I am a homebirth midwife that recently moved to a new state and joined a wonderful practice that I am really enjoying. Come ride along with me as I drive from house to house reliving the miracle of life.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Baby Boom Continued

Monday, February 8, 2010- Second birth of the week

Ok, the following story will be the second baby born in the Boom Week. This one will be short, but quite a doosie! I'll wait for ya while you get out your popcorn and a comfy seat. Ready? Here we go...

I got a phone call from a client's husband at 7pm stating that his wife was having contractions that were about 9 mins apart. I told him to time them for an hour and call me back. In the meantime I got in the shower, got dressed and readied myself for an impending birth. About 40 mins later I called them and got no answer. I assumed that she was having a contraction and he couldn't come to the phone. He called me back about 10-15 mins later and told me that the contractions were coming much faster.

They decided to birth at the birth center and so I told them to go ahead and head to the clinic and I would meet them there. I was one hour and 15 mins away and they were almost an hour away. I was driving very fast, about 90, to the clinic and I had only been on the road for a few mins when he called back and said that her water broke. I asked them if they thought they would make it to the clinic and he asked his wife and she said yes. So we all continued on with our plan.

About 10-15 mins later he called me back and this time I could hear the panic in his voice and he said they were not going to make it to the clinic. I was instructing her to breathe and not push and that they are to go to the nearest hospital and go right in through the ER. She started screaming and hung up on me.

Talk about panic!!! Meanwhile I'm still doing 90 down the highway. I was out in a rural part of the state and my cell phone reception was very spotty. I called my back up partner to stay on the phone with them until they get to the hospital. I realized at this point that I was going to miss the birth and so I slowed down. I was still an hour away from the hospital and unless I wanted to be a patient I needed to calm down.

Next phone call that I receive is another client in labor. Really Universe?? Really? ::deep breath:: Ok, I kept telling myself, you can do this. At one point I just had to start laughing because it was laugh or cry. I called my back up and told her the good news and she was going to go with the newest mom in labor and I was staying on my course to meet up with the clients that were at the hospital.

I arrived at the hospital about 9:30pm and walked into their room and there they were. Oh and I should mention that I had never seen this client before. She was a late transfer to our care and had only had 2 appts with us. It was very awkward to walk into her room and be like, Hi- How are you, stranger?

Come to find out that the baby had been born in the car before they could even get to the hospital. Yes, you read that correctly. Born.in.the.car. Ahhhh, it takes me back to my days in Hell Paso where that was not an uncommon occurrence, but I digress. Should I mention that it is early February and it had been snowing and ice on the roads. Not exactly the perfect conditions for a car birth.

Thank God everyone was OK and the parents did an amazing job. It is further confirmation that birth happens and waits for no one. They were healthy and baby was perfect. They were discharged the next night. Whew!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Great Baby Boom of February 2010

Ok, so I've been slacking on my blogabilities. I got a nice swift kick from some girlfriends and here I am, back at it!

Oh my goodness we had quite the baby week. I am going to try to capture all of it, it was such an amazing experience.

Friday, February 5th- First birth of the week
I got a phone call about 11 am from a first time mom calling to say that she was having contractions. I told her to time them for an hour and call me back. We chatted again later and they were pretty far apart and she was sleepy. I told her to take a nap and call me later when the contractions picked up and got a little stronger.

The next phone call that I got was from her husband saying that things had picked up and it would be a good time for me to come over. I happened to be out and about and I was ready to hit the baby trail. Off I went up the interstate on my way to witness another miracle. I always feel this need to hurry even when I know it's still early in the labor, this job never gets old.

I arrived at her house around 6pm and when I walked in he told me that she was moving along really quickly and the contractions were every 2-3 mins and lasting for a minute. I thought ok, we are going to have a baby really soon! I checked her and she was still kind of early, but her mood was great and our spirits were high. She had her family there with her and it was nice to see them all working together.

I was immediately taken back to "in the wild", my favorite time, and I pictured how birth must have taken place back then. It seems like all of the women in the village would get together and rally around the birthing woman. I picture all the men being together and doing some kind of man thing. Anyway, this was the image I was getting as I saw my client and her family huddled in the living room.

She continued to labor on for hours and hours, the time went rather quickly for me...I'm sure it didn't go as fast for her. I was amazed at her strength as each surge rushed through her body, she closed her eyes and focused on the task at hand. She would gently moan and take deep breaths to get through each one. She walked around the house to ease the pain and she got into deep squats and sat on a birth ball, it was all done in a labor dance.

Pain, pain, pain....breathe, breathe, breathe....squat, squat, squat...breathe, breathe, breathe...walk, walk, walk...pain, pain, pain...breathe, breathe, breathe...

Finally the time arrived that her body was completely open and it was ready to push her baby out. I told her to get into whatever position she wanted and she chose hands and knees on the floor by the bed. I was behind her with a flashlight, gloves on, olive oil ready and napkins to clean up whatever might squirt out at me. Her water broke and we knew baby was on her way! She pushed in that position for awhile and then I encouraged her to try another position. Her legs were pretty tired so she thought getting in the bed sounded goood.

As she laid in the bed pushing I started to see some of the baby's hair. It was so exciting for everyone to see little tufts of hair peeking out mom's body. The family started off in the hallway and taking turns sticking their heads into the bedroom; then slowly one by one they started to come into the room. It was like we were on stage in the most important roles of our lives. I really enjoyed having the family close by. Their excitement really helped to keep up the momentum in the room. It was getting into the wee hours of the night and her mother-in-law and I had a bet going on about the birth time.

Mama pushed for a couple of hours, not uncommon for a first time mom, and once we hit the two hour mark I advised her that she had another hour and then we would need to go to the hospital. Luckily for all of us the baby was doing great and her heartbeat stayed so strong. I like to keep the clients moving and changing positions frequently. Sometimes just the art of moving into another position can speed things up. I advised her that after a few more pushes I wanted her to try something else.

I suggested the toilet, it is a natural place to sit and push, well as soon as i said that the mom decided she DID NOT want to sit on the toilet and push. Next thing I knew the baby started to make some real progress and before I knew it the head was coming out. She got a little stuck coming out and I needed to pull just a bit. Swoosh!!! The baby plopped out and into my hands. I put her up on mom's chest and the whole room made such a fuss and there was not a dry eye in the room. I cry at every birth, partly because it is such a miracle, partly because everyone else is always crying and partly because I'm relieved that all is OK. It is slightly stressful to be a midwife.

After awhile I tucked them all into bed and we all took a nap, I was on the couch- not in their bed, we slept for about 2 hrs. The baby was born around 3:30am and we slept from 7-9. Then I woke up and went in to check on everyone. They were doing well and I had a meeting at work at 10am. I went off to the meeting, I was tired but rejuvenated at the same time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

10/11/09 Birth # 6 for me with this group of midwives.

This time I actually got the call in the day time. It was around 4:30pm and I was out shopping for quilting fabric with my new friend. We had been out to a few different shops and thankfully we were at the last place and just ready to check out. As I get home I notice that Robert had just fired up the grill and he had some beautiful looking steaks ready to go. Then inside he had salad ready and veggies all wrapped up in aluminum foil sprinkled with olive oil. I was devastated that I was going to miss this dinner.

The call came in saying one of the clients was in labor and could I come to the birth center. This particular client wanted to birth at the clinic versus at home. She and her husband live out of the country and they decided to come back to the states for the birth and they are staying with her mom. I think this was one reason that they wanted to birth at the clinic. We were just happy to have her and her family as clients and we don't care where they want to birth.

So I grabbed some quickie drive thru and headed up to the clinic. Sometimes it's hard to decide if you should stop on the way for something you might need or just go at godspeed. I would hate to miss a birth because the 17yr old at the drive thru window was being slow. I had been out all day shopping and was going home for dinner when I got the call so I decided I had to eat before I head to a birth that could potentially last for many many hours.

I arrived at the clinic and when I came rushing in I see the mom, her husband and one of the other midwives sitting there laughing and talking and sharing stories. I was shocked thinking this doesn't look like labor or anything that I should have rushed here for. I got there around 6:00 and decided to eat my dinner realizing that I was in for a long night.

We all settled in and continued to chat while the mom labored. She was tolerating the contractions so well; sometimes it was hard to tell that she was even having a contraction. I was quite impressed with her. I started to learn her pattern, it would seem that all of a sudden she would get quiet and press on her lower back. Then just as quickly as it would start it would be over and she was back to laughing and talking again. We continued on in this pattern for what felt like days, but was really only quite a few hours.

Finally around midnight the contractions were getting a lot stronger for her and there was no more laughing and smiling during them. She decided to get into the tub to relax and help her with the pains, she even considered birthing in the water. After 45 mins of that she wanted to get out of the water. That was fine with me as we were all having a hard time fitting in the bathroom anyway. She got out and went to the bed in the birthing suite.

We have a metal tray set up with all of our supplies on it so we are able to just move around to where ever the mom is when she starts to push. She settled into the room and into her new labor pattern; often time changing positions can change the labor. We worked with her on each contraction and then determined that she was 10 cms and could push. That was an exciting moment for everyone. I'm sure it was more exciting for the mom. She knew that she was that much closer to meeting her baby after all this time.

She started pushing and breathing deeply. It was quite a hard push and took a long time, especially because she was a second time mom. We did everything we could to try to help her push more effectively and follow her body's clues. Finally after more than an hour we could start to see the top of the baby's head. It felt like forever before we got to see a little bit more of his head. We just kept working together with her taking one contraction at a time. She was working so hard!

Finally the head was out and then one shoulder and then the other and then the chest...abdomen...pelvis...thighs....knees...ankles....feet. Oh man, I felt like I was pulling that baby out for days! Normally once the head is out the whole baby just flops out of the mom in one big gush, well not this baby. We found out later that it was because he was ten and a half pounds. Wow! She didn't tear at all and was such a trooper. She handled it very well and we were all so proud of her. After a few hours they went home and all was well.

Score another one for natural birth and midwives!!
Just barely 10/1/09

This story will be short because I missed the birth. I got a phone call in the middle of the night and in my ear I heard the familar words, "We have a client in labor. Wake up and come join us."

Woo-hoo! I was really excited and jumped up and got dressed and was out the door in record time. I am usually really fast, but this time I was trying to break even my own record. The reason you ask? This was baby number 8 and those babies don't wait for no one!

As I'm off speeding down the road I have a gut feeling that I won't make it. She lives too far and her contractions are coming one on top of the other on top of the other. I said a quick prayer to the birth Gods for this mom that her birth would go smoothly and if it needs to be fast that it would be fast but not so fast that no one is there with her.

Next thing I know I get a txt message from the other midwife who was attending the birth and I already knew what it said. Can you guess?? Yep, you're right. "baby born".

Shit!! Oh well, I'm already half way there (45 mins), there's no turning around now. The good thing was at this point I can slow down knowing baby is born and mom is safe.

When I got to their house I was greeted by a few of their older kids and one very beautiful helpful girl who appeared to be 12 yrs old. She lead me up to her parent's bedroom and when I walked in I saw mom, baby, midwife, dad and the rest of the siblings. It was about 3am and by the looks of things you would have thought it was 3 in the afternoon. The house was so lively and buzzing with kids.

I wasn't there very long. We cleaned up, helped mom take a shower, started a load of laundry, got mom some food to eat, tucked all the kids back in bed and left quietly. As I drove home I was kind of sad that I missed the birth but I was very grateful that things went so smoothly.

The other midwife later told me that she walked in the door and ran upstairs just in time to see the mom was pushing. Less than 5 mins after she got there the baby was born. Whew! This makes me wish sometimes that we could teleport or fly to our destination.
12:45am (forgot what date 9/17?) phone rings....rings....rings.

On the other end is the senior midwife calling to tell me that one of our clients is in labor and could I please go to her house and check her. Could I check her??? Silly question! Of course I can go check her.

0.4 nanoseconds later I am dressed and out the door. I have an address, a GPS, few medical supplies and a loving heart. What else do I need? I am making my way to a location I have never been to before to see a client that I have never seen before. All I know is that her Apt. # is 911 and I'm really hoping that doesn't mean bad news for her birth.

I take off for the big city and the GPS tells me that I will be there in an hour and a half, 2:30am is my ETA. There is not much to see on country roads late at night with little than moonlight to show the way. In fact the stars are about the only thing I can see, they are so pretty and I realize how much of them you can see when you are away from brightly lit towns.

As I make my journey in the midwife mobile I start going over emergency protocols as a way to practice and stay current on them. This is the first birth that I am going to as first responder, so far the senior midwife has always been there first. I take this as a good sign that she thinks I can handle the responsibility. I will not let her down.

So at exactly 2:30am I pull into the large parking lot for the apartment complex. I gather my belongings and head towards the front door. As I enter I notice that you have to be buzzed into the main part of the building. I get out the client's info and call them so that they may let me in to their apratment...their lives...their birth experience...their sacred environment.

The father of the baby answers the phone and says he'll be right down. As I wait for him to come downstairs I wonder what he looks like, what does the mother look like and then finally what will their baby look like? As he approaches the vestibule that I have been waiting in I realize he looks nothing like I thought he would and yet exactly how I thought he would.

We get into the elevator and start our ascent; meanwhile I'm hoping baby is making her descent. I know the apartment number is usually indicative of the floor number but he pushes the 12th floor and I don't argue. As we arrive on the 12th floor we get off the elevator and walk down to the end of the hallway and he reaches out for the handle of apartment # 1211. I assume that my paperwork has a typo. He then notices the number and sheepishly turns to me and states that we are on the wrong floor.

I start to giggle and we talk about how funny that would be for the people who do live there. Can you imagine two random people standing at your front door at 2:45am one in pajamas and barefoot and the other in scrubs with various medical equipment? That would be quite a scene!

Finally we end up on the 9th floor and at apt# 911, we walk in and although I've never been to their house or met them before there is something very familiar with this scenario. It is quite dark in their house, there is a pregnant woman sitting on the couch breathing deeply with every contraction. The vibe is peaceful and inviting. I can smell the residual of incense burning and it is a nice earthy smell.

I do a quick exam and find her to be about 3 cms dilated and having regular contractions. Baby's heartbeat sounds great and mom is stable. I tell them that I will be here with them until the birth and for them to do whatever they feel that they need to do.

The time passes slowly and mom keeps on contracting and breathing with each passing hour. They switch between resting in bed and getting up and walking around. I suggest at one point that they take a shower and try to relax. I had a feeling this was going to be a very long day.

Around 7am the senior midwife joined us for this birth day party and so now there are four of us total sitting around talking and concentrating and praying and hoping that this sweet little baby would just come on out. Mom is definitely hoping to see that light at the end of the tunnel. I have explained to her that first babies are typically slow and take a long time. She was doing everything perfectly and I don't think that there was anything that she could have done differently.

Now it is about 12:30 pm and we were starting to get rather hungry. The senior midwife decided to go out and get lunch for the two of us. I was in desperate need of energy and food. I had only been asleep for an hour and a half before I got the call to come to this birth. We ate some yummy food and almost immediately I felt rejuvenated.

During this long process we encourage mom to continue eating and drinking. I don't understand how the body is expected to run a marathon with no energy to assist it. That is one thing that has always perplexed me about hospital births. She has had some food and lots of water and juices; however this is also a sign to me that she is not in heavy labor. Most women in active labor do not have an appetite and really don't want to eat or drink. We often have to really encourage them to eat and drink.

Hours and hours have gone by and now it is almost 4pm. I am exhausted and running on 1.5 hrs of sleep. That sleep that is now failing me and calling me to come back to it at the same time. It is really funny the things that your brain does when it is sleep deprived. It truly is an altered state. I am trying not to complain about being tired because I can only imagine how the mom is feeling!

The senior midwife tells me to go lay down for a little while and she says she'll sit with the client. Of course as soon as I lay down I hear a commotion and dad comes running in the room to get a towel. I ask what is going on and he says her water broke. I was so excited that I jumped up! I know that this can often be a sign that the baby is going to be born soon. The contractions start coming faster and stronger and all signs are pointing to yes at this point.

Around 6pm she starts to push and she pushes and pushes and pushes. We tried lots of different positions and lots of remedies...nothing seems to be working. This baby does not want to come out. After 2 hours of that the decision is made to go to the hospital for some help.

We are so blessed to have a wonderful back up doctor and such a loving hospital at our disposal. A phone call is placed to let them know that we are on our way and off we go. The mom and dad are disappointed but at that point they are so tired and they just want their baby to be out and healthy.

We are admitted to the hospital around 8:45pm and by 10:30 the baby is born. She's a big baby! Almost 10lbs and she got stuck coming out, the doctors had to work pretty hard to get her out. It was tense there for a few mins and I found myself holding my breath and saying a quick prayer.

Mom and baby were in great hands and I trusted the staff throughout the whole process. The final joy for me was being able to hold that beautiful stubborn little baby girl. I stayed in the hospital with the new family for about an hour or so and left shortly after 12 midnight. I got back home just after 1:30am and realized I had been gone for 25hrs.

Needless to say I was exhausted and hungry. I ate a quick sandwich and fell into bed. I was alseep before my eyes even closed. My husband found me in bed with some of my clothes on and one shoe still on that afternoon. I was able to sleep for about a good 13 hrs.

Birth is such a time warp. In this story I left my house at 1am on a Thursday, got home at 1:30am Friday and woke up around 2pm Friday afternoon. There is no job like this in the world!

Monday, October 12, 2009


This date came and went and there was not a baby born in our group of clients. Boo. I was really hoping that someone would birth on that day and it would be such a special birthday. A lot of cultures believe that 9 is a powerful number and anyone who is born on such a day with all nine's was sure to be blessed.

Did you know that the sum of any number that you multiply by 9 will equal 9? Ex: 9x7=63, 6+3=9. Special, huh?! See the nine is nothing to mess with. Woooooooooo, the power of the 9.

Ok, well since this is a birth blog and not a math blog I shall move on to the point of this post.


I was relaxing at home early in the morning, I'm sure I was on the bump with my friends and I got a phone call from one of the other midwives in the group. There is typically only one reason that she would be calling me early in the morning....someone's in labor!

Me: Hello?

MW: Hi, so and so is in labor and I'm on my way to her house to check her.

Me: Alrighty, I'm on my way.

MW: You might want to hurry.

Me: Ok, I'll be out the door in 5 mins.

And so I was. No shower, no bra, socks that don't match (but they were clean) and a few noms for the road. I shouted to the hubs that I was on my way to a birth day party and I'd be back later. He just said all he could say which was, "Ok, drive safe and good luck."

Thank God we got a new car a few months ago because I have no worries about having car trouble on the road. I swear one of these days I'm going to jump in thru the window all Dukes of Hazzard style. Oh man, give me a second, I just got the mental picture of that. LMAO! That is too funny. I bet I would get stuck half in and half out like Winnie the Pooh.

I start heading for the highway and my adrenaline is pumping and I'm getting all excited already. Funny thing is I have almost an hour and half drive there so there is no reason in getting all worked up; the laboring mom lives in OKC.

I always think that I'm going to take advantage of the long drive to get centered and practice all of my emergency protocols in my head, but really what ends up happening is everything but. I tend to make grocery lists, think of things I need to do when I get home from the birth, do the math to my destination using the mile marker signs, try to beat the time my GPS gives me for arrival and wonder if anyone will ever be speeding down the road to come to my birth.

Sometimes it is so surreal that I am actually going to births again. It has been 2 yrs since I was active in birth and I have really missed it. I mentally thank MLL for everything that I learned while I was there. I also often reflect on past births that I have attended and laugh at some of the funny stories.

After I did all this thinking I was exhausted but the good news was I was getting really close to my destination. The GPS started talking to me and ordering me around the highways of OK. Her voice tends to get a little annoying and I have often thought I would rather hear a deep man's voice. One of my friends says she would hate to be told what to do by a man...I'm thinking I don't mind since for once it would be a man that actually knows what he's talking about.

There is this one particular part of the highway where about 943 million ramps all come together and there are signs everywhere telling you where to go. My anxiety is starting to rise, I can be directionally challenged at times and especially when I'm already under stress. Next thing I know the female voice is telling me to take such and such ramp on the right and I was already passing it as she spoke. Then I hear the familar word "recalculating", I'm not sure why that word upsets me so much but it does. I immediately feel like a failure when I hear that, like I have let "her" down...whoever "she" is. I really need to know her name, then at least when I yell at her I can be consistent.

So meanwhile I have missed my turn and she is in the process of redirecting me to the next exit, I was starting to get really nervous but I just took some deep breaths. Hmmm, oddly enough that is our advice to the laboring moms. Does a deep breath really fix everything? I always hear people say that anytime someone is upset and I wonder if we have developed a fear of being upset. That is a whole nother topic that I'll save for another day.

I made my way around to the next exit and was back on track and only lost a minute of time, not bad huh? As I was coming around this round about I get a phone call from the other midwife asking me where I was. I told her that I was 3 mins away from the client's house and she said that the mother was pushing and I better hurry.

I got there 3 mins later as promised and found myself in a beautiful historical neighborhood full of very old houses. I walked right in the front door and found my way to the back bedroom where the scene was the most tranquil and beautiful thing I had seen all day. There was the mom, her husband, their doula and the other midwife. I quickly sat down on the floor at the foot of the bed and took in the birthing vibe.

Well I was only there for about 10 mins and inbetween the pushing I grabbed the doppler and listened for the baby's heartbeat. The first time I did that the noise that came back at me from the doppler was a very slow sound that is not the typical baby heartbeat noise that we are used to hearing. We told the mom to take long deep breaths and give the baby some oxygen. After the next contraction the tones were still really low and we decided that it was time for us all to meet the guest of honor at this birth day party.

The mom pushed with all her strength and out popped a little boy who was not very happy with his party so far. I'm guessing getting squeezed like crazy and having a ton of pressure on your head has got to be uncomfortable. It took us some work to get him to come around, but he did respond and then he looked happy to be in mom's arms. We ended up putting him on some blow by oxygen and some homeopathics to clear up his lungs. I believe that his APGAR score was 6/9 so not bad but not great either.

He was such a little trooper and did his best to let us know that he was going to be ok. We did our postpartum work and cleaned up, examined the baby and then we decided to leave the family that was one less just a few hours before.

Oh and oddly enough he was born on 9/10/09 at 9:09am. Yeah, we discussed how cool it would have been if he was born 24 hrs before.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Labor Day!

How appropriate would it be to have a baby born on that day? Well guess what, we did. I got a call around 12 noon saying that one of our clients was in labor. She was having contractions but she was still two weeks before her due date. The other midwife instructed the husband on how to time the contractions and advised him to call her back in about 20 mins. He began to do so and quickly realized that they were coming pretty close together.

She called me back to say that her contractions were coming about every four minutes and she was going to head over to her house to check her. I told her that I would jump in the shower and then be on my way. She said, "You might want to just come without the shower." I thought to myself if you had a smell-o-phone you might not agree, but who am I to argue with her.

I quickly got dressed, kissed my husband good-bye and ran off to fire up my midwife mobile and hit the road. The tricky part of this situation is that I am at least one hour away from any birthing action in this state. Depending on where the clients live I can be up to an hour and a half away. This geographical situation is not ideal for birth because I found out that babies that are ready to be born are not going to wait for anyone...not even me!

So I jump on the highway and away I went at break-neck speed. Luckily it was a holiday and by 12:30 pm most people were where they wanted to be already and the roads were pretty vacant. This was a good thing for a speeding midwife that did not want to have to contend with heavy traffic or people out for a Sunday drive. There are times that I am whizing down the highway trying to get to a birth and I am envious of the person next to me on the road who is out for a casual stroll.

About 30 minutes after I got on the road I get a text message from the other midwife saying that the mom was 8 cm and going really quickly. It was then that I realized that there was no way I was going to make it in time. This did not slow me down however; and I perservered on down the highway. Maybe 1o minutes later I heard the familar chirp of my phone alerting me to another text message. I was afraid to even check the message because I was pretty sure I already knew what it was going to say. Of course curiosity finally got the better of me, I think I held out for about 15 seconds, and I checked the message. It said, "BB out" and I still was 45 minutes away from the house.

One really nice feature of my GPS is that it tells me what time I am going to arrive at my destination and I like that added bit of knowledge. Eventhough I had missed the birth I decided to continue on. When I arrived at the house it was nestled in a beautiful neighborhood and the front door was open as if to invite me in.

As I walked in I saw the most precious tiny little girl. She was absolutely beautiful and petite at 6lbs 2oz. I think my favorite part of her was her little button nose, it reminded me of a doll. The parents were equally cute and excited. The birth had gone so fast that they barely had time to adjust to the idea. And of course the baby being 2 weeks early didn't help that feeling of being rushed.

All in all it was wonderful and despite the fact that I missed the actual birth the postpartum period and the hours that I spent with them made up for it.