Saturday, August 26, 2017

Homebirth VBAC

I heard from my client at 7:50 Friday evening, saying she was having mild contractions about every 10 minutes.  We both figured it would be a while, but by 9:00 pm she was having contractions every 5 to 6 minutes, and I was on my way to meet her in her home for her planned homebirth. 

I arrived at 9:45 and was in awe at how beautiful her birthing room had been set up.  The glow of Christmas lights, birth affirmations, Hawaiian music, and a doting partner made for the perfect combination of beauty and support.

The room wasn't the only beautiful thing.  At 10:30 pm dad said "Babe, you look so pretty right now."  She really was stunning, and was coping beautifully.  After spending some time sitting, mom decided she was ready to move a bit, so we set out for a late night walk around the block at 10:45.  It was a warm, summer night with stars and crickets, and unfortunately, vomiting.  (If you ever wake up with vomit in front of your side walk, a laboring mom just might have walked by!)

The water enticed mom when we got home, but she was too warm to get in.  So she spent some time sitting on the birth ball and leaning on the tub for support.  I rubbed her back and squeezed her hips.  She breathed deeply and vocalized.  Her mom checked in on her and set out snacks and coffee.  Contractions continued to intensify and at 12:50 she was ready for water.

The water brought back mom's smile and enhanced how much she enjoyed listening to her music.  Both she and dad began to sing along.  The midwives arrived shortly before 1:00, and things quickly intensified again.  By 1:20 mom was needing to focus much more and announced "you're not funny anymore" to her partner.  This is an emotional sign post of transition, and is a good sign of things progressing!

After some more vocalizing and vomiting, mom asked the midwife to check her cervix at 1:45, and she was 8 cm and baby was very low. At 2:15 her water broke and the urge to push began to build.  She pushed in a couple different positions in the tub, and at 2:35 am the midwife suggested getting out and pushing on the birth stool.

The position change was just what mom needed, and at 2:47 am on her due date of Saturday, August 26th, her baby boy was born!

Tears of joy came instantly as this sweet couple welcomed their baby.  After a cesarean several years ago, and homebirth VBAC was a dream come true.

The dark pictures don't do any justice to this cute, little boy.  He had so much dark hair, too!

By 3:15, baby was nursing perfectly and mom was overcome with emotions.  

It was a wonderful experience to support this couple as they achieved the birth they longed for!

Friday, June 16, 2017

19 Minutes to Spare

I met my latest client several years ago at my chiropractor's office.  She would bring my son goldfish and read him books while I would get my adjustment, and it meant the world to me!  I was so excited to have a chance to serve her this time around.

She texted me early Thursday morning saying she had had some contractions through the night.  She felt a little anxious, but was overall excited and coping well.  We kept in touch throughout the day.  She had an appointment with her midwife at 4:00 pm and found out she was already 100% effaced and almost 4 cm dilated.  Off to a great start!

I arrived at her home shortly after 7 pm and found her laying in bed, breathing deeply, and listening to relaxing music.  Her husband was rubbing her back, and I could tell she was definitely in the throws of active labor.  I heard her pray for strength, and we decided it was a good idea to alert the midwife.

I couldn't resist snapping a picture of her wall hanging.  So appropriate for today!

We got to the birth center at 8:20 pm.  After a few contractions leaning on the bed, mom made her way into the tub.

The water brought instant relief, and also brought back mom's smile.  So much so, I started to wonder if she was really as far along as I had originally thought!  She told us how much easier the contractions were and started talking to her husband about Father's Day coming up.

But the respite was short, and intense contractions quickly reappeared.  The midwife checked her cervix at 9 pm and she was 6 cm and baby was very low. After feeling too hot, mom got into bed and labored on her side.  Her husband was an awesome doula and remembered all the massage techniques we covered in class.  

At 9:35 her water broke, and I knew we were getting close!  By 10:00 pm mom was grunting through parts of her contraction.  At 10:15 she moved back into the tub to get more pain relief and to be ready for her desired water birth.  

Mom was so instinctual in the tub and naturally found positions that helped her body open and cope.  She vocalized often, and it sounded like she was singing!  It was beautiful.  When she started to doubt herself she said "She believed she could, so she did.".  :)

The urge to push was increasing, and at 10:58 pm mom said she wasn't ready, and wasn't sure if her baby was really ready yet.  The midwife checked her again, and not only was she fully dilated, but baby was low enough for mom to feel on her own.  Knowing everything was truly ready, mom didn't hold back, and listened to her body and it guided itself through the process.

At 11:25 mom asked "Can you just pull her out?!"  That's when you know birth is really imminent.  Less than 20 minutes later... 

She slid right into her daddy's hand, then was placed into her mommy's arms.

Welcome Mya!
Born 19 minutes before her due date
 Thursday June 15th
11:41 pm
6 pounds 13 ounces
21 inches long

Dad getting some bonding time while mom got out of the tub.

Mom watching dad hold his baby for the first time.  Her eyes say it all.

This sweet girl was nursing by 12:30!  What an amazing birth!  I can't believe this was a first time mom!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Home Birth, Baby!

I started hearing from my client in the late morning as she took her older son on a walk around the block.  She was having contractions, but they were short and mild.  Being 6 days past her due date, we were definitely hoping it was early labor.  As the day progressed her contractions continued, but remained short- between 30 and 40 seconds.

Things intensified in the late afternoon, and I arrived at their home around 4:30 pm.  But then contractions spaced out again, so mom decided to take a nap and I headed home.  I was called back at 7:30 and arrived shortly before 8:00 pm.  When I arrived, I found mom and dad in the birth tub, listening to music and breathing through contractions.  Dad also provided some awesome counter pressure through each contraction.  With this being their 3rd baby, they were pros!  A great team that quickly found their rhythm together. 

 Their bedroom was decorated with birth affirmation cards and art work from their older children.   

When I first arrived, mom was still pretty perky and chatty in between contractions, but when the contractions came, I could tell things were intense.  At 8:30 there was a distinct change in her behavior as she stopped talking in between her contractions.  Several minutes later she told me she was "feeling weary" and needed encouragement.  From the outside, she didn't look like she was struggling at all.  But I know that all women start to feel this way as transition approaches, so I knew things were progressing very quickly.  

At 9:00 her water broke.  I went into the living room to inform the midwife.  I told the midwife I felt like things were changing quickly and this baby was coming soon.  And at 9:05 mom started feeling pressure. 

And at 9:07, her baby was born into the hands of her daddy!  The midwife barely had enough time to pull her gloves on and assist. 

Mom broke out into beautiful praise/prayer, thanking God that her baby had been born safely.

Welcome Adeline Grace!
Born at home on Friday, April 28th, 9:07 pm 
8 pounds 4.5 ounces

Adeline was so calm and alert.  She barely made any noise, but pinked up immediately.  Her skin was so soft and perfect.  She was just soaking in the world.

Mom got dried off and settled into bed, and at 9:57 Adeline latched right on and began vigorously nursing!  It caught mom a little off guard, but this baby knew what she wanted.  :)

I can't think of a better way to end my week.  What an amazing birth!

Friday, April 28, 2017

4 Hours of Pushing is Enough

After texting throughout the day on Wednesday, I was pretty convinced my client wasn't in early labor.  Boy was I wrong!  Her husband called me at 3:30 am on Thursday and told me contractions were consistent and gaining intensity.  By 5:00 am, I will with them at their home.  I found mom on the birth ball, in a dark room, listening to music and breathing through her contractions.  She was doing great! 

The plan was to labor at home as long as possible, but things seemed to be picking up fast, so we left for the birth center shortly before 6:00 am.

Baby sounded awesome all day.  No matter how hard labor got, his heart sounded like running horses every time. 

Mom was incredibly instinctive.  She often swayed, and changed positions frequently.   She would spend time in the tub, then get out and walk, then squat, then kneel.  Things would get intense and she would become very quiet, then they would ease up and she perk up and chat a bit.   She also had periods of energy and fatigue, and would usually lay down to rest every couple hours.  She labored beautifully for hours.  Very relaxed and focused.

Always by her side was her awesome husband, who offered tons of physical and emotional support.  As you can see from the pictures, these two are an amazing team.

Mom's water broke on its own while she was laboring on the birth stool. After several hours of almost having the urge to push, we all hoped this would be the event that got the ball rolling. 

Around 1:45 we were all confused as to why the birth wasn't moving along, so the midwife offered to do a cervical exam.  Without a contraction, her cervix was only 4 cm dilated, but would open up to 9 cm during the contractions.  Some nerves and emotions kicked in, as they often do, and mom decided to look at some of the cute baby clothes she packed to help her visualize her birth and find the strength she needed to keep going. 

Contractions continued to grow in intensity, but the urge to push was still absent, and mom was getting tired and a little discouraged.  She opted to use the nitrous for a while, and was able to rest and remain calm.  She was checked again at 3:30 and had just an anterior lip left on her cervix.  The midwife broke the bag of water a little more and suggest we spend some time on hands and knees to help get rid of the cervical lip. 

 We tried every position and every comfort measure to help this mom cope and this baby descend.  By 5:10 pm, it was time to really start pushing. 

She pushed on the birth stool...

She pushed in the water...

She pushed on her side.  She pushed in the bed.  She pushed standing up.   She pushed on the toiled.  She would have pushed on the roof if we had asked her to.  I really am in awe of her strength and endurance.  This woman is beyond tough.

 Baby was coming down, but it was happening slowly.  His heart rate started to slightly drop and the midwife began to worry that much more pushing would put the baby into distress.  Around 8:50 we began discussing transferring to the hospital for a vacuum delivery.  It was a hard decision to make, and not at all what anyone wanted to do, but this baby needed a little extra help getting here. 

I think we can all imagine how uncomfortable a drive to the hospital would be after almost 4 hours of pushing!  But with the help of a vacuum, this woman was finally able to get her baby out!  His head came out a little crooked and he was a little stressed, so he was quickly put in the care of the NICU team.

Welcome Mason
Born Thursday, April 27th, 9:48 pm
8 pounds 6 ounces

Baby needed some help with his breathing, but dad was able to spend some time talking to him and was able to head up to the NICU with his son.

Thankfully, mom was able to steal a quick snuggle before her baby was taken up to the NICU.  Separating mom and baby can be really difficult, and is never on anyone's birth plan.  Baby is improving quickly, so he must get his strength from his amazing mom who endured so many hours of labor and pushing to get him here.