L and MA. What a ride, what a journey.
L, the day I ‘met’ you online, I coveted becoming your doula. You were full of passion, a desire for a healing birth, and an aura of strength and wisdom that I did not often see in my mommas.
You had previously had a cesarean with Tri-boy, and were convinced that your body could do it itself. You were heart-set on a healing birth to reclaim your body’s ability and power. You were preparing for a natural birth. I wanted to support you in making it possible. So, I prayed I would be chosen.
When I initially met with you both, I was worried that I would be considered ‘too young’, as often I have been told. I was relieved, when, instead you gave me a call and told me that you would love for me to be your doula.
From that point on, I had the privilege of working with you on your birth plan (you had it in the bag), creating a positive birth story to complete your bad birth dreams, and simply prepare for the birth of your little one.
I was sure that you were going to be in labor on September 22nd. When that day came and went, I was astounded. You had been ‘labor ready’ for a long time by this point. You had a few bouts of start and stop labor, which urged me to recommend that you try the knee to chest position as often as possible. On September 23rd, you had quite a bit of loose stool and cramping. The following day, you had no action; and the next day, still no action.
I was encouraged and believed your baby had turned from a posterior position into an optimal positioning because she was giving you signs of labor and then a rest, a time to regain energy and prepare for birth. This was confirmed when, around 2am on September 26th, you called to let me know that you had been timing contractions and believed them to be the real thing as they were around 10 minutes apart.
I got up and put my doula bag and ball in the car and got myself ready for a nice long labor night. Shortly after your initial phone call, I received a second call from MA that he was up and thought it time I head on over. I met you at your home around 3am. You were on your hands and knees and working with your body by swaying your hips from side to side during contractions, only to sit back on your haunches between them.
Tri-boy was already gone to your grandmothers and MA was brewing coffee. You let me know that you were timing the contractions around 7 minutes apart. You also let me know that you were experiencing quite a bit of back and butt pressure, so I encouraged you to use the birthing ball to support your upper body weight. After watching you through a few contractions, I noted that your contractions were down to around 2-3 minutes apart.
Putting counter-pressure on your sacrum, I encouraged you with verbal affirmations while MA gauged your progress on how soon he wanted us to leave for the hospital.
A little after 4 am, MA and you decided that it was time to move to the hospital. I agreed with your contractions being about 2 minutes apart and your pressure moving lower. We arrived at the hospital around 4:30 and you signed the necessary paperwork while on all fours, leaning over the birthing ball, and vocalizing through contractions. After you were signed in, they checked you in the OR and you were found to be 7cm dilated. With the fetal monitors strapped on, leaning over the birthing ball, on the bed, you worked through your contractions while vocalizing. MA rubbed your back and I continued pressure on your buttocks while sneaking in a few pictures in-between.
You were settled into your room a little after 5am and you soon began to feel slightly pushy. Throughout it all, MA provided verbal encouragement, relieved my hands temporarily from my vigil on your posterior, and provided sips of water and back rubs.
You remained in the all-fours position and were found to be 10cm with only a little lip of cervix left. We alternated knees in a modified asymmetrical positioning to get the lip gone. It only took 2 contractions and soon you were grunty-pushing your baby down. Your body was truly designed for birth as your pushes moved her down so efficiently. Watching you throughout your labor was beautiful. You were so in tune with your body’s cues, doing exactly what it urged you to do, moment by moment.
Doctor Reynolds arrived in time to see baby’s head appearing. She encouraged you to turn around as her fetal heart tones were decreasing and to increase your urges to push her out more efficiently. On turning around into a classic position, you began really bearing down with each contraction, and her head quickly came to crowning. As her heart rate was remaining quite low even between contractions, she recommended an episiotomy. With the very next contraction, her head was born.
Before the next wave came, she began to grimace and cry, and her shoulders slipped free of your body. She had thick meconium at birth, so they whisked your wee one away to the warmers, but she returned to MA’s arms and then yours, in just a few moments.
L - Your body was strong, beautiful, and efficient – working together as a team, your body and your baby brought her into the world. You were right you “could do this” – you had your healing birth and what a beautiful birth it was!
Born September 26, 2007
7lbs 14oz, 20 inches long