Molly’s Birth Story
6lbs 15oz, 19"
This child's labor and delivery were totally different than my son’s or my first daughter's, which is to be expected, because every child is different and circumstances surrounding every child's birth are different. Sweet Molly came into the world at her own pace and in her own time, but until I shed some emotional layers over my husband, Kris, not being present at her birth, Molly wasn't going any where! (Kris was/is on seven-month deployment to the Middle East.) It was absolutely amazing to personally experience how emotional stress (anxiety, fear, sadness) can stall labor. My first two children were born in 11 hrs and 23 hrs from the very first pre-labor contraction. Molly took a little over 60 hrs to make her debut.
Thursday, September 15, preliminary labor began around mid afternoon and continued through Friday. I called my good friend, K, on Thursday night to let her know that I thought things would pick up by Friday, so she headed north from San Diego for the weekend to hang out and assist at the birth. I called my doula, L, as well to let her know things were starting to move along.
Friday was uneventful... contractions were coming about an hour apart... sometimes 30 min, but not regularly and not closer together! I went to bed that night disappointed and thought that K might even miss the main event!
But on Saturday, we decided to try to keep things moving. I walked, my mom made me red raspberry leaf tea every few hours, we shopped at Target, and we got pedicures (hoping the massage would help labor along). K timed the contractions, and they seemed to be getting closer together from every 30 min to every 20min. Eventually around dinner (salmon, San Juan couscous salad, and some wine), they were averaging 15 minutes apart. I figured I should find out from my OB when I should go get the antibiotics that I needed for GBS. I called his cell, and he said since I needed the antibiotics to be in my system longer than those not allergic to penicillin, to come in at about 3-4 cm. Well, how do I know when that is? I should know I'm at 4 when active labor starts... but it hadn't to my knowledge. I did have to stop to breathe b/c the contractions were stronger, but they were so irregular! So, I decided to go in and get checked, then at least I'd know, and I could move on, either staying and getting the IV or returning home to continue laboring. But after I was all packed up and before I left, I decided that I needed to call Kris on the ship. I needed to make sure I could get a hold of him. I needed to hear his voice, tell him that I was heading to the hospital, and to be ready. After a Chief Petty Officer in his office called him in his stateroom and told him “your wife is on the phone and she’s breathing really hard…,” he came up to his office and grabbed the phone! I assured him I was fine and apologized that he had scared him! But thankfully, Kris reassured me that he would be available and reachable all day. All I had to do was text him through email, and he'd be on the phone calling me. Phew. I started to tear up, and he asked me if I was OK. I think I paused and said, yes, but it was then that I realized that I really needed to cry and release my emotions of sadness that he wasn't there with me. While choking back tears, I told him that I wished that he was here, and said good-bye for now. I confessed to K that I needed to shed some emotions, so she suggested that we go pray. We did. And I did... once we prayed and I confessed to the Lord my sadness, I shed some tears, and put my trust back in him and relaxed a little. My contractions got stronger and closer together... we left immediately.
We drove to Los Robles Hospital around 10:30pm, with maybe one contraction on the way. As soon as I stood up out of the car, another one hit… then another in the ER. I checked in at the ER and they wheeled me to the elevators. It was so crazy… just casually walking up to L&D, like, “Hi! I believe you have a room prepared for me… I’m here to have a baby!” They did all the admin stuff and when they finally checked my progress at 11:15pm, I was surprised to find out that I was already at 5cm 90% effaced, -1 station! So, I was staying! I texted Kris the update. His response was “Awesome! Timeline?” (I wish!)
My doula arrived a few minutes later, and at that point the nurse took off the monitors, so that I could get up start moving this baby into position. After an hour, they wanted me back on the monitor for 20min. They checked my progress again. I texted Kris, “6-7cm now. Ctx closer together.” He responded, “Alrighty, I have a key to Geta’s stateroom. He flies in a few hours, do I need to call now?” 12:44am. (You see, 6-7cm dilation to Kris means that baby should be born within the hour, not the case this time!)
After that the contractions seemed to stay about the same… they were intense, but not getting closer together. I know what the normal progression of labor should be, and so I was waiting for transition to happen like it had with the other two… but it wasn’t coming. Around 2:09am Kris texted me, ”Status? Gonna try to call in a bit.” Me, ”Still laboring, not in transition yet.” 2:19am: Kris: ”Cool! Contractions closer together?” 2:52am: Kris, “Heading to Geta’s stateroom to call.” We talked for about 15 min, and he helped me relax a little more. He told me not to worry about the people in my room, that they were all there to help me and that I needed to relax and do what I know how to do!
When 3:00am approached, I was so tired, and just wanted to lie down. I welcomed the nurse coming in to monitor me and the baby just so I could take a rest. My contractions were still very intense and productive, just not close together. They never did get any closer than five minutes apart. I knew though, that if I stayed on the bed, I would stall, and that if I wanted to have this baby, I needed gravity’s help. I had been laboring on the birth ball, the toilet, standing, laying on my left side… Another hour went by, and I was still stuck at 8cm. The nurse had suggested that we call the Dr at 8 cm, and that since my water had not yet broken, I could ask him to break it to further my labor and have this sweet little girl! I texted Kris to call again in ten minutes. “Alrighty, on my way! GO BABY GO!” I needed to hear his voice, and I wanted to tell him the plan. He called at 3:55am. I told Kris I was in transition at 8cm… hilarious, that he questioned that… my salty labor partner said, ”Are you sure you’re in transition? How are you able to talk if you’re in transition?” I had to laugh inside that my sweet husband knows more about labor than most women, but I said, “I’m 8cm. I’m shaking. I’m in transition. This labor is not the same as the others!” I proceeded to tell him that I wanted the Dr to break my water to get labor moving, and asked if he was OK with that. The Dr wasn’t there yet, so Kris told me to text when it was “go time.”
Finally the room was being prepped for delivery… I saw the table with all the medical stuff being brought in and the light was brought down from the ceiling… and my labor progressed. I was coming out of the bathroom, where I was laboring, and told K it was time to text Kris. I lied down on the bed for monitoring. Kris was on the phone now at 5:25am. The Dr had arrived and when he walked in, he saw me go through a contraction. K told me later that he asked the nurse how much Staydol I had had (a pain relieving drug). Apparently he was shocked at how calm I was, when told that I had been given nothing. Once the contraction was over, he greeted me and we talked about breaking my water. Kris questioned the safety and the risks, and let me decide. I was ready. The Dr checked me, and found that my water had already broken and that I was at 9-9.5cm. “All we need to wait for are a few push contractions,” he said. Something clicked on in my brain… once he said that, I had one really hard contraction. Then a pause for a few minutes…then another hard contraction that started like the others but became a push contraction. I called out, “She’s coming!” I remember thinking, “Is anyone going to take this sheet off of my legs and hold my leg up??” I was lying on my left side. The nurse was taken by surprise when she lifted the sheet up and saw the baby’s head, and shouted to the Dr, “She’s crowning!” He wasn’t even fully dressed in his apron and gloves yet! It was one really long, possibly coupled, push contraction. I paused in the middle of it to catch my breath and I remember thinking, hold, hold… let it stretch… then the rest of the contraction finished with our sweet baby girl entering the world at 5:48am.
I was so relieved that the labor was over, and our baby girl was here. The Dr brought her up to my belly, and I placed my hand on her head and back. Her umbilical cord was rather short, so even though I was touching her, they had to cut it for me to hold her. My mom did the honors, and I think she was surprised that the Dr asked her to do it! I was able then to bring her to my chest and hold her there for awhile. The nurse rubbed her with a towel to get her to cry, and she did. Kris was on the line the whole time, and heard it all. Daddy named her from the naval aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis: Molly Elizabeth. He told her he loved her and sang Happy Birthday to her while she was getting cleaned up and checked. Then he prayed over her and us.
It was an amazing labor and delivery, and I’m so thankful for our little Molly! Praise the Lord.
for Dr. williams- feel free to use my full name. There are many medical professionals in my family: RN's, MD's, Surgeons and my brother-in-law is an OBGYN. Having access to these professionals has given me the unique opportunity to learn what to look for when choosing a Dr. Recently, I suffered a missed miscarriage. Meaning, I had all the symptoms of pregancy, including an embryotic sac; however, there was no baby growing inside me. My body had not yet resolved this issue on its own, and due to my emotional trauma, I was basically ignoring my medical condition. Because I had met Dr. Troy only once, I did not expect him to follow up with me. And here is where Dr. Williams sets himself apart from the rest. Many Dr.s would have just waited for me to reschedule, or assumed that I had miscarried at home. But not Dr. Troy. He called me personally to check-in with me and encourage me to come back to office. After I received this call and spoke with him on the phone, I knew that Dr. Troy really cares about his patients. And thank God he does, because it turned out that I needed a lot more emotional and medical attention than I was willing to admit at the time. Dr. Troy was sensitive to my emotional needs while explaining my options. Because of his extremely caring bedside manner, I was relaxed during our visit and felt confident when I made my decision to have a D & C. When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I felt more like a number than a patient, because I was rushed through all my appointments. Dr. Williams is very easy to talk to and he takes the time to address all my concerns. I cannot say enough good things about this Dr. He truly is amazing. Dr. Troy I would like you to know that I appreciate and am grateful for your superb medical care. Please do not hesitate to give out my number or use me as a reference for new patients. Laura Sanders Westlake Village, CA
My New Labia!
When I was diagnosed with vulvar Lichen Sclerosis 5 years ago, I began researching the condition on the internet and in gynecological textbooks. What I found was not very encouraging and some of it was downright scary!
Lichen Sclerosis et Atrophicus is an autoimmune condition of the vulva that is often closely associated with autoimmune thyroid disease, which I have been struggling with for many years. The tissue of the vulva thickens and tightens, much like scleroderma. Eventually, it obscures the clitoris, and can even block the urethra making it difficult or impossible to urinate normally. Sex became excruciating, and I often had a burning, painful sensation when sitting or walking.
With no effective medical treatment available and, frankly, not much interest from the medical or research community, I seemed to be facing a lifetime of increasing discomfort, pain and functional impairment….that is, until I met Dr. Troy Williams.
Dr. Williams or “Dr. Troy” as his patients affectionately call him, took one look at my condition and knew exactly what to do. In a detailed surgical procedure, under general anesthesia, Dr. Williams quite literally built me a brand new labia! Removing the distorted tissue damaged by Lichen Sclerosis, Dr. Williams carefully reconstructed the anatomy in normal alignment to restore full physiologic function. Throughout the whole process, he showed an exceptional sensitivity and reassuring gentleness that made what could have been an embarrassing and awkward problem very easy and comfortable to discuss.
Thanks to Dr. Williams’s surgical expertise and unique insights into female anatomy, I am now able to enjoy all of my activities, including sex with my husband, free from pain and discomfort. As a surgical nurse, I know a good surgeon when I see one, and Dr. Williams is top-notch. I recommend him as the first choice surgeon.