Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mr. Fox

I am wrapping up my year with another repeat client.  This has to be one of the sweetest couples I have ever met in my entire life.  They were such an awesome team during their first birth, and it was a true joy to watch them welcome their second child earlier today. 

This time around mom had gestational diabetes and opted for an induction at 40 weeks.  I never know what to expect with inductions as some can take a few hours, and others can easily take two or more days.  The state of the cervix really contributes to how well an induction goes, and this mom was already 4 cm this morning when she went in for her induction.  A great way to start!

Pitocin was started around 8:30 am, and since the baby was low and head was fully engaged, they opted to also break the water around 10:30 am.  We kept in touch over text throughout the day.  It sounds like dad was a great support, walking the halls and offering encouragement.  I arrived at 1:30 and found mom in the tub.  I could tell her contractions were intense, but she was coping amazingly well.  Breathing slowly and maintaining control, just like she did last time.  

Things continued to intensify with every contraction, and I really hoped she was progressing.  (It's so hard to know with an induction!)  At 2:20 mom was checked and was 10 cm!  The nurses quickly ran into action, preparing to catch this baby if necessary.  

Her doctor arrived just in time, and at 2:31 pm Fox slipped into his father's hands! 
I wish I could post the pictures, but they are too graphic.  :)  

I love this photo.  This mom was so overcome with emotion.

Seriously. So. Much. Love.

Fox weighed in at 9 pounds 4 ounces.  About half a pound lighter than his big brother.

This lady is as beautiful as she is strong.  It is rare to see a natural delivery with an induction, but it can be doable (especially with that favorable cervix).  I wish every induction could go this well!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Record Setter

My latest clients are always setting records.  With their first pregnancy, they hired me when they were just 8 weeks pregnant.  That's the earliest I've ever been hired!  Their second child was the heaviest baby I've ever seen be born, tipping the scale at almost exactly 10 pounds!  And their birth last night marks the first time I've supported someone 3 times!  

I received a call at 9:30 pm that contractions were getting consistent and they were heading to the hospital to get things checked out.  At 10:45 mom was checked and dilated to a good 4 cm, and was sent to walk the halls to see if she progressed.  If she did, she would be admitted.  I joined them around 11:00 pm and found them like this...

These two are such a great team, and I wasn't surprised at all to find them working together so well.  And don't worry, dad isn't texting!  He's holding up music for his wife to listen to.  :)

Shortly after midnight, mom was checked again and was dilated to 5 cm, so we moved into the labor room.  Can you believe Santa still had the energy to do some cleaning before heading back to the North Pole?!  So cute.  

I'm usually pretty good at guessing where my clients are in their labor progress, but this particular mom never acts like she is in active labor until right before she starts pushing.  So we chatted quite a bit in between contractions and enjoyed the night.  At 3:30 mom was checked again and dilated to an 8!  I could hardly believe it by how well she was coping.  Soon after that she asked for the ice roller on her back, so I knew from her past births that that meant things were getting intense and baby would soon arrive.  By 4:10 she was complete.

Mom pushed on her hands and knees, leaning on the birth ball on top of the bed.  The urge to push was mild until 4:28 when her water broke with a huge gush.  Instantly her pushing changed, and within 3 minutes she had delivered her baby.

Nathan Charles
Born Sunday Dec. 27th, 2015
4:31 am
9 pounds 5 ounces

Not quite as heavy as big sister was, but I think he still holds his own!

I love how I got almost this exact same shot after their first birth!  

So squishy and adorable!  

It has been such an honor to support this sweet family through the births of all 3 of their beautiful children.  I love what I do so much, and I love seeing Music Birth work for my clients.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hello, It's Me...

My client called me early Sunday evening to let me know her water had broken.  I excitedly packed my doula snacks and hit the sack early, expecting to be called into work sometime during the night.  Then came Monday morning, Tuesday morning, Wednesday morning, still no calls.

Back in the beginning of my career women were literally given 12-24 hours to give birth after their water had broken.  So if contractions didn't start right away, pitocin did.  Now some providers are allowing their clients up to 72 hours to be in active labor.  Research shows us that allowing the body to start labor on its own yields better results for moms and babies, but 72 hours can feel like a long time to wait, especially when you're leaking water!

But this mom didn't complain, and she continued to have faith in her body.  And it totally paid off with a quick and safe delivery!  I was called to join her around 11:30 and I made it out to her apartment around 12:30.  The snow was falling (which I love!) and Adele was serenading me on my drive, and I just knew it was going to be a great day.  

When I arrived contractions were about 6-7 minutes apart and lasting less than a minute.  I could tell mom was still in early labor, but about to cross the threshold into active labor.  Knowing this typically lasts hours in first time moms, her husband and mother-in-law set out to run a few last minute errands.  After a little while, mom began to worry because her baby wasn't moving much so she and I headed down to the birth center for a quick assessment.   

 No one likes driving while in labor, and I could tell that active labor was really starting to kick in.  We arrived at 2:30 and by 3:00 mom was already dilated to 7 cm!  I couldn't believe it!  Didn't active labor just start?!  We called dad and told him to head over ASAP!

Mom found relief in the tub, and by 3:30 dad had arrived and began providing awesome physical and emotional support. I could really see how much he loves his wife.

At 4:15 the urge to push started, but it wasn't full blown yet.  It steadily increased over time.  I was so impressed with how much control she had during pushing, especially during crowning!

Less than an hour later this little "Hazelnut" slipped into her mother's arms.

This is the tiniest babe I have ever seen.  But she makes up for it in cuteness!  

Hazel Belle
Born Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 5:11 pm
4 pounds 11.5 ounces
So tiny and adorable!

Shortly after the birth, mom compared her experience to a marathon. While you're doing it, you wonder why the heck you ever thought it was a good idea!  But when it's done, you feel so good!  

I can't imagine a better way to start celebrating the holidays!  Today was pure magic.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Words of Inspiration

"Heavenly Father cares about me, even at 2:30 in the morning."
Laboring mom

"Your uterus isn't stronger than you because it is you!"

"9 centimeters!  It's too good to be true!"
Laboring mom

"I'm not afraid anymore"
Laboring mom

"I love him so much already!"

Oct. 8th 8:11 pm
9 pounces 15 ounces!

"I'm so glad we did it this way."

"He's going to be a great dad, he's my best friend"

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Birth High

 My latest clients were expecting baby number 3.  During our prenatal appointment I asked them about their previous births.  To sum it up in one word: Loooong.  So when I was called to meet them around 10:00 pm I figured we would watch the sunrise together.

They beat me to the birth center, and I found mom laboring in the tub and dad rubbing her back during contractions.  I could tell right away they were going to be an amazing team.  I could also tell that this was NOT going to be a long birth.  The midwife informed me that mom was already 5 cm, 100% effaced, and that baby was fully engaged in the pelvis.  

As things intensified quickly, mom changed positions often, not really loving any of them.  :)  
She dealt with a bit of anxiety, and sought out reassurance from all of us there. 
The vote was unanimous that this mom was doing great!

I couldn't help but LOVE her tattoo stating "Life".  
How beautifully appropriate for tonight!

Around 12:40 am the urge to push hit.  Mom kept asking how much longer she needed to push.  If only I ever knew the answer to that question!

Dad and midwife both reached in the tub to help welcome this little girl.

Look at those adorable cheeks!  
I love seeing how calm water-birth babies are.

Welcome Vagda Sage
Born Sunday, Sept 27th at 1:12 am
Weighting 8 pounds 3 oz

Proud daddy.

I just LOVE when I see a woman so happy and vibrant after giving birth.  Many women refer to this as the after-birth high.  Mom's brain is full of endorphins and oxytocin, making her feel euphoric and instinctively maternal.  It's such an amazing thing to witness.  

We certainly didn't watch the sun come up together.  :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

After my all nighter from several nights ago, I've just been waiting for my next client to go in to labor (and hoping to get a little bit of sleep in between!).  I woke up Monday morning to a text saying my latest client's water had broken!  Very exciting news to receive, especially since this mom was approaching 41 weeks.  It can take a while for labor to start, even after the water has broken, so we just stayed in touch over text throughout the day.  

Labor took it's sweet time, as it often does with first time moms.  Fast forward to Tuesday evening, and my client was finally starting to feel some contractions.  I dropped by their home to see how they were doing and I found them working together so well!   Mom's sister and dogs were over for a quick visit, and beautiful music was playing.  Contractions were about 5 minutes apart when I arrived, but after a couple of hours, they were spacing out to about 14 minutes apart!  Not exactly the scenario we were hoping for, so we all decided to opt for some sleep.

I went home and went to bed, and was woken up around 2:00 am Wednesday morning.  Contractions were back and lasting a minute now.  YAY!  Real labor!  Mom and dad just needed a few ideas, and they were off into their world of labor support.  Mom had lots of essential oils prepared, and they gave her alot of comfort and energy.  

We got to the birth center around 5:00 am.  Mom was having some back pain, so we placed some heat on her lower back and used the rebozo (large scarf) to hold it in place.  It works so well!  

Around 7:30 am we moved mom to her hands and knees to help relieve back pain.  I was pretty convinced her baby was posterior.  No fun!  We quickly decided to move into the water to offer her the most relief.

The water instantly helped soothe her discomfort and helped mom relax.  Mom was cranking out contractions every 3 or 4 minutes, and she was coping extremely well.  Her husband offered great support the entire time, too.  Most of the time her biggest complaint was that she was hot or thirsty.  

Around 8:00 am discouragement kicked in.  Also normal.  What wasn't as normal was how this couple dealt with it.  It was such an honor to witness them reading scriptures together, praying aloud together, and listening to worship music.  (My favorite songs were the violin/piano arrangements of "Amazing Grace", "Oh My Father", "I Can Only Imagine", and "I Surrender All".  Will definitely be adding these to my playlists!)  

To me, birth has always been a sacred event that can bring a couple closer together and closer to God.  It was amazing to witness this couple incorporate their religious beliefs into their birth.  Just beautiful and heartwarming.  I am touched forever.  I hope they never forget how beautifully sacred their labor was.

The urge to push came off and on for several hours.  Not so normal.  Very indicative of baby not being in the right position yet.  This mom was so patient, and finally around 10:50 the real urge to pushed kicked in.

And at 12:04 pm, Wednesday August 12th, 
Jayden Zion was born!
Tipping the scale at 8 pounds 7 ounces

He pinked up so quickly and was so happy to be snuggled up with his mama!
But this mama still had some work to do.  Her uterus was tired and she needed some pitocin and some stitches.  (No fun!)

So dad was able to take over baby duty for a few minutes.  
Just look at how excited he is to be a father!

I know it felt like forever for this mama, but she finally was able to relax and feed her little one!  What an amazingly patient woman!  She had to wait over 50 hours after her water breaking to hold this little guy!