On March 31st I became a mama for the third time. I delivered a healthy and beautiful girl child after being a #BoyMom for 8 years. My husband and mother held hands next to me while my Midwife Jennifer Argueta encouraged me. It was magical.
This is the first birth that I can say was truly magical. If you had asked me at this time last year, I would have been hesitant to share the details of my previous births and I may have cried. Each birth, I felt like a vital member of the birth team didn’t listen to me and I felt somewhat traumatized. I hear this story from so many women and I know exactly how they feel. I advocate for children and my patients daily, but I often find it hard to speak up for myself. Ultimately, I had to learn to listen to myself, find my voice and a team that I fully trusted.
For my first birth, I required a medical induction and my main Labor and Delivery Nurse was not supportive of natural birth. She made disparaging comments throughout my delivery and even immediately following my delivery. My on-call Midwife and spirited Doula got into a heated argument. It saddened me and also made it hard to concentrate. I delivered my first son quickly while the unsupportive nurse was on her lunch break and a very kind older Jamaican nurse was covering for her. With simple kind words, she leaned over told me “let’s have this baby while she’s on lunch!" and that's exactly what I did. My son was born healthy and calm.
For my second birth, I again required a medical induction, but this time had a planned home birth with a local midwifery group. This time the on-call Midwife and my Birth Assistant just didn’t provide the emotional support that I needed and the “vibe” as they say was off. If I had to do it again, I would have also hired a dedicated Doula to provide the consistency that I desire. My second son was born lovely and whole.
For this third birth which we plan to be our last, I knew that I needed to know who would be present throughout my prenatal care and at my birth. I knew that an on-call Obstetrician from a group of over 50 doctors or a Midwife from a group of 6 or more midwives was not what I wanted. This time around we revisited our budget, moved things around, and I was able to choose my Obstetrician, Midwife, Birth Assistant, and Doula for my planned home birth. I realize that this is a very privileged position that many women do not have the option of and I am so thankful for the ability to do so; I hope one day this will become more of the norm if women so choose it. I also utilized the services of a licensed Therapist who specializes in postpartum and maternal care. This team provided invaluable medical, emotional and practical support; we even had a Birth Team conference call that my Therapist Shivonne Odom facilitated that was very helpful. I birthed in the age of the coronavirus safely and joyously. Our extremely brief birth plan listed our primary goals of a “calm and peaceful birth” and then there was a lot of public health and safety details to limit everyone's exposure to coronavirus (talk about priorities!).
I delivered the newest love of my life this time, without the need for induction. I am absolutely sure that it was partly due to finding the optimal birth team who I felt completely comfortable with and who I knew had my back. Here’s to the third time around!
NEXT UP: Over the next few months, I will be writing more about my experiences planning for and delivering in the age of COVID19. I will highlight the members of my birth team and share more about how we chose the members of our team.