I first meet Tricia when she called for an interview. She was looking to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and her and her husband knew they wanted a doula this time around. Talk about the most warm and down to Earth couple! We instantly clicked. They hired me on the spot and we began to plan and prepare for their birth. Events unfolded and Tricia did not have her VBAC, but she did have the most beautiful family centered cesarean birth. I am honored that Tricia has taken the time to put into words her experience. I do not believe any 2 births are the same. I do love reading birth stories to learn about different perspectives and journeys.
Here is Tricia's story from her point of view. Her beautiful healing family centered belly birth.
My journey began in 2011 when I was pregnant for the first time. We were overjoyed. We took a natural birthing class based on the Bradley method and were determined to have a natural, unmedicated birth. You know what they say about planning, right? I experienced Braxton Hicks contractions from very early on. I was hospitalized at 30 weeks because we thought the baby was really coming. I had to receive a steroid injection to advance the baby’s lungs. No baby came. I went on bed rest for 10 weeks. At 9 days past my due date with no signs of progression, we decided to allow our doctor to do a csection. It was a boy! I remember crying and feeling alone because my husband was over with the baby, as he should be and I was just laying there on the table. I didn’t even get to touch my son for a good 15 minutes and even then they just held him next to my face. I finally got into recovery about a half hour later and was able to do skin to skin and nurse. I had him for exactly an hour before being separated and taken to my room as he went to the nursery for testing and a bath. My husband again, stayed with the baby. My body temperature would not come up (probably because I didn’t have my baby on my chest to help regulate our temps). I had to have the heated “bear hug” blanket to raise my temp. Finally, 5 HOURS later, my son was brought back into me. It was awful. I experienced pretty intense post partum depression for about 2 weeks following his birth. But I was so thankful nursing came easy and he was such an easy baby.
Flash forward 3 years and we got pregnant again. I was so determined to have a successful natural VBAC. Our doctor fully supported us. I interviewed doulas and then I met Danielle. It was the perfect match. I knew she was exactly what I wanted. I had just begun using essential oils and they were such a savior throughout my pregnancy. Again, I started experiencing Braxton Hicks at 16 weeks on. But we were less worried this time around knowing this was just what my body did. Danielle was great meeting with us and going over refresher type things for delivery. We were ready! The night before our due date, I started getting intense contractions and began losing my mucus plug. I was so excited. We went to the hospital in the morning and Danielle met us there. We felt so defeated to find out i had zero progression and my contractions weren’t doing anything yet. They tried to break my water and it was so painful. I remember crying looking at Danielle and my husband and then I yelled, “stop, this is not how my birth is supposed to be.” The doctor began to talk csection. Danielle, asked the nurse to leave and let us process. I cried. A lot. I didn’t want to hear, “all that matters is a healthy baby.” NO. My wishes did matter. We breathed. We used oils. We grieved the birth we thought we were getting. We allowed the nurse back in and took 45 minutes to explain our wishes and what I hated about my previous csection. I wanted to touch my vernix covered baby. I wanted to have skin to skin in the OR. I wanted Danielle in there with us to take care of ME while my husband was over with the baby. We wanted all measurements and testing delayed. I wanted longer in recovery to nurse and didn’t want my baby separated from me for hours. We had ALL our requests met. My voice was heard and my csection was beautiful and so healing. My daughter and I had skin to skin in the OR the entire time they were suturing me. We then had 3 hours in recovery nursing before she went for her bath. I had no temperature issues this time.
We also had Danielle encapsulate my placenta for me because I was determined to lessen any kind of postpartum depression. Between my healing birth, placenta and essential oils my postpartum healing was night and day from my first.
I’m so grateful to feel healed. I can’t encourage women enough to find their voice. Your wishes matter. You will be heard if you speak up. It is worth it!
Hi I am Danielle. I am a doula, childbirth educator, placenta encapsulation specialist, mother, wife & passionate about birth in the Dutchess, Westchester, Rockland & Orange County, NY area.
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