A Dr. George Birth Story: Patience with a rocky pregnancy

Dr. George was my OB/Gyn for my second pregnancy. My first one end up with unnecessary C-section due to my lack of knowledge and too much trust in doctors.

My second pregnancy was pretty “rocky”. I started bleeding at 6 weeks and experienced a couple of severe bleeding episodes at 12 and 16 weeks of pregnancy. Dr. George diagnosed me with placental abruption. It was very scary because I had a miscarriage 3 months prior to that conception. Dr. George was always very supportive and positive. He explained to me that it was only 5% of placenta that was detached and the 95% was functional and was more than enough for my baby to grow healthy. Dr. George was always available to see me whenever I felt worried and needed reassurance. His peaceful presence gave me hope that everything would be ok. I knew there was always more chance that I would have a preterm labor due to the bleeding… The weeks were passing by and my baby was growing well no matter the condition of my pregnancy.
 Julija Cartelli - hubby and baby
At 30 weeks of my pregnancy I was diagnosed with polyhydramnios which increased my chances for preterm labor which did happen. My waters broke at 34 weeks and 4 days. Dr. George admitted me to hospital and said that we just needed to wait for a baby to come with no rushing anywhere. I was being monitored every day for 11 days. Dr. George would always come after his office hours to check on me. At the beginning we were hoping for my VBAC. He even joked that it should be pretty easy because the baby wasn’t too big at that time. However, my little guy decided to flip and stay in a breech position. There was no chance rotating him because I had literally no amniotic fluid left (0.2-0.4 cm). So slowly I accepted that I’ll have another C-section. Dr. George never rushed me into it. He believed that my body was the best “incubator” for my son to grow. During my stay at hospital there were other doctors including fetal maternal medicine doctors coming in and trying to pressure me going for c-section right away because the baby was big enough and there wouldn’t be any health issues. I trusted Dr. George and when he said that maybe we should plan to set the date at 36 weeks of pregnancy, I agreed with him because my veins were collapsing from 24/7 IV and my blood work started showing slight infection.
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The morning of scheduled c-section May 31, 2013, a nurse came in and explained to me how everything was going to be and that my baby would have to go to a nursery for a day because I was technically 1 day short of 36 weeks and by hospital protocol babies need to stay at the nursery if they were born before 36 weeks. I started crying and panicking because I had given up on my dream of having my VBAC, I stayed in bed for 11 days waiting to have my gentle cesarean and be there for my baby right away, being able to nurse him and now this lady tells me that I’m short of 1 day of being able to do it. I told her through my tears that I will wait that one day and have the baby tomorrow. She told me that the OR was already set up for me and everyone was scrubbed in. At that moment Dr.George came in all scrubbed in and as soon as he saw me all teared up and not able to talk he asked the nurse what the issue was. After she explained it to him, he told me calmly that it was ok and he’d reschedule the surgery for tomorrow 1st thing in the morning (Saturday morning). He gave me a hug and told me to rest.
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Julija Cartelli - post c snugglesI guess that day all the emotions triggered my labor. I started feeling the contractions pretty strong. I started timing them on my cell phone app and they were 3-4 minutes apart. I thought I’d just take a nap and told no one. After 1.5 hour nap I felt a bit uncomfortable and decided to use a bathroom. On the way to the bathroom I felt something moving deep inside my vagina. I used a bathroom and went back to the bed and I still felt that sensation. I called a nurse. Two of them came in and decided to check me. It was around 6 pm on Friday evening. When the nurse checked me she said that it was the baby’s foot :) The other nurse called Dr. George right away. He told them to have OR ready and that he was on his way. It was happening very quickly. Neither my husband nor my doula could make it on time for my surgery. I ended getting a general anesthesia (for the second time) because epidural wasn’t possible in that situation. I remember being in OR and seeing Dr. George rushing in. I thought to myself that I had never seen him so intense. He was rushing everyone and stopped nurses and me from giggling about my boy’s foot that was all the way sticking out of my vagina (which they even took a picture of). Then he came to me and asked how I was doing. I remember asking him if we were in any danger and he said “not yet” but we had to hurry. My boy was delivered at 7:14 pm with the umbilical cord that had double knot and was rapped around his neck and whole body. He was a healthy little guy that was born preterm but not a preemie. My husband was there when the baby was brought out of OR. Nurses right away told my husband to open up his shirt and have our boy on his chest skin to skin which I was so grateful for. I recovered after couple of hours and my baby never left my sight and stayed with us in a room even though we were 5 hours short of 36 weeks. :)
 .Julija Cartelli - mom and doc
I came to see Dr. George for my 6 weeks appointment and brought my son with. We had a lovely chat. He told me that there was no reason why I couldn’t still have my  VBA2C because I progressed nicely and my uterus was in a good condition. Even though my second pregnancy ended up with a c-section as well as my 1st one, my experience and emotional recovery was totally different because I had Dr. George with me who always believed in me, who always was so patient and understanding. Only because of him I still have that hope that one day I’ll have a chance to experience the most powerful sensation of giving birth naturally and being there for my baby right away.
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Read more about Dr. George here
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In lieu of flowers the family has asked for donations to be made to the International Cesarean Awareness Network in Dr. George’s name.

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