Indiana's Birth Story

21 June 2017

If you've had a baby, whether it was an amazing experience or a complete nightmare, you have a story to tell. I've had both. My first experience first was amazing. Even after 23 hours of labor and dehydration, it was a great experience. My midwife was incredible and I couldn't have asked for a better birthing experience. The second, well not so much. We opted for a birthing home again because our first was so great but since we had moved to a different area, we ended up with a midwife that we later found was completely incompetent and negligent and it almost cost us our son's life. Sure, It started off fine but towards the end of the term, we later found that she ignored some important warning signs. And then when I finally went into labor two weeks late, maybe eight hours later, I knew something was wrong. However, she ignored everything I said, told me I was being hysterical and basically said I should shut up. What a gem. The long and the short of it, after 17 hours of hard labor, my little boy was stuck with his head barely out for 23 minutes and no air to the brain, and the midwife apparently too clueless on how to deliver him the rest of the way, Thank goodness he was rescuitated in the ambulance by some amazing paramedics. We had a tough few weeks in the NICU followed by a year of neurologist appointments; but by some miracle, he made it out unscathed. After that trauma it took us awhile to even consider having another baby. 

Indiana's birth, you could say, healed us of the trauma 6 years ago, but it wasn't 100% easy every step of the way. The past always lingered in the back of my head that history could repeat itself and Indiana could suffer from the same fate that Evan did, and maybe not so lucky in the end. After all, we do produce big babies that like to cook for longer than 40 weeks. But, I was reassured that it honestly wasn't a big deal and while a repeat of the past was possible, like most things, it was a small chance. So I left my ob/gyn in hopes of having another birthing center birth with a midwifery practice in Brooklyn. I was upfront about my experience at orientation and was reassured that it shouldn't be a problem. 

I transferred to their practice in the beginning of my third trimester. Since it was a practice of several midwives I had to make my way through each one as my due date neared. I told them each about the experience and they all seemed unphased until my appointment at about 37 weeks with a woman I was seeing for the first time. I was already having a rough day and she wasn't very nice to begin with, so I got a little more emotional about my experience than I usually do. That's when everything took a downhill turn. She was clearly alarmed by my story. Although, it seemed that the explanation that the issue with Evan's birth was clearly the result of the former midwives negligence, so I thought the issue was settled.  That is, until I got a phone call days later asking for my previous records from the birth in Florida. I flipped. After Evan's birth we completely cut off the midwife and blocked her from having any information about us or him so giving her the knowledge that I was expecting or anything else about us put me in panic mode. I explained that I would give them access to the records but I didn't want them speaking to her because she was an established liar. Well, they talked to her anyways while the head midwife from the practice was on vacation. Naturally, she made it out that it was my fault and that she was the hero of the situation and strongly felt that I was not a candidate to have a birthing center birth. So, they broke the news to me and told me that I was no longer eligible to be with them. They told me that their OB would take me only if I agreed to a c-section. At this point I was 38 weeks and sent into a panic. While the chances of a shoulder dystocia are higher after having one I never expected that I would be forced into having a c-section. My options seemed to be that or go to the hospital as a walk-in to give birth. Great options, right? 

So, I called my first midwife and basically cried to her for hours. She offered to have me fly down and deliver there, which was amazing, impractical, but amazing. She put me at ease and I made an appointment with the head midwife at the practice to talk about the situation. We sat down, she heard us out and basically everything was put back to together and I was slightly at ease. At this point though, the emotional damage was done and I was completely second guessing my ability to give birth naturally at this point. So we agreed on me not going past 41 weeks, with weekly ultrasounds to make sure he wasn't a big baby, and moved forward, seemingly back on track. 

Like the other two boys, Indiana was late. I think it's from the stress from the whole last minute debacle, but I can't be sure. I went into labor at exactly 41 weeks. I called my midwife and shockingly they told me that I couldn't birth with them and had to go to the hospital. Apparently the last midwife I had an appointment with at 40 weeks (who was one not keen on the idea of the risk of birthing with them) forgot to mention I had to go into labor at 40 weeks and 6 days. So, I was completely blindsided because 1. I had no idea how to deliver in the hospital and 2. was completely on my own. After all of the back and forth for the last few weeks I ended up feeling completely abandoned. (Thankfully David and my friends were there for my endless text messages, panic attacks and hours of sobbing over the course of that disaster. )

Luckily, we had done a little homework on potential hospitals beforehand and decided on a hospital right away. The midwife sent over my records explaining the situation and previous birth story. We went in when my contractions were 3 minutes apart and I checked into triage. Finally after a couple of hours of waiting, explaining the story to residents and getting their reassurance, I was checked in and found that my cervix was only 1.5cm dilated. WHAT. THE. HELL. 
Thankfully, instead of sending me home they encouraged me to induce. At this point I had been up for almost 24 hours and was exhausted, but agreed, even though I was terrified. 

Before moving to my room we talked more about what had happened before, and every resident felt that the story seemed odd because real cases of shoulder dystocia end with them breaking the baby's clavicles. So they couldn't figure out why, if that was really the case, how the Florida midwife got Evan out without doing so. They agreed that it had to be incompetence and told us that it still was a slight risk but they generally unconcerned. I felt reassured and ready to take on my labor. 

They set me up in a room with amazing nurses and induced at around midnight on the 12th. They gave me the option of an epidural but I told them I would wait it out because I wanted to try and do it as naturally as possible, like the first two. I figured after giving birth to a stuck, 10lb. baby, I would be fine. Yeah, I was for about 4 hours, and finally the exhaustion, and no for sleep for 24 hours and the non-stop contractions (that's the difference between medical induction, the contractions don't have breaks)  broke me down and got an epidural. It.was.life.changing. David says that he walked back in two minutes after they finished to find that I was super chatty and chipper (i.e. high as a kite). Life was great, the pain from the contractions was instantly gone and I was left with just the feeling of pressure. I got a good 6 hours of sleep in and was good to go. 

After about 6 hours, I was at 6cm dilated and a new resident came in talking about my previous  experience and offered me a c-section to make things easier but I declined and agreed to further induction with pitocin. This just meant they needed more doctors in the room for delivery just in case we ran into any problems. They set up the room for delivery and left me. My nurse gave me pitocin and we waited. For about an hour and a half I kept mentioning to David and our nurse that I felt a lot of pressure and couldn't figure out what it was. 15 minutes later I felt a strange sensation and my nurse noticed my catheter had come out. The doctor came in to check me and lo-behold Indiana's head was making it's way out on it's own. Everyone came in and prepared for delivery. 

After one small push his head was born. David and I held our breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop. After another half of a push, Indiana made his way out flawlessly and David and I honestly couldn't stop the tears. That 8lb. 9oz baby healed us and gave us the amazing birth we had hoped for with Evan. Even after all of the emotional drama from the last few weeks it turned out to be the best birth experience to date. Between the nurses taking complete care of me, the doctors supporting me, and David being there every step of the way, it was by far the best experience. 

Everyone cleared the room, Indiana immediately nursed (and has been nursing like a champ since) while I inhaled two huge plates of food. My epidural took awhile to wear off on one side, leaving me with a wobbly leg for a couple of hours but it was well worth it after that experience. Shortly after the boys arrived with my mom and met their little brother for the first time, they didn't have much to say except that they were both alarmed that my belly was still there and were convinced there was ANOTHER baby in there waiting to come out. So, that was fun to hear and have to explain. The brilliant minds of a child. 

My stay at the hospital was pretty great, considering it was my first time staying overnight. David camped out on the pull out couch and my mom brought the boys the next day before she flew out. By Monday we were ready to go and start life as a family of 5.