I had a really wonderful birth last week in which I served as a doula. I have permission from the parents to share it with you all, I will not use their names though. This might be a little long, but it is good.
The mom, we will call her "Jen", called me last a week ago Sunday (March 21st) and was in quite a quandry. Her current OB was not upfront with her about her c-section chances as it had become quite obvious that she was going to have a large baby (she was G2P1) - previous baby being +9lbs.) Out of the blue, the oncall doctor called her on Friday (her due date) and told her that with the baby's size combined with a previous shoulder dystocia that she wasn't comfortable delivering the baby vaginally. On u/s, the baby was estimated at 5200 grams. She was very concerned about this and called me. I told her that I have seen big discrepancies on u/s, and that I have seen at least one baby born vaginally of that size. I told her that if we could get her through the rest of the weekend, she could call her regular doc and see what was going on. She didn't know this, but they had scheduled her for a c-section on Monday morning.
On Monday morning, her hubby (we'll call him "Bill") called me at 10:30am and told me that Jen was very upset. She had called her regular doctor who proceeded to chew her out for not being at the hospital on Monday morning for a 9:30am c/s. Bill had said that he too was upset, that he was not comfortable with this doctor delivering the baby. He wanted to know if I could give him some names of doctors who were more birth friendly.
Please keep in mind that they were fairly medically astute, had used Bradley with the birth of their daughter who was induced, and really were concerned about the baby's health whether it meant doing a c-section or going for a vag birth. They wanted to use another doctor because they had lost all trust with their current OB.
They were able to find another doctor who would take them (to my surprise actually), they met with him for a "meet & greet", and he said that he would be willing to try for a vag delivery, but he would not induce and she couldn't use an epidural for pain because he wanted her on her hands and knees when it came time to push. They agreed and scheduled to meet with him on Wednesday for an appointment. However, they were really leaning towards a c-section at this point. Since I work at that hospital, I was able to meet with them and informed both of them what the c/s procedures at that hospital would be like. We really thought this would be the case and they were OK with that.
However, Bill called me early Wednesday morning to say that Jen had started labor on her own a few hours before. They were headed to the hospital and I got ready to go.
I will say that the staff at this hospital was truly awesome. They were very supportive of her desires to try for a vag birth. They didn't insist on AROM, we walked the halls for hours, walked the stairs, tried different positions, accupressure, etc. They only wanted her on the monitor once every few hours to check the baby's HR and variability. She was making good progress. I was so proud of her/them.
Towards late evening, baby started having pretty good decels and we got her on O2 on her left side. Bill and I were supporting her through these rough contractions with counterpressure to her lower back with someone up front helping her with breathing - we traded off every few minutes. I went to the bathroom (by then I had been with them for 15 hours) and the nurse caught me in the hall and said that she had about an 80-90% chance of a c/s - that nurse was so awesome by the way. I told her that they were OK with that, that they would probably go for a section when the doctor got there. With that, I recommended that Jen try a half dose of Stadol for pain. She went for it (they ended up giving her a full one, oh well
), and did better for a little while. The doctor came in and told us that although she had made wonderful progress and was handling things beautifully, she was 8/100%/-2 - baby was not engaged and she was having decels. The decision was made to do a c/s.
They got Jen back there while I Bill and I got into scrubs
and washed up. We went back to OR and I stood behind Bill and told him what was going on through the surgery. At 1852, Jen gave birth to a 11lb. 2oz baby boy, who was 24" long. Although he had some mec, he was very healthy and let us know what he thought of this whole thing.
I talked to Jen afterwards, and she told me that even though she had a c/s, she had more positive memories of this birth than her previous vag delivery. She was happy that she went into labor on her own, proud of the fact that her body accomplished so much.
I spent about 18 hours with them in total, and while I drove home that night I thought that this had been such a wonderful birth. Sometimes I drive home thinking the "what ifs", if I had done this or that, could she have made more progress? Not this time, they were very happy, not at all disappointed, and they took home their very healthy baby boy yesterday.
Thanks for reading, I know this was long.