“She was so strong, so fearless, so courageous…it was inspiring. I wish all women had this experience.”
The Lord has always been so gracious to me when it comes to the delivery of my clients. Considering I have 6 small children at home and lots of coordinate to attend a birth, I’m always a little bit nervous that things won’t quite fall into place once a mommy goes into labor. Each time, the Lord orchestrates an incredible birth time and experience that always works out perfectly. I’m so thankful.
He did it again with Mr. and Mrs. S. They had been given an estimated due date of March 2, which happens to be my twins birthday and we had a full day of plans. I had my phone close by but no calls came through that day. We got to spend the whole day together as a family. On Monday I spoke with Mrs. S and she was feeling melancholy about being post due date. I tried to give some encouraging words to her and come up with a plan. Her doctor was wanting to induce that week, before he left town, but I asked her to consider coming to a compromise and waiting until at least 41 weeks. At this time her cervix was thinning but still hard with only a fingertip dilation.
That week came and went and her doctor would be leaving to go out of town on Saturday. There was an induction scheduled for Tuesday after he returned and this induction would include a cytotec induction, pitocin and AROM. I was instantly on the defensive for her about this, especially being her first baby. We talked at length and I asked for some advice from some other doulas in the Arizona community. It was very informative for me which I then shared with Mrs. S to encourage her to make a decision that would be best for them.
We were hopeful she would go into labor on her own and avoid the cytotec induction. Prayers were being lifted for her daily. She continued to get a massage, do some acupressure, walk, etc. I reminded her that the Lord has chosen a day and she wouldn’t be able to trump the Lord but to do all that she could to get labor going naturally.
She was checked again on Thursday before her doctor left town. I think this probably stirred up some hormones because Friday morning she texted saying she was feeling activity but nothing too intense. I knew I needed to get things arranged for the kids and be prepared to meet her in the next 24 hours or so.
God is so good, because my in-laws were coming into town Friday night and it would immensely help me to have them home for my children and my husband available for the weekend to deal with my littlest one, who is 11 months and still nursing.
Sure enough, after preparing my in laws for what was coming, Friday night at 10:30 I got the call from her husband saying things had picked up the pace and she was more uncomfortable. I suggested they get some rest while they could. Around midnight he called again stating she wanted me to come, that she was about 2 minutes apart and lasting for a minute or more. I gathered up my things and my baby to head to their house.
On my way, he called again stating she wanted to go to the hospital and to meet them there. That meant my husband needed to come and be with my little guy since he’s not allowed in the labor and delivery. He met me there with ease and took Beau from me to wait until I had to feed him again.
When they arrived, Mrs. S was in active labor, breathing through the contractions and doing so, so well. Once through triage and headed into a room, she was 4-5 cm and changing at a steady pace. We were able to talk some between contractions and they both seemed to be in good spirits, excited to meet their baby girl.
She was moved into a room at approximately 1:00am with contractions steady and on the rise. When she was checked again around 3am she was still 5cm but thinned almost all the way out. I kept encouraging her to make every contraction count. We don’t want to waste them!
She did just that. When checked again around 5am she was a good 6-7cm and nearing transition. They were beginning to piggy back and then give her a longer rest in between. She was handling them incredibly well. Changing positions, moving when she wanted to, utilizing the birthing ball. We played some worship music while sitting near the bedside on the ball then praying and asking for G-ds blessing over the whole labor and delivery.
Their family members arrived and were able to come into the room to be with her for a time. She didn’t want them in there for the delivery or the parts where she would be exposed. They came, prayed with her, and waited in the waiting room anxiously anticipating the birth of their first grandchild all around.
As things progressed the nurse suggested laying on her side. Baby girl seemed to have fallen asleep and during one of her intermittent monitoring stints, there wasn’t quite enough movement. So she rolled to her side. This was incredibly painful for her as her back labor was very intense. We set a goal of just 2-3 contractions on her side to encourage baby to get into the right position in case she was OP (face up rather than face down). Mrs. S did an incredible job enduring those contractions on her side with her back labor. Her husband pressing firmly her hips together with each contraction to give counter pressure. He was just as dedicated and physically invested in the process as she was. It was wonderful to watch them together.
Once she was done on her side, she got to move back to the ball, time was drawing near. She then did 3-4 huge contractions on the toilet, where pressure really gets to working. Transition was in motion and she was doing incredible.
We had plenty of tears at this time. She was tired, in pain with each surge, and wanting it all to end. It is an emotional time and we slowly made it back to the bed. The nurse came in at 6:30 and checked her. She was 8cm with bulging water. With a scrape of the fingernail the water broke and 6:36am and I knew then it would only be a few moments before she could begin to push.
From there within approximately 15 minutes she began to feel the urge to push but she had a lingering portion of her cervix hanging on making her 9cm with just a little cervix left. A few more hard, long, contractions with great rest in between and she was a full 10cm and feeling pushy.
Those rests in between she was able to really get some good breaths and focus. You could sense the peace that was coming down over her while she waited for the next wave.
Now, it was 7:00am and she wanted to bare down. They were doing shift change and a new doctor and a new nurse were coming in for delivery. She gave short little pushes during the contractions believing she needed to wait for the doctor to arrive. Once everything was in place she began to bare down. Little baby S was right there, we could see her dark hair and wrinkly head. With each push she made a little progress.
We untied her Pretty Pusher gown, the nurse and I removed her sports bra, and she was ready to hold her baby. Mr. S was aligned up by her head but could see everything. He held her head in his arms and helped her push with each wave. She really gave those pushes everything she had. Bit by bit little baby S came down into the birth canal showing us her pretty little head. With one big contraction Mrs. S was able to get her to crown, sensing the ring of fire down there, she pushed right through it and out came baby’s precious head.
I was taking pictures at this point, helping coach her while snapping pictures. I looked up at her husbands face and he clasped his hands to his mouth as he saw his baby girl emerge. Her head, shoulders and arms slowly pushed out. Mrs. S reached down, placing her hands on her baby’s arms and gave another great push. With that, baby S was born and placed directly onto mommy’s chest. 7:21am, 9 hours of labor, and a completely intervention free, natural delivery and Mr. and Mrs. S became parents.
With her purple hands she took her first breath. She tried opening her eyes. She let out a little cry.
Dr. Brown waited to clamp the cord until it stopped pulsating and honored their wishes laid out in their birth plan. Mr. S was able to cut the cord and baby S was right on mommy’s breast.
The Lord provided in every way all along the journey. Timing, commitment, progression, comfort…His presence was tangible. He gave her supernatural strength and at times supernatural peace between waves. Her dedication and vision for her daughter we amazing. His support, relentless comfort, and pure joy at delivery were precious.
It was a wonderful labor and delivery. It went perfectly. Although Mrs. S felt overwhelmed with emotions and feelings during the contractions she never gave up. She never gave in. She let each wave come and do work to bring baby into the world. She stay committed to her goals and birth vision. I am so proud of her and her husband’s relentless support and love.
Welcome to world little baby girl!