The Birth of Ellis
This was Elizabeth’s second pregnancy. In addition to her husband, Elizabeth also had the support of her incredibly gentle spirited doula. During this pregnancy she sought dual care with one of Milwaukee’s top OBGYNs and her trusted midwife from the birth center. Elizabeth’s main goals for this pregnancy and birth were to carry to full term and have a VBAC at the birth center with her midwife. Her OB was very supportive of this plan and understood that he was the alternative plan in case she needed to transfer her care to the hospital.
Elizabeth’s bag of waters broke late morning on Wednesday, June 12th. She labored at home for a couple of hours while waiting for a consistent contraction pattern to form. Once things picked up Elizabeth and Brandon decided it was time to head over to the birth center. When they arrived, their suite was set up and the birthing tub was filled and waiting. Their whole team was ready to support them on this journey.
The birthing suite was dimly lit, everybody moved and spoke calmly. Elizabeth followed her body’s lead and naturally found the positions that felt the most comfortable to her. Her husband never left her side and physically supported her as much as he could. Her doula was so loving and encouraging, her energy was so soothing to Elizabeth. The midwives have a great way of quietly floating in and out.They would observe labor and check on the baby's heart rate and then fade into the background again.
Throughout her pregnancy, Elizabeth practiced using hypnobabies which she heavily relied on during her labor. She listened to the hypnobabies tracks while on her way to the birth center, with earbuds in while swaying on the birth ball, and while in the birthing tub. It was the perfect soundtrack for her, it helped her keep her peace during every contraction.
Elizabeth’s body was able to relax and manage labor smoothly, she progressed fairly quickly and listened to her body when it felt like it was time to push. She pushed with so much grace and strength. Every single push had purpose behind it. In between pushes she would let her body melt into Brandon and recharge.
After pushing in the tub for a while Elizabeth was encouraged to change her position. She labored in the bathroom and then tried a few techniques on the bed at her midwives suggestion. She also allowed her body to rest when it became apparent that this second stage (pushing stage) of labor was going to be more taxing than the first stage (dilating stage). The midwives were so patient and encouraging. They really put their heads together and pulled out all of the tricks to help Elizabeth push her baby out.
After about 5 hours of incredibly fierce pushing Elizabeth and her care team decided it was time to transfer to the hospital to discuss her options. When they consulted with her OBGYN, he made his suggestions after listening to Elizabeth and her midwife to learn the history of labor in addition to observing the her and the baby. His suggestion was to prepare for a c-section.
Elizabeth was running low on energy and decided to go with her OBGYN’s suggestion and consented to a c-section. Her and Brandon had a mix of emotions heading into this because her first c-section was unplanned and an emergency. This time around it was calmer and wasn’t rushed. Brandon and Elizabeth got to meet and love their daughter as soon as she was born because she was full term and didn’t need interventions or NICU time like their first daughter did.
Postpartum recovery was a bit easier this time around because they were able to stay intact as a family. Elizabeth was able to do skin to skin and nurse her daughter while in recovery which was a big milestone for them. Their midwife, doula, and family members were able to check in on them as soon as they were out of the operating room and into one of the recovery rooms. Elizabeth and Ellis were discharged from the hospital a few days postpartum. The last few weeks have been spent adjusting to being a family of four.