Monday, January 24, 2011

Birth Doula Story Feb 2009

I had the pleasure of Doula-ing again. This was a first time single mama who's main goal in hiring a doula was to avoid an unnecessary cesarean. Mission accomplished.

The first call was around 1am. She called to let me know that her bag of waters had begun to break.  Water was clear, no foul scent, so she was in the clear to labor at home. No surges as of yet, so she decided to go back to sleep and wait for the surges to come on.

I was definitely on call at this point. I happened to be at the 24hr Korean Spa. Something in me had lead me there, to replenish, refresh, and rest.  Maybe it was the full moon on the 9th. I was definitely in the space to gear up for a day of doula-ing.

At 6am she called to let me know that she was beginning to feel labor. No set pattern of surges just yet, but at least they were not stopping.  Thy were lasting about 30 to 40 sec, and were 6/5/4 minutes apart. I assured her that she was in early labor and to let me know when they got longer and closer together and I'd come to join her.

I went home, packed my doula supplies, and took a nap.  At 9am I called to check in and she was feeling ready to go to the hospital and wanted me to meet her at her home.

I drove to her home and met her in her bedroom. She shared that she had gone on a long walk with her mother the day before and felt that this is what brought on her labor.  Wise move! So we began to talk about her surges, she showed me how she kept track on a website called  It's such a handy tool!  I could see right off of the bat that she was still in early labor, so I shared with her the pro's and cons of heading to the hospital at that very moment.  She thought of her options and decided to stay home until her surges were at least 60 seconds and within 5 minutes of each other.

To cope with each surge we used different positions. One leg on the bed, like a lunge, then on her hands and knees to relieve the back, slow dancing with pressure on her low-back from her mother. We focused on using the surge to allow opening, I asked her to visualize herself opening with each in breath, taking the breath down to her crotch.  Lots of crotch opening visualization!

She handled each surge earnestly, with fear, with peace, with calmness, with disbelief.  It's amazing the range of emotions and varying degrees of faith in oneself- all a woman goes through in this intense process.  My role is to reassure her strength, never giving up on her power.

Towards the end of laboring at home I suggested that she squat during her next surge. She felt an extreme amount of pressure in her crotch, she expressed that she felt like her pelvic floor was being smashed. She went through about 2 or 3 surges this way. When she got up her surges were stronger than ever.  We went back to the computer to track the next 6 surges. BAM! Out of 8 surges six were well over a minute, and occurring between every 3-5 minutes.  She was beginning to give into the idea that she couldn't do it anymore, that she wanted medication.  So we would focus on just getting through the next one.

We grabbed our things and headed out to the hospital. On the way there her surges were so strong she would tense up and yell out. Limp and Loose became the mantra. Pretty soon she got the hang of her breathing and began to use the energy of yelling out, inward. She began to focus on making deeper sounds and allowing her jaw to open. 

We arrived at the hospital at 12:30p and she was at 7cm. The nurses offered medication (epidural) and she definitely considered it. I just reminded her that she was almost done, and when she's done, she's completely done. I guess it sounded okay for her to continue, and she passed on the drugs.  By 1:30p she was 9.5cm with an anterior lip. I suggested she wiggle her hips around and around to get the cervical lip moved out of the way. At 2pm she was 10cm and ready to push. She pushed until 2:21p and her lovely daughter was born. A healthy girl. 7lbs 8oz, 19 3/4 in. 2/10/09.

Mama was elated that she had accomplished such a challenging feat. She was amazed that she got through it. She was glowing with pride and astonishment.  I was so happy to have been able to assist and be a witness to a woman's natural power.

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