Welcome baby Maverick Allen! Born 3/23/21 | 9#7oz | 21.5 inches
Big thanks to first time mom Brittney for sharing her birth story with us! Brittney and Brett found their way to Mindful Birth's 'Birthing From Within' childbirth education class series and their perspective about birth began to shift. Letting go of judgment of birth outcomes, preparing deeply for this important journey, leaning in to each other for support and allowing themselves to be guided by their truest selves. Brittney shared that she feels "we gave it our all, were patient and advocated for ourselves and all we cared about was getting him here safely. And now it’s part of his story so the struggle is special! I have been coping well with it all I think because I went in with an open mind so I wasn’t disappointed by anything." Thank you, Brittney, for opening up to vulnerability as you share this special story of baby Mav's arrival.
"Dictionary.com defines Maverick as an unorthodox or independent-minded person and that's exactly who our little guy has been since conception. He has kept us on our toes from the very beginning, but his story really starts after Christmas 2020:
My husband and I were on vacation in TN when I felt a gush of fluid trickle down my leg as I cooked breakfast. This was my first pregnancy and it's pretty remarkable what my provider didn't prepare me for. I cleaned myself up and chalked it up to discharge. Later that night I woke up to cramping, but nothing too painful so I went back to sleep. The next morning, my gut told me to call my provider. The panic in the nurses voice shook me to my core-- I instantly began to worry and headed to a hospital in Knoxville. They tested my fluid but the test was inconclusive so they sent me for an ultrasound where they found that my cervix was shortened and thinning. This hospital didn't have the ability to work with premature babies so I was transferred to another hospital and admitted for monitoring. I was having contractions and was given two rounds of steroids for lung development, then I was discharged and headed home.
My first day back to work on January 6th I started bleeding heavily. I thought to myself, "this is it. I've lost the baby". I went to Health Park and was admitted again. This time I was given magnesium to stop my contractions and had a very real and intense talk with the NICU representative to prepare to give birth soon to an underdeveloped baby. I was devastated.
But, as Maverick likes to defy the odds over and over, my water broke on March 21st (my due date!) at 9pm. Exactly 40 weeks along and it was go time! I remember in class being told to wait as long as possible to go to the hospital and to labor at home until I couldn't anymore. However, I was concerned that because I was on the verge of labor 3 month prior, that things could progress quickly so I waited until about midnight before we went in. The contractions were uncomfortable and regular and followed the 5-1-1 rule (sometimes 4-1-1). In triage, they confirmed my water broke and said I was only 1 cm dilated-- super discouraging! The nurse casually said "we will get you into a room and start you on pitocin". Brett and I looked at each other with tons of confusion. Why was I being induced when I am clearly laboring on my own? I was there for 30 mins... how could they even measure how I was progressing? I remembered that I don't have to consent to anything I don't want to do and spoke up for myself. I was admitted to labor naturally.
Cape Coral Hospital has the sweetest nurses. I was afraid I would have to battle for what I wanted, but the nurses were encouraging. They brought me a peanut ball, birth ball, and gave me mobile monitoring so the only thing I wasn't able to do was use the tub and I was ok with that. I labored naturally for 12 hours but never progressed past 2 cm. We walked, bouced, massaged, and tried many positions. We went back and forth with the nurse about starting a pitocin drip. After some thought, I agreed to it if they did it very slowly. Once that drip started, things took a turn.
I almost immediately started having negative reactions that were ignored. I was feverish, vomiting, couldn't form sentences or answer questions... I felt like I was brain dead. I remember trying to say "dilated" to Brett and I couldn't speak no matter how hard I tried. After another 12 hours of vomiting at every other contraction and overall just feeling awful, I was only dilated to 5 cm. Now we were in hot water because my water had been broken for over 24 hours. At this point we got an epidural to try and progress more quickly.
Once I received the epidural I felt relief and progressed to 10 cm in about 2 hours with the peanut ball. It was time to push and the on call OB was there to deliver. I always pictured 4 or 5 nurses helping to deliver but while I pushed it was just Brett and the nurse! They each held a leg and for FOUR HOURS I pushed. The OB came in and said he was stuck above my pelvis. She tried to pull him through (which was more painful than the contractions), but he wouldn't budge. He started to get stressed during each contraction so she mentioned an emergency cesarean. I agreed for his safety and mine and at 11pm 3/22 we headed to the OR.
I felt prepared for all of these changes. From breathing through my natural labor, using essential oils and massage, adapting to pitocin and then epidural and now cesarean... I felt like I could handle it all because of the class I prepared for through Mindful Birth (Birthing From Within).
I was shaking uncontrollably during my cesarean. My anesthesiologist was the worst person I encountered during my labor and delivery process. He was harsh and impatient. He reprimanded me over and over for shaking because he couldn't get a read on my blood pressure cuff. I was also SO thirsty that I felt like I was choking on my tongue. This started to give me anxiety and Brett wasn't in the room yet to calm me down. They brought him in at the very last minute so laying there felt like hours. He came in when they had all of my organs out of my body! He was mortified. But, a minute later, at 12:20am on 3/23, they brought out a 9lb 7oz baby with the cutest raspy cry. I wish I could say that I had that beautiful moment of bliss when they brought him to me, but things got harder for me.
I was shaking too badly to hold him, and I felt very ill. The anesthesiologist was downplaying how I felt. I told him I was going to vomit and he said, "everyone says that. I'll give you meds later". I couldn't even focus on my baby and our moment together so I asked Brett to take him away from me. Brett and the baby went to recovery.
I again mentioned how I felt and was ignored completely this time. When they had me closed up and transferred me to the moving bed, I vomited all over the anesthesiologist! In the recovery room I had a fever of 104 degrees. I had a few minutes of skin to skin and breastfed for a bit, but again I asked for someone to take the baby. I felt out of control of my body. I think I had been sick a lot longer than just the c-section... I think I was sick many hours beforehand.
Later that morning, we were woken up by a crew of people frantically taking my baby. Transport crew took him to Golisano Children's Hospital and the nurse let me say goodbye, and then told us what was going on. Honestly, I didn't even know what my baby looked like or smelled like before he was taken away. He wasn't regulating his temperature and was getting dangerously cold. They feared him and I both had Chorioamnionitis; an infection from water being broken too long. He was in the NICU until 3/25 (the same day I was discharged too). Brett brought my colostrum to Maverick a few times per day and never left his side. It was a very weird feeling to give birth to a baby and then have nothing to show for it. No baby, no visitors, just a sore stomach and some bad hospital food. I didn't feel like a mom to anyone. No one was crying for me and I didn't have any magic moments, either.
Thankfully, neither of us had an infection and we were reunited. The first time I held him I sobbed. He was so beautiful and his hair was so soft. I was in love with him and it suddenly all made sense. This was his story from the beginning. He has always been difficult! But the irony of him being so close to coming early, to being so hard to get out still cracks me up.
It wasn't the labor I hoped for, but I gave it my all and felt prepared for all of the unknowns thanks to the class we took. Brett was a rockstar and everything I needed in a support person. I can't imagine how I would have handled that without Mindful Birth and I believe the class saved me from feeling any type of birth trauma."
Authored by Brittney Knight, first time mom of Maverick Allen
-Congratulations from everyone at Mindful Birth Services and Doula Care-