Brandy and Donovan were an incredible team during the birth of their first daughter! I was so amazed at how closely they worked together to deliver Everly, and Brandy never gave up despite intense pain from the pitocin contractions. She fought for the birth she wanted and did an absolutely incredible job! Here is Everly’s birth story told by her mama:
“Deciding to try for a baby was a bit of a spontaneous decision. My husband and I had been torn between traveling and finishing school or starting a family. For several months I had been having irregular cycles and sore breasts and finally decided to discuss it with my doctor. After some tests, she found that a hormonal imbalance was the cause and it had potential to make natural conception difficult. This encouraged our decision simply because we didn’t know how long it would take to become pregnant and we wanted time to try, just in case. Well, less than a month later, before medicinal intervention was effective, I had a positive pregnancy test (or should I say, tests). My husband was on a wildland fire deployment and I had to keep it to myself for 2 weeks until he came home so I could tell him intimately. Our journey as a couple has been the greatest time of my life and little did I know that growing Ms. Everly Axton Jacks would make it greater.
During my pregnancy, I started working part-time as a clinical nursing instructor. I was working two jobs and going to school for my Master’s degree in Nursing. I maintained my yoga practice and gym sessions. I was incredibly lucky I did not get sick, my hair grew, my skin cleared up, and I felt more confident with my growing body than I had my entire life. I loved being pregnant and I loved my belly. More so, I loved my little hamburger growing inside, moving, hiccuping, and making me proud. I think my husband kept waiting for the pregnant girl experience portrayed in movies where I had cravings he had to get, socks he had to put on for me, or yelling fits he had to endure, but I did my best to keep all of that to minimum. He was my partner and my gift in life.
The morning I started labor, I got up to use the restroom at 0345 and noticed what seemed like amniotic fluid leaking and maybe some mucus plug along with it. I went back to sleep unimpressed and not convinced it was time. I had a feeling labor was imminent because signs pointed to labor any day, but with it being my first pregnancy, I was sure I would go past my due date. I woke up to teach clinicals and the fluid continued leaking slowly. I woke up my husband and told him to keep his phone nearby and put the hospital stuff in his car just in case we had a baby later that day. He calmly agreed and I left. I warned my students I may start labor, but otherwise clinicals would go as planned. I had an OB appointment at 1500 that day so I figured I would inquire then whether I was in labor. I was half sure that I was making it up in my head and being dramatic. I had the weeniest contractions throughout the day. They worsened mildly at my appointment, but still nothing impressive. It was determined then that I was in labor and needed to go to triage. We gathered our things from the car and checked in. I had gone from 3cm at the appointment to 5 cm at admission. The midwife immediately encouraged Pitocin since my membranes had been ruptured all day. It was not in my birth plan, but if it keeps baby safe, who cares about a birth plan? My contractions were bearable. In fact, I was doing homework during the beginning stages, dancing, and laughing. I really thought for a second I might be the girl that sneezes her baby out. Then, the Pitocin started to kick in. I started moaning through the contractions, I tried the bath and it helped, but I got too hot. I begged to be checked because I felt progressed and it had been a couple hours. When they finally caved and checked my dilation, it was only 5-6cm. I lost it. I cried and gave up in that moment. It set the mood for the rest of the delivery. I felt defeated and incapable. The pain continued to worsen and become longer and more frequent. My moans turned in to yells and my poor husband was put in every compromised position you can think of trying to accommodate me through each contraction. He watched the monitor and when he saw one creeping up, he would put his arms around me, hold me, and encourage me through the entire scream session. I think I only yelled at him once, though. I repeated “I can’t do this” during every contraction for 2 hours and the saint of a man stayed patient and encouraging the entire time. I begged for the Pitocin to be turned off because I was convinced it wasn’t working. I asked for a c-section with general anesthesia. The doctor checked me at that point and said I was 8 cm and popped my bag again because for some reason, it re-sealed. She assured me the Pitocin was causing no distress to me or baby, my breaks between contractions were adequate and I was progressing appropriately. I felt outside of my body. I was catatonic between contractions. I would just lay there and wonder how I could continue. I felt like I needed to push. The nurse warned me against it because prematurely pushing would swell my cervix and I knew I couldn’t withstand that, so I held in the urges each contraction. After 45 minutes, the doctor checked my again and said the words I thought I had been waiting for until I heard them, “okay Brandy, It’s time to push. You’re ready.” I wasn’t ready. I didn’t feel like it anymore. I was tired and defeated. I got set up and started pushing. It actually felt good to give in the urge finally. 12 minutes later, they plopped a 7lb 15oz baby girl on my chest. She was healthy. Daddy was enamored. I was in shock. I just stared at her and everyone around me for several minutes trying to absorb what just happened. I was shaking, but my monster self was gone and I was my polite self again. It took me some time to realize she was mine. The experience is so surreal. My husband deserves half the credit for that delivery because I couldn’t have created a better support system from scratch. He woke up sore the next day from all he sacrificed the day before. The experience was phenomenal. I was empowered, he was impressed, and we were in love. Now, we set forth on a naïve experience raising Ms. Everly Axton Jacks, our perfect baby girl.”
Albuquerque Birth Photographer | All images copyright Lori Martinez Photography | View more at www.facebook.com/lorimartinezphotography or www.instagram.com/albuquerque_birth_photographer