Ep 199: Haley’s Birth Story – An Extremely Prepared Mom with an Extremely Fast Labor

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I am particularly delighted with Haley’s birth story. She was just about as prepared as you can be. Not only did she do childbirth education (including taking my birth prep course!) but she prepared physically. Before she and her husband even started trying she was taking vitamins, minding her physical fitness, and getting tests at the doctor.

In this episode we literally laugh and cry. Her birth was relatively straight-forward. What makes this story so special is the joy you can hear in Haley’s voice when she talks about her birth experience and meeting her baby. Tune in for an interview that will remind you what makes birth beautiful.

In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

  • Why I call Haley “textbook” prepared
  • How knowledge made her feel empowered in her decisions
  • How she and her provider came to a compromise over induction
  • How she was able to instinctively tell when labor was starting
  • What her husband did to support her every step of the way
  • What her nurse did to advocate for Haley’s needs
  • Why her sister encouraged her to go to the ER four days after giving birth
  • How pelvic floor therapy helped her postpartum

Links Mentioned in the Episode


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Transcript

Dr. Rankins (00:00:00): In this episode of the podcast, we have a really beautiful birth story from Haley, who is a student in my childbirth education class, the birth preparation course. Welcome to the All About Pregnancy and birth podcast. I'm Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins, a board certified OB gyn, who's been in practice for nearly 15 years. I've had the privilege of helping over 1000 babies into this world, and I'm here to help you be calm, confident, and empowered to have a beautiful pregnancy in birth. Quick note, this podcast is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Check out the full disclaimer@drnicolerankins.com slash disclaimer. Now, let's get to it.

(00:00:56): Hello there. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. This is episode number 199. Whether this is your first time tuning in or you've been here before, I am so glad that you're spending some of your time with me today. In today's episode, we have Haley. Haley is a mom to the happiest baby boy. She's a military spouse who lives in Omaha, Nebraska, but Virginia is and always will be home. Haley played collegiate field hockey, and she also has her master's in Sports and Recreation science. She's currently a stay-at-home mom while her husband is deployed, but when he's home, she coaches at Orange Theory Fitness. Now, this was Haley's first birth and she started feeling contractions at about one 30 in the morning. She knew from taking my birth preparation course, she that she needed to labor at home for as long as possible since she really wanted to try for an unmedicated birth.

(00:01:54): However, after about an hour and a half, the contractions were so intense that she knew she needed to go to the hospital. That's one of the things that I also teach, is to pay attention to your body, and if your body's telling you, Hey, things are intense, it's time to go, then go ahead and go in. And that's exactly what Haley did. Well, when she arrived at the hospital, she was nine centimeters dilated, and you are going to have to tune in to hear how the rest of this beautiful birth story unfolded. Now, I love talking about birth stories, and of course, I love talking to students inside my birth preparation course. Haley was such fun to chat with, and if you want to get a feel for what it's like to be part of the birth preparation course and my teaching style, then I have something great you can check out, and that is my live birth plan class.

(00:02:46): Make a birth plan the right way. This class is going to be on Tuesday, March 21st, and this is a great class. let me tell you what's in the class. So the way most people make a birth plan is wrong. They fill out one of those templates or forms that they find online. They bring it with them to the hospital. They may bring it to the prenatal visit, but they don't actually go through it with their doctor or midwife to make sure that the doctor and hospital actually support what is in that piece of paper. So what can happen is if you just fill out one of those templates and forms, you show up, you hand it to the folks at the hospital and they're like, yeah, we don't do that. Won't do that, won't do that either. And then you're stuck. So in my live birth plan class, I give you a workbook that you can use to talk to your doctor about your birth plan.

(00:03:37): I go through some key questions that you need to ask in order to know whether or not your doctor and hospital support what is in your birth plan. I give you tips to help you make sure that the doctors and nurses pay attention to your birth plan, and just advice on how to have that conversation so you're well prepared before the hospital and know that the hospital and doctors support what's in your birth plan. This is really, really, really, really important. So you can sign up for the class@drnicolerankins.com slash register. Again, that is going to be a live class on Tuesday, March 21st. Spots are limited. So go ahead and sign up now and secure your spot today. All right, let's get into the beautiful birth story with Haley. Well, Haley, thank you so much for agreeing to come onto the podcast. I am so excited to have you come share your story. It is a great

Haley Oaks (00:04:44): One. Thank you so much. I'm very excited to be on it.

Dr. Rankins (00:04:48): Yeah. So why don't you start off by telling us a bit about yourself and your family?

Haley Oaks (00:04:52): Sure. My name is Haley Oaks. I'm a first time mom to the happiest little boy. My husband and I are both from Virginia. Oh, what part? Fredericksburg, Virginia. Okay.

Dr. Rankins (00:05:04): So yeah, I'm in Richmond,

Haley Oaks (00:05:05): So not too far away. I was actually born in Richmond. And we have three golden retrievers. We both went to college here in Virginia. I played field hockey at the University of Mary Washington. He played soccer at Randolph Macon, and we met through mutual friends. I then went to Ohio University to get my master's degree while I coached field hockey. And then I coached field hockey collegiately for a couple years before he joined the Air Force. And then that moved us to Pensacola, Florida, where we stayed for just over a year. And now we live in Omaha, Nebraska. That's where we're stationed.

Dr. Rankins (00:05:48): Oh, yeah. All right. You have a little bit of a tour of everywhere, but you

Haley Oaks (00:05:51): Pretty much

Dr. Rankins (00:05:52): like me, born and raised in Virginia. Virginia's always in my heart,

Haley Oaks (00:05:55): So it will always be home for us, for sure. Yeah.

Dr. Rankins (00:05:57): Yeah, absolutely. So let's hop right in and talk about your story. So we can't understand the birth without understanding a bit about the pregnancy. So let's start off with what was your pregnancy and your prenatal care?

Haley Oaks (00:06:11): Sure. So my pregnancy was really wonderful. I didn't have any issues. I felt really good during it. I stayed very active. I'll rewind a little bit, but prenatally, I became a birth and pregnancy nerd. I back in the spring of 2020, I found your podcast because I was like, oh, I think maybe in a year or two we'll start trying, and I just want to find out everything I can find out about it. So I found your podcast, and as I would travel from Florida, Virginia to come back home to visit family, I would listen to so many podcasts, 14 hours worth. And so I just loved learning about pregnancy, and I started taking a prenatal vitamin about a year before we started trying. And I made my husband take one sip.

Dr. Rankins (00:07:11): You were ready. You were like, we are going to be ready. Yes. I love

Haley Oaks (00:07:15): It. So a year out, we were like,we're both going to take this. And not that we were unhealthy people in any way. We both were very active and ate well, but I really was like, we're going to eat a little bit more Whole Foods, minimize our process stuff. We always worked out. So that wasn't anything different, but I implemented a little bit more yoga. And then when we were in Pensacola, I actually asked for a prenatal appointment with my ob, but through tricare, you have to ask your general practitioner to be able to be seen by a women's health clinic. Got it. And it's kind of funny, he was like I'll get you a referral, but I don't think they'll do that kind of appointment with you. And I was like, I think that they will. Lo and behold they did. So he just probably wasn't on up to up on everything

Dr. Rankins (00:08:12): . Right.

Haley Oaks (00:08:13): And so I did that appointment and she just gave some recommendations about before planning to start a family, what to do. And I had a regular check and a pap smear and everything. And then I stumbled across this preconception testing and your podcast about episode about R and Vericella tits. And I was like, you know what? I'm just going to pay. I'm telling you, I'm like crazy. I pay pay out of pocket and see if, get these tests done to see if I still have titer, if I'm still, and actually, I showed negative on my rubella titers. Really? I did. So even though I received everything when I was a baby, it showed that I really didn't have immunity for it. Right. So I went to my ob, I said, Hey, I have these results. Can I get an MMR booster? And she was like, yeah, of course. So I got an MMR booster, and then a month later we started trying . Wow. Well, a little over a month later, we started

Dr. Rankins (00:09:23): Trying. Sure, sure, sure. Wow, You were like textbook prepared. I love it. I love it. And the fact that you were with me from the earlier day, I'm like, wow. She remembers when I was just barely starting out. I love it.

Haley Oaks (00:09:37): Love. I love it. I have followed you through. It's just everything. Oh, I love it.

Dr. Rankins (00:09:41): Oh my goodness. Well, this is a, I mean, I can't talk about how anybody can be more prepared, but did it ever make you anxious or anything? Or was it just more information was better?

Haley Oaks (00:09:55): Honestly I don't think it really made me anxious in any way. I was like, man, I'm starting out a year out and I'm just going to fully prepare myself. And I'm just that I have that personality of I just want to know as much as I can, not enough to stress me out in any way, but just to be knowledgeable and prepared with everything, because I just feel like I can make way more informed decisions and Absolutely. And just feel better about the situation. That's how I've always been. Yeah.

Dr. Rankins (00:10:26): Yeah. Yeah. So then when you all started decided to start trying, how long did it take you to get pregnant, if you don't mind me asking?

Haley Oaks (00:10:33): Sure. It took us two months. So not very long.

Dr. Rankins (00:10:37): So you were, and you had all the information, so you were ready to go?

Haley Oaks (00:10:41): Yeah. And again, I went a little crazy. I took, so I used, it's called proof, and they do LH tests, and then actually progesterone to see if you've successfully ovulate. Right. So I did that, and two months later I found out that I was pregnant.

Dr. Rankins (00:11:01): Nice. Nice, nice. Yeah. So then where did you go for prenatal care?

Haley Oaks (00:11:05): So we had moved to Omaha about two months before I found out I was pregnant. And I have TRICARE Prime, so I have to be seen on base. So once I found out that I was pregnant, I had to contact the clinic, and they had to have me come in and take one of their tests. And this is a little crazy. I went in on a Friday and I had two positive at home pregnancy tests. They called me, said it's negative, and I was like, I started getting anxious, and I was like, they were like, you can come back on Monday if you've received a positive at home pregnancy, come back on Monday and do another one of our tests. Well, I went out and bought 10 tests, and the positive actually written out pregnant, not pregnant, everything, and everything was showing pregnant. So I was like, I am. But in the back of my mind, I was just like, why did theirs not come through positive? Right. So I spent the weekend kind of like, oh, that's a little anxious. But then Monday I went in and I took another one and it was positive. So

Dr. Rankins (00:12:18): I'm having to guess they probably did something wrong with the test, I'm guessing.

Haley Oaks (00:12:22): So that was a little worrisome, but it all turned out okay. And then the way that they handle it is before your first OB appointment, you have to do an OB class.

Dr. Rankins (00:12:35): Oh,

Haley Oaks (00:12:36): Interesting. Yeah. So around, I want to say eight weeks, they had me come in and I was with other women who were pregnant at the time too, and they just went over health insurance information. They kind of laid out a timeline of what your appointments will look like and resources that we could use to get pumps or, so it was actually really, really great because I feel like it laid out a lot of information about what it looks like, especially doing, having a pregnancy through Tricare, working in a military hospital and whatnot. Sure.

Dr. Rankins (00:13:13): Yeah. Sure. That's pretty cool. Yeah, that's pretty cool. So I know some bases don't always have OB care, but obviously it sounds like yours did.

Haley Oaks (00:13:22): Yes. So our base did have OB care. All my appointments were there except for the genetic testing. We had it done at University of Nebraska Medical Center, and then the delivery actually was there as well. So they have a partnership with the hospital, which was really amazing.I can't say enough about the hospital there. All right.

Dr. Rankins (00:13:45): Well, we'll get to that for sure. Yeah. So then did you see a physician, a midwife, and was it different ones? How did that work?

Haley Oaks (00:13:51): Sure. So there were four fours mm-hmm. Physicians at the clinic, and it was just kind of random who you would get, and you could ask to be seen by a specific doctor, but there was no guarantee that they would deliver you. Gotcha. It's whoever was on call for the hospital that day. So I made a point of wanting to be seen by everybody since there was a potential to anyone could deliver. Right. My first appointment was at 11 weeks, and the doctor that I saw it was not the best experience because

Dr. Rankins (00:14:28): What didn't you like about

Haley Oaks (00:14:30): St. The base was wonderful with doing covid protocols of wearing a mask and everything. And I come into the room and she has her mask below her mouth, and that doesn't work. And she was like, I just can't stand wearing this all day long. And it was a little off putting, and I was like, oh, I'm going to wear a on . Yeah. I really didn't know. My husband and I were just kind of baffled a little bit. Right. And she herself was pregnant, and so she was just kind of, matter of fact, we did an ultrasound. Everything looked good. And then I asked her about a Covid booster because that's when they had just come out, and I knew what ACOG recommended, but I kind of wanted to see what she had to say about it. And she was like, oh, well, if it was up to me, I would not have gotten it myself, but the military required me to get one.

(00:15:35): So I guess if you want to get one you can. So it was a little, yeah. But I said, And she said, oh, we're due around the same day. Your due date is just a couple days after mine. So I knew she wasn't going to deliver me. So I was like, a Dodge bullet was that one. Right, right. So I just didn't see her anymore. And then the other three physicians that I saw mm-hmm. Through the rest of my care were amazing. Mm-hmm. Incredible. So it really may have started off a little negative, but I was really thankful to have positive interactions with the rest of the physicians that I saw for the remain of my pregnancy. So that was wonderful.

Dr. Rankins (00:16:22): Yeah. And then you knew that it was going to be one of those three for the

Haley Oaks (00:16:25): Delivery? Exactly. Yep.

Dr. Rankins (00:16:28): Yeah. So that makes it a little bit easier for you to meet everyone. If it's just three, that's a possible. Some folks are in really huge groups, so that's that. That's nice. Yeah. So what did you do to prepare for your birth?

Haley Oaks (00:16:41): I did a lot. I was trying to sing, but I had fun with it. It wasn't overwhelming in any way, so it was an enjoyable for me. But I listened to a lot of podcasts. I walked every day. So I turned on a podcast for my walks, and I just enjoyed listening while I got some exercise and fresh air, usually in the wintertime in Omaha, I did have to go inside to the gym sometimes. But I

Dr. Rankins (00:17:09): Was going to say, how cold does it get?

Haley Oaks (00:17:11): Pretty cold. But if it was 30 or above, I was outside walking with my gloves and my Woo socks.

Dr. Rankins (00:17:18): All right.

Haley Oaks (00:17:20): So I listened to your podcast. Of course. I listened to Evidence-Based Birth podcast. Love that one mommy labor nurse, and then yoga birth babies, which I know you had Deb on one of your episodes before.

Dr. Rankins (00:17:35): What about the birth hour?

Haley Oaks (00:17:37): Oh, yes. And the birth hour. Yes. So I listened to those. I read the Mama Natural Guide, the Pregnancy and Birth. I read a Bradley Method book. I cannot remember who that was by. It wasn't by Dr. Bradley, but it was about the Bradley Method. Gotcha. And then I read Birthing from Within Your recommendation. I took your birth preparation course. My husband and I would enjoy our weekends drinking coffee and and going through it together.

Dr. Rankins (00:18:15): Love it. Love

Haley Oaks (00:18:15): It. What else? I took a breastfeeding course on base. A pediatrician let it, and that was really wonderful.

Dr. Rankins (00:18:24): Nice.

Haley Oaks (00:18:26): I learned a lot about that because that one thing I think I was probably, I wouldn't say most anxious about, but I just really wanted to be able to breastfeed. Sure, sure, sure. Let's see. I think

Dr. Rankins (00:18:40): You did. Now, are you working during all of this? How did you fit all of this in?

Haley Oaks (00:18:45): Yes. So I was working as a personal trainer, but I actually coached Orange at Orange Theory. Oh, yeah. Fitness . So studio there. So I was working four days a week, and I did that throughout my whole pregnancy. But I love it. I absolutely loved being a coach and the member, my members were so awesome during it too. So I stayed active in that way too, just by coaching. Nice. Nice. Yeah. So

Dr. Rankins (00:19:14): You were fully prepared and ready to

Haley Oaks (00:19:17): Go, pretty much. Yes.

Dr. Rankins (00:19:21): So what are some things that you wanted for your birth?

Haley Oaks (00:19:24): I really wanted to try to have an unmedicated birth. I really wanted to try to have a spontaneous labor for it to start on its own. Not that I can control that, but . Sure. I really wanted it to just be my husband and I for the actual delivery. And I wanted to have a very calm and relaxing environment to labor in. Sure. Laboring at home as long as possible. And I wanted just the birth to be calm as well, and empowering. And then I wanted to make sure that all my choices and options were laid out in front of me and just to overall be heard by my doctors. Absolutely. And team.

Dr. Rankins (00:20:14): Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So did you talk about some of the things that you wanted for your birth with your doctors?

Haley Oaks (00:20:19): Yes. And I brought a list the next appointment and went over everything. And I just asked about laboring positions and what resources that the hospital had, and if they were on board with what I was hoping would happen with my birth. And they were awesome. I asked every doctor, each of the three when I had an appointment with them, and they were all on board they were fully supportive of wanting to try to go on medicated. And I let them know of all the resources that I had and had basically researched. And they were like, yeah, you seem like you're prepared as long as everything goes well and you stay healthy, baby stays healthy. We're fully supportive of your wishes and what you would like to see happen with your birth. Sure,

Dr. Rankins (00:21:15): Sure, sure. And how did that make you feel going into the experience, knowing that you had, knowing that you knew that information?

Haley Oaks (00:21:24): It just was a relief, but it also, I just felt so supported. I felt empowered to be able to come up with the right decision, but also that my doctor knew and supported and appreciated my stance and my ability to have a wealth of information and be able to have a conversation and talk to them about it. Sure. And to be heard. So I felt really fortunate that I had such a positive experience with those physicians that were on board with my wishes. So,

Dr. Rankins (00:22:10): Love it. Love it, love it. So they didn't at all feel threatened that you had more knowledge? They weren't irritated that you were asking questions or anything

Haley Oaks (00:22:20): Like that? No, actually, so it's kind of funny. There's two OBGYNs. They were identical twin brothers, and so they were very similar in personality. I almost thought, well, I have over 60% chance I'll have one or the other. And they're pretty much the same. Right, right. Look at the chances. I know. Isn't that crazy? And then stationed at the same base. So they both, and I just say that because they both were, keep the questions coming. I never felt rushed during any appointment. They wanted me to feel like I had everything answered, that they were listening and able to provide me with feedback or information. And I don't think they ever felt like, oh, this know-it-all, or . Right. Or anything like that. They were just pretty excited to have somebody come in and be able to go over the questions and And go over everything. Yeah. Oh God,

Dr. Rankins (00:23:25): You're giving me hope for our system. So then what was your labor and birth?

Haley Oaks (00:23:34): So at 39, this is the only time where I think the two physicians were like, ah, maybe not on the same page with me for induction. So at 39 weeks I was two centimeters dilated, and I want to say 80% a face. So yeah, you're looking good. Everything's looking great with you and baby we want to schedule an induction at 40 weeks. And I said, well, is there a reason at 40 weeks? Because I would really love to try to go into spontaneous labor. And they said, well, the arrive study shows. And I said, I know other are studies, but as you know, a pregnant woman who's healthy has no underlying issues, baby's healthy. I really would like to see if I could go to 41 weeks for the induction. And we went back and forth a little bit, and he was like, you know what? I hear you. Why don't we do 40 and three days? So he was trying to meet in the middle, but I didn't really know his reasons why besides him bringing up the arrived study unless cesarean sections and C-sections and stuff. But I said, at least we got to compromise, and I'll just try to do everything that I can to not go the induction

Dr. Rankins (00:25:09): Wish. We will talk about that.

Haley Oaks (00:25:14): I

Dr. Rankins (00:25:15): Know, but yet won't talk. On the same hand how evidence shows just as convincingly that doulas are helpful. We don't, but yet we don't push those. So that's just a pet peeve of mine butt. But it sounds like you were able to come to some sort of,

Haley Oaks (00:25:32): We came to a compromise, but then I did reach out to you. Cause I was like, I really want to try to go to 41 weeks. And you were like, really? There's nothing that should keep you from being able to do that. So then I called him and I was like, Hey, I've really been thinking about it. If you are on board, I would really love to go to 41 weeks. He said, we can do that. So he actually did change his mind after I brought forth some information and maybe pestered him a little bit. Right. So then we scheduled it for 41 weeks. So that was awesome. And I know this is a little off track, but for you mentioned doula care. Yeah. TRICARE actually had just started this experimental program of providing doulas to prime patients. But the problem was there was no doula in network in our area. At the time, because it was so new. Sure, sure. So I wasn't able to utilize the doula. But right now I've heard really wonderful things about that program for TRICARE patients.

Dr. Rankins (00:26:38): Gotcha. Gotcha,

Haley Oaks (00:26:40): Gotcha. Just a little side note. Yeah. And then at the 39 week appointment, I forgot to say that he did strip my membranes and he asked I was get what to say? Yes. He did ask. And I said, you know what? That, that's fine, because it might not help start labor. And it was a little uncomfortable, but nothing too bad. I don't think anything came of it. Cause I didn't have any contractions. And around 40 weeks due date came, no. I thought, well, so not feeling anything. Right. But I was using my birthing ball as a chair. I was doing spinning babies like a daily yoga flow, which actually I forgot to mention I did throughout my whole pregnancy. I found it a good way to meditate and during it, get a good stretching, and then just feel at peace with everything.

(00:27:43): And then later on, I started doing it with your affirmations provided from the course. So yeah, so I was doing that. I tried the miles circuit for a couple of days, twice a day. I was still doing all my walking that I was doing. Right. I was just trying to stay active. I had been eating my dates since 37 weeks. Right. So, let's see, I was 40 weeks and four days, and it was Mother's Day, mother day Sunday. I said, oh, how? What a wonderful Mother's Day gift. He's going to come today. I just didn't know it. I have this feeling. So I just felt really tired that day. My husband and I just kind of made it a lazy Sunday, stayed on the sofa with our dogs, watched some TV I napped, which I'd never nap. And then I said, I don't really feel too well.

(00:28:40): I'm going to go take a nice warm shower. Went and showered. And I was like, well, I feel a little bit better, but nothing really came of it. So I told my husband, I'm going to go up to bed. This is probably around 10:00 PM at this point. And I fell asleep, and I woke up around one 30 and I felt a little crampy. And I was like, well, I've never felt this before, so it could be something. So I tried closing my eyes again to go back to sleep, and I couldn't, was like, I think I'm going to go sit on the toilet. I just felt like that would be a good place for me at that point. Right. So I was sitting there and I thought maybe my water broke, but I wasn't too sure because it was just a little trickle.

(00:29:28): But I was like, I don't think I peed . I think that was my water. And then I felt a contraction for sure. I was like, this is it. I know this is it. It was just something that I hadn't experienced, but it just felt like I knew what it was, if that makes sense. So I had this Freya app to help with contractions, and I started it to time it all, and it was starting off a minute long, four to five minutes apart, right away. And I was like, am I doing this right? This is pretty intense, right? They're ramping up pretty quickly, but I was still on the toilet. And then I stand up and I just kind of sway a little bit. I was feeling good, just kind of like, this is it. I know the baby's, I just feel like, right.

(00:30:23): But I was like, don't rush into it. Got to labor at home, take it slow. And then it went on for about a hour, minute contractions, maybe a little bit longer. And then at this point, it was a solid four minutes apart, or even a little bit less. I said, what? Oh my gosh, this, I think this is happening. So I went down to my husband who had fallen asleep on the sofa, and I said, I woke him up. I said, Hey, I think this is happening. I want to let you know I'm having contractions, right. He said, can I go shower? I said, yeah, go shower. We'll be fine. He gets in the shower, and man, they were really coming hard. They were coming fast. I opened the door. I said, Hey, I think we're going to have to go to the hospital soon.

(00:31:11): At this point, it was almost three o'clock in the morning, so about an hour and a half, just an hour and a half, an hour and a half. And I said, I'm going to go get our bags. I already had everything packed. They were ready to go, but I'm going up the stairs. I had to stop. I had to really breathe, focus. Went, kept going, got the bags, stop, breathe. It was just one after another, just coming. Right. Full on. Brought him back down. He came out of the, I opened the door. I said, you need to hurry. We got to go . Right? I was like, I don't care about being at home any longer. It was just go So intense. Yes. So he got in the car, everything was ready. That ride, it was only a 15 minute drive, but it felt like eternity. I was holding on. I was just like, oh. I was like, I got this. And my husband, he was being so supportive. He's like, you can do this. You will do this. He was, yes. And I heard we were driving. Yes. At four o'clock in the morning. Right. He's like, just breathe. You got this. And we were vibing. We were being super positive. And I heard your voice through your affirmations. I was like, Dr. Rankin, I got this. She's telling me . Right.

(00:32:37): And so we get to the hospital, we park, and luckily at this time in the morning, there was like, nobody there. Sure. But I get out of the car and I know I hit transition because I was like, I can't do it. I cannot do it. And he was like, you can do it. You've been doing it. You are working so hard. We're going to see our baby soon. And I was like, we can do it. We can do it. Right. And so we're walking in and the delivery, or the labor and delivery floor is on the fourth floor. So we come in through security, and they're doing the covid checks. And I'm kind of vocalizing at this point, I'm in reporting labor. And they're like, well they ask the questions. They're like, you're clear. They were like, do you want a wheelchair? I was like, no, I cannot sit down. I got to stay standing. It seemed like it would be too painful to sit back down. So we used the wheelchair to roll our bags up to the .

(00:33:38): We stacked our bags on the wheelchair. So we get up to the floor and the door is open, and I am going through a contraction. I'm just vocalizing. And the nurse shells down. Oh, I think we have a mom in labor. Yes. I was like, yes, we do. So we check in and they're asking for our information. I'm giving it to 'em, pausing for contractions. And you could tell, the nurse was like, oh, this first time mom, probably just a couple centimeters dilated. She's going through it. She has no idea. And so we get back to the room and my actual labor and delivery nurse comes in. That was just, I think, the triage nurse that checked us in. And so she's like, I need you to pee in this cup. I don't know what it was for. I was kind of out of it.

(00:34:35): And I didn't remember from my information why, but I was shaking my answers, this is not going to happen. Right. And I was, I told her, I was like, I'm so sorry. I just C cannot do it. And she was like, oh, it's Come lay down. Let's check how far along you are. So a resident comes in to check me, and she's like, all right, let's check you. And you could tell the nurse and the resident both were like, oh, we might be in for a bumpy ride here. I think she's probably not that far along. And she checks, and I remember her face. She was just like, , you are nine centimeters dilated. We need to get you to delivery room. And I was like, I just felt like, oh, man. I had this intuition. I feel like I'm so far along. But then I was like second guessing myself. Cause I was like, sure. It's so short. It's only been two and a half hours, right? Two and a half, three hours. Yes.

Dr. Rankins (00:35:37): And I can't remember, did you say your, your sister, does she have a fast labor also?

Haley Oaks (00:35:41): No. So my sister doesn't have any kids, so this is okay. But my mom did not have a fast labor or anything. So

Dr. Rankins (00:35:51): I don't know why I had gotten in my head that you had a family member that had a fast labor. So this was completely out of the

Haley Oaks (00:35:56): Blue. Oh, yeah. No warning or nobody else that was like, oh, you might have one. Right. So I walked to the delivery room because I was like, I'm not sitting down. It just Right. I'm not laying down. I'm not sitting down. This just feels so much better. So, oh, my poor husband, when we got into the room, he was unpacking the candles, he and the music, and he was getting everything out. He was getting that. And then she checked me, he was like, nine centimeter. They're like, pack everything up. So he was,

Dr. Rankins (00:36:31): We're going to another space. Yes.

Haley Oaks (00:36:34): Because he was just making sure I had everything the way I wanted it. So he was just, oh. So he got it. And he was kind of fumbling around like, oh, we got to go. So we walked down the hall. And it's funny because everything seemed like, oh, we got to go. We got to go. But it really wasn't like, it shouldn't have been that rush. We had time. I was in the hospital, but everybody was like, oh, let's go. Let's go. Right. But the resident did say, I'm glad you didn't really want a epidural, because I don't think you would've gotten one. Anyway, so we get to the delivery room, and I believe there were two residents. And then my OB from the base was there, and it was one of the twins. And then there were a couple of nurses, and then it was my husband. So we were all in the room. And when we got into the room, I did give my nurse my birth preferences, although a lot of that didn't even need to be because it was

Dr. Rankins (00:37:37): Just happening so fast.

Haley Oaks (00:37:39): But she did look at the pushing part, and I had said, I would love to try different positions that I would really like to try intuitive pushing. And so she was so supportive and voice to the doctors because they were like, all right, lay her on her back. Let's teach her how to push, breathe in and hold and bear down. And then my nurse was actually, she really wants to try on her hands and knees and kind of listened to her body. And I was so thankful because I think my husband's was so flustered Sure. That he couldn't be that voice at that time. And she really made sure that, Hey, this mom's coming in, and even though a lot of this stuff we can't even do, I'm going to make sure that I'm sharing her voice for the things that we can do. And she was an angel.

(00:38:42): It wasn't for very long, but she gave counter pressure on my back. During compressions. I was on my hands and knees for the first part of pushing, and I was really trying to listen to my body for the pushing part. And she was just, you're doing great. Just keep listening to your body. Breathe. And she was really leading me through it, and the residents and the doctors took a little step back and let her do her thing, which was really awesome. Then it came to a point where I was like, I'm not comfortable this anymore. I think I do need to lay down on my back and take a little break. So she's like, okay. And then at that point, I think I was just so ready for him to get there that I was like, all right, let's try this bear down thing. Let's just go in.

(00:39:34): So at that point, I was like, I'm ready to start pushing how they're kind of leading me to. So I start pushing and they're like, the resident was right here. She was indicating, if you feel pressure down here, really lead into that during your pushes and kind of focus on that area. So what I did, and 45 minutes later he arrived. Nice. And so it wasn't that long of pushing. I will say it was a little bit scary at first. I think they thought maybe it was like shoulder dystocia. They all came in and it's kind of emergency. It was just his hand by his face. Gotcha. So that it wasn't anything, but it was a little worrisome at the moment. All these people here for a split second. But then he arrived and they placed him straight onto my chest, and he stayed there for an hour and a half. Oh, nice. And it was just everything I could have hoped for. It was just, oh, when I say Beau, I'm going to get choked up talking about it. But it was so beautiful meeting him. Oh, I just love it.

Dr. Rankins (00:40:54): You're mind me crying on the podcast? Yeah. That is so special.

Haley Oaks (00:40:58): And my husband was just such a calm, present presence. And he was prepared. I'm two, he was prepared. And just everybody in the room, a couple of the nurses, or there's only two nurses, but I said, we've never experienced an un-medicated birth before. And everybody, it was just so amazing to feel like the moment in the room, nothing was panicked. Nothing was just rushed. It was just calm. It was beautiful, it was peaceful. And he was just taking in everything. He was just so aware. It was so special. I just, I'm so thankful for that moment is so I'm kind of out of loss at words because it was just the most incredible moment. And I think for a lot of people in the room, it just felt different. It just felt really, really special. Right, right. Yeah.

Dr. Rankins (00:42:09): Ah, that is amazing. That is amazing. Yeah. So I guess I should ask, do you remember feeling like the ring of fire when he was coming out? Yes.

Haley Oaks (00:42:19): Yes.

Dr. Rankins (00:42:21): So that

Haley Oaks (00:42:22): Definitely there felt that it was a whole lot of pressure and then it was burning. But then I knew, I was like, I'm going to give it a big push and was going to be, he'll be here soon. Gotcha. Gotcha. So I did feel that. And I feel like I probably skipped over some things, but no. Yeah.

Dr. Rankins (00:42:41): Love it. Love it, love it. And then did you have to get any stitches repaired

Haley Oaks (00:42:46): Or anything? I did. I had a second degree tear. This is so typical, me, as they were stitching, I was flinching a little bit, and they did numb me, but I definitely could feel it. And I was like, flinching. And I was like, sorry, I'm sorry. They were like, you don't need to apologize. You just had a baby

Dr. Rankins (00:43:08): Human. Yeah. Just came out of your body.

Haley Oaks (00:43:10): I was like, I'm so sorry. I'll try to be still. They were like, you were doing great. Just like, oh, you're fine. Right. So I did. But it was so nice to have him there with on me while that was happening. Cause it was kind of like I could focus fully on him and didn't have to worry about it. But I did have a second degree tear.

(00:43:33): And then they did administer Pitocin for the placenta, which I did. That was, I guess, backtracking one thing that I asked if I had to with my physician. And he said that for the hospital that it really is something that they want to do because of risk of hemorrhaging. But I knew from evidence-based birth and your podcast that it really didn't need to be administered. But at that point I was like, you know what? It's fine. I just do what you need to do. And so then delivered the placenta. They did wait to cut the cord until after it was done pulsating. good. So that was awesome. And yeah, I think it

Dr. Rankins (00:44:25): Was just a lovely, beautiful

Haley Oaks (00:44:26): Experience. Yeah, it was.

Dr. Rankins (00:44:29): Yeah. So then what was postpartum like? Because I know there were a little bit of a couple of bumps

Haley Oaks (00:44:33): There. So thankfully, my birth was as beautiful and pretty much the way I wanted it to go, because postpartum was a little challenging. Right after I gave birth, my blood pressure was high but they were like, that's not abnormal. You just delivered. However, as they were checking it around the clock, they were like, yeah, it's still staying a little high. And you didn't have high blood pressure at all during your pregnancy. So they were really good about coming in and checking it. They never gave me medication for it in the hospital because it was starting to come down the longer I stayed but it was still kind of hovering around the one 30 s over eighties. So nothing too scary, crazy.

(00:45:29): And I did stay, so with my insurance, I could stay up to 72 hours. So I decided to do that because I just thought it would be better to be monitored. Like nobody said, we want to keep an extra eye on, keep you for a little bit longer to keep an eye on you. I just thought that it would be a good idea to do. Sure. So just get a little peace of mind, I guess. Yeah. So we got discharged after 72 hours and we went home and my mom flew in from Virginia and she had the house ready for us, and she had meals ready for us. Nice. And so she was there to help us in any way. And breastfeeding started off a little challenging as well. He was getting on and latching, but sometimes it took a really long time to get a good latch.

(00:46:31): So that made me a little anxious probably. But then I noticed my feet were really swollen. Extremely swollen. My head felt like pressure. Not a headache per se, but pressure. So my nurse or my nurse, my sister is a nurse and she came out, I delivered him on a Monday, and she came out on Friday. She was planning on coming anyway, but she looked at me and she said, okay, Haley, you, I don't like the way this looks. Your head is bothering you. This is not something to mess around with. I'm going to go get a blood pressure cuff and we're going to take her blood pressure. So she took it, and it was one in the one 40 over 90, I want to say. So up I, well, I was just really worried that breastfeeding was like something was going to happen if I went to the emergency room or something.

(00:47:40): But that day actually, that she arrived, and after she took my blood pressure, my son had his first checkup. And on base you just see a family medicine doctor for the first checkup, not a pediatrician. And I'm actually really thankful that we did, because when we came into the room and he checked my son, he turned to me and said, now let's see how you're doing. And he looked, checked everything, and I said, my feet are really swollen. My head, I feel a little pressure in my head. He said, let's get some lab work done. So I immediately went down to the lab and got lab work done, and my liver enzymes were triple what they should have been. So he was like, yeah, your blood pressure is high. Your liver enzymes could be up because of the blood pressure coming up, but I want you to come back tomorrow and get the same lab work done and another blood pressure check.

(00:48:44): So the next day I come in and they had come down just slightly but I still was feeling a little pressure, but still no headache or change in vision or anything. And he said, all right, let's send you back. Come in the next day and do more blood work. Well, after I got home, my sister said, no, you're going to the emergency room. This is nothing to play around with. So right after a little bit of crying , because I didn't want to leave my baby, we all got in the car, my mom, my sister, my husband, my baby, and we dropped me off at the emergency room. My sister came in with me and my mom and my husband drove him around. He was sleeping, so they just kept him asleep driving around. So we get in there, and it's at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where I delivered the emergency department is.

(00:49:40): So I go and they say, what are you here for? I said, I just had a baby and my blood pressure's high and I'm not feeling well. And they were get her back right away. They were not messing around. They were really good about checking it right away and getting me emitted. So when they checked it, I think it was 1 59 over 95, so it was pretty high, especially high for me as well. Sure, sure. So I got admitted. I got an IV and some Tylenol, but they wanted me to be checked. They were sending their doctor that was on call down to see me. And they ran more blood work and my liver had gone down drastically. So that was good news from what they had been right at the clinic just two days before. And as I was there, my blood pressure was steadily coming down.

(00:50:41): After about an hour, I want to say it was back down to 1 32 over 80, 82 or something like that. So it was coming down and the OBS came in. They asked me a lot of questions. They were looking at my blood pressure readings throughout the time that I was there. And I was on, I'd only been there maybe two hours at this point. They were like, let's hold off on any blood pressure, me medications or magnesium. We see that it's coming down by itself and you don't have any blurred vision or your headache isn't worsening or anything like that. Even with Tylenol, the Tylenol's helping things. And so I asked the nurse there, I said, is, because we still worried about Covid and everything, but where I was really secluded from the rest of the emergency room, and I was in my That's great. I was in a enclosed room.

(00:51:42): It wasn't like a curtain or anything like that. Sure, sure, sure. And I said, can my baby come and can I feed him? And she said, yes. So they safely brought him in and I fed him, and then they took him back out. So that was, I needed that, I felt like to help with my anxiety of my breastfeeding journey and stuff. But I knew that I needed to put myself first in this moment in order to take care of him. But it was a lot. And I feel like I'm scattering. I'm all over the place with this. No.

Dr. Rankins (00:52:18): Yeah. So did they eventually end up sending you

Haley Oaks (00:52:20): Home then? Yes. After four hours, they were like, we feel good about you going home. Your blood pressure has gone down and stayed down. And the Tylenol, I was helping with the headache, and nothing's worsening. They said, when you go home, if anything worsens, you need to come back in. Sure, sure. So, sure. I got home, nothing worsened and I started feeling improvements. My head started feeling better. I started feeling a little bit more like myself, my sister. Right. I felt better that my sister was there with me. But I did do routine blood pressure and lab work at the base clinic.

(00:53:09): Let's see, I want to say it was every Monday and Wednesday for the next three weeks. So they kept up with it. And then I had a couple of appointments after the reading and the lab work just to see how I was feeling too. And I want to say after a week and a half after I was discharged from the emergency room, I was backed down to one 20 over 75 or something. So it was really coming down. So all in all, I didn't have to receive medication for it or anything like that, but did experiencing the emergency room. And I'm really glad that everybody took it seriously. Yeah.

Dr. Rankins (00:53:54): I'm curious, did the family medicine doctor, when your liver enzymes were five times what they should have been, say anything about going to the hospital then? Because I would've sent you to the hospital right then.

Haley Oaks (00:54:06): Yeah. So I was a little surprised that he didn't, and I probably in that moment, should have. And I'm glad that my sister was like, yeah, you need to go. I am surprised.

Dr. Rankins (00:54:16): I mean, were the OB doctors, did they say? I mean, cause that could be a variant of health syndrome, which is a severe form of pre-eclampsia.

Haley Oaks (00:54:25): Yes. And so I think that was what bothered my sister most too, was that nobody said, you have pre-eclampsia. Right. Everybody was just like, you have high blood pressure, and I know that's what it is, but she was like, I just want to hear somebody say that you have pre-eclampsia and that this is serious. And Yes. Cause she was like, I feel like everybody's kind of glad that you're getting done the lab work and you're reading some stuff, but this is serious and it needs to be treated seriously. And so nobody told me to go to the er. My sister told me to go to the er. Right. So that is a little, I mean, thank goodness she was there and forced me to because Yeah.

Dr. Rankins (00:55:11): Yeah. I just So, no, I'm glad everything worked out, but I'm really curious what the rationale was for not

Haley Oaks (00:55:19): Yeah. Sending you, yeah. Maybe I, yeah, really and hindsight, I feel like we were all like, well, I guess readings are looking better, but your liver enzymes are not great. And my sister's like, yeah, you need to go. So, right.

Dr. Rankins (00:55:38): I mean, I wonder if people were biased because you were otherwise healthy, healthy and young, and they didn't want to see what was in front of them.

Haley Oaks (00:55:51): Yeah. I mean, I don't know. And luckily, I went what I did, but Right. If it was somebody else in a different situation and they didn't have somebody to advocate and say, yes, you did though, or support you to go. Right. I mean, it could have turned out a lot differently. So yeah. That's tough. I feel like there's still a lot of work to be done on the postpartum end, because a lot of, for sure, a lot of women hear about pre-eclampsia while they're pregnant and the solution deliver baby. But I don't think a lot of women know or is informed about preeclampsia that can happen postpartum and how serious and dangerous it can be. So Right. A lot of work to be done because we see our OB every four weeks and then every two weeks, then every week, and then six weeks come back. Yeah.

Dr. Rankins (00:56:50): Well then as we wrap up, what would be your one favorite piece of advice that you would give to someone who's having a baby right now?

Haley Oaks (00:56:59): I thought about this one, and I know everybody's different. Every personality's different. I was like, I want to know everything there is to know. But I think it is really important to at least some have some sort of childbirth education or course completed, just because I think it just gives you the power to make informed decisions and to be an advocate for yourself as well. Absolutely. I just think in any sort of capacity, whatever that might be, if you want to read a book or take a course or whatever, I recommend your course. Thank, but I just think that's really important to feel empowered and have some knowledge about what you're going into.

Dr. Rankins (00:57:42): Sure. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, Haley, thank you so much for agreeing to come to Yes, thank you. The podcast. I'm so glad I got to be a part of your experience and that you're sharing all of your knowledge and the things that you gained. Just a great birth story. Thank you. And even though things postpartum, were a little rocky, I'm glad everything turned out well.

Haley Oaks (00:58:03): Thank you. And I forgot to add one thing about postpartum too. Sure. And during my pregnancy, I was very fortunate to see a pelvic four physical therapist.

Dr. Rankins (00:58:13): Oh, yes. We got to please say something about that,

Haley Oaks (00:58:14): Which really underutilized slash insurance is a big factor in that too. But luckily, tricare you can get a referral to see a pelvic floor pt. And I thought it was so wonderful during my pregnancy.

Dr. Rankins (00:58:32): How frequently did you see her?

Haley Oaks (00:58:33): Every week from 22 weeks on. Seriously. Seriously. So I was really blessed because I was experiencing some really bad low back pain. I mean, it was night and day, it helped. Nice. So much. So that was really wonderful. And then aft postpartum, I still got to see the pelvic floor pt. I did experience prolapse. So that was really a great resource. Once I found out that I did have prolapse to continue going to see the pelvic floor pt, and it's helped. Right. A lot. Nice. So I can't speak more highly about pelvic floor pt if you're able to go see one for Yes,

Dr. Rankins (00:59:21): Yes, yes, yes,

Haley Oaks (00:59:22): Yes, yes. I forgot to say that and I wanted to

Dr. Rankins (00:59:24): Make sure. No, I'm glad you said that. Yes. That's really, really important. And then where can women connect with you? You can say nowhere. It's totally

Haley Oaks (00:59:31): Awesome. No, no. I'm on Instagram at H A K Oaks, so O A K E S under square four. You can reach out to me there. I'm happy to answer anything.

Dr. Rankins (00:59:42): All right. Awesome. We'll link that in the show notes. Well, again, thank you so much, Haley, for agreeing to come onto the podcast. It was so delightful to talk to

Haley Oaks (00:59:49): You. Thank you so much for having me. It's really an honor to be on the podcast.

Dr. Rankins (01:00:02): Wasn't that a beautiful birth story? I so enjoyed chatting with Haley, and we were recording on video, and I got to see her sweet baby boy as well. So love, love, love talking with you, Haley. Thanks for being on. Now, after every episode where I have a guest on, I do something called Dr. Nicole's notes where I talk about my top takeaways from the conversation. Here are my Dr. Nicole's notes from my conversation with Haley. This one's going to seem a little bit maybe out of the blue, but it's something that I think about a lot because people send me messages on Instagram quite a bit about pregnancy test. And Am I pregnant? Am I not pregnant? And just a quick word about pregnancy test. Haley talked about how she bought a bunch of pregnancy tests and confirmed at home that she was pregnant.

(01:00:47): You don't have to buy expensive pregnancy test. Pregnancy test. All of them pick up very low levels of the H C G hormone as low as 20. And for reference, when you're pregnant, it'll very quickly go up into the thousands range. So they work very well. You can just get dollar store tests if you want, want, don't feel like you have to get expensive tests. And I'm not knocking Haley, I would've done the same thing. Buy a bunch of tests and see if it was positive or not, just because of the difference. But in general, you can just use cheap pregnancy tests. You don't have to use anything complicated or fancy. They don't work any differently. Number two, Haley knew that she had a supportive team going into her birth, and that allowed her to feel relieved. It allowed her to feel supported, and it allowed her to feel empowered.

(01:01:41): Can't you see how big of a difference that makes going into your birth in order to start off feeling that way? What if she went in and they didn't support her and she just found that out when she got to the hospital? While my birth preparation course and my birth plan class teaches you the questions to ask, so ahead of time, whether or not they support what is in your birth plan. That's what she was talking about when she talked about the questions that she asked of her team. So I highly, highly encourage you to join me in my live class on March 21st, so you can feel that way too. Relieve supported, empowered going into your birth. Register for the class@drnicolerankins.com slash register.

(01:02:26): Also, one of the things Haley talked about is that she had that compromise or that sort of discussion on induction, and she chatted about how she reached out to me to ask for clarification. Well, this is one of the benefits of joining the birth plan class is that as a bonus, you get to be a member of my Inner Circle community. That's my private Facebook community where you can ask questions. Now, I cannot guarantee that I can answer every single question I have to be honest and transparent here, but I certainly do go into the group every single day and I will answer questions that I think will help folks in general. So big questions like induction or things like that in order to help provide that additional level of support if need be. And you can also get feedback from other members in the group about their experience as well.

(01:03:17): So that's another benefit of joining the birth plan class. Just wanted to throw that out there for you as well. Again, dr nicole rankins.com/register. number three, what happened with the management of her postpartum blood pressure was not I would say ideal. I can't say that I know exactly what's going on because I don't have her records and things like that to see what her lab work was and her blood pressures were. But postpartum preeclampsia is very serious and we need to take it very seriously. I would have sent her to the hospital, as I mentioned, in order to get some closer monitoring for some blood pressures, retake the labs, things like that. Maybe do magnesium, which can help prevent seizures or strokes. So I just want to say in general, like take elevated blood pressure in pregnancy. Seriously, also take preeclampsia seriously. It is one of the leading causes of maternal morbidity and mortality, so we just really need to stay on top of that.

(01:04:24): Again, I can't speak specifically because I don't have her records and things like that, but based on what she told me, would've managed things a bit differently. The last thing is I'm going to put out, put in that plug for Pelvic PT as well. Pelvic pt. We just underutilize it so much. It's not something that OB OBGYNs are exposed to, so we don't know necessarily to recommend it. Like we don't work with pelvic physical therapists during our training or anything like that. So some of us don't know what you don't know you can't recommend. But definitely check out whether your insurance can cover some pelvic B pt, whether that is during your pregnancy or after your pregnancy. I've heard so many people say, especially after pregnancy, that it's super duper helpful. So do check that out as well. All right, so there you have it.

(01:05:09): Do me a solid share. This podcast with a friend sharing is caring. It helps me to reach and serve more people, which is the heart, soul, and the passion of my work, and I would appreciate your support in doing that. Also, subscribe to the podcast wherever you're listening to me right now. And if you feel so inclined, leave an honest review an Apple podcast that helps other women to find the show, helps the show to grow. Or just shoot me a message on Instagram. I'm on Instagram or Dr. Nicole Rankins. I truly love what you love to hear, what you have to say about the podcast and how the podcast helped you. Any suggestions, any feedback just drop into my dms on Instagram at Dr. Nicole Rankins. All right, so that's it for this episode. Do come on back next week and remember that you deserve a beautiful pregnancy and birth.