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Birth Story - Rachel O.

My name is Rachel and I’m now 32 years old. I met Amara shortly after my husband I both separated from the Air Force and decided as a family to move back to Virginia. At the time we had two boys and a little girl. We had decided in 2017 after our daughter was born that we were ok with having only three kiddos.

My first baby is my son Elijah, and he was born June 2012. He is now 8 years old and he is my strong warrior. At the time my husband and I were both active duty military and our lives revolved around whatever Uncle Sam wanted. At the time we were stationed in Alamogordo, New Mexico which is a super small town in the middle of no where. (My OBGYN 45 minutes away) Unfortunately, Uncle Sam only let my husband see me twice when I was pregnant and he wasn’t able to be present when Elijah was born. Yep, I delivered him by myself without my husband and without any family. Being that this was my first pregnancy and I was very alone, there were a lot of things I had no idea about. One of them being how terrible Pitocin felt, two, walking helps your body get where it needs to be for birth, and third, as soon as you have your child your stomach doesn’t go back down immediately, but rather you will still look like you’re pregnant when you leave the hospital. Elijah’s birth became an emergency c-section when my body wasn’t dilating and his heart rate started dropping. This nearly killed me a week later as I had developed an internal infection that I had no idea about until my mom was finally able to come visit and she picked up that something wasn’t right.

Our second child, Omar, was born in August 2015. By this time I had switched OBGYN‘s but was still 45 minutes away. I switched because my first OB would not allow me to try to have a VBAC after one of her patients had a uterine rupture. I was determined, though, and at 7 months pregnant finally found a provider that was wonderful and willing to let me have some kind of a birth plan. He didn’t make me feel foolish for any questions that I had, which was a huge plus compared to my previous doctor. He was even willing to let my husband try to deliver our son as well. Thankfully I had a successful VBAC. I did have an epidural but it only worked on half of my body. Typically epidurals take away at least 80% of the pain if they’re done properly. For me I felt the tearing and more than 20% of the pain.

In 2017 our first baby girl Sophie arrived on scene. She was born in New Mexico by the same doctor who delivered Omar! In fact, she was born in the exact same room! We weren’t planning on having anymore children after her birth so with that in mind we decided not to find out her gender until she was born. It was truly the most amazing surprise!

Shortly after her birth I decided to leave the military and my husband also decided to leave the military and pursue college full time. With this change we moved to Virginia. Shortly after arriving I started working at a dental office where I met Amara. She and I worked well together and as we were getting to know one another, we of course, exchanged birth stories. Well later that year my husband and I found out that we were going to have another baby. Needless to say this was a huge surprise for us and with everything we had going on, it was very stressful. Thankfully though I had Amara to help remind me of the joy that comes with a baby and we started talking about my birth plan. I asked her if she would be willing to help me have a natural birth. There were so many times I would come up to her and ask her to remind me of how she knew I could do it and every time she patiently reminded me. We went walking together a few times as my due date grew closer and when the big day did come, she was there with a goody bag of necessary items I had forgotten entirely about. She walked with me through the halls and showed my husband different ways to rub my back to help relieve some of the pain. The three of us even tried to solidify a baby name. When the doctor came in he was shocked that I didn’t want an epidural but after recognizing our determination he conceded. Amara and my husband both helped coach me through breathing and growling, and when I was at my brink, she said to me “you’re doing it...we can see the head.” Before my Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde moment, we had been laughing, walking and reminiscing . Then as game time fast approached, she was there coaching me and encouraging me to keep going and not give up. Amara is the reason I was able to accomplish my birth goal. It was truly an amazing experience that I am confident would have been impossible without her support and encouragement. She was such an integral part of our intimate family experience and will always and forever hold a special place in our hearts for all her help during my pregnancy, but especially for her aid in my delivery.

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