I received a call around 1:30 pm on Friday, April 17th, alerting me that my client's water had broken! She was excited and eager, but not in labor. At all. In the past when this has happened to my clients, they have obediently gone to the hospital shortly after, and been given pitocin if they hadn't gone into labor within several hours of the water breaking. This puts alot of pressure on birthing moms, and almost all of my clients in this situation received pitocin. This hospital policy sends out a message that labor should begin the second the membranes rupture, and that if it doesn't, they certainly are incapable of going in to labor and having a natural birth.
However, as long as both mom and baby are doing well, there is no need to administer pitocin or rush the naturally occurring progression and initiation of labor. My latest clients chose out of hospital birth, and were able to continue on with their lives (as normally as possible) until labor kicked in all on its own. I woke up in a panic on Saturday morning, assuming that I had certainly slept through the call to join them! But no, mom was still not contracting regularly, and enjoyed a decent night's sleep herself. As the day went on though, it was clear to see that labor was starting and progressing. After lots of texting, I was asked to join this cute couple around 7:45 pm, Saturday evening.
Mom's contractions were coming about every 2 1/2 minutes! She was focused and relaxed, but I could tell that we would not be spending much time at home. By 8:45 we were heading to Boise Women's Health and Birth Center.
Coping with a contraction on her way to the car.
Leaving the house for the last time pregnant!
At 9:15 pm, mom was dilated to almost 6 cm and was 90% effaced. We were on the downhill slide, and everyone kept wondering if this baby would arrive before midnight, making her arrive on her due date, or after midnight, making her arrive on her grandma's birthday. I knew it would be a close call either way. Mom's contractions continued to become more intense, and she spent most of her time laboring in the tub, except for a short break to lay down in the bed.
Transition and its usual nerves arrived around 10:45 pm. Most moms begin to doubt themselves as the final intensity of labor approaches. I know this is a good emotional marker of progress, and I knew this mom was about to prove herself wrong, and have an amazing delivery. She opted for some nitrous oxide, and it was just what she needed to help her with her final few contractions, as well as help keep nerves at bay.
She started to feel minor urges to push around 11:30 pm, and was full-on pushing by 11:45. Midnight crept closer and closer, and we were all anxiously waiting to see which day this little one would be born. This little girl was playing a game of peek-a-boo with us, and kept sliding back into the birth canal. Something her mother was not a fan of! :) Turns out, her little arm was up next to her face, adding an additional challenge to pushing.
But at 12:14 am, April 19th, this little beauty, Nora, slipped into the world.
She turned pink right away, and just stared at her beautiful mother. She was SO calm, and one of the prettiest newborns I have ever seen.
Meeting daddy and Auntie Echo.
The calmest newborn. Ever. I hope she stays that way!
I walked over to assist mom and baby with their first feed, and Nora knew exactly what to do. I was totally not needed, which is one of the best things for a doula to experience. I love being able to watch birth unfold the way it was designed to.