"Congratulations on delivering your fifth baby!" is what my mom said on the phone when I told her I was on my way home from a birth. Technically, I did not deliver any babies, but this was indeed my fifth lifetime birth attendance!
This birth occurred on friday morning and it was quite an adventure. Since I was away camping in the mountains for the weekend, I haven't been able to type it up until now. It is the birth story of the Multip who I had just had my first prenatal visit with the evening before, who was worried that she would have the baby while I was gone over the weekend. I had gathered some on-call doula contacts for her to call if she went into labor while I was gone, but we didn't need them!
On the morning of May 7th my phone rang at 6:00 am. Your husband told me that you had been having strong contractions since about midnight, and that your water had been steadily leaking since 2:30 am. You had called your friend to have her come get your sons, and you were wondering what you could do to slow labor until they were picked up. I suggested that you get into the bathtub and I would be on my way to your house!
I pulled into your driveway at 7:15 am and my phone rang. I picked up and said, "I just pulled in!" and your husband said "Oh, we just pulled out!" We must have just missed each other! You were getting out of the bath when your water had broken and you suddenly had the urge to push. You gathered the kids in the car, who hadn't yet been picked up, and rushed off to the nearest hospital. It was not the hospital you had planned on delivering at, but it was too late to drive to the further one. Your husband was amazing - he had me on the phone giving him directions to catch up with him, was helping you, and driving all at the same time! He was reassuring your sons that mommy was ok, she was doing exactly what you have to do to get the baby out. He was rubbing your back and reminding you to breathe and reassuring you that you were doing great. I had him remind you that you were doing it all for your baby, who you would see so soon!
We were 4 minutes from the hospital and we were in slow-moving traffic on a one-way road when your husband saw an ambulance in front of him. You were exclaiming "the baby is coming!" so he pulled in front of the ambulance, jumped out, and asked if they could help you get to the hospital because you were having a baby. I was only a few cars behind you in the lane, so I threw on my hazard lights and ran up to where you were. You held onto me and your husband as the emergency techs prepared a stretcher for you. We reassured you that you were ok and you were almost there! You asked if I could go into the ambulance with you and it hurt me to not be able to... my car was parked in a travel lane and I had to move it! I ran back to my car to find a place to park it, but the ambulance had pulled away already. I got into my car and made my way to the hospital, a few minutes behind you.
In the hospital parking lot I saw your friend standing with your kids at your car so I knew that had been taken care of! I rushed into the Emergency door but didn't see you. I asked at the security desk and he said he'd have to find out a room number before I could get a badge. I told him that you had just come in pushing and probably didn't have a room yet. He sent me to registration, who was also unsure what to do since you hadn't stopped to register with them either. I told her you were brought in by an ambulance, and you were pushing already, could she please just show me the way to labor and delivery?! Finally she said she'd walk me there. Over the loud speaker I heard a call go out for "Any OB in the hospital" and I knew which room you must be in!
I rushed in and found you on the delivery bed with your husband by your side. The room was full of nurses and they had put monitors, an IV, and an oxygen mask on you. They prepared the lower part of the bed for pushing. Your husband and I were holding your hand and reassuring you, listening to you. You were moaning and grunting, but just breathing and resting in between urges to bear down. A nurse shoved me out of my place by your head and said, "Ok now you're going to hold your breath and push as hard as you can and DON'T MAKE ANY NOISE."
What?! Preposterous! Don't make any noise?! That doesn't make sense at all. I was so frustrated. I decided that since I didn't know these women and were never going to have to see them again and my job was to help my client first and foremost, I was going to ignore them and give you my own instructions even if they went against the nurses. The nurses were all yelling at her to push push PUSH Harder! And I was reminding her to breathe. When I said "You can do some nice low sounds... Ok blow it out..." that kind of thing, the nurse yelled "DON'T BLOW IT OUT! If you're making noise you're not PUSHING!" GAH!@#%$^!
Why are they in such a rush to get the baby out anyway? A mother having her third baby, with no drugs or epidural anesthesia KNOWS how to birth her baby, how to follow her urges to bear down, she does not need to be directed! And she certainly does not have to hold your breath and remain silent to push! Purple pushing is the WORST. Mom responded to their orders to push, but she took a breath when I told her to as well.
You told me later that you were listening to me and not to them. Your baby crowned quickly and suddenly an OB arrived. She caught your baby, cut the cord, and he was whisked away crying to the warmer. Again, I'm not sure what the reasoning for this was. Your baby was clearly breathing and he pinked up quickly. He received an 8 and a 9 on his Apgars. I grabbed my camera and encouraged dad to go over to see his baby. He took some photos and we showed them to you. Your baby was 5 lb 10 oz born at 8:09 am. You had no tears to repair - yipee!
The OB began to massage your uterus and tug on the cord a bit to get the placenta to come out. She said, "put your hand down," and you thought she meant onto your stomach. When you put your hand down on your stomach she jerked her hands away and angrily said, "Uch! You touched my glove! Now I have to go get new ones!" because they were contaminated from your hands, and told you in an annoyed voice that you didn't mean put your hand down there! Wow was she pissy. This hospital gets a very bad score in my book. Placenta came out fine a few minutes later. They wrapped the baby and got you settled in bed.
Your baby was handed to you and you were so happy! Unfortunately, because you weren't registered with the hospital, your husband had to run down to the car and all around with your paperwork getting you into the system. I took a ton of pictures. Your friend brought your sons up to meet their new baby brother! This is getting to be one of my favorite parts - when the siblings meet the new baby!
Luckily all the nurses who tended to you postpartum were very nice. You had the shivers so I made sure the nurses brought you socks and warm blankets. I assured you this was normal and I rubbed your cold feet. We encouraged your new son to latch on at the breast, and he began to nurse very well! I reminded you of a few breastfeeding tips and stayed with you a while until your husband came back. I held your hand while the nurse palpated your stomach to encourage it to contract. I brought you some apple sauce. The nurses waited until you were done nursing and then took the baby to the nursery to do some tests and wash him. Your husband went with him. After your husband returned, you were cleaned up, and moved to the postpartum room, I congratulated you and left.
This was my third "fast" birth! I am getting all the quickies! And because of my late attendance it doesn't count towards certification. I am grateful for the experience and being able to help my clients. I am also thinking maybe I should only work with first time moms, lol ;]
Its crazy to think that I only met this client one week ago! I visited them for their postpartum visit yesterday evening. I brought her homemade roasted red pepper and tomato soup, which I looked up the recipe for, to meet her non-gluten/specific carbohydrate diet! I chatted with mom about the birth, held the baby for awhile, discussed breastfeeding, gave her some samples and brochures I have. Dad took a photo of me, mom and the baby together which I can't wait to put up on my business site!
Each birth, each client and each postpartum visit creates more things that are new to me and that I have to research. For instance, today she asked me about gas/burping a breastfed baby. My newborn care expertise is spotty, but I was under the impression that keeping a baby propped upright after feeding was sufficient to quell spit-ups and gas, and that in general breastfed babies have less gas and spit-ups than formula fed babies. She seemed concerned that he wouldn't burp after each feeding and then he'd make noises later that sounded like he had some air coming up. I looked it up just now... and found that I was right. Breastfed babies won't burp after every feeding. Sometimes they get gassy one hour after feeding. Generally its just the result of an immature GI tract, and it will get better over time. Now we've all learned together!
While I was at their home, client's mom thanked me for everything I did, saying it sounds like I was a big help. Its so nice to hear that, especially coming from her, because it means that my client told her mom that my presence was definitely appreciated. Also, my client told me that when I rang the doorbell, her 8 year old son looked out the window, saw me, and called, "Its Your Birth Sister!" (my business name), which is just so funny!