Monday, August 22, 2011

My first VBAC birth

As you may know, I am a doula in my other life and working towards doula certification. I attended the most wonderful VBAC birth today and had to share!

What a beautiful and inspirational birth story I have to share! I met this couple for the first time about two months ago and I have enjoyed getting to know them as they prepared for this birth. Mom had a cesarean with her twins about two years ago, and I just knew that this birth was going to be great! I could tell by her determination and all the research and work that she was doing that this was going to be a wonderful experience for her and for me too. I was honored to be a part of this special day.

Mom called me at 12:06 am to let me know that her membranes ruptured, but she was not yet having contractions. We talked for a minute, and she decided she was going to take her time and try to get some rest. I attempted to do the same. Of course I tried in vain! I went to my baby's room for a little while to snuggle with her and that seemed to help calm me down, but I just could not fall into a deep sleep. I had a feeling that things would be pretty fast once they started going because she had been 4-5 cm dilated for at least the past week, and she also had a feeling things would progress quickly. She was worried that her birth wouldn't count towards my certification because she was already 4 cm dilated before labor even began and I assured her not to worry about that! I told her I am doing this for a living and not just to get a few births for certification and be done with it. I am honored to be there! Little did I know at the time what a truly amazing experience this would be.

She called again at 4:19 am to let me know that they made it to the hospital and that she was ready for me. I quickly brushed my teeth, changed clothes, packed my bags and drove the nearly one hour drive to the hospital. I made it to the hospital, checked in, went through security and made it to her room a little before 5:30 am. The lights were dim and everything was quiet and serene. It was just her and her husband at that time. They quickly showed me what he was doing to help her cope and I helped them out. Dad was able to sit for a few minutes and get a little break. He was doing so great! She was already at 8 cm when I arrived. Wow!

After a little while, Mom asked what we could do to relieve some of the back pain, so we had her move to her side. She was reclining on her back a little. Moving to her side made the contractions quite a bit stronger, but we had better access to apply counter pressure to her back as she needed it. I helped her with her vocalizations and we focused on relaxing a certain body part during each rush. Sometimes it was her shoulders, the next her neck, the next her jaw. Just one part at a time. She did so beautifully. I say I helped with her vocalizations, but she barely made any sounds at all!

Just an aside, I have a hard time filling out my certification paperwork as it is during a birth. I am pretty busy helping mom! This time was pretty liberating not to have to worry about filling out this or that form or worry about getting a doctor I never met to fill out a form when he didn't really see me in action. I could focus completely on mom and dad and the labor.

I finally had a chance to break out my essential oils! I applied cool cloths to her forehead and put a few drops of lavender to help her relax during labor. I would wave the cloth as a cool breeze too, which helped her be able to smell the oils. Dad told me that the doctor was supposed to arrive between 6-7 am. With the way she was progressing, they were a little bit worried. I teased Dad, "Well, YOU'RE here to catch the baby if he decides to come before the doctor!" It was halfway a joke because he really WAS planning to catch the baby.

As promised, the OB arrived about 6:15 am. I was impressed with him for two reasons. First, he arrived when he said he would! Second, he introduced himself to me and was so kind and gracious. I really appreciated that.

It became somewhat a flurry after that. The doctor wanted to have her checked. The nurse was trying to rush her somewhat, but I would whisper to her, "Take your time! Take your time! When you are ready, you can tell them when you are ready for them to check you." She did a great job with commanding respect of her body, and I was so very impressed and proud of her. However, I was also impressed that the staff graciously obeyed her wishes. Once they realized how much she was in control, they really worked with her. I loved that.

The doctor checked her and she was complete. They helped her try to push to see how the baby would handle it. According to the doctor, Baby did not seem to like that push, and he asked that she labor down for a little while. She was really having a hard time NOT pushing as she was feeling the urge. The nurse worked with her more actively to help her not push. Dad and I helped her stay comfortable with a cool cloth, encouragement and counter pressure. I was able to whip out the lemon essential oil to help energize her for pushing. Very cool.

After just a few contractions, the doctor came back and she began pushing. She did great! After 27 minutes of pushing, her sweet baby boy was born at 6:48 am! Daddy caught the baby! It was such a beautiful moment for that sweet family, with tears running down Dad's face and the most elated and joyful expression on Mom's. She did it!

Dad was able to place Baby immediately on mom's chest, with a little guidance from the staff, which was so wonderful! He was in such awe and shock. What a beautiful time for that family and such a pleasure, honor and joy to be able to witness this inspirational birth!

Congratulations to Mom for having a beautiful and successful unmedicated VBAC birth! I am so proud of you!

1 comment:

  1. That is such an amazing story!! Congrats to those happy happy parents :) And I'm so glad to know that you are getting to have these experiences for a living... way to go Flutie!! :)