After Liz and her husband Eric experienced a miscarriage in Fall 2018, they thought a few adjustments like addressing slight hypothyroidism would mean another pregnancy within months. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and they ended up undergoing fertility treatment during 2020 and early 2021. Following a failed IVF embryo transfer in February 2021, they conceived their baby girl naturally while waiting for their next embryo transfer.
Liz sought care during her pregnancy from a group of midwives associated with a large hospital in Chicago. Because of a neuromuscular disease Liz was diagnosed with as a child (Charcot Marie Tooth), Liz also saw a neurologist and Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor, to ensure she and Eric were fully aware of possible complications associated with CMT (those included possible fetal growth restriction, malpresentation, postpartum hemorrhaging, and need for assisted delivery using forceps or vacuum). During pregnancy, Liz aimed to do all she could to prepare her mind and body for birth, including visits with a Webster-certified chiropractor, pelvic floor physical therapist, acupuncturist, and a therapist focusing on pregnancy and early motherhood. Liz also stayed active, keeping up with regular workouts through her 38th week of pregnancy.
Liz went into labor during the late evening two days before her due date. After laboring all night at home and having contractions 3-4 minutes apart for a couple hours, she, Eric, and their doula Becca headed to the hospital the following morning. Liz was very discouraged to find out she had only dilated to three centimeters, after being at two centimeters at her midwife appointment earlier that week. Because of elevated blood pressure and the midwife’s request to do some labs to check for preeclampsia, Liz was admitted to the hospital. Upon admission, they also determined via manual exam and a quick ultrasound that baby was sunnyside up.
Liz labored into the afternoon with the support of Eric and Becca, but only progressed to four centimeters during that time. She worked with her midwife and team to decide that interventions would be helpful to allow for some rest and progress for her body. An epidural was placed and Pitocin was administered an hour later. After an additional cervical check showed Liz was still at four centimeters dilated, her midwife suggested breaking her waters. That did the trick and between 6 and 9 p.m., Liz’s cervix dilated from four to ten centimeters and baby turned to an ideal position for pushing!
Pushing was Liz’s favorite part of labor, supported by her amazing team, with Eric holding one leg and their doula Becca holding the other. After just 45 minutes of pushing, their baby was born, healthy but quite calm and quiet. After a couple minutes, baby’s cord was cut by daddy and they realized no one had checked the baby’s sex. Liz was convinced throughout pregnancy it was a boy, so it was a complete surprise when Eric announced it was a baby girl! The team spent a few minutes clearing her airways and checking her vitals before Liz and Eric enjoyed a magical golden hour with baby Emmeline Mae.
Liz and Emmeline’s postpartum journey so far has included significant sacroiliac joint pain and treatment for Liz and a milk protein intolerance for Emmeline. Liz is extremely grateful for a long period of parental leave, by US standards, and is looking forward to springtime adventures at home with Emmeline!
Liz Parker Bio
Liz Parker and her husband Eric live in Chicago with their first baby Bug the Pug and their newest addition, Emmeline Mae, who arrived in December 2021. Liz and Eric both work for a large accounting and consulting firm, where they met while recruiting at their shared alma mater. They love exploring different neighborhoods, parks, and restaurants in their city, and traveling to new places together. They can’t wait to take Emmeline on future adventures, especially to visit family and friends all over the US! Connect with her on Instagram at @lizzyleigh17 or on Facebook under Liz Byrum Parker.
- Know Your Options Childbirth Course
- www.Rescripted.com – amazing online resource and community!
It Starts with the Egg by Rebecca Fett
- Yes, You Can Get Pregnant by Aimee Raupp
- Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
- The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
- Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
- Evidence Based Birth – website and podcast
- Dr. Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy Podcast and Pregnancy Podcast (Vanessa Merten)
- Karrie Locher – great resources and courses for new moms
- Fit4Mom fitness classes – (prenatal and postpartum)
- Chicago area – Prenatal Fit studio
- Chicago area – Chicago Family Picnic for childbirth, breastfeeding, and bringing home baby courses, mom & baby group, doula services
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