Birth Center to Hospital Birth

I get tearful looking back at my birth experience. It was exciting and powerful!

My plan was to have a natural water-birth at the Birth Center of Baton Rouge. I’d taken my classes with René, and immediately my husband and I knew we wanted her as our doula! The joke was that my husband, Matthew, was my doula and that René would be his doula!

The time finally came when my water broke at home close to midnight Thursday, February 14th, I was 41 weeks, so I was ready! I went to the birth center, and they started me on antibiotics because I tested positive for GBS so I’d need antibiotics every few hours.

We returned home Friday the 15th at 5am to rest and labor on. We were tired and restless because the night before, Wednesday, we had a false alarm of my water breaking. Fast forward and I wasn’t really having any contractions, some cramping here and there but nothing major, just uncomfortable.

The time came for my next round of antibiotics at the birth center and it was 2 pm,and I was 2 cm dilated. I went back home to keep resting the best I could and letting my body labor. Nothing was really happening so it was suggested I ingest castor oil to jump start my labor and get some contractions going.

My next round of antibiotics was for 10 pm. I arrived, and I was at 4 cm dilated, but it was now 23 hours since my water broke and, unfortunately, the policy did not allow me to deliver at the birth center after 24 hours once the water broke.

So my midwife, René, my husband and close family went to the Baton Rouge General to be admitted and have the closest natural experience for this delivery. We got there at midnight as the day turned to the 16th! I got settled and picked my room and was set up with monitors to check on baby.

René was supporting Matthew and me from the minute my water broke and there after. I have to say, as soon as we entered the hospital, we all knew this wasn’t my “plan” which is when I sensed my trust in René increase.

This was our first baby, and I had no idea what to expect. These next moments were the hardest and yet the most peaceful thanks to René’s support and guidance. She really helped Matthew and me connect deeply, and I’ve never been more in love with my husband. She encouraged us to pray in the bathroom away from everyone, and I tell you, it made all the difference and kept our spirit up.

Time passed and my contractions weren’t consistent, so finally I okayed the option to have Pitocin administered to me. I ended up falling asleep, and while I was asleep, 30 minutes in, they stopped the Pitocin because it was affecting baby’s heart rate and wasn’t helping labor progress.

I woke up from my 2 hour little nap, and beside me is Matthew and Rene’. He looks into my eyes with tears, and I immediately know what he’s about to tell me—the next option was a c-section. We wept hard and felt defeated. My heart felt so heavy and I felt so many things: my body wasn’t good enough, anger, disappointment and more.

I was ready to feel the pains of labor, and now I couldn’t. After some time to soak in the news, we held each other tight and felt ready to choose the path for a c-section. Even though it wasn’t in my plans, René helped us feel in control the whole way with every decision and looking back, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!

God really showed up, too, because soon after I was filled with joy because I knew in just a few minutes I’d be able to meet my son! I got out of bed and cleaned myself up and put makeup on to be camera ready!

There was a moment when René and I were alone before the surgery, and she held my hand so tight, I’ll never forget, and she leaned in and told me that she felt honored to share this day with now a second baby in her whole career, to share her birthday. I mean, wow! Could you imagine hearing that?! I was overcome with emotions of joy and relief that this day was written well before my time that my baby would share his birthday with her, just wow. We cried some more, of course—happy tears this time!

It was time for me to roll (but actually I walked, because it was next door) into the operating room to meet my baby! My doctor was phenomenal and a rockstar! He told me what was going on the whole time and I was just so giddy!

At 9:09 am my baby boy was born, and René helped capture it all in pictures. Guys, I don’t know how she did it, but I felt like she was in all places at once! She never left my side! After meeting my baby, the 33 hours of labor were well worth it! I couldn’t have stayed positive and felt in control without René. Whether it’s a natural birth, hospital birth or ANY birth there are two things you should know: First, you NEED René, and second, the only plan is to have a healthy baby—no matter what.

Banessa Petty