In a newsboy cap sewn by L’s Goddaughter, and the photograph was taken by a bridesmaid of L’s
(All captions of photos written by the patient.) I was blessed to have been L’s midwife with her second birth in January 2013. Her sweet boy took her on quite the labor journey, 34 hours of walking, praying, position changing, patience. L had such a sweet, beautiful birth. Needless to say, I was over the moon when L called me in January 2014 saying she just took a test and it was positive! The day before L’s expected due date, I had sent out texts and made appointment changes due to having another patient with her water broken. I had been talking with L and rescheduled her appointment. Thirty minutes later, I receive this text:
This time I think I might be in labor.
Knowing my patient well, I knew something was up. I immediately called her and asked what was up. Her braxton hicks contractions had been strong this pregnancy, and she assumed she was experiencing braxton hicks contractions all morning, until she realized they were coming every 4-5 minutes, lasting a while. I told L to time them, and if they seemed regular I would swing by to her to assess before heading to the other mom. At about 1:50 that afternoon, L sent me her contraction timer. Contractions were coming every 3 minutes, lasting about 50 seconds. I told L I was already on my way. I arrived around 2:30 and found L to be her normal joyful self. Contractions were definitely regular, and she was having to breathe through the contractions. I did a cervical exam. She was 4-5cm dilated, 80% effaced and baby was at a -1 station. Bloody show was on my glove. I told L it looks like she is on her way to having a baby soon! I asked L to try hands and knees for three contractions, and she willingly did so, with counter pressure on her back during each contraction. After those three contractions, she sat on her bed updating friends and family by text, while I blew up her birth pool. I wanted to be sure it was ready for her when she needed it. Contractions were coming every 4 minutes, lasting 60 seconds. L sat on her birth ball, walked around the house, folding laundry. She labored beautifully as I prepared her pool, and unloaded birth supplies. Close to 5pm, I requested L do three more contractions in hands and knees. L’s husband M provided counter pressure through the contraction waves. L walked around her house, leaning over her bed, counters with each surge. Contractions were now coming every 2-2.5 minutes, lasting about 60 seconds. I began filling the birth pool for L so she could get in when she was ready. At 5:40pm, L got into the birth pool. Earlier in labor she had posted scripture for her to focus on and read during labor. They provided a lovely focal point, as did her prayer intentions, which she requested us hand to her from time to time in labor to read over.
Laboring through a contraction in the birth pool … focusing on the Bible passages typed up and put under the liner (That center one said “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” – Romans 12:12)
Around 645pm, L got out of the tub to sit on the toilet. Contractions were every 3 minutes, lasting 65-75 seconds long. L moved to the bed for a quick cervical exam. She was 7cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby was at a 0 station. This labor journey was quite different than her first two births! L decided to lay on her left side in the bed for a few contractions. Her doula and spouse were at her side, encouraging her through each surge. As 8pm drew near, L got back into the birthing pool, laboring on her knees. Pressure was increasing and L decided she wanted to be checked. At 822, L was 9cm dilated, 100% effaced and baby was at a +1 station. Seeing how far she had progressed, L asked me if I would break her water to see if it would move things a little quicker. She got out of the tub and moved to the bed. Fluid was clear and baby sounded good. L quickly got back into the comforting, warm birthing tub. L labored on her knees, leaning over the side of the tub, holding on to her spouse. Labor was getting harder. L was resting in between, and moaning with each surge. A little after 9, L was feeling very pushy. She had an anterior lip that we tried to reduce for one contraction. Baby was at +3 station. As 930 neared, part of the baby’s head was staying on the perineum. L was pushing so well through each surge. 9 minutes later the head was crowning, followed by the baby at 940.
The first look at baby! Love the overjoyed emotion from M =)
I know that I was thinking how very much Vincent looked like a carbon copy of JP!
Feeling RELIEF and thanksgiving!