Friday, January 8, 2016

Well, That was Quick!

I received a call around 6:20 this morning alerting me that contractions had started.  Such a great way to start the day!  I got in the shower, got kids ready for school, and waited to hear more.  We touched base around 11:00 and mom's contractions had slowed down.  Pretty normal for the early phase of labor, but things picked up again shortly after that and we met at the birth center shortly after 1:30.

I walked in to find mom on her hands and knees and dad providing counter pressure.  Contractions were lasting about a minute, and were coming every 6 minutes or so.  I could tell mom was in that gray area between early labor and active labor.  We reviewed some relaxation and breathing techniques, but ultimately decided for everyone to head home around 3:00 as a vaginal exam showed mom to be dilated to almost 3 cm.

I got my next call at 6:30 pm.  This time it was dad (which means things are too serious for mom to call, so that's a good sign!).  He told me they were heading to the birth center to get checked out and that he would call me with an update.  At 7:00 I hadn't heard anything yet, so I decided to just head over and see how things were going.  I could hear moaning as soon as I got inside, and by the time I was up the stairs I could hear a baby crying!

I walked in just in time to start snapping pictures of the happy occasion!  Apparently this mama almost had her baby walking up the stairs to get to her birthing suite!

Born at 7:31 pm, Jan. 8th, 2016

Big sister arrived about an hour later.  I loved watching her warm up to the baby.  It only took about a minute.  Watch how her face changes as you scroll through the pictures.  :)  

This is my favorite.  Just look at that smile!

She likes the baby, but she loves her mama!

These parents were so on the ball!  Big sister had a teddy bear for baby brother, and baby brother had a Buzz Lightyear for big sister.  

Even daddy got some skin-to skin.  

I certainly didn't feel very helpful tonight, but I am so happy that this mama gets to sleep with her baby tonight instead of labor all night!  

As for me, I'm off call for 4 whole weeks!  I'll be wrapping up the final edits of my book and writing other birth related blog posts here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mr. Fox

I am wrapping up my year with another repeat client.  This has to be one of the sweetest couples I have ever met in my entire life.  They were such an awesome team during their first birth, and it was a true joy to watch them welcome their second child earlier today. 

This time around mom had gestational diabetes and opted for an induction at 40 weeks.  I never know what to expect with inductions as some can take a few hours, and others can easily take two or more days.  The state of the cervix really contributes to how well an induction goes, and this mom was already 4 cm this morning when she went in for her induction.  A great way to start!

Pitocin was started around 8:30 am, and since the baby was low and head was fully engaged, they opted to also break the water around 10:30 am.  We kept in touch over text throughout the day.  It sounds like dad was a great support, walking the halls and offering encouragement.  I arrived at 1:30 and found mom in the tub.  I could tell her contractions were intense, but she was coping amazingly well.  Breathing slowly and maintaining control, just like she did last time.  

Things continued to intensify with every contraction, and I really hoped she was progressing.  (It's so hard to know with an induction!)  At 2:20 mom was checked and was 10 cm!  The nurses quickly ran into action, preparing to catch this baby if necessary.  

Her doctor arrived just in time, and at 2:31 pm Fox slipped into his father's hands! 
I wish I could post the pictures, but they are too graphic.  :)  

I love this photo.  This mom was so overcome with emotion.

Seriously. So. Much. Love.

Fox weighed in at 9 pounds 4 ounces.  About half a pound lighter than his big brother.

This lady is as beautiful as she is strong.  It is rare to see a natural delivery with an induction, but it can be doable (especially with that favorable cervix).  I wish every induction could go this well!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Record Setter

My latest clients are always setting records.  With their first pregnancy, they hired me when they were just 8 weeks pregnant.  That's the earliest I've ever been hired!  Their second child was the heaviest baby I've ever seen be born, tipping the scale at almost exactly 10 pounds!  And their birth last night marks the first time I've supported someone 3 times!  

I received a call at 9:30 pm that contractions were getting consistent and they were heading to the hospital to get things checked out.  At 10:45 mom was checked and dilated to a good 4 cm, and was sent to walk the halls to see if she progressed.  If she did, she would be admitted.  I joined them around 11:00 pm and found them like this...

These two are such a great team, and I wasn't surprised at all to find them working together so well.  And don't worry, dad isn't texting!  He's holding up music for his wife to listen to.  :)

Shortly after midnight, mom was checked again and was dilated to 5 cm, so we moved into the labor room.  Can you believe Santa still had the energy to do some cleaning before heading back to the North Pole?!  So cute.  

I'm usually pretty good at guessing where my clients are in their labor progress, but this particular mom never acts like she is in active labor until right before she starts pushing.  So we chatted quite a bit in between contractions and enjoyed the night.  At 3:30 mom was checked again and dilated to an 8!  I could hardly believe it by how well she was coping.  Soon after that she asked for the ice roller on her back, so I knew from her past births that that meant things were getting intense and baby would soon arrive.  By 4:10 she was complete.

Mom pushed on her hands and knees, leaning on the birth ball on top of the bed.  The urge to push was mild until 4:28 when her water broke with a huge gush.  Instantly her pushing changed, and within 3 minutes she had delivered her baby.

Nathan Charles
Born Sunday Dec. 27th, 2015
4:31 am
9 pounds 5 ounces

Not quite as heavy as big sister was, but I think he still holds his own!

I love how I got almost this exact same shot after their first birth!  

So squishy and adorable!  

It has been such an honor to support this sweet family through the births of all 3 of their beautiful children.  I love what I do so much, and I love seeing Music Birth work for my clients.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hello, It's Me...

My client called me early Sunday evening to let me know her water had broken.  I excitedly packed my doula snacks and hit the sack early, expecting to be called into work sometime during the night.  Then came Monday morning, Tuesday morning, Wednesday morning, still no calls.

Back in the beginning of my career women were literally given 12-24 hours to give birth after their water had broken.  So if contractions didn't start right away, pitocin did.  Now some providers are allowing their clients up to 72 hours to be in active labor.  Research shows us that allowing the body to start labor on its own yields better results for moms and babies, but 72 hours can feel like a long time to wait, especially when you're leaking water!

But this mom didn't complain, and she continued to have faith in her body.  And it totally paid off with a quick and safe delivery!  I was called to join her around 11:30 and I made it out to her apartment around 12:30.  The snow was falling (which I love!) and Adele was serenading me on my drive, and I just knew it was going to be a great day.  

When I arrived contractions were about 6-7 minutes apart and lasting less than a minute.  I could tell mom was still in early labor, but about to cross the threshold into active labor.  Knowing this typically lasts hours in first time moms, her husband and mother-in-law set out to run a few last minute errands.  After a little while, mom began to worry because her baby wasn't moving much so she and I headed down to the birth center for a quick assessment.   

 No one likes driving while in labor, and I could tell that active labor was really starting to kick in.  We arrived at 2:30 and by 3:00 mom was already dilated to 7 cm!  I couldn't believe it!  Didn't active labor just start?!  We called dad and told him to head over ASAP!

Mom found relief in the tub, and by 3:30 dad had arrived and began providing awesome physical and emotional support. I could really see how much he loves his wife.

At 4:15 the urge to push started, but it wasn't full blown yet.  It steadily increased over time.  I was so impressed with how much control she had during pushing, especially during crowning!

Less than an hour later this little "Hazelnut" slipped into her mother's arms.

This is the tiniest babe I have ever seen.  But she makes up for it in cuteness!  

Hazel Belle
Born Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 5:11 pm
4 pounds 11.5 ounces
So tiny and adorable!

Shortly after the birth, mom compared her experience to a marathon. While you're doing it, you wonder why the heck you ever thought it was a good idea!  But when it's done, you feel so good!  

I can't imagine a better way to start celebrating the holidays!  Today was pure magic.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Words of Inspiration

"Heavenly Father cares about me, even at 2:30 in the morning."
Laboring mom

"Your uterus isn't stronger than you because it is you!"

"9 centimeters!  It's too good to be true!"
Laboring mom

"I'm not afraid anymore"
Laboring mom

"I love him so much already!"

Oct. 8th 8:11 pm
9 pounces 15 ounces!

"I'm so glad we did it this way."

"He's going to be a great dad, he's my best friend"