Friday, October 16, 2009

Birth Stories

The following entry was written by Amy Beck. Amy is a certified birth doula with DONA and joined Amanda and I for Ezra's birth. We strongly recommend people having a doula at their birth, and if you live in our hometown - we recommend Amy!
Dear Ezra Oak,

Welcome to the world! What a joy it’s been to witness the journey your parents have taken in preparation for your birth. Your parents took childbirth education classes at Bloomington Area Birth Services, and I met them here while I was assisting in class. Mommy and Daddy talked with me about being their doula, and I was so excited to be involved in their plans for your arrival. We met a couple times to talk about preparing for labor, birth and the postpartum period. Mommy and Daddy were both very excited for your arrival;
they had baby things set aside for you, a pack and play set up in their home, and lots of ideas about how they wanted to prepare for your birth at home. I also met with Mommy, Daddy, MH, Summer, Aunt Stefanie, and Uncle Joshua at the home visit during Mommy’s 36th week of pregnancy. It was here where MH talked about the logistics of home birth, and Mommy and Daddy talked about their plans and preferences for birthing at home. Mommy and Daddy envisioned a very calm environment filled with supportive friends and family. Aunt Stefanie and Uncle Joshua were going to be responsible for taking pictures, preparing food, and taking care of non-birth matters. I was going to provide support as their birth doula, providing support to Mommy and Daddy. Mary Helen and Summer were to arrive in late active labor to prepare for your birth.

I kept in touch with Mommy and Daddy during the last weeks of Mommy’s pregnancy; we talked about her appointments with Mary Helen and how she was feeling. I talked with Mommy after her 38th week appointment with Mary Helen. Mommy said she wasn’t dilated and Mary Helen thought she’d see Mommy at the following week’s appointment. I was happy and surprised to hear from Mommy on Friday, October 9, 2009; Mommy called around 2:41pm telling me her water had broken. She was going to head home from work and get into the mindset that labor was going to kick in within the next 1-72 hours. I wasn’t sure when labor would begin and intensify, but Daddy called me around 4:23pm and told me that Mommy was having contractions that were coming every 3 minutes. He asked me to come over as soon as I could. I gathered my things and drove to your home. Around 5:06pm, Daddy called me while I was driving and I answered, saying, “I’m on my way right now.” Daddy asked me how much longer I’d be and I estimated 15 minutes. I could hear Mommy being vocal in the background. I suspected either these were the sounds of intense, active labor or maybe Mommy needed extra support to get her through this stage of early-active labor. I called Mary Helen’s pager after we hung up and waited for her to call me back. Because I hadn’t stayed on the phone with Daddy long enough to find out more details, I wanted to find out if Mary Helen knew anything about where Mommy was in her labor. Mary Helen called me back and told me she had been in contact with Mommy and Daddy; Mary Helen was at another birth, but was sending a midwife named Jennifer and her assistant Connie to your house to cover until Mary Helen could arrive. I was relieved because things sounded very intense, and I wanted to make sure Mommy and Daddy felt comfortable, safe and relaxed.

I arrived at your home around 5:25pm and found Mommy laboring on her hands and knees in the bathroom. She was hanging on to Daddy’s shoulders and neck and holding his hands. Contractions were coming one on top of another and Mommy appeared to be very overtaken by this fast change from nothing to contractions coming every 3 minutes. Daddy, Mommy and I breathed together, held hands, and talked about the intensity of the contractions being very normal in labor. Connie arrived shortly after me, and she listened to your heart tones every so often. She said you were doing well, and Mommy continued laboring. She moved to the futon in the living area and labored more there. While she was laboring here, Jennifer arrived shortly after 6:00pm. She asked Mommy if she wanted to be examined, and Mommy said she did. Jennifer washed up and prepared to check Mommy’s cervix. Around 6:10pm, Jennifer examined Mommy and announced to Mommy that she was 10 cm. dilated and you were at a +1/+2 station. This meant that Mommy’s body had done a lot of work in just a short time, and that she could begin pushing. Mommy first started pushing on her back and then moved to the birth stool. Mommy also tried a supported squat, but she wanted to move back to the futon. While there, Mommy was on her side, pushing while Connie, Daddy and I would help support Mommy’s leg. Mommy did such an amazing job. Daddy helped remind Mommy to drink, wiped her forehead with a cold wash cloth and encouraged Mommy. Mommy did such a beautiful job, listening to her body and using all her energy to help you be born. At times, your heart rate would dip and then recover, and Connie kept track of this after each time Mommy pushed during a contraction.

Finally, around 7:50pm, your head emerged and J and Connie helped remove the cord from around your neck. Then your body slid out and you were born at 7:54pm! You had Apgars of 9 and 10, which means you were doing very well. Mommy pushed the placenta out, which J caught in a bowl.

Mommy held you to her chest and kept you warm and toasty. You were so calm and beautiful! What a wonderful moment to be a part of! How wonderful it was to have Aunt Stefanie there taking pictures and getting things for Mommy and Daddy. Uncle Joshua was there keeping Connie’s daughter occupied during Mommy’s labor (no one had planned for the labor to go so quickly; Connie’s daughter wasn’t expected to be there!). I provided physical and emotional support to Mommy and Daddy. Daddy lovingly did anything Mommy needed, provided that essential reassurance to Mommy and supported Mommy through each contraction. Jennifer and Connie did a wonderful job entering into a space they’d never been and helping people they’d never met before! And Mommy did the most amazing job of all! She is so strong, wonderfully caring, and kind. It was such a beautiful birth, and I will never forget it.

Doula Amy

The following is one in a series of five birth stories told by people present that day.   In addition to this account, told by Amy, you can read about Ezra's birth according to AmandaGarryStefanie, and Postilius.

1 comment:

mama amy bee said...

truly, it was an amazing birth. can't wait to see you all soon!