Robbie and I had purposely decided to wait until we had been married for several years before starting a family – after all, how hard could it be to get pregnant? As a planner at heart, I was very troubled to find out that pregnancy did not come easy to us. After about a year, I contacted Delilah, a family friend, for some tips. After lots of counseling online and by phone (and answering a hysterical call from me after visiting a doctor who told me I was young and to just keep trying), Delilah suggested that I visit one of her midwives for fertility testing. Robbie and I were not really interested in using a midwife for childbirth, but we found that this suggestion for testing was perfect for us as the medical world was not really listening to concerns about fertility. Our midwife was able to narrow down our infertility issues and make recommendations to us on how to proceed. Our pregnancy journey then took us to IVF. This was a very hard decision for us to make, but Delilah was there for us every step of the way for emotional and medical support (now remember, we were not pregnant yet, so Delilah was just helping us out of love for us and for babies!).
We are one of the lucky few who had two great embryos for implantation, which resulted in two amazing kids! But, our pregnancy with the twins was difficult. I really wanted the option of a vaginal childbirth for the twins, but with the OB practice that I chose, I knew that desire was less than a 50/50 chance. Delilah helped to educate me on all of the options that I had available, but then fully supported all of my decisions, which were often not natural, unmedicated, etc. After 11 weeks, 5 days on strict bed rest for pre-term labor, my blood pressure elevated to a point that my doctor recommended a C-section that afternoon. I was very scared – I wanted more than anything for the babies to be healthy, and I was not feeling well at that point and was very tired from the pregnancy. I spoke with Delilah on the phone. She knew I was at the doctor’s and picked up immediately. We talked through the options that were available to me, but I ultimately decided to proceed forward with the C-section.
Delilah met us at the hospital (in record time) as we were beginning the prep for surgery. I was very scared – I had never had surgery before that day, so I was scared for surgery, as well as for the early birth of my little babies – they were 36 weeks, 5 days in utero. My husband was also very scared – everything was so new to us; yet, we were educated enough on preeclampsia, multiples, preemies, and C-sections to know the risks. Delilah kept us as calm as she could through prayer, foot massages, lighting, lotion, etc. In prep for surgery, the nurses and anesthesiologist were in and out of my room so much that they never stopped to listen or to explain what was going on with the preparations or with my reactions. For example, I have a severe reaction (well, severe to me) to the epidural where my limbs and jaw literally just shake. I started experiencing this after receiving my epidural and the anesthesiologist’s reaction was just “that happens.” With my lack of confidence in his response, I panicked, and the shake became worse. When he left the room, Delilah explained this was a side-effect of the epidural and it would subside after the babies were born when they could give me some additional medicine to address the side effect. She told to relax and the shake would lessen. Since I had no idea how to relax at that point, Delilah rubbed my legs and arms that were shaking and asked me random questions to help distract my thoughts.
Throughout the prep, Delilah figured out what I needed and how to get it done for me – whether it was doing it herself, telling my husband or parents what they could do to help, or giving us requests we could make or questions to ask of the nurses and other staff. She led us in a brief prayer as I was wheeled to surgery.
At 3:13pm and 3:14pm, my beautiful, healthy babies were born. Unfortunately, I had a severe blood pressure drop immediately after their birth. To top that off, the blood pressure machine malfunctioned at the same time, so I am thankful the anesthesiologist staff is still trained in the “old way” of taking blood pressure. After medicine was administered to bring my blood pressure back to normal range, my husband left my side to meet Hannah and Cole. One of the uncomfortable things about C-sections is that you are still in surgery after the birth. Luckily, Delilah was able to step in when Robbie was away and talk me through the final steps of the surgery. I relax better when knowing what is going on – I panic with no information, but Delilah knew that! She kept me posted on how the babies were doing (APGAR scores, weight, etc). She also took some AMAZING first family pictures for us!
After surgery, Delilah helped me nurse the babies. Cole was “required” by hospital rules to go to the nursery soon after birth due to a raspy breath. However, Delilah was able to work with the nurse to delay that until I was able to nurse and do skin-to-skin for 30 minutes as that time was really important to me.
We are so thankful Delilah was our doula! Even though we opted for a C-section, we would have not have had the same birth experience without Delilah!
After struggling with fertility for years, we were thrilled with the birth of our twins and expected to only have 20 little fingers and 20 little toes in our life. However, we had a big blessing and surprise with the birth of our third child two years later.
Delilah was the fourth person in the world to know about Charlie’s arrival (me, Robbie, and our OB were the other 3). Charlie’s pregnancy was perfect, so Delilah spent a lot less time over email and on the phone with me than with the twins. However, in the back of our head the entire pregnancy, we were concerned about pre-term labor and preeclampsia. I expected to go into labor before my due date and Delilah and I discussed all of my options for gaining a VBAC, which was my goal. We also discussed my parameters for having a C-section and my preferences for this C-section based on things that I did not like about the first. Delilah had to push me to have this conversation as I was convinced that I would deliver early based on my first pregnancy. I am grateful that she pushed this conversation because after Charlie was a week late, I elected for a C-section.
After Delilah talked with me to make sure that this change in plans was what I wanted, she reminded me of this list and we discussed how to get what I desired out of this birth. Charlie’s birth was as close to perfect as I could get. I arrived at the hospital 5:30am and Delilah met us at there. She helped keep me relaxed and informed on the preparation steps. She helped me use the correct medical words to explain my blood pressure drop during the first C-section and helped the medical team and me to determine a resolution for that issue for this C-section. At 7:37am, my precious baby was born, weighing in at 9 pounds, 9 ounces! Charlie only cried for a second, which made me concerned, but Delilah assured me that he was just actively watching the world! Again, Delilah supported me during the second part of the surgery when Robbie left to meet Charlie and through recovery, nursing, etc. I would not have another baby without Delilah by our side! Her support to us has given us the knowledge and skills to have the best births that we could.