With a previous emergency C-Section and an episiotomy birth with her first two children, Michelle was really hoping for a different birth experience for her third baby. With the help of her midwifery team, the support of her partner, and myself as her doula, Michelle felt confident in reaching her VBAC. Everyone kept an open mind as her due date neared just in case we ended up in c-section town but were all really rooting for a home birth. Michelle prepared her birth space with beautiful affirmations that helped her through those final days of pregnancy and through her birth.
On the way home from errands, Michelle started experiencing contractions and it wasn't long before she knew she had to get herself back because this was the real deal. Her partner Chris left work and raced home to help with the girls and start preparations on the tub.
Just as I arrived so did Michelle's midwives. Such a lovely team of women to work with! Originally, my goal was to help Chris support Michelle, but after a few minutes of getting organized myself, it was clear that Chris was doing all the running around and Michelle needed me right by her side. Just in-case of a possible c-section, Michelle opted to have an IV line ready. This meant she was stuck in a chair while her midwives worked to get the line in. Not a fun process, but a good compromise. As each contraction rolled in, I held her and guided her through with deep breaths and light massage. And that was our rhythm until her line was in and we could move around the house.
Once the tub was ready and the girls were settled in with a movie, Chris was able to step in for a few contractions and then we worked as a team, guiding her through every contraction with that breath work and light touch while Michelle brought her baby down. You can literally see my hand and Chris's hand in many of the photos. Which was somewhat challenging, but exciting to capture as I was doula-ing and photographing! I am so grateful to Michelle's midwife Julie for jumping in and borrowing my camera, snapping some photos of Michelle and I together! They are incredibly special to me as this is the first time I worked with a doula client so closely physically and emotionally.
Michelle handled every contraction with the most amazing control and calm I have every seen. She was brilliant! I know she felt wild and out of control but she was amazing. Her vocalizations were low and wonderful and all that hard work was working beautifully to bring her baby earth side!
The girls were called back into the room when Michelle was ready to push to meet their baby brother! Once he was born, I lead the ladies into their room so they could pack for Grandma's house while Michelle delivered her placenta. Unfortunately her placenta did not come on it's own as it was slightly adhered (which can happen after c-sections). So in the end, we did end up at the hospital. Michelle was SUPER strong warrior mama and had her placenta removed surgically while Chris and I waited in her recovery room with baby Shea. Her doctor was great and her midwives were able to stick around the entire time. About an hour after her surgery Michelle was able to nurse Shea and head back to us.
I am SOOO proud of Michelle for pushing through and really working so beautifully through her contractions. This was a whole new experience for her and I am so happy she got to her have her VBAC waterbirth!
Welcome to the world baby Shea!