Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Quick Induction

 On Friday evening, my client went in to have a foley balloon inserted into her cervix.  This is a non-pharmaceutical method of starting labor by encouraging the cervix to ripen and dilate.  However, while her balloon was being inserted, her water broke!  So instead of going home to give the balloon some time to work, she spent the night in the hospital, trying to sleep.  Too bad sleep is a hard a hard thing to get in the hospital.  

Pitocin was started at 6:45 am, and we kept in touch over text throughout the morning.  By 10:00, things were starting to get uncomfortable for mom, so I made my way over.  

When I arrived mom was resting in the bed, feeling uncomfortable and anxious about the day.  I suggested walking and modified-squatting to help labor pick up and to encourage baby to descend, so we hit the halls at 11:20.  We spent the majority of her labor walking in between contractions, and leaning over and swaying during contractions.  Her husband and I took turns massaging her hips and back, and encouraging her all along the way.  

We made frequent stops in front of the room so the nurse could listen to the baby.  By 1:00 I could tell that we had crossed into hard active labor.  Contractions were lasting much longer and mom was having to cope through them more.  That being said, I had no idea how long it would take.  Inductions can literally take days, so I always prepare my clients for the long haul!

Grandma stopped by at 1:45 with food and encouragement.  Mom was too far into labor to eat at this point though, but dad go to eat!

Mom became tired at 2:00 and climbed into bed to rest.  We put a peanut ball between her legs and played relaxing music.  At 2:20 she said she had to push.  I was taken off guard!  She was coping way too well to be ready to push!  The nurse checked her and she  was 8 cm.  At 2:40 she was 10 cm and her baby was already at +2 station!

Mom started out pushing on her hands and knees, but her baby's heart rate indicated that it wasn't a good position for baby.

13 minutes later, this sweet chunk entered the world!

She pinked up so fast and had the most beautiful skin!  
She also had a very robust cry! 

This mama was so strong!  A medication-free induction is not an easy task!

Holding hands with mommy for the first time... so sweet!
Nursing by 3:40

Welcome Arya!
Born Saturday, October 6th, 2018 at 2:53 pm
8 days after her due date
9 pounds 5 ounces

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Long and Winding Road...

I heard from my latest client early Friday evening, saying she was having mild contractions with a weird pattern.  Since she was past her due date, I hoped it was early labor!  We arrived at the birth center Saturday morning around 7:00 am and her contractions were coming every 4 minutes.  I assumed she was well into active labor.

Mom settled into her birthing space and picked out some birth affirmations to focus on throughout the day.  Her contractions were intense, but she was focusing through them and staying relaxed. 

Her own mom came to offer support, as well as gum and food.  :)  She brought a really positive and caring presence with her, and it was a joy to see how much this mother-daughter duo loves each other.

After walking around and changing positions all morning, mom got into the tub shortly before 9:00 am.   

She listened to relaxing music and did a great job of breathing during her contractions and resting in between.

Contractions began to really space out, so we encouraged mom to get some rest.  But after her nap, contractions were further apart and milder.  She debated going home, but didn't feel comfortable leaving.  So she remained at the birth center and rested as much as possible.

The midwife checked her cervix at 1:30 pm, and we were happy to hear that she was 6 cm dilated and 80% effaced!

In an attempt to get things going again, we went for a walk at 2:00.  It was such a beautiful day outside!

We spent some time visiting and snacking.  It was a really nice afternoon together!  This was my first birth at the Boise River Birth Center, and I loved the facility.  It really felt like we were hanging out at someone's house.  So very comfortable.

Mom was still having contractions about every 8-10 minutes, so she did some lunging on the stairs to help her baby rotate into a better position.  He was posterior for most of the afternoon, so dad and I offered a lot of counter pressure on mom's low back!

Mom got back in the tub at 4:00 pm.  She liked it, but her baby didn't.  Her baby's heart rate was too high, so we spent the next hour hydrating mom and monitoring baby.  Baby stabilized quickly, but mom was struggling emotionally.  Along with worrying about her baby, she was starting to doubt herself.  This is so common, and is an obstacle that most birthing women have to overcome at some point during their labor.  Labor can be difficult and intimidating, and women need to be reminded that they are strong and capable!

Mom decided to use some nitrous to help her relax.  The midwife checked her cervix again and she was 7-8 cm.  Baby still had some rotating to do, too.

At 6:20 mom's water broke, and we all hoped it would be the needed catalyst to bring mom's contractions closer together.  It originally seemed like it would be, but after about 45 minutes, contractions were spacing out again.  At 8:45 mom was still about 7-8 cm, but her baby had fully rotated into the desired position for delivery.  So it was good news, but progress was still coming pretty slowly for this tired mama.

At 9:10 pm, mom got back into the tub and received lots of encouragement from her husband, mom, myself, and the midwives.  We were all rooting for her and knew she could do it!  We combined all the comfort measures!  The tub, the nitrous, deep breathing, music, imagery, and prayer.  

After about 30 minutes of non-stop nitrous, mom was feeling pretty good!  She told us she was high as a kite, and she kept bursting out in laughter.  It was hilarious, and it was nice to see her smile again!  Her attitude shifted and she began telling us that she could do it and that she was going to be ok.  Yes!

At 11:30 pm a noticeable change came over mom and I could tell we were getting close.  She instinctively started moving into positions that opened her pelvis more and she began moaning through her contractions.  By 11:50, she could reach in and feel her baby's head, and by midnight she was full on pushing! 

And then this happened....
(Photos are too graphic to share on the blog, but let me just say that watching this mama deliver her baby with her own hands was so beautiful and amazing!)

Water birth babies transition a little slower, and I loved watching this baby slowly transition in his mother's chest.  

Welcome Soren
Born Sunday, September 2nd at 12:23 am
6 days after his due date
Tipping the scale at 9 pounds!

This dad was a total dude-la.  Very attentive and supportive!

Baby was nursing by 1:10 am, and these parents were ready for some snuggles!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tough Mama

I received a text from my client last night at 10:30 pm saying her water had broken.  I was surprised to hear from her a week before her due date, and I never know what to think when the water breaks before labor starts!  Sometimes things go quickly, and sometimes it can take up to a day or two before labor really gets going.  So we texted a bit and then I went to bed, not knowing what the night would bring.  

Like any doula, I slept lightly and checked me phone throughout the night.  It rang at 5:3o am and I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am.  Little did I know, my client was checked at 6:05 and was already 7 cm, and at 6:25 she was complete!!

Of course I had no idea how far along things were when I arrived, so I was pretty alarmed to hear mom pushing as I walked in the door!   Her husband was reminding her to breath deeply.  I did the hip-squeeze during contractions and tried to keep her cool with a cool cloth in between contractions. 

This mama was so tough!  Not only did she have a natural birth, but she did it with a severe knee injury that will require surgery!  I couldn't believe she was on her hands and knees the entire time.  She was all, "I'm just toughing it out"!  
Her toughness paid off when her baby slipped into the world less than an hour after I arrived!  

Welcome Ashlynn!
Born Tuesday, August. 14th at 7:17 am

Holding daddy's hand for the first time.

By 8:00 am, this new mama and baby were snuggling and nursing.  :)

Friday, July 6, 2018

A Daughter's Love

My client had an induction scheduled for this morning.  Yesterday she had a "balloon" placed in her cervix to help things along.  She had some sporadic contractions, but nothing significant.  So we all went to bed wondering what the night would bring.  The night only brought sleep, but that's ok!  She arrived at the hospital at 7:00 am, and her doctor joined her around 8:30.  She was dilated to 6 cm, and her water broke while her doctor was sweeping her membranes!  Instead of using pitocin, they decided to see if labor would pick up on it's own.

I arrived shortly before 10:00.  Mom had her music going and we chatted a bit since contractions weren't very intense.  She looked through my affirmation cards and chose the phrases she wanted to focus on as things progressed.
Just as we were talking about going for a walk to encourage more contractions, they picked up all on their own.  By 10:40 mom was clearly in active labor.

She already knew that her baby was posterior, and once active labor hit, back labor came with it.  She leaned over the bed to encourage her baby to rotate and I rubbed her back to help with her discomfort. 

Her oldest daughter arrived, and was a great helper the entire time.  It really melted my heart to see her serving and supporting her mom.

She also received great support from her husband.

At 11:20 mom got in the tub.  She was very focused and was coping great.  But things were intensifying quickly, so she got out of the tub at 11:45 to try the nitrous.

At 11:50 the nurse checked her and she was still 6 cm.  Which wasn't surprising since sometimes the labor has to catch up to the cervix when we force the cervix to dilate, as was done with the balloon last night.  But mom wasn't happy with the news and at 12:20 she requested an epidural.  The nurse hooked up the iv, but she and I both wondered if the baby would arrive before the meds!  Her contractions were getting more and more powerful, and things can change very quickly!

The urge to push started at 12:25 and mom was fully pushing by 12:40.

Her daughter watched as things grew more and more intense.  I asked her if she was excited.  She said she was, but I think she had a lot of emotions along with excitement.  I wish I had a picture of her right after the birth, but she was hugging me and sobbing!  It was the sweetest thing ever.  What an amazing experience to watch a sibling be born.

This mom wasn't planning on a natural birth, but at 1:07 pm, her son slipped into the world!

It was really fun to see her cradle her baby as she held him for the first time.  She stayed in this position for several minutes, just soaking him in.

Big sister even got to the cut the cord.  She was such an amazing helper and brought such a sweet spirit into the deliver room.  It was a beautiful birth, and baby was nursing by 1:30!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Best. Vernix. Ever.

I received a text from my client yesterday at 5:00 pm saying she thought she might be in early labor, but she wasn't sure yet, and was going to rest.  I had just arrived at Roaring Springs with my kiddos and figured I'd get called into work in the middle of the night.  With her last birth, almost 3 years ago, she didn't need for almost 10 hours after she alerted me that she thought she was in labor.  So I really thought I wouldn't hear from her for hours!

But at 6:40 her husband contacted me, saying they were ready for me to head over!  I ran around like a crazy woman to gather my kids, raced home, got dressed, and raced to her house!  It sounded like things were progressing really quickly, and with this being her fifth baby, I was worried I might miss it!

I arrived at 7:45 pm and found mom laboring in the tub with the support of her husband and midwife.  She was really calm, and her newly remodeled bathroom was amazing!  It was begging for a homebirth!  I cued up her relaxation playlist and got myself organized.

At 8:15, her 9 year old daughter came in to join us.  She was such a sweetheart all night, as you will see in the upcoming photos.

Mom was starting to struggle to relax in the tub and felt like her limbs were going numb.  She decided she needed a change of pace, so we went for a walk on their gorgeous property at 9:00 pm.  Mom enjoyed the cool breeze, and the sunset was beautiful.

At 9:30 mom got back in the tub and I put her daughter on fan duty to help keep her cool.   Dad rubbed moms feet and I rubbed her head and neck and encouraged her to breath deeply and find her focal point.

Things appeared to intensify and mom's vocalizations grew louder and longer.  We all thought the baby would be born any second!  So the midwives and I were pretty perplexed at 10:45 when the urge to push had still not come.  Mom decided to get out of the tub and have her cervix checked to see where she was.

I had to snap a quick photo of these cute rocks that lined the counter in the bathroom.  This mom is so loved by her children!

At 11:00 pm the midwife checked mom's cervix, and we were all surprised to hear she was only at 5 cm.  Mom was very discouraged, and had a hard time focusing.  She even said she wanted to go to the hospital and get an epidural.  We talked about what that would look like and how it would probably be at least 2 hours before she had epidural relief.  I pulled up the blog post from her last birth and saw that last time she had her baby just 3 hours after she was 5 cm.  That still sounded like a really long time to her, but she was able to find her focus again and remain laboring at home.

She labored in/on the bed for a while, and snacked on honey and grapes in between contractions.  Getting some calories and rest in between contractions helped immensely!  She changed positions often to help encourage her baby to descend and rotate.

At 12:15 she wanted to get back into the tub.  Her vocalizations grew louder again (a good sign of progress), and she said she was starting to feel more pressure (another good sign!).

At 1:04 am her water broke and it was go time!

Welcome Isaiah!
Born Saturday, June 23rd at 1:11 am
Weighing 8 pounds 10 ounces
Covered in the thickest, yellowest vernix ever!
Seriously, it was amazing.

Big sister helped keep him warm by pouring water down his back, and she even cut the cord!

 It was so fun to support this family, and watch them support each other.

By 1:45, mom and baby were tucked into bed.  He was so alert, and so strong!  We couldn't believe how much he was lifting his head and looking around.  He was definitely hungry, too!