True CPD is extremely rare, but... it happens.

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

36 + hours of drug free labor. An hour and half of pushing
Just medically advised after second opinion c-section is advised

Wow! Where ever do I begin! One of the most impeccable examples of commitment to the natural process that I have ever had the pleasure to witness. And, not just from husband Sherwin, but also her own mother.

True CPD known as cephalo pelvic disproportion affects approximately 1 in 2500 women. It’s most often accurately diagnosed when mom has been given adequate time to push and see if she can in fact move the baby and the practitioner will assess head and shoulders and make their best decision from there.

Few moms can remain staunch during such a trying lengthy labor. Having to suppress their own emotions. refusing to allow personal concerns to shine through, all while assisting their own daughter during natural labor, and in meeting her own birthing goals. Lauren‘s Mom was impressive, as sometimes family members cave and encourage their kids to have medicine or surgery, get it over with and often because they themselves are scared or tired. I am happy to say I will take Lauren’s mother on my team any day. Sherwin also had support from both of their moms and a few sisters even brought food and coffee to sustain him.

Now, as for amazing nurses, well, where do we begin? Lauren was so fortunate to have our own Nancy Cook, BSN, attending to her labor and with each shift change, another fabulous nurse.

What a blessing that each nurse supported her birth plan and encouraged her choice of natural labor.

Lauren and Sherwin, miraculously tackled hard labor, committed to one another, throughout it all.

They worked around the clock. One day and night and then the next. I had a two hour nap in the parking lot and grabbed some breakfast as labor continued to progress. One shift change after another, nurse after nurse the work continued, and so did the support!

Some think, why endure such labor challenges? Well, a variety of reasons actually. It is in most all babies best interest to have necessary stimulation from contractions prior to having to take their first breath. If baby has experienced other scenarios such as early water break, meconium, etc. the timing of additional intervention can matter. Every drug used in labor and delivery is a respiratory depressant. The first thing we want baby to do is breathe and parents must weight the risks and benefits to both mom and baby with each intervention, medication or procedure along the way.

The support kept coming and not only from hospital staff, but their classmates who gave birth the day before came over to encourage them and share some real baby hormones.

Lauren may have been all smiles during this visit, but in fact, she had all been awake for several days now. Lauren and Sherwin still faced a vast array of induction challenges. After this quick visit, we were quickly back to work.

Upon my preparation to depict her personal birth story, I submitted to Lauren a series of tough questions. The goal was to express the best description in words, of her individual journey into becoming a mom. And, the love and support kept coming...

Laboring Mom overcomes the surrender phase of labor
The Family comes by to pray and offer encouragement

The following are the responses from Lauren herself:

I was really stressed about needing to be induced. I had always heard from multiple people that pitocin contractions were almost unbearable without an epidural and if you had to have pitocin you “had to have an epidural”.

Mom endures pitocin epidural free to progress labor
Dad supports his laboring wife through contractions

With that being my only knowledge of pitocin, of course, I was terrified that having pitocin would cause my natural birth plan to be tossed out before we even got started and all our training/preparing would be for nothing. 

Starting with the cooks catheter, eased my mind a little, because it wasn’t a drug. It was very effective even though in my case, it did not produce lasting contractions once it was removed. So, pitocin was our next best choice.

Much to my surprise, I found the pitocin contractions to be quite manageable for the most part. They started the pitocin very low and gradually increased the strength. It was also a very gradual increase in the contraction strength. They never were as unbearable as I had imagined pitocin contractions would be. Going into labor, pitocin was one of my biggest fears, looking back, I can’t believe I made it through 24 hours of pitocin labor drug free! But, with a lot of prayer and by taking one contraction at a time, we made it through!

My advice for any mom heading into an induction would be, not to stress about about it, you never know how you or your body will respond to something until you’ve experienced it yourself, someone else’s experience doesn’t mean it will be yours too.

Mom gives herself a neck massage
Dad assists mom in relaxing during labor

Find peace of mind in knowing that if you and your coach have trained and prepared for a natural birth, the contractions may be a stronger with an induction, but all the same rules still apply. You still take each contraction one at a time. I eventually realized, we’ve made it through each contraction so far, we’re just going to keep making it through them, ONE AT A TIME. 

Mom sinks down during contractions
Husband Coached also sometimes means husband supports

And, I honestly can’t say enough how much I highly recommend having a doula as part of your birth team, especially with induction experience. It only makes sense to me if you are going to be having stronger contractions/labor that you will need a stronger support system to get through it.

Mom physically rests on Dad for support while on birth ball
Induction can create longer than normal labor

The entire Your Birth Helper team was so supportive throughout the entire laboring process. We trained for husband coached child birth, and I have to say my husband was my strongest support (emotionally and physically as he held all my weight through countless contractions!) but my doula team was also a invaluable part of our labor experience.

Sarah Neri, AAHCC applies counter pressure | Nany Cook, YBHD, gives foot rub
Your Birth Helper Charlotte Doula Team supports mom

They supported me, they supported Sherwin as he supported me, they were constantly there to encourage and assist in any way they could and to reel me back in when it was 2am and we were 30 hours in and I found out I was only 5 cm dilated and I started thinking there was no way I could continue without an epidural.

Dad can rest in between and be ready to support when contraction begins
Labor beds can be adjusted into a recliner position

Counter pressure to relieve back labor
Dad applies counter pressure to the IT Joints

Pam was there to remind me why I wanted a natural birth to begin with, that an epidural wouldn’t remove the pressure I was feeling in my back and that I COULD do it! I’m so thankful she was there to reason with me when I was too tired and emotional to reason with myself. 

Our birth didn’t end exactly the way we had planned, but I still wouldn’t trade any of our story. I know without a doubt, thanks to Pam, Nancy and Sarah, and our awesome midwife, Tina, that we tried everything we could to bring our baby into the world naturally.

Baby Levi and God just happened to have other plans than we did. We’re just so thankful for a healthy mama and healthy baby, and to be a part of the Your Birth Helper Family ❤️ Lauren Baucom

In labor, the coach, can also become extremely exhausted after working days without sleep and ultimately end up physically exhausted like mom. The coach should prepare their body for labor, as well. Next, allow me to share Dad's perspective:

Squatting is an extremely beneficial position for labor
Dad supports mom during full squat in prep for labor

I’m not as good with words as Lauren, but I’ll give it a shot! When Lauren told me she wanted to hire a doula, I was fine with that! But, then she told me she wanted us to take 12 weeks of classes together😱 I first thought no way! What in the world could take 12 weeks to learn about birth!! I quickly found out that we probably could have used 24 weeks of classes! 😂

I’m so thankful looking back that we did the classes. It helped us make informed decisions and also there were a lot less surprises, because we went over almost every possible scenario so, we would know how to handle it when the situation arose!!

Mom, Lauren Baucom sinks down into contraction
Pitocin continues to progress labor as Dad helps support

I had never really thought about what kind of birth my wife would want. And, after all shouldn't Mom steer these decisions, since it is the woman who is doing the labor work!

Monitoring after first appearance of meconium staining
Midwife Tina Moreno, CNM assesses baby

Especially, when we got to the surrender phase. We knew it was coming, you warned us it would come and it did. We knew how to handle it and we didn’t make a rash decision, because we thought we were at the end of the natural birth path! Since, I knew it was coming, I had already been thinking about the prayer I would pray when it did happen. We simply asked God to take away all our fear and anxiety knowing that this was his plan for women and childbirth all along. I’m so thankful that in that moment, he answered our prayer and saw us through to the end!

My advice to new dads is TAKE THE CLASS! And, really apply yourself. I never knew how much Lauren would need me until we got into it. I’m so thankful for our training. I knew how to be her emotional and physical help, during one of the most amazing miracles, that’s ever happened in our lives! I can’t believe how our love and understanding had grown through this whole process. Just when I thought, I couldn’t love her more, God showed me just how much more there was to love and respect about her. Thank you so much for all you and your team did to help and support us through Levi’s birth! Sherwin Baucom

Head support while mom tries to empty her bladder
Dad supports mom during labor contractions

After approximately an hour and half of laboring down, push phase and making it to +2 station Midwife Tina Moreno, CNM reassessed and began to vocalize her concerns. It wasn’t so much the head that was her concern, but the shoulders. She expressed her concerns to Lauren and Sherwin. The presence of meconium staining appeared in the fluid, however, baby‘s heart rate was just fine. Tina hated to be the bearer of not so favorable news, but suggested she would consult with the OBGYN. A few minutes later, the OBGYN entered and gave second opinion.

Anesthesia nurse explains spinal block
Mom and Dad prep for cesarean surgery

The couple decided after discussing all the medical indications for cesarean surgery that they were in agreement It was in Lauren and baby’s best interest. Dad prepped and Mom was prepped and since still drug free she would have a spinal block for surgery and remain awake.

Head and Shoulders too large to safely pass
Mom heads to surgery for CPD

A few minutes later, Lauren was headed down the hall for her belly birth. Dad took photos and both focused on the JOY of their baby’s birth, despite the unforeseen circumstances.

Baby's first breath
Baby has emerged from the belly

Baby born via c-section for CPD
Family poses in operating room for first family photo

Welcome to the World and into the #CharlotteBirthFamily, Baby Levi William born10:01am on August 7, 2019 weighing in just shy of ten pounds (9lbs 14oz.) and with football linebacker shoulders like his daddy!

Golden Hour
Dad offers skin to skin with new baby

Special thanks to Sarah Neri. YBHCE for instructing their traditional Bradley Method (r) classes with Sarah Neri, YBHCE. Their goal was to gain valuable skills to cope with labor drug free. They definitely used everything they had learned and then some!

Practicing sinking down during contractions
Your Birth Helper Labor Workshop

Dr. Robert Bradley, author of Husband Coached Childbirth in his lifetime, often shared a valuable thought, “It takes nine months to grow and nurture a baby full term and it takes at least nine months to learn everything you need to know to help get it out, feed it and properly care for it. Better use your time wisely!” Without a doubt, The Sherwin family would agree! We couldn't be more proud of this power couple!