While preparing for her upcoming birth, my latest client told me that she believed God had a perfectly appointed hour for her birth. I just loved that! And her faith in the process really helped her stay calm and positive as her due date came and went. At 41 1/2 weeks, this mama was eager to hold her baby, but still relaxed and trusted in this process, which often requires much strength and patience.
Yesterday at her midwife appointment, she was 3 cm and 80% effaced, so they decided to try and kick start labor with the help of a foley catheter. By early evening she was having mild contractions, but they were far apart and not causing too much discomfort. By 11:00 pm they were starting to get intense, and around 12:20 her water broke. I arrived shortly after and found my client laboring beautifully with the support of her husband and mom.
Her contractions were more intense than I expected them to be for a
first time mom just a few hours into her labor, and by 2:00 am we were
all driving down to the birth center.
Mom found some relief in the tub, but still had some hip pain. She was so instinctual and naturally tried different positions. I offered counter pressure and cool cloths. She was on the verge of having the urge to push, but it wasn't quite there yet. At 2:45 am mom stated, "We're going to be here forever!". It really made me chuckle since we had just arrived. She went on to say hilarious things as the night went on. :)
At 3:15, the midwife listened to the baby's heart beat and said "Baby is happy!". My client responded with "Well his mama isn't." :) Over the next hour she also said "Why doesn't he have a small head?!" and "I want it out!"
After a couple hours of almost pushing, the midwife decided to do an exam to see what was going on, and discovered that mom had a cervical lip that the baby was struggling to move past. For the next couple hours, that darn lip would disappear and reappear frequently. (It's amazing how strong one small section of cervix can be!)
But this mom was stronger than her cervix, and was willing to try anything to help her baby descend. We tried several positions in the bed, and I love the picture above, where mom is using dad's foot as a modified stirrup. They were such a great team the entire time!
We moved into the Birth Suite and tried dangling in the hanging rebozo. Very physically demanding, but definitely helped baby descend. By 5:00 am mom was tired and hungry! We returned to the bed for a new position and some apple slices and honey sticks to help her regain some energy. At 5:15 she was able to feel her baby's head, and that was very encouraging! But by 6:20, fatigue and discouragement were right around the corner. She asked her husband to pray for her and to pray for the birth to finish quickly. She continued to reach down and feel her baby's head. It was a slow delivery, but it was encouraging to feel more and more of the baby's head with each contraction.
Their prayer was answered at 6:58 am, Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016.
They didn't know if they were having a boy or a girl, and dad was able to announce that it was a girl! They were pretty surprised!
Welcome Baby Blythe!
7 pounds, 8.5 ounces
Checking out the placenta. :)
(My 4 year old son is sitting on my lap as I type this, and he is begging to see a placenta in real life, lol!)
This duo was exhausted, and spent some time just resting and bonding while the midwives took care of everything else. There was a small amount of retained placenta which caused some bleeding for mom, but she was able to focus mainly on her baby. She kept commenting on how smooth her baby's skin was and how good she smelled. These moments of bonding are so important because they literally imprint the mother to the baby and the baby to the mother. A little over an hour after birth, they enjoyed their first nursing session.
Such a strong woman, devoted husband, and loving family! Congratulations!