whew last week was probably the craziest yet, and the births, oh so amazing! this is a long story, but a good one, i promise!
so i was hired last minute by a precious Christian couple on Saturday morning last weekend. less than 48 hours later, i'd be helping them start the fight for their amazing VBAC. but, before we get to that, Sunday evening, my other early August client calls me to let me know she thinks her water broke. no contractions yet, so we just wait.
Monday morning Aug 1st, 5am i get a call from my HBAC couple, mama C is in labor and ready for me to come. i get to them at 6am and it seems a bit early-ish, but she's definitely having strong contractions and looking like she's making progress. mama C's mom is there to take care of their older daughter, and she wakes up to see me standing in the hallway waiting for C to come out of the bathroom. she says "is it time?" i nod, "it's happening!"
9am- my first time mama K calls me, her water has definitely broke and she's starting to have some mild crampy contractions, but nothing regular. i pray i'm able to be at both places, and dear God, don't make me miss a birth this early in my doula career! (because this never happens, right? 2 mamas in labor at the same time? it just doesn't happen!)
i continue to be with mama C and labor looks to be progressing. a bit nauseous, shaky, cold, i know what that means, right? we call the midwife over around noon, and mama C is only 1-2cm dilated. stop. wait.. something is not right here. ok, let's see what happens, maybe her cervix will just soon catch up to what her body is doing. we continue laboring, and she's doing amazing.
i stay with her and we keep changing positions, drinking and eating, joking at times, resting at times between contractions. it's all peaceful. God is there and he gets all the glory.
the midwife returns at 7pm, checks her again, and sends me home for a rest. mama C is still only 2 cm. sigh. all that work and such little progress!
i've been checking in with my other client, mama K, all day. she's still not in active labor, so i keep praying one hurries up and one slows down so i can make both births. i do put my backup on notice and tell mama K there is the possibility she may get her, but i'm believing God will work it all out.
i sleep a bit and am woken at 1:55am (Aug 2nd) to come back, that things look like they may be progressing. i run an iron over my air-dried hair and jump back in the car. soon after i see sirens in my rear view mirror. oh shoot! the midwife is texting me as the cop is asking me questions. i totally pull the doula card. yep. i'm heading to a birth officer, see, the midwife is texting me right now! he lets me go with a warning. whew! praise Jesus!
i arrive back at 2:30am. mama C is having much stronger contractions now. she still manages perfectly through them, staying totally relaxed and loose. sweet mama dozes between and we keep her as comfortable as possible.
in the early morning hours we begin pulling out all the tricks in the book. pelvic floor and diaphragmatic release, chiropractic adjustments, banana position (ouch), anything we can think of. mama C is amazing, never complains, always does everything we ask her to, labors with such amazing grace. thank you Lord for every contraction that gets us closer to baby.
a check at 5:15am shows mama C is now dilated to 3-4cm. wow. almost 30 hours of labor, and only 3-4cm. i know i'm still relatively green here as far as experience goes, but this can't be just slow labor, can it?
about 8am, we let mama C get some welcomed relief in the tub. contractions space for a bit and she gets some well-needed rest. i go to check on my other client, mama K, who now appears to be in active labor (on her due date might i add, how often does that happen??) my backup doula Tonya(and dear friend) is ready to go as soon as needed. lifesaver!
since mama K is only about 2 miles away, i rush over there. she's definitely in labor, but she's shivering under a blanket. ::cocks head to side:: this isn't right either. i call her midwife, and she tell me to take mama K's temp. and it's elevated. palm to forehead. i leave her instructions to down 2 bottles of h2o to rule out dehydration and rush back to my other laboring client. my backup and the midwife are both on the way to her. Jesus, you were supposed to work this out for me?
about an hour or so later, i hear back from Tonya, that mama K is 3-4cm dilated and definitely running a temp, so they are heading to the hospital since this could be an infection. she wasn't able to drink the fluids i had told her to, but they will give her an IV when she gets there, and her fever quickly went down.
back at mama C's house, she is now 5cm and contractions are 2 minutes apart. 2 midwives check her, and we think the baby is positioned OT (occiput transverse, meaning baby is head down but facing mama's hipbone instead of mama's spine).
we do more pelvic floor releases and get her adjusted for the 3rd time.
by 3:30pm, mama C still has no further change, and baby is still high, like -2 station, not engaged. her midwife (who is amazing by the way) talks options with them very tenderly. they decide at this point its best to get ready to transport. i stay close to mom so dad can pack a bag. it's a sober time, mom is giving up her dream of homebirth again, but trusting God that he still has a good plan. sweet mama, she's just precious. we worship you Lord Jesus, and we trust you!
we are about to leave and i look back toward the birth pool and see my rebozo hanging on the chair. in a weird moment i say to myself, i may need that! i grab it and carry it out with me.
at 5:30 pm, we arrive at the hospital. my other client is in the ROOM NEXT DOOR. wow, thank you Jesus! while they get settled, i pop in to check on my amazing mama K and see how everything is going. she's doing GREAT! thanks so much Tonya, you are a rockstar doula and a great friend!
the on-call doctor is heading up to check mama C, but as soon as she arrives at the hospital, she's re-routed to mama K's room, who is now complete and ready to push her baby! she's labored beautifully and completely drug-free, and is such a strong woman! i go next door and help her push out her baby, wow i'm so blessed to get to be there too! mama K has 2 doulas, and Jesus, you did work that out, didn't you? just not the way i thought, but wow that's pretty cool how you did that! ;-)
so cool, both of these clients' babies were surprises. welcome baby Emily, you are so sweet and so loved!! mama K is a rockstar!!
by 9:00pm Dr D comes to check on mama C. she's still 5cm and baby still seems to be OT, and still pretty high. it's been 45 hours since labor started. i go into the hallway and pray. Jesus, this mama is not getting another c-section. you made her body in your image, and created her to birth babies. Jesus, move that baby.
i ask a friend to bring me some coffee. she arrives just after 10pm and i meet her in the parking lot. oh, in the car, my rebozo. the things God uses to make you think of things. don't know why i didn't think of that sooner. i wonder if i should try that crazy trick that other midwife showed me that time... Jesus?
i go back in and mention it to the other midwife. i go back out and get that rebozo. could this really work?
having mama lie flat on her back with the rebozo underneath, i stand on her hospital bed (ha!) and gently lift and sift sift sift, then pop! that baby around. over and over till my shoulders and arms are on fire. not sure if it's moving baby or not. thank God no nurse walked in then, it would have been a crazy sight! eventually my arms are giving out and the midwife and i do it together, standing next to the bed. then with conviction, the midwife says, lets get her on hands and knees. i wasn't sure if this was a God-thing at that point (although in hindsight i definitely do), but i knew she said that with conviction, so that's exactly what we did. and things started to take off.
about 30min later, the nurse checks mom and she is now 7cm!! praise Jesus, could it have moved baby just enough?? i dare think so!!! praise goes up from that hospital room!
a little bit later mom is checked again and is a solid 8. wow this is happening now. we get her in the bathroom and put her on the toilet for a while. she labors with such grace, even 49 hours later!! we can tell she is flying through transition. so fast, like a steam engine, these contractions have like 10seconds break between them and they are strong!
after getting her back to the bed, the doctor comes back in, mama C is complete and baby is already at +2 to +3 station! she pushes pushes pushes her baby into this world, reach down honey, touch your baby's head, baby is almost here! Dr D says grab a pair of gloves dad, help catch your baby! baby BOY goes right to mamas chest and the look on her face has been seared in my memory and on my heart forever.
AMAZING. simply amazing. tears and the thick presence of God, being praised for his faithfulness and goodness and strength.
welcome baby David Amado, born 2:10am, August 3rd, after 50 hours 10 minutes of labor!
hands down the most rewarding day of my life as a doula, and probably will be for years and years to come. i'm so blessed to have gotten to be a part of this. just incredible.
the amazing Lynsey Stone was photographing mama C's birth and here's a link to baby David's pics. love that one of me standing on mama C's bed. ;-)