Sometimes when there is a storm brewing and you can feel it rolling in; changes in the sky, the smell of the Earth, even the sounds tell you something is on the horizon. There can be trepidation, concern, and even questions as to what the storm will bring…but we all know that with the storm comes something beautiful.
We know the storm brings the richness of water for the Earth. The cleaning of the sky. The refreshment of all living things. In the end, a rainbow…a gift.
I would say the birth of baby L was similar to a storm like this. Her parents were being so patient. They could see the storm brewing on the horizon…they knew soon the storm they were anticipating would be a reality. Sometimes, the waiting becomes unbearable. Mothers talk themselves into actions that force things to happen, often too early.
They were being steadfast…waiting for baby L to come on her own time. Finally the time for waiting had been exhausted and it was time, at 41 weeks 5 days to get things rolling.
As they checked in to the hospital early on Saturday morning I was thinking of them. Confident things would go well, after all they were very educated and confident in their decisions. They had decided to start with a bulb induction. A much more natural way to get things started than say Pitocin or breaking water.
As the day rolled on I was receiving reports of the two of them just hanging out, watching tv and spending their last few moments together before baby arrived.
Around 9pm she called to say the bulb had fallen out and she was 5cm. Such awesome progress for the inconsistent contractions she had been reporting. It was very encouraging for all of us. She had said the Dr. was going to come back in an hour and see how she was feeling and if there was any change. She was going to go take a shower and get refreshed.
Less than an hour or so later her husband called and said I should come on down to help with any decisions that needed to be made. At that time I packed up my stuff and headed to Good Sam.
When I arrived she was on the birthing ball, pressing on the roof of her mouth and her husband was resting. We did some Clary Sage massaging of her hands and started some oils going in the air. Once the Dr. came back in he was fine with her continuing to be patient and ride it out waiting for active labor to pick up. This was a blessing as most of the time there would be a sense of urgency. But, this Dr. was willing to let things happen on their own.
After some changing of positions, walking, and massaging of the ankle and feet pressure points, we all agreed a little push of Pitocin would be a good idea. The hope was it would kick start things just enough to gather a regular pattern of labor. Throughout the night daddy, mommy and I all got some rest as her labor patterns had slowly picked up but not enough to make her too uncomfortable. But, now as the morning approached, they started a small drip of Pitocin to try and initiate her own body’s labor receptors.
She got in the shower again in hopes of the contractions picking up. They were so flexible about her movement and change of location, even being attached. This seemed to pick things up some and as they upped her Pitocin to 4 she was showing signs of increased labor…she was no longer able to talk through them but needed more concentration each time.
The morning also brought in her Dr. Dr. Kennard arrived to check in with her and see how things were going. At this time we all agreed it would be good consider breaking her water since her pattern had increased, to allow the Pitocin to be turned off and her body to take over on its own. I was impressed with the Dr. making the suggestion to encourage her own body to make headway with labor rather than synthetic labor with no end in sight. That was extremely wonderful and rare.
Before they could get in to break her water she was in full on active labor. Moving between the bed and the toilet she was making quick progress. Each contraction brought total concentration on her part. She would surrender to the contractions, with daddy right by her side each moment telling her how strong she was. She was toning and humming to help release the tension during the swells of the storm.
When the storm really hit she went into the zone. She was fully engulfed in it. Allowing her husband to help her, hold her, support her, listening to our voices, relaxing her bottom half. She didn’t waste a single swell.
When they came in to break her water she was 8cm and fully effaced. She’d done amazing work. We expected things to really pick up now that her water was broken and they soon turned off the Pitocin. She was free to go back to the shower and sit on the toilet to finalize her transition.
She did just that. Fully surrendered she went from 8-10 in less than 1 hour and began feeling the urge to push. We saw this in the bathroom during a contraction. Her sounds had changed and her focus shifted. She was beginning to feel urges.
She slowly made it back to the bed where she gripped the birthing bar and managed to hoist herself up with all her might for several contractions, pushing baby down into the birth canal. Her husband was supporting her by sitting behind her on the bed helping her up to the bar each time she felt the need. She was completely following her body’s direction and desire.
I could tell she was getting tired with the bar. She took the suggestion to try hands and knees for some rest on her legs. She made incredible progress on hands and knees and before we knew it the little dark hair of their little girl was peeking through with her pushes.
As she brought the baby down and the baby’s head came in and out, Dr. Kennard asked her to turn over for delivery. She obliged.
She was doing the most incredible pushing. Full body, fully committed pushing was being done and that baby was coming down the birth canal perfectly. Not too fast, to allow for proper stretching, and not too slow as to discourage her.
It wasn’t too many pushes that we could see baby was coming in the next few pushes. They brought over a mirror and Dr. Kennard helped support her stretching as the baby moved in and out a few more times. Momma would rest well in between during her long rests and ramp up as the contractions piggy backed.
Two more pushes and baby’s head was pressing into the ring of fire, making its way out for the last time. Dr. Kennard asked her to slow down just a bit to allow for stretching without tearing. She listened perfectly and then pushed when asked and baby L’s head made its way out with her shoulders and body immediately following.
Dr. Kennard placed her directly onto momma’s chest and they laid eyes on each other for the first time. They breathed each other in, heard each other’s voices, and out came the rainbow after the storm.
She did perfectly. They were patient, steadfast, and resilient in the storm which ended perfectly with a precious baby girl, healthy and strong in her mamma’s arms. Momma held her to the breast and began to allow baby to latch if she desired.
They were all immediately in love and it was a beautiful thing to witness.
7lbs 12oz 20 ¾ inches
Born at 41 week 6 days
Happy Birthday Baby L.
Photos taken this day with camera phone and edited with Photoshop Actions.