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".

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