The marvelous Maggie Mizelle with her son Michael (28 months).
Maggie and her husband are both from very large families and she always knew she wanted to be a mother. She also knew that she wanted to have an out of hospital birth and found a birthing center and midwife she felt comfortable working with. Her pregnancy was very healthy and she carried Michael to term without issue. At term, she was 3cms dilated when her midwife stripped her membranes. She began to labor the next day and after a few hours, went into the birthing center. She was disappointed to learn that she was still 3cms. She continued to labor until they noticed she had meconium in her water and decided to call an EMT to be on site in case her baby needed additional support when he was born. Michael's heart rate began to drop and ultimately the decision was made to transfer to hospital. Once there, Maggie got another wave of energy and was determined to get him out. She continued to labor and progress but Michael's heart rate continued to drop and take longer to come back up after each contraction. They had discussed the potential need for a cesarean birth but the attending doctor was willing to facilitate a forceps deliver but she had to have a double episiotomy horizontally and tore as well. She was able to hold Michael for a minute before he was taken to NICU for what she was told would be a 6 hour observation. She waited to see her son and was told after they stitched her up that if she could get up on her own and use the bathroom she would be allowed to go see him. She hadn't eaten through her 28 hour birth and no one had told her she had lost 1/3 of her blood volume during delivery. She stood up slowly and immediately passed out. They wanted to give her a blood transfusion and run tests, which meant several more hours before she could see her son. Maggie refused the blood transfusion with the support of the doctor and was very adamant about breastfeeding. It took some time to get a good latch but she is still happily nursing Michael today. Maggie had a very hard time both physically and emotionally after her birth. At about 4 months postpartum, she still couldn't stand for more than 30 minutes at a time and had to have physical therapy to repair her pelvic floor. While it was undiagnosed, she says she also dealt with Postpartum Depression for about 18 months. She has had a hard time feeling like her body failed her when she knows she could give birth the way she desired. She is planning a homebirth for her current pregnancy and says that she needs this birth to go how she knows it can. Maggie says she's trying to find the self love and self confidence in birth that she had before her experience and she's trying to learn how to celebrate all of the wonderful things her body did do, has done, and continues to do for her son.