Birth Notes from the Doula’s Perspective
Even though most people associate doulas with "natural birth" this story serves as a reminder that doulas do in fact support mothers that want pain medicine for labor.
It was Sunday January 31st at around 11:30pm when your water broke. You were 41 weeks and 4 days pregnant. You let me know that you were going to try and get some rest since the contractions you were having were mild and irregular. At about 3:00am you let me know that the contractions were 4-5 minutes apart. I advise you I will be heading over and I arrive at your home at around 4:00am. We joked about how baby Lorna waited to come out until after the snow storm that we had just days earlier.
As contractions intensify, you use the TENS unit for relief of your back pain. You labor in the hands and knees position on the bed while you lean on the birth ball. I do double hip squeezes during contractions to help you stay loose. You follow your body’s urges to sway, rocking your hips left to right. Laboring gracefully…at your bodies perfect pace.
At around 5:00am you decide its time to go into the hospital. We arrive at 5:15am. Your mother and sister meet us up in triage. They offer you loving words of encouragement and praise. You had been feeling nauseous and your mother wipes your forehead with a cool cloth. You sit in the bed tailor style and lean on the birth ball while Ben & I massage your back during contractions. You breathe slowly and deeply. You joke with Ben about how you thought you’d be more irritable during labor as you say “Hey, I don’t hate you yet!” We all laugh.
Ben gives you a foot massage as you labor. Your iPod is playing your music, the lights are dimmed and you are working hard, laboring strong to meet your baby girl. I remind you that each contraction is bringing you closer to meeting your baby girl. We do visualizations of your cervix melting away and blossoming to make way for your baby to come down. You focus wholeheartedly.
You feel the desire to stand, so you slow dance with Ben, rocking back and forth for a while. Later, you mention that you are exhausted so you lay on your side to rest. You say “I don’t know if I can do this.” And I remind you “You ARE doing this and it won’t be that much longer!. At 7:00am you are 6cm and 90% effaced. You are feeling like you would like a little stadol to help you rest. The stadol gives you a chance to doze slightly between contractions. Your mother stands at your head and brushes your hair as the sun starts to rise casting a grey hue to the winter wonderland outside your window.
At around 7:30am you opt for the epidural because you are tired and wanted some rest from the contractions. After your epidural was placed you were 7cm. You and Ben lat down and take a much needed nap. After resting, at 9:18am you are 9cm and are getting excited, knowing you are getting so close to meeting your baby girl! At around 10:00am you are complete and you give a few small pushes but we all agree that it is a good idea to “labor the baby down” so that your pushing phase will be brief. When the OB arrived you start pushing and after only a few very glorious pushes your baby girl emerges at 11:32am! She was 9lbs 4oz and 20 inches long. She was placed on your chest skin-to-skin as you and Ben marvel in her beauty! She latches on to the breast within an hour from the birth as she tenderly gazes into your eyes for the first time. It was a glorious moment!
Congratulations mama! You did amazing! These are the birth notes from my perspective. The official birth story belongs to this couple. I'm sure I left something out, as birth brings so many magical moments.