I am a mother of 4 and I can’t even begin to describe in words how wonderful it was to have my last 2 babies at home with Vicki compared to having my first two in the hospital. The first prenatal exam was the most thorough exam I’ve ever had. She assessed things that no OB/GYN ever had, including diet, stress, and demands of my job, just to name a few. I never felt rushed and was given plenty of time to discuss whatever may have been on my mind that particular day. I feel that my babies and I received the best care that anyone could possibly ask for plus more.
When I called Vicki to let her know I was ready for her to come over, she came over with her assistant promptly, got everything set up, and then just followed my lead. I didn’t really need anyone at my side during active labor, but I relied on them heavily during the transition phase of labor and they were fine with that. My wish was their command. You couldn’t ask for better support during labor/birth. I got to have waterbirths, which I love, with both of them and they were both born into their daddy’s hands, which he loved. When it was all over, I got to get in my own comfortable bed with my baby. We were never separated and that meant a lot to me. After my 3rd baby was born, I had to have some stitches which was no big deal. Vicki stayed with me for several hours after and even had breakfast with me, that my husband went and got for us. She came to our house and checked on us during the first several days after delivery so that we could rest as much as possible. I guarantee, as a labor/delivery nurse in the hospital, that you will never receive care of this quality from an OB/GYN. It’s not that they’re not good doctors--they are, but their surgeons, not midwives.
If you want to be empowered by the birth of your baby and are looking for a well-educated, experienced, midwife to give your family and your baby excellent care while you set out on this journey, you won’t be disappointed.
The birth of my daughter Suvi was very unique…and by unique I mean long and complicated! She failed to turn into the proper birthing position and ended up being born in an OT (occiput transverse) presentation which is very rare. After her birth, we also discovered that her placenta had multiple malformations that the doctor I had seen earlier in my pregnancy missed during routine ultrasounds. The most serious placental malformation was a velamentous insertion which essentially means that the blood vessels that go from the placenta to the baby were not organized in a nice “cord-like” fashion, but rather they were unwound and running haphazardly through the amniotic sac. This type of malformation makes the use of standard medical interventions, such as breaking a woman’s water or using pitocin, very dangerous as the vessels are fragile and can rupture leading to hemorrhage for both mother and baby. Despite the circumstances surrounding Suvi’s birth, I felt completely at ease during the entire process. Vicki could not have anticipated the problems any more than any M.D., but she monitored me more closely than I would have been monitored at the hospital and allowed my body to labor in the only safe way possible (i.e. slowly with an irregular labor pattern). I was able to hear Suvi’s strong and healthy heartbeat through the entire labor and felt extremely safe with Vicki and her assistants. Vicki is the kind of midwife who will do everything in her power to give you the birth that you desire, but she knows when to intervene or seek outside medical attention if necessary. Her skill and ethics are unmatched in my opinion and I cannot recommend her highly enough.
We have used Vicki as our midwife for both of our children. After initially
speaking with her, I felt very confident that the birth we wanted and needed
for our child could actually happen. As a first time mom, I would ask many
questions and had many concerns of the upcoming birth. Vicki always took
her time with my husband and I, addressed every concern, and was very
knowledgeable. I feel that her experience and ethics far surpassed anything
I had expected.
Once labor finally hit, Vicki was always available for every phone call and
question. We lived an hour away from her birthing center, so we called
often, and it felt as if I had her sitting right next to me the entire time.
Once we made it to the birthing center, she was so helpful, but more
importantly, I felt so confident that we were in the best of hands. Vicki
trusts and knows birth, and her goal is a healthy baby and healthy mama. It
is very reassuring that you can have this confidence during labor, giving
all attention to the experience rather than fear. We felt very safe with
her. The experience we had with our second birth was just as awesome. This
time, we were in our own home, and having Vicki there was amazing and
encouraging. She knew exactly how to help and what to do. She is confident
in the capabilities of the body, but knows when to intervene if need be.
Her postpartum care and support match the same of the prenatal and birth.
She is there for any and all concerns, is skilled with healing, and is
always available. We also had a miscarriage between births, and the way she
handled it was with guidance, care, and professionalism. I could not have
asked for a better, more skilled, more ethical thinking midwife to help our
family in one of the most important experiences of our lives. If you are at
all wondering about a birth that you can enjoy, experience, and be empowered
from, please consider Vicki. She will surpass everything you are looking
for in a midwife or doctor. She has blessed our family and will continue to
do so for others...
The Lyons Family
Birth of Jude Titan Floyd
I'm going to start with the day before I went into labor. December 16, 2013 I was one day over my due date and had been having Braxton hicks for days now, something I never had with Gabby and hadn't had my entire pregnancy with JT. Jared had already taken his 13 day vacation and was back at work (we kind of thought I would go earlier, woops!) So, back to the day before (the 16th) that morning we walked down to my mom's house so Gabby could eat her usual honey bun over there and I would sit my big butt on her couch and relax a little bit. While there I decided since my sister-in-law Lindsey was in town I'd see if she wanted to go with me to take Gabby to see the movie Frozen again. On Gabby's due date Lindsey, Jared and myself all went to see Alice in Wonderland and I went into labor a day later, so I thought it would maybe kick start my labor, ha-ha all in my mind? Had a great day with Gabby, went home and went to bed with Gab in her bed... THEN! At 4:30 a.m. I woke up to contractions, which I thought were probably just Braxton hicks, just a little stronger. I walked around and they didn't go away, that got me a little excited, seeing how when you walk around Braxtons usually go away. By 5:30 a.m. I started timing them as they were a little more intense. As I was timing them I started cleaning the kitchen, mopped the floors, bleached the cabinets, forgot to eat, haha. Still timing contractions it was now 6:15 and when I would get a contraction, which was now steadily 3-5 minutes apart, I would have to get on my knees and lay across the ottoman in our living room, it was the only comfortable position. Still, I continued to fold our huge pile of laundry, dusted the furniture and cleaned Gabby's room, all between contractions. I guess I had a huge nesting surge. It was now 7:30 and I had a few other clues that this was in fact the real deal and these contractions weren't false, and today was the day! I text my amazing doula Holly, to let her know it was getting there. Then I put in a call to my phenomenal midwife, Vicki. They would all be on their way to my house around 930. And I finally woke Jared up, who was scheduled to go into work at 10 am, not today sweetie! Since it takes 2 hours to fill the birthing tub full of hot water from the water heater, he needed to get up and get started; I could feel his excitement when I told him. Gabby is still sleeping at this time. (I also called my mom, a text to my sister-in-law, Shayna, and Jared put in a call to his mom and sis) 9:30 rolls around, Jared is still filling the tub, which is taking longer than we planned, he's also building a fire and setting the mood through the house with candles, I could totally tell he was a bundle of anxiety at this point. He later told me as he was outside collecting wood, that it was the most beautiful, peaceful day and that he felt so good about the day, good vibes, I suppose. I was on the couch in Jude's room where we had the pool set up, and having contractions, stronger, and about 3 minutes apart. Holly (doula) came in and started counter pressure points on my back with essential oils, on each contraction I had. And let me tell you, that made the contractions so much easier to deal with!! I highly recommend it. We joked in between each contraction and chit chatted, and I was so glad she was there, I remember feeling so connected with her as soon as she walked in the door, like it was just meant for her to be apart of this journey with us. Vicki my midwife, and Nora her birth assistant walked in about 10:30 and I was so glad to see them, it made it all officially real! Vicki laid me back on the couch to check my progress, and HOLY cow, I was 7 cm already! We were all a little shocked to find I was that far into it, mainly because my contractions had been pretty mild. After that the tub was pretty full, and it was time to get in! The pool immediately felt absolutely amazing! Took a lot of pressure off my bottom and helped ease the contractions, for now. It was probably close to noon when I got in the pool. After about 30 minutes in the pool labor sped up, and started getting really intense. Labor moves quickly once you get in the water, that's why my midwife had advised me not to get in it until she got there. I still had Holly doing the counter pressure points on my back with each contraction, until labor got more intense and I just wanted cold wash cloths. At this point, contractions were painful and I wasn't doing much talking in between. Gabby was in and out of the room offering sweet gestures, or momentarily holding a wash cloth on my face, or giving me a big "I LOVE YOU, MOMMY" which I totally just cherish the memory I have of her saying that to me every time she came into the room. Once the contractions started getting intense, they had Jared come in and sit down on a stool next to me, but he was outside of the pool (I did not want him in it with me) At first I felt a little uncomfortable holding onto him, because he was on this small stool (for him) and I could literally feel his anxiety pouring out of him. Took a few minutes for him to get settled and comfortable, I gave him a few in depth "help me, I need you" looks, and it kicked him into gear. I think he felt I really could not do this alone, and needed him to be my support the rest of the way, and man, was he! I had Nora to my left telling me how to breathe, and when a contraction would wave in, she would breathe with me. This breathing technique she had me do helped tremendously. Any mother going through natural labor NEEDS this breathing technique.
At this point the contractions were the most intense, and my water still had not broken and I kept checking myself to see if he had descended yet - and nothing! I had read this is the stage you get very overwhelmed and feel as though it is never going to end, I was there. I asked if it was ok for me to get out of the pool and go lay in my bed, because my knees were killing me, something I have trouble with on a daily basis. Bad idea that was the most painful 20 ft walk I’ve ever made. Once I got to our bedroom, and up onto the bed on all fours, then on my right side so Jared could hold my leg through a contraction, that left me in anger because obviously nothing was making it feel better! Back on all fours on the bed and everything was so much worse, my skin hurt my whole body felt like it was completely breaking. The whole bed thing wasn't working so they tried me on the exercise ball, where I bounced on it as Jared sat in front of me holding me. This hurt so bad, I thought the bed couldn't get any worse, well this birthing ball proved me wrong. At one point (with my mother-in-law, my mother, both my sister-in-laws, Gabby, and my birth team all within ear shot) I yelled out, while on the ball - "My ASSHOLE! THIS HURTS MY ASSHOLE" which really shocked everyone I guess, because the room fell silent, then laughter arose (no laughter from me) I suppose everyone didn't think that would come out of my mouth, everyone except for Jared and my mom who are used to my profanity. But, dammit, that ball was excruciating to me..well... asshole!! So, after about 2 minutes on that I jump off of it and say I'm done with it. Vicki and Nora prompt me to go use the bathroom and try to pee. Did you know it is the most challenging thing to try and pee while in active labor? It is like, almost not possible, at least for me. It didn't happen, instead I sat on the toilet with Jared standing over me and I had my first cry, I cried like I hadn't cried in many years, and told Jared I didn't think I could do it, that it just wasn't going to happen, he felt stuck in there, and I let out so many emotions and just let my shoulders finally fall, and sobbed and totally let myself become vulnerable. Jared reassured me and let me know I could do it, but he didn't do it in a fakey coach kind of way, the entire time his encouragement was so genuine, like "I know you can do it, and I know you don't want to keep hearing cheerleading, this shit look really hard..sorry. But, you can really do it!" ha-ha if I could read his mind. So, we left the bathroom were I failed at going to the bathroom, and back into the tub we went. I got in and immediately I got that same feeling I had the first time I got in it, ohhh so soothing! I thought maybe I was out of the way of the pain for a little bit, because lord I just needed a small break to gather myself after totally breaking down in the bathroom. But, I had to suck it up as another contraction came. I had about 3 more contractions, all about a minute apart...
THEN! As this wave came on, expecting it to be a normal contraction, it wasn't. I let out this absolute primal growl, loud, deep, and aggressive -scaryyyyy growl and grabbed onto the side of the pool and my body took over, my body was pushing, for the first time through all of this my body involuntarily was pushing and I couldn't stop it. In my head through all the pain, I kept thinking to myself how freeking cool! I started to feel a little hope, because all the months of reading and studying labor and delivery that urge to push finally took over like I had read. And at that point I knew I could do it. I had another and they urged me to breathe through it and try not to growl and waste my energy. I tried that for a few more pushes, but my body was telling me "girl let that tiger out" so I let it out, it felt like less energy was wasted if I could growl it out. The next contraction came on and I let it out, and I let it out a big growl in my midwifes ear so I'm told, although I have no memory of that (Sorry Vicki! Jared said I got your ear pretty good. You are a saint!) Then the next contraction, I didn't feel the need to get so loud on I just slightly grunted and felt a POP, like someone had broken a balloon between my legs and I hear from behind me "that was her water" I looked down and I could see the slight cloudiness in the water. I was SO excited at that point, covered up by immense pain. The next contraction came on and I screamed, and then looked up and for the first time through all of this saw everyone staring back at me, and i whisper to Jared that I wanted everyone to not watch me, I felt it was slowing me down, and also I felt like I was going to poo myself and if that happened I didn't want anyone to see it. (I didn't poo myself btw - go men!) So, everyone walked away to the other room. You could feel a shift in the room now, this strange energy I can't even describe, and I promptly had another contraction (still growling) and I saw lights from a flash light underneath me then i was told his head was crowning. This was the shift in the energy I felt, it was the world greeting a new life, a new soul, he had made his debut, his head was out Earth side now. they told me to feel it and I refused, in my head I kept thinking if i touch it it will slow everything down, I need to stay in the game, and not get my hopes up, so I looked at Jared and said "can you see his head..do you see it? it's there? look. look now. its there??" he of course said "yes its right there" I pushed a few more times screaming "i'm on fire, my ass is on fire, ohhhh it burns, it burns so bad!" That's what we like to call the "ring of fire" and ouch. After those last few pushes the pain was so intense it's almost a blur, but I slightly here my midwife say to Jared "we need to get her out of the tub" Jared lifts my arm and I feel like I literally, JUMP out of the tub when I heard her say that, Jude had his entire head out dangling between my legs when i got out, and I felt a sinking feeling,like something was wrong. I got on all fours in the threshold of the door, Jared was infront of me momentarily, then I felt a horrible pain worse than the ring of fire, I felt lots of flinging and little arms I could tell hit the sides of my legs, then Jared went behind me, Holly came infront of me and with a one two PUSH he was HERE!!!! Jared had caught him. I look up at holly and my mom and say "is he here..hes's here!!!!" Then I hear "turn around he's here!" I turn around feeling the umbilical cord hitting my legs and wrap around my foot as I turn around and I see my BABY! I see his sweet little face, and head full of hair, and we lock eyes, his eyes were so wide open and he was looking right at me, staring into my soul, like when he looked at me he knew "that's my home" I never in my life have experienced that feeling of "no one else in the room" when you look into someone’s eyes. But, i did with Jude. It was like no one else was in the room and we just stared into each others souls for a few seconds, and I picked him up held him to my chest, looked up at Gabby who was now standing right there and I sobbed to her "he’s here! Gabby he is here!!!! your brother is here!" and she was smiling so big. And she says "mommy you pushed him out of your dino!" (our word for vagina) And Jude started crying the biggest cry and everything was right in the world. December 17th, 2013 2pm. They sat me on the birthing stool so I could birth the placenta, which was some pain also! But, you totally don't even think of it like you do labor contractions because you are holding your baby, finally! I birth the placenta, I have my bra off trying to get him to feed, all the blood was out of his cord so Jared cut it, then we hear the doorbell ring (and at this point we had the blinds open lol!) we all are kind of like...who is that!? And we see the UPS man bolt off haha...Sorry mister! I stand up and walk to the bedroom and get on the bed to relax, and feed Jude, and so Vicki could check me all out. She tells me we had to get out of the pool because his arm was stuck behind him and she had to get it out of the way so that he could come out without hurting himself. And I'm absolutely fine with the fact that he wasn't born in the water, i wouldn't change how he was born (other than his arm not being stuck!) at all. I loved that Jared really got to deliver him, and was right there, It couldn't have been more perfect. The whole day was perfect.
Jude Titan Floyd, 8lbs 3oz, 21 inches long, was born at home around all the women (9 to be exact) in this world that will forever love him the most, and born into the hands of his loving father, who would move mountains for him. Our family is whole, our family is complete. Our cup runneth over. Thank you God.