Sunday, December 23, 2012

Baby "C"

Baby “C” was a week late.  This was a hospital birth that I would supply doula support.  When I first went into midwifery I was asked to become a doula as part of my training.  I learned so much during the initial training and the required reading list afterwards.  This would be my first “formal” doula job. I spent several hours with both mom and dad getting them ready for their first birth.

Mom wanted a natural birth and Dad wanted a planned C-section. My job was to help them navigate the wide gap between the two birth plans. Once a decision was made to have a doula help them work through the labor, we started working on strategies.  They had been working with a doctor that was pretty meanable to trying natural methods. However, the doctor gave her 7 days after the due date to deliver naturally or an induction would occur. Mama didn’t want an induction so she walked, and she walked and she walked some more!

The day arrived for the induction and time was running short. She was to arrive at the hospital that night at 9p.m. The sun came up that day and labor started on its own, thank you God!  I arrived at her home around 11a.m. and started to work with Mom. Dad arrived an hour later and we became a team. Our goal was to bring this precious baby into the world as natural as you can in a hospital setting.  The labor progressed in a typical fashion. First the contractions were 15 minutes a part and then 10 and down to 5 minutes apart. Contractions have to last a minute each to count as labor contractions.  Since this was my first hospital birth as a doula I wanted to be able to gauge how long to wait before going to the hospital.

Mom wanted to do most of the labor at home so we waited till she was having contractions 2 minutes apart.  We had a plan where we would continue to labor in the hospital waiting room till Mom was comfortable going in.  We stopped in the entry way during several contractions and helped her though them.  Several people passed us staring and I would just say Mom is fine, she is just in labor! One man said, “that doesn’t look like fun” Had to laugh  J

It wasn’t long before Mom was ready to go in. When we got to triage there were three nurses there. Mom was bending over the desk going through one contraction after another. I was doing the hip squeeze during each one. One of the nurses asked me, “Are you a midwife? Boy I wish I had had you when I was going through labor!”  It was decided, yes mom was in labor so we could go in.  We met the nurse who seemed to be not thrilled with a doula no matter how nice I was, bummer.

The three of us continued to work as a team to work through one contraction after another. In my training I  had learned the hip squeeze and the head squeeze. At one point mom said that those two things were an amazing help through the pain. I chuckled and said those two tricks only cost me $400 to learn! One contraction after another, one head squeeze and one hip squeeze with each contraction. Nothing else gave her the comfort she needed. When it was all over Dad said if he had to do one more head squeeze he was afraid he would pop his wife’s head off.  I realized through all those hours I would need a good message afterwards for me!

We started getting close. Mom was starting to feel pushy.  This time the two doctors came in and determined she was within a centimeter of delivering. The room got broken down to deliver while Mom started pushing.  At one point I asked the nurse if she could feel the baby’s head when it crowned and she informed me that she would have to ask permission of the doctor, really?  Lesson learned, I will never ask again permission for a mom to feel her own babies head coming out of the birth canal.  I have found that just as a mom thinks labor will never end, touching her baby’s head gives her the strength to push through. Sure enough mom was energized.

Dad who had said he would never watch the actual birth looked down and his face was priceless.  He kept saying, honey, this is AMAZING, look that is our baby! That was the coolest part for me. A dad got to experience the actual birth and was forever changed.  The actual birth only took a couple of pushes after the head crowned.  Out came out a perfect baby boy!  He weighed a little over 8 pounds.  Docs had been in favor of immediate skin to skin so that is what happened. Baby “C’ was looking at mama right away.  He did the breast crawl which is amazing. A baby at birth can actually crawl up his mamas’ belly and find her breast. Not only can the baby find the breast but can latch on without looking and without any help. It is an amazing thing to witness.

While Dad and Mama were bonding with their precious son I got to witness another wonder. Both docs were great.  There was a problem with the placenta. It would not deliver on its’ own. It had become bonded to the uterine wall and had to be pulled off the wall piece by piece. I had asked permission to watch and learn. I had shared that I was training to be a midwife and this would be a wonderful opportunity for me. The doctor explained how this happened in the first place and then shared what had to be done. After the placenta was taken out it was time to stitch.  Now my only other experience with stitching was with Baby “A” and that occurred on a bed with a flashlight. I have to admit it was simpler and quicker on a high bed with something sturdy underneath Mom. The doctor explained what muscled were being sutured and how it was done.

Too bad the nurse wasn’t as kind. She had made it clear with little jabs here and there she did not appreciate my methods. I was not prepared though for her stinging grade afterwards. I thanked her for the experience to work with her and wished her a good night.  I learned so much.  In spite of the poor review from her I was on cloud nine. I had helped a Mom and Dad birth the way they wanted.  Their thanks was enough for me. 

About an hour later the grandparents came in along with some close friends. I was just so overwhelmed with the events that I asked everyone to join me in prayer over the new baby. We all gathered around the bed and prayed over Baby “C’.  It was a fitting end to a wonderful day.  By this point it was after 1 am and little did I know that eight hours later I would be delivering a baby all on my own!  I went home with a song on my lips and prayer in my heart.

In Christ Alone,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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