quiet birth

Peaceful Birth

Kelly and Justin are a very kind and gentle couple. They work well as a team and complement each other very well. When I first met Kelly, our meeting was very comfortable and she was very clear on how she wanted her birth to go. It was after all her second child so, she had something to go by from the first experience. Her first was induced with pitocin and very rushed. Rushed to the point that she didn't quite know what was going on, especially after the birth. I knew we could make that different for her this time. Needless to say, I was thrilled when Kelly told me she wanted me to be her doula.

By the time Kelly's due date came around, I had 3 clients due in the same month, something I never do, but 1 of them was due at the end November, so it was highly unlikely they would overlap. Well, it turned Saturday evening I get a call from my client due at the end of November saying that she thinks she is in labor! No way! It was now 3 days past Kelly's due date and she was going to try castor oil on the next day. I thought I'd give her a call to let her know, "I may be going to a birth tonight, so don't try the castor oil until I get back." She wasn't having any signs of labor except for the diarrhea all week, but that didn't mean the baby was coming today. I thought we'd be ok, I got in the shower to prepare for the birth I might be going to and Kelly called while I was in the shower. When she went to hang up the phone from me, at 8:50 her water broke! Oh my goodness, what are the chances.

Since Kelly's labor was definitely happening and we still didn't know about the other, there really wasn't a choice involved. Kelly's birth was where I was going to be. I told her to let me know when contractions start, to stay hydrated and keep the bladder empty. Her contractions started at about 9:20. They were coming on pretty quickly and starting in the back and wrapping around. At first she could lay down, but that soon became very uncomfortable. I suggested that Kelly and Justin go on a walk, and that turned out to be very nice for them. It was a very nice night out. The contractions were still coming on pretty fast and pretty intense in her low back. It was about 10:50 and her contractions were 5 minutes apart and there was a little bleeding. We were all thinking her labor was going to go fast because her first son was a 10 hour labor. It just goes to show, don't ever expect something in labor, no two are alike, just like no two children are alike. Anyway, Kelly and Justin were ready for me to come over by about midnight, but when I was on my way, they changed their mind that they wanted to meet at the hospital. I thought that would be fine since her first labor was so fast and she had been 5 minutes apart for over an hour.

We arrived at the hospital along with Kelly's mom. The nurse wasn't the greatest, but she followed Kelly's wishes and wasn't in the room for longer then necessary. Kelly's friend, Laura arrived shortly after we did and was a great presence for the birth as well. Her whole team was very calm and supportive of Kelly, it was very nice.

There was a slight drop in the baby's heart rate so her doctor said that she could not be off the monitor. It was so uncomfortable for Kelly to lay or sit down that she was just able to stand in one spot or go on her hands and knees. I did take the monitor off for her to go to the bathroom and to take a brief shower, but being in a standing or hands and knees only made it very difficult for her to relax. She even said, she just couldn't relax her bum. We tried counter pressure and hot packs, one leg up in a deep lunge and pelvic lifting for her back none of that helped. We really needed to walk around. Kelly decided she thought she wanted to get an epidural, but if she was close she would continue how she was going. The contractions were very close together, they were going away completely in between, but they were a couple minutes apart. So at 1:50 she had the nurse check her and she was still 4-5 cm. She was at 4 when we arrived. That was a decision maker for her, she got the epidural at 2:06.

The epidural didn't work, so the anesthesiologist had to take it out and re-insert it. That was a tiny better, she could feel a little more then her toes tingling this time, so instead he put a medication in her IV. We were not told what it was, but it made her whole body numb. Her lips were even numb. It was supposed to last for about an hour and a half. Kelly's blood pressure even dropped to something like 80/40. Her mom sat herself right where she could see the baby and Kelly's heart rate on the monitor while Kelly rested. Laura and I rested on the couch and Justin, I don't know if he rested or he just watched Kelly and was ready for if she needed something. I would hear conversations while I rested and would check on Kelly from time to time, but I ended up getting about an hours worth of sleep. Kelly's contractions slowed way down to 6 minutes apart with the new medication, but as it wore off, it speed up again.

Finally, it was time to push in the early morning. The shift changed at 7 am and we got a nurse that was very sweet and silly. She was also very calm, a perfect new presence for the final part of the birth of Kelly and Justin's little boy. It was just the epidural, so Kelly was feeling all of her contractions, just not the urdge to push. She was able to push when she wanted with them and not really coached at all. She was also able to rest when she wanted. The nurse was very quiet and never yelled, (cheered) her on loudly. She was very encouraging but in a very calming way. Through our conversation I figured out it was better to tell her to pull when she pushed because when we said push she would push with her feet instead of pull her legs back. Once we started telling her to pull, Dashiel was out in no time.

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When Dashiel arrived, his cord wrapped around his neck 3 times. The doctor, Dr. Henderson was very gentle and calm while he slowly and carefully unwrapped it then he put Dashiel on Kelly's tummy. He let Justin cut the cord and the nurses left Dash to bond with Kelly. His apgar's were 8 and 8. But he wasn't breathing great so, they told her to stimulate him more. I told her to rub his head and that should get a cry out. It worked and Dash got to stay on his mommy's tummy. He started to nurse in the first half hour, he was also very good at it. Through the entire labor and birth, it was a very calm and peaceful environment. Dash came out very quiet and calm as well. It was much slower this time around and Kelly knew what was going on the entire time. It was beautiful.

Dashiel was born at 8:20 am weighting 9 lbs, 1 oz.

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