Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring Into Action

My latest client may be the most patient person I've ever met.  Approaching 42 weeks, she tried every natural method to jump-start labor, but never complained when none of them worked.  She was somewhat disappointed when the time came to transfer to the hospital for a medical induction, but she kept her chin and spirits up.  She checked in on Monday morning at 7:00 am, 15 days after her official "due date".  Pitocin was started around 9:00, and we kept in touch over text throughout the day.  Every time I heard from her she said things were easy, which isn't what you want in labor because things have to get hard to get babies here!  After upping the pitocin all day, she and her midwife decided to break the bag of waters at 7:00 pm to see if that would kick things up a notch.  

Things changed almost immediately and by 9:00 pm I was on my way to the hospital to provide labor support.  When I arrived I found mom and dad walking and swaying, and listening to Michael Jackson.  Their playlist was awesome and we enjoyed listening to some great tunes while labor continued to pick up.  Mom was all smiles when I arrived, but I could see that things were steadily intensifying.

Before things got too intense, I encouraged mom to read through my birth affirmations cards and choose a few to focus on throughout her labor.  Dad provided counter pressure on her back and hips.

By midnight things were really going and mom was totally in the zone.  She got in the tub at 1:00 am and was really happy to be in the water.  I reminded her of her breathing techniques, but overall she was totally in the zone and required very little outside support from any of us.  

The nurse checked her cervix at 3:10 am and she was dilated 8 cm and baby was at +1!  Awesome progress!  The urge to push came as she was sitting on the toilet, so the nurse quickly alerted the midwife.  We all felt like baby was coming fast!  (We were wrong, ha!)

Mom rested in bed and we realized that it was now the first day of spring.  Mom really liked the idea of her baby coming on the first day of spring, and dad cracked a joke about labor lasting another day.  She flipped him off and it was hilarious.  All jokes aside, these two were an amazing team.

At 4:15 mom was pushing and baby was at +3 station.  She started out in a hands-and-knees position, and then went to side lying.  We changed positions often to help encourage the baby to descend.  It took a while to figure out pushing (as it often does, especially for first time moms), but the biggest obstacle was how infrequently her contractions were coming.  There was usually a 5-6 minute wait in between contractions.  Mom would sleep in between, but it made it hard to make much progress.  At 5:15 the midwife decided to start turning up the pitocin again.  (It had been turned down a couple hours earlier since mom was progressing so well.)

At 6:40 we got out the squat bar and tied a sheet around it so mom could do a "tug-of-war" with it.  This helps focus the energy of the push.  It worked and after a few pushes we could start to see some crowning during the push.  But progress was still slow and at 7:15 the midwife said she might perform and episiotomy if things didn't start to progress quicker.  I don't know if that's what made the difference or not, but after that conversation we finally saw the progress we had been waiting hours for!

Pushing is an interesting thing because unlike other techniques like relaxation and imagery, you can't really practice it beforehand.  Also, some women won't really need to push at all, while others will push with all their might for hours.  This mama had to PUSH!

Once the head was out, the rest of the body slid out very quickly and baby started crying instantly.

I am so obsessed with this photo!  Mom's smile says it all.  Can you believe that just minutes after giving birth mom exclaimed "I would do it a billion times".  That my friends, is the power of natural childbirth.  The endorphin high.  The rush of oxytocin.  The moment that doesn't just make it all feel worth it, but makes it feel like nothing else could ever compare.

Welcome baby girl, Margot!
Born on the first day of Spring
Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 at 7:50 am
16 days AFTER her due date
Weighing in at an impressive 10 pounds 6 ounces

I'll spare you the photo, but this "little" girl had the biggest placenta I have ever seen!  
She is so loved by her parents, and took to nursing within minutes.

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