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Zoë Bay Bucchi’s Birth Story born 4/18/21 at 31 weeks, 4#1oz

Authored by first time mom, Kaylee Bucchi. Kaylee and Paul were students in our 4-week Birthing From Within childbirth class series. Little did they know they'd be in labor at 31 weeks after just 2 classes of preparation! Their story is truly inspiring as we get a glimpse into a mother's intuition and a father's selfless support. Baby girl Zoe is doing great and the family is thriving! Read on for mom's story of Zoe's remarkable entrance into the world.

Wednesday, April 14th The day after my healthy and normal bi-weekly apt with my OBGYN, I woke up with bleeding & fluid. Knowing this was not normal & feeling very scared, I rushed into my Drs office to have her check on everything. She did an Amniotic fluid swab which came back negative and everything else seemed normal, so she sent me home saying if anything else changes to come back.

Thursday, April 15th I was having consistent cramps all day and by the end of the workday they started coming and going in waves. It was after hours at that point, so we went to Cape Hospital Triage to get checked out. Once hooked up to the monitors, they could see I was in fact having contractions. They explained that many factors could cause pre-term contractions (dehydration, infection, etc. all of which were ruled out for me), but pre-term contractions don’t necessarily mean pre-term labor. Since I was only 31 weeks our goal was to try and stop, slow down and prolong the contractions at all cost. They gave me the first round of Terbutaline injections. It helped for about an hour and then the contractions came back. From there they knew I would need another couple of rounds, so they admitted me into a room. The room had a “focus painting” of a succulent directly in front of the bed. This helped keep me calm & gave me something intentional to laser focus on during pain. (All Cape & Health Park delivery rooms have these)! Second shot was administered as well as my first round of corticosteroid injections to help develop baby’s lungs in case I was to deliver early (thank goodness for this)!! Dr. checked my cervix & confirmed it was closed. My contractions we’re not going away, they were getting stronger and closer (still very manageable at this point), but the monitors were not picking them up. The team did not think I was truly having contractions, but I absolutely was. **Huge learning point, listen to your body, YOU know it best! Paul was my biggest advocate & so in tune with everything, he spoke up and told them where exactly to place the monitors to pickup the contractions (same place they had them in Triage when it was reading). It worked and they started reading in wave patterns again, about every 5 minutes. Paul was my comic relief during this time; distracting me & making me laugh out loud with all the things.

Friday, April 16th In the morning they did an ultrasound to check my fluid levels and cervical length, both of which measured low/thin. Nurse did another Amniotic fluid check, and once again it came back negative. Both negative tests (apparently 98% accurate) had the team thinking that it was NOT my water that broke and again just wanted to keep monitoring me for the day. At this point I was so feeling confused, defeated and mostly an overwhelming sense of uncertainty. After another full day and night of tests, injections, and waiting, my midwife consulted the on-call Dr. and they agreed it was best if I were to be transferred to Health Park where the NICU is, again “in case” of preterm delivery.

Saturday, April 17th I was transferred via ambulance Saturday morning. Once admitted my contractions remained the same for a few hours. Still manageable but needing some focus and distraction to get through them. This is when I whipped out my handy dandy birth affirmation & notes cards from class. The nurses said it was “precious”, but it truly helped me. Paul also had stress relief meditation music and video scenery playing on his laptop which he hooked up to the hospital TV. ** Bring an HDMI cord if you want to do this – highly recommend. This honestly helped so much. The calm nature and scenery kept me breathing and distracted while giving me something soothing to focus on. This got me through a few more hours. My contractions then started to get closer, 3 minutes apart, and stronger. Dr. did a 3rd Amniotic fluid test which came back…negative. This left me, the nurses and Dr confused and not knowing next steps. They did a cervical check and at this point I was 1 cm dilated. They decided to move me down to the labor and delivery room “just in case”.

Sunday, April 18th By 3am Sunday morning after being settled into my 4th hospital room for a few hours, my pain and contractions were significant. I was still thinking (and hoping) that we could get the contractions to stop and I would be able to hold off delivering for another week or two. The nurses even said, our goal is to get to 35 weeks, so that gave me so much false hope. They did not want to keep checking my cervix just in case of introducing infection in case it was truly my water that had broken. At this point, I was thoroughly confused, in pain and needing some pain intervention. They gave me Stadol – 3 rounds. This is one thing I regret. It did help me be able to sleep for a few hours which was MUCH needed, but it also made me feel so out of it and not in control of my body. It also wore off quickly and I was back to feeling the same amount of pain. My nurse, Jenna who ended up helping deliver baby, could see it in my face. She knew it was happening. She called the on-call Dr. to ask if she could do another cervical check and Amniotic swab. She ended up doing it on her own without hearing back from the Dr. because she knew time was of the essence. Amniotic test came back negative (4th one), but I was 8 cm dilated at this point and baby’s head was there. It was go time! This is when I became super scared since up until this point, I did not think I was going to be delivering soon. I had to shift my mindset from “please keep her in, healthy and baking for a while longer” to “please get her out healthy, safely and as soon as possible”. It was the first time since being admitted that I felt clarity. Clarity but so much anxiety. I just had to believe that everything was happening for a reason. I was able to quickly get an Epidural, which for my experience and circumstances was the right decision for me. Paul kept me focused on my breath, holding still and staying as calm as possible. Between him & the nurses’ words of encouragement and how “perfectly I was doing” it got me through it. I was very comfortable

and calm after this and ready to start pushing. Paul, my mom, the nurses and Dr were all there rooting me on and it was just what I needed to get baby out quickly. It was truly the most incredible and relieving feeling meeting Zoe for the first time. I got to hold her for a couple minutes before they took her to the NICU.

Today, she is doing so good! She is such a strong and feisty fighter. All the nurses in the NICU think I was further along in my pregnancy than I thought. Mom and Dad are doing good too. We have felt SO MUCH love and support throughout all of this & we couldn’t have done it without you all. Mommas & Dads to be – let this be a guiding source for you to encourage, inspire and advocate for yourselves. It’s truly the most incredible experience and I can’t wait for you to witness it firsthand. YOU GOT THIS!!

Kaylee & Paul

Thank you for sharing your story and being such an inspiration for others!

With love from everyone on the Mindful Birth Doulas team


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