It took 14 years of working as a doula to finally get called to a birth on Christmas day! My client's water broke at 5:40 am Christmas morning, so much to my sons' excitement, I allowed them to wake up early and get our family festivities going! Around 10:00 am my client checked in with me because they was meconium (baby's first bowel movement) in the water, so she went to the birth center for some monitoring. Baby was doing great, so mom was sent home to rest and enjoy her day. We kept in touch over text, and her contractions were mild and infrequent for the majority of the day, giving her a chance to catch a final nap.
She asked me to meet her at the birth center at 8:15 pm. When she arrived she was feeling emotional, as many moms do once labor gets going. She was also sad to be leaving her firstborn for the first time over night. Her labor pattern was still somewhat sporadic, so I pulled out my affirmation cards so she could go over them and choose a few that stood out to her. We hung them on the bed frame so she could refer back to them as needed.
At 9:15 contractions started coming more frequently and they were more intense. Mom was resting in the bed in between contractions, and her husband provided back massage during. At 9:30 the midwife offered to check her cervix and see where we were. Mom was 5 cm, 50% effaced, and baby was a minus 2 station.
Mom was definitely in labor, but we had a ways to go. I suggested some positions to help baby descend and encourage more contractions.
These two were such a great team! Always fun to see a couple working together and sneaking in some laughs in between contractions.
By 11:00 pm things were much more intense, and at 11:45 she asked to get in the tub. She began vocalizing and changing positions frequently and instinctively.
At midnight mom was struggling and wanted some help with visualizations. We discussed a few options, and to be honest, I don't know what she landed on, but she was able to find her focus and continue coping. Her vocalizations became much louder around 12:30, and her husband hummed in between her contractions.
At 12:40 mom started telling us she was feeling nervous, which is totally understandable and common. I reminded her to trust her body, because it had known what to do all day. Mom was cold, (which isn't common!) so the midwife kept adding boiling water into the tub.
At 12:50 mom began vomiting, which really adds to the fun of labor. I always feel so bad when this happens! At 1:10 mom was struggling to get back into the zone and found herself feeling really emotional again. Her vocals were getting lower and stronger during her contractions, and I knew she would be pushing soon. Then at 1:35 something really cool happened. Mom started talking to her baby. Saying things like "I got you, and it's going to be ok." It was such a sweet thing to hear and witness. Mom (finally) became really hot so I started fanning her off, and dad continued to give physical support in the tub.
And suddenly her baby was born! It was like her little chat with her baby magically made the baby appear!
Welcome Eliza Florence!
Born Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
At 1:41 am, 3 days before her due date
We all thought we might have a Christmas baby, but this sweet girl deserved a day all her own!