My advice to other women would be to make sure they research all their options. Even my own parents didn’t know much about what midwives do.... If you don’t know your choices, you can end up being pushed into things you don’t want to do, or undergo unnecessary interventions.
Thia's Post-Term Birth Story
Andrea’s birth story is a bit unique – she hadn’t thought she’d be able to get pregnant because she hadn’t menstruated in several years, so her due date was difficult to pin down. Normally, this wouldn’t matter; a baby is only born on his or her due date about 4% of the time. But if little Cynthia June (Thia, for short) didn’t arrive by the end of 42 weeks, Andrea would be induced at the hospital rather than giving birth at Baby+Company in Cary. She shares the story of her pregnancy, labor, and delivery – and how although things may not have worked out the way she had planned, she still got her happy ending.
“I went to Baby+Company for all of my prenatal care. I actually really enjoyed my visits. I found them very informative, not stressful at all. The midwives gave me a lot of information and told me where I could find more; it was like they answered my questions before I could even ask them! I felt comfortable going into the last trimester because I had gotten to know everyone who might be present during my birth.
My due date was kind of up in the air, but the 42-week rule would be followed according to the date that was in the system. During that final week, the midwives and I tried all the natural induction methods you could think of. It was very busy and fairly stressful. On the last day of the week, I was 4 centimeters dilated but not in labor. My induction was set for Monday morning at 6:30. I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to give birth at the center, but the midwives from Baby+Company would be at the hospital to advocate for me. Honestly, knowing that Mandesa would be there was the only thing that really kept me from having a breakdown at the hospital, because I hate that kind of environment.
On Sunday night I tried to relax in the tub, but I felt really uncomfortable. A few minutes after I got out I felt a contraction, and then another one. They were coming right on top of each other. My husband called the birth center and the midwife told us to come in right away. Mandesa examined me, and I was 5 centimeters dilated. She asked if I wanted to head over to the hospital. I wasn’t about to go back home, so we checked in at the hospital at eleven o’clock that night.
My first few minutes in the hospital were like a scene from a movie. I was trying to stay calm through these crazy contractions, and my husband was in the waiting room, frantically attempting to figure out the details of our insurance. When the nurses took me to a room, they gave me an IV and were constantly monitoring the baby. About halfway through labor I felt very cold and began shivering, so they took out the IV, which had been delivering cold fluids. That (plus a pair of socks and some apple juice) helped a lot. I was also relieved because I could change positions more easily without the IV.
I had had big plans for my labor: playlists, candles, maybe a water birth, but that all went out the window. Instead, I focused on breathing and prayer. Mandesa was a huge help. She gave me all kinds of positions to try using the available equipment, and aided me in moving my hips so the baby could travel down the birth canal. It was almost – weird to say, I know – fun. She made it feel like we were alone there. The hospital did a decent job, but it seemed like it was just procedure. They didn’t give me options or explain things or cheer me along. You could tell the doctors and nurses were there to ensure that my baby and I were safe and healthy, but they didn’t focus on our well-being or experience.
Thia was born three hours after we arrived at the hospital. When labor was difficult, I focused on the end game and reminded myself that women have been giving birth for thousands of years. I trusted God to bring it all the way to the end, and He did.
My advice to other women would be to make sure they research all their options. Even my own parents didn’t know much about what midwives do; I’m pretty sure they thought it was some kind of voodoo prior to Thia’s birth. If you don’t know your choices, you can end up being pushed into things you don’t want to do, or undergo unnecessary interventions. I never once wished I was getting care at a hospital rather than a birth center, and knowing what I know now, I would never do it any other way.”