Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patty's Day Baby!

When I first interviewed with this couple, they mentioned how fun it would be to have a St. Patrick's Day baby, and they got one!  (We'll see if green cupcakes are as fun as green beer....)  :)

Shortly before I went to bed on Saturday night, I received a text saying that mom was having mild contractions.  I woke up early Sunday morning to a text saying contractions had been going steady since 3:00 am, and by 10:00 am, mom was admitted to the hospital at 4 cm dilated and 95% effaced.

Knowing that first time moms often have long labors, I settled in for the long day, but was still optimistic that things would progress quickly.  They didn't.  I am totally blown away by how strong this couple, and their "Little" guy were!

This mom was not only in control-focused- and relaxed, but she was willing to try anything.  We walked the halls (in her super-cute labor robe), labored in the tub, and swayed on the birth ball.  The hours clicked away and her sense of humor and optimism stayed in tact almost as long as her bag of waters did!

At 5:00 pm mom was dilated to 6 cm.  Slow progress... but progress is progress!  We kept going with walking, swaying, squatting, listening to music, and massage.  Mom even mentioned that she felt like a queen as I rubbed her feed and her husband fed her ice chips.  At 7:30, her own mother stopped by to offer encouragement.  The feelings of love were so intense, that all of us teared up!  Giving birth sure brings out the emotions, and it was great to see the support this woman had in her life.

The hours continued, and at 11:00 pm, mom was still dilated to 6 cm.  News like this is incredibly frustrating and discouraging, especially once night time rolls around and exhaustion sets in.  This mom was visibly upset, as any woman would be.  But instead of giving up, she opted to allow the doctor to break her bag of waters, and we were all more determined than ever to get this baby out.

Mom's back began to hurt pretty intensely, and we all suspected that her baby was posterior (facing the wrong way in the pelvis).  This causes extra discomfort, and slows down labor (and for some reason, about 80% of my clients have had posterior babies in the last year!).  We added in the ice rolling pin for comfort, and mom started squatting and changing position often to encourage her baby to descend.  Dad offered physical support, encouragement, and always knew what to say.  They were an amazing team.

Finally, at 1:00 am we got news of progress; almost 8 cm dilated!  Mom was tired, but now had the encouraging news of progress.  She opted for nitreous oxide as a form of pain relief.  This is a new option at St. Lukes downtown, and this is the first time I have seen it be used.  It appears too good to be true, as the medical staff claimed it had zero risks and side effects.  But it worked!  Mom liked it because it was just enough to get her over the edge and make things manageable.  I liked it because it didn't affect the baby, and mom was still able to talk and change positions.  I can think of many women over the years who would have loved a pain management tool like this.  Women who desired to stay away from the well-known risks of epidurals, but also struggled with long labors.  I'll definitely be doing my homework on this new option.

 At 2:35 am mom was complete and ready to push.  Pushing can take a while with a first time mom, and this mom really found her inner strength.  Her endurance was amazing.  By now she had been up and laboring for 23 1/2 hours!

 At 4:45 am, "Little" Leprechaun Liam slipped in to the world, 
and almost broke the scale at a whopping 9 pounds, 15 ounces!  HELLO!

Dad was so proud, and I think he smiled for about an hour straight.  I just love to see dads like this.  (Partly because they remind me of my awesome husband, and partly because I can tell that they really understand the importance of family.)  These two love-birds sure are lucky to have found each other!

This birth had a great outcome, but it wasn't easy.  There were times that even I began to wonder if it would end in a vaginal birth.  I have seen many births with slow progress, and often they end in cesarean.  This birth was a great reminder to me to always trust a woman's ability to birth her child.  It was long.  It was hard.  But it was doable.  Women are capable and babies are resilient.