Jacqueline + Baby Harper
Our journey with Nicole started out a little unconventional...
We came to Nicole when we were about 36 weeks pregnant. We were taking a parenting class when they brought up the idea of having a doula be part of your birth plan. It sounded like such a great idea, but who were we going to find on such short notice? Luckily, Nicole was referred to us and agreed to meet with us ASAP. After the initial meeting we just knew, this is exactly what we were hoping for in a doula. She was able to address all of our wants, concerns and questions in a one month time frame, which you would normally have 9 months to prepare for!
Nicole was right there from the start, helping to write our birth plan and providing us insight to other options we may not have ever thought about! As the time got closer to my due date, Nicole kept checking in on us and making sure we were doing ok. On my actual due date, I had an ultra sound and they stripped my membranes... both were not a good decision in hindsight that late in the game...it caused unproductive contractions and scared us that we were going to have a 10lb baby and she was going to be high risk because of her size. We met up with Nicole after our appointment and I was really upset because they said due to her size we may have to have a C-section. She reassured me that it wasn't anything that I did and to believe in my body's ability to birth my baby! It was at that time I realized my birth plan was my ideal outcome but there was a possibility that things may not go exactly as we planned. Our little girl had a plan of her own and didn't want to come out until she was ready.
Nicole advised us of different things that may help us get this process started, teas, certain foods, positions, exercise...I ended up going into labor at 41 weeks and 4 days. I started to have contractions on Sunday the 30th. We called Nicole, and she told us to keep monitoring the contractions, reminding me to eat, drink water and make sure to sleep as much as possible because baby girl was coming soon! Monday morning came and Nicole came to the house and checked on our status, I had lost my mucus plug and my contractions were all over the place, we got in the pool, rolled around on the large exercise ball, did some stretches and to help with my back pain. Nicole even brought a TENS unit. We were advised to let my body rest because this was going to be a long night! It sure was!
That night about 9pm we called Nicole to come back over to the house as contractions were getting closer together and had excruciating sharp pain on the right side of my lower back! Every time I had a contraction it felt like a knife was stabbing into my back. Nicole knew how much pain I was in, and to help distract me, she tried everything we could to lessen the pain... we used the tub, the bed, the ball, the couch, the ground, yoga poses, the scarf, anything and everything over and over again. She used lotion and oils, pool noodles, stress balls, pressure points, massage and applying deep pressure on my lower back from the back labor! She was right there by my side the entire time, on her knees at the side of the tub walking me through every contraction, physically, mentally and emotionally! She reminded me to breathe, held my hand, stayed positive and told me I could get through this and praised us for how hard we were working and to not give up! Reminding me that all this pain will be worth it and the end result will be us getting to hold our daughter! So many moments I didn't think I was able to continue on, and she was right there with us every step of the way, not letting me give up! She believed in me,I think more than I did myself! She was a friend, a coach and an essential part of our journey! She made sure that I kept hydrated and snacking on small bites of fruit to give me energy since things were not letting up!
Finally by about 3am my contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart! It was go time! When we got to the hospital, I was only 4 centimeters dialated, but 100% effaced. They told me to walk the halls because I wouldn't be admitted until I was 5 centimeters dialated. On one Side was my husband and the other Nicole, walking around with me. They told me my uterus was exhausted and was no longer generating effective contractions, they gave me a shot of morphine and we rested for an hour. That did the trick. Once we got into the room things started to slow down, I wasn't dialated any further and baby girl was not dropping into the birth canal. They then said let's see if breaking your water will move things along... unfortunately it didn't. My midwife then explained to us that we have tried the best we could, and for whatever reason baby girl doesn't want to come out. and we can try pitocin but the hard strong contractions could possibly get our little one stuck in the birth canal and lead to shoulder dystocia, brachial plexus injury, even lack of oxygen to the brain. Although we had taken multiple labor classes and had a birthing coach, we ultimately decided whatever is the Safest for mother and baby is the route we would take. It was sad and I felt a little defeated but it wasn't without effort. We tried everything we could do and the risk wasn't worth the chance of something going terribly wrong and living with that regret the rest of my life! Nicole was right there helping me weigh out the pros and cons, reassuring me for all of our efforts and that I was a warrior and I should be proud! It was so great to have such an amazing support group of my husband, my mom, my sister and my irreplaceable doula! I was allowed to have both my husband and Nicole as part of my medical team in the operating room. We welcomed Harper Monroe Carpenter into the world on Tuesday, August 1, at 6:26pm, 8 pounds 8 ounces! This was an incredible journey, and i couldn't imagine how everything would have gone if we hadn't hired Nicole! She was worth every penny, and we will be forever grateful for her! Thank you, thank you,thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Brandon, Jacqueline and Harper