Friday, March 3, 2017

9 Pounds of Vernix

 I received a text from my latest client yesterday around 5:30 pm.  She was feeling lots of pressure and was having sporadic contractions.  Being a few days past her due date, I figured it was show time.  I checked in with her again shortly before bed, but things were still pretty mild.  I checked my phone all night, but didn't hear anything until 7:30 am when her husband checked in with me.  Mom was in a great active labor pattern, and we decided to meet at the birth center at 9:00 am.

I jumped out of bed, opened presents with my son because today is also his birthday, and headed downtown!  I walked in to find mom leaning on her husband during contractions and slowly swaying.  (A great way to cope through contractions!)  After that contraction, she crawled into bed for the midwife to examine her.  She was already 8 centimeters and 90% effaced!  I knew things were about to get really intense, so we worked to find a comfortable position, focus, and prepare for the coming contractions.

By 9:20 mom was in the tub.  It brought some welcome relief from the intense pressure.  I knew we weren't far away as mom struggled with emotions and a few fears.  She said she couldn't do it, and that always means she is about to!

At 9:55 mom began to grunt during her contractions, and just as I was about to find a midwife, she walked right in.  :) 

At 10:07 mom told us her water had broken.

At 10:21 mom said "It's coming!"

 At 10:24 dad watched closely as the head started to crown...

And at 10:25 her baby was born! 

It's a boy!  A big boy, covered in vernix. :)  We all marveled at the awesome amount of vernix.  

Welcome Romney!
Born Friday, March 3rd, 2017
10:25 am
9 pounds
20.5 inches

Meeting his son while mom got in bed.

After a few attempts, this big boy nestled in for his first meal and nursed great!  A very different experience than her first birth.  Both parents kept mentioning how much better it was this time around.  I love when a family can have an amazing birth like this!

Monday, February 6, 2017


 I received a call late Saturday evening from my client saying her water broke... in the middle of a fancy restaurant.  Every woman's fear, lol!  Turns out, you can live through the humiliation.  :)  Having the water break before labor begins can be stressful.  Sometimes contractions will start right away, but often, labor takes it's time to start.  And moms find themselves in this weird state of almost being in labor.  We kept in touch over the phone, and mom was contracting all night, but nothing regular.  Just enough to ruin her sleep unfortunately.  

Sunday brought fatigue and discouragement as contractions still hadn't settled into an active labor pattern.  After taking an ambien for an afternoon nap, my client and her midwife decided to try some cytotec around 7:30 pm to get things going.  It worked quickly and I joined them at 8:30 pm.  I arrived to find mom listening to her labor music and leaning over the bed while her husband rubbed her back with a heating pad.  They were doing awesome! 

Contractions were definitely intense and her labor pattern was awesome.  We worked on welcoming the new intensity and remaining focused on our breath.  And at 9:50 mom was already 8 centimeters!  Exciting news!  At 10:30 mom decided to try the tub for some extra pain relief, and by 11:00 she was already starting to feel some pressure and grunt through her contractions. 

We tried lots of positions to encourage baby to descend.  

It's common for first time moms to have to work hard to get their first baby through the pelvis, and this woman was no exception.  She was a trooper, and tried every suggestion from myself and the midwife.  Progress was happening, but it was happening slowly.

 Shortly before midnight mom decided to try some nitrous to help her relax.  She asked for her pushing song and found her inner strength.  It was amazing to see how this song helped her find her power!  We kept the song on repeat until her baby was born, and I think I found my new favorite pushing song!  (Sia, Unstoppable.) She tried the birth stool, squatting, hands and knees, you name it.  

Most women don't go into their births hoping to deliver on their backs, but when no other position works, flat-on-your-back usually does. 

And at 2:25 am, Raven Dawn was finally born!

Raven Dawn
Born Monday, February 6th, 2017
2:25 am
8 pounds 3 ounces

This mama truly was unstoppable!  Her strength was amazing to witness.

By 3:40, Raven was nursing like a champ.  I snuck away as my clients enjoyed their new baby and as "Sweet Child of Mine" played in the background.   

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Поздравляем с прибавлением!

If you're confused about the title of this blog, it's because you don't speak Russian.  :)  But my latest client does, and listening to her speak Russian to her new baby this afternoon totally melted my heart! It all started last night around 9 pm when her induction began with some cytotec.  Hitting her 40 week mark and having some concerns with her blood, she jointly decided with her obstetrician to be induced.

I went to bed early just in case she needed support during the night.  Her husband called me around 3:45 to check in and let me know they were about to start pitocin.  Mom was somewhere between 1 and 2 centimeters.  After an hour of pitocin, they were ready for support.  I arrived at 5:30 am and found mom laboring on her hands and knees.  She was very relaxed, the room was dark, and everything was going well.

I wasn't there long before the intensity started to really pick up.  Mom was checked again at 6:45 am and was already 6 cm!  Amazing progress for a first time mom having an induction!  Along with the intensity came some vomiting (because labor isn't hard enough!).  Her back was hurting so I got out the ice roller.  (Just a plastic rolling pin filled with ice water.  It feels amazing when mom's back hurts.)

Mom started having some bloody show around 8:30.  A normal sign of progress, but since mom had some worries about bleeding, the pitocin was turned off for a short period of time.  Her contractions slowed down a bit and she was able to rest a little more in between.  But then she was frustrated to only progress to 7 cm.  But once the pitocin was turned back on, the labor picked up again.  Shortly after 9:00 am, mom asked for the nitrous.  She labored well for several hours, changing positions and stretching her back.  Her labor pattern was indicative of baby being posterior, so we did our best to encourage rotation.  She continued to throw up, but was so amazing and focused in spite of it all.

Mom was checked at noon and was 8 cm.  Not what she wanted to hear, but we could all tell she was almost there.  By 12:20 she was starting to feel pressure, and by 12:35 she was 9 1/2 cm with a low baby.  The doctor arrived at 12:45 and pushing began shortly there after. 

After some difficulties with shoulder dystocia, this little girl slipped into the world at 1:22 pm.

Welcome Anna Bella
Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

The cord was too short to get baby very high up on her mom, but skin to skin and delayed cord clamping were both facilitated on mom's tummy instead of her chest.  (So awesome to see this in the hospital!)

Such a pretty baby girl!  Her skin was so beautiful and her apgars were nearly perfect at 8 and 9.  

First family picture!

Even dad got a few minutes to snuggle.  :)

This might be the smoothest induction I've ever attended.  An amazing birth and a wonderful family!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Chicken Nugget

After weeks of nonstop contractions, multiple trips to the hospital to stop them, and the joys of having a very low baby, it was finally time to have a baby!  My client was checked at 10:00 am this morning and was 4 cm.  The midwife swept her membranes and told her to come back in a couple hours, so she and her husband took a drive around town.

We all gathered at the birth center at noon, and mom was now 6 cm!  She decided to have the midwife break her water at 12:10.  Baby was already at plus 2 station (had actually been there for a few weeks!) and she was 90% effaced.  We chatted for a few minutes, but it didn't take long for the contractions to become intense.  We turned on Simon and Garfunkel, and worked on breathing and focusing. 

We decorated the room with some birth affirmations cards.  They were so pretty and inspiring!

At 1:15 mom got in the tub and said "Woah, it really does help!"  She also kept asking if she was in transition.  :)  She was.  

Dad offered support by rubbing mom's back.  This was her third child, but his first, and he was very excited/anxious/nervous, as most dads are the first time around!

Around 1:50 mom started to feel the urge to push.  She said she couldn't do it, which always means she is about to do it!

She was very controlled and instinctual.  She might not believe me, but she was!

At 2:o1, this little "nugget" (as they referred to him during her pregnancy) slipped into the world.  Covered in vernix with the cutest cone head ever.  Dad helped catch, and baby started crying right away.

I love this photo!  Mom's face says it all.

Dad got some skin-to-skin bonding time while mom delivered the placenta.  

Robert Cash
Born Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
7 pounds 8 ounces
19 inches long

By 2:45, baby was nursing and everyone was tucked in bed.  

A beautiful, fast, and powerful birth!  His big brothers can't wait to meet him and celebrate Thanksgiving as a complete family. :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Perfectly Appointed Hour

While preparing for her upcoming birth, my latest client told me that she believed God had a perfectly appointed hour for her birth.  I just loved that!  And her faith in the process really helped her stay calm and positive as her due date came and went.  At 41 1/2 weeks, this mama was eager to hold her baby, but still relaxed and trusted in this process, which often requires much strength and patience.

Yesterday at her midwife appointment, she was 3 cm and 80% effaced, so they decided to try and kick start labor with the help of a foley catheter.  By early evening she was having mild contractions, but they were far apart and not causing too much discomfort.  By 11:00 pm they were starting to get intense, and around 12:20 her water broke.  I arrived shortly after and found my client laboring beautifully with the support of her husband and mom.  

 Her contractions were more intense than I expected them to be for a first time mom just a few hours into her labor, and by 2:00 am we were all driving down to the birth center.

Mom found some relief in the tub, but still had some hip pain.  She was so instinctual and naturally tried different positions.  I offered counter pressure and cool cloths. She was on the verge of having the urge to push, but it wasn't quite there yet.  At 2:45 am mom stated, "We're going to be here forever!".  It really made me chuckle since we had just arrived.  She went on to say hilarious things as the night went on.  :)

At 3:15, the midwife listened to the baby's heart beat and said "Baby is happy!".  My client responded with "Well his mama isn't."  :) Over the next hour she also said "Why doesn't he have a small head?!" and "I want it out!"

After a couple hours of almost pushing, the midwife decided to do an exam to see what was going on, and discovered that mom had a cervical lip that the baby was struggling to move past.  For the next couple hours, that darn lip would disappear and reappear frequently.   (It's amazing how strong one small section of cervix can be!)

But this mom was stronger than her cervix, and was willing to try anything to help her baby descend.  We tried several positions in the bed, and I love the picture above, where mom is using dad's foot as a modified stirrup.  They were such a great team the entire time!

We moved into the Birth Suite and tried dangling in the hanging rebozo.  Very physically demanding, but definitely helped baby descend.  By 5:00 am mom was tired and hungry!  We returned to the bed for a new position and some apple slices and honey sticks to help her regain some energy.  At 5:15 she was able to feel her baby's head, and that was very encouraging!  But by 6:20, fatigue and discouragement were right around the corner.  She asked her husband to pray for her and to pray for the birth to finish quickly.  She continued to reach down and feel her baby's head.  It was a slow delivery, but it was encouraging to feel more and more of the baby's head with each contraction.

Their prayer was answered at 6:58 am, Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016.

They didn't know if they were having a boy or a girl, and dad was able to announce that it was a girl!  They were pretty surprised!

Welcome Baby Blythe!
7 pounds, 8.5 ounces
21 inches

Checking out the placenta.  :)  
(My 4 year old son is sitting on my lap as I type this, and he is begging to see a placenta in real life, lol!) 

This duo was exhausted, and spent some time just resting and bonding while the midwives took care of everything else.  There was a small amount of retained placenta which caused some bleeding for mom, but she was able to focus mainly on her baby.  She kept commenting on how smooth her baby's skin was and how good she smelled.  These moments of bonding are so important because they literally imprint the mother to the baby and the baby to the mother.  A little over an hour after birth, they enjoyed their first nursing session.

Such a strong woman, devoted husband, and loving family!   Congratulations!