Arianna Jolynn – September 24th, 2011

in Birth Stories, DeKalb Health

Baby Girl, born at 9:45 PM, 7 lbs 8 oz


Dear Michelle,

I want to give you our deepest thank you to you and your staff during my pregnancy and birth. We had such an incredible experience that I am so eager to share with other women that I know that are pregnant. In my opinion, all the women should use your birthing center and you as a midwife! It was such an amazing experience!!! Everything didn’t go entirely as we planned, but I knew there was a possibility of that happening. I was open to the fact that sometimes you may have to go to the hospital as a precautionary measure for whatever circumstances may occur.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was nervous about having a natural childbirth with a midwife, but I knew that was what I wanted. Because it wasn’t “norm,” I had hardly any support from my family and friends with my decision. I searched and located your office and set up a consultation with you and my husband to discuss birthing options.

When Ben and I visited you for a consultation I absolutely fell in love with your approach and your willingness to make us feel very comfortable and informed. I have never felt more comfortable with any other doctor than you. Even at our very first consultation with you, you went above and beyond the “norm” patient/doctor relationship! No matter how many questions I had you would always answer all of them and then go let us see the baby in the ultrasound room. I do not at all regret leaving the previous doctor I had seen for the first two monthly check ups. When I was at that large facility I felt unimportant and just as if I were a number to them. I was just someone they were going to make money from. At your office and our visits, I did not at all feel at all rushed and as if I had a “two minute” time frame to talk to them, like my previous OB.After our first consultation, I knew in my heart I wanted to have you for my midwife and you would be there to help me experience the natural childbirth that I dreamt of. You and my husband would be all the support I needed.

As I came closer to my due date each visit I would I ask, if you were going to check me (to see if I was dilated at all) and you were apprehensive. You would have if I really wanted you to. But, because you knew me well enough to know my personality, you said you thought it would be best not to. I understand this because during the process and weeks before our daughter’s birth I would be contemplating, “Why isn’t she here yet? I’m now, 6 cm (or whatever it might have been).” I am thankful for our relationship and how you knew me, and knew what was best in those regards.

Each month passed of pregnancy and I was able to get all the answers from you and you were there to help ease my stress of what labor and childbirth would feel like. I was very worried about that, but with your support and my husband’s support I knew I could do it.

Finally the day came when my water broke and I gave you a call, loaded up our bags and we were on our way to Auburn Birthing Center. It was a surreal experience, I remember saying to my husband, “The next trip we take in our car would be one with a sweet little baby, not one with just husband and wife.” Our life was about to change, and I was about to experience that natural childbirth that everyone thought I couldn’t do.

We arrived at the birthing center and you were there waiting for us helped us to feel comfortable. Because I tested positive for Group B Strep, I wasn’t able to labor at home, we had to head in immediately for an IV of fluid. So, we got the IV going and you urged us to sleep because it would be a long process. We went to sleep, I woke up a few times through the night to get more fluid in my IV and due to some contractions. Nothing big yet. I hope you were able to get some rest while I was sleeping too!

The morning came, you went and got food for us and made us a fabulous breakfast, which at this time I was hungry but had no appetite for. I remember making myself eat it for energy for this long process my body would endure. Not only did you get us food, you got us toothpaste! Haha! Ooops I forgot to pack that! We appreciate and are so thankful for how comfortable and at home you made us feel while we were there.

I loved the ability to labor around as I chose to do whatever felt most comfortable. My husband and I took a stroll around the parking lot while it was sunny, a little chilly, but that felt good to me as I was warm from the labor. I remember it clear as day, walking around then hunching over as a contraction came and repeating these phrases three times, “My belly, my belly, my belly.” At that time, my husband from behind, would hold my belly as each contraction started, then after that I would quickly chant, “My hips, my hips, my hips.” Then he would hold my hips from behind, then I would repeat, “My back, my back, my back,” and he would put pressure on my lower back as the contraction passed. I am so thankful for being able to labor around as I pleased, and do what felt good to me during each contraction. I know during a regular hospital experience this would not be possible.

After laboring and pushing at the Auburn Birthing Center for several hours and the baby’s head wouldn’t turn, you determined it would be best for us to transfer to the hospital, as our time frame was running low. I tried pushing in the birthing tub and on the bed, but our “little miss” wasn’t turning the way we needed her to. I appreciate the props you gave me for trying my best. I was not at all disappointed that we had to be moved to the hospital. I know I did the best I could and you did the best you could as well. I felt so comfortable with you that I was able to let you take control and do what was best for both the baby and I.

Due to the time restraints it was determined that I would need to go to the hospital. I remember in great detail you explaining to me that I may need to have a C-section if the baby won’t turn and come out. At that point, that didn’t even phase me, I just wanted that baby out. In fact, the hardest part of the labor and birth process was getting in the car and sitting down then riding over to the hospital then getting out of the car and into a wheel chair. Even though I wasn’t able to get anything “accomplished” while pushing at this point, I continue to push to alleviate the pain. I remember you rushing me up to a room the whole while telling me how great of a job I was doing. Your encouragement helped me know that I didn’t fail, I was doing the best I could.

At this point, you helped get me settled in the hospital room and talked to me about how another midwife, Stephanie was going to come and help me so you were able to get some rest. Things were kind of blurry in my mind at this point as I was dealing with quite a bit of pain. I remember sitting on the edge of the bed asking when the anesthesiologist was coming to give me the epidural. We had determined that in case I needed a C-Section I would most likely need an epidural. At that point, I did not care! Haha! The doctor came pretty quickly with the epidural about 20 minutes after the call to him he was there. I vaguely remember one of the nurses telling my husband, “She probably would just want you to sign the paperwork.” These papers must have been for the epidural. My poor husband, he was trying his best to do the right thing. I am generally very thorough on reading anything before I sign. After the epidural I got itchy and Stephanie was so sweet, she kept scratching all my itches for me! She was so down to earth and so friendly and I am so very thankful for all of her help during the birth process.

A couple hours passed and I took a nap and was able to relax. I woke up and you were back and told me lets try to push. I pushed for another hour and Arianna Jolynn Anderson met the world. My husband and I are so grateful that he was able to catch her when she came out and I was able to hold her immediately after she was born. He set her on my chest and we held her and looked at her and cried together. She was so precious and so perfect. She maintained her heartbeat throughout the whole labor and birth process. I asked the nurses to please not bathe her, as that is something my husband and I wanted to do on our own at home. A baby’s first bath is special, not something we wanted to have someone else do for us. She was born at 7 pounds 8 ounces and 21 inches long.

It’s so sad when I hear stories of all the C-Sections and all the mothers that cannot hold their baby when they are first born. We are so blessed, this again is another major reason why I fell in love with how you ran your practice and your ideas and thoughts.

After cleaning up the baby and allowing us time to bond with our very first baby, you asked us what we wanted to eat and you went and got us Taco Bell. I ate a chicken quesadilla and a soft taco. Bless your heart for going above and beyond! I’ve never heard of a doctor going and getting her patient dinner. After hardly eating all day and just drinking Gatorade and water all day I was starving. What a ton of work giving birth is.

This originally was going to be a thank you letter, but instead has turned into my birth story. I apologize for that. I guess there were so many details I wanted to share and think back on. We are truly so thankful and blessed you are in our life and were able to help us share the birth of our daughter. Without you, none of this would have been possible. I thank God everyday for you and the experience you were able to give to us. I feel as if we are friends and I can count on you even today after my baby has been born and is now four months old. You have truly become part of our life. If it were not for you I probably would have had a baby at the hospital that was a planned birth where I was induced. That was not what I wanted and you gave me what I wanted! You gave me the strength and courage to continue as I planned and just knew me on a level that you knew what was best for me.

Your inspiring words and hugs and the love you showed us during the whole pregnancy, labor and birth were very motivational. I cannot express to you enough how special you are to us and how special you made our pregnancy and birthing experience. We all love you and are anticipating on sharing our next birth experience with you within the next couple of years!



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