The Unexpected

Audrey was having her fourth baby and did not have great experiences with her other labors, so she wanted the help of a doula to help this time go a little better. When I first met Audrey, we talked about her past 3 births. All 3 children were 2 weeks early, very long labors and jaundice. Her first was breach and she started contractions about 2 weeks early so they took her right to a cesarean. The other 2 labors were long and bad experiences with the epidural. So, we had a plan that we would try to have a natural as possible birth without pitocin and epidural not at all or very late in labor.
Audrey followed suit and started contracting very early on. 35 weeks was the first bought of contractions. They stayed at about 3 minutes apart for a couple hours so we even went to the hospital, but they would not show up on the monitor and she had no change in dilation. It seemed about every 2 days she would have hours of contractions starting in the early evening, lasting part way through the night. By 39 weeks Audrey was completely tired and frustrated with what was going on. So, after taking everything into consideration, her due date, risks, benefits and connivence, Audrey and her husband, Devin choose to have her water broken, Thursday, Jan 12th at 1 pm. Audrey and Devin did not take this decision lightly and came to the conclusion that it was the best decision. I was very happy that she made it to 2 days before her due date because her other babies were jaundice.

We arrived at the hospital at 12 pm, Thursday. Everybody's spirits were good, Audrey had started cramping from the inside about every 10 minutes that morning. These were different then the previous contractions. The doctor came early, about 12:30 and broke her water. He was so laid back and at ease with everything. Contractions still were not reading on the monitor, but Audrey described what she was feeling as different, kind of uncomfortable and weird. Her doctor made sure with the nurse that Audurey was to be up and moving as much as possible. He also told Audrey how great it was that when he tickled the baby's head, her heart rate would go up. He left the room with us all feeling very comfortable.

As soon as monitoring was done, we went walking. We walked for almost 40 minutes. During this time she only had to stop 2 times for a contraction. We also talked about if she asks for an epidural and decided on if so, we will have her checked before making that decision.

Audrey gets back on the monitor (this is the second time on it) and she is starting to be very uncomfortable with the contractions she is feeling. Contractions that are still not picking up on the monitor, so I have her sit on the ball while she finishes the 20 minutes she is supposed to be on the monitor. That is more comfortable, but I can tell that things are changing a bit. Even though, the monitor is not picking up contractions, every time Audrey's breathing changes, the baby's heart rate also goes up a bit. I could tell, her little girl was feeling them too.

Once we get off the monitor, Audrey goes to the bathroom and we try to go for a walk, but it took about a half hour for her to get to the bathroom, out, in again, on the couch and back to the ball. She wasn't sure if she wanted to push or had to go to the bathroom. Her contractions were definitely long and strong, we just couldn't feel them externally. It was very interesting. The nurse comes in to try to get her back on the monitor and she couldn't because the contractions just weren't stopping. She leaves again and Audrey is in the bed tearing up and tells Devin she is going to need the epidural. I told her we will have the nurse give her another check first. Audrey is saying she wants to push. So, I call her in again and look at her bum to see if there is a purple line in her crack, which is an indicator of how dilated she is. As the nurse walks in, I see the line and I'm so excited and tell the nurse, "She's almost there! I see the purple line!" The nurse just kind of looks at me and checks her, then tells her ok, don't push yet, you are almost there. She calls the doctor and tries to get Audrey on her back. Audrey goes to her back and rolls right over to her other side. She is involuntarily pushing and the nurse checks her again. She is now complete at 3:22! Yep, just under 3 hours after her water is broken. I was so happy for her. No more long labor, no more horrible epidural. (She had leaking spinal fluid with the last one.)

Audrey pushed holding onto her husband's hand for 20 minutes. Their 8 lb 15 oz baby girl was born at 3:42, after a 3 hour and 10 minute labor.

This birth was so unexpected because Audrey's labors were all early, long (over 24 hours), needing augmentation and an epidural. The past epidurals were aweful. One didn't take and the other caused a spinal headache. This labor was so incredibly different. It was short, relatively easy, she didn't need the epidural, she won't have any side effects from it, her recovery will be so easy with just a tiny tear that needed only one stitch and her baby so far has not had any jaundice. It is so wonderful that she got what she wanted. I am so very happy for them.