Our Bradley Method® birth story begins at 41 weeks.  I was going crazy, convinced that I was eternally doomed to permanent pregnancy.  Charlie hovered in a state of limbo, cautiously approaching each work day and unapologetically glued to his phone. 
Several days of pre-labor contractions with fleeting patterns frustratingly preceded the big day.  Then, the clock struck 1 am on Wednesday, Nov. 26th, 11 days past her due date, and Ava Gilley decided to join the world. She was asynclitic (which is science for her head was tilted), thus inducing a delightful bout of contractions with back pain throughout the 10 and 1/2 hours of labor and birth. 

The contractions went from, “Is this labor, Charlie?” to “Charlie, this IS LABOR!” in the car on our way to the birth center. 
• A few walked laps,
• Some screaming,
• Crushing Charlie’s hands,
• Scolding Charlie for not pushing on my back hard enough (as he practically did a handstand on my low back),
• More screaming,
• Transition stage melt downs (yes, plural),
• Realizing to receive an epidural I’d have to get out of the bath tub,
• Quickly deciding against that stupid idea,
• And finally 2 hours of pushing all brought about our beautiful baby. 

Birth! Welcome to the world! At 7 lbs. 11 oz. and 20 and 3/4 inches long, her wide eyes greeted us, distracting the love entrenched new parents from the blue hue to her skin and rather cone-y head.  Charlie cut the no longer pulsing cord from our little smurf and declared her female.

12 hours after her birth, we were in the hospital attempting to win back the colonies in her blood that GBS had claimed its own.  While it played its national anthem of pneumonia and sepsis, the antibiotics conducted a sneak attack on our baby’s blood.  14 days after her Birth Day, we introduced Ava to our home and our puppy for the first time.  There’s truly no place like home.

Some lessons learned:
1.  Testing negative for GBS doesn’t mean your baby will not get GBS.
2.  Always have a Just-in-Case plan for both complications with Mama AND Baby. Go see the NICU and Labor and Delivery units at your hospital of choice. 
3.  We knew what we were talking about after all when we said we didn’t care about the gender, we just wanted a healthy baby.

For tips on options for doing your best to avoid GBS and its risks go to:  Alternatives Treatments For GBS Prior To Labor
Excerpted from “Pregnancy and the H1N1 Flu Virus.” To build your and your baby’s immune system during pregnancy. Read the full article on the Midwifery Today Web site.  “Vitamin D3 supplementation has been found to have a strong correlation to the strength of immune system function, specifically keeping vitamin D3 levels above 50 mg/ml. It may be necessary to take as much as 5000–15,000 IU.  A high dose (at least 20 billion probiotics bacteria per serving) should be taken for maximum benefit.  Apple cider vinegar is an ancient remedy and can be used as a dietary supplement (1 oz, 1–3 times daily).”