Allie's Birth Stories
"Sadie was able to use the doppler to hear her baby brother's heartbeat for the first time."
Sadie's Birth - 2018
Choosing care at TMC
I was pregnant for the first time in 2018 and knew I would seek care at The Midwife Center. I had done a lot of reading about maternity care and chose the midwifery model of care because of how supportive and holistic it is.
For my pregnancy with my daughter, Sadie, I became anemic and needed to have iron infusions. The midwives helped to get me started with the infusions at UPMC Mercy and I was able to get my iron in an almost normal range by the time Sadie was born. I also had assumed gestational diabetes, which the midwives helped me manage via glucose monitoring and diet changes. I had a great pregnancy and enjoyed every kick and each time I was able to hear Sadie's heartbeat on the doppler. I can still remember my mom coming with me to my first appointment and being able to hear her first grandchild's heartbeat. I knew that was something that likely wouldn't have happened in a different maternity setting.
Labor and Birth
I was due on September 18th, 2018. Like most first-time moms, my due date came and went. On September 24th, my husband and I went to TMC to try a natural induction with a breast pump, walking, and membrane sweep. No luck! Contractions didn't start and I was set for an induction at Mercy hospital the next day. I went to bed at 11:00 pm feeling discouraged and fearful of a hospital birth.
Thirty minutes after going to bed, I woke up to a sharp pain. It was my first contraction! From there, the contractions came and completely overtook me. I was surprised by the intensity. My contractions were anywhere from 2-5 minutes apart and lasted about a minute. My husband and I were so confused because we had read that labor would start out slow and that the contractions would progressively get stronger and closer together.
An hour after labor started, my husband called TMC to see if we could come in. I was slightly embarrassed as a first-time mom to be asking to come in after just an hour of labor. I was so afraid I would be sent home and that I couldn't handle twelve or more hours of this intensity of labor. Theresa was the midwife on duty that night and she said we could come on down.
My husband drove us the 20 minutes from our home to TMC as I hissed like a snake through each contraction and I started to feel the urge to bear down as we arrived in the parking lot. I made my way onto the bed between contractions and POP! My water broke! Theresa asked if she could check me and I will never forget the feeling of joy when she told me "You're complete. You can push whenever you want."
I started pushing on my hands and knees, but Sadie's heart rate began to drop. And drop. And drop. I pushed on my back with all my might as an ambulance was called to TMC. I was very motivated to not give birth on a stretcher in an ambulance so I pushed Sadie out in 20 minutes as the paramedic team looked on.
When Sadie was laid on my chest, I was shocked! It was 1:59 AM and my labor had started at 11:30 PM. I later learned this was a precipitous labor. Whatever it was, it was amazing and intense and beautiful and I'm glad it was our birth story.
The first thing I said was "She's here! Hi Sadie!" I couldn't believe it was her. She was just inside of me and there she was. What a whirlwind! I couldn't have asked for a better first birth. I was trusted to push when I was ready and able to listen to my body as best I could. I felt cared for and safe. I knew that I would love to have any future children at TMC after such a great experience! Oh, and the breakfast the midwives served me afterwards? Best breakfast of my life!
Sadie and I had a rough start to our nursing relationship. She seemed to latch and eat well, but the game changed when my milk came in. I was engorged and she couldn't latch. Then I got clogged ducts. Then we both got thrush. I was able to call TMC's nursing line any time I had an issue and I called a lot. I was always helped and treated with kindness and checked in on. I truly owe mine and Sadie's two-plus year nursing relationship to the care providers at TMC helping me to not give up when nursing was challenging!
Choosing Care at TMC Again - 2022
After a bout with secondary infertility, my husband and I found out we were expecting again in 2022! We were overjoyed. This time, for my first appointment I brought along my mom and Sadie. What a special moment! Emily let my mom and Sadie come into the room with me and Sadie was able to use the doppler to hear her baby brother's heartbeat for the first time. It was such an incredible moment and I am so thankful for the personalized care I received. Once again, I knew that would have never been possible in a different maternity setting.
I found myself very anemic again during my second pregnancy and had to have iron infusions. Other than that, I had a fairly normal pregnancy. I loved feeling my son kick and move and was so excited to meet him.
Labor and Birth
Just like my first pregnancy, I went past my due date! I was due on November 8th, 2022 and that day came and went. Theresa gave me a membrane sweep on November 12th and I went on with my day. No contractions happened, so our family had a relaxed day. We did some shopping, made a delicious dinner, and went to be. I woke up to my first contraction around 5:30 AM on November 13th.
I got up, took a shower, and was confused. Was this labor? The contractions seemed so far apart and mild. I realized this was what a normal, non-precipitous labor felt like. We called the midwives and they told us to come in when the contractions were about seven minutes apart since my labor with Sadie was so quick.
We called my parents and they picked up my daughter. I was able to talk between contractions and even made everyone breakfast. In the back of my mind, I thought maybe this wasn't really labor and that I'd be sent home. Even though I was 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Total denial!
We arrived at TMC around 8:00 AM, got all checked in and situated and I headed for the shower. I labored in the shower for a bit with a yoga ball and was so thankful I was able to be mobile and use the shower to ease the contractions. No IV poles, no monitor belts. Just me letting my body do what it was made to do. I also labored in the tub for a bit. It was amazing to be able to just move around and decide what felt best for my body.
The contractions quickly intensified because I knew I was in a safe place. My daughter was being cared for, I was where I was supposed to be, and I had my husband by my side. By 10:00 AM, I was pushing with my contractions but having a hard time getting my son to really descend. I tried quite a few positions that Jessie recommended. Finally, by 10:44, he crowned. Then I heard Jessie say "We have a shoulder" and I knew that meant shoulder dystocia.
Jessie and the nurse were able to do the McRoberts maneuver to help me ease my son, Mordecai, out safely. It was such a relief when he was born and in my arms! After taking him in, I was able to ask Jessie about the shoulder dystocia. She said she had just recently been part of a training on obstetrical emergencies and had done a "fire drill" for this type of complication. The whole shoulder dystocia lasted 58 seconds and both my son and I were completely fine. He didn't have a broken collar bone and I was feeling wonderful just minutes after birth. I'm so glad there were no interventions and that the issue could be managed in such a calm way.
I don't know if God has more children in store for our family, but I would absolutely love to have them at The Midwife Center if so! It's a special place and I am so grateful for the care I have received there.