The Birth of Geoël Elizabeth

Laure and I talked for 3 hours at the coffee shop when we first met. She was taking Hypnobirthing classes with her doula, was confident in knowing that her body was made to give birth, and was already so enamored with her baby girl. I couldn’t wait to document this special day for her and her husband! She kept me updated as the weeks went by and then all of a sudden I got a text that said, “c section today in about 8 hours provided all goes well.” WHAT?!

~Laure shares her story with us~

4.18.2017

“This day, Tuesday to be exact, started like any other day. I woke up after only maybe five hours of sleep because I was 38 weeks + 2 days pregnant and my little girl loved to make her presence known mostly in the wee hours of the morning. The previous Friday, April 14th, I had my last ultrasound where the tech shockingly announced to Jon, my husband, and I that our daughter was not only in the breech position but in the pike position as well.  She let us know her chances of flipping to be head down were extremely low. I was more disappointed by the fact that I did not get to see her little face because the last time we had seen her, she was 19 weeks + 5 days and her facial features would have changed drastically by then. I did not let it sink in just yet but rather it all hit me on Easter Sunday the 16th.

I was a bundle of nerves and I wept after getting home from church. I had chosen to have a natural birth despite being high risk due to brain surgery two years ago. I had planned and prepped not only myself but my husband too, as I knew it would be a challenge but not impossible. After months of seeing my body change and knowing that I was always one day closer to meeting my sweet angel, this was not at all what I wanted. Tuesday, the 18th, I had a routine visit to check my weight, blood pressure and to make sure there were still no signs of protein in my urine to rule out preeclampsia. I begged Jon to come with me and back me up since I had a feeling I would be pushed to have a c-section because of how my little girl was positioned. We drove there in silence, my anxiety building with every passing minute.

Once we arrived, check-in time seemed to be at a stand still. We finally got called back and guided into a room. If only it had gone as smoothly and as easily as I wrote that sentence. Rather, I got weighed and was the biggest I had been in my whole life. Then came time to put the cuff on my arm and check my blood pressure; as I waited I had a feeling it would not go as planned. Before I finished that thought, the numbers 145/87 flashed and immediately I knew that today was not going to go as planned. I was in for something other than my routine visit.

As soon as I gave my sample and made my way back to the room, I had Jon look up what my blood pressure reading meant and he uttered “pre-hypertension” and I knew that for a pregnant person, this was bad news. I was right. Seconds later, my doctor waltzed in and said you had a spike in blood pressure and I am sorry to say this, but you are going to have a c-section today. When was the last time you ate? I whispered 8 am and she said so effortlessly, “well, looks like you will be meeting your daughter at 4 pm this afternoon.”

After she finished her sentence, I felt as though my world crumbled around me. The little control or say I had about how my daughter would enter this world had just now been taken away from me. I also needed to realize that maybe, just maybe, there was a reason for this and why I was reluctant something would happen to her. Once that dawned on me, my perspective changed and I was on board but still trying to process the shell shock. I was then taken to the labor and delivery floor to be admitted. Once admitted, I allowed myself to really accept what was about to happen. In about 5 short hours, I would be holding my daughter in my arms and finally getting to see her face to face. My husband and I tried our best to stay focused on what was to come, the second biggest moment to our wedding.

Since my little bear was two weeks early, my body didn’t really have time to feel any real signs of labor from contractions to my water breaking. As the seconds, minutes and hours passed, Jon and I only got closer to really feeling like parents as we would be holding our daughter soon. This new chapter of parenthood was quickly approaching as I was now getting my IV inserted and talks of my epidural were all in motion.

8th street jacksonville downtown UF Health hospitalwaiting for baby to arrive at hospital parents to bebefore baby is born doula Rebecca Mckinney supporting parentsdad talking to his baby girl - birth is a love story
Before I knew, it was time to get the “show on the road”. I was told I would be walking to the operating room as it was next door, so I hugged my belly and took a deep breath before I got help to get up from the hospital bed.

waiting for cesarean woman pregnant with breech baby
As I walked, I did my best to keep my gown closed to prevent showing my bottom to all who roamed the halls.

husband waits behind while pregnant mom walks to OR for cesarean
Once in the room, I felt the temperature change from a comfortable, warm and cozy room to a sterile, cold room. The nurses and doctors were all in the zone as they prepared for what is a routine procedure. I was seated on the table and took a few slow, deep breaths. I slouched for the needle to deliver the most intense numbing sensation, waiting for it to take its full effect so that I could lay down. Waiting for the doctors to make the first cut, which would lead to my little bear to make our worlds stand still forevermore. My husband entered the operating room shortly after and held my head as we heard the doctor say that within minutes, we would have our daughter join us. Before we knew it, they pulled the drapery down and I saw her little bottom come out and waited to hear the cry that all new mothers are anxious to hear, to know all is right.

UF Health downtown jacksonville 8th street breech baby bornfamily centered cesarean breech baby arrives at UF Health Downtown
I waited and it didn’t happen right away. I panicked and right as I thought I would lose my mind, I heard her voice as she screamed and air filled her lungs. She was okay, she was alive and she was HERE! All these months of reading about her growth to feeling her move and connect with Jon and I as we spoke, we would finally get to fully interact. Since she was breech, she was pulled out by her bottom, which led to her pooping on everyone and everything. Once they gave her a quick wipe down and let Jon trim the cord, they brought her to me for our skin to skin.

UF Health jacksonville newborn getting weighed and cleaned after being born breechafter being born baby holds dad's finger for the first time
That first contact is a moment that will stay vivid in my mind forever. Our eyes locked and I knew I would never be the same. Jon and I shared a sweet moment as a family of three.

after family centered c-section baby girl is finally in mom's armsafter a family centered c-section baby is put on mom's chestafter being born via c-section first latch in OR
just an hour old baby girl is being checked by the nurse and daddyas mom looks on newborn measurements and footprints being takennewborn hand reaches up to touch her mom just an hour oldhappy family of 3 after welcoming their first child via belly birth
Since I can remember when I was a little girl, being a wife and MOTHER was all I ever wanted. That Tuesday in April, my wildest dreams came true and now I have a two-and-a-half month old who is healthy and happy. This life changing moment was captured by Melissa and we will forever treasure these priceless pictures of the birth of our firstborn daughter, Geoël Elizabeth Galusky. She was born April 18th at 5:47 pm, weighing 7lbs 10oz and 19.5 inches long.

My birth story was the furthest thing from what I dreamed of or planned for because, to be honest, I felt as though I didn’t bring her into this world but rather got her cut out of me.  I realized it’s what society says, which is the furthest thing from the truth.  I brought my baby into this world in the safest way possible and now I get to hold my healthy girl every night. The emotions tied to postpartum depression from that day and the toll of birth on my body, on some days still peek their ugly head and try to make me feel anything other than pride that I was chosen to be THIS little girl’s mom.  Word to other moms out there, no matter how you bring your little one into your family, you are a warrior and amazing because YOUR baby will need you to make it through this jungle called life.”

~Laure G.

So many thoughts and emotions surround the birth of a little one ~ thank you for being so honest while sharing your story with us Laure!

I also want to say a big thank you to everyone at UF Downtown for allowing me into the OR to capture this moment for this family. It really was a beautiful, family-centered belly birth!

 

Interested in having your birth story documented? I would love to chat!

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    Hi I'm Melissa!

    I'm an introverted, T-shirt wearing, animal loving, nature admiring, lucky wife, mother of 3, photography and birth obsessed lady.