Baby Kate’s story began early in the morning, before the sun came up, before the traffic began, in the stillness and quiet.
Kate’s due date was Christmas Eve and as my on call time approached I was grateful that she was due so close to Christmas so that my husband, Chris, could watch our girls during his time off for the holidays. So we waited. Christmas came and went. And then New Years. We all began to wonder if Jennifer would need to be induced, but still we waited. Chris had to go back to work after the holidays and STILL baby Kate was not ready. Finally, just a few days shy of 42 weeks I got the text early in the morning that Jennifer was in labor and heading to the hospital. Contractions were coming close together and strong.
Normally for a mother who has already had 3 children when I hear “contractions are 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute long” that means I need to get to the hospital ASAP because that baby isn’t going to wait. Kate was a little more chill. I arrived at the hospital shortly after Keith and Jennifer and they informed me she was hardly dilated. So they walked. And walked. And walked. And walked.
Around lunch time Jennifer was getting really tired from the lack of sleep, hours of walking, and ya know, being nearly 42 weeks pregnant and laboring for hours and hours. So she laid down to rest and the contractions stopped completely. At that time Keith, and Jennifer, with the support their midwife Carla, determined a c-section was the best plan of action.
When it comes to birth there seems to be an understanding that if you birth in the hospital it will be medicated and out of your control. If you choose to birth with a midwife you must do it unmedicated and at a birthing center or your own home. The birth of baby Kate helped to break down those barriers between doctor and midwife, where the two teamed up to give this family a gentle, family centered cesarean.
Carla, Jennifer’s midwife and care provider, has privileges at Harris Southwest Methodist Hospital so she was able to be with Jennifer all day as she labored, monitoring her and the baby. When it came time for the C-Section Carla consulted with Dr. Gorski who would perform the surgery and they collaborated to provide Jennifer with a gentle, family centered cesarean. As soon as Kate was born, she was given a quick check by Carla then immediately placed on Jennifer’s chest while Dr. Gorski finished the surgery.
Immediate skin-to-skin is so important for baby and for the mother. Normally, in the case of a cesarean, the mother’s arms are strapped down to keep the mother still and the area sterile, but this also makes a mother incapable of holding her newborn baby after delivery. Newborn babies need to be on the mother’s chest to stimulate milk production, regulate body temperature, stabilize blood sugar levels, nurse when ready, and a host of other reasons.
It is important to know your options. For some the out of hospital experience is important, but there is often fear of the “what if” scenarios. Ft. Worth Birthing and Wellness has given women the amazing option of combining the two worlds – the care of a midwife with the reassurance that medical care is readily available in the unlikely event of something happening. Even if you are expecting a normal delivery it is also important to discuss your options with your provider in the event of a cesarean.