Your parents were interested in having a doula for your birth because your mom wanted to have a natural child birth. They had also recently moved from Florida and needed advice on an OB supportive in their goal of a natural childbirth. We got together in their home a couple of weeks later since your due date was approaching quickly. A couple of weeks prior to your due date, your mom sent me e-mail updates telling me how her appointments went. She would also report on whether or not she was dilating. She dilated to 1cm and was 80% effaced a week or two before your birth.
I received a phone call from your mom on April 5 around 1:00pm. She told me she was at the hospital and had been since about 5:30 in the morning. She had noticed a decreased in your movement, so she wanted to have you checked to make sure you were okay. They did a non-stress test and watched you closely. You were fine, although the reduced movement was concerning to the nurses and doctor. Your mom's doctor was concerned about your safety inside over the next days and weeks. She felt you were ready to be born and didn't think it was worth the potential risk to keep you inside.
They basically played the "dead baby" card. We knew logically that we most likely did not need to be there, but at the same time we were terrified of going home and actually having something terrible happen. After a couple of hours of discussion, my husband and I finally agreed to the induction. I wouldn't let my doctor break my water though, which resulted in a really angry OB.
They began to administer Pitocin to your mom slowly around 11:30am, a couple of hours before your mom initially called me. They began the induction very slowly so as to gently urge your mom's body into labor. Your mom spent time in the bed being monitored but got out of the bed to sit on a birth ball to try to get labor going. I stayed in contact with your mom over the phone throughout the day. But an induced labor can go slowly and that's what was happening to your mom. I encouraged her and told her to try to rest if she was able. I spoke with her at 5:00 that evening and she was sitting on the birth ball. I checked in with her again around 7:45 and your mom's water had just broken on it's own. She actually wasn't able to answer the phone immediately and wasn't able to talk with me until I called back a few minutes later. She told me about her water breaking and that she was dilated 2-3 cm. I told her the dilation was encouraging and was showing that the Pitocin was doing it's job.
Your mom's doctor agreed to turn off the Pitocin so that she could shower and eat something. Unfortunately, since her water had just broken, she could no longer get in the shower but she did try to eat. She wasn't very hungry but she managed to get a few bites in. I called around 8:20 and your mom explained to me all that had happened. So I told her that I would leave soon to be with her. I wanted to be there to try to help her labor along and to provide support to her during the induced labor, which can be more difficult.
I didn't have her come in earlier, because I had a really strong urge to be alone. I was actually contemplating not calling her at all, but we had already paid for her services! In the end, I'm really glad that she came.
I arrived around 9:00 pm and was so happy to see your parents. Your mom's spirits were high and your dad was sitting right next to her. The nurse left soon after I arrived, dimming the lights. Your mom suggested that we put her Hypnobabies CD in the stereo. She had been listening to it for months in preparation for your birth-day and it was finally time to use it for real! She closed her eyes and seemed to melt into the bed. She relaxed almost immediately.
It was pretty amazing. After turning on Hypnobabies, I was able to sleep right through some strong contractions.
It was your mom's desire to stay active in labor but the nurse told her she had to stay in bed. So your mom advocated for herself, telling the nurse that Dr. Sample had assured her in previous appointments that she would be allowed to move in labor. So Esther (your nurse) called Dr. Sample to see if your mom could have intermittent monitoring. Thankfully she was fine with it, so your mom was freed from the monitors around 10:10 pm.
The nurse honestly tried to tell me that because my water had broken, I wasn't allowed out of bed! WTF?! She went to the bathroom and then sat on the birth ball. Your mom was listening to the segment on the CD entitled, "Birth of Baby". And she had us play it throughout the night.
When your mom got up from the birth ball she would sometimes experience a gush of fluid. I encouraged her, telling her the more stuff comes out, the more room for baby. This was one thing that I hadn't expected! I thought that my water would break once, but I experienced big gushes every few minutes. Walking with a towel between my legs was not my most graceful moment! She was checked at 11:05 pm (almost 12 hours after the induction began) and was 4cm dilated. She was making slow and steady progress. She had a good contraction pattern going without the Pitocin. It had been turned off several hours earlier. The contractions were 2 minutes apart, lasting 45 seconds each. Your mom was getting tired and frustrated about the length of time for labor. She looked at the clock (which was off by one hour and seven minutes!) and wondered how long it would be until you were born. She wished their wasn't a clock right in front of her.
Your mom got back into bed to get monitored around midnight. The nurse noticed your heart rate going down during contractions, so she had to be on the monitor for a bit longer. She laid on her left side and I put a pillow under her hip to wedge her into place and make her a bit more comfortable. By 12:25 she allowed back off the monitor and back on the birthing ball. The contractions were 3-4 minutes apart at this time.
And that's how the night went. Your mom would labor on the birth ball, stand up and lean against the rolling table and walk around. Then she would get back into bed to be monitored for a short while. At 2:55 am Esther checked her and she was 4 cm, a stretchy 5cm. Your dad left after that to let the dogs out and the nurse returned to restart your mom's IV because she hadn't been drinking very much water, and they didn't want her to become dehydrated. The nurse also spoke with your doctor again, who asked if your mom was walking around or doing nipple stimulation to help get labor going stronger. But your mom was so exhausted that she thought it might be better for her to rest so that she would have the strength to push you out when the time came.
She rested for another hour and the nurse came in to tell her that Dr. Sample wanted her to make more cervical changes or she would be put back on Pitocin. Esther said she would return in two hours and if your mom wasn't at least one more centimeter dilated, the Pitocin would get turned back on. Brian returned after that, and we walked up and down the hallways for an hour. I also encouraged your mom to squat during the contractions. By 4:00 am your mom returned to the room to use the bathroom and she saw lots of bloody show and mucus. These were very good signs of things progressing, so we resumed our walking for another hour. At almost almost 5:00 am we returned to the room for another check. Your mom was 5cm dilated, 80-90% effaced and at -2 station. So she made change, just not a lot.
Your mom was put back on the monitor and they noticed your heart rate dip a bit low during contractions. They also gave her an oxygen mask to breathe through, just to help bring your heart rate up. Your mom felt nauseous and was really getting tired of labor. At 5:40 the nurse checked your mom and she was 7cm! We were so excited because only 40 minutes earlier she was at 5cm. I reminded your mom that she was in transition now, the most painful but shortest stage of labor. She felt really encouraged having made such significant cervical change in a short time. She was having difficulty staying in bed for labor though. She no longer wanted to listen to her Hypnobabies CD, so we knew that this was serious labor.
This was something else that I hadn't expected. After a certain point, I didn't want to hear anything or anybody, see anything (I kept my eyes closed a lot) or feel anyone's touch. Your mom was worried that she wouldn't be able to labor without pain medication if she had to be stuck in bed. At this point I was begging for an epidural! Thank goodness my husband and doula stood strong and reminded me of my plan. I few f-bombs were definitely dropped my me at this point!
Your mom actually labored in bed for most of transition but would change her positions as if she were out of bed. She sat up and got on her hands and knees. She then got out of bed and squatted next to it. She was feeling very strong sensations like she needed to have a bowel movement. At one point we went into the bathroom to give her privacy with the bed pan to try to go to the bathroom, but she couldn't.
I was screaming at this point, "I've gotta POOOOOOOP!" Of course they wouldn't let me into the bathroom by myself, so they brought out a bed pan and stuck in on a chair in the middle of the room. People always said that I would lose all dignity during labor, but that never happened. I refused to use the bed pan with an audience there, so I forced my husband and doula to stand in the bathroom! LOL. I couldn't bring myself to do it though.
Around 6:45 she was really feeling pressure like she had to push. I jogged down the hall to the nurses' station to let them know and I had people following on my heels. One of those people was Dr. Sample. She was the one who actually checked your mom's cervix that time. She was finally 10cm! It really was incredible how quickly she dilated once she got going! So with the next contraction, your mom began pushing. She did a very good job of pushing when she felt the urge instead of pushing while they counted to her.
It can take hours to push a baby out, especially for a first time mom. But your mom pushed for only about 30 minutes. There came a point when the head was crowning and your mom felt lots of pressure. She had to wait between contractions with that pressure. WIth the next contraction, she pushed very forcefully because your heart rate had dipped down for a bit long. With that final push, your head was born. I encouraged your mom to touch your head and to look down at you. When she did she took a breathe and gave one more push and the rest of your body slid out. You were born at 7:21 am. Dr. Sample placed you right on your mom's tummy so that you could get to know her right away.
Your eyes were wide open as you looked at her. After a couple of minutes, a nurse took you to the warmer next to the bed and checked you over. Your mom needed some stitches for a 2nd degree tear. I was taking pictures of you in the warmer like I was the paparazzi. When they finally weighed you, you were 8 lbs 4.2 oz. You were 20 inches long and your head was 37 centimeters around. That's a pretty good-sized head!
As the doctor was stitching me up, I was deliriously happy, and kept repeating, "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE PUTTING A NEEDLE THROUGH MY VAGINA RIGHT NOW!!" Haha
Your dad held you for sometime while Dr. Sample finished up with your mom. Then you were handed back to your mom to love and cuddle. You were latched on to breastfeed by 8:00, just about 30 minutes after you were born. You were able to latch onto each breast during that initial feed. Right about when the staff cleared out to leave you alone with your parents so you could bond, we heard a loud bang, followed by another and another. They were doing construction in the labor and delivery unit of the hospital and your mom's room was right next to it! It was definitely not an ideal environment for your mom having just given birth, so they quickly made arrangements to move to another room.
Your dad got busy making phone calls to grandparents. He was so excited about your birth. He even asked your mom when she wanted to have the next baby! I don't think your mom had anything to say to that just yet.
I left soon after that and congratulated your parents on a job well done. Your mom did a fabulous job and your dad was an excellent support to her. I know that you have such a great life to look forward to and two parents who love you and are such special people. I will always be grateful for being invited to be a part of your birth. I wish nothing but great things for you and your family.
Love your doula
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I realize that this was practically a novel, so I would be surprised if anyone actually gets through it. It felt good though to get it all out. :)