Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Forward and Backward

 Two and a half years ago I had the privilege of supporting this sweet family during the birth of their first child.  It was a long and difficult birth, and I was excited for her to experience the benefits of a second, shorter birth.  On Monday my client was 3 cm and about 60% effaced, and decided to have her membranes swept at her weekly appointment.  By Tuesday morning she was having contractions, but nothing very consistent or intense.  We kept in touch throughout the day, and contractions seemed to come and go.  As soon as it seemed like things were moving forward, they would take a step back again.

But at 7:00 pm she felt it was time to head down to the birth center and see where she was at.

I arrived at 7:30 and mom was being assessed by the midwife.  We were all thrilled to find that mom was already 7 cm at 7:45.  We chatted a bit, but things began to intensify quickly.  

By 8:30 pm mom was ready to get in the tub.  The water was really hot, but she enjoyed the relief.  She had some nerves and turned on some uplifting, Christian music.  I still remember them introducing me to the music of Lauren Daigle at their last birth!  The lyrics "with heart and with soul, I will always love you" filled the room.

As the evening progressed, labor continued to intensify and back off.  We filled the down time with pleasant conversation and our mutual love of all things Disney.  Mom moved her body and rolled her hips, and did many positions to encourage an open pelvis.  I provided counter pressure to help with back pain.

By 10:00 pm mom was vocalizing through her contractions and they were closer together.  But progress still didn't seem to be coming.  I reviewed some of the strategies we did during her previous birth, and we did some lunging and position changes in case this birth was going to be a little longer like the last one.

At 11:04 pm mom said she was starting to get the urge to push!  The midwife did an exam and felt that the bag of water was probably causing that feeling, and not the baby.  At 11:20 my client chose to have her water broken to try and speed things along.  The opposite happened.  Contractions spaced out and the urge to push was gone.  At this point mom was 9.5 cm with just a little bit of a cervical lip.  The midwife tried to push it out of the way, but it was too uncomfortable.  

At 11:40 baby started having some heart decels, so we got mom out of the tub and found some different positions to make baby happier.  

At 12:10 we moved mom to the birth stool to try to encourage descent and bring about the urge to push.  At 1:00 am, we got mom on the bed in hands and knees position, and I did some rebozo sifting.  Her husband leaned in close and said "Thank you for working so hard."

The midwife felt the baby to be a little crooked in the pelvis, so mom did several contractions on each side.  All the moving/rotating did the trick, and suddenly at 1:40 am, the urge to push became very strong and progress came very quickly.  The baby was at plus 2 station, and this time the midwife was able to push away that darn cervical lip that insisted on being present during both labors.  

The head came out smoothly and timely, but the body didn't follow.  One of the shoulders was stuck under mom's pubic bone.  Mom quickly moved from laying on her back, to hands and knees, then back to her back, then back to hands and knees.  I am not certain, but I believe she flipped positions a total of 6 times.  It was intense.  It was stressful.  The midwives worked quickly.

Finally the baby was born.  (I think at 1:56-1:57, I'm not certain.)  She was pretty shell shocked and required some assistance from the midwives.  They encouraged mom and dad to talk to their baby.  Mom looked me in the eyes and asked me if her baby was ok.  And to be honest, I really didn't know if she was or not.  All I could say was "the midwives are taking really good care of her".  

Finally, at 1:59, baby girl let out her first cry, and I think we all breathed an enormous sigh of relief as our eyes filled with tears.

She was quickly placed into her mother's arms.

Welcome Juniper!
Born Wednesday, Sept. 11th, 2019
Weighing 8 pounds 9 ounces

Mom and dad were hoping to not have a Sept. 11th baby, but then the midwife pointed out that her birthday is the same forward and backward.
I guess that won't be possible again for another hundred years or so! 

It wasn't the second birth I was hoping for, for this sweet mama who really had to work hard to get her first daughter here.  We did shave off about 12 hours, but this birth was definitely more difficult than we anticipated.  But this mama was so strong.  And those baby cheeks are so sweet!

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