Saturday, April 11, 2009

Post Due Baby Turned Home Birth

Friday March 6th was the day before her scheduled induction. I called them to let them know I was on my way over to their house. According to her prenatal visits in Fort Worth, she was 10 days post due. But, going by her first prenatal appointment in Florida, she was 17 days post due. She was hoping to avoid an induction, but her midwives at the local hospital were only allowing her to go until that next day.

She had been having mild to moderate contractions for about a week leading up to this day. With high hopes, she had also been drinking castor oil that day and the previous Tuesday. As their doula, I suggested working on some acupressure points and visualization techniques would help bring on labor. I arrived at their home at about 1:45pm and began acu-massage on specific points. Her husband had to go into work for a couple of hours to prepare for Sunday services if he was unable to be there. While he was gone, she began to have stronger contractions. Along with this, I helped her with some positioning and visualization techniques to help get the baby in the optimal position for birth. I also encouraged she and her husband to talk to the baby from there on out. At 4:00pm she was feeling change. As she moved from the different positions I had given to her, she began to feel pressure.

At 5:00pm, as she sat on the birth ball, she and I had a discussion about her birth options. She was concerned about the possibility of the induction if she indeed was not in labor. Earlier that week, she had talked with midwives at a local birthing center about the possibility of them attending her birth in the event that she did not have the baby before her other group would induce. She phoned the midwives at that birthing center to inform them of her situation and to see their policy on birthing past 42 weeks. They agreed to come by visit her that evening. With new information after that call, she phoned her husband who was on his way home from work. There was now an option of changing caregivers last minute. When he arrived home, they agreed that they would like the midwives to come for a home visit later that evening. I put on some soft music and got out some tools from my birth bag. He brought dinner for us on his way home. She ate at about 5:45pm. While eating dinner she began to have contractions that were two to four minutes apart for the next hour or so. I suggested to them that they needed to make a decision about their caregiver because she was in labor and the baby would be coming. They called the midwives from the birthing center and told them they may be attending a birth, not just a meeting. Until they arrived, she lay in the bed and then moved into the tub to be more comfortable. The first midwife came at 7:30pm and by 8:30pm their entire team of seven had arrived. Her husband continued to encourage her and never left her side. She was laboring in the bathroom for most of the time and her midwives were right there by her side. I took many photos and videos, as that is what they wished. During labor, she moved back and forth from the bed to the tub. Her water broke at 9:01pm while she was lying in the bed. In the tub, her husband prayed and sang during labor to help encourage her. He gave her bites of peanut butter and many sips of water. Soft music was playing in the background as all eight of us were squeezed in the master bathroom.

At about 10:45pm, she was fully dilated and getting ready to push. She pushed a few times in the tub and then got out and onto a birth stool. Several pushes later, the baby was born at 11:47pm, weighing 8lbs. and 6ozs. She struggled with breathing at first and had to be resuscitated by the midwife. She was then placed in her mother's arms and he made several phone calls to family members. She was able to nurse her about an hour after birth. The birth team gathered around the bed and ate ice cream and talked about the wonderful birth.

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