Getting pregnant for the second time was an exciting moment for my husband Mike and I-he had been trying to convince me to have another baby for quite some time! We realized we had conceived in March 2013 and this news was exactly what I needed. I had just lost my grandmother a few days before finding out I was pregnant and I really needed a little joy during that time. We sat down and thought of all the things we wanted to do differently with this pregnancy and our biggest concern was the delivery. My first child was born in a hospital and that experience was nothing short of a nightmare. What I hated most was that no one listened to me or treated me like I could contribute in any way to the birth of my child. I felt like a science experiment. Mike was also not given the opportunity to be involved in the delivery and I remember him just standing there for hours, looking lost.
About a month later, I came home and Mike was so excited, “You really need to watch this video with me.” We sat and watched the Business of Being Born and when Mike was sure I was on board with the idea of a natural birth, he showed me more information he had found. I decided to look for a midwife that week, but our insurance only covered hospital births. I was so disappointed until I found the Katy Birth Center through the Association of Texas Midwives and from there, I looked through all of the resources and services and decided to go meet the midwives. Once I was there, I absolutely loved the environment and how comfortable I felt. It was such a difference from the freezing and uninviting hospital room I delivered in. I got to meet with Melissa Bates that day and I was impressed with how much she knew right from the start. She was also warm and funny and I knew that I would be comfortable having her as a midwife for our family.
Melissa helped us through the whole pregnancy and was always available when I had questions or was worried about something. She really took the time to get to know us well and made sure I was always feeling good and confident about the pregnancy and delivery. This time, I felt like I had a friend and coach instead of a doctor who barely spoke to me and made me feel like my opinions and desires were not optional.
The day of the delivery, I was irritated because I had been having labor pains for weeks and still, no baby. I could never tell the false pains from the real thing, something I had also experienced with my first pregnancy. I remember saying, “Since I’m NOT going to have this baby, I’m just going to treat myself to a massage and pedicure.” I had already tried most of the natural ways to induce labor, but my little man was happy and warm and not about to make any appearances. I went and had an hour long massage, then a pedicure. I came home feeling great and went to bed that night, thinking I would still be waiting. At 4:00 am I finally fell asleep, then woke up again irritated at 6:30 am to my husband’s alarm. He was still thinking he would work until the very last day, so I gave him a swift kick to wake up and turn that alarm off and right when I did, my water broke. Oh, the punishment for that kick-I had not slept well enough, something they really emphasized on during the Birth Boot Camp classes! Then I thought, “Well, maybe I can still sneak in a nap.” I soon realized that just like my first labor, those contractions were coming and they were coming consistently.
I called Melissa and let her know, and also called my best friend/coach to make sure she could be on her way ASAP. From there, I started trying to encourage my labor with pumping, showering, and walking and the walking really encouraged those contractions. We left right after lunch when the contractions were about five minutes apart and by the time we got to the birth center I remember thinking, “Oh good, this is going fast!” When I got into the room, Melissa had set everything up just the way I had requested; soft lighting, calming music, and a heater because this time I didn’t want to freeze through a delivery. However, things then decided to stay right where they were and I continued to labor into the evening.
Melissa was there with Mike and I but she was quiet and calm, giving us new positions to try and words of encouragement. She was nothing like those nurses and doctors I had during the first delivery who were practically yelling instructions at me the entire time. She would come and help through contractions, but Mike got to hold me and take the lead. This time, Mike was my #1 coach the way we had envisioned. We tried pumping, the birth ball, squatting, and a number of other methods to speed up the delivery since my water broke earlier that day. I remember about6:00 pm thinking, “Okay, I just don’t have any energy anymore and I can’t go much longer.” I know I was saying that out loud too and I remember thinking to myself, “I’ve done all this work and they might have to end up transporting me because I’m going to pass out from exhaustion.” Finally, Melissa allowed me to try the water which was what I originally wanted; a nice, calming water birth just like I had seen in the videos. Melissa was worried that the contractions would slow down, so she told me that I needed to really do the exercises in the water. As soon as my body hit that pool, the contractions amped up and were one on top of the other. I was so mad at the water!
At that point, I realized something was different and I immediately got up to go to the bathroom. Once I sat down, I felt a serious burning sensation and Melissa had me get up and go to the bed. The contractions were nonstop at that point and Melissa checked my cervix- I was fully dilated, going from a 6 or 7 to a 10 having spent maybe 10 minutes in the birthing pool! After about 13 minutes of squatting and pushing, the baby was out! However, when we looked at him, we realized he wasn’t breathing. Melissa immediately began rubbing his pack, patting his feet, and performing CPR on our little guy. Mike and I were there shocked; we hadn’t prepared for this and didn’t know what to do. Melissa immediately had my friend call an ambulance; she and my mother in law had just walked back in and missed the whole pushing phase trying to get my husband something to eat.
Melissa never cut the baby’s cord and with all my heart I believe that is what helped him; he never lost oxygen because I was still “breathing” for him. He finally took his first breath and let out his cry-we were so overwhelmed with emotions. Right at that point, the EMTs came and checked all of the baby’s vitals and he was 100% okay! I immediately got to hold and nurse him, but the EMTs were questioning Melissa as to why the cord was not cut. She never backed down, or let them talk her or me into doing anything we were not comfortable with. We believe Melissa saved our baby’s life and definitely gave him a healthy start by not allowing that cord to be cut. She helped us deliver our baby and get him breathing, nothing short of a miracle in our eyes.
After delivering the placenta, the baby and I were able to relax in an herbal bath. It was so nice and warm, and a pleasant way to end the evening. I finally got the official information also; our son Emmett was born at 7:13 pm and was a healthy 9 pounds, 2 ounces. We all had something to eat, then after saying our goodbyes, went home. I took a shower and snuggled up in bed with our baby, still running on adrenaline. When I think about the delivery, I do still remember how tough it was to work with my body and I wish I would have trusted it more. I definitely backed away from many of the contractions and was afraid to let them come so strongly at the end. I do know that I would gladly do it all over again though and the baby and I are healthy and well, thanks to an incredible delivery and a wonderful midwife.