Part 2 Of Charlotte + Andy’s Birth Story At The Atlanta Medical Center
Labor is hard. And it can be long.
It can be hard to navigate. Having the assistance of an excellent midwife and/or doula can be instrumental in delivering your baby the way you wanted and envisioned. And not under the agenda being pushed by hospital staff.
Lauren from Meraki Mama Collective was with Charlotte and Andy throughout Charlotte’s 34 hours of labor. She held Charlotte up, danced with her, encouraged her, let her know what was/not normal, and when she should speak up for herself. Lauren was amazing at helping Charlotte through the long hours and at managing pain when meds weren’t doing the trick. She made me wish for do-overs and to go back in time for when I gave birth to both of my babies.
While Vanessa and Anjli from the Atlanta Birth Center helped Charlotte through the first half of her labor, Crystal got Charlotte through the second half and delivered Eva. When others were pushing for a c-section due to the length of labor and lack of progress, Crystal was closely monitoring Charlotte and pushed back to maintain Charlotte’s birth plan for a normal delivery. Two weeks later, Charlotte told me how thankful she was that Crystal was the on-call midwife who delivered Eva. For her commitment to her patient, for her professionalism, and mostly for her expertise in safely bringing Eva into this world.
Charlotte received an epidural, but had issues with it not blocking the pain fully on one side of her body. It took quite a bit of time for the anestheisiologist to come back and adjust the epidural. The second half of Charlotte’s labor at the Atlanta Medical Center was long. And there may have been more time spent waiting than actively trying to move along labor like the day before during Part 1 of Charlotte + Andy’s birth story. Chairs were at a premium. Andy, Charlotte’s best friend Melissa, and Lauren (Doula Extraordinaire) all slept on a lumpy cot and the floor. I slept on the floor or granite counter tops. Quite the glamorous life waiting for a new life to arrive!
Throughout the night, we heard helicopters coming and going outside of Charlotte’s room. We saw the sun set on the Atlanta skyline. And the next morning, we saw the sunrise light up the buildings. At 10:17am, Eva Rose was born. After thirteen minutes of pushing, the room went from having nine people in it to ten.
Witnessing a birth is all the adjectives. Amazing. Incredible. Humbling. Magical. Mind blowing.
Another human entered the room and a door wasn’t opened.
Eva Rose made a unique entrance, with one of her arms entering the world at the same time as her head. Much like waiting until after her due date to arrive, she started off right from the beginning doing her own thing. A new team of nurses and a doctor were called in after her birth to help clear passageways to breathe easily and make sure she had enough oxygen before Charlotte could hold her skin-to-skin.
Charlotte. Is a warrior. She is strong. And knows how to pick a fabulous support team. She was surrounded by people cheering her on through Eva’s birth. Her husband. Her best friend. Her parents. Her doula and midwife. She was surrounded by people wiping away tears from cheeks.
Charlotte was in a room with nine people.
She pushed one last time and it became ten people.
Ten people and a whole new world of dreams to be chased.
The room filled with love and hopes and dreams and happiness and relief.
Eva Rose was born.
While Crystal, Lauren, and Melissa were helping Charlotte with pushing and encouragement, Andy was making his own documentary video of Eva’s birth. He was so excited to see the miracle of his daughter’s birth.
Charlotte + Andy. You two are unbelieavable humans. You’ll be even more fabulous as parents in raising this new miracle.
For inviting me into the most intimate moments of your lives to document new beginnings.
Eva’s birth story.
I’m blown away by your strength, kindness, and humor.
Thank you for being you.