Natural Childbirth, Times Three
When Amy and Bob Buehler were preparing for the arrival of their first child in 2007, they were concerned that age and the size of the baby might present some issues. Amy was 35 at the time and all signs pointed to their baby weighing more than 8 pounds at birth. Hoping to avoid the need for a cesarean section, the couple decided to enlist the help of a doula.
A doula is a trained professional who provides an expecting mother with physical and emotional support before, during and/or after birth. It was important to the Buehlers that their doula be available during labor and delivery. When Amy went into labor at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, the doula encouraged her to continue as long as possible before getting an epidural. The advice proved to be helpful. Amy’s labor was very short and so manageable that she was able to deliver 8 pound, 9 ounce baby Audrey without intervention.
Two more pregnancies led to two more experiences with a doula, two more natural childbirths and two more daughters ― Liesel and Kirsten. Each time, Amy was encouraged to walk around as much as possible as labor progressed and to move into different positions to help speed-up delivery. And with each new arrival, the Texas Health Dallas Labor and Delivery (L&D) teams were conscientious about respecting Amy’s wishes and letting the mother take the lead.
“The nurses in Labor and Delivery and on the fifth floor were wonderful with each experience,” Amy said. “They knew I wanted to have a natural delivery and they never encouraged me to waver from that path. The nurses worked with me on my other preferences as well, including minimized monitoring and IVs only if necessary. The whole process was so empowering. I got to have the birth experiences that I wanted to have.”
“If a mom wants to have a medicated childbirth, we can do that,” explained nurse manager Carol Gentry, B.S.N., R.N.C., of Texas Health Dallas’ Labor and Delivery unit. “If she wants to delivery naturally, we can do that too. We want each birth experience to be meaningful to the family and honor their individual choices. We feel that this is a special gift that we can give to a parent and their newborn.”
Amy admitted that the arrival of her third daughter, Kirsten, in 2013, required a little additional support and coaching from the doula, nurses and her doctor, Tara Dullye, M.D., of Ob-Gyn Dallas and the Texas Health Dallas medical staff. Although the delivery didn’t progress as quickly as hoped, everyone remained calm and continued on the planned course.
“Other doctors would have probably recommended a C-section at that point, but Dr. Dullye never mentioned that or any other intervention,” Amy said. “It turned out Kirsten was sunny side up and 9 pounds, 7 ounces. So she was just a little stuck. Michelle Seddelmeyer, our L&D nurse, was also remarkable. She was very patient and attentive.”
“Through the years, Texas Health Dallas made wonderful changes that we noticed with each of our deliveries. Between Audrey and Liesel, there was increased encouragement and emphasis on breast feeding instead of bottle feeding. Between Liesel and Kirsten, I loved that the baby was not taken from the delivery room. And once I was moved to the fifth floor, all the baby exams were done in-room. It was so wonderful to have the baby with us at all times. I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” she added.
Physicians on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital or Texas Health Resources.