New mother Ramona Davis had wanted a water birth since she was in college, but she didn’t know of any birth centers near Fort Bragg. The OB she was seeing was adequate for annual checkups, but when she became pregnant, his impersonal style and lack of interest in her holistic health turned her off. When an army wife friend recommended Baby+Company in Cary, husband Alvin was reluctant to commit to an hour-long drive for each appointment. After another couple raved about their experience at Baby+Company, he agreed to go on a tour. Within minutes of walking in the door, the midwives and environment put Alvin completely at ease. As for Ramona, she says, “It was everything in my head that I pictured for my birth experience.” But when her baby was breech, Ramona and the midwives faced new challenges. She shares her story.
I had the whole gamut of care, from an OB to the nursing staff at the hospital to the midwives. Seeing all of these different opinions showed me how much a midwife – and not just any midwife, but a Baby+Company midwife – was the perfect option for my care.
Aurelia's Breech Birth Story
“We started going to Baby+Company when I was about ten weeks pregnant. Everyone was amazing. From the very beginning it felt like family whenever I walked through the door. I was so excited to give birth to my daughter there.
The pregnancy was a bit of a roller coaster for me emotionally. At the anatomy scan, I was told that my placenta was bi-lobed and I would likely need to have a C-section. I grappled with my feelings of disappointment – I had an idea of what my birth day would be like and it was very hard to be told I couldn’t have that. But at the 24-week visit my placenta had moved to a better place and it seemed like a vaginal birth would be possible again.
The baby was head down at 32 weeks, but by 34 weeks she had flipped around again and was breech. Mandesa, who was my rock during this whole thing, sent me home with some exercises to do. My husband and I tried everything to get our little one to turn. I went to the chiropractor three times a week; we tried acupuncture, music, hot baths, ice, yoga poses, squats, moxibustion sticks, recordings of my voice and my husband’s voice…After all of this work, we were very hopeful she would turn!
When I came in for my 36-week exam, I was heartbroken to learn that she was still breech. My midwife held me as I sobbed. I went to the hospital for two external cephalic versions (ECVs) but both were unsuccessful. I felt like the nurses there were very pushy in “encouraging” me to have a C-section. It really bothered me. It was like they weren’t even giving me or my baby a chance. There was still time for her to flip! Afterwards, I went to the birth center to talk to Mandesa and the other midwives, and everyone there was so sweet and kept me from losing hope.
The hospital staff was adamant about setting a date for the C-section. Mandesa and Jualeah were totally on my side, fighting to get me as many days as possible for the baby to potentially flip. The C-section was scheduled for February 16th, when I was 40 weeks and one day pregnant.
It was such an emotional day for me. I watched a video of another Baby+Company mom’s birth story, and I told myself that I could do this. I was in good spirits until I saw the hospital. I lost it in the parking lot, and just started bawling. I never wanted to do this – I didn’t want to have surgery and I’d never even been in the hospital except to visit someone. Once I was in the room I collected myself. Mandesa was by my side, and some of the other midwives had called or come by to wish me luck. When the anesthesiologist arrived I broke down again. Every aspect of being in the hospital was so difficult for me. When they rolled me to the OR, all I could do was cry. I said, “Mandesa, do I really have to do this?” And she smiled at me and said “You’re tough, Ramona. You can do this.” And I did.
My birth journey was difficult, but Beth, one of my care providers at Baby+Company, gave me the best advice. She told me it was okay to be mad. Don’t bottle up your feelings and don’t feel guilty. Vent and let it out. At the end of the day, our goal was to have a strong, healthy baby. And looking into my sweet Aurelia’s face every day reminds me that whether or not I have a C-section scar, I also have this incredible person in my life.
I had the whole gamut of care, from an OB to the nursing staff at the hospital to the midwives. Seeing all of these different opinions showed me how much a midwife – and not just any midwife, but a Baby+Company midwife – was the perfect option for my care. They believed that whatever I wanted for my birth was the best choice for me. For every decision, they gave me my options and supported me no matter what. The midwives – and Beth and Mandesa in particular – made all the difference. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know if I could have made it through this whole thing.”