Updated: Sep 5
L & J contacted me at 36 weeks gestation inquiring about Your Birth Helper's availability to provide labor support services. They knew they were late to the game but luckily the doula team had space remaining on the calendar for the rapidly approaching estimated due date. The next step was a free consult: where questions were answered, two page contract was signed and deposit payment received. Once this was completed, support services began (including our special perk of 24/7 text and call support).
I assisted the expecting parents in creating both a vaginal birth preference sheet as well as a separate cesarean birth preference sheet. The couple took hard copies to discuss with the birth team at the next appointment. Based on their preferences, it was determined Northside Forsyth might be the better fit for their desires birth experience.
We scheduled a virtual two hour labor workshop via zoom for a Monday evening (which turned out to take place only five days before the surprise gender's arrival). It is never too late to train, educate and empower. And I think L&J would agree that the information learned at the workshop was still pretty fresh on their minds.
Three days later, the 39 week appointment came and went. L&J followed some recommendations from the midwife- including curb walking, red raspberry leaf tea, and dates.
By Friday morning, L was having short early labor waves that were 20 seconds. The surges stayed mild and easy to work through. They got more and more frequent throughout the day, but remained around the 30 second mark. I encouraged her to not give these much notice until closer to 60 seconds each consistently. L texted me that the surges were intensifying around 6pm and were 50 seconds each. By 8pm, they left their home to head to Northside Forsyth.
They arrived and were admitted on the labor and delivery unit in Cumming, Georgia. Internal exam revealed the cervix was 5 cm at that time. Two hours later, L&J requested me to join them for assistance. I arrived by 11pm.
J&L were coping well with the use of music and relaxation sounds. I reminded L to empty her bladder if she had not done so recently. Next, we used a variety of laboring positions. L was able to cope well when swaying side to side. She experienced some back pain that was relieved with double hip squeezes as well as a hands and knees position. The next internal exam revealed
9.5 cm dilated cervix.
We continued with position changes every 20 minutes which included the squat bar, forward leaning, and standing. L was becoming quite worn out so we opted for a side lying position with peanut ball between the knees. She also was given some juice to give her more energy. By second stage, midwife Keeanna and nurse Gina remained bedside. Pushing took longer than we had hoped but L never complained. She was quite the trooper and never asked for pain management.
Many push positions and strategies were utilized but babies posterior position made progress difficult. After pushing for several hours and an informed consent discussion was had; Pitocin was ordered and planned to be administered (but baby was born before it was ever officially added to her IV). Baby's head was crowning for a bit. L asked for any and all tips and suggestions to "just get it out". I gave a few gentle reminders like chin to chest and elbows out (similar to a row machine position). Charge nurse Nicole joined the room and was the perfect cheerleader and motivation. Surprise gender was born Saturday morning on December 17th 2022. As planned, J announced the gender upon arrival. It was a sweet baby boy, name to be decided on day 8 in accordance with Jewish tradition.