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Published on November 12, 2019

katie and john daniel hold their daughter lucy

Welcome, Baby Lucy – the Best Laid Plans Meet Real Life

I love to make plans. So you can bet that during the nine months leading up to the birth of our first child, I spent a good amount of time researching and planning my ideal labor and delivery experience. My husband and I even took the time to write out our birth preferences with the help of our doula.

My hope was to have as natural of a labor and delivery as possible. I wanted to experience birth to the full and trusted that my body could do it. Have I mentioned that I tend to be an overly optimistic person?

Thankfully, my sister gave me wise advice to hold those plans loosely – knowing that the ultimate goal was the safe delivery of a healthy baby.

Yes, agreed!

So I held on to both that goal and my hopes.

During one of my prenatal appointments, I talked about my birth preferences with my Avera OB/GYN specialist. She reassured me that they would do their best to honor my wishes, while doing what was needed to keep me and our little one as safe and healthy as possible. She had been my OB/GYN for over a decade so I had complete trust in her.

At my 39-week appointment, I mentioned that our little one had been moving less than usual. After monitoring the heart rate, my doctor recommended inducing labor to be on the safe side. My heart sank and leapt all in the same moment. On one hand, I had hoped to go into labor naturally. On the other hand, I was thrilled at the thought of meeting our little one soon!

My doctor knew what was best. I trusted her more than my own plans. So I set them aside and off to the labor and delivery unit we went.

I was induced at around noon. Shortly afterwards, the nurse came in and noted that my contractions were coming too quickly for our little one. We would need to reverse the induction immediately.

Again, I was struck with mixed emotions. On one hand, I was disappointed because the reversal would likely mean a long wait. My body would need to start the process on its own now. On the other hand, I was excited and hopeful that we could try for a natural delivery.

So we waited – anxiously, excitedly and full of hope.

Much to our surprise, contractions started back up with fierce intensity around 10 p.m. With the help of my husband, our doula and nurse, I started working through them. There came a point – as many people said there would – when I decided my plan was no longer a good plan. I needed an epidural!

It was too late for an epidural, but my wonderful care team reassured me that my body could do it and that we were so close to her arrival.

Once pushing began, there were times that I didn’t know if I could push any longer, but my husband, doula, nurse and doctor cheered me on.

Lucy Daniel

And by 2 a.m., our little Lucy arrived into the world! It was the most incredible experience and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

As I hold Lucy and think back on that exciting and life-changing day, I‘m so thankful for the wonderful care we received as we brought her into the world.

We’re privileged to be able to receive the kind of care that Avera offers. I’m thankful that every step of the way – from prenatal care, to labor and delivery, to lactation consultations and now pediatric care – I have felt comfortable and confident, trusting their expertise and knowing that we are in such good hands.

Now that Lucy is almost 1 year old, I’m continuing to learn that I can have my hopes and make my plans, but I should always hold them loosely, be willing to adjust and trust others to help us raise our sweet baby girl.

And whether or not things go as planned, I have so much to be thankful for.

By Katie Daniel, for Avera Health

Photo credit: Kyla Briney Photography

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