Katie K and M talked to me about serving them as their doula again in the beginning of the first trimester of their third pregnancy.  I had been their doula for their last baby, which you can read the story here. As was true for K’s previous pregnancies, her blood pressure started to rise in the third trimester.  At K’s prompting, she had her OBGYN run lab work for pre-eclampsia.  On December 16, K was told her 24 hour urine results were high and she was sent to the hospital to be induced. After a 12 hour triage wait, the foley bulb was placed around 12:30am on December 17th, and fell out around 5:30am.  K sent me a text that she was 5cm dilated, 50% effaced and baby was at a -3 station and they were about to start pitocin.  I got my things together and headed to the hospital. I arrived around 730am and found K sitting in the bed.  Over the morning K changed her position and moved around while the intensity of her labor waves slowly increased.  She sat in the bed, walked around the room, sat on the couch and labored. Around noon, the on call doctor came into the room to do an assessment.  K was 7cm, but the doctor decided to call her 5cm on paper so that her labor clock didn’t start yet and would allow K more time to let her body work.  The baby was still high with a bulgy bag and the doctor discussed breaking her bag.  K was not ready for that.  Due to her first birth and the trauma that surrounded the birth after her water was broken, K is very sensitive to the water being broken.  She made a plan that if her water needed to be broken she needed to get an epidural first to help her be in control. Things got very active after this check.  I frequently used valor essential oil blend as it is an oil that K resonates with.  K decided she needed an epidural as her anxiety was taking over.  The nurse increased the flow of her IV while M and I helped K through each labor wave.  I placed some drops of the oil blends trauma life and surrender on K’s neck, and continued to put the valor bottle under her nose so she could breath it in.  K began to gently moan through surges and I could tell that her body was kicking in. I asked K if she wanted to be checked before they placed the epidural to make sure she wasn’t rapidly progressing.  She decided she wanted to have the epidural to help her emotionally. A little before 2pm, the epidural was placed and K was feeling much more comfortable.  She rested a little in the bed. At 3pm, K was checked and was 8-9cm dilated, 90% effaced and baby at a -1 station.  After discussing, K decided to let the OBGYN break her bag of water.  Fluid was clear and normal amount.  K handled a traumatic event for her like a champ.  I was so proud of her strength. Another trigger for K is decelerations in the baby’s heart beat.  The on call doctor was amazing with K, stayed in the room with her for a while to be 100% sure the baby’s decels were early and not late, and then agreed to do an amnioinfusion to help the heart beat. A little before 5pm, the doctor did another exam since she was going off call and thought K wold be close.  She was 10 cm dilated, but was encouraged to labor down since baby was around a +1 station.  K was disappointed that this doctor she had grown comfortable with was going off call. Quarter after 5 a resident came in and checked K and decided it was time to push.  K began pushing at 5:20pm and within a couple pushes we could see a small amount of head on the perineum.  Soon the head was crowning, followed by the rest of the baby at 5:44pm. Welcome to the world Asher, born earth side on December 17th, 2016 at 5:44pm, weighing in at 6lbs 7ozs.  Although three weeks early, he had perfect apgars and nursed like a champ. Such a blessing to serve this sweet couple for a second time as their doula.  This is one strong woman.  Every woman I serve is strong, but this woman faces labor and birth with courage and speaks with strength when things need to change so she can fight through the emotional and mental battles she faces from the trauma of her first birth.  I admire this woman so!  <3