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!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Third Baby, First Natural Birth

 I checked my phone early Wednesday morning and found a text from my latest client saying she had been up for several hours with contractions coming every 7-8 minutes.  I was surprised to hear from her before her due date since her first two children were both born at 42 weeks!  She had a regularly scheduled OB appointment at 9:00 am, and was discouraged to find out she was only dilated half a centimeter!  She went home to rest and see how the day went.

We kept in touch over text, and contractions stayed between 6 and 8 minutes for the majority of the day.   Things began to pick up in the early evening, and at 6:30 her husband called me and asked me to join them at their home.  While I was preparing to come, he called again and asked me to meet them at the hospital.  Things were progressing quickly and getting very intense.  Mom began to doubt herself, and told her husband she felt like a failure.  :(

I met my clients in triage at 7:45 pm.  Mom was dilated to a 6 and was very pleased with her progress!  She moaned through her contractions, and I could tell we were moving into transition!

Mom's back was hurting, so once we got into the labor room we tried some different positioning to help baby rotate.  She walked and leaned and rolled her hips.

She cooled off with her misting fan and that arrived in the mail today!

At 8:30 the tub was ready and mom quickly got in, seeking relief from the hot water.  
At 8:45 her water broke and the urge to push came with it.  

At 9:00 mom moved to the bed in a hands and knees position.  We all felt like that baby was going to slide out really quickly!  We were wrong.  Mom still had a bit of a cervical lip to work through.  That basically means she is 9.5 cm.  :)

When babies don't descend, we change positions frequently.  And when nerves get high, we get out the nitrous.  Mom breathed in the nitrous in between contractions, and moved to the birth stool at 9:30 pm.  Her own mom arrived to offer love and support. 

Mom pushed so hard!  She doubted herself and worried she wouldn't be able to do it.  Everyone feels that way right before they do it!

Most natural birthers do not picture themselves giving birth on their backs.  But when you've tried every position and haven't given birth, moving onto your back usually does the trick!  It helps utilize the space in the back of the pelvis.  And once mom moved into this position, we began to see a lot more progress.  At 10:05 we grabbed a mirror so mom could see for herself, and before we knew it, her baby was born!

I love these photos so much!  Look at that chubby face!  This baby did not rotate, and was born "sunny-side up", meaning his face was born first instead of the crown of his head.  These babies are harder to push out, and this mama worked very hard to get him out!  

NICU was called in because there was meconium, but this baby pinked up right away.  He was very alert and doing so well.  His poor mama still had some tough work to do, though.

After-birth was no fun.  Mom had some heavy bleeding, due to a very tired uterus.  She also needed some repair, so dad got to spend some time with his new son.  Baby was so calm and alert.  The minute he was finally passed back to mom (11:00pm), he instantly started nursing.  

Welcome Nicholas!
Born Wednesday, May 23rd at 10:19 pm
Two days before his due date.
Weighing in at 8 pounds and 3 ounces

This mama was so proud of herself when all was said and done, and she should be!  She worked so hard, and displayed so much strength and endurance!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring Into Action

My latest client may be the most patient person I've ever met.  Approaching 42 weeks, she tried every natural method to jump-start labor, but never complained when none of them worked.  She was somewhat disappointed when the time came to transfer to the hospital for a medical induction, but she kept her chin and spirits up.  She checked in on Monday morning at 7:00 am, 15 days after her official "due date".  Pitocin was started around 9:00, and we kept in touch over text throughout the day.  Every time I heard from her she said things were easy, which isn't what you want in labor because things have to get hard to get babies here!  After upping the pitocin all day, she and her midwife decided to break the bag of waters at 7:00 pm to see if that would kick things up a notch.  

Things changed almost immediately and by 9:00 pm I was on my way to the hospital to provide labor support.  When I arrived I found mom and dad walking and swaying, and listening to Michael Jackson.  Their playlist was awesome and we enjoyed listening to some great tunes while labor continued to pick up.  Mom was all smiles when I arrived, but I could see that things were steadily intensifying.

Before things got too intense, I encouraged mom to read through my birth affirmations cards and choose a few to focus on throughout her labor.  Dad provided counter pressure on her back and hips.

By midnight things were really going and mom was totally in the zone.  She got in the tub at 1:00 am and was really happy to be in the water.  I reminded her of her breathing techniques, but overall she was totally in the zone and required very little outside support from any of us.  

The nurse checked her cervix at 3:10 am and she was dilated 8 cm and baby was at +1!  Awesome progress!  The urge to push came as she was sitting on the toilet, so the nurse quickly alerted the midwife.  We all felt like baby was coming fast!  (We were wrong, ha!)

Mom rested in bed and we realized that it was now the first day of spring.  Mom really liked the idea of her baby coming on the first day of spring, and dad cracked a joke about labor lasting another day.  She flipped him off and it was hilarious.  All jokes aside, these two were an amazing team.

At 4:15 mom was pushing and baby was at +3 station.  She started out in a hands-and-knees position, and then went to side lying.  We changed positions often to help encourage the baby to descend.  It took a while to figure out pushing (as it often does, especially for first time moms), but the biggest obstacle was how infrequently her contractions were coming.  There was usually a 5-6 minute wait in between contractions.  Mom would sleep in between, but it made it hard to make much progress.  At 5:15 the midwife decided to start turning up the pitocin again.  (It had been turned down a couple hours earlier since mom was progressing so well.)

At 6:40 we got out the squat bar and tied a sheet around it so mom could do a "tug-of-war" with it.  This helps focus the energy of the push.  It worked and after a few pushes we could start to see some crowning during the push.  But progress was still slow and at 7:15 the midwife said she might perform and episiotomy if things didn't start to progress quicker.  I don't know if that's what made the difference or not, but after that conversation we finally saw the progress we had been waiting hours for!

Pushing is an interesting thing because unlike other techniques like relaxation and imagery, you can't really practice it beforehand.  Also, some women won't really need to push at all, while others will push with all their might for hours.  This mama had to PUSH!

Once the head was out, the rest of the body slid out very quickly and baby started crying instantly.

I am so obsessed with this photo!  Mom's smile says it all.  Can you believe that just minutes after giving birth mom exclaimed "I would do it a billion times".  That my friends, is the power of natural childbirth.  The endorphin high.  The rush of oxytocin.  The moment that doesn't just make it all feel worth it, but makes it feel like nothing else could ever compare.

Welcome baby girl, Margot!
Born on the first day of Spring
Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 at 7:50 am
16 days AFTER her due date
Weighing in at an impressive 10 pounds 6 ounces

I'll spare you the photo, but this "little" girl had the biggest placenta I have ever seen!  
She is so loved by her parents, and took to nursing within minutes.