Tended to - not managed - with a place for everyone at the birthing table. That was the vision Emily Portis had for her natural birth experience with her son. To get there, she enlisted the help of Adrienne to achieve a personalized care plan.
"I wanted someone to care for me who understood my need for expert support and watchful waiting in a safe environment," said Emily. "Respect for my input was a key component as well. Having midwifery care in a hospital setting allowed for all of these objectives to be met. A perfect example of this was in the timing of the decision to break my water during labor. When I was ready to take it up a notch, my midwife and I together decided it was the appropriate time to break my water. I was treated as a team member rather than as a patient on whom a procedure was being performed."
Emily also chose a midwife to assist with her son's delivery because she wanted to have the freedom to labor without continuous monitoring and use a tub if desired. She wasn't set on having a water birth, but she knew that Adrienne was comfortable assisting in this style of labor. When Emily found she was more comfortable kneeling in the tub, that's where she remained.
"The water didn't help with the contractions like I had expected," she admitted. "But, it did help in between. I believe a tub should be available to every woman who desires to have an unmedicated birth."
Not only did Emily receive the support she desired throughout the birthing process, but her husband Doug did as well. This support allowed him to, in turn, better support Emily. The couple's questions were answered and information was always forthcoming during the delivery.
During Emily's delivery, it became apparent that the baby had the cord wrapped around his neck and leg. A nuchal/body cord is not a complication, just a normal and frequent occurrence at birth.
"I knew they had full control of the situation. This was readily apparent when my baby was born with the cord wrapped around his neck and leg. He was extremely bruised from the tightness of the cord and the rapid descent through the birth canal. The midwife was calm and yet direct with her instructions to both myself and the hospital staff. It was comforting to have such expertise on our side."
"The delivery was amazing. Giving birth to Cooper was such a personal journey for me. Having had numerous losses between my first pregnancy and this one, I was in disbelief that we were actually going to take home a baby. My birth goals were to get Cooper here safely, for the experience to be fun and funny, and for the room to be filled with love. Every one of these goals was met, and my midwife was the center of the team that helped me achieve a beautiful experience."
Photos provided by: Kathryn J Birth Stories