Community Birth Story: Henry Philip

Community Birth Story: Henry Philip

As told by Nicole:

This birth story starts before conception. After 5 long years of trying for a successful pregnancy my husband and I decided to try an IVF procedure. We desperately wanted to be parents and this was our last option before proceeding down the path of adoption. After a month of daily injections on 7/30/13 I had my egg retrieval, and 12 eggs were retrieved and inseminated. On 8/4/13 I had 2, 5 day old embryos transferred.

After a grueling 2 week wait I couldn’t wait any longer, and took a pregnancy test. It was positive, but we didn’t celebrate until the doctor confirmed the pregnancy a few days later. No matter how many tests I took I couldn’t believe it! We had 1 strong embryo implant successfully. We were so happy!!

One of the good things about fertility treatments is you get to have lots of early ultrasounds. I probably would have been nervous early in, but we got to see our baby grow weekly. We found out we were having a boy at 15 weeks, and knew his name already. You think a lot about baby names when trying for a baby for 5 years. From that point on our peanut was known as Henry Philip. Henry for my husband’s grandfather, and Philip for my father.

I started planning my ideal natural birth. Since we started with IVF a natural birth was really important to me. We hired a great doula and I put together my birth plan.

Unfortunately, Henry had other plans. We found out he was breech at 35 weeks. I did all the stretches and different techniques I could find online to flip him, but what finally what worked was seeing a chiropractor for a few sessions. We thought we were back on track, but at 37 weeks my blood pressure started to go up. I took a preeclampsia test, and thankfully it was negative, but I went on bed rest to try to keep my blood pressure in check. On 4/11/14 at 38 weeks my blood pressure was still going up, and another preeclampsia test was ordered for me to complete over the weekend. We started talking about inducing at this point which I really didn’t want to do, but Henry was still in the right position so I was told it looked favorable. On 4/14/14 my

Preeclampsia test came back positive. They completed another ultrasound, and over the weekend Henry also decided to flip breech again. He needed to come out for my health and his. We scheduled a C-section for the next day. I was really depressed to miss out on my natural birth experience. I spent most the rest of the day crying.

In the morning on 4/15/14 at exactly 39 weeks we went to the hospital to check in. I had somewhat resigned myself to the C-section overnight, and knew what to expect. I was ready to have my baby and move past the birth. We went back to the OR at 2pm. I sat at the end of the bed while my back was injected with the numbing agent. From that point on my body felt very heavy and cold. A sheet was put up at my chest so I couldn’t see anything. My husband sat next to me and held my hand. Though I couldn’t feel any pain, I felt immense pressure and a pulling sensation. After what seemed like a long time I felt really strong pulling and I heard Henry cry. I couldn’t see him, but my husband stood up and got the first glance. They brought him over to me soon after. He had a thick head of dark hair, and he looked a little angry at being taken out of his nice warm womb. I cried tears of joy. I felt such strong love for him immediately I was completely overwhelmed. He was 7lbs, 2oz and 21.5″ long.


I insisted he stay with me through most of recovery even though that wasn’t the norm. Breastfeeding wasn’t natural for him right off probably because of the C-section meds, but he was nursing well within a few hours, and we are still going strong at 1 year now. Although recovery from the C-section was hard, and very painful, I’ve stopped mourning missing out on my natural birth. Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. I still got my perfect baby that I waited so long for in the end.


I am very thankful for modern medicine. It allowed us to have a biological child, and to experience pregnancy which I really wanted. It also brought our baby into the world safely. I am hopeful that if we are lucky enough for a second child that I may still get to experience my natural birth.


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