I heard from my latest client early Friday evening, saying she was having mild contractions with a weird pattern. Since she was past her due date, I hoped it was early labor! We arrived at the birth center Saturday morning around 7:00 am and her contractions were coming every 4 minutes. I assumed she was well into active labor.
Mom settled into her birthing space and picked out some birth affirmations to focus on throughout the day. Her contractions were intense, but she was focusing through them and staying relaxed.
Her own mom came to offer support, as well as gum and food. :) She brought a really positive and caring presence with her, and it was a joy to see how much this mother-daughter duo loves each other.
After walking around and changing positions all morning, mom got into the tub shortly before 9:00 am.
She listened to relaxing music and did a great job of breathing during her contractions and resting in between.
Contractions began to really space out, so we encouraged mom to get some rest. But after her nap, contractions were further apart and milder. She debated going home, but didn't feel comfortable leaving. So she remained at the birth center and rested as much as possible.
The midwife checked her cervix at 1:30 pm, and we were happy to hear that she was 6 cm dilated and 80% effaced!
In an attempt to get things going again, we went for a walk at 2:00. It was such a beautiful day outside!
We spent some time visiting and snacking. It was a really nice afternoon together! This was my first birth at the Boise River Birth Center, and I loved the facility. It really felt like we were hanging out at someone's house. So very comfortable.
Mom was still having contractions about every 8-10 minutes, so she did some lunging on the stairs to help her baby rotate into a better position. He was posterior for most of the afternoon, so dad and I offered a lot of counter pressure on mom's low back!
Mom got back in the tub at 4:00 pm. She liked it, but her baby didn't. Her baby's heart rate was too high, so we spent the next hour hydrating mom and monitoring baby. Baby stabilized quickly, but mom was struggling emotionally. Along with worrying about her baby, she was starting to doubt herself. This is so common, and is an obstacle that most birthing women have to overcome at some point during their labor. Labor can be difficult and intimidating, and women need to be reminded that they are strong and capable!
Mom decided to use some nitrous to help her relax. The midwife checked her cervix again and she was 7-8 cm. Baby still had some rotating to do, too.
At 6:20 mom's water broke, and we all hoped it would be the needed catalyst to bring mom's contractions closer together. It originally seemed like it would be, but after about 45 minutes, contractions were spacing out again. At 8:45 mom was still about 7-8 cm, but her baby had fully rotated into the desired position for delivery. So it was good news, but progress was still coming pretty slowly for this tired mama.
At 9:10 pm, mom got back into the tub and received lots of encouragement from her husband, mom, myself, and the midwives. We were all rooting for her and knew she could do it! We combined all the comfort measures! The tub, the nitrous, deep breathing, music, imagery, and prayer.
After about 30 minutes of non-stop nitrous, mom was feeling pretty good! She told us she was high as a kite, and she kept bursting out in laughter. It was hilarious, and it was nice to see her smile again! Her attitude shifted and she began telling us that she could do it and that she was going to be ok. Yes!
At 11:30 pm a noticeable change came over mom and I could tell we were getting close. She instinctively started moving into positions that opened her pelvis more and she began moaning through her contractions. By 11:50, she could reach in and feel her baby's head, and by midnight she was full on pushing!
And then this happened....
(Photos are too graphic to share on the blog, but let me just say that watching this mama deliver her baby with her own hands was so beautiful and amazing!)
Water birth babies transition a little slower, and I loved watching this baby slowly transition in his mother's chest.
Born Sunday, September 2nd at 12:23 am
6 days after his due date
Tipping the scale at 9 pounds!
Tipping the scale at 9 pounds!
This dad was a total dude-la. Very attentive and supportive!
Baby was nursing by 1:10 am, and these parents were ready for some snuggles!