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.