Thursday, September 28, 2017

It's a Girl!

I received a text from my latest client early Tuesday morning letting me know that her water had broken around 4:00 am!  Water breaking is always exciting, but it doesn't always mean that labor is in full swing.  My client was only have mild and infrequent contractions, so we planned to keep in touch throughout the day.  Several hours later she felt like her water had a yellow color to it (which can mean the baby has already had a bowel movement), so she decided to head to the hospital to get things checked out.

I arrived at the hospital at 7:45 pm.  Mom was admitted because of the water breaking, but she wasn't in active labor yet.  The nurse came in around 8:30 to talk about options.  Her main concern was mom being GBS+ and the risk of that spreading into the uterus since the water was broken. After receiving some antibiotics, mom opted for a bluetooth monitoring system so she could get some rest and the nurse could monitor the baby.  (Most labors do not require continuous monitoring, but this one did because mom was going for a VBAC, had ruptured membranes, was GBS+...)

The nurse literally had to use sand paper on mom's abdomen before placing on the monitoring system.  Dad told her to pretend she was at the spa getting a microderm abrasion.  :)  Once everything was set up, mom and dad settled in for some sleep and I went home to do the same.  I was called back shortly after midnight, as contractions had begun to quickly intensify.  But they were short-lived, and after a couple hours, we all decided to get some more sleep.

I arrived the next day at 11:15 am.  Mom had been on pitocin for a little over an hour.  Contractions were definitely intensifying, and mom was finding comfort on the birth ball.  She circled her hips and breathed deeply.

Mom was determined to do anything she could to help labor progress and help baby engage into her pelvis.  At this point in things, her cervix hadn't dilated at all.  So shortly after noon we did some laps.  From that smile, it's hard to tell this woman is even in labor!

Back in the room we listened to "Beauty and the Beast", and tried lots of different positions and comfort techniques.  By 1:45 mom was ready for the tub.  She liked the short relief it brought to her aching hips and tired legs.

Around 3:00 mom was starting to "have her doubts".  Labor is a very emotional experience that can definitely feel like a mind game.  We doubt ourselves and we worry about how long it will last and if we will be able to cope.  Her husband offered snacks and lots of physical and emotional support.  Mom opted for some nitrous to help her relax, and it appeared to help with that quite a bit.  At 3:15 the nurse checked her and she was 2 cm, 80% effaced, and she could even feel the top of the baby's head!  So not the progress we were hoping for, but progress still!  This mom only dilated to 1 cm with her first labor, so this news was still encouraging.

But the contractions were intense and mom was tired.  She wanted an epidural, but she said getting one would make her feel like a failure.  :(  We talked about it and I reminded her that labor is not a pass/fail experience.  After some inner turmoil, mom opted for the epidural and received it shortly after 4:00 pm.  It quickly took the pain away, but not the anxiety of the experience.  We talked for quite some time as mom processed all that she and her baby had gone through that last 36 hours.  

The doctor came in to check on things at 6:30 pm and we found out that mom was dilated 5 cm!  Amazing progress!  Baby was still high, about negative 2 station, but the cervix was thin and was responding well to the contractions.  Such great news!  Since mom was going to settled in for a nap, I ran home to tuck my kids into bed.  We touched base at 9:20 pm.  Mom had been checked again at 8:00 pm and was still about 5, maybe 6 cm.  She was planning on going back to sleep and said she would call me when she was ready to push or if she had any questions or needs I could help her with.

I was surprised when my phone rang at 10:14 pm.  It was easy to hear the sadness and disappointed in mom's voice when she told me her baby was having signs of fetal distress and they were going to do a cesarean.  My heart sank.  It really seemed like everything was lining up perfectly for her VBAC.  I jumped in my car and arrived just in time to snap this photo.

Mom's emotions had shifted quite a bit by the time I got there.  She had taken some time to process the events of the day, and was now focusing on the joy of meeting her baby!  They didn't even know the gender!  Mom was quickly taken back to the OR to be prepped, and dad was taken back at 11:10 pm.

It's a girl!
Dad really loved his one on one time with his little girl while mom was still in recovery.  They took some selfies and there was some serious bonding going on.

Welcome Eva!
Born on her due date
Wednesday, Sept. 27th at 11:22 pm
(about 43 hours after her water broke)
Weighing 7 pounds 12 ounces

This sweet girl was nursing perfectly by 12:02 am!  She may have had a hard time getting out of mom, but she sure knew what to do once she was.

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!