top of page
charlotte nova.jpg

Charlotte Nova's birth story
Born to Scott & Amanda

The Breech Birth of Charlotte Nova - 


We found out we were pregnant a few weeks after our 1 year wedding anniversary. We weren’t really trying to get pregnant but left it to the Lord. At 41 I was a little surprised and very joyful to be a mom again. We knew we wanted a home birth and to use a midwife with this baby. I had a traumatic birth with my son 18 years prior and wanted the joy of doing things how we planned to. I was excited at the thought of a water birth and being able to create the environment that suited my idea of what birth at home would be like. We contacted Dorothy as she was who family and friends had used and they trusted and loved her. 


As the months went by and we saw Dorothy and learned all about our baby girl. It became so exciting thinking about how different it would be this time. Dorothy assured me that just because the world saw me as being geriatric didn't mean I was. At 41 I could have a perfectly healthy pregnancy and birth. It was so reassuring. I felt so blessed to be having this baby and to do it in the privacy of our own home with someone who was skilled and knowledgeable. 


I had been seeing a chiropractor regularly prior to becoming pregnant, but switched to a different practitioner who was highly skilled in pregnancy and in adjusting women. She started doing the webster technique and other helpful adjustments to help me in my journey. I also was doing stretches and all the various things to make labor easier.


I knew from about 30 weeks on that the baby was transverse and was going back and forth between breech and side lying. Dorothy continued to check and watch over her as the weeks went by. I started spinning babies and the miles circuit to try and turn her. I did every stretch/exercise there was to try as well. I continued doing these all the way up to her birth.


About 32 weeks Dorothy started talking to me about possibly doing an ECV (external cephalic version) to turn the baby if she didn’t turn on her own. I was set on not doing this as there was a possibility of something happening and having to get a c-section. Around 36 weeks I started having more prodromal labor (a type of “false” labor contraction that commonly occurs in the 3rd trimester) and one night I was concerned I would go into labor early after having some labor signs and feared something would go wrong. Dorothy suggested I contact my OB and see if she could get me in to perform an ECV. My husband and I decided at this point that we should give it a try. My OB was able to get me in a few days later. She was very respectful of the fact that having a c-section was the last thing I wanted to do. They did minimum interventions to prepare me for the ECV. It was still more than we wanted but it had to be done. She tried so hard to move Charlotte, but she was set on staying in her spot. It was extremely painful and slightly terrifying, but I felt safe and knew I would be taken care of if anything did happen. My OB did have us get an ultrasound right after to check and make sure Charlotte was doing well and that the cord was not wrapped around her. It was comforting to know that she was safe and healthy after the procedure.


After the ECV did not work, Dorothy sought the counsel of a fellow midwife about doing a breech home birth and Jennifer so graciously volunteered to attend our birth and assist Dorothy. We were so thankful for this. I was so scared that I would have to get a c-section and I just couldn't fathom being cut open and having my baby removed from my body. The Lord had his hand in it all. He knew. 


Throughout my whole pregnancy I had braxton hicks and in most of my third trimester I had prodromal labor, so I was very unsure if I would know when the baby was coming. A few times I had cramping that lasted all night and Dorothy told me to just pay attention to my body and for contractions that went somewhere. In the weeks leading up to Charlotte’s birth I was still trying to get her to turn and was doing everything I could think of to prepare my body. I was walking, stair climbing, doing exercise ball routines, pelvic floor routines, eating pineapple and dates, drinking red raspberry tea, you name it. Dorothy kept reassuring me that she would come when she was ready.


On the Eve of week 41, I lost some of my mucus plug and thought maybe it was the day. I had another night of cramping and restlessness but no contractions or other labor signs. I woke up that morning bummed thinking I would be pregnant forever. I went to the chiropractor per usual. It was 10:15 am and while I was waiting to be seen I had a contraction. This one was definitely different. At first I thought it was nothing but then not 5 minutes later I had another one, and then 5 minutes later another and so on. I was thinking to myself these are coming awfully quick. I let Dorothy know and asked her If I should have Scott come home from work. She asked how far apart they were continuing on? I didn't have a chance to answer her as it was finally my turn to be seen. It was about 10:45 at this point. I thought well this should help make things easier if it is time to have the baby. 


I told Dr. H that I was having contractions and thought this may be it. She adjusted me and let me know to keep her in the loop. She also said that if we needed anything she could come to us and help. I thought that was so amazing that our baby could have care immediately. Such a blessing. I drove home somehow in the midst of contractions and made it into the house before everything hit the fan.


I started officially timing my contractions and by that time they were 2.5 minutes apart. I let Dorothy know and she said she was on her way and to call Scott home and to let the moms and our doula know. I called everyone and said you may want to get here quickly. It started getting real at that point. I was sitting on the toilet since I was alone and had seen that many women would labor that way. I was a little concerned at how fast everything was happening and wondered if I would have her by myself. I remember my contractions being so intense and sitting there helped a lot. My bowels emptied themselves in preparation and it felt so good to have that all out. The pressure was getting so strong. I got up to try and walk around, but I couldn't do it. The contractions felt like they were on top of each other. I then decided to sit on the toilet backward, as I did I heard and felt the pop of my water breaking and it was very intense. I started to freak out at this point. I went out to the living room and got on my hands and knees on our couch to try and labor there. I was so glad to see my husband walk through the door at that moment. He had no idea how fast things were going at that point.


He got to work preparing. He got the pool out and put down a tablecloth on the floor. I got down on my hands and knees while leaning on the side of the couch. Shortly after that my Doula arrived and started helping me through my contractions. Dorothy arrived around 12 pm as well as my mom and then it was time for all the things. I asked Dorothy if Scott should fill the pool or would we even have time for that. She said no. At that point I told Scott to come sit with me and help me. He sat down on the couch, I kneeled in front of him and held on to his pants pockets to get through each contraction. My Doula Kennadi was putting pressure on my back and knew exactly what to do to help me get through. My mom was next to Kennadi helping to calm me as well. Each surge came so fast and intense it was crazy. While I was laboring, Jennifer, Brea, and my mother-in-law all showed up. I didn’t even know that they had arrived as I was in the zone. I remember thinking pretty early into what I thought was early labor that I felt like it was time to push and that I didn’t think I could do it much longer. They talk about getting to the point of wanting to give up and that's how I felt which seemed crazy to me. I hadn't been laboring that long, but everything was so intense. I asked Dorothy if I could push now and she said “do you feel like you need to push?” It felt like it so I did. 


It seemed like a really long time but the total amount of pushing and her birth was only about 30 mins. It was so amazing to feel her little bum coming out, and then going back in as I was contracting. After some more pushing and waiting, her bottom came all the way out. The next 4 minutes felt like an eternity as we waited for her legs to come out and the rest of her body. At the same time, my body had slowed down and there was a break so Charlotte could do the work she needed to do to come out. I could feel her moving and making her way out. It was the most amazing feeling. She did the work while I waited. Her legs finally came out and I moved my body as she did and right when she was about to fully emerge I popped my right leg out to make room. She came out and Dorothy caught her and began checking her out. Dorothy had let me know previously that she may need to be resuscitated from being breech, so when she went to work on her I felt no fear. I knew she was in the Lord's hands and she would be ok. After some rubbing and encouragement she was breathing and let out a cry. Dorothy put her in my arms and I looked down at my sweet little angel. I knew upon my first look that my beautiful baby girl had downs syndrome. I was filled with such joy and fear all at the same time. Joy that we were given this special gift and fear of the unknown. We did not know she was DS until that moment.


Charlotte Nova was born 3/19/24 at 12:57pm, weighing 7 lbs. 4 oz. and was 19 ¼ inches. 


Our hearts were overflowing as the team went to work, getting me sat down and managing the blood I was losing. We sat and snuggled as we waited for the cord to turn white. It felt so good to be done and hold my baby. The team assisted me in birthing the placenta and prepared Charlotte to have Scott cut her cord. They got me up on the couch to sit while they continued working. I was very tired at this point so they got us to our room and settled in bed. 


The team took amazing care of us and cleaned everything up and made sure that I was doing well. They checked Charlotte out and weighed her and did all the testing that they do. As Dorothy checked Charlotte out she looked for the markers of downs syndrome: One line across the hands and a few other things. Her facial features were the giveaway for me. 


Charlotte was having trouble latching and Dorothy reminded me that Dr. H (my chiropractor) had offered to help. So I messaged her about what was going on to see if she could come check Charlotte out. She so graciously offered to come to the house and adjust her. Being that she had downs syndrome and was breech she needed some cranial adjustments done to help her be able to latch. Dr. H did her work and while she did Charlotte started suckling the air looking for food. The Lord sure works in such awesome ways. He gave us an amazing community of people that helped to make Charlotte's entrance into the world smooth. 


The whole experience was amazing and mind blowing. From my first contractions to her being born was only 2 and a half hours. I am so thankful that all the hard work I put in preparing my body was worth it. Our little girl just knew she was ready and wasn't waiting any longer. The care we received in the weeks after was also so amazing. Dorothy checked in on us constantly and came to weigh Charlotte and make sure I was doing well. 


The Lord blessed us with the homebirth we wanted and even gave us a textbook breech birth. It is awe-inspiring what He did throughout my pregnancy and Charlotte's birth. Every time we share that we had a breech at-home birth people kinda freak out. I love it. Ultimately I know that it was God’s plan the whole time and He gave us our precious little angel.


One of the things that I would change or do differently was to trust in my body and its ability. I would not attempt an ECV again. First off, it was extremely costly. Praise God for insurance. Secondly, it created unnecessary fear and doubt in what I was created to do. Charlotte was coming out one way or the other and if she wanted to turn she would have. She knew how she needed to come out and I needed to trust that the Lord would get us through. I am thankful for my OBs willingness to respect my want of a homebirth and that she didn't try to scare me into getting a c-section. I'm also thankful that Dorothy had the training and was willing to birth our breech baby.


The saddest part of all is the 6 week appointment and realizing you don't get to see Dorothy anymore unless you have another baby or go see her because you miss her. :) I’m so thankful He put us together and that we had such an amazing team to help us in our birthing experience. Life is a precious gift and His plans are always better than ours.

bottom of page