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The Birth Story of Baby Everett's Arrival by Cesarean in SWFL

Thank you Amanda for sharing your story with us! Amanda and her partner took our Mindful Birth 3-week birth class series to help prepare for anything their labor delivered. Read on as mom shares her experience and her insights throughout the journey.

A baby born with Mindful Birth Services

"I am going to start this story from the very beginning. I have desperately wanted to be a mother since I was about 20 years old. Fortunately, I waited till the age of 33 when I was in the right circumstances to start a family. Unfortunately, I had two miscarriages the first year of trying. I saw a fertility specialist who said I was perfectly healthy but wanted to start me on Clomid anyway to regulate my cycles. I declined but after another year of trying and becoming more and more depressed with each negative test, I agreed to start Clomid. Two cycles of medication and one hurricane later, Everett was conceived.

Wanting a child so desperately, I spent a majority of my pregnancy waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was high risk due to medications I take that I had no choice but to stay on. I saw a MFM doctor but it was important to me that I see a midwife practice for delivery. Midwives have been delivering babies since caveman era, long before the medical model of birth. I knew that I was most likely to have a successful vaginal delivery if I was delivered by a midwife. I also read Ina May’s guide to childbirth, to prepare myself mentally. I took Mindful Birth's "Birthing From Within" class which was so empowering.

Unfortunately, I developed gestational diabetes during my pregnancy. Every week my pregnancy advanced, the diabetes would become harder and harder to control as the placental hormones increased. I first required pills and then later insulin. During this time I kept on being told how big he was during my monthly scans and his growth was exponential. At 35 weeks I was told that his head was measuring at 41 weeks and his shoulder width would be off the charts, four standard deviations above normal. I was also told at this time that the midwives would no longer be able to see me and I would have to transfer my care to the physicians that were a part of the group. I was told by Maternal Fetal Medicine that I would need to be induced at 37 weeks. I struggled to get an appointment with an OB/GYN in those two weeks that would deliver me, but I went on maternity leave early and made it happen. Nothing was more important to me than the health of this baby. All the while I was walking constantly, (good for GDM and induction) drinking raspberry leaf tea, and using my breast pump.

Mom in Labor at Health Park in Fort Myers

I went in for my induction June 1. Since I was nowhere near ripened the plan was to give me Cytotec for 24 hours before starting Pitocin. Prior to initiating the medication, the doctor came and spoke to me about his measurements and the risk of shoulder dystocia. He said by his calculation, from the shoulder to head ratio, the risk was 5%. I had read literature explaining that only 1% of shoulder dystocia cases led to brachial nerve plexus injuries. I explained to him all the women in my family have given birth to 9-10 pound babies and I was confident I could do the same. I wore the portable fetal monitoring unit for the next 24 hours and walked the halls. When I wasn’t walking I bounced on the yoga ball the hospital provided. However all that walking got me thinking. Why was the experience of vaginal delivery so important to me? If my baby had a permanent disability, would I ever forgive myself? The next day I requested that they proceed with the C-section.

Cesarean Birth Doula Supported

I very much did not want to have any epidural during my delivery. As a child, I had a traumatic spinal tap, which left me with back pain in that specific area for years afterwards. With a C-section you are required to have a spinal block. I was incredibly anxious in the operating room, but my nurse held my arms and quietly talked to me. I was able to put myself in a trance like state based on what we had learned in birthing class and because of her voice. The experience was wonderful. At my request, the physician put up a clear plastic drape, followed by a opaque paper drape. The moment they pushed on my stomach, I knew he was going to come out. They dropped the paper drape and I looked up and saw him. It almost felt like I had delivered him naturally. I even got to touch his face through the plastic and talk to him. I cried, he cried, it was so moving. There was also about a minute of delayed cord clamping.

Labor doula care Naples FL

My baby had transient tachypnea of the newborn because he was born C-section. At one point my husband turned to me and told me that they were going to do a little bit of CPR. I hysterically started crying. In reality what they were doing was putting him on a CPAP and suctioning out a mucous plug. Very, very different from CPR. After they took the baby away, my husband followed. I was laying on the table feeling like I had made a bad decision because my child was only 8 lbs. 5 oz. and, like everyone told me, the measurements are often off. My provider peaked her head over the curtain and told me that his head was tilted in my pelvis, and he would’ve most likely not come out normally. I thanked her so much for telling me this. Because of this TTN, we were encouraged to stay skin to skin in recovery for 2 1/2 hours prior to being transferred. My husband, baby and I were in our own bubble of love and security.

Once in our own room, I was distressed about how helpless I was. My legs were paralyzed for 24 hours because of the spinal block, and I was unable to do anything with the baby besides hold him and feed him. I was completely reliant on my husband and mother for everything else. The following day, I had pains that lasted about a minute, had a crescendo and decrescendo, and were about 3 to 4 minutes apart. I thought maybe this was contractions from my uterus going back to normal. The pain became increasingly more severe. Finally, I realized it was gas pain. The pain was excruciating! Luckily, I was able to get through this with the pain management techniques we learned in class and walking around as much as possible.

After the C-section, my recovery was not linear. I had good days and bad. Some days where the bumps in the road made being in a car unbearable, others where I could drive around normally by myself. I needed to be patient with myself and not try to do too much.

Having this beautiful baby in my arms right now makes everything so worth it and even though I ended up with a C-section, I’m so glad I took the class!"

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Amanda!

Welcome to the world, baby Everett!


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