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!
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.