Birth Notes from the Doula’s Perspective
(The official birth story belongs to this couple. I'm sure I left something out, as birth brings so many magical moments)
It was Friday January 15th, 2010 and dad called at 11:44am to let me know that you had lost your mucus plug that morning and had been having irregular contractions. I suggested that you drink some water and rest and let me know what happens. The contractions slow down and pick back up again in the evening. Dad calls me at 7:39pm to let me know that contractions are 5-7 minutes apart. I advise you I will be heading over shortly. I arrive at your home at 8:36pm. You and your daughter Zoë decide to rest on a pallet of pillows on the floor. Contractions slow to about 7-8 minutes apart. You tell me about how Zoë had said earlier “Mommy’s having a contraption” in reference to your labor contractions. We all laugh at how adorable she is. Meanwhile, your IPod is playing the birth playlist you created. Selections included Ani Difranco, Tori Amos, Kings of Leon & Beck. Zoë eventually drifts off to sleep snuggled up to you and dad carries her to bed.
At 10:45pm you move to the birth ball, where you can stay upright through your contractions. You have a few slices of toast with Nutella. After your toast you are feeling tired so I suggest that you try and sleep. You are able to rest in between contractions but move to hands and knees during them because it felt better on your back. In this moment, I catch a glimpse of baby Asher’s feet kicking your belly outward, dad lovingly rubs your belly as the lamp light radiates off your strawberry hair as you smile…gently laboring in peace. It was a beautiful sight.
Dad applies some counter pressure to your back as you breathe deeply and steady, you listen to your bodies urges to move and rock side to side. At 12:05 contractions are 4-5 minutes apart and dad calls a friend to come over to help watch Zoë for the birth. You are upbeat and positive, finding humor in everything. We share stories and laughter as time passes. You lean on the door frame and squat with your contractions, you enjoy the double hip squeeze. You slow dance with dad, resting your head on his body swaying back and forth in your bodies own perfect rhythm.
At 3:09am you decide to try and get some more rest and you lay down for half an hour as I massage your back. At 3:52 you have another piece of toast and you joke that you’d like it if baby would come by morning time because you’d really like some real breakfast!
We leave for the hospital at 5:00am. Contractions were 3-4 minutes apart. At 5:20am you arrive. At 5:42 you are checked and are 7cm! Zoë curls up with you on the side of the hospital bed and holds your hand as you both celebrate your progress.
Dad reminds you of how amazing you are, and says “You’re a bad mo-fo, Toni!” We all laugh, and agree.
You rotate between sitting on the birth ball and standing positions. At 7:57am you request to get in the tub. You also do a little nipple stimulation to try and get these moving. You get out of the tub around 8:40am and the nurse checks you and stretches your cervix.
You have a moment where you needed to cry, as labor is tiring and emotional work. You find comfort in dad's hugs and our words of affirmation:
“You can do this”, “You are strong and capable”, “You are almost done”
At 10:03pm your water breaks, you get on your hands and knees in the bed, then you start making grunting noise and I know that means its time to page the nurse! When the nurse arrives, she checks you and says“You are delivering this baby now; the doctor is not going to make it!”
You push with only a few contractions and your son, baby Asher is born into the nurses hands at 10:12am, January 16, 2010. Baby Asher needed a little help to get his breathing regulated at first and then he was placed skin to skin on your chest as he explored you with his eyes for the first time.
Congratulations mama! You did amazing!