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Couple works together to overcome a multitude of birthing challenges

Giving birth is the most athletic event a woman will ever do. Now don’t get me wrong, alll babies are worth the trouble, but some have a special calling on their life.

Bitsy Baby newborn pic
Future UGA Graduate

Meet first time mom Taylor Vining. She has some tips for first time pregnant and laboring mom that she would like to share with our YBH Blog readers.

Induction Commences

First as a healthy mom, she would like to express her personal thoughts in regards to elective induction. Readers should consider Pros / Cons after receiving informed consent regarding continuing to remain pregnant until spontaneous labor occurs (bearing mom and baby are both fine) or choosing elective induction if that is what they truly feel is best for them. One must consider this simple sentence. Elective induction means there is a choice and induction is not medically necessary to resolve a problem Mom or Baby is facing.

I asked Jeremy to share from a husband & Dad’s perspective his take away from both the two hour YBH Labor Workshop and elective induction:

My biggest take way from the labor workshop was the information. I was able to get more comfortable with the whole process mostly because I had no idea what to do.

Pitocin drip to induce labor
Squatting to stretch and loosen hips

You seemed to do well managing contractions in the tub & with your deep breathing... honest answer, did you actually practice relaxation techniques to better manage labor or just try to wing it at the time? What relaxation techniques do you feel worked best for you and why?

Both. 🥴 Once in the tub and they turned down the pitocin it allowed that break to relax and reset my mind and focus. I watched a lot of YouTube videos on relaxation, I practiced a few, but honestly not enough. When it stared to get tough I was focused on my breathing and I pictured an image in my mind, focused on it and the memories that came with it to distract myself.

When contractions are too close ask for Pitocin to be turned down
Pitocin drip turned down too intense

It was emotionally and mentally challenging from start to finish. I had to choke back a few tears many times while helping Taylor go through labor and dealing with everything. I knew it wouldn’t help if I broke down. Taylor and the baby were my only concern so I did what I could to help. - Jeremy

Could you share with readers how you and Jeremy came to make the decision about c-section after baby’s negative response to pitocin and epidural use? Was there one particular issue that solidified your decision other than no station change?

We had tried everything we could and nothing was changing. I had a feeling there was something going on where it wasn’t allowing him to drop in my pelvis after being checked multiple time and no change. Jeremy and I were on the same page when he started to have negative reaction to the contractions. We didn’t really have to talk much about it, we both just knew we needed to do what would be the safest for him and me at the time and we ran out of options at that time too. Honestly we were just ready to get him out and finally hold him.

Alexa Clay, midwife assists in belly birth
First glimpse of baby through clear drape

What parts of your surgery allowed you to still embrace the JOY of your baby’s birthday?

Just knowing he was finally here, hearing him cry and knowing he was healthy and we finally get to hold him was the best joy and happiness of it all.

When it came to c-section at first, I wanted to avoid it, because I knew it was not what Taylor wanted. I was hoping we could avoid it, but after seeing that the baby wasn’t dealing with the contractions well and the midwifes telling us that the best thing for the baby at that point was a c-section, I was able to make peace with it. Plus, I knew that Taylor was ready for a baby and she had made peace with it as well.

When it comes to cesarean surgery honestly there is nothing you can do but be present, there for your spouse and watch the procedure take place. It is actually an awesome experience. I got to watch the whole thing and see how they do what they do (which may not be for everyone lol) we smiled and laughed through the whole thing.

— Jeremy

Dad meets his Baby

Belly birth first moments out of womb

Midwife Alexa strikes a pose

Mom gets to meet her baby

First family photo in the operating room

Do you think early breastfeeding and postpartum challenges looked differently than what you expected and why... any tips for readers in making post surgery easier or more manageable?

I honestly didn’t know what PP and BF life would look like. I knew it would be hard, but how hard was still to be determined. To be the only one to feed him, trying to not use bottles, etc., is extremely tiring, but also so rewarding when he’s latched on and eating. Sometimes, I wish Jeremy could breastfeed so I can nap a little longer. But it’s definitely worth it! The first few days were hard as I couldn’t move fast and it hurt if I moved in a certain way or tried to do something. All I could really do is feed him. It was even hard to burp him and get him in that position. Jeremy has been so great in helping me and doing things I needed him to or helping me up and down from the chair. Definitely having a great support person made the healing time so much easier. Even now, that I can get around better and do more with out hurting, Jeremy has continued to be a great helper in making sure I don’t over do it.

Looking back as a first-time father, I don’t know that I would change anything. Our birth plan didn’t go as we wanted, but we tried everything we could to follow it. It just doesn’t always go as planned all the time. We constantly prayed over it and God had it go the way it needed to. Taylor and the baby were both safe and healthy Our ultimate goal. My advice for expecting fathers:

• If you are able to take leave from work do so and take as much time as you can. All the time is worth it to be with your spouse and the baby.

• And while you are supporting mom through labor, one I suggest you take a labor class to help get information and knowledge on what to do to help. Two, I suggest you hire a doula (aka Mrs. Pam) Having her there to help through the whole thing made the stress go away for me and helped me through it also.

• Make sure to bring snacks for yourself more so than for your spouse. YOU will need it to help you keep your energy up so you can help your spouse through labor. Also be sure to pack comfortable cloths so you will stay comfy too.


Baby boy weighed and measured

Baby all cleaned up and swaddled

Now that you have your body back and some sort of sleep, what would you do differently in terms of preparations for labor, birth & postpartum?

My whole birth experience was definitely not as planned. I wanted to do my best at all natural, not be induced, let my water break on it own, etc. With Jeremy’s time off work, I ended up choosing induction and it wasn’t what I wanted to happen. In the end, I’m okay with that. I was prepared to be unprepared in what was going to happen as a first time laboring mom. I am proud of myself for trying everything I could before resorting to a c section. Once I’m healed, I’m going to prepare my body for a VBAC next time and pray we don’t make a stubborn big headed baby again. 😂

Birth is a learning experience and preparation is key to experiencing the least amount of discomfort possible. Childbirth Education is key to learning all your options and helping navigate through hurdles as Taylor and Jeremy experienced. There is something to learn from everyone’s experience as labor and birth has many variations. In the end, healthy mom and healthy baby is always our number one goal! It is, after all your baby’s first “BIRTH” day party! Embrace the JOY and celebrate! Congratulations Vining family!

Sleeping newborn
Happy “BIRTH” day Bowen!

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