Wanting a completely different experience than with her first 2 children (both born in the hospital), my latest client opted for a birth center this time around. Being almost a week past her due date, we've been checking in with each other often the last few days. I checked in with her in the early afternoon yesterday, and the poor thing was sick in bed with the flu. But as we texted throughout the day, I started to wonder if it was really the flu or if it was early labor. By early evening I was getting more convinced. Her contractions were coming about every 7 minutes and lasting about 40 seconds. A great early labor pattern, but she did say they were already really uncomfortable and she was worried about how much worse they would get.
Since I live quite a distance from her home, we decided to meet at the birth center. She arrived at 10:30 pm and said that her contractions had spaced out a little more during the drive, but that they were still painful. We quickly headed upstairs to the birth suite to figure out where we were. The midwife listened to the baby's heart rate, and was somewhat concerned because it was elevated.
Mom was checked at 11:05 pm and was 5 cm and 50% effaced. Contractions were intense, but still short, and the baby's heart rate was still elevated. Since mom hadn't been feeling well that day, she wasn't able to eat or drink much, so the midwife decided to do a bag of iv fluids. If mom was dehydrated, that could be the reason the baby's heart rate was so high. And if we couldn't get the heart rate lower, we'd have to transfer to the hospital.
After a few pokes, the iv was in place. In situations like these I usually see the iv really speed things up, or really slow things down! But by 12:30 am, mom's contractions were visibly more intense. I put on relaxing music and helped mom remember to release her tension on the exhale. As soon as her iv was out, she hopped in the tub, around 12:45 am. Dad hopped in, too!
The tub brought relief and mom was in the zone. She was tired and rested in between contractions. She had been chatting up until this point, but once she was in the tub, she really started to tune out the world. By 1:15 am her contractions were really close together, and by 1:35 she was needing to vocalize through each one. I reminded her to keep her voice low and relaxed, and I knew she sounded like a woman who was about to have a baby!
I even made it into a picture. The sweet midwife on call snapped this on her phone. :)
At 1:55 mom announced she was feeling a lot of pressure. Dad turned on some music they had wanted to listen to and told his wife how proud he was of her. He was beaming with anticipation, just like a child on Christmas Eve. He kept saying how he couldn't wait to the hold the baby, and he provided counter pressure on mom's back during each contraction.
At 2:05 the urge to push was very strong. Several minutes mom announced the head was out and dad was extremely thrilled to be holding the head in the water. And at 2:10 am, their baby was born.
Welcome Becks! Born Saturday, October 28th 2017 at 2:10 am.
(And at 2:15, they took their first family selfie.)
Dad had some much anticipated one-on-one time while mom got out of the tub. This might be the happiest dad I've ever seen!
By 2:50, mom and baby were both ready to start nursing, and by 3:15, he was latched perfectly. There was a rousing Halloween party nextdoor, but I'm pretty sure we had an even better night!