Danielle & Bradley | Labor of Love Birth Center

Danielle & Bradley

My name is Danielle and my husband is Bradley. We started trying for a family in May of 2013. We were on vacation in Orlando and decided why not start. With summer over, Brad and I decided that we were going to take a break from trying. I had his 30th surprise birthday cruise booked and really was not up for being in my first trimester of pregnancy while on a cruise. I remember that I bought 5 pregnancy tests the month before. I took 4, all of which came back negative. I was upset when they didn’t say positive. I had one test left. It was the day after my birthday when I got up for work. I still had that last test sitting on the counter. I thought that there was no chance of me being pregnant so just to get rid of that test, I took it and then left it right by the trash. I went ahead and got ready for work and on my way out, I picked up the test to throw it out when  I happened to notice it was a very faint positive. I stopped in my tracks and was late going into work that day. The first thing I did was go to target and buy three more tests. All came back positive. After that, I bought a onesie which said daddy’s side kick. My husbands birthday was two weeks away and I had just had my birthday that week. First thing I did was call a standard OB explaining the tests. She then set-up my first prenatal appointment.
Never being pregnant before, I didn’t know what to expect. After telling my husband that we were expecting our first child, I started to feel awkward. I had sharp pains on my left side. I was scared because I wasn’t sure why I was feeling this way. To be on the safe side, I called the OB and requested to come in early just to see if anything was wrong. We heard the heartbeat for the first time, which was nothing short of miraculous. Nothing was wrong.  Instead, a cyst was discovered, that eventually went away. With the heartbeat confirmed (7 weeks at that time), we were to see the doctor before leaving. It was just a standard questionnaire.  It was also a chance for us to ask a few questions. I inquired about different tests that they would do at my first appointment. The doctor explained that they would perform a pap, internal exam and an ultrasound just to measure out the baby and determine the due date. Being pregnant for the first time, I asked if a pap was considered safe. I was concerned that it may have been to invasive while I was pregnant and was just asking. That doctor’s response was “If you decline a pap, your child will have a likelyhood of going blind and antibiotics will be required”. That was incredibly scary to hear that so I ultimately just kept my silence and proceeded. After further research, I found that several places actual wait until after having the baby to do the pap since they really couldn’t do anything regarding the results until after pregnancy. At that point, we switched to a different OB.
At first, I loved the new OB. One of the doctors was incredibly nice and I really enjoyed seeing her. The appointments were pretty standard but then we began to run into several issues. On my way out of one of the appointments, they scheduled my next appointment, which I was told would be a standard OB. I went to that appointment and found out that it was completely different. I had opted to do a panarama test to determine the sex of the baby in the very beginning. It also tests abnormalities. At this appointment, they wanted to do another blood draw for additional testing: mind you , I did not consent to any additional testing. I went back to the room and met with a different doctor (OB offices have 5-7 doctors so you rotate). She was so cold towards me. She came into the office and looked over my paperwork saying that we were testing for any abnormalities and also doing an additional ultrasound (elective). I asked how necessary the tests were. Her response was,”Well, I wouldn’t really get those tests but that’s just me”. If my doctor wouldn’t even have them done, why on earth would I? I said, “Okay, well, I will just pass on the additional testing”. Her response is something that I will never forget.She said, “Okay fine. Why are here, wasting my time. If you didn’t want to have this done, why come in? It’s almost like your half assing your pregnancy. You did the panarama so why wouldn’t you do the other test”. I had also asked about eating habits since I couldn’t really eat without feeling sick. Her response to that was “eat when your hungry, its not that hard”. After seeing her, I went back to the nurses station to fill out final paperwork. The nurse said, ” okay time for the blood draw although I see here, you declined this in the very beginning. Did you change your mind?” I explained that I never consented and I’m not sure why they scheduled me. It was a disaster and the thought of being treated like that only made me more scared about labor/delivery.
We met with friends who have had children via midwife. I looked into everything and was inspired. I found a place that was close enough and decided to switch. I was about 20 weeks at this point. I remember going in and feeling completely different. The atmosphere was warm and I didn’t have a sense of being scared or nervous. Kristy was incredible. She was down to earth and made the process very easy. I can’t remember who I met with first but I had the chance to meet Karla, Michelle and Bea-All of which were phenomenal! The ultrasound tech was wonderful. She measured my baby at my 20 week appointment. Because we were first time parents, we had to go through a series of classes. Brad and I were always the first to show up because of the couches. Best decision ever. Those classes were very informative. Shelana was the instructor for most of it although we did have one other do one class. Shelana was awesome and so smart. We actually had the chance to see a placenta of someone who had just delivered. It sounds pretty gross but I tell ya, it was awesome and probably my favorite part of the classes.
I thought that my baby would come early. I was convinced. I think it was on my due date when I went into labor. At first, it was very mild contractions that slowly turned into a solid pattern. We actually went to get chinese food. About 1/2 way through out carry out, I noticed that the pain was still on the same level but felt like they were coming more frequently. I didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before just because of how uncomfortable I was. That night, I couldn’t sleep either. Around 3 AM, I decided to wake up my husband and let him know that the contractions were stronger and I could tell it was definitely labor. I called LOL and Bea was on duty. She asked about how far apart the contractions were and decided that I should come in. We grabbed the bag and left. When we got to LOL, Bea confirmed that I was about 3 CM dialated (I thought i had to be at least 5). I was progressing at a good pace until my body just couldn’t go anymore. I had tried for nearly 28 hours (1st time mom’s average 36). I remember the pain being from another world and I just wanted to push him out. I went into labor around 4:45 PM on a Saturday and on Sunday evening, my husband and I decided to make the transfer to the hospital. Bea was there with us. She actually called the hospital and set the room up for us. She also went to the hospital and stayed for quite some time. I was terrified. I can remember basically screaming one minute and laughing the next. I was an emotional wreck. No one wants to get transferred but for the baby, you do what is necessary.
We arrived at the hospital and the security guard said only Brad and I could go back. That wasn’t what we were told. After my husband and I went upstairs, I remember having a contraction so strong that I had to go against the wall. It was horrible. Finally, I was in the room and Bea had made it up. The doctor was asking me questions (Mind you I had intense contractions and Bea was still outside in the hallway). She was asking what I was told and was very degrading in her questions. Can’t say that I was a fan of that doctor. Once Bea was in the room, I had the epidurl  put in place. Ladies, when you have the chance to sleep during labor…DO IT! I think that was probably the main reason that I transferred was because of the lack of sleep and energy. After the epidurl was in, I was able to relax. Bea was wonderful and I am so grateful that I had the privilege of working with her during my labor. Seriously, she was amazing. The hospital experience was less then pleasant and cannot even compare to the love and care you receive at LOL. My son was born on Monday, June 2 at 9:35 AM weighing 7 lbs and 20 ” long. He was perfect. Breastfeeding was incredibly easy for me and I never had any issues.
Looking back at everything that I experienced, I would just stick with LOL. The care you receive is something that no one can match. The nurses are wonderful! I had a nurse draw my blood and I swear, I didn’t feel anything. I interaction with Juline, who was a Disney person like me. She was so awesome and I loved seeing her each time. Michelle was so sweet and the dedication that she has for LOL is unreal! She drives several hours each way just to work. I could never do that. Karla was so nice. My husband was had a rival team so we would always joke about that with her. Shelana was incredible. She was teaching the classes and also took care of us as well. Kristy was awesome! She handled all of the appointments and was spot on with her communication. Ian was the insurance guy and a jack of all trades. He was awesome. Jen handled our situation with other doctors and had a real sense of urgency. She was wonderful! And then Bea. I will never forget anyone but Bea was something special. Just her approach was so comforting and the way that she would remind you how natural this is. She was exceptional in her work and I really wish that the obstetric practices everywhere would just take note.
Thank you to everyone and I hope that whoever reads my story will just know that everything will work out the way it is supposed to. Being transferred was not on my list of things I wanted but having a healthy baby boy made my entire experience worth it. 

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