A Safe and Loving Welcome

Maeva’s Birth Story

After a long and traumatic birth with our firstborn son, my husband and I were extremely picky about the birthplace of our second child. While we had several options in the North County area for a VBAC, we were absolutely thrilled when Babies by the Sea Birthing Center opened their doors during my third trimester. After taking a tour of the center, meeting the amazing staff and learning about the extensive experience the medical director, midwives, RN and doulas had—we knew that this was where we wanted to have our second child.

It also helped that Babies by the Sea Birthing Center is absolutely beautiful…the type of place where you can only dream of bringing a child into the world… except that it wasn’t a dream; it was soon to be our reality!

My first pre-natal appointment was also an experience that I will never forget.  I had planned for a 15-20 minute visit as this is what I was accustomed to with previous OB-GYN appointments. I was surprised with a 75 minute visit with midwife Sherill, where we discussed my physical and emotional health, fears surrounding my first birth, my desired VBAC birth plan, and more. I really felt connected to Sherill after our first meeting and I left that day excited to be under the care of Babies by the Sea and to be more in control of my birth journey.

The Big Day

The morning of Maeva’s birth was a whirlwind. I had a long labor with my first child, so I had planned for another long haul this time. Well as they say…your birth plan sometimes has a mind of its own.

My contractions began around 5am on December 12th and were about seven minutes apart. I took a bath to help me relax and to see if this was the real deal. I also called my doula, Joanna, to discuss what I was experiencing and she kept me calm and on track. By 6:30am I called midwife Nicole because my contractions were five minutes apart and close to a minute in length. At 7:30am we started making our way to the Center. Contractions were now three to four minutes apart. It was pouring rain (it never rains in CA, ha!) on a Friday morning in rush hour traffic on the 5 freeway. Not exactly where you want to be when you are in labor!

We arrived an hour later and were greeted by Nicole. She had everything ready for us and now it was just a matter of getting comfortable through the contractions. She checked me and I was only dilated to 2cm. I was disappointed with this number, but Nicole reassured me that everything was happening as it should be.

Sarah the RN arrived soon after and was extremely helpful! She was supportive and encouraging during the contractions—which were now coming fast and furious. I chose to labor in a birthing pool and the water really helped to relieve my back pain. During the next hour I progressed to 6cm and within a matter of three hours after arriving, I had reached 10cm and was in full transition—pushing with all my might. My body was doing exactly what it was supposed to be doing! Don’t get me wrong—it was not easy, but it was an incredibly empowering experience.

Once I was in full transition I made my way to the bed for the final pushing phase. Unfortunately, that is when Nicole noticed the presence of meconium in the amniotic sac and made the strong recommendation that I transfer to the hospital right away. We quickly agreed and made it to the car between contractions. We arrived at the hospital minutes after. Within an hour after arriving at the hospital I was prepped for a cesarean delivery due to complications. Our beautiful, healthy baby girl was born at 1:04pm J

Even though the actual delivery took place at the hospital, Nicole and Sarah never left my side. They were with me shortly after I made it to the recovery room and they also visited me in the hospital a couple days later. Nicole and Sherill also managed my post-partum care once I was released from the hospital.

While I was hoping for a VBAC delivery at Babies by the Sea, I am still thrilled with my birth experience. I got to 10cm dilated on my own surrounded by people that truly cared about me in a beautiful and nurturing environment. The hospital transfer was quick and Nicole made all the right decisions to keep me and my baby safe. Overall, it was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t change anything about it.

If you are fortunate enough to consider a birthing center delivery, I highly recommend you take a tour of Babies by the Sea in Encinitas. I know you will love it as much as my husband and I did! We are incredibly grateful that we now call the staff at Babies by the Sea “family.” J

All the very best,

Shawna Girard

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  • Jenna says:

    Posted: January 8, 2015

    Love this story. Thank you for sharing and congrats on your beautiful baby girl! Reply


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    Posted: January 8, 2015


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