#78 | Birth Story: Running From Induction Toward a Last-Minute Home Birth with Group B Strep

February 3, 2021

When Christina showed up at the hospital with ruptured membranes and GBS+ status, the hospital informed her that she was not allowed to leave—not even to return home to get her hospital bag.  

According to Christina, every cell in her body told her to run.  She made a few phone calls, started crying while she searched for a way out, and soon found herself driving across state lines to see a home birth midwife for another opinion.

This is Christina's remarkable story of following her intuition even when faced with rational medical advice. Her decision did not come easy. She had her doubts, but her intuition spoke louder than her provider or anyone else.  This story is sure to inspire!

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If you enjoyed this episode of the Down To Birth Show, please subscribe and share with your pregnant and postpartum friends.

Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). We are always happy to hear from our listeners and appreciate questions for our monthly Q&A episodes. To join our monthly newsletter, text "downtobirth" to 22828.

You can sign up for Cynthia's HypnoBirthing classes as well as online breastfeeding classes and weekly postpartum support groups run by Cynthia & Trisha at HypnoBirthing of Connecticut

Please remember we don’t provide medical advice, and to speak with your licensed medical provider related to all your healthcare matters. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation, and see you next week!

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View Episode Transcript

And that was an experience that changed us for life because of course, what I'm sharing now it's more of the events. But the decision making in itself was the hardest part of the story. And that's really what stayed with us. The fact that we went against common beliefs and medical beliefs, medical instructions, as well was not an easy decision to take, we decided to go with our intuition.

I'm Cynthia Overgard, owner of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, childbirth advocate and postpartum support specialist. And I'm Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. And this is the Down To Birth Podcast. Childbirth is something we're made to do. But how do we have our safest and most satisfying experience in today's medical culture? Let's dispel the myths and get down to birth.

So my name is Christina and originally from Greece. And I guess I'm going to start with the beginning of my of the birth story of mica who is our son. So we have been married with George for 12 years. And we were preparing because I don't like the word trying to have a baby. So we were preparing to have a baby for about six months. And in March of 2017, we found that we were pregnant, very happy. I already had an OB at that time, whom I love. She was lovely, very sweet. I thought we saw eye to eye just enjoy every visit I had. And of course, no idea crossed my mind that that will change. So I went there we did. ultrasounds, multiple ultrasounds, actually. And everything was going really beautifully. And then second trimester came, I spent the summer everywhere you can imagine I traveled every month of my pregnancy, I think I was in a different country because of work. And I enjoyed it I I was healthy, everything was going really beautifully. And I spoke to a friend of mine who at that lived in London, and she had a not so great birth story to share. So she's the one that first dropped the idea of HypnoBirthing to me, and she knew I was always all about natural, holistic at that point, because everything was going great. I hadn't even thought of looking out for help. I was thinking that everything would just be natural. And she said, Well, things might not go exactly as planned. So why don't we get some help. And I searched online. And we found that there was a HypnoBirthing class really, really close in Westport. So I remember it was about July. And my mom was visiting from Greece because we were originally from Greece. And I remember speaking to Cynthia and sheme. She sounded lovely over the phone, she gave me some information. And she said it's good to maybe plan for the classes a couple of months before due to due date or due time I was doing November. And she asked me who my provider was I shared. I said I want something really natural. She said Oh, lovely, great. I at that point I had forgot to mention to her, but she quoted a thing that I was really anti hospitals. So whenever I go into a hospital, I actually freeze. And that hadn't even come to me as an idea that this might happen during birth. So she said, Well, you know, you can always there's always plenty of providers, you can change providers anytime you want. Just don't worry about it at all. And I remember looking at my mom who was sitting next to me and I said, Well, I spoke with this lovely lady, she said I can actually change providers. And my mom's like, What do you mean, it's like a few months before actually giving birth. That cannot happen? parentheses. In Greece, birth is highly considered to be a medical. I don't want to say the word emergency, but it's definitely a medical incident. So we're talking about 70% says Erin, so that's where my mom was coming from. But what do you mean change providers? You have a beautiful ob you're going to give birth in what you're telling me is that nice hospital. I hadn't been to the hospital yet. So I don't understand. But anyway, fast forward to September. I remember every class we took because Georgia and I came to Cynthia, every one of the hypno birthing classes was was more eye opening than the previous One We really enjoyed every single one of them. And during that time of the HypnoBirthing classes, we arranged to go to the hospital as well for a dry run. And I really remember every second of walking into that hospital from the lobby with a beautiful fireplace, which was on and made everything feel very cozy and just beautiful. And we walked up, we went to see one of the rooms which was more like a suite. And there was a stunning nurse, actually, that was showing us around. And she as she was walking through the room, she you know, pointing to all the different stuff, things that they had there and a very hesitantly because that's me in a hospital, I shut down. I very hesitantly remember, I raised my arm. And I said, I want I have a question. And she says, What is it? I said, Well, I see everything is really great here. But what about if someone doesn't want to give birth on the bed? And she looked at me

saying, Well, what do you mean? I said, I honestly have no idea what I mean, because this is my first child. But what happens if I want to give birth in a different position? And she pauses? And she says, Well, I do not think the doctor would enjoy that. But I guess you can try. Then we go downstairs for questions. And I started and I was asking, I mean, I was a very good student of Cynthia, I asked all these things about, you know, what is the rate of episiotomy? What is the rate of Syrian? What about induction? What about every, all the medical interventions that I wanted to find out about? So she was answering to me politely, but in a way, you know, I think you have something else to do. Maybe someone else needs to ask a question now. And then the rest of the people started asking questions. And the rest of the questions were, kind of have my hairstylist come in? How about the parking voucher? Can I upgrade my food menu? So I looked at George and George looked at me and after the third question, because these are literally the three questions we heard from other couples. We said, This is not our place. This isn't just not for us. And we just excuse ourselves and just left.

It's like, these aren't our people. Right?

That No, they This is not our tribe. Definitely not. And so the next day, I started calling and I found this really lovely birthing center. And it was perfect, because I still have had some hesitation of giving birth at home, just because it was the first child and people I cannot even name who but people say that it's maybe not as safe to have your first child at home. Second one. Sure. But not the first one birthing center was the golden middle, not a hospital, but not home. So I found the midwives at the birthing center, I had appointments and I also found a doula who was really lovely, and everything was going great. Fast forward a little more and Group B strep exam comes and before that I had everything in the book to avoid a positive result. I don't want to go into the details of what those things are. But if you can call them, I guess you know what I'm talking about. I did all of them. And I was positive. So not a big deal. Because it just means that you can take antibiotics and the birthing center birth will still happen. We were thinking fast forward a little more and more now. I'm now 39 weeks and three days. And I wake up one morning and I'm feeling a little funny and I sense there is a little bit of a leak. So not a full membrane release, but a little bit of a leak. So I say I speak to my doula and she recommends as well you know, go to the birthing center to to check to make sure everything is okay to go to the birthing center. And I remember I they say we have to check you and obviously I was anti any kind of exam. But they wanted to make sure it wasn't that it wasn't a leak. So I remember lying down and the did the exam which was extremely painful for me was very, very painful. I felt very uncomfortable. They did it. I waited and then they came in and said to you it's a memory and release your water broke. Which means we you you can forget about the birthing center birth. You have to if it's been it's already been 12 hours with a leak. Which means a risk of infection is very high words sepsis, etc, were thrown at me. I think I cried a few tears there when I was talking to them. And then I said, Okay, I need to collect myself, I need to go home and think about all that, before I make a decision, and they say, Oh, no, no, no, you cannot do that. You're gonna just drive your car across the street to the hospital, we've already let them know when it's being ready. And I said, I don't even have clothes with me. And they said, Well, that's okay. This is an emergency. Your husband can bring clothes who was and he was in the city. So he had to come back from the city, get the clothes come to the hospital. So I did us to hold. And when I stepped out, outside for maybe a nanosecond, and I grabbed the phone, and I called Cynthia. And I was crying so much that Cynthia, remember, she said, I cannot understand a word you're saying to me. So I tried to take a few breaths. And then I I said, again, this is everything that I didn't want is happening. Everything, you know, the hospital birth, I'm, I don't know what they're telling me to do things I don't want to do. We're talking about induction. They're saying that induction is actually the same as a natural, the natural process and just a little faster, no big deal. This is I'm losing control. And Cynthia said, Give me a few minutes, I'm going to call my friend and my mentor, Nancy, who, of course I had heard of, and I know her books, and she was like God to me. And I said, Yes, please do. So I was waiting for Cynthia to call me back. And meanwhile, I did us toward so I got in the car and I drove across the street. I called my husband saying, you know, we're having this baby today. And they're saying, and and I remember I got to the to the parking lot. And I just, I just couldn't get out of the car. And Cynthia called and she said, I spoke to Nancy, she was waiting for your phone call. And it's good to hear not just another another view another opinion of what this birth can be all about and what the process might be. So took a few breaths before calling Nancy because it was more crying in between. And then I called Nancy and Nancy in here, Nancy way. She says I don't believe any of that. There's nothing to worry about. And you can come and have the baby with me. And these words. It's like the heavens opened up when I heard them. Because now someone was giving me another chance and another way out. So I said, Okay, let me think about that. I called George and he says we're doing it. We're going to Boston. Oh, because I forgot to mention that Nancy was not in New York or Connecticut where we were. She was in Boston. And so yes, so he said, we're doing this I'm coming home from New York and we just get our stuff. And Nancy said you know pack a bag, because you might be having the baby when you come up. So just pack a bag. pack a bag for us meant we also had to pack our doggies because of course we had a dog so the dog came with us to Boston.

Yes, yes. We went to Boston and we met with Nancy, she there was no exam, obviously. She said you're not having the baby, you're not ready. She could tell just by the fact that I could communicate and speak to her and she could see my stress because it was a very stressful time for us. Because, you know, on one side, I heard the words like sepsis and death. And on the other hand, there was something in me that really it was like a light just went on and was guiding me that's that I don't have any other words to explain it or describe it. I just felt like I was being guided in the right direction. And we slept we slept over. So we stayed at dances that night, which was amazing for us, because who does that? Who opens up their house to two complete strangers in a dorm. And so the next day, which was Wednesday, we went back we drove back to New York, very strict directions from Nancy not to use public restrooms along the way, because you know a leak. The leak had happened, which of course is not easy when you're nine months pregnant and you have to go to the bathroom. Every 10 minutes, we made it back to New York safe and sound. And the next day, which was Thursday, my mom was coming from Greece. And which was fine, because we would go and pick her up. But we woke up Thursday morning, and I felt funny. And that's the only way I can explain it. I nothing had to happen and just felt different. And I said to George, I think we need to go back. So we had driven to Boston on Tuesday, drove driven back on Wednesday, and then we're driving back to Boston and on Thursday morning, and meanwhile, my mom was landing from Greece on Thursday evening, but we had to go so we packed our bags again, and our dog. And we drove back to Boston. So friends picked up my mom. And we went to Nancy and she said, Well, he you know, we'll see whenever he decides to come. We're fine. We're here. And we stayed at Nancy's Thursday night. Friday, my mom stayed at home at our house by herself. And same on Friday night. And on Friday. I told her, you know, I think you need to come to Boston because we have this amazing midwife and she's going to be the one to help us with a birth. I don't need to explain what happened in that on that phone call with my mom, because it wasn't very smooth. But she respected. She respected my decision. So Friday night, I started having really mild contractions. Not much, though. Nothing much. And Nancy said, you know, just go to because we love Boston, so we know awesome, very well. She said just you know, walk around, just go to your favorite restaurant. So we did. We went to this beautiful restaurant. That is our spot. And I remember having that beautiful meal. And when we went back home. I felt I was in labor mildly. We hadn't really started. Saturday morning, my mom came. And the minute I saw her labor started. I think I was just holding it back so that I would see her before. So we labored at Nancy's house. Mike, doula from Connecticut drove for about two and a half hours, I think. And I invited you and you had to teach that. I know because it was Saturday and Sunday. I always teach. I know. And so on doula came and the rest of the story was really smooth. Because basically, we had our beautiful playlist that we had prepared. We had candles, we had lights. It was just just magical. And first part of labor went, Okay, actually. So all the HypnoBirthing work helped. Second part of labor. I was in the tub in Nancy's tub, and she gave me a rope because I wanted to pull on something. And that really helped me. George was there for the foot for the whole time. And I remember just looking into his eyes. I remember the threshold of I really don't think I can do this. And then my doula I heard her say, let's get the Tom Brady. Babies coming. But those are like their favorite words, your least favorite words or their favorite words? It means you're writing?

Exactly, exactly. I thought I was stuck. I mean, you know, the baby had to come out, but I didn't feel it was. But so he came out in the bathtub. And and then I, they said that they they sang the Happy Birthday song, which I do not remember. Because I only remember looking into his eyes at that moment. I don't remember the song. And then that was it. That was it. We had done it. We made it. And mica our son, he came, he came in the most beautiful, peaceful circumstances that we could have ever, ever imagined. And the next day, I felt okay. And I said to Nancy, well, maybe it's time to go back to drive back to New York. But she didn't let us we had to stay one more night. So I think at the end, we we spent about a week at Nancy's house and and that was an experience that changed us for life because of course what I'm sharing now it's more of the events. But the decision making in itself was the hardest part of the story. And that's really what stayed with us. The the fact that we went against common beliefs and medical beliefs, medical instructions, as well was not an easy decision to take. I mean, I remember we were walking down Newbury Street in Boston. And I was I turned to George and I said, What are we doing? What if something happens but then another part of me just couldn't face the option of induction and just pushing this baby out. If his time hadn't come yet. I just knew that this was wrong. So we decided to go with our intuition.

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In a way, my birth story gave me the confidence to truly listen to my inner voice. And I felt guided throughout my pregnancy. And, Cynthia, you've reminded me before that what I shared with you initially when we met, which is yes, I did know when mica came to me, I know what the day was of attracting mica to us. So the day of conception, we knew. I also knew the day that Mike I came to me at the ninth month that like, that's the day I actually the name of mica came to me. Because that day, I felt he's so much closer to us. So throughout all these months, I felt his presence. And that day, on the nine month in the nine month, I knew he was here to stay. He was with us, he was part of the family already, even before he was born. So that stayed with me at that difficult time of the five days of decided to deciding to go against what the medical providers were suggesting or directing us to do. At some point, I thought, I really wish I was different. I really wish I just said yes to the doctors, because that would have been so easy. I reached that point when I said, you know, what, Is it really so bad to have a Syrian at the end, at least I will relinquish all responsibility. Because that back and forth, in my mind, and in George's mind of really doing what's best for Micah right now. was exhausting. And it was taking a toll on us. So on one side, we were saying maybe we need to be like everybody else. Just listen to what they're saying. Go to the hospital and be happy with a happy child because that's what stays at the end. Right? Well, it's okay that you had a traumatic birth because look at your baby now. happy, healthy, etc. But we were not those people. We weren't these people, we were the people that actually had an inner voice. And we were listening to that inner voice because we all do have that inner voice. But for us, it was becoming a compass. It was almost like a lighthouse and was shedding light to the direction we had to take. And that's the only way I can describe it. And those five days were so hard, so exhausting. But there was a part of me, which was getting stronger. During these five days was I becoming a mother? Yes. But I was also becoming more connected to my inner essence. At the same time. I was becoming me. And it was the first time really, that I truly listened to who I was weeding out everyone else. It was all about my decision and George's decision. And I was very glad and grateful because he was on my side he was actually very pro having the natural plant hombres. That made it much easier but for some reason that weight was on my shoulders because I was the mother so I had to make the final decision. So I felt so I experienced it. And and I decided to go with that lighthouse was showing me what that what with what that inner compass was showing me because I knew that if I hadn't, I will always regret it. So I think I didn't really sleep much those five days, because of all the stress of the decision making. And what stayed with me is also the fact that any decision I've taken since has felt like a piece of cake. And it's felt like a piece of cake not only because of course, it was the more serious decision we made, but it's because from then onwards, I've chosen to only listen to my own intuition, respecting others opinions, but still listening at the end to what truly feels and rings true. inside. I think it's important to for all of us to have moments of silence when we can really truly listen to the voice inside, because it's always there. It's about whether we are quiet enough to respect what we hear and what that voice is a sacred.

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I don't even know I was setting the zone I'm happy I didn't cry because I always cry with my story. So I'm very proud of myself because I managed not to cry.

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Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood.

You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). 

To join our monthly newsletter, text “downtobirth” to 22828.

About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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