My journey began on September 26, 2005. I went into Labor and Delivery leaking amniotic fluid while being positive for Group B streptococcus. I was sent home by the nurse that said I was tested negative for amniotic fluid. I continued to leak and returned back to labor and delivery 2 hours later. While hooked up to the monitors my baby had decelerations in his heart rate. Minutes later I was being thrown consent papers to sign and being wheeled down to the operating room saying they needed to get him out now or else he would die. He got an infection and needed to be out as soon as possible.
It was my worst nightmare as a young teen mother to bring my baby into the world that way. Bright lights, pain, anxiety and not being able to see or touch my baby for hours after he was born was not my ideal birth. The great thing was we were both fine aside from my baby being born with Group B strep and having to be in the hospital for the first 10 days of his little life on antibiotics in the NICU, but we made it!
Fast forward 8.5 years later ….
It was a hot summer day June 2013. Mario was out the back gardening and I was in the house; something told me to take a pregnancy test so I did and it was POSITIVE!!! I came down, nerves racing excited and nervous all at the same time to let Mario know he was going to be a DADDY – one of the best days ever, we were both in shock and so happy.
I happened to run into an old friend, Liz, at the grocery store later in my pregnancy and she told me about a VBAC support group. I had no idea having a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after C-section) was even an option until I attended the group and researched more about it. WOW was I in shock! I started calling around and many doctors are not VBAC friendly. I finally found one that said I was a great candidate for a VBAC. I was one happy momma; little did I know things were about to change.
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As I continued to do research and learn more about what doctors do to reel you in, I started to see the truth behind my OB/GYN that started telling me at 5 months that my baby was “measuring big” and that I might want to keep my mind open to a repeat c-section if he continued to grow at this rate. I respectfully declined and told her I would not sign any consent forms unless it was medically necessary.
I continued to measure big throughout my pregnancy, and at 37 weeks without my consent, they scheduled me a repeat c-section in which I respectfully declined again. At 40 weeks I went into labor, headed into the birth center and was admitted and checked. I progressed well. I was dilated at 3cm when I arrived and within 2 hours I was at 5cm.
The doctor showed up and smelt like an ashtray, right away I didn’t care for him. He seemed antsy and like he just wanted to get my birth done and over with. I expressed my desire to have a natural unmedicated natural birth with no interventions, as he interrupted and stated that the anesthesiologist was on his way, and that, “You’re going to want pain medicine so might as well have it in place.” I felt so unsupported, and at that point I knew he was going to force me into a repeat c-section.
I continued to labor for a while more, and was progressing, but I was talked into getting pitocin and my labor ended up stalling (I knew I shouldn’t have listened). I labored for a total of 5 hours. After that time, he said my baby was too big, not engaged in my pelvis and that I was unable to birth him; that the only way he was going to be here safely was by repeat c-section. I was betrayed, lied to and felt like I had failed as a mother. I knew my rights and tried to fight for what was right and I still got bullied. I am deeply affected from this experience, fear and anxiety and trauma was forced into me and I was not heard. I did have a healthy 9 lb 13 oz baby boy that was 21 ½ inches long but not the birth I longed for and not the birth I desired.
April 2015 – one year and one month after my baby boy was born we found out we were pregnant again. We had just got done celebrating Nazir’s first birthday, and little did we know we needed to start another journey for the birth of our next baby because I was not having a repeat c-section.
I searched and searched to find a good doctor that was willing to do a VBA2C, but I was SO scared to trust any of them, and nothing really felt right.
I talked to one of my really great friends, Holly, and she suggested having a home birth. I never thought the way finances were and the timing we would be able to do it, until…. we decided to hire my midwife, Michelle, and have a HBA2C.
I was unsure about my confidence and in fear at times, but over time it all went away. This was the best choice I have made in all three of my births. My prenatal appointments were amazing, she came and supported me in the comfort of my own home every time for more than just 11 minutes, she included my boys with each visit, we shared stories and created a bond and friendship that will last forever. We prepared, made plans, focused on what I wanted my birth to look and like feel like. I watched videos; hypnobirthing, breathing and other techniques that helped me in having a successful homebirth.
My due date came and went… I waited… and waited… impatience and fear started to kick in. “Can my body do this?” “Is my body broken?” “Why am I not going into labor?” Questions put in my head from my previous pregnancies…
Well Michelle had different thoughts for me; she had to remind me and redirect my negative thoughts to positive ones finally after giving me the pep talk I needed, relaxing and trusting this process my contractions finally kicked in. 3 days of inconsistent sporadic contractions we decided to bump up my homeopathic dose – and let me tell you these things are magic! They made my contractions consistent and stronger.
My amazing birth team got to my house, my sister Brandi was my wonderful doula, from the funny times to the more serious times; I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her jiggling my legs to keep me relaxed. My mom helped keep my kids distracted and massaged my back when needed, that felt great. My amazing photographer, Stephanie, captured all of my beautiful moments – I am so thankful I have these photos to remind me of this precious moment, and Danielle came later on in the evening. She helped when help was needed, no questions asked just jumped into action when something was needed, she even emptied my gross birth tub BY HAND with bowls and refilled it with fresh water. My birth was amazing – I don’t know what I would have done if it weren’t for all of these beautiful amazing people in my life.
At 9cm my cervix was almost fully open, I just had a lip left; it was making my process way more painful and baby didn’t have the chance to engage due to her bulging bag of water. I made the choice to allow my wonderful assistant midwife, Rhonda, to break my water – not only was she an amazing help throughout my labor and birthing process, but she was also amazing at reassuring my family when times got shaky. She made me look her in the eyes when she needed me to connect with her and focus on what she was saying and really helped give me confidence at times when I was weak.
I was scared of more pain but I knew it needed to be done for her to come! The real intense contractions kicked in! I was sitting backwards on my toilet trying to get Samaria to engage and get that last little lip of cervix to thin out. My pain was unexpected and intense. All I could think about was wanting something ANYTHING to take the pain away. I wanted to throw in the towel and give up, but at that very moment I had this weird out of body experience hearing myself say, “If you give up and transfer, the hospital will not give you medicine and let you continue to labor, they will rush you back to the OR and do a repeat c-section. You’ve come this far DON’T GIVE UP!” At that very moment, I decided to listen to myself and everyone else to get my rest because I was going to accomplish my goal, there was no turning back.
I joined my Man, my support, my rock, while relaxing on the bed, feeling his touch and hearing his soft soothing voice telling me, “I love you, you’ve got this, it’s going to be ok.” Those words he spoke to me helped me calm down gave me such power inspiration and confidence in birthing our beautiful daughter.
Shortly after relaxing, I got into the birthing tub to help ease my pain; the contractions were intense back to back and unbearable but the water helped take the pressure off. I decided to see if I could feel Samaria – and sure enough, I felt her squishy little head full of hair! At that moment my second wind hit me and I knew my body was doing it! I knew my body was working; and I was doing exactly what I was put on this earth to do bear my baby naturally, No drugs, no bright lights, no doctors to tell me I can’t do it – no c-section!!
I had a room full of people believing in me, love surrounding me and I was full of confidence. I was birthing my sweet little princess in the comfort of my own home. She crowned! It wasn’t painful! I kept feeling her little head full of hair come down further and further, I felt her tiny ears and her head come out; next she wiggled a little and swam out like a fish. She made her appearance in her own time, Ms. Samaria Alyra Eiland made it into the world on December 24th 2015 at 5:04 a.m., weighing 9lbs 6oz 21 1/2 inches long and head circumference was 14” I didn’t rip or tear – she and I were perfect. Samaria weighed 7oz less than what her brother weighed, her head circumference was only 1’ away from Nazir and they had the exact same length… ironic how the OB/GYN said Nazir would be too big for me to birth him.
I proved to everyone who doubted me, I proved to myself that I wasn’t broken and I proved to my beautiful daughter that I will never give up on her or her brothers, I will give all I have, I will love them and never give up on them no matter what . My advice to ALL mommas, research EVERYTHING, don’t give up on your goals and dreams, trust your body: don’t EVER let someone tell you, you can’t, or that your baby is too big. Don’t ever give up on your baby, and most of all don’t EVER give up on yourself! You’ve got this!!! Love and peace!
With thanks to Stephanie Lynn Photography for allowing us to share her images. Connect with Stephanie and discover more of her beautiful work on her Facebook page
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