Mom-to-be Sarah Weir was 35 weeks into her third pregnancy when she and her husband relocated from Houston to Dallas. The move meant to saying goodbye to the hospital-based midwife group in Houston that had supported her up to that point. But once in Dallas, Sarah was relieved to find a smiliar model of care with Adrienne.
"From our first meeting, Adrienne was welcoming and encouraging," Sarah said. "She was a complete godsend to take me as a patient so late in my pregnancy. Her demeanor, confidence and style of care made her the ideal midwife for me."
During her 38-week appointment with Adrienne, Baby Weir appeared to be measuring small for Sarah's gestational age - closer to 32 weeks. Sarah had consistently experienced a similar issue with her midwife in Houston so she wasn't too concerned. She and Adrienne did both agree, though, that a sonogram would be wise to evaluate the health of the baby.
"I wasn't nervous because I was feeling the baby move constantly, and because Adrienne was so calm," said Sarah. "I was relieved to have the sonographer say that the baby looked healthy and she couldn't see anything that presented a problem. I left the appointment encouraged and assumed the baby could just 'keep cooking' as normal."
Later that day, Sarah received a call from Adrienne requesting that the expectant mom meet her in her office for some additional monitoring.
"The baby looked good overall but was measuring very small. This was an indicator to me that the baby needed to be born. Sometimes babies hit a point where they will grow better on the outside than they will if they stay inside mom," Adrienne explained. "The baby's heartbeat was strong and I wanted to support Sarah in her plan to have a natural birth. We discussed labor induction, the risks and benefits, and what it would look like in regards to her birth plan. Induction requires continuous fetal monitoring which, in some hospitals, can limit mobility - a key coping mechanism in natural labor. At Texas Health Dallas, they have mobile monitors which allow my clients the ability to move around while simultaneously keeping a close eye on the baby."
Sarah was induced that same day. She was admitted to Labor and Delivery, accompanied by her husband Jared. After getting settled, Sarah received her first dose of medication to induce labor. Some 15 hours later with dose four, there was still little indication of contractions or dilation.
"Adrienne came to check on me and she administered another dose," Sarah remembered. "I told her I was getting discouraged by the lack of progress, but she said she was hopeful that dose five would be the one to start labor. I was still hardly dilated, but now I was about 75 percent effaced - progress. Shortly after that dose, my contractions really started picking up. Adrienne was right, labor had begun!"
Jared encouraged Sarah to remain standing and walking the halls as much as possible through her contractions. He coached her, rubbed her back, held her hand and kept reminding her that she "could do this." When the pain became especially intense, Sarah's nurse suggested she try sitting on a birthing ball. After one extremely painful contraction, Sarah knew it was time to push.
"I started to push. I held Jared's hand on my right and our doula's hand on my left. Adrienne calmly encouraged me to just breathe the baby out through deep breaths and pushing when I felt like I needed to. I remember saying, 'I don't want to do this part. Can you just take her out? When will this part be over?' The pain was intense but I could feel progress.
Adrienne was calm and encouraging with each push. It was the perfect environment. I felt empowered and ready. One final push and there Julia was! They lifted her up onto my chest and she cried right away. Jared cut the cord. They checked Julia to make sure she was healthy and Adrienne checked me. It was the best birth experience I could have asked for," added Sarah.