Sunday, October 19, 2008
My 2nd birth
SO finally I am going to write about my second birth as a doula. The last week of September, Holly had been laboring all week and I just kept in touch with her. Isabella's birthday was that monday the 22nd and my family was coming into town that Thursday to visit. Holly had and estimated due date of September 16th and even though she was over 41 weeks, she was SO positive and knew that her daughter would come when she was ready. I really admire her patience..many women unknowingly put themselves at risk by getting induced just because they are a little over their "due date." So she texted me throughout the week letting me know what her contractions were doing and other things she was feeling. Every night I went to bed thinking that at any moment I would get a call.. On Friday, we hung out with my parents during the day and that evening, we had a little party for Isabella. As we were going home that night, Holly called me saying that her contractions had continued all day and that they were getting a little closer...I knew she was in labor so I told her that I would just be prepared for her call later that night. I had just barely gotten into bed when at 10:30pm she called me. I was pretty excited to get the call so I gathered my stuff and headed over to her house. She had taken a Hypnobirthing class and when I got there she was leaning over her birthing ball and rocking through each contractions. It was so peaceful in the home..dark, quiet and her husband was so loving to her. We would talk about birth stuff between contractions and then get very quiet when she was having one. While I was at her house the contractions were 3-5 minutes apart. She said that they were much more tolerable rocking on her ball than standing but she figured being upright would get her progressing more. I suggested we go on a walk. We all then went outside and walked back and forth on their street for a while till she felt a little too cold to keep walking. Then we got inside and ended up talking about showers and I suggested it might refresh her. She took one and had a few contractions in there but said the shower felt great. Then she wanted to get in her own bed and rest a while with her husband. I just laid out on their couch for about 20-30 minutes. When they came out she said she wanted to go to the hospital - she felt they were getting really strong and did not want to be too uncomfortable on the ride the way there. I got all their stuff in the car and at about 1:30am, we headed to the hospital. When we got there,the nurse checked her and she was 1cm dilated which surprised us all since we had seen her working pretty hard though her contractions.
So she just got back on the floor and worked through some more contractions for a while and we just kept a peaceful environment for her. Occasionally I did some massage on her lower back as well. Around 3:30 am she was checked again and was now 3.5cm. The Nurse midwife told her that if she was more comfortable at home, she could go there and come back when she felt like it or she could just stay at the hospital. I think since it was the middle of the night, she had a good nurse, and there was no pressure on her, she decided the car ride was not worth it and stayed. Her CNM also told her that she was worried that if she didn't get any rest, come pushing time she would be too tired so she took an Ambien sleeping pill. At that time, it was 4:30am and I had been up for 22 hours which for a pregnant woman is not the best. Holly told me to go home as well and get a few hours of sleep. I went home and around 9am, the CNM called me and told me she was awake and 5cm and getting into the bath tub. I got back to the hospital around 9:30am and when I walked into her room, she was getting out of the tub and saying something about wanting to push. A few minutes later she was in the bed and they checked her stating that she was about 9 cm. Her water had broken in the tub and I guess that was all her body needed to finish dilating. She worked through a few more contractions with me and either the CNM or the nurse pressing on her knees(actually moves the pelvis a little and provides relief). When she said that she really needed to push, she was 9.5cm and the CNM told her to just try pushing through one contraction to see if that would push the rest of her cervix away. I don't think it did. They then told her to not push through contractions for a while until the cervix was more dilated- from her mouth, this was one of the only really hard parts of the labor( I can imagine having such and incredible urge and being told to hold back) When she was dilated, she was able to listen to her body and push her baby out. This went actually pretty fast compared to her early stages of labor. She decided to just push in the position she had been checked in since she was anxious to get the baby out. We held her legs in place and she did such a great job pushing. No shrill screaming or anything...not to say she wasn't vocal. I rubbed her neck a little between contractions since she would really tense up with each push. When the pain got stronger, she talked to her daughter by name and told her to "Come on..you can come out". I also remember blowing on her forehead and pushing her hair back when I could tell it was getting really intense for her. Her beautiful baby girl slipped right out at 10:40am on Saturday. Holly had a small tear(that healed very fast) and her daughter was a great nurser from the start. Once breastfeeding was established and I had taken lots of pictures of the new family, I packed up and headed home where my parents and family were waiting. We had a great rest of the weekend in Park City.
Holly was such an example to be with her patience and endurance and positive attitude. She was not afraid of birth..she knew her body could do it and allowed it to. Her husband was so loving, giving her comforting touches and words along the way. I felt honored to be apart of such an intimate experience of theirs.