Last night I was teaching a class at the birth center to our moms set to deliver this summer. I was enjoying getting to know them when my phone starting buzzing. A lot. It was my doula partner, letting me know that we had two women in early labor, and I was going to be needed tonight! I wrapped things up, inhaled my dinner, and ran home to change my clothes and grab my supplies.
I got a call around 10 pm from my client, saying her contractions were coming every 3 minutes! But she was talking through them, and I really couldn't tell if she was in early labor or active labor. She was coping so well, I assumed she wouldn't need me for hours. But literally the second I climbed into bed I got a call saying they were heading to the birth center. I jumped in my car and met them there around 11:30.
Mom was dilated 4 cm. So she still had a ways to go. She found solace in the tub and loved having cool water on her face, neck, and back. She enjoyed listening to piano music, and would ask me to "crank it" so she could hear it over the jets of the tub. She kept pumping out contractions like crazy, and we all started to assume that this birth was going to go fast!
Meanwhile, across the hall, another woman was also progressing quickly....
At 1:00 am mom asked for nitrous, and thus began one of the most entertaining births I've ever attended. I'm really starting to believe that God gave us nitrous for the sole purpose of assisting laboring moms. It takes off just enough of the pain, elevates mom's mood, aids in relaxation, and dulls nerves. All without affecting the baby, at all. Well, it really seemed to elevate my client's mood. During contractions she would tell us how horrible it was and how she never wanted to do this again. Then in between contractions she would tell us how easy it was, lol! My favorite quote of the night was "This is nothing. Seriously. NOTHING." (If only you could hear her inflection through my writing! Hysterical.)
At 1:45 am, mom started feeling small urges to push, and was dilated to 8 cm. Record speed for a first time mom! When we first arrived at the birth center she asked me to tell her about my first birth, and I told her how once I got to 8 cm I felt so invigorated and knew I could do it! She remembered, and became invigorated herself. She was almost there.
Across the hall pushing was taking place, and it was looking like these two moms might deliver at the same time. Around 2:10 am we heard a newborn crying, and my client was so excited for her friend who had just given birth. She started shouting across the hall "Go G! Congratulations! Wooh!" There was so much excitement and energy in the air. It was such a cool experience.
At 2:19 my client's water broke, and the urge to push intensified quickly. Charlotte, the midwife, was still in the other room finishing things up with mom number one, and my role was to help my client not deliver until the midwife was available again. My client followed instructions beautifully, and was able to breath through her contractions for quite some time. But after so long, I knew we were close, (and I didn't want to deliver the baby!), so I ran over and told Charlotte she was needed, asap!
At 2:43 am, April 23rd, 2015, this chunky girl slipped into the world.
Welcome baby Harper! 8 lbs 8 oz
She had the longest hair, the loudest cry, and the cutest cheeks!
This mom was definitely a little high from the nitrous, but this picture shows the best high of all. The thrill and overwhelming joy of holding your child for the first time.
Then there was a knock on the door. It was my doula partner, telling us that mom #1 was ready to deliver her placenta. So off Charlotte went to deliver that placenta, then was back in our room several minutes later to assist my client as she delivered her's. It was quite the game of midwifery ping pong! But in the end, everything worked out perfectly time-wise.
This dad was totally enamored with his daughter.
One of my favorite things to witness.
Look at those adorable feet!
This little girl did not like being separated from her mom, and cried every time someone else held her. Even if it was just for a second. Once mom was all settled into bed, baby Harper quickly latched on perfectly and enjoyed her first meal. After nursing for a while, this family was ready for a nap. When I left they were all snuggled in bed together and almost asleep.
(Hopefully they actually got some rest!)