Birthstory of Ian (through an apprentice doula's point of view)
Ian Connor was due to join his family on April 19, 2010. His Mama was ready! She had been waddling like a duck and getting no sleep for quite some time. Therefore, when he did not make his appearance as expected, she chose his birthday. Mama’s are like that.Congratulations family V! What an amazing family you are!
At 6:30 am on Tuesday morning, April 20th, Daddy, Mama, Ethan, Andrew, and Lita (that’s me) loaded up in the van to head to the hospital. Along the way, we dropped off two-year-old Andrew to “play with friends.” Four-year-old Ethan was excited to be a part of the welcoming committee for Ian so while Daddy went to get coffee, Mama, Lita and Ethan went ahead to take care of the paperwork and get settled in Room 1138 – the birthing room.
Daddy arrived shortly thereafter with Starbucks and sweets. Everything was set. Then Mama, Daddy, and Nurse Kelly talked about needs and rules; specifically the “only 3 people in the room” rule posted on the wall. So as we counted Daddy, Ethan & Lita we realized we would be over that number when Nicole Deelah, who was the attending doula, arrived at 9:00 am. Daddy tried to convince Nurse Kelly that Ethan really shouldn’t be counted but she wouldn’t budge. She said that she didn’t make the rules but she had to enforce them. We all went into problem solving mode trying to figure out how we were going to handle this.
In the meantime, Dr. Holly had given orders to start with the breaking of the waters to see if that would get labor started. At 9:00 am, Nicole the Doula arrived to work her magic. I asked her to pray with us for a safe and wonderful birth and she led us in a powerful and beautiful prayer that was answered in full.
After a couple of hours with no significant progress, they added a little pitocin to the mix and things started to progress. Nicole and I massaged Ericka’s feet and manipulated pressure points. (Nurse Kelly didn’t throw anyone out. Maybe we were invisible. Yay, God!) Things really started heating up around 11:30 am. Ericka did some time on the birthing ball. Then she and Nicole did a few laps around the hall. Daddy took his turn praising, comforting and letting her lean on him.
Ethan who was still patiently waiting to see his brother finally decided to take a nap but woke up around 1:00 pm just as Mama was making it happen. Nicole and Lita helped Mama get into position to push. Dr. Holly was a little anxious that Ethan would be “traumatized” by Ian’s birth since she had never had children attend a birth before. Dad assured her she had no reason to be concerned. This was the moment Ethan had been waiting for!
Even though she was told she could push whenever she wanted, Ericka was in tune with her body and kept saying "I'm afraid" and "I'm not open enough." Nicole, being a firm believer in mama’s intuition, leaned in, brushed her hair back, and reminded her she would open, and when she did, to do as her body told her, pushing all the pressure out and down. A few contractions later and her body just melted into the bed, she sighed, and we could literally see her hips shift forward and open... she knew, SHE knew when her body was open enough... and with that contraction, Ian came to crowning and the head was born.
So at 1:30 pm on April 20, 2010, Ethan finally got to see his brother, Ian. Dad cut the umbilical cord after it stopped pulsating and Lita and Ethan watched as the nurse checked him and weighed him in at 9 pounds and 19 ¾ inches.
After we all got to admire Ian and his Mama for a little while, we left her to rest, picked up Andrew and went home for the night.
Daddy, Andrew and Lita picked up Mama and Ian from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon and then we all picked up Ethan from school.
This was my first experience with an un-medicated birth and it was beautiful. My beautiful daughter-in-law, Ericka is an “amazing woman” (my son Stephen’s words). In her usual way, she made quick work of it without complaint. Amazing!!