Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Postal Theme and Baby I

You know the postal theme right? " Neither snow, nor sleet, nor any other obstacle will prevent us from delivering theUnited States mail".  It was brought home to me the yesterday that this theme was for midwives long before the postal service was even a blip on a paper.  Midwives are tough cookies.

We got the call around 3a.m. that we have been waiting for. This Mama already has three children so we knew it would be pretty fast. She had previously delivered all the other babies in hospitals complete with all the bells and whistles; pitocin, IV's, epidurals.  This time though she really wanted to experience the birth at home and without all the bells and whistles.  She wasn't really in labor when we got the first call but was having other symptoms that would turn into labor.

I left the house at 3:45am. When I got outside I quickly realized that getting on the road would take some time. Just getting to the van took about five minutes of gently stepping on about three inches of ice. Did I ever tell you I hate ice? I am actually petrified. I have fallen on ice and with a previous broken hip  I was not anxious to do it all over again. The van was completely covered in a very thick coating of ice so I started the car and grabbed the scraper. I can tell you without a shadow of doubt your front passenger window will NOT crack easily. For the life of me I could not get any ice off that window.  What should have taken 35 minutes in travel time took over an hour. Thankfully there were not too many cars on the roads at 4 in the morning! Just to get in the house I felt like crawling since everything was coated in thick ice.

I was the first to arrive and Dad and Mom were finishing up the checklist we give.  They were rock stars. They had everything in bags and marked for easy access, which makes our job so much easier. I had no way to listen to babies heart tones since I don't have my own doppler yet. Courtney arrived shortly after me so we started the process of vitals.  Mama really wanted a water birth so we blew up the pool and waited.

After Wendy arrived we monitored the contractions and decided the three of us would go down the street and get some breakfast so Mama could have some time to get into her zone.  Unfortunately the ice was still thick and dangerous. I had to move the van since I had parked in someones spot but when I went to move it I got stuck. The wheels just spun and spun!  So, Wendy and Courtney got out of their cars and we rocked the thing back and forth with the two of them pusing with all their might to unstick the wheels.  We couldn't stop laughing. Leave it to me to get stuck on ice!

When we got back Mama had moved right along and so we got busy supporting her through labor. Since she had had hospital births without a doula she had no clue what kind of things we could do in support of the pain. I think she was quite pleased with the help she got. She got into the tub and immediately started feeling relief which is really why a water birth is so popular right now.  The contractions started coming closer together and within a just a couple of hours they were right on top of each other. By the time she really felt the urge to push she was within minutes of giving birth.

According to our charting, Mama pushed for a total of three minutes!  That was it and baby arrived.  She was pretty exhausted by that point but Wendy had her "catch" her own baby who immediately was put on her chest. Dad was so thrilled who had been a great labor coach the whole time. We put a warm baby blanket on so Dad said. "well, it's time to see if we have a boy or girl" so he lifted the blanket and discovered a boy baby.

 Her other three children who are all under 5 had been upstairs with Grandma and Aunt Theresa during the labor and delivery. She wanted the children to see the baby right after he was born, so they were brought down within 2 minutes of birth.  Later we found out the 4 year old had been sitting on her bed with her arms folded praying for her Mommy.  She was also the one who kissed her Mommy before labor had gotten intense and had told her Mommy "good luck" as she walked up the stairs.

The children all kissed Mommy and could see the baby and then they were taken back upstairs for the birth of the placenta. She did not want to get out of the tub and was afraid we would pull it out. I assured her we don't "pull" the placenta out and within 5 minutes she delivered it and all was well.  Mama felt a whole lot better.  We waited till the cord was done pulsing and Dad cut the cord after it was clamped and we got Mama and baby out of the tub.  That was the least messy birth I have been to. 

It was my turn to do the newborn assessment and Courtney helped me when I needed help. Baby boy turned out to be 8 pounds and 12 ounces. He was about 20 inches long and was perfectly healthy with all fingers and toes accounted for!  Baby took to breastfeeding like a champ and Mama and baby were happy and peaceful on the couch together when we left.  I felt like we needed an easy button to push! Mama did so well.

I have learned and was reminded again that a woman who is properly supported emotionally and physically can deliver her baby using the instincts God has given her. I feel blessed to be a part of a team that encourages women to take control of their own births and have little or no intervention in the birth of their babies.

Thankful?  You bet. I am so blessed, thank you Father.
In Christ Alone,

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


  1. I love reading these stories and think it's so great that you are becoming a midwife!!

  2. Thank you so much Laura. Love reading your blog