Wyatt I was blessed to serve B and J as their midwife with their 4th pregnancy.  You can read that story:  http://houstoncertifiedmidwife.com/birth-story-of-abigail/  I was excited to work with them again when they found out they were expecting baby number 5. B had a fairly consistent labor pattern with her four previous pregnancies, all girls.  She would go into labor, stall around 5-6cm for many hours, and then hit transition and baby would come quite rapidly.  We expected this labor and delivery to be fairly consistent to her previous pattern. At 38.5 weeks, B text me that morning stating she had been having bloody show and consistent contractions all night.  She felt certain this was the start of labor, and wanted to come see me for a check and membrane sweep to get active labor going.  Cervical exam found her cervix to be 1-2cm dilated, 30% effaced and baby high at a -3 station.  B agreed to keep in touch with how she was feeling. All that night, B text me contracting roughly every 8-10 minutes.  She stated they were hard and she was having bloody show with contractions.  As the sun began to rise, she finally was able to get a short nap before they started back again.  Since I live quite a distance from B now, I talked with my dear midwife friend that was closer to her about B coming by for a cervical check.  Everyone agreed that that would be a good plan to get a basis of if the contractions she was feeling were moving into active labor or if it was prodromal labor she was feeling. Jaymee checked B and found her to be 4-5cm/50%/-2.  Big change since I had seen B roughly 24 hours earlier.  Considering the distance and B’s labor history, we decided I should come on down before labor really began picking up.  I cancelled the rest of my patients for the day and headed B’s way. Right around 4pm, I arrived at B’s home.  She stated the contractions had spaced a little, coming about every 10 minutes now.  We did some tinctures to see if they would help things pick up.  Did a check close to 5pm, and found B to be 5/50/-2. We did multiple positions through the next few hours to encourage baby to engage in the pelvis.  B did what I lovingly dub “the captain morgan”, rocking her hips on the birth ball, walking.  We helped her wrap her belly with a rebozo to do a lift and tuck maneuver of sorts to encourage baby to engage.  This brought contractions a bit closer and longer. As midnight drew near, B was contracting about every 7 minutes, but wanted them to kick into active labor.  She has a history of doing castor oil milk shakes.  The first time she did it, it worked beautifully.  Subsequent babies, not so much.  B sent J out for chocolate ice cream and made a shake with castor oil.  (I will just mention, castor oil is not my recommended way to get contractions going.) Contraction pattern did not change.  I encouraged B to lay down and get some rest.  The rest of the birth team laid down as well.  We all got two hours of sleep, when B woke.  Contractions had picked up.  They were coming every 4 minutes, lasting 60 seconds.  B kept asking me if I could fill up the birth pool yet, and I kept stating I think we should wait a little bit longer.  A humorous moment followed at one point when B informed me her contractions felt like transition, and she is always in the pool by that point.  🙂 I finally agreed close to 6am that we could put some water in the pool.  As soon as we started, the contractions seemed to space.  B was tired and discouraged.  I encouraged her to lay down and rest, as would the birth team, and we would reassess when she woke. At 9am, a cervical check found no change and contractions were pretty much non existent.  Talked with B, and she was really missing her girls.  We decided the birth team would head home, and B and J would pick up their girls and walk around Brazos Bend State Park and see what happens. Nothing really picked up the rest of the day.  B decided to take two tylenol pm to quiet her uterus as she slept that night and got a great night’s sleep. Two days later, B text me stating she had felt zero movement from Wyatt in at least 18 hours.  I discussed doing kick counts, and B said she drank juice and did them all morning.  J was on his way home from work, and they were coming my way to check on mama and baby.  It took a few minutes, but we found Wyatt’s heart beat, nice and reactive.  I encouraged B to stop the tylenol pm and see what happens.  Sure enough, baby returned to his active, normal self. Things stayed quiet for the next few days.  Around 7pm the night of B’s due date, she text me stating her water had broke.  She was for sure it was her water.  It was clear, but continued to gush out.  I had been swimming with my family and quickly changed my clothes and hopped in my car.  Knowing B’s labor history and the fact that she was 5cm already, we expected a baby before midnight if not sooner. We arrived right before 9pm, finding the house in preparations for the birth.  B seemed calm and peaceful, her contractions were every 10 minutes and mild.  At close to 10, we did a cervical exam and confirmed water was broken and her cervix remained 5cm dilated, 70% effaced, and baby at a -1 station. We did a round of tinctures to increase the contractions, as well as an awesome oil blend called Labor Ezzz.  B did the lift and tuck with the rebozo again for engagement, as well as alternated rocking on the birth ball and walking.  As midnight drew near, the birth team (which consisted of midwife, assistant, training assistant and doula) alternated applying acupressure with labor ezzz to encourage more frequent contractions.  The acupressure really seemed to help, and contractions began coming every 5 minutes, lasting 40 seconds. Close to 1am, B tried a shower for comfort and decided she was tired.  B laid down, as did everyone else.  Expecting to be sleeping for maybe 30 minutes at the most.  We were all surprised when 5:30am rolled around before B woke up. B stated contractions fizzled, but encouraged her it was okay.  She needed the rest.  We redid the two hours of tinctures, and B hydrated and ate.  As the sun light rose, J took B out for a walk to increase the contractions. Contractions were quite irregular most of the morning, finally developing a small pattern of every 8 minutes in the 10am hour. We did a check a little after noon, and found B to be dilated 6cm. A sweet doula and massage therapist came over to work on B and see if it would open up her hips and bring contractions closer.  B noticed her hips felt much loser and open.  Casey did some acupressure with labor ezzz, and at 3:45pm, regular contractions began again.  We were all overjoyed.  Contractions were 4 minutes apart, lasting 50 seconds. B went for a walk to increase the contractions.  She decided to try a shower close to 6pm for pain relief, and the contractions fizzled.  B was emotional over the contractions stopping yet again. For the next 7 hours, everything stopped.  It was a very emotional 7 hours.  We were past the 24 hours of membranes being ruptured, and having to discuss seriously our options.  We closely monitored B’s vitals and the baby’s.  Everything remained perfect.  From my perspective, B was shut down.  She laid in her bed watching movies.  Trying to rest.  I received a message from a sweet reflexologist friend who offered to come down.  She came and worked on B for a couple of hours. I was discouraged to see nothing happening with reflexology.  A little after 1am, B’s doula had a conversation reminding her of her options and the risks and benefits of continuing labor at home.  B asked her doula to wake J.  J came out and we all talked.  We talked about the risks of continuing with membranes ruptured.  We talked about how perfect mom and baby looked at home.  And we talked about hospitals.  J looked at me, knowingly.  Words soon followed.  If they went to the hospital, the reality that B would be cut would be a strong possibility. B and J took a few moments to talk and make a plan.  They weren’t ready to go in to the hospital.  J wanted to take B on a vigorous walk and see if he couldn’t help get contractions going.  We drained the pool.  Just as the water was drained, J and B come in, just before 2am. Contractions started at 1:30 am, and were coming regularly.  B came in for a drink and to use the toilet.  Her spirit was renewed.  She felt optimistic, and the sparkle was back in her eyes.  The baby was coming she stated. J and B went back out to walk and we began to fill the pool.  The water was not very high yet, when B comes storming in the house, moaning with contractions.  Transition was upon us.  J walked his wife into transition.  Praise God!  Four pots of water were boiling on the stove to help keep the water temperature where we needed it.  B begged to get in the water and I told her not yet.  J was perfectly calm, and an amazing, perfect coach through the contractions.  He reminded her to keep it low, and to keep calm.  Contractions were so strong so fast, that at moments coping seemed difficult. At 2:52am, after B begged me again, we agreed there was enough water for her to get in.  We added some cooling water from the house so we could add the pots from the stove. A little after 3am, B makes a scream with a contraction.  Later, B told me that at that moment she could literally feel him “bulldozing” down and the sensation was startling. A contraction came and B was spontaneously pushing.  I was already gloved and ready, having noticed birth seemed eminent. B began pushing at 3:10 am, just 1:40 minutes after her first active labor contraction.  Three minutes later, B asked me to check her to be sure it is time.  I found her to be 10cm dilated, 100% effaced and baby at a +3 station.  I don’t know if there was a dry eye in the room.  B began praising God.  God’s presence was felt so strongly in the room. A few minutes later, the head was visible with pushes.  B felt the baby’s head, and cried tears of joy.  Her baby was really coming. At 3:20, baby’s head began to crown, followed by the birth of the head two minutes later. Sweet, baby Wyatt was birthed with one final push at 3:23 into the pool of warm water, and promptly lifted to his mama’s chest.  He was here!  Finally here! We got B to the bed room, and Wyatt latched like a champ.  Postpartum care went beautifully, and B was so ready to sleep. This birth ranks up there as one of the most emotionally, mentally exhausting births I have been part of.  As a midwife, I want to solve all the problems, fix things that are not going right.  I can’t.  Wyatt’s birth was a perfect reminder that God is in control and that birth is never normal, never.  Even with a mama with a consistent labor history, God can throw us a curveball to stretch and grow us. So honored and thankful to have been part of another birth with B and J. They are a beautiful couple, who labor so well together you feel like you are interrupting a private moment. Welcome to the world Wyatt!  Born on April 25, 2014 at 3:23 am, weighing in at a whopping 9.4#, 22.25″ long, B’s biggest baby!  So loved by his sweet parents and four big sisters.