Birth Notes from the Doula’s PerspectivePictures posted with permission
It was April 22ndth and you were 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant. This birth would be a planned homebirth. You called me around 9:30am to let me know contractions had started a few hours earlier and were about 5 minutes apart and mild. You decide to try and rest a bit because you weren’t sure that you were in active labor. You’d thought maybe you had been having contractions the night before but you thought it may have been a dream so you went back to sleep. It wasn’t long before your husband called me at 10:30am to let me know that contractions were getting closer and he said that you were focusing through them; I assured you I would be at your home shortly. I arrive at your home at about 11:00am and the homebirth midwife arrives shortly after. I come in the house to see you standing in the bathroom; your face rosy and warm as you close your eyes during contractions. You mention that you don’t know what is going on with your body, that you were not expecting labor to progress this quickly. I hug you and remind you that no matter how much we prepare, we still have to be open to the unique labor we are given. I also remind you how amazing you are doing! Shortly after, you are assessed by the midwife and found to be 7-8cm! You can’t believe it! Your body naturally relaxes with each contraction and you rest in the bed for several contractions. Your family arrives and your daughter greets the room with love and curiosity when she asks “What’s mommy doing?” I smile and say “She’s having a baby!”
As the birth pool is being filled with water, you walk around the house for a few contractions. You rotate between rocking your hips and leaning on me. You breathe with purpose; each breath is long and smooth as you take in plenty of oxygen for your baby. Because you hadn’t had much to eat you snack on some orange jello and water. Upon entering the birth pool you quickly respond with “Why didn’t I get in here sooner?” and we all giggle because we had been encouraging you to try the tub for a while. You were able to relax even deeper in the birth pool, allowing your body’s natural painkillers to do their job. Your husband and I take turns sitting behind you supporting your arms; I get you cold washcloths for your forehead and massage your hand.
You mention more pressure and start bearing down a bit, pushing softly with contractions. You aren’t sure that you really have the urge to push so you decide to relax for several contractions to see if the pressure intensifies. An hour or so later, the midwife encourages you to stand for a while and let gravity help you, you do that and then you sit on the birth stool to push on a few contractions. You start a feel a little doubt creep in; you say “It feels like I am not doing something right?” The midwife and I assure you that you are doing everything right because you are listening to your body! You push for a while longer and get back in the birth pool on your knees leaning over the edge, where your water breaks. Immediately, you feel a stronger urge to push and within a few contractions your baby emerges into the water as you reach down to catch your baby on your own.
You put your baby on your chest and say with the proudest joy “I did!” With your husband at your side, both of you overwhelmed with joyful tears, you both can’t take your eyes of your baby. You didn’t know if you were having a boy or a girl (although your daughter Orianna seemed to think it was a boy) So you reach down and look to see, and you both say with delight “It’s a boy!” Owen weighed 10lbs 4oz!
“Happy Birth Day Owen!”
This birth was filled with so much faith and strength! Congratulations! You did amazing! I'm sure I left something out, as birth brings so many magical moments. The official birth story belongs to you. Thank you for inviting me to be part of something so sacred.
Taryn Goodwin, CD(DONA)