Surprise! It's a girl! Welcome to the world, Alayna Rose born 8/16/21

Today's birth story was written by 2nd time mom, MaLeah. We love all birth announcements but it's always special when mom shares her own story! Special thanks to our doula Emily for providing awesome doula care!


Alayna Rose Born August 16, 2021 6 lbs 11 oz "I love (good) surprises and hardly get them. So for this pregnancy, I chose to wait to find out the gender. That was not the only surprise.

First and foremost, I was VERY surprised when my husband Evan and the doctor announced girl upon delivery! It was a wish come true!

During the third trimester, my husband and I encountered a bad surprise. At 32-33 weeks my fluid levels dropped, endangered the baby and placenta. My doctor believed it was from dehydration. I foolishly was not careful with the Florida summer heat, overexerted myself (mowing lawn, trimming bushes, taking long walks in the heat) and was not drinking enough water. The complications led to a 3 night 4 day inpatient at Health Park hospital. As a middle aged professional, mother of toddler, and task oriented - type A personality, the confinement to a hospital room was a slap in the face. There was a possibility my fluids would get worse so Evan and I reviewed all possible scenarios- induced labor, scheduled emergency c section, NICU admission for the baby. It was overwhelming! Doula Emily encouraged us and her words, ‘I believe in miracles’ helped us tap into our faith as well.


During the hospital confinement, I had time to examined my (poor) stress management. My work life balance was off, I was not resting well on the weekends, and lost touch with how to rest. I eagerly embraced overhauling my lifestyle. Evan assumed more household responsibilities and my mom flew down to help with our toddler. I stopped all caffeine, got religious about drinking water, selecting healthy food diet and cut back significantly at work. Thru prayer and treatment, my fluids stabilized. I was discharged and allowed modified bed rest & monitoring from home for the remainder of the pregnancy. Despite my shame for endangering the baby, my community of faith and the prayers helped us press forward. Importantly, Emily helped us focus on getting better and preparing for a normal labor. Her training sessions focused on labor, pain management exercises, road map for labor, and breastfeeding. Even though Evan and I already experienced labor with my son, Emily’s training provided new wisdoms, perspectives and overall were very beneficial. To my surprise I safely made it to 38 weeks and went naturally into labor! Another unexpected factor was that I didn’t get an epidural! While it was a goal, I didn’t believe I could achieve it. (My husband and I are still in awe about it.) All the training and coaching from Emily made this possible!


Emily’s labor doula services were incredibly valuable. If Emily was not there, my experience would have been much different.

Her advocacy allowed options instead of blindly taking orders. Shockingly, Cape Coral hospital has a policy of admitting at 6 centimeters. Since I had group B strep and this was my second labor, I didn’t want to labor any longer at home. Plus the hospital was 20 - 25 min away from my house. They finally admitted me because we insisted on a exception. Once admitted I labored between 5- 6 centimeters for several hours. The nurse told me if my labor did not progress soon I would be sent home. Unfortunately My doctor was on vacation and the doctor on call did not weigh into the situation. Emily knew my labor was progressing and eased anxieties. She also took the time to talk to the nurse about my progression. The nurse was going off data on a monitor but Emily had recognized additional indicators that this labor was progressing.


Shortly after the nurse checked me, my dilation and labor sped up. I got nauseous and threw up which made my water break. Within 18 min of my water breaking I delivered. The contractions during that time did not have breaks- they were top of each other. If I waited for my water to break from home I would not have made it to the hospital, received antibiotics for group strep b, and the experience would have been traumatic.

The icing on the cake is that the breastfeeding experience has been much more rewarding. I struggled 8-9 weeks with my firstborn. Thanks to Emily, we are doing so well. Emily helped me work thru the challenges