I had the honor of being Shelby's midwife throughout a completely normal, uneventful, uncomplicated pregnancy. Our last visit had been a home visit at 35 weeks, discussing the complications of pregnancy and birth, and preparing for her homebirth that would happen in the coming weeks.
The array of vitals and checks were all normal- no contractions, no leaking of fluid or abnormal discharge, blood pressure was great, plenty of fetal movement, ample amniotic fluid, and a fundal height that was within normal limits. Paisley- her daughter that would soon be a big sister- snoozed on the couch as we did our visit in the living room.
On the day that Shelby was 35 weeks and 3 days, I was headed out to Willow to do a 24 hour postpartum visit. The kids were loaded up to come along, and Glen was driving. I checked my messages and saw that there was a message from Shelby. I read the first sentence and immediately knew something was wrong. It said, "We might have a problem..."
Funny how powerful words are...and amazing the bond and relationship that is formed with midwifery care. I had spent nearly 8 months getting to know Shelby and her family. I knew her for her sweet, laid back, nonchalant personality. She never made a big deal about anything. Ever.
And now this...this "We might have a problem." I responded to her message and told her to head to the hospital and that I would let them know she was headed in. I looked at Glen and said to him, "This isn't good. I do not have a good feeling." For the duration of our drive to Willow, I was literally biting my nails. Glen called the hospital for me to let them know that Shelby was on her way. I sent a text to Rebecca (Dr. Wayman) to fill her in and let her know to expect Shelby. I asked her to please let me know what was going on as soon as she knew, and I would be coming in as soon as I was done with my home visit.
Through the flurry of events- calls and texts flying, information being shared- the beauty of it stood apparent to me. Shelby had only known me as her midwife and had not known Dr. Elrod or Dr. Wayman as her care providers. But yet they were on her team. We were a team. It is what I hope for every midwife and for every woman.
As it would be, things were not good. Shelby would very quickly find herself in an emergency c-section (though thankfully not so emergent that general anesthesia was required), at 35 weeks and 3 days.
This is the photo story of the birth of Wyatt- a planned home birth, turned emergency c-section.
|Going into the O.R. Not the home waterbirth that was planned, but rather what ended up being needed.|
|Getting her spinal.|
|Dr. Wayman supporting Shelby as the spinal is placed, Dr. Elrod watching.|
|So full of emotions|
|Dad joins us.|
|The have a tough time getting baby out.|
|Wyatt is born!|
|Dr. Elrod comes over and shows Shelby the placenta- Small and circumvallate.|
|Showing the amniotic membranes.|
|Sweet baby Wyatt- 3 lbs. 15 oz.|
|Dad stays with Wyatt as they prepare to transport him to the NICU at Providence.|
|Mom says hello and goodbye, before Wyatt is taken to the NICU.|
And now, just a few weeks later, Wyatt is out of the NICU, thriving at home! (I had a photo of our recent visit at the office but it won't post!) There are so many facets to this story, teaching and reaffirming so much.
Mothers- your instincts and intuition are priceless. Never dismiss it or underestimate it!
Midwives- Always, always listen. Just as it is the same for being a mother, your instincts are one of your most valuable tools!
Care providers- Is this not what we should strive for? An integrated team? Midwives who know, support, and guide normal and healthy- but who are skilled to recognize abnormal and have the back up and collaboration of supportive physicians with a higher level of care.
It's a beautiful thing.