Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Birth I Missed

Our client was a third time mom pregnant with her last baby. And she was completely laid back. When we found out the baby was transverse at 36 1/2 weeks, Christy and I were nervous, but the mom was very calm. Wasn't worried at all. Such a laid back person, which was sooo nice. She got into a chiropractor a couple times a week and baby flipped right to head down and occiput anterior (back of baby to the side of mom's belly button). She had never had a baby that wasn't posterior, so everything was new to her this time.

I got the call Saturday night that she was in labor, but nothing painful, so it was just the prep call. My husband worked til Midnight so I was trying to get babysitting set up, and luckily my brother was in town, so he said he didn't mind watching Glade if I got called.

Well, Blake got home at midnight, and I hadn't gotten the call, so I figured her labor sputtered out and I needed to get some sleep. Not that it happened haha. I was up until about one thirty am, and then finally was able to crash.

At about two thirty Christy (the midwife) called me and said that the mom's contractions were about five minutes apart, but she was calm and didn't sound in labor at all, but she was going to head down because the husband didn't want to be alone. So I got dressed, and drove the hour down to her house.

I walk into the bedroom at 3:37 am SECONDS after the baby was born. Seriously, SECONDS.

The baby was covered completely in vernix, and by completely I mean he was completely white. Which for being a baby born at 41 1/2 weeks is a lot. But no molding, and just beautiful.

(Christy filled me in on this when we were cleaning up)

Christy got there at 3 am, checked the baby, and she didn't look like she was in labor except a few contractions every few minutes. Did not look like baby would be coming anytime soon. So she went into the living room to read her magazine, and at about 3:20 am the husband came out and said her water had broken.

Christy went back in, and she was still very calm, didn't look like she was in transition or pushing, but she was supporting her own perineum, and was just completely calm. 3:35 the head was born, 3:37 the baby slid out into mom's hands and she pulled him to the surface. And that is when I walked in.

The baby was gurgling and making little baby noises and was working the mucous out on his own, which is better for them than being suctioned, and got his nose cleared out just before he started nursing. He pinked up right away, he just had to work out the excess and be on his way.

The baby started nursing on his own at 3:59 am, latched himself on, and nursed pretty much the entire three hours we were there.

A little later the placenta was born, and I held the placenta in a tupperware bowl on the side of the tub since it wasn't cut.

Baby didn't like the water much, so a bit later mom got out of the tub and moved to the bed, and he fell asleep cuddling skin to skin with mom.

The tub was barely red. She barely bled at all and only had a couple clots the size of my palm. Definitely an awesome birth.

We cleaned up, did a placenta print after the placenta exam (a print is where we completely dry off the placenta, put two colors of ink on it and print it onto paper. I just love it! And if you don't want to keep your placenta for anything, it is a great addition to the baby book).

She had a teeny tiny tear, maybe a little more than a papercut, which will heal itself probably by the 3 day visit.

We cleaned a little more, did the newborn exam (baby boy 8 pounds 12 ounces, 20 inches long and perfect), cleaned up the rest, put in a load of laundry, and left at about 6:30 am.

I so wish I had been there for the birth, but seeing how peaceful and glowing she was just seconds after the birth was beautiful. She didn't even look like she had a baby seconds before. It was beautiful.

And one of my favorite parts to this whole birth is Christy only wore gloves when she cleaned off the placenta to dry it for printing. Everything was done with hands and love and human contact. Another amazing part was this was their biggest baby by almost a pound and a half. And he didn't look his 8 pounds 12 ounce weight. We guessed closer to 8 pounds even.

I just wish we had another homebirth client lined up. They are my favorite, and no hospital birth, even the most beautiful, can compare. Every woman should be able to experience the peacefulness and the intimacy of a homebirth. Their other children came in for the birth, and were there for everything we did. Helped us clean out the tub, exam the placenta and baby, even helped us check mom for tears. It was wonderful how open and honest it was, and how the other children were one of the first people to meet their little brother.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Today's Birth

A couple weeks ago we got a homebirth client. She was due the 10th of March, but this was her second baby and had never gone into natural labor before, so we were treating her as a first time mom, in a sense.

Her first birth was a bad experience, so she wanted something different.

This time, she was seeing the doctor that delivered her first baby. At 36 weeks, she decided she hated what was happening and how she was treated. Her appointments were five minutes at the most, and she started to find a midwife that could help her onto a natural birth at home.

She find my midwife. A woman that is the most hands off woman I know.

Yesterday, she went into labor.

I started driving down there at about 9 pm and got there at about 10 pm. Mama was in the tub and doing beautifully! She would moan and breathe through contractions, and then smile as they were ending. She was incredible!

At about one, she hit a lull. Her contractions had been on top of each other, so we knew this was the calm before the storm. The midwife and I went downstairs and crashed on the couches for an hour and when we woke up she was still in a lull. Her contractions were still coming, but there was a lot more rest inbetween them.

At about 2:30 am, it picked right back up. At 2:40 we heard some grunting, and at 2:45, she was pushing out of the water in the squatting position.

On her second push, her water broke all over the bathroom, and a few seconds later her baby had crowned and the head had been born. At 3 am, a beautiful baby girl joined the world.

She barely bled. Even after she delivered the placenta, she barely bled. Maybe about double a normal period. That is it. It was wonderful!

The most amazing part to this birth for me was that mama was up and about at the end of her labor. She never had a problem getting into a position that helped her labor. She instinctively knew what to do.

After, she just smiled for hours. She kept saying over and over that “I did it”. She had never experienced her body going into labor and knowing what to do. She had finally experienced that her body truly does know what it is doing and you can have a baby without taking herbs and medications.

Her birth was absolutely beautiful! I am still in awe thinking about it.

Drumroll, Please!

So… I know you guys are dying to hear how the birth went. We had a few prenatals and when she was 40 weeks 6 days, she went into early labor early that morning.

Her contractions were about 15 minutes apart, and she wasn’t having any trouble working through them, so she just kept the midwife updated who kept me updated.

The next morning, I get a phone call at about 5:30, and she is having contractions 3-4 minutes apart so we are on our way over. I get dressed and drive the hour down to see her.

When I looked at her, I was just fascinated with how her belly would get hard during a contraction. It would just squish all around the baby’s bum, and I thought it was the coolest thing I have ever seen. She was breathing through them, but could still talk between the contractions, so I knew she wasn’t that far along.

After a couple hours of watching her, we decide to go out and get some drinks while she labors. It was like watching a pot boil haha. We went to a coffee shop and talked for an hour and went back to see how she was doing.

She was able to sleep while we were gone, so we checked the baby, and everything was good. A couple hours later, she doesn’t look like her contractions are getting harder or closer at all, so the midwife offers to check her to see.

She is 3-4 cms, so we leave and tell her to go out and have fun, walk around, do things to speed it up, or just relax and enjoy the last moments before you have your baby.

I got home and waited for the call to go back. I fell asleep thinking I would get a call early in the morning, but at 8 am I woke up and was terrified I had missed the call.

At 9:15, the midwife called and her water had just broken, so today we were having a baby.

I drive down, and there was a huge difference from Saturday. She was shaking and throwing up, and she wasn’t talking during or inbetween contractions. She was definitely in transition this time.

She moved to the bedroom to labor on the bed, and we sat watching, giving her little words of encouragement here and there. She labored beautifully. She would say it hurt and she couldn’t do this, but her mom was the greatest support I have ever seen. She would reassure her and tell her she is doing great, and she would calm right down.

Inbetween her contractions, she would fall asleep. She had been up for 2 days and was so tired.

Finally, a little before noon, she started grunting during contractions. She did this for about an hour, and there still wasn’t any bulging during her pushes, so Christy decided to check and see what was going on.

She still had an anterior lip of cervix, so we flipped her onto her hands and knees to get rid of it. As soon as she was over, she pushed with her next contraction, and there was definite bulging. She was fully dilated and ready to go.

The coolest thing about her being on her hands and knees was seeing the line of being fully dilated. At the end of your butt crack, when you are fully dilated, there is a line that looks kind of like a wrinkle. It extends up about 2 inches when you are fully dilated. This way you don’t have to be checked and we all know you are good to go.

She pushed for about an hour and the baby would come down, and then go right back up after the contraction was over.

We had her switch back onto her back and had her go through some directed pushing. We had her try a few different ways, and they worked great, but the baby still kept going back up. She wasn’t descending at all.

So, we decided it was time to do the squat. Inbetween contractions, we moved her to the end of the bed and had her squat on the floor. After one push this way, she was doing soooo much better. But her foot kept cramping, so we decided to have her do hands and knees on the floor.

The midwife told her that she needed to keep pushing, even after contractions to keep that baby descended. She was getting so tired, and having a head inbetween your legs doesn’t help.

Once she figured this out, she pushed beautifully. The baby was out about 20 minutes later, and when her head was out, she kept making the cutest faces. She would purse her lips and look around, and just taking stock of the world. The next push she was out and the midwife caught the baby and then laid her on the floor in front of her mom.

Once the baby was out, she wouldn’t stop bleeding. She had to have someone else hold the baby because she got so dizzy.

The second the midwife figured there was something wrong, she got a dose of Hemhalt and gave it to her. It slowed the bleeding down, but not enough. She gave another dose and we sat her down and the bleeding finally slowed down enough we didn’t have to worry.

Because she was sooo tired, her uterus was exhausted too and was having trouble contracting to stop the bleeding. Once it got that jump start, it worked beautifully.

Her placenta came out, and had some trailing membranes, but the midwife did a beautiful job making sure she got them all without tearing anything.

After that was out, we had her sit on the floor for about another half hour. We then moved her to the bed and started the clean up and the placenta exam.

After that we did the newborn exam, and then we did the postpartum talk, and helped the baby latch on, and then we left.

The birth was sooooo amazing. We only turned the lights on when we looked for tears, and otherwise it was just us and the family in the room with her.

She did beautifully! She labored so well, and watching her and her husband hold the baby later just brought tears to my eyes. (Even though I had to stop myself from crying multiple times since I got there…)

She actively pushed for 2+ hours, but we think if she had not been scared of the hurt of pushing and kept the baby down inbetween, she would have had her out sooner. She was 8 days ‘overdue’, by hospital standards, and if she had been in a hospital, because of her long drawn out labor, she would have been augmented or even sectioned because of the longer pushing phase.

The family is doing great, and it was an amazing first experience!!!! Yay, Homebirth!!