We found out we were expecting our second little one just 4 months after our first was born. Callie, our first child, was delivered 6 weeks before due date via emergency C section after a scary pregnancy where I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia. The surgery was very traumatic for me and Callie had to spend almost a month in Neonatal Intensive Care before we were able to bring her home. The news of our 2nd pregnancy was a bit of a surprise to us and I was fairly nervous and tempted to fear what could happen to our baby and to my body from everything that I was reading online. From what I read, it was going to be extremely dangerous, there was a very high risk of placental abruption, the baby would likely be underweight and unhealthy and my body was at an increased risk of preeclampsia. We soon discovered the medical world would not allow me to give birth naturally because of the small time interval between pregnancies. I was devastated.
We prayed a lot and contacted midwives in our area but kept getting met with the same problem; they wouldn’t take me on as a patient unless my due date was at least 18 months after surgery. There was a girl in Tulsa that I had known when I was younger and had only recently discovered that she was now a midwife in the Tulsa area, so I emailed her and asked if she knew whether or not it was even possible for me to deliver naturally. Her reply was so encouraging to my husband and I. She didn’t see any problems with it as long as my scar healed well and baby didn’t implant along the scar line, and she expressed how she would be happy to take me on as a patient. I was amazed and definitely shed a few tears. My husband, Aaron, and I scheduled an appointment and drove 2 hours from Norman to meet with her in Tulsa, of course, accompanied by our 2 page list of questions. She answered everything exactly like we wanted to hear, providing us with an increased confidence in her knowledge and experience. We decided that day that she was the only one we would trust to walk through our pregnancy and birth with.
I completely changed my diet and was extremely careful to take care of my body. With the help of my midwife and her student midwife, I had an uneventful and healthy pregnancy. Our baby girl was looking perfect and my body was doing well. I had slight swelling that was not unusual for any pregnant woman to have during the heat that hits Oklahoma in late July and early August, and my blood pressure only rose slightly near the very end, but other than that, everything was proceeding as planned. I carried my little one until 10 days after my due date and at that point we decided to get a biophysical profile ultrasound. We discovered our baby girl, Avery, was doing really well but that my placenta was fairly aged. After consulting with my midwives, they said they would be more comfortable delivering sooner rather than later, so we decided to go ahead and take the measures necessary at home to kick start labor. Can I say that Castor oil is now on my list of “never want to do that again”?
My water broke around 4pm on a Sunday, about 6 hours after we began the process. Light contractions followed shortly after. It continued to become more intense over the next few hours. My midwives drove 2 hours to our apartment and when they arrived I was only dilated to about a 3. My contractions continued off and on through the night and I was able to get rest occasionally. Monday morning I awoke and nothing was happening. We started the process again with the castor oil, tinctures and oils. My midwife said that it would likely pick back up later that evening and suggested that we have my chiropractor come and give me an adjustment to help get things going. We did, and then I took my third round of castor oil. My body was still being very stubborn and contractions were light to non-existent. They suggested I try to rest in order to prepare myself for the labor that she said would pick back up in intensity later that evening. So I rested. I laid down around 7pm on Monday evening. I believe I was able to sleep for 2-3 hours. I woke up refreshed. Contractions were coming on pretty strong and only got stronger from there.
Transition hit about 4am on Tuesday morning. It was rough but with encouragement from my midwives and my husband, I made it through. I pushed for about 40 min and then we finally got to meet our precious baby Avery. She was beautiful. A healthy 7lbs 4oz., 19.5in long, and such a sweet little face.
It was such an exhausting, yet, extremely rewarding experience. My midwives and my husband were by my side helping me the entire time. According to most people’s understanding and assumptions, I should not have experienced a healthy pregnancy, I should’ve had a repeat C section instead, and my baby should’ve been underweight and malnourished. I do believe that it was our midwives’ encouragement and guidance and my husband helping me throughout the pregnancy and birth that played a huge part in these things not taking place. Instead, I had a wonderful natural birth at home, and look forward to having a similar experience with future pregnancies.