to a traditional monitor as the portable wasn’t working well. I wasn’t happy about this because it was clunky and pressed firmly into my stomach while I was leaning over the bed. I remember trying to push-back with the nurse but their protocol was that I had to be monitored.

Tara provided hip squeezes, counter pressure, and rubbed the back of my left hamstring with each contraction. This made the world of difference with my back pain and allowed me to focus on my breathing. Tyler cued my breaths, gave lots of affirmations, and reminded me how close we were to meeting our sweet baby boy.

By 2pm we asked the nurse to stop the Pitocin because my contractions were 1-2 minutes apart and I was in a very consistent pattern. We were very grateful Tara was there to advocate for me during that conversation with the nurse. I could tell the baby was getting lower quickly and had to really focus between contractions to relax. While at the end of the bed I started to feel some urges to push. We transitioned to all fours in the bed which only intensified those urges. The nurses called the doctor to come just before 3pm.

By 3pm I was in left side-lying, my uterus was pushing (despite the nurses telling me to wait for the doctor). I pushed for about 35 minutes in side-lying and then for the last 10 on my back. I was able to feel the baby crowning with my hand and got so eager to meet him. For the last few pushes the doctor really encouraged me to bear down. They coached me to do about 4, 10-second pushes per contraction, but I felt like it was impossible to catch my breath between pushes, so I ended up doing 2 or 3, 8-second pushes each time. It wasn’t what I had practiced, and the pelvic floor PT in me knew it wasn’t necessary for the baby to progress, but I got impatient.

Naples doulas deliver new baby at NCH

At 3:45 pm, Oliver Jay Polk arrived at 7 lbs, 10oz and 21 inches long. His apgar score was 9/10. I cried happy tears while he laid on my chest doing skin to skin. Tyler and I couldn’t take our eyes off him and stretched that first hour together out as long as possible before the baby nurse had to measure him. Dr. Bevins delivered my placenta within a few minutes (and showed us which was really cool), Tyler cut the umbilical cord, and then the doctor stitched me up. Because they had stopped my Pitocin and the IV came out of my hand during delivery (probably from white knuckling the bed rail) they gave me a shot of Pitocin in my right thigh to prevent excess bleeding.

Over the next 2 days at the hospital, nurses came in every 2 hours to check my bleeding and BP. They also checked the baby’s temperature and applied pressure to my uterus to avoid hemorrhaging. Each nurse we had was very knowledgeable. All but one took lots of time to help us nurse and get comfortable caring for Oliver. We met with the lactation consultant, Jill, a few times which was a tremendous gift. She offered some great tips and encouragement.

We were discharged Wednesday morning, June 5th and were so excited to head home for a good shower and real bed.

Each day since Oliver has been getting a little stronger and a little less sleepy. We are so grateful that he’s ours and that we had so much support welcoming him into the world.

Authored by Erin P, first time mom to Oliver Jay

Congratulations to Erin and Tyler as we join them in welcoming Oliver earthside!

Mindful Birth Services and Doula Care in SWFL


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