Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Call to Die

 I will be starting a new series called A Call To Die by David Nasser.  It is an excellent book that was loaned to me by a dear sister in Christ.  Her son Monte is finishing up a one year tour of Afghanistan and he took the book with him and read it during his time in combat.

This book is a 40 day journey from the world and feasting on God.  I was fascinated with the subtitle and couldn't wait to get my turn to read it.  It can be purchased on Amazon and I would highly recommend it.

I will be reading through the book and blogging about what I am learning.  I have one more birth story to write and then we have a several week break from catching babies. I want to use the time wisely. So, even if you cant purchase the book, please come join me on a journey of fasting from the world and all that it means.

In Christ Alone,

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

Monday, February 18, 2013

An Incredible Family Affair Baby K

 I am so glad I finished baby J yesterday because this morning at 3 am I got called out for baby L! Before we get to baby L I have to tell you the amazing story of Baby K.  I will never forget this birth, because it was such a family affair.

Let me introduce you to baby K's family.  She was welcomed into this world by one brother, four sisters, Mama, Daddy and two sets of grandparents.  Mama K is a doula herself and was actually training with Wendy (my boss) before two babies ago so there is a long history with this Mama.

This Mama is a gal after my own heart. She and her husband chose to have a large family. They love the LORD and are also homeschooling their children, who are a delight.  They are also a very funny family, Mama especially. She is very expressive in her communication. They are an Italian and hispanic family so the words are flying all over the place whether in English or Spanish.

At their last birth their oldest daughter was 9. She wanted to deliver her little sister so that is exactly what she did.  Now she is 11 and her next younger sister is now 9 years old and wanted to deliver this baby.  So I knew going in that I would never get my hands on this newest baby!

This family had never experienced a water birth so this time they were determined to have one. We got the call very early morning last week. I was there first and came in to Mama in full labor. The birth pool had been blown up but the birth company had sent the wrong liner.  In the meantime Mama was laboring on the side of the bed.  At this point all the children were sound asleep in their beds. I started on head compressions while the dad did hip compressions.  I now have my own birth kit so I was able to check the baby's heart tones which were perfect.

Courtney and Wendy arrived pretty quickly after I did so we now had a liner that fit the birth tub so off I went to get the work done while Courtney and Wendy attended to Mama.  At each birth we set up a tray that follows Mama wherever she goe. On it we have sterile gloves, gauze pads, a delee for emergency suction, a regular bulb syringe, a cord clamp and scissors.  We also set up a heating pad with baby blankets wrapped up so when the baby arrives we have warm blankets for her.

Mama was certain she was not in full labor and that it would take hours and hours. I think she was afraid to get her hopes up.  Eventually Wendy checked her and sure enough she was fully dilated. Her family had joked with her that she loved to just labor in the bathroom sitting on the toilet and it was hard to convince her to get up.  What I have learned is that sitting there opens up the pelvis really well and contractions come fast and furious.

At one point sitting there she felt the urge to push so we tried to help her off the toilet to walk into the bedroom.  After one step she thought she wouldn't make it any further so we supported her arms as she squatted down. We put down a blue pad and I got out of the way.  She decided she didn't really want to deliver on the bathroom floor so with the next contraction she was helped onto the bed.  Dad really wanted a water birth so he convinced her to get into the warm tub which was on the other side of the room.  Once in the water she became totally relaxed for a few minutes.

That is when all five children woke up.  First the sister that was going to deliver ran and got her swimsuit on since she was going to deliver in the water.  She is sitting on the side of the pool just watching her Mama.  Then, one by one the other children all got on their swimsuits. Do you know how hard it is to convince a bunch of little munchkins that not everyone should get in the tub?  It was pretty funny watching all of the children.

The family had hired a professional birth photographer and she had amazing shots to work with.  Mama had moved into several different positions trying to get comfortable. When she settled on sitting with her back to the wall of the tub the baby catching sister got in and sat right in front of her.  The smile on her face was just precious.  The daughter that caught the last baby is now 11 so she volunteered to do a video of the birth since she had already had her turn at catching. She captured all the adorable antics of her siblings on video.

Courtney had in her birth bag 300 little red flower petals that she was going to take to her day job since it was Valentines day. When she remembered them I went and grabbed the package and gave a handful to each of the children to throw into the water.  They were going to have a Valentine baby!  In just  a couple of pushes out came this beautiful baby girl, to the loving arms of her big sister! Sister put the baby right on Mama's chest.  It all happened so fast that it took a moment for the entire room to realize what had just happened.  After Mama held her for a few minutes she floated the baby in the tub for all to see.  It was a beautiful sight.

Now to the rest of the story. What came next is beyond my comprehension.  Most women decide they would prefer to not deliver the placenta in the birth tub so when she was ready to get out, about 15 minutes later she got up on the bed.  Courtney was going to deliver the placenta but littles sister who still had on her swim suit wanted to deliver it herself.  Mind you, she is barely 3 years old. This little princess didn't balk, she knew just what she wanted to do. So, Wendy helped guide her little hands and sure enough she brought out that placenta. The look on her face was priceless.  Where did she learn such a thing since she was the last baby to be born?  She was as cool as a cucumber.

Since all of these children are schooled at home I asked who wanted to have a science lesson.  They all raised their hands and followed me into the bathroom with the placenta.  I had them all put on gloves and showed them the things we looked for. We check the cord to make sure there are three vessels in it and why. We check to make sure the whole placenta is there so we make sure it comes back together like a puzzle.  We check the bag which actually has two linings but you normally only see the one. Each one held the cord and felt how it is very thick and rubbery and then they picked up the placenta and turned it over.  They all stood there fascinated with the process.

Lesson time finally came to an end and it was time to do the clean up. Mama and baby had gotten into their regular tub for a nice warm herbal bath to get cleaned up while we took down the birth tub and got the room back in order.  Clean sheets were put on and ready for Mama and baby to crawl under the covers and get some sleep.

I was not brought up like this family at all.  I never, ever saw an adult go to the bathroom.  In my world everything was private and a secret.  In this family the children are tastefully taught about the miracle of birth.  Having a baby in the water is my favorite. Mama's belly actually covers up the perineum so later she had to explain to the littles ones where the baby actually came from.  It was all beautiful.  These children had witnessed the miracle of birth and I stood back in awe.  At one point the only brother in the crew sat on the bed next to Mama and said, Mama, I just want to cry, I love my little sister so much.

I am blessed to witness this thing called birth. This experience and the mistakes I have made in my training humble me. I want to do a better job and be constantly filled with the graciousness of God. I praise Him for this path He is allowing me to travel on.

For that I am truly grateful.

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

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Baby J Has Arrived! Finally

Baby J has arrived! Her bedroom is decorated like a magazine spread. Her Momma and Daddy were ready for their lives to be changed This will be the most loved on baby in forever.  They could hardly wait to hold their firstborn daughter. Mama had done her research and adamant wanting a home birth. She is a doctor and understood the safety of delivering at home. 

It has been my experience that every mom that comes into our practice has done her research. She tends to be in excellent health and eating a healthy diet. She knows her own body and is conscious of what she puts in it.

Mama was only about a week late but to her it seemed like an eternity! She could hardly wait to welcome her precious baby daughter.  The call came early afternoon. Her contractions were very close together and getting stronger. I grabbed my birthing bag and headed out. The roads were fairly icy at the time.

When we got there Mama was not the two minutes apart they thought she was.  Wendy checked her and she was at 5 cm. It was decided that we should go and get a bite to eat while she settled into a rhythm. When we got outside, the car I had borrowed from our daughter was locked with the key nowhere to be found. I searched everywhere.  One of us got a bright idea to break into the car so we got a hangar and tried to break into it. I am much better at catching babies then breaking into cars!

We called AAA and an hour later they came out and broke into the car. Unfortunately the key was still nowhere to be found.  So, I went and retraced my steps, had everyone check my pockets, my purse etc.  I looked around the deacons’ bench where I had laid my coat again, still nothing.  Of course my car was the last in so we couldn’t get anywhere till the key was found. Finally I looked over to the left of the bench and looked into a basket that was full of shoes. Lo and behold, the key had found it’s way into Dad’s shoe.  By the time we found the keys it was way too late to go anywhere.

Mama was in full, active labor and so we got to work supporting her. I love doing doula work for our Mom’s and she really benefited from counter pressure on her head and her hips.  My first gal I did doula work for said the counter pressure, especially her head was amazing and couldn’t believe how much it helped. I was really pleased since that trick cost me $400 to learn!

Mama labored in the tub, on the toilet, on the bed and on the birthing ball. Most of her labor was in her back so we knew the baby’s position was probably posterior. Once Mama started pushing I figured we would be catching a baby in less than an hour. Unfortunately it took four and half hours of continued pushing before baby was born.

It was my turn to catch the baby (we tend to rotate since I have an awesome teacher and believes in hands on learning) and Mama was on all fours on the bed.  I was on my knees to her right. As the baby descended I realized that my abs could not sustain my position for the actual delivery so I ended up laying on my right side with my arms between Mamas’ arms to the perineum. This was a new position for me. Maybe other midwives deliver this way but it was the best I could do at the moment.

As the babies’ head emerged slowly her face was facing me. Instead of the head molding and coming out either anterior or posterior her head came out sideways. That is why it took so long! The babies’ head did not mold so it elongated to come out. This baby had a very long head.  Thankfully it only took a couple of days for it to get back into the correct shape. Once I caught the baby I laid her down under Mama and slid off the bed so she could pick her up and sit back down.

Other than a long head, baby was perfect. She had all her fingers and toes and she pinked right up. Through all four hours of pushing we checked her heart rate and it always remained steady. She was a perfectly normal baby.

Mama and Daddy were thrilled the ordeal was over. There were tears of sheer joy for this beautiful little bundle. We were thrilled for them. We stayed about three hours after the birth checking both Mama and baby out and cleaning everything up.

By the time we were done it was five o’clock in the morning, the next day and we were starving. When Mama and baby were all cleaned up and tucked into bed we said our goodbyes and left.
Normally we go back to the house 24 hours after delivery. We re-weigh the baby to make sure breastfeeding is going well. We take blood from the baby. The blood test is mandated by the government.  They test for all kinds of rare metabolic disorders. We also make sure Mama is doing all right emotionally and physically.

When we got back the next day baby girls’ head had shrunk by about 2/3. We were very pleased. Mama and baby were doing great.

I learned a lot during this labor and delivery. Sometimes no matter how hard you try to get a baby into the correct position the baby comes out crooked. It takes a lot of patience and encouragement to deliver a baby this way.  Lesson learned.

I am so blessed to be apart of such a wonderful team. I am learning so much and have a deeper appreciation for such strong and amazing young Mama’s wanting the best possible start for their babies.

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