When Your Birth Plan Doesn’t Go According to Plan

Birth story submitted by Amy Nanto

I had a high-risk pregnancy—I had to take a lot of shots because of doing IVF, and I was also diagnosed with placenta previa [when the placenta covers the cervix]. I chose Overlake because I wanted to make sure I had a smooth delivery and all the right resources and support that I needed, including a Level 3 NICU.

Four days past my due date, my cervix still hadn’t ripened yet and baby Nova was still very high up. My doctor [Katharine Barrett- Avendano, DO] recommended I get induced, and that same day, I checked into Overlake.

The nurses were so caring, so knowledgeable. They walked me through all the details and made sure I felt comfortable. But after 14 hours of trying to induce labor, I was only dilated .5 cm. The nurses were monitoring Nova constantly. At one point, about six nurses urgently rushed into my room and asked me to change position immediately. Baby’s blood pressure and oxygen levels had dropped significantly.

My heart immediately sank knowing this. I eagerly wanted to know what was really happening with her inside my womb. Thankfully, I had a group of incredibly experienced nurses to assess my baby’s health and help us through it. They explained Nova was in fetal distress and had oxygen deprivation.

I got a call from Dr. Barrett-Avendano saying, “You have two options: 1) emergency C-section or 2) you can wait for the induction process to keep moving forward, but I can guarantee you’re going to run into another episode of this.”

I walked into the Childbirth Center with a birth plan. I was even asked by one of the nurses if I work at a childbirth center, as she said it was the most perfect, easy-to-read birth plan she had encountered. Yes, I was that prepared! I was hoping to have a natural birth, but my baby was in distress.

The decision was all on me and my husband, Aaron, if we should move forward with an emergency C-section. It took me a split second; I looked into Aaron’s eyes and told him, “Let’s do it.”

It was just amazing to see everyone go to work. They walked me through the process [of the C-section] from beginning to end to make sure I was well-prepared and knew what to expect.

During the C-section, Aaron was by my side, holding my hand to comfort me while I hummed Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” to comfort myself.

In 15 minutes or less, the team got our baby out. I burst into tears and asked my husband if Nova was OK. Turns out, the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck twice and around her body once, but she was just fine! Had we not already been checked into the hospital, and had we decided not to have a C-section, I simply cannot imagine what might have happened to our baby. I am incredibly glad we had the most supportive labor and delivery experience, thanks to my wonderful doctor and nurses.

I was able to do skin-to-skin with my Nova right away in the operating room while the doctor was stitching me back up. Then, in the recovery room, we were able to just hang out for the next couple hours as a new family of three.

Fertility was a long journey for us, and I was so grateful when we could finally hold our baby girl in our arms. I’m very thankful we had the right people, the right nurses, the right doctors, supporting us through the process. I’m really thankful for everything Overlake provided us.

Read more Overlake birth stories.

Watch Amy and Aaron Nanto with baby Nova talk about their experience at the Overlake Childbirth Center in the video below.