Community Birth Story | Naomi

Community Birth Story | Naomi

Mother’s name: Melissa Eyler

Date of Birth of baby: 5/19/2015

Place of Birth: Waynesboro Hospital PA

My pregnancy was very healthy and progressed normally.  I was nervous as I had a previous miscarriage, and all the testing and stressful atmosphere of the clinic always rushing me didn’t help. I really needed reassurance, but didn’t really get it, at my first appointment at about 6 weeks they gave me a paper that had some basic guidelines about diet and a list of medicines to take or not to take, but that was it.

I needed to know more, I did a lot of reading and decided we needed childbirth education. Nathen and I took the Bradley Method 12 week class. It taught us all about nutrition, relaxation exercises, normal labor progression and basic coping techniques.  It was very helpful and gave us more confidence. I kept my full time job and worked right up to my due date.

At 41+1 (May 18th) I went to the hospital for an ultrasound and non-stress test at 4pm. They said the fluid was low so they would have to keep me in and induce me. I was admitted and taken up to the maternity ward. I was very upset that I hadn’t gone into labor naturally and I knew that being induced would be more painful, so I felt like all the preparation I had done was worthless. Nathen helped me know that he was with me and what mattered was our baby, and we would still be able to use the coping techniques from our class.

I was admitted and the midwife on duty came and talked to us. She gave me the option of Pitocin or Cytotec. I had heard all the problems with Pitocin induction, but hadn’t heard anything about Cytotec, so I asked her what it would do. She said it would get me started and give me contractions (she didn’t tell me that they would be incredibly painful and that women have died as a result of Cytotec induction, or that it is not even FDA approved for pregnant women, which I have since learned). So I said ok. She checked my cervix (my first time) and it really hurt me – on discharge she mentioned that she had stretched my cervix, without my permission. I will never forget what she said “if you can’t handle a cervix check then you will NEVER be able to give birth without any pain medication.” I was only 1 cm dilated. About an hour after she gave it to me I started having some very strong and painful contractions. I was on the monitor so couldn’t get up. A very grumpy nurse kept coming in to check the machine, but she didn’t pay any attention to us. I asked her if I could get up and walk around but she just said I had to be on the monitor a bit longer and just acted like I was being a baby about being in pain. The nurse and midwife both dismissed my birth plan and said that plans like that were unrealistic for a first birth. This made me feel even worse about the whole thing and I just wanted to go home.

My progress was very slow and the contractions were very painful. They wouldn’t let me get up apart from to use the bathroom so I was stuck in bed most of the time, they did let me labor in the bathtub for a while but I didn’t really like it. I tried to stay in there for a while as that meant I wasn’t in bed. At about 2am I was still only about 3.5cm and they convinced me that to have the energy to make it through without a C-section I would need some Stadol so that I could get a break from the contractions for a while and sleep, I was exhausted. I had the Stadol and slept for a couple of hours, I remember suddenly being aware of the painful contractions coming again, but I was so drugged and out-of-it that I couldn’t really move. When I woke up Nathen was sleeping on the couch, but I couldn’t call him. Eventually I got his attention and he came to help me breathe through the pain, we called the nurses and a new Doctor came in, Dr. Lessard. She checked me and I was 5cm, she broke my water but said that if it didn’t pick up within a couple of hours, I would be going to surgery. This was about 7am.

After this my dilation did continue and the contractions started getting much longer and more painful. Courtney the new midwife and Nurse Betsy were with me and they were amazing, coaching me and letting me change positions. As it turned out, Naomi was posterior and they were trying to get her to turn around, but the contractions were so strong that she didn’t have chance. I alternated from being on hands and knees and on the ball. My transition was so intense I didn’t think I could take any more. When I had to push I had to wait while she checked me and I thought I would die, but pushing felt better, like I was actually getting somewhere.

I was told that I pushed for 90 minutes, but it felt way longer than that. I ended up squatting with my feet on each side of the squat bar with a sheet around it to hold on to (I was too short to use it normally) to move her down, then I pushed her out on my side. I had a third degree tear. The OB surgeon had to come back in to stitch me up.

I was allowed to hold her, but I was flat on my back being stitched so all I could do was hold her on my chest. It was longer than an hour before I was able to start breastfeeding and I had a lot of difficulty getting her to latch on. They did let me hold her for a while before they weighed her (in the same room so I could see) but I didn’t get to feed her until my tear was fixed.

After the birth all the nurses were very nice, I had a lot of trouble getting her to feed (it turned out later that she had a tongue tie) and lots of nurses helped me. Nathen was great and did everything he could to help and bond with Naomi.

I was very tired and sore from the stitches/hemorrhoids. Nathen was very helpful and supportive, but he could only stay for a week. I really needed help around the house after that. His parents came over most days, but only wanted to hold her. At least I could get a shower and sitz bath in peace. I needed more breastfeeding help and general reassurance. My parents were great, they came to visit when she was almost a month old, but they could only stay for 3 weeks.

Breastfeeding was very hard initially, I couldn’t get her to latch very well and struggled with sore nipples and thrush. I ended up getting Marah my local La Leche leader to come and see us (she is an IBCLC), she said Naomi had a posterior tie that needed revision. I then took her to the pediatrician who referred me to the ENT specialist. They snipped her lip tie but said the tongue was ok. Issues persisted and Marah said I still should see the pediatric dentist. I did and he fixed it. But not until almost 4 months. Then breastfeeding got a lot easier and all my problems went away, but I suffered with a low supply and had to supplement with formula for a while. Now I am still nursing her at 33 months, I also nursed her through another pregnancy and am now nursing both sisters.

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Photos: The Eyler Family

Click HERE to learn more about the Community Birth Stories Project or to submit your own birth story

Click HERE to read the birth story of Naomi’s little sister Leah Rose

Community Birth Story: Mira Klaire

Community Birth Story: Mira Klaire


As told by Elizabeth: Mira Klaire was born April 6, 2013. But her birth story began many years before. My husband and I married July 4, 2006 and knew immediately we wanted to be parents. We didn’t realize we were entering the darkest time of our lives… we then began what would be a 7 year journey of infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, failed infertility treatments, being told we would never have biological children, and two failed adoptions… along with the tragic unexpected death of my mother. By the summer of 2012, we were battered and completely worn down; totally defeated. Two days after we spent the evening with our social worker to renew our adoption homestudy, we got the surprise of our lives. I was pregnant.

Saying we were shocked would be an understatement. After seeing the baby was healthy we started to get excited. Over the next few months we had bleeding scare after bleeding scare. Then at 19wks I was diagnosed with Incompetent Cervix and rushed for emergency surgery. My cervix was basically non-existent and beginning to dilate. The doctor actually had to put her bag of waters that was bulging back into my uterus without breaking it, before he could stitch my cervix closed. The success rate with our circumstances was less then 10%. We prepared before the surgery for our baby to be born and die. The surgery took 45 minutes (normal is about 10) and the Dr came into recovery afterwards with tears in his eyes and said “I don’t know why that worked! But it did!” We were terrified. I was on strict at home bed rest… lying down with the end of the bed elevated. No stairs or even sitting up. I laid in that bed terrified from 19-35wks. My cervix was a mess the entire time but somehow the stitch worked! It was removed at 36wks and we assumed I’d go right into labor. But I didn’t!
The weeks continued to pass… at 39 weeks I went to a routine OB appt and it was discovered she had flipped breech. The dr absolutely terrified us and told us at that point it was less then 3% she’d flip back head down. We had to schedule a cesarean or she could die. Yes. That’s exactly what they said. So obviously, we scheduled it, for 3 days later. I spent 3 days crying… everything about it felt completely wrong!! I could NOT accept that March 29 would be her birthday or that she would be born via cesarean. None of it felt right in anyway. We showed up to the hospital for our cesarean and I was shaking and crying through all the pre-op. I couldn’t talk to anyone. I was a mess. Finally the dr came in and sat with me and I sobbed and just said “this feels so wrong. It just isn’t supposed to be this way” and he was so kind. He tried to reassure me and then took my hand and patted it and said “you know what? This baby is perfectly healthy! We are ONLY doing this because she’s breech. So let’s make sure before we go to the OR” he brought in an ultrasound machine and began to scan my belly and he started laughing! He looked at me and said “this feels so wrong to you, because it is! Your baby is head down. You are not having surgery today. Nurse? Take the IVs out, she’s going home!” I was gasping and yelling and crying! I asked him if I could hug him. I could NOT believe it!!! I jumped up outnof that bed and got dressed so fast LOL I took my 39wk pregnant self and was running down the hall out of that place. I remember my husband laughing and tell me to wait up! LOL
I spent the next 8 days high on life and so happy! At 40wks 3 days I had some acupuncture to help encourage labor, 12hours later consisted contractions began. After 12 hours of laboring at home I felt like I was in active labor so we headed to the hospital. Upon arriving it was discovered I was 2cm dilated… it would be a while yet. I felt a bit disappointed but that was quickly overruled by overpowering contractions. I couldn’t be disappointed, I had to focus. Over the next 22 hrs we danced through labor, cried, screamed, dismissed a rude nurse (who told me I needed to get dressed because she was uncomfortable! Ugh!) had labor stall, got an epidural, started pitocin, felt completely defeated… had a dr check me and “accidentally” break my water (i.e., break it without my consent after I’d said no) which lead to hours of heart rate decels and nurses rushing in panicked constantly scaring me… I was spent. And exhausted. I just wanted to be done. I remember talking to myself and telling myself to focus; one way or another we were having a baby TODAY! It was the craziest mental place I’d ever been.
(29hrs into labor. About 3 hours before her birth)
At one point the dr came in and said he was concerned about the baby and he could only give me one more hour before we’d have to go for a cesarean. I hastily agreed. I didn’t want surgery but I also didn’t want the awfulness to continue… I was beginning to feel as if I was loosing my mind. Before long I began to shake uncontrollably; mind you the epidural I was given never worked correctly; my legs were totally numb but my abdomen and vaginal area was only partially and by the time I began pushing the numbness was totally gone except for my legs. Suddenly the dr came back in… I was pissed! My hour wasnt up! He said I could have an hour! I began getting upset… he smiled and said he was not taking my hour from me; he just had a hunch and wanted to check me. I agreed, and he happily told me I was fully dilated and ready to go. The room was a buzz getting ready for delivery and all I could think was “OMG. I can’t do this. I’m too tired.” I hadn’t eaten anything in nearly 24hrs. I was so weak.
I actually told the doctor I didn’t think I could push. And he patted my hand and said “I know your tired but just wait for the urge… once that urge to push comes you’ll find the strength” I was sure he was nuts. But sure enough surge after surge and I found myself pushing… I fought and tried to avoid it every contraction but every time it took over and I had to keep going… a nurse and my husband were holding each of my numb legs and I pushed and pushed. For an hour! Before the dr came and told me if I didn’t get her out soon he’d have to get the vacuum… hearing that set some kind of fire off in me. I didn’t want my baby pulled out. That scared me! I found power I never knew I had and pushed with all I had. I felt her head pop out… I breathed as they unwrapped the cord from her neck and then pushed again and felt her little body slide out of me. It was incredible! I sobbed and sobbed. I couldn’t stop. Her cord was short so she was on my belly. She pooped everywhere as soon as she was born. I was touching her and crying and wiping her poo all over my face lol it was the biggest rush I’ve ever felt in my life.
(Daddy cutting the cord)
After her cord was cut they took her to the other side of the room. They were wiping her down and weighing and measuring her. And I still hadn’t seen her. I tore badly and the dr was busy stitching me back together. She was crying for me and I was in so much pain. I kept asking for her and kept being dismissed… Her daddy tried to pick her up at one point and was told no. it was the worst feeling, I’ve ever had in my life. Finally after 40 minutes of listening to her cry, they brought her to me when I started getting loud and demanding they stop everything and give her to me. She stopped crying as soon as her head was pulled in to my chest. She was home. And I was home with her finally in my arms. And I had never felt such an incredible love before in my life. She had her first and second nursing session the following hour and it was pure bliss. A few hours after her birth I texted my friend and the text simply said “OMG! I had a baby! Out of my vagina!!!!” Even though so many things went not as we expected, and many of our wishes were dismissed and disrespected, I had my baby. After all the darkness and rain; our rainbow was in our arms! And our lives would never be the same.
Mira Klaire Joy
4/6/13
6.4lbs 19.5inches long.
(4hrs old. I was Totally blissed out)
Photo Credit: The Darling Family
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Click HERE to read Mira’s little brother Alistair’s story

Click HERE to learn more about the Community Birth Stories Project or to submit your own birth story

Community Birth Story: Leila Rene

Community Birth Story: Leila Rene

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As told by Kellie:

Tuesday – 8.15.2017
40 week appointment
Cervix is closed, soft and favorable. Baby is head down, and she looks great on the ultrasound. I went ahead and scheduled my induction for the following Monday at 8pm. I left the appointment somewhat discouraged.
Dan (hubby) and I decided to go take a walk even though it was super humid. Our walk ended up in stopping to get some ice cream and that night we decided to get something spicy to eat. We ordered spicy wings from BonChon and they were so spicy that I felt that my mouth was on fire. I had to have ice cubes in my mouth after every wing. I then bounced on my exercise ball for a while until we decided to go to bed.

 

Wednesday – 8.16.2017
My husband got up to go to work for 12 hours at 5am. I woke up with a slight stomach ache around 9am. Despite feeling slightly uncomfortable I decided to eat the 6 leftover spicy wings for breakfast. I was committed at this point to get the baby out because I was more than ready to meet her. I bounced on the exercise ball, walked on the treadmill and cleaned the house all day long. I talked to my mom and was reduced to tears thinking about having to be induced if she didn’t come on her own.
I decided to text Dan just to let him know that I wasn’t really feeling the best. My stomach was hurting (still thought it was from the spicy wings) and my back was also sore. I made dinner and Dan got home around 740pm. I ended up not eating and decided to take a shower since I was so uncomfortable. I felt slightly better after my shower and Dan and I just hung out listening to music and watching the baby move around like crazy. Around 1030pm I decided that I was hungry, so my husband made me some toast and eggs. After that we went to bed.

 

Thursday – 8.17.2017 (Leila’s birthday)
1:00am- I woke up to a crampy stomach and felt like I needed to go poop. I got up and tended to what I needed to in the bathroom and as I was headed back to bed I felt another cramp that lasted about 40 seconds and then went away. I decided to get on my contraction app and start timing them just in case it was actual labor. After about 15 minutes and getting two of these pains that each lasted about a minute and we’re about 8 minutes apart, I decided to wake my husband up. Poor guy had worked a 12 hour shift and here I am waking him up out of a deep sleep at 130am.
From 1:30am until 3:45am I was getting contractions every 4 to 8 minutes and they were about a minute long. Dan helped out by applying pressure on my back while I leaned over a desk in our room for stability during each contraction. He also loaded up the car and tidied up a few things around the house between my contractions. Around 2:20am we started discussing when we should of leave for the hospital since we lived about 40 minutes away. I feel like my contractions weren’t staying 5 minutes or under consistently enough to go yet, so we waited. At this point the contractions were getting pretty painful, but I was still able to breath through them and talk through them. Around 3:30am I decided to get my makeup out to do between contractions so I could get my mind off of labor and get ready for the hospital.

 
3:48am- Another contraction began and about 5 seconds into it, my water broke. It shocked me and as it was happening I said, “Water, water, water, my water is breaking!” I obviously couldn’t do anything other than stand there and wait for the gushing to stop. As I looked down most of it was absorbed into my pajama pants and underwear, but there was a small puddle that I thought looked like a funny color. As I walked to the bathroom Dan started cleaning up the floor and I asked him if it looked like a weird color. He said that it looked a little weird and as I dropped my pants to sit on the toilet I saw that my water was a green color. I immediately knew that we had to head to the hospital. Dan calmed me down after I had a small freak out moment about the fact that she had pooped already. I cleaned myself up, got a towel, put a puppy pad down on the passenger seat and we were on our way to the hospital within 5 minutes of my water breaking. I called the doctor, my mom, and Dan’s mom on the way.

 
4:45am – We arrived at the hospital and had to go through the emergency entrance since it was so early in the morning. At this point my contractions had pretty much stopped and we had to fill out some paperwork to get admitted. As we were waiting for a room, a lady came in that was 8cm dilated and they gave a room to her first. We ended up going to triage where I changed into a hospital gown and a pad since my water was still leaking. Luckily we didn’t have to wait in triage and we walked to our delivery room soon after.

 
5:00am- They started setting up the monitors and my IV and then they checked me and I was 4cm dilated. They decided to start me on pitocin since my contractions weren’t close enough together anymore and we waited.

 
7:00am- My doctor came in and when she checked me I was 5 to 6cm dilated. At this point my contractions were getting pretty painful, but I decided to wait on the epidural since I was still able to get through them. I believe my pitocin was at about a 6 at this point.

 
8:00am- I finally asked for an epidural since I was having most of the pain in my back during my contractions. They checked me again before I got my epidural and said that I was 7 to 8cm dilated. The anesthesiologist got to my room really quickly and set up the epidural before 8:30am.

 
9:00am- The epidural was in and I was feeling some relief, but I was still wincing from contractions in my lower pelvic area. The anesthesiologist came back in to give me a booster, and then I was fine. They checked me again at some point and said I was 8 to 9cm dilated. Baby girl wasn’t responding well to the higher levels of pitocin, so they kept trying to change my position.

 
10:30am- My doctor came in to check my progression. He determined that I was only at 7cm and my cervix was still very thick. Apparently after a discussion with the nurse he found out that she had stopped my pitocin entirely. They had been giving me pitocin at a 10 and then stopped it cold turkey. My doctor did not seem impressed since it stalled my labor. He had them turn it back on at half the dose to see how baby responded.

 
11:30am- Baby was doing ok with the pitocin, but not super well. We continued to keep an eye on her and when my doctor checked me I was 9cm dilated. He optimistically said that we might have a baby by 2pm.

 
11:45pm-1:15pm- Dan and I took a nap. I started feeling contractions again in my lower pelvic region. I tried to fight through them knowing that it would be better for when it came time to push. However, I couldn’t push through the pain, so I pushed the button for more epidural around 1pm.

 
1:30pm- I was dilated to 10cm and they decided to have me start practice pushing. After a few practice runs, they determined that I was too numb and that baby was still too high. They decided that I needed to labor down otherwise I would get too exhausted.

 
2pm- They decided to shut off my epidural in order to get me ready for pushing.

 
3pm- I was really starting to feel my contractions in my lower back and I was feeling quite a bit of pain. Our nurse ended up needing to be in another delivery room and we got our back up nurse. I don’t think I would have had a vaginal delivery had it not been for her. The other nurse that I had didn’t impress me very much anyway so I was glad to see her go. My new nurse decided to have me try out the peanut ball to get baby girl to move down. It was super uncomfortable since I was also gaining feeling back and feeling every contraction. My husband says the tone in the room felt like everyone was thinking her birth was going to be finished via c section, but this nurse was determined to get me the vaginal birth I had hoped to have.

 
3:55pm- They started prepping me for pushing once again. At one point my nurse was prepping things and my body needed to push, but she wasn’t there to hold my leg, and I told her I couldn’t help it and that my body was just pushing on its own. My husband was the most supportive person and I truly believe that I wouldn’t have made it through this process without him. He helped calm me down and reassured me that all my pushing was getting me closer to meeting our little girl.

 
4pm- My doctor came in and acted surprised that I had made as much progress as I had. He said, “Ok, let’s try and do this” and he got ready to deliver our baby girl. My contractions were pretty intense in my back, but my husband just continued to tell me that I was doing a great job. I pushed for about 15 minutes and…

 
4:18pm- Leila René Ganoung was born. She was 7 lbs. 7 oz., 20 ¾ inches long, and perfect in every way. It was the moment I became a mother and my husband became a father and it was the best feeling in the world. I will never forget this life changing moment and I am so grateful for my husband, the nurses, and my doctor for making it all possible.

 

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Click HERE to learn more about the Community Birth Stories Project or to submit your own birth story