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Our Family Centered Cesarean

Our sweet baby girl is 4 months young today!!! She is also the inspiration for my new blog and business venture, Warrior Mama Wellness.

In honor of her, I made this video of her birth. We had a Family Centered Cesarean because she presented breech at 36 weeks. For weeks we did everything and anything to help our sweet pea turn head down (too many to name here but i’ll post another blog about it), but she was too comfy cozy with her head nuzzled directly under my left ribs and her feet under my right ribs (she was frank breech). It was obvious she was determined to be born in the way she deemed fit and in her own timing. I let go of my plans of a home birth and put trust in my unborn daughter that she knew what was best for her and for me.

We were so ready for our home water birth! We took hypnobirthing classes, had all our home birth supplies, mentally and emotionally prepared, and didn’t think twice that it wasn’t going to happen the way we planned….that was until we found out she was breech. Note to self-you can’t control any situation. EVER. We can control how we choose to respond to the circumstances that present themselves. I choose to let go, trust, find peace and move forward with my new plan. Even then, my planned Family Centered Cesarean could have not happened. I could have had a medical emergency, the baby could have been in distress, the hospital could have said no. The stars were aligned that day for us.

Although I will admit, I struggled with (and still do) the fact that I wasn’t able to birth her vaginally in the peaceful setting of my own home. At times I tear up just thinking about it. I sometimes feel like I let myself down or let her down. I get angry, mad, frustrated and then remember I have a healthy, happy, joyful baby girl and I feel bad for even having my feelings. However I know that part of the grieving process is feeling my emotions so I let them come in, I welcome them, sit with them, seek their purpose, use them as guidance and move forward.

 

I had a few options when it came to deciding how to move forward with her birth.

  1. I could refuse a cesarean and deliver breech at the hospital (the hospital can’t make you do anything)
  2. I could hire a non licensed midwife to help with her birth at home, which would me starting new relationships at 36 weeks, finding someone who would do it, and praying that nothing went wrong with a breech delivery.
  3. Travel to a state where licensed midwives can deliver breech births at home (which is not allowed in CA).
  4. Schedule the cesarean, advocate for a gentle birth and let fate run its course

Although I wasn’t able to have the home birth I planned for, I am so very proud of myself and my partner for making the decisions we did. My amazing birthing team of midwives and doulas helped me advocate for a family centered cesarean. I wrote up my birth plan, presented it to the head of obstetrics at the hospital, and set the date. None of this would have been possible without my bad ass birthing team, the willingness of the hospital staff, and my go get em attitude.Β We presented the staff at the hospital with a 3 page Gentle Birth Plan and they honored ALL OF IT!! (which I will also share).

She was born on November 6, 2015 at 10:24 am, weighing 7 lbs 4 oz and measuring 21 in long and SHE WAS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT IN EVERY WAY!!

I am here to tell you mamas, EVEN IF YOU AREN’T ABLE TO HAVE THE BIRTH YOU PLANNED/HOPED FOR, YOU CAN STILL HAVE AN AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL BIRTH EXPERIENCE. Advocate for yourself mamas! Speak up for yourself and for your baby and above all else, always listen to and follow your heart.

Mama and daddy love you sweet Abigail Rose

Here is a video I made of the photos our anesthesiologist took in the OR. It will open a new tab and take a moment to play. Thank you for hearing our story!!

 

Stay fierce Warrior Mamas,

Warrior Mama Ashleigh

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Here is an example of our home birth plan and Family Centered Cesarean Birth Plan for you to use as inspiration in creating your own