Monday, May 30, 2016

Prodromal Predicament

On the morning of Saturday the 28th, I awoke to an early morning text saying my client had been awake since about 2:00 am with contractions.  We kept in touch during the day over text, and I decided to swing by their home later that afternoon.  Mom was coping well, but wasn't in active labor yet.  I gave her a bit of a pep talk, a little advice, and went home assuming I would see them later that evening.

The hours kept ticking by, but early labor never turned into active labor.  She was definitely experiencing a prodromal (or abnormally long) early labor.  No fun.  Early Sunday morning (3 am-ish) mom was exhausted and decided to head to the hospital to see if things were progressing.

She was dilated 1 cm.  60% effaced.  (Exactly what she was earlier in the week.)
So disappointing after over 24 hours of contractions! 
She accepted a sleep aid and headed home to try and rest.  But rest didn't come easy.  Her contractions were coming regularly (so there wasn't much time to rest in between), but they were only lasting about 20 seconds.  Not long enough to make cervical change, unfortunately.

Mom tried to rest and stay nourished as Sunday progressed.  And then around 8:40 pm, her water broke with a big gush, and it was on!  Contractions lengthened and settled into a nice, regular pattern.  We met at the hospital less than hour later.

Upon arrival, mom was checked and was now 4 cm and 90% effaced!  Goodbye prodromal labor, hello active labor!  Contractions were coming strongly and frequently, and to make matters worse, it took SIX attempts to get mom's iv in place.  

Mom was pretty sure she would like an epidural, but wanted to put it off as long as possible.  She tried the nitrous, but didn't like it.  So around midnight she received her epidural, and was now dilated to 5 cm.  Sleep didn't come as easy as she hoped, but she did have a few moments of rest here and there.  Not as much as we had hoped, though.

In the morning, grandma stopped by to offer love and encouragement.  :)
At 7:00 am, mom was checked and was 9 cm with her baby fully engaged in the pelvis.  Awesome news!  But mom wasn't feeling well.  The expected anxiety that most women experience shortly before pushing was present, as well as some nausea and exhaustion.  Dad was a great support.  I know I say it all the time, but it's such a joy to witness a man love and support a woman during her labor.  

Around 8:45 mom began experiencing some intense hip pain.  We tried everything to relieve it, but it became clear that there would be no relief until baby was out.  Baby was nice and low, and even though the urge to push wasn't quite there, mom began pushing around 10:00 am to see if things would progress.

After a couple hours of pushing, with little to no progress, the midwife offered mom a break.  She wasn't able to sleep, but just a few minutes of resting did the trick.  After some position changes and a whole lot of effort, baby girl Sloane slipped into the world at 1:38 pm.

I couldn't love this photo more!  I hadn't seen mom smile in hours, maybe days!  But the moment that baby was born, mom was beaming.  Could she be more beautiful?!  Showered with kisses and tears of joy from dad, it was a breathtaking moment.

Sloane loves her mommy so much!  She snuggled right in and hardly cried at all.  She was so content and alert.  She spent alot of time looking at her daddy, too.

Such a pretty baby.  

It took a while for Sloane to become interested in nursing, but once she did, she latched on beautifully.  It's such an exciting moment for a family to experience that first nursing session.  After days of feeling like this birth would never happen, this sweet couple now has their baby in their arms!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


My latest client wanted a do over.  After being induced with her first baby and suffering from a severe spinal headache (from her epidural), she wanted to experience a birth that wouldn't prevent her from being able to care for her newborn.  So this time around she opted for a home birth.  

At 41 1/2 weeks, it felt like labor would never begin!  After trying several things to get things started, and discovering she was dilated to 5 cm already, she decided to have her water broken at 5 pm yesterday.  Contractions began immediately, and I was called over within minutes.  

I found dad offering words of encouragement and counter pressure.  He was an awesome doula the entire time!  Mom labored instinctively.  Her labor progressed quickly, which can feel overwhelming, but she did great!  Emotions and contractions tend to grow in intensity together.

Her firstborn came in to offer some kisses, and I could see how much it meant to mom.  It helped her relax, and  once she had connected with her toddler she was able to surrender more to her labor.  It was a beautiful thing to witness.

Mom also had her puppies standing guard, and jumping into her arms to offer love and support.  They spent the rest of the birth on my lap!  Dogs always love the doula, lol!

Mom could tell things were getting close, and pushing only lasted a handful of minutes.
At 7:23 pm, Clementine slipped into her father's hands.

A perfect do-over!  
Congratulations to this sweet family!