When I was first contacted by my client I felt an immediate connection with her story. She explained to me that she is in partnership with a woman who wanted to equally participate in the birth of their child. They share a lovely young boy who my client had given birth to 3 years prior. She set important standards for her up coming birth and wanted to know if I could adhere to them. She wanted a home birth. She expressed that she would appreciate to have me call her partner "partner" instead of wife. Her partner goes by "mama" and my client goes by "mommy". She wanted to have her young son attend the pushing phase of her labor and everything afterward. She told me she wanted to go off of her own unique intuition during this labor just as she had with her first birth. She had no prior childbirth education classes and felt she was strong enough to create an internal reality that could guide her on the intense journey of labor. I felt very excited to partake in a birth for a woman who painted such a unique journey to embark upon as a Birth Doula.
What made this arrangement even more unique was that she wanted to have her partner breast feed their newborn within the first hours of being born. Her partner had prepared her body for months to successfully breastfeed their newborn. Their partnership was equal in providing for the newborn and in being an equal part of giving birth to this new baby girl. She told me she wanted to have her birth team stay quite during her labor. She wanted to be guided through physical touch instead. She told me she would imagine a rainbow through each contraction. As the colors progressed from red to orange to yellow and green her contraction would build up reach its peak and then subside as the colors progressed in the rainbow. She wanted verbal ques from me to keep her on track with this visual.
I felt full confidence in her ability to tap into her strength during this labor. She expressed to me that her previous labor lasted three days. She expressed concern to me that she had a fear that it would happen again. The Midwives at South Coast reassured her that 2nd time births are quicker. Our prenatal went well as I got to know her family of three and the space where she would be giving birth. Her son was very protective as I offered a loving touch massage and a guided meditation to my client. He didn't want me to touch her and to have us stop. She calmly explained to him that this is the type of care I would provide as a Birth Doula. That I would be helping "mommy" during the more intense moments of labor. I wanted to set up a physical relationship with her before the birth so that way she felt more relaxed with my touch for when the day comes.
During the next few weeks before her labor we set up a very trust worthy Doula client relationship. She could text me and call me anytime and visa versa. Her baby was past the set due date and my client had wanted her baby to come sooner rather than later due to some life events that needed to take place. I listened to her worries, fears and stresses. I offered her advice to the best of my ability based on my belief of birth, labor, and life as a individual walking this journey of being a human. I told her that her baby would come in perfect timing and knows when it is the best time to be born. We don't ultimately have complete control and our baby's journey is their own. As time kept ticking along with no baby, several membrane sweeps, and alternative inducing techniques I kept dreaming every night of her labor. I went through her labor at least 7 different nights in my sleep before the day came. I felt a lot of internal pressure due to lack of sleep and unrestful stressful sleep. I also had the pressure of another mother who was also waiting to go into labor around the exact same time. It was the most stressful time for me as a Doula in my Doula career thus far. Luckily I had a back up Doula who recently joined the South Coast Midwifery team. She was on top of being a very good back up Doula. I couldn't thank her enough. Luckily I was able to attend both births with some wiggle room in between for sleep.
The day I got the call to come into her labor I was at South Coast Midwifery completing some Doula intern tasks. So I drove right on over to my client's house. She was in active labor by the time I arrived. She was doing beautifully with her breathing technique. We had a great birth team. Two Midwives, a Doula, her partner, and her two family friends who helped tremendously with filling up the birth tub and making it the perfect temperature. My client actually ended up needing the opposite care that she previously asked for. She wanted me to verbally guide her through breathing and to not touch her unless it was on her head while I scratched her scalp. And to put cold compresses on her for head to cool her off. She had her baby within four hours. She pushed and delivered in the tub while her son was there to watch the pushing phase. She had the birth of her dreams. Which is rare but achievable. She birthed in her birth tub, had delayed cord clamping, soothed her son to stay close to her during her pushing contractions, and had an immediate breastfeeding latch. Her partner had luck with the newborn latching to her as well. It all went so smoothly. I left within 6 hours of arriving. I was the last to leave to make sure they were cared for before heading off. I was relieved to experience such an easy birth especially with the stressful weeks leading up to such a perfect birth.