My experience with Birth # 10: "Birth Story"

Mama's estimated due date was at the very tale end of March 2018. Mama and her partner hired a Doula for this birth because they felt as though adding a Doula to their birth team would be beneficial. The day of their first prenatal their Doula, Heidi, met the family and learned of their “Birth Plan”. Heidi found out that their daughter would be announcing the sex of their newborn. Together all four practiced comfort measures so that mama could be prepared for some hands on comfort during her labor.

That late evening heading into the early morning, mama's water released. This was about 20 days before her estimated due date. Everyone was shocked and rearranged plans to be there for her. There were changed flights, a new birth plan, a sudden urgency, as well as a feeling of trust that everything would be okay. Mama was in good hands with her birth team and family. Everything came together at the last moment. She waited 24 hours before her Midwife, Allison, made an educated call to have her induced at Saddleback hospital. Bags were quickly packed and prepared while shortly after, mama and her family headed to the hospital that early morning to await their newborn baby. The induction was successful and their Doula, Heidi, joined them later at 6pm when mama was ready to have her join and assist them. At that time mama was 4cm dilated. So Heidi packed everything up and headed over to the Woman's building at Saddleback hospital to join mama and her partner.

Luckily the staff at Saddleback Hospital were amazing. A nurse stayed with mama and her partner the whole time and coached and encouraged mama until her Doula arrived. Her Midwife felt as though mama was making excellent progress and proceeded to leave the room until the pushing phase. Mama and her partner worked beautifully together as a laboring family. Her partner was so loving and attentive to mama as she rode each wave. They stayed in the slow dance position while her partner held and consoled her. Heidi had mama breathe as deeply and calmly into her baby as possible during each wave. She was guided to release each wave down and out of her body. Heidi provided the hip squeeze while her nurse Cassie spoke encouraging words back to mama. Mama had the idea to use the Rebozo on the hospital bed to support her belly during each wave but it was a bit difficult to get the entire Rebozo around the belly due to EFM (electronic fetal monitoring). Instead Heidi pulled out her icey cold wash clothes to put all over mama's body. Around her neck, her lower back, and on her pubic bone to provide relief. While Heidi provided lower back pressure and massage, her partner stroked mama's back and put loving and consistent pressure on her head, and the nurse made sure the fetal heart tones were stable and normal. Mama was so strong the entire time! She yelled, bellowed, and roared through each wave to cope through the sensations she was experiencing.

Her pushing phase came quickly. Within an hour after Heidi arrived she started making pushing and grunting sounds which indicated that mama had to be repositioned for the last bit of labor. Allison then rejoined mama and her birth team. She helped coach mama to breathe more calmly and explained that she was close to meeting her baby. She reminded mama that she was strong and that she could do it. There were times when mama felt like this labor and pushing phase was too painful and she would yell out “no no no”. Heidi suggested that she yell out “yes yes yes” instead to welcome her new baby. At first mama was apprehensive but then started saying “yes yes yes”. The birth room was filled with positivity, energy, love, encouragement, and a sense of knowing that this was a powerful birth to witness. There was a strong birth team plus a strong mama all in one room. The energy was high! There were adorable moments when mama would softly whisper out “baby?” and Heidi and her partner would respond back in affirming tones that “yes, baby is almost here and you are doing great. You are about to meet baby!” And mama would then repeat “baby?” and again her birth team reassured her to keep going in order to meet her baby. The pushing phase was short, sweet, simple, and kind to both baby and mama.

Delayed cord clamping, instant skin to skin, the “breast crawl”, and the Golden Hour were all honored and respected at Saddleback Hospital. The staff made it easy for everyone involved. As these beautiful moments were taking place, Heidi snapped a bunch of photos for the family. Her daughter walked in shortly after and announced the sex of the baby with extreme joy and pride. "It’s a boy!" Her daughter took off her shirt to allow skin to skin with the baby. They named their baby after a grandfather and a loved family dog. Luckily mama’s mother was able to change her flight and make it down for the birth. She was emotional and called her partner to have him join the celebration over the phone. Breastfeeding and family bonding took off and Heidi left the family to be at 8pm.