"At this Point, We Don't Really Ask Anymore"

"Well, it was wonderful. It was everything we could have asked for. The momma was amazing, the staff was amazing, the dad was amazing, all of it. I got to do things for her that I hadn't done yet.
She was due yesterday. She was on the border of being diabetic, but it was easily controlled by her diet. She skipped her last apt on Friday b/c she didn't want the doc to push her into induction. (can't say i blame her) She called about 9 this morning and said "I think this is it. The contractions woke me up this morning about 8 and they're 2-4 minutes apart and not stopping. I"m going in." She has a history of going really fast, so I told her I'd meet her there.I had just gotten dressed, changed into my comfy doula clothes and jetted out the door, the hospital was almost 30 minutes away.

When I got there her hubby had just dropped her off at the door and by the time she got to the desk she was leaning on the wall swaying. So they set her up, the nurse said she was more than willing to stay as much o/o the picture as possible and she was totally respectful of everything on her birth plan. This nurse said she had all her babies at a birth center all natural. Then she told us that we couldn't have had better timing b/c the midwife on call was way into the all natural too. I mean, what more could we ask for??!!

So she labored standing up and leaning on the bed swaying for about an hour. SHe was at 4 when she got there. Then she decided to try the pool. That was awesome. She got into that bad boy and just totally got into the zone. Her hubby was on a little stool next to the tub and they were real intimate, real close and lovey. I checked on them every once in awhile. At 1st I felt bad, like I wasn't doing enough, but I prayed about it and once I saw how close they were and how she relaxed into him, I knew that I just needed to leave them alone for that part of it.

She was in there for about 2 hours. Then she asked to be checked and the midwife said she was at 6-7. And that she really wanted her to get o/ b/c the change from there to 10 happened pretty fast. So she got o/ and labored on all fours on the bed for a little while and I asked her if she wanted to change positions b/c she was looking like this wasn't working any more. She then turned and sat for about an hour. I mostly rubbed her lower back and applied pressure down there. But it was cool b/c I could tell when one was coming and when it peaked and kind of talked her down from there. Her hubby did so much and there was a couple of times when he saw what I was doing and then he started doing it. Never had that happen b4.

I started getting that feeling she should change something up b/c it just stopped feeling right. I don't know how to explain it, but I'm sure you've felt that. So a couple of times I suggested changing positions again, but she was so inside herself and in so much pain that she she said no, or she just didn't respond at all. Then the midwife came in and said "ok, if you want to keep this going slowly, you can stay doing what you're doing, but if you wanna get this baby down, you need to get up." I said "well, i asked her, but she didn't want to ." She said "oh no honey, at this point, we don't really ask anymore," And then she just grabbed a leg! It was funny. Her hubby at that point was like "ya, come on, let's get this baby down." and he helped her get o/o bed. (i feel like i learned something at that point. that instead of asking, not pushing, but just saying it more like "ok, let's try something else now..")

At that point she put her arms around her hubby and they swayed, and her contractions really never stopped after that. She got louder, I was still doing what I was doing and like 10-15 minutes latter she said "I feel pushy." So I went and got the nurse, her and the midwife came in and then she got back on the bed. But the coolest thing was that the midwife said she could deliver however she wanted to. She said if she wanted to stay standing she could. She tried the bar, but I think it put too much pressure down there too fast for her b/c she instantly put her bottom right back on the bed. She ended up delivering w/ the nurse and I holding legs and her hubby at her back and neck.

She had a 7lb 11 oz baby girl. Which was her biggest so far. After she got the head o/ the rest of the baby just slid right o/. There was no rush to cut the cord, I got to watch her get cord blood latter, never seen that b4. And she showed me her little "skid mark" is what she called it, she said it wasn't worth a stitch. It was just the tiniest pulling away from her previous episiotomy scar. So, so wonderful. The staff totally did and didn't do everything she wanted. They were hardly even there. The nurse said she felt like she wasn't doing anything for them. This momma was really educated and knew what she wanted and they oculd see that so they left her alone. The midwife latter told her that she was happy to see someone who knew so much about birth and knew what she wanted and that she communicated it all w/ them. It was great. I'm still coming down from it."
- Kris

Thank you for sharing from your Doula's Heart!


Agatha said...

Awesome birth story, BUT.... but... i'm wondering why it was so 'cool' that the midwife said that woman could deliver however she wanted to. I don't know what country you practice in, but do midwives where you are really tell women what positions to birth in?

I have caught babies with women in lithotomy, left lateral, squatting, all fours & leaning over a bed. I would NEVER tell a woman which position to deliver in unless there was a Brady or other such issue.

The only other situation I can imagine dictating a position in is if I was required to maintain a 'stress' position, or if the woman was in right lateral, for obvious reasons.

Would you advocate for a woman if a midwife wanted her to deliver in say, lithotomy & not standing or on all fours etc?

Nicole D said...

Agatha - I would.

Unfortunately, more and more, in U.S. hospital settings doulas and moms find themselves up against 'hospital policy' that a woman 'must' push in such-and-such position. (especially against OBs)

I don't agree with that pile of hooey one bit. :o)

So yes, I would advocate for her.

I worked with one mom who was told she would 'blow her bottom out' if she birthed on all-fours - I reminded her bottoms don't 'blow' because of position for pushing.

I worked with a mom whose doctor literally picked her up to put her on the bed when she was squatting on a pad beside the bed. I told her that, if she didn't want to be on the bed and wanted to squat where she was to just say 'put me down!' and it will be considered battery if he continues to try to move her. She said it and he did get his hands off... unfortunately he also walked out and the nurse caught baby. Probably for the better :o)

Situations suck like that, but in this situation, it was a good outcome, just, unfortunately, a poor choice of words because it is ACCURATE for U.S. hospitals.

kris said...

well thanx for posting! but erm, you coulda fixed my typos! lol

and agatha, they indeed do tell women how to, and all too often in the u.s. women don't even know that they have options.

Agatha said...

Bloody hell ladies! I cannot IMAGINE having the audacity to order a woman about in labour. It's really shocking isn't it?

I have said to women; 'you can give birth on your side but I need you to be facing the other way.' to get them into left lateral. I've also said to women 'you can stay in that position all day, or you can kneel up & you can have your baby in a few minutes.' But I would never touch a woman etc without permission etc.

I find that story about that Doc absolutely horrifying Nicole, the poor woman! I know of a midwife who was blamed by her colleagues for a 4th degree tear for 'allowing' a woman to birth on all fours. It's all such nonsense!

Nicole D said...

You're right Agatha, it is shocking and WRONG. But it is also extremely common here. That is why she was so pleased to see this woman's birth team 'allow' it, even encourage it. It should be standard care, not the exception to the rule.

It is infuriating and frustrating... But I am also encouraged to hear birth hands like yours, this midwife, and my birth teams out there. It gives us a glimmer of hope that things will not remain as archaic as they are now!

Agatha said...

Maybe we'll get there one day Nicole... baby steps, right?! LOL


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