Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oh Babies! Two Back-to-back Births in Twelve Hours

Picking up where this post left off. If you haven't read that post, this one may not make sense.

After I finished making the scripture/prayer/talk cards for primary, I spent some time with Robbie and then went to bed. I thought I'd get a great night's sleep since the induction was off and we have 11 o' clock church now.

A little after 7am the mama in my previous post sent me a text message to say they were inducing with Cytotec. (Disclaimer: yes she was informed about the risks of Cytotec) From all my reading and talking with other doulas, Cytotec can work kind of quickly to help ripen the cervix. We kept in touch throughout the day. I actually skipped church thinking I would get called to go up to the hospital. Silly me!

Around 5pm I talked with the dad and he said they were still working on ripening the cervix. I found out later after hearing one nurse catch another nurse up to speed during a shift change that she'd had three doses of Cytotec and they inserted a foley bulb through the night.

Yesterday morning I woke up and expected to see a message of some sort, but there was none. I called the dad to see what was going on and he said that they had started the pit and she was at about 5-6cm and she was handling contractions really well. She didn't want to be touched, so he said he was out shopping. I told him, "5-6cm? That's usually when a mama calls her doula. Does she want me to go up there?" He didn't know so he called the laboring mom's mother, who was staying with her. I called too and was asked to call back in a few minutes. At one point I called and they were breaking her waters. I was worried that she wanted me there but no one would let me talk to her and find out from her, the woman who hired me, whether or not she wanted me there. I was prepared for her not to want me there, although I admit I would have been disappointed, but I wanted it to be her choice. So finally, when I asked to speak with her, and her mother said she didn't want to talk, I asked her if the mama wanted me there and she was like, "Yes!"

I was worried that they were aggravated with me, but I couldn't worry about anyone but the laboring mama at that point.

When I arrived, mama looked to be handling her contractions beautifully. She had a nice set up in the room. There was a cool breeze from a fan and soothing music. I added a bit of lavender essential oil to the air. I was brought up to speed on how things were going. Basically she could not move around with her contractions because it would make her blood pressure soar. They were trying to find the perfect combination of magnesium to lower the blood pressure and pitocin to help contractions. Magnesium works against pitocin, but it seemed like the pitocin could never get high enough to produce more effective contractions without making her blood pressure soar. Finally mama had had enough and opted to try the epidural to help lower the blood pressure.

While the epidural was being placed, we had to leave the room. We waited outside the door and said a prayer together for the laboring mama. Her mother gave it and it was wonderful and powerful. It made me cry! The dad said something like, "It's good to know that she hired someone who is so passionate about her job!" Although, that's not really why I cried. Ha ha!

Once the epidural was taking effect her blood pressure went in a safe range and they could try increasing the pitocin. She slept soundly for a long time. After many hours, there was no change in her cervix or the descent of the baby. Probably a combination of about 8 hours of no change, the baby showing some late decels, and their inability to increase the pitocin without her blood pressure rising too high made the doctor recommend a C-section. Mama consented. I asked her what she was thinking, and she said something like, "I knew it was going to happen anyway."

I have never felt so helpless and useless as a doula. I'm not the type of doula that always feels the need to do something if mama seems to be coping well, especially if she prefers to be left alone, but I just didn't see there was a point to having me there. I know she hired me to be there, and I felt really bad to almost force myself to be there, and then show up, and find out that I probably really didn't need to be there. But maybe all mama truly needed was to have her loving support people present with her, and that I did. All I ever hope for these mamas that hire me is that I am of service to them in whatever capacity they want. I just hope I fulfill whatever hopes they had of hiring me.

When mama was being wheeled off to the operating room, I got a phone call from the dad of another mama that was in labor that they checked into the hospital. This was around 9pm. I knew she was in early labor because when I parked my car at the hospital she called me to tell me she was in early labor and her contractions were 8-9 minutes apart. That was around 1:30pm.

So at 9pm, after they wheeled the first mama away, we were told it would probably be an hour to and hour and a half before she would be back. I decided to go ahead and help the other mama while I was just going to be waiting. I asked the mama's mother to let her know where I went and that I would be back to check on her before I left to go home.

Oh, all of this was the most awesome stroke of luck that the mamas were delivering at the same hospital. So I just walked a few more feet down the hall to the next mama's room. I arrived about 9:20pm and the mama had helped herself to the shower. She said she was at 4cm when she had checked in about 30 minutes prior. So she was laboring in the shower for a little while when the nurse came in to say she needed to get a reading with the electronic fetal monitors. Mama consented and made it to wear the could monitor her. While she was being monitored the baby started showing some decels and the resident doctor said it could be just because the labor was going so quickly but that we needed to keep her in the bed, that we could do massage and what not, but that she needed to be on her side with some air to try to make sure baby was okay. So long story short, baby was still showing decels and they wanted to monitor the baby internally. When they broke the bag of waters there was meconium staining. And to leave out even more details, mama pushed the baby out in 4 minutes with her own power a little over three hours after I arrived. She went from 5cm to complete in about 30 minutes! And as soon as the baby was out, they had to whisk her to the little table next to the bed to suction the meconium out. Mama said something like, "How in the world did I just have a baby naturally?" Ha ha! She was surprised that she did that! I said, "Because you are AWESOME!" She just couldn't believe she did it. Everyone was amazed by her. Her first birth was a three day long induction. And this birth was a three hour natural delivery. She seemed happy.

So the second birth was a little bit more what I am used to.

After mama was settled I texted to see if the first mama was still awake and they were. I stopped by to see how she was doing and when I arrived she was hooked up to all sorts of stuff. Poor mama. Pre-eclampsia is definitely no fun.

I left the hospital twelve hours after my arrival and finally made it home around 2:30am. Lily must have known I made it home and woke up at 3am and decided that she was done sleeping for the night! I'm one tired lady today.

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