Jenn* and family!
What a delight it was to work with you! You met
me early in your pregnancy and let me know that you were looking for
someone who believed in HVBA2C completely. I knew in my heart that you
would have the best chance at the birth you wanted at home, and knew you
would get it only with people who completely and unequivocally
supported your choices.
I was definitely on board!
other pregnancies went past your estimated due dates, so your midwife
and I both completely anticipated you to do the same with this
pregnancy. In fact, we all did!
I had plans to visit family in
Michigan until the 16th of July, and weren't planning on seeing you in
labor until at least your estimated due date of August 1st.
July 15th, you called to let me know you were feeling mild contractions.
You planned on taking a bath, drinking 4 oz of wine, and 0 some mild
cntx, tried baths and wine to calm things. I didn't hear from you again
until 9pm, when we were rolling into our half-way point for the night,
Memphis. *Joel contacted me to let me know you were trying to rest after
mild cramps all day.
I woke at 2am on July 16th to a call from
Joel letting me know that you were having contractions since 1am that
you were unable to talk through and shivering. They were still sporadic,
but 'heavier' feeling. Not painful. I recommended calling your midwife
and taking a warm bath if you wanted to try to rest.
I also talked to Joel about how to 'check without checking'
if he was worried that you were progressing toward birth faster than
what your midwife and I thought. Both your midwife and I were trying to
get back into town for your birth!
At 6am we were on the road
again, heading toward home and I was able to talk with Joel again. The
bath allowed you to rest for the remainder of the night but the
contractions did continue. Your husband also had me in stitches when he
mentioned he had no luck with the 'crack thermometer' - his translation
of the Bottom Line.
Your midwife and I had our backups on
standby in the event that once you got up and around things picked up.
But, when we talked at 10am, you let me know that, although your
contractions were more frequent, they had ebbed off in intensity even
more and were, more or less, simply constant cramping and mild bloody
By 1pm, we were barreling toward the Louisiana state line
when you called to let me know that they were getting more intense, but
had spaced out again to around 3-6 minutes. I recommended, at that
point, asking your midwife to come see what your cervix was doing. And I
called my back-up to let her know she would most likely be called for a
Your midwife sent her back up to check in on you. You
learned around 3:24pm that all of your hard work had opened your cervix
to 3 cm and made it very soft. You texted me to let me know your
progress. I recommended that Joel call my back up to let her know to
head toward you.
At that point you walked the stairs and was
about to walk by the kitchen when a very strong contraction brought you
nearly to your knees and made you yell out 'in a primal growl'.
hour after your first cervical check, I received another text from Joel
telling me your cervix was now 8cm. I asked him if my back up was
there. He gave me no response, so I knew things were getting busy at
your home. So I called my back up doula and asked her to high tail it to
Nicole showed up shortly after that and I was able to arrive 15 minutes after that. We drove straight to your doorstep and my family went to a nearby movie and out for dinner.
I arrived you were in the tub, feeling an urge to push but not a strong
one. Joel was on his laptop in the living room and trying to rid
himself of a headache. Your midwives (yes, your midwife had arrived by
that time too) were encouraging you while your two older children played
at a neighbors house.
I approached and encouraged your noises
to get lower and in your bottom. One of your midwives encouraged you to
use the wall of the tub to push against while you pushed your baby
downward. When you really began progressing toward birth, I snuck out to
let Joel know it was time to come into your birthing space. I found
him laying on the couch but unable to sleep because of his headache,
which still hadn't gone away.
Once Joel was at your side, you
reached inside yourself and felt your babies progress. Joel did too and
you were both awed that you were so close. Your pushing came in earnest
at this time, and, in between contractions, you whispered encouragement
to yourself and your baby. Your birth team echoed your words - you were doing this, you were safe, you were strong, and you could finish this race.
your baby crowned, I encouraged you to look down and see your baby, to
reach down and feel your baby. You began to flip over in the tub, and
you broke into laughter! While you caressed your babies head, you
exclaimed, "Joel! It's a babies head between my legs! You have no idea
how long I have waited to see a babies head between my legs!".
baby slid from your body shortly afterward, directly into Joel and your
hands, and you claimed your baby to your own chest with a triumphant
While seeking a home birth early in your pregnancy, your
doctor had said that some women simply couldn't go into labor on their
own and couldn't birth their own babies.
Now that you had your
fresh beautiful little baby on your chest, you announced, "screw you Dr.
____!" We all laughed, and together you and Joel lifted your babies leg
to see what gender it was.
A boy! You birthed a boy from your own baby, in your own time, with your own strength. You did it. A triumphant VHBA2C.
Congratulations Jenn and Joel - congratulations family R!