Ep 29: Changing From A Physician To Midwife With Debbie DiazGranados

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Birth is unpredictable. If you’ve followed me for long, you’ve heard me say that. If you’re new, I’m telling you now. You can plan (and you should!), but you always have to keep in mind that the entire labor and birth process can’t be planned down to the last detail.

My guest on this episode of the All About Pregnancy and Birth podcast, Debbie, knows this all too well! But not only does she provide some amazing insight into how to handle the unexpected and how to process it afterwards, she also shares her struggles with infertility, and about her journey from using an Ob to a midwife and doula combination for her birth.

This episode has so much incredible information that will be helpful for every pregnant mama to be!

After listening in, head on over to the All About Pregnancy & Birth Community on Facebook to continue the conversation! Some of the best discussion happens there!

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Speaker 1: Today's a birth story episode. Debbie talks about her experience getting pregnant after infertility as well as changing from a physician to midwife care.

Speaker 2: Welcome to the All About Pregnancy and Birth podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins, a board Ob Gyn physician, certified integrative health coach and creator of The Birth Preparation Course, an online childbirth education class that will leave you feeling knowledgeable, prepared, confident, and empowered going into your birth. Quick note, this podcast is for educational purposes only and it's not a substitute for medical advice. See the full disclaimer at www.ncrcoaching.com/disclaimer.

Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to another episode of the podcast, episode number 29. Thank you for being here today. We have a birth story episode and it is a good one. Debbie DiazGranados shares her unique story of pregnancy after infertility, which you're going to love that part, as well as how she decided to transition her care from a physician to a midwife. She also talks about what she wishes would have gone differently with her birth as well as some great advice for expectant moms about reflecting on their own pregnancy and birth wishes. Debbie has a really calm and peaceful nature, at least that's what I felt talking to her. So I know you're going to enjoy this episode.

: But before we get into the episode, I have an important announcement to make two weeks from today. On Tuesday July 30th I am doing a live online class on how to make your birth plan. So I will be there to teach you how to approach the process of making your birth plan, the questions you need to ask tips to get your doctor to pay attention and what to include. This is going to be packed full of useful information to help you for your birth. And since I'm live I'll be able to answer your questions right there on the spot. Now if you can't make it live, then register anyway and I'll send you the replay. But I will encourage you to be there live because I have something special I'm sharing that you can only get if you're there with me live. So go to www.ncrcoaching.com/register to sign up. And that link will be in the show notes. There are a limited number of spots for this lab online class. So go ahead and sign up today so you don't miss out on a spot. That's www.ncrcoaching.com/register.

: Okay. Without further ado, let's get into Debbie's birth story. And FYI, I did kind of bleep out the names of the hospitals just cause I had to be careful about that kind of stuff. Okay, let's get into Debbie's birth story.

: Nicole: Okay. So, hey Debbie, thank you so much for agreeing to be on the podcast today. I'm super excited to have you here.

: Debbie: I'm excited to talk to you about the birth of our child.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Awesome. Well, why don't we start off by having you tell us a little bit about you and your family.

Speaker 3: Debbie: Okay. So I'm pre child, it's my husband and I. We have been married since 2011 so I'm doing math quickly, eight years. We met in graduate school and moved to Richmond post graduate school in 2011. And got married that same year. I graduated Grad School and got married that same year.

Speaker 1: Nicole: That's a lot in one year.

Speaker 3: Debbie: Yes, it is.

: Nicole: A lot of good things though. Good things, right?

: Debbie: Yeah. And we, you know, didn't think we were going to be in Richmond for that long but have fallen in love with it. And since then have bought a house and then had a son.

: Nicole: Awesome. So why don't we just hop right on in and then talk about, you know, your pregnancy and your birth. I know you mentioned that this pregnancy was after infertility. Can you share a little bit with us about your infertility journey and what that was like for you?

Speaker 3: Debbie: Sure. So I am older. Obviously anything over 35 is considered a mature maternal age. And so when we got married and we didn't necessarily think that we were going to have kids, that wasn't necessarily the top of our list. But after a few years we started thinking about it and we thought, okay, well we'll throw caution to the wind and if it happens, perfect. If it doesn't, you know, we are okay with that, with that decision. And after a couple of years and then towards the end of those couple of years taking, talking to my doctor and, and she suggested to do the ovulation kits and nothing ever panning out, we said, well, let's just, you know, cause at that time I'm even older, so I, I talked to my doctor and she said, well, you could go to a specialist if you like. And kind of that's, that was the beginning I think of our journey, if you will, of having a child. I think in terms of, uh, what was going on and when I would take the ovulation kits, I was getting essentially some crazy data in which I would be ovulating for eight days.

: Nicole: Oh Wow. Yeah.

: Debbie: Positive tests for that long. And so then, you know, at first when you don't realize that that's not what's supposed to happen, right. I was thinking, okay, well then this should be happening, you know, sooner. But after, you know, several months, then realizing in conversation with my doctor, made the decision to go see a specialist. So we saw a specialist in Richmond who was fantastic and we went in really just kind of saying, you know, what are the odds? I know we both have PhD degrees so we tend to kind of overthink and over analyze. We went into the conversation with the specialist knowing that we didn't necessarily really want to go the IVF route. Having a discussion of what, you know, what can we do, what are some low intervention type things that we could potentially do to help our odds. Or at the same time if our odds are really low for whatever reason, we just kind of want to know that too.

: Nicole: Gotcha.

: Debbie: So we wanted some data I guess essentially to help us kind of make or not make our decision, but kind of understand what was happening since it wasn't happening kind of naturally or organically. Like we had thought it might.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Cause you guys are scientists at heart, so you need some data.

Speaker 3: Debbie: Right. So as you know, as we started talking to the specialist he's fantastic. He, you know, mentioned some things, mentioned acupuncture. He does, you know, lots of blood work, lots of ultrasounds, identifies that I have a, and I forget if it was a sister of polyp or something, but something that had to be removed from somewhere, I assume my uterus I can't remember. His explanation was you have something that is taking up space.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Gotcha. So that was probably a polyp inside the uterus then maybe preventing a pregnancy from implanting.

Speaker 3: Debbie: Yes, exactly. So we had that procedure done, no problems at all and you know, still doing tests, blood work and kind of, you know, every now like almost every month cycle just doing blood work to see, you know, what's happening with my levels and my husband and also getting kind of, um, producing, uh, a sample of the, see what's going on with his sperm. And we did, you know, he put me on some birth control, I guess, I think to try to regulate kind of my cycle or my levels. I didn't necessarily do well on that because I then got at least signs that could have been a blood clot starting.

: Nicole: Oh goodness.

: Debbie: So I stopped that immediately and then he put me on some patches and I was doing the patches I believe. And I went in for an ultrasound and you know, and every time we go in and we said, you know, doc, we just, you know, don't sugar coat anything. If it's really not going to happen then just let us know. And at this appointment he said, oh, at the prior appointment, I think he asked, he had told me about acupuncture and I hadn't started it and he had mentioned it again during that time or maybe I brought it up.

: Nicole: Right. And that's pretty cool. That he was offering you this less invasive approach. Not a lot of doctors do that.

Speaker 3: Debbie: No, he's fantastic. He really does collaborate with an acupuncturist here in Richmond. And he mentioned it again and I said, oh, I haven't tried it, but you know, I'm going to. So I started going to acupuncture but maybe like one visit and I went in for an ultrasound and he is doing the exam. And he was like, I don't know that this is really gonna happen. However he said it, but that's the message I heard. He said, whatever it was, whether it was low egg count or, you know, he didn't think it was going to happen unless it was through IVF. And I was like, okay, well that's not necessarily the route that we wanted to go.

Speaker 3: Debbie: And it was upsetting, but I think in whatever conversation we had at the end of it, he just said, well, just keep doing back you puncture, you know, and by the next cycle you're gonna, you know, do the patch thing again and then come back again. And it was like a month for five weeks or whatever it was. Any the next time. So I come home and talk to my husband and you know, we're again dead set, we're not going to do IVF. But I said, okay, but I'm just going to, it's still still kind of follow through with this, with this suggestion by the doctor to go see him. So we'd go back and he does an ultrasound. He's like, Debbie, this is a completely different story. We can do. And I hadn't communicated to him that we weren't going to do IVS.

Speaker 3: Debbie: It was like this is a completely different story. You have some good number of, of eggs or follicles that I think we're going to be releasing, whatever the technical or so, and he said, we can do IVF tomorrow. And you know, again, we hadn't communicated that we weren't, we didn't want to do IVF and we were like, ah, hold the horses. We had already kind of gone through that difficult discussion of I guess it's not going to happen for us. We're okay with it, but we're, you know, now you're telling us that, you know, cause I think even at the time he was saying this is going to be a really low chance, like very low chance without IVF. With IVF it's going to be kind of risky or not risky, but you know, also low.

Speaker 3: Debbie: But now this time he was like, this is a completely different story. You have all, you know, there's so much here that are very viable and very, very good. We can do IVF tomorrow and the chances are really good. It looks, you know, the picture's different. Chances are better. And my husband and I were just texting or just like we can't, you know, we can't flip our decision just like that. And he said, okay, well and you might want to get some candles and have a romantic weekend this weekend. And that's how it happened.

: Nicole: Wow. Yay. That's, that's a cool story.

: Debbie: I love that story.

: Nicole: I love this story too.

: Debbie: I mean, obviously I think it was the combination of the patches, the acupuncture and it was, I love telling that story. You know also the thing is is that it could have often not happened. You know, it's such a, it's such a, you know, one in a million chance that even after that news and after that kind of picture and, and having that romantic weekend that it could've just not happened. But it did, and it's pretty awesome.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Well good. Good for you. Good for you. So you found out you were pregnant. Yay. And congrats, I can imagine that that was a very happy moment for you guys because it had been what, like two and a half, three years?

Speaker 3: Debbie:; So that was in roughly August of 2015 so yeah, at least two years, or two and a half.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Right, right. So what was your prenatal care like? Just getting more towards the birth. Did you see a physician or a midwife and how did you feel about the care you received during your pregnancy?

Speaker 3: Debbie: Started off I had an Ob. I had a doctor that was doing all my well well visits. So, you know, she, she was awesome cause she actually called me, I guess it was about blood tests. She called me on a Friday night to kind of confirm it and you know, she was great. So as I was going to see her and I kept wanting to talk about, you know, what I think I wanted, you know, I was still kind of reading and wanted natural. Just wanted to talk about it. She was very insistent, but she just kept bringing up the fact that okay, yeah, we'll talk about it. We'll talk about it later. Like, I don't know that I need to talk about right now. And then always bringing up the possibility of a c-section and, and you know, reflecting on it now, it might have been her way of trying to make sure that I wasn't like dead set on a certain way and not being okay if it went the c-section route.

Speaker 3: Debbie: But the way that she was conveying that information, I wasn't getting that message at the time. So then I started to... And I think yeah, early on I have a friend of mine, even before we got pregnant had told me about a Doula. So I was definitely set on having a Doula because I remember asking her about, you know, I want to get a Doula and she gave me some names or people that we could call in Richmond. So she was supportive of that, but then again she kept kind of referencing the c-section. And so as I'm reading more about doulas and then kind of understanding and finally select the Doula, talking to her about kind of what I want and then kind of hearing more about what's happening in the community here in Richmond with midwives and Doulas, started looking at the midwife program.

Speaker 3: Debbie: And then, you know, kind of interviewed both midwives and it was one of the most emotional, it was very much show cause they find like I finally felt like overloaded with hormones and emotion isn't that sense. But I finally felt like I was being heard in terms of what I wanted. Or, you know, what I wanted to try to have in terms of a birth. And then it was emotional cause I remember crying in their office and they were crying with me and it was, it was really just great conversation. And finally like feeling like, okay, now somebody's getting it, supporting kind of what it is that I want. Which then made me feel like I don't know if I can have my physician involved anymore. So at that time, the best decision for me at the time was to go with midwives because I wanted to get that connection with the midwives.

: Nicole: Gotcha. During your prenatal care?

: Debbie: Right. During the prenatal care. So it was a late, I mean I think I made that decision in February. And my son was born in May. Yeah, it was a late decision to make, but I made the decision to switch from my physician to the midwife.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Okay. Did you have any trouble doing that switch? Sometimes people get in trouble when they try to switch later in pregnancy, it's harder.

: Debbie: No, and the midwife that I spoke with, who ended up being there with delivery of my son, we spoke about that and you know, she said, oh, well you're kind of late in terms of getting this benefit of the centering groups. But if you're okay with that, we're okay with you coming over and starting your prenatal care with us at that time. And totally it wasn't a problem. They were very supportive about it.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Okay, awesome. And then you felt like the rest of your prenatal care there was still smooth and supportive, like what you were looking for?

Speaker 3: Debbie: Yes, very, very smooth, very supportive, smooth in the sense of because I was of advanced maternal age, there was the extra ultrasound there. The concern that the baby wasn't growing but we had another extra ultrasound. But it was smooth other than that.

: Nicole: Okay. Awesome. Now you mentioned that you had a Doula. At what point did your doula get involved in your care?

: Debbie: So we selected our doula before we made that switch to the midwife because I remember talking to her a lot about it.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Got It. So you were maybe a little over halfway through.

Speaker 3: Debbie: Okay. See we got pregnant roughly in August. I think we had selected the Doula before the first of the year.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Okay. Okay. And were you in contact with her? Obviously you were, but how much were you in contact with her, I guess during the prenatal care? I guess I'm asking because in my mind, you know, I'm very supportive of Doulas, but I had this sense that, you know, they just kinda mostly came for the delivery. You maybe had like one or two conversations beforehand, but I'm finding that women can actually connect with their doulas a lot earlier.

: Debbie: Yes. So it actually ended up being that we selected a Doula who was a friend, like we knew her husband. And not knowing that she was a Doula at the time and we had interviewed a couple of Doulas and then interviewed her or had that conversation with her and she was just, you know... It's funny because I feel like if I would, not that I wouldn't select her now if we would have a second child, but I feel like I would need somebody very, I think nurturing and very calm and very chill. And that was exactly what she was. Couple of other doulas that I had talked with or interviewed, I think we're at that stage of, you know, no modesty because they'd been through it for, you know, personally, I had kids and obviously worked with many women who have kids.

Speaker 3: Debbie: And while I'm sure they're fantastic doulas, like the conversation was just not what I had expected in terms of who I wanted to select for our being our doula. We had a conversation, she came and did an interview with us, you know, and reflecting on it, it's so funny because it was so, it was such an uncertain time cause I, I just knew I don't want to have a c section if I don't have to. I don't want medicine if I don't need it. I'm an organizational psychologist and I do research within the healthcare context. So I just knew that I didn't want to be pushed in a way that I didn't want to be coached. And when we met with her, there was, I didn't know what I wanted. I just knew that I didn't want that.

: Nicole: Gotcha.

: Debbie: So the conversations I think now reflecting on it, you know, it was like she was having, you know, she was, you know, obviously the more experienced person. So she was trying to get information from us and have us explain and share what we thought birth was like. And she gave us some great resources. So we have that kind of initial interview. We selected her and then she came back for a visit, a more kind of in depth discussion of kind of our expectations and what we wanted. And you know, after reading a couple of the resources that she did provide, you know, I was able to kind of get a better sense of what I wanted or what it would be like. And so then during that time was when I was still kind of making that decision of where do I go for my prenatal care or who's going to be delivering the baby. And so there was a lot of conversation, phone conversations with her, just kind of talking through the options. I mean by my memory we talked a lot.

: Nicole: Okay. Okay, awesome. Now what things did you do to prepare for your birth books or classes or videos? What did you do?

: Debbie: All of that. I read Ina May's book on birthing, I can't remember what it was. I watched the Ricky Lake documentary. There was obviously a couple of other birthing stories, Netflix movies because at the time, and I think this was one of the reasons why I was never, I never intended to be the person who knew like as a young person that they wanted children cause I was very scared about birth and that's, that's pretty normal. So in my mind now that I knew I had to kind of get over that and prepare myself for it. Like I wanted to watch all the births. Like before I would never want to watch, now I wanted to watch all the births I could so that I could just like get used to it and understand it and try to feel connection to it. And you know, hormones are amazing because it works. Like I started just enjoying watching it and enjoying watching, you know, the women and the families kind of going through that process. I took , what's it called, prenatal Yoga.

: Nicole: Okay. How was that? Did you like that?

: Debbie: I did. And again, it was kind of interesting as I reflect, to kind of transition into what I liked about it. Because the prenatal yoga, they're all, you know, we're all women at different stages of our pregnancy and it's very community focused because the teacher does kind of have us sit around a circle and we share kind of what's going on that week. And I remember the first couple of times I was just very uncomfortable, very, you know, I was like, okay, this is not necessarily what I was looking for. You know, I went and kind of joined the contributed. But after, you know, the third or fourth, I mean, it was just like, that was what I needed and wanted. I just loved it. It was, it was really great. And then we, we did do a birthing class outside of the hospital system. So we had a birthing class with that, that's run by one of the doulas here in Richmond.

: Nicole: All right. Awesome. So let's get to, what was your birth like?

: Debbie: So we are in our house. We had, we were getting in, not well, we were getting there and we had just kind of painted the guest bedroom to make it the baby's room. We had gotten some work done in the basement to get the basement finished, so we had space for guests to come and stay over. And it was a Sunday night. And finally we moved the couch from the living room down to the basement, the bed from the guest bedroom down to the basement. And then Monday at 5:00 AM I wake up and I'm telling my husband I'm feeling crampy and this was nine days before his due date and I'm feeling some cramps. And, and I had some meetings that day and he had some meetings that day and he said, oh, you know, what do you need? What do you need to do?

: Debbie: And I said, well, I'm going to try to keep sleeping cause it was, you know, 5:00 AM I didn't have to get up. My meeting wasn't until 10, so I was like, I'll just keep sleeping if I have to take it from home, I'll take it from home. So I fell back asleep and in my mind, my memory of the burden class was, as long as you can sleep, you're probably not in active labor.

: Nicole: That's, yeah, that's, I say the same thing. Yeah.

: Debbie: Well I kept sleeping. I woke up and I had some kind of cramps or contractions and that weekend before, I wasn't feeling pain that week or anytime before then. But that weekend before I was like, oh, I'm walking this a little, it's a little more, I'm trying, having to strain a little bit more than normal or feeling kind of some stretching pains, a little bit more than normal, but nothing like that was really kind of getting my attention. So I wake up, shower, kind of still feeling it, decide not to go into the office, but take my meeting at home. I'm sitting on a bourbon ball having contractions while I'm on a conference.

: Nicole: Oh, the things that women do, I swear. We can multitask like nobody else.

: Debbie: My husband has canceled his meetings and you know, we hadn't done everything so we haven't like packeda bag. We hadn't put together music. So he was trying to do that and it was kind of after the meeting, which was about 11 o'clock or 11:30 we're contractions were definitely like, they weren't close but they weren't just cramped. They weren't, you didn't feel like, just like a menstrual cramp feelings. It was like true some true contractions. But again, intense. I kept thinking if I am going to just try to rest because I don't think it's, I don't think it's happening. And I think in my mind I kept thinking, no, he's not coming yet. Still nine days. So I laid down and kept trying to sleep and I think it early, I think it was after the morning or after my meeting, I think my husband called the Doula. So she kinda just coached him, you know, she's like, well let her rest, give her, try to get her to eat or whatever. And then I would keep resting and would keep sleeping and then started to time things.

: Debbie: You know, like two o'clock was I think when we started to try to time it, and again, it wasn't consistent. There were still kind of far apart, but I was still having some kind of major pains where my, he would, my husband would be around the house trying to get things together, putting a playlist together. And every now and then I'd have to call them to try to help me through a contraction or like a hip pain. So I was like, just massage my hip, just massage it. So again, all the while I'm thinking, oh, this isn't really it. Cause it's not, it's not debilitating. I'm not saying I can't do it. I'm still kind of able to sleep. And My, you know, we'd call the Doula and my doula would be like, well let me, you know, listen through some of your contractions and it wasn't a big deal. She's like, Oh yeah, I think you're still a ways away. And I think, you know, in in retrospect, I think as first timers we should have been like, can you just come over? But I think, you know, the doula was it making her best judgment in terms of, well, I don't think she's in active labor. I'm presuming now that I don't think she wanted to come over and then if nothing's really happening then leave. I think that might've been a little bit more awkward because maybe once, once she comes, I think, you know, comes here. I think she wants to be able to stay and kind of see it through it all. So in her way of making that judgment. She would have me kind of, you know, go through a contraction on the phone and she was like, oh, that sounds like you're doing really well. You're breathing really nicely. And she's asked me how it was. I was like, I mean it hurts, but it's not that bad and I'm still sleeping. I'm tired.

: Debbie: And then it was, and I started laying down most of the day, actually all of the day. Then I think it was around four or five o'clock and my husband called the Doula again. She listened through again and she's like so and a couple of times during the day, I know my husband had talked to her and she would tell her, tell him to make sure that I'm trying to do like polar bear pose or something else to help with the back pain cause I was feeling back pain and then it was like four or five o'clock she, she said it was another time when they talked. She said, well, has, you know, has she eaten anything? And I said, well she had some toast and some peanut butter, but she had, she did throw up and she's like, we'll try some soup or something. And you know, she's been walking around, he said, no, she's just sleeping and she's tired. She wants to rest, expanded to prepare for active labor. She's like, well you try to get her up and walk around.

Speaker 3: Debbie: So we walked downstairs, I walked out in the backyard for a little bit, ate some like chicken or like brothy soup that a friend brought over from a local store and sitting on the birthing ball while eating the soup. But just kind of in major contraction pain, you know, all the while still the timing isn't right. They're not consistent. It's not, you know, it's not happening in our minds still. And so now it's like seven or eight o'clock and still, you know, every, I feel like it was a check in every hour, maybe a little bit more with the Doula kind of hearing me through the contraction, asking about timing, asking about pain, asking about everything. And she's like, okay, well try and get some rest. She said, I'm going to get rest as well because I think it's going to happen. But I still think your hours and hours away from this happening.

Speaker 3: Debbie: It was like, it was, you know, I think it was about eight o'clock when we laid down, turn off the lights and turn off the lights and all I remember laying there for not too long and I remember we were timing it, so maybe it was more like nine. I remember getting up and just having contractions and oh, that's right. But the doula did say call the hospital just to let them know that you're in contractions. And this was that this was post seven o'clock because they cause Leslie, the midwife had already gone in and we already knew that Leslie was on call or was on service that night. And Leslie was hearing me through the contractions and she said, have you tried to shower or have you tried contracting in the shower? And I said, no. She said, try it.

Speaker 3: Debbie: And I did. And then that post shower was when we talked to the Doula and she said, get, you know, get some rest. I think it's going to happen later. But I think you're hours away we laid down and after a while I had this feeling and then I ran to the bathroom. And earlier in the day, I thought I had lost my mucus plug, but I think I didn't know what I was talking about. I didn't know. I didn't know what to expect obviously. Cause then it was at night around, I think it was around nine ish that I get this feeling and I go to the bathroom, lose the mucus plug and my water breaks. We call Leslie, I'm having a contraction. She listened to me go through a contraction. She said, okay, like you're doing, it sounds like you're dealing with it pretty well.

Speaker 3: Debbie: It's like, I think you're still a couple of hours away. So you know, if you're not feeling, if you don't feel like their urgency or the need to come in, I think you might be able to labor a little bit more at home. Call Your Doula, tell her to come over and then we call the Doula like minutes. We talked to Sarah and she hears me contract and she's like, you need to go to the hospital. There's been a change. Get, you know, get it packed up go to the hospital. And then we get to the hospital, by this time it was probably around 10:45 and get to the hospital, pull up into the valet, which is now closed. And my husband is unsure what to do with car. I walk in cause I just want to get up to labor and delivery. The security guard tells my husband that he needs to go park the car and the security guard then wheels me up to labor and delivery while I'm like now really having some major contractions where it's like, okay, I can't handle this, this is really getting intense and get wheeled in and see Leslie.

Speaker 3: Debbie: And she was like, wow, things really got moving fast, didn't it? Like yeah, it was like and see like, okay, well can I check, you know how you're doing? And she checks and she's like, okay so you're nine centimeters dilated and, but the baby hasn't dropped yet. So they put me on the monitors and I think my fear was I don't want to go to the hospital and be like two centimeters dilated and have to just be there the whole day. Right of getting there at nine seven centimeters. I was just like, okay, well sweet. And get monitors on. And they are, they are putting an IV on and they can't get a vein for some reason I think it was a student, a student nurse. So they finally get it and I guess they identify that the heart rate of the baby is has dropped and they're concerned about that.

Speaker 3: Debbie: So they call the Ob on call and they come in and you know, they're having, they're kind of making the decision. My husband I don't think he's even here yet. They was all very quick. And I think after the Ob comes in, I think they had me push a little bit and then all of sudden my husband comes in from his perspective, he tells me that he comes in and they're having me to try to push and he's like, wait, you know, cause it in his mind he doesn't know that I'm nine centimeters. He doesn't know any of this. And he's like, what's going on? And the Doula got there before my husband did because I think she knew exactly where to park or whatever. I'm trying to push but it's not, but the baby hasn't dropped and I mean, and the heart rate goes down again and they make the decision we need to do an emergency c section.

Speaker 3: Nicole: Oh my goodness.

: Debbie: Yep. And so, you know, and I'm just trying to be a centered and as calm as possible reading through and you know, they're talking to me but I maybe kind of remember them, the Ob talking to me and it happened to be an ob that I kind of knew because of the work that I do. So that was kind of nice cause I was always very afraid or concerned that somebody that I didn't know at all would be the one delivering and he explained it to me and I was like, okay, you know, whatever has to happen. And I remember being wheeled in to the room, I'm still contracting painful and you know, I'm in the room. I think I was in the room at some point. At another point they said, well the baby's heart rate is up. We could still try to do this.

Speaker 3: Debbie: And the midwife's like I don't know that we can ask her to do this now that we've told her, you know, we're going to have to do an emergency section. I don't know if she's going to be able to push or do it. And in the end I was just like, just do the emergency c section, you know, get the baby out. And I just remember asking, why is this taking so long? You know, cause I knew what it meant and it was an emergency c section that they're going to have to put me under. And then get the baby out, what I didn't realize is they need to have everything ready so that it's a quick put me under get the baby out so that there's no transfer of the anesthesia to the baby. Yeah. So I just remember like screaming out why is this taking so long. Why is this taking so long?

: Debbie: And all the while my husband, tells me that he's outside the room cause he can't go in the room. He's with the Doula and you know, he just doesn't know what's happening or you know, just doesn't know what to do. So then urgency, c-section happens.

: Nicole: And so you went under general anesthesia yet?

: Debbie: Yeah. So I was completely out. And then the next thing I remember is waking up in the delivery room or like, yeah, I'm the in the room, not the operating room, but the delivery room and being in pain but also being like, where's the baby? You know? So then we got wheeled over to see the baby for this to be a minutes, I'm completely groggy, but at the same time, very excited. And it's kind of an interesting picture, the first picture, cause he's, you know, they obviously went and took them to make sure he was okay.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Did he go to the NICU or just...

Speaker 3: Debbie: He did. And then I remember the picture that we have of him kind of in the NICU. He's got it little, I think IV, they had a little arm brace or something to keep them by, keep his arms straight or maybe not id yet. Something on his arm. I think it wasn't an IV cause he had a little arm brace on it, a little thing and that same for a little bit. But then so this like, so he was born at 11:45 in on a Monday night and we got wheeled back up to the room around 1:00 AM and then by 6:00 AM my husband was downstairs to figure out when he would be able to come up and they finally came up about 10:00 AM even though I was still kind of per surgery and still very groggy.

Speaker 1: Nicole: So they let him out of the NICU. You mean to come up with you or, okay. Okay. Okay. Yep. Okay. I'm just over like what was that all like for you?

Speaker 3: Debbie: It was, I mean like during the moment it was very, okay, I just need to stay calm. I'm in pain, so I'm just going to breathe out, breathe out, just let it happen. Let it happen. There was never a concern or there was never a fear that something was going to go wrong. I don't know, within the moment I kept, you know, cause I knew or I know now that baby's heart rates drop during contractions. So I didn't know and I didn't know what if for whatever reason they were saying we need to get them out. I think in my mind I think I thought, well he's not dropping, you know, there's three stages that need to happen, or the three things that need to happen for a baby to birth. I'm obviously dilated, but one of the things is I needed to drop and the baby has to drop.

Speaker 3: Debbie: The baby hasn't dropped, so, okay, fine. Then I didn't know what that meant in terms of, and I knew my water had broken. So I think in my mind I just thought, okay, well he's not dropping. They need, the baby needs to drop fast or soon. So maybe that's why they're making the decision to do this emergency c section. I think post delivery and post me not be in groggy or like maybe later that day on that Tuesday. It was kind of, it was really upsetting that it happened that way. But I think, but it actually wasn't, it was upsetting, but it wasn't like it wasn't interfering kind of with my joy and love, you know, for finally meeting the baby. But my Doula, our Doula came to the visit, post birth at home. So we, so he was born on a Monday night and we didn't leave cause we actually took the, the extra night.

Speaker 3: Debbie: We didn't leave until Friday and our Doula came and visited us on Saturday and you know, I was still kind of processing it and she, you know one and she didn't know that I actually, she didn't know that I necessarily studied kind of collaboration and handed it in one of the context being health care. And so when I told her that she was like, I didn't know that. I was like, that's so interesting. It's kind of, you know, you know, cause from her perspective, you know, she kind of saw what was going on between the midwife, between the Ob and how they were working with the Doula, how they were working with me as a patient and my husband as a family member. So even though the outcome wasn't what I had expressed to her, she kind of thought, she kind of saw how everybody was working together and working well together.

Speaker 3: Nicole: Right.

: Debbie: But I think the other thing that she kind of highlighted or honed in on was that the, the full day that my husband and I spent at home laboring and how well we did it together, you know, the support from one another and how awesome that was.

: Nicole: Oh, that is so beautiful.

: Debbie: It is. And it is that, it is like, you know, okay, we can do this together. And that's, you know, to the point where we never said, hey Sarah, come over. Because I feel like if she would've come over, she would have gotten me walking and maybe that might've helped the baby drop. I don't know or whatever, you know, whatever. But I think hearing that description was like, that's pretty special and pretty often.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Absolutely. So she just helped you to find a way to kind of process everything to where you could see like the positive aspects of it.

Speaker 3: Debbie: Yes.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Yeah. So what other things did you do to manage your feelings about how your birth didn't go the way you anticipated?

Speaker 3: Debbie: I've definitely talked about it cause I wanted to share it cause I think after Sarah had explained it that way, I was like, I want to share this story. Like I just want to talk about it. And, you know, it's funny cause you know, then I became the woman that wants to talk about her birth but it, you know, and so just kind of an awesome experience and an awesome experience to be able to be home and, and just kind of be, you know, here in a safe space and feel comfortable and feel supported and just kind of letting, like allowing my body to just kind of communicate what it was that we needed at the time or that I needed at the time. So I did a lot of talking about it and my husband and I talked a lot about it.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Did you ever talk about it with your midwife or with the OB physician?

Speaker 3: Debbie: I did do that at a six week post birth visit with a midwife and I feel like I had another visit with the OB. But yes, we did talk about it with the midwife and my husband was there at that visit too. And we talked about it and then I even talked a little bit more about it with the ob cause I do remember him, um, kind of looking up some tests in terms of helping process or helping communicate kind of the decision or the thought process of doing the emergency c section.

: Nicole: Okay. Do you think that was helpful?

: Debbie: I do. I still think it was, um, like I feel like if I would have that conversation now I would be asking different questions or more questions. I think at the time I was still kind of, yeah, didn't know what I wanted to ask or wanted to find out. But yeah, I do think it was helpful.

Speaker 1: Nicole: And do you think that six weeks was too long? I think six weeks is too long to wait to even, even if it's like you check in just a little bit, I think we need to do better about seeing women earlier. What do you think?

Speaker 3: Debbie: Oh, I agree completely. I agree completely. I think, I think the fact that the Doula had come twice was helpful. Like, you know, from getting discharged to the six week visit, I at least saw the Doula twice and I think that helped with that kind of transition. But I do think it's too, it's too long. Maybe we need, more support for women and families in that kind of transition period. It's a huge transition.

Speaker 1: Nicole: It is a very huge transition and it's something that you just can't appreciate until you go through it. So, yeah. Yeah. So, you know, looking back on all of it, how do you feel about it now?

Speaker 3: Debbie: I love it. I mean, yes, I'm disappointed that it was an emergency c section, you know, is that kind of just shared a minute ago? I do wonder that if I, if I would have walked around, maybe he would've dropped, but in my mind I was thinking if I can sleep then I'm not an active labor. And so I was resting in preparation for the walking that I thought I was going to have to do.

Speaker 1: Nicole: We all those sometimes we know when things don't go the way you anticipate, that wonder if you would have done things differently. I mean, for my second, I had a c section for my first and a c-section for the second and I'm like, oh, what if I would've tried to VBAC? You know, I never had that experience of a vaginal birth. So I think that's common that you have that sorta what if kind of thing. And you just figure out a way to deal with it.

: Debbie: Right. Yeah. I wonder, I think my reflection on it is more about missing kind of the, his entrance, right? Not Not necessarily the experience of the vaginal birth. I think it's more of like, you know, I was knocked out, but I didn't get to see him come out here and come out.

Speaker 1: Nicole: You didn't hear that first cry and that kind of thing.

Speaker 3: Debbie: I didn't get to, you know, do skin the skin immediately, all that kind of stuff. So I think it's that, and I'm going again, I think hormones are an incredible thing. So I think, I think that's what's helped rationalize it for me because you know, early on, you know, the first few days in the first couple of weeks it was, it was, it was devastating and it was hard. Sure. But I think I was able to, and like I said, I love sharing the story. I think it's a, a, a, a unique story to share. But I do love talking about it even if it wasn't exactly what I had hoped it was.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Yeah. Now what was your physical recovery like? Did you have any issues there?

Speaker 3: Debbie: Not really. I mean it was, it was, it was tough. It was funny, not funny, but it was interesting while I was in the hospital I would be in pain and you know, so now I guess it's typical. They had me walking, I believe it was that Tuesday, Tuesday. So it was within, if not at 24 hours, they had me walking at least a little bit. And so it was painful. And when I was in the hospital, they were like, oh, so how are you doing pain? I was like, well I'm still like in, you know, pretty good amount of pain, not debilitating. I'm still able to hold in and try to nurse and everything, but it still hurts. And the nurse I guess looked at my, how much medication I was getting because I, they gave me the kind of the self monitored medication like, oh you're not giving yourself any medication.

Speaker 3: Debbie: It's like, oh well maybe I need to have a little bit. So I was able to kind of manage the pain a little bit better in that way. But the more I walked better, it was, I think also when I got home I had mixed up the how to take the medication. Cause I do remember one night just waking up in excruciating pain. And I think I had, you know, something like, could have taken it every four hours. I think I was, I had to take it every eight hours or something like that. But it was, it was tough, but it was really, in terms of my memory, it was only really one night of being in big pain. I do remember walking around the block. It was either this Sunday, so yeah, it would have been almost a week. Yeah, he would have been almost a week. It was a Sunday. Some friends came over and just took a slow stroll around our block. Tried to get up that, that was really kind of encouraged by a friend who had already had two kids and she was like, you know, if you feel up for it, we can go take a slow walk.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Go get some fresh air. Yeah. Yeah. So looking back and then just kinda to wrap up, what are some things you wish you knew beforehand or is there anything you wish you would've known beforehand?

Speaker 3: Debbie: Well, I mean, I don't know that I missed any information that would've helped. I think the, the one thing I wish we would have done, it's not necessarily knowledge, but it's more of a behavior and action is, I wish we would have told, asked the Doula, you know, what, can you come over?

Speaker 1: Nicole: Even if you leave later.

Speaker 3: Debbie: Even if you leave later, can you just come over? But I think that that's really the only thing. I think it would've been nice to have had a plan like, okay, yes you can rest. But like I took it too, like I took it to the extreme, right. I was like I'm not an active labor and I'm just going to keep resting. Kind of had a plan to be like, okay, keep resting but you need to walk up and down the stairs or you need to walk around the block and then come back and rest or something.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Gotcha. Okay. Alright. Oh, and I forgot to ask, how do you feel like the combination of a Doula midwife and then having an Ob, how did that approach work for you?

Speaker 3: Debbie: I think it was, I mean I think it worked. I think the, the, the having the Ob kind of come in, you know, unexpectedly and because of a concern and I'm glad that there was that option or that the, that the midwife was able to lean on her colleague in that way or that time. I think the Ob and learning this post visit where we talked some, you know, they are open and they are very receptive to that kind of collaboration with midwives. So it was, it was nice. I think, you know, I think that's a testament to kind of the program that, um, has been built.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Well. Good. Awesome. So last thing, just to kind of finish up, what is one thing or one piece of advice that you would tell women who are getting ready for their birth?

Speaker 3: Debbie: I think my one thing is kind of would be to connect back to reflect and connect with what it is that they want to experience for themselves. You know, ignore the stories out there, ignore the celebrity birth videos, what is it that they want? And to really, you know, if they're not a reflective or spiritual type of person to at least considered reflecting in this moment of their lives because it's such an amazing experience that, you know, we often I think focus on the outcome rather than the process. And I think that sounds essentially what I'm suggesting is think about your process, think about what it means to you and really think about it and not just rush through it.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Yeah, I really liked that a lot. This is not going to be a time that necessarily comes around very often. So take a moment and just reflect and connect with what's important to you. And like you said, not just for what you want for the birth, but just enjoying that moment of pregnancy, um, and really connecting with it. I think that's really, really great advice.

Speaker 3: Debbie: Yeah. I know that all of this is essentially in my second career I would love to be a Doula and help other women.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Interesting. How did you come to that conclusion?

Speaker 3: Debbie: I think it's just, you know, what Sarah did? I think for like the support that she provided me in the support and just the conversations that she had with us, I think, you know, if I can do that for other people cause I, you know, just reflecting on how I thought about the process and how I was afraid about it at first. I would love to help women through that and kind of think through it and act through it and yeah. And be in that, in that process.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Right. That's awesome. That's a really beautiful thing to do. I think as women we need to try and help support other women as best we can during pregnancy and birth because unfortunately our society, we don't have it set up very well, at least from a medical system perspective of supporting women, especially after the birth. Yeah, for sure. Well, thank you so much for agreeing to be one. I really appreciate you coming on and hearing your story.

Speaker 3: Debbie: Well, I'm thankful that we got connected and look forward to hearing other stories and thank you for what you're doing. They kind of share the different stories of what birth can look like.

: Nicole: Thank you. And then, I don't know, you can totally say no to this question cause not everybody is, but are you on any social media or anything where women connect with can connect with you afterwards after they, you on the episode? Not Everybody is, but I always ask.

Speaker 3: Debbie: I am, I'm going to have a Facebook account. I have a Twitter account. I'm on Linkedin.

: Nicole: Okay, well I can link to all that stuff in the show notes. And again, thank you for being here. I really enjoyed it.

: Debbie: Thank you.

: Nicole: Okay. Alright, bye. Bye. So what did you think? I really enjoyed that although Debbie's birth didn't go exactly the way she hoped. She's very proud of her story and I love that. Now, you know, after every episode where I have a guest on, I do something called Nicole's notes where I talk about just my top three or four takeaways from the episode. So here we go for this episode.

: Nicole: Number one. And this one's a pretty quick and easy one. Do a dry run of where you're supposed to park at the hospital. When she talked about how her husband didn't know where to park and all that kind of stuff, that was like, ah, painful. So especially if it's a big hospital with lots of different places where you can park, do a dry run so that at three o'clock in the morning if you're driving to the hospital, do you know exactly where to go.

Speaker 1: Debbie: Number two, I loved how Debbie was comfortable with changing providers when she felt like the first one, her physician wasn't right for her. Of course, I'm not saying all physicians are bad, I'm a physician myself and it's not necessarily that all midwives are great, you know, each individual person has their own unique style of practice, but the important thing is to find a doctor or midwife or whoever who works best for you. And that was really awesome that Debbie made that change when she felt like she wasn't in the right place with her first provider.

: Nicole: Number three. Debbie says she was afraid of birth, but she knew that to get over that fear she had to inform herself. So she hopped right on in, got the information, got books, watched videos, all of those things so she wouldn't need to feel afraid of the process. And I encourage you to do the same, whether it's books, videos, a good childbirth education class, like my online childbirth education class, The Birth Preparation Course, definitely prepare yourself so that you don't fear birth.

: Nicole: And then the last thing I'll add that I kind of picked up on is to be comfortable asking for what you need from whoever that is. Although Debbie obviously had a good relationship with her Doula and she liked her Doula, she wished that she would in hindsight asked for her to just come over. So this is just a little reminder that not just from your physician but everyone who's involved in your care, be sure that you are comfortable asking what you need from them.

: All right, so that's it for this episode. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or wherever you listen to podcast. And I would love it if you leave a review in iTunes. It helps other women find the show and I also give shout outs on episodes for folks who leave me those reviews and don't forget to sign up for my live online class on how to make your birth plan. This is going to be so super informative and helpful and I'm so excited to be doing it live so I can be there with you. Register it www.ncrcoaching.com/register.

: Now next week on the podcast I have an amazing prenatal yoga teacher coming on to talk about Prenatal Yoga. She is so super passionate about what she does and she even created a bonus video to go along with the episode so come on back next week and until then I wish you a healthy and happy pregnancy and birth.

Speaker 2: Today's episode is brought to you by Women's Wellness Coaching by Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins. Head to www.ncrcoaching.com to check out my free one hour mini course on how to make your birth plan as well as my comprehensive online childbirth education class, The Birth Preparation Course, with over eight hours of content and a private course community. The Birth Preparation Course will leave you knowledgeable, prepared, confident, and empowered going into your birth. Head to www.ncrcoaching.com to learn more.