K and N started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy. They had used me for their first pregnancy, and we were all hoping for a much different outcome for this little one’s journey. You can read about her first journey here.
K’s pregnancy progressed perfectly. There were no signs of elevated blood pressure as we worked through the last weeks of pregnancy, which we were all so happy about!
Two days passed her estimated due date, K experienced contractions all night, that became 10 minutes apart, lasting 45-60 seconds in length by morning. K was enthusiastic that it seemed like October 4th was going to be the big day!
Contractions seemed to be all over the place. I chatted with K around noon, and she said she would feel good if I would come by after the appointment I was going into for an exam.
K’s doula arrived at 1230, and I arrived an hour later. It was very hard to tell when contractions were happening. K was determined to get things to strengthen, and was even discussing wanting her water broken to get things moving along. I did an exam, and before I could check anything, K’s bag of water broke everywhere at 208pm. K was overjoyed. She wanted her water broken so badly, and knew that this would make her baby come. I was surprised to find K to be 6cm dilated, 70% effaced, and baby at a -4 station.
The original plan was for me to head out after chatting and checking vitals until K needed me. As soon as the exam was complete, labor very much kicked in! Things went from barely recognizing contractions to contractions coming 3 minutes apart, lasting 60 seconds in length. The rest of the birth team was en route.
K labored standing at her bedside, tearful as her doula provided counter pressure and hip squeezes. As more of the birth team arrived, we were able to quickly get the birth pool up and supplies set up for delivery.
K requested an exam at 347pm, and was 8cm dilated, 90% effaced, and baby at a -1 station. K stalled at 6-7cm with her last labor before her surgical birth, so this was huge! Her body knew exactly what it was doing, and was doing it fast and furious!
K got in the birth pool a few minutes later, laboring on her hands and knees. She said she could feel a lot of pressure in her vagina. Things were intensifying, and we all took turns giving K words of encouragement and reminding her that anything different from last time is very positive. This is a different baby and a different journey.
K moved to kneeling in the pool, and felt like she was needing to push soon. At 430pm, she began to push at the peaks of contractions. I did an exam at 440pm, and had a hard time feeling around, but said she was 9cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station. K was feeling scared with the intensity of things. I encouraged K to blow through the labor waves, and the whole birth team encouraged her that these sensations were normal.
K did captain morgan’s with hip circles for several contractions at 445pm. Big brother S came into the room around this point and continued to chant, “Get baby out!” It was sweet.
K was still feeling some pressure, so we decided to do an exam at 511pm. She was 8-9cm with molding on the baby’s head. I recommended she get out of the tub and move to the bed in open knee chest to help things progress. K agreed. Her doula provided counter pressure, while N stayed beside her and encouraged her through the process.
At 6pm, I did an exam and found K to be about 9cm, with a thick anterior lip. K gave a practice push, but it was too painful for her for me to help and the cervix wasn’t moveable yet. K moved back to the bedside, twerking with contractions. She was weepy and unsure if she could do this much longer. We continued to give her words of encouragement and calming herbs to help her through the end.
Behind the scenes, we began strategizing what emotional blocks K was dealing with, and who was going to try to help her break them down when. K hired a second doula, Dr B, specifically to help her emotionally. Dr B went into the bathroom where K was laboring in the shower at 630pm, and started talking with her through things.
K came out of the bathroom at 645pm, and said she wanted assisted pushing. Contractions were coming every 2.5 minutes, lasting 60 seconds, and were strong in intensity. We tried pushing for 15 minutes, when K abruptly stopped and said the baby was not going to come until she pooped. K began drinking magnesium, and one of the birth team members went out for an enema per K’s request, as she felt that she had to poop to have this baby. We did not know if it was truly a physical poop or a mental poop she needed to have, but we were game for helping her however she needed to have this baby.
K moved back into open knee chest, and cried. She was debating whether and epidural would be a better idea. N and I talked to her, and reminded her all the reasons why she was at home and did not want or need the hospital. Around 730pm, Dr B and my apprentice R did some one on one time until the enema arrived to try and break down what K was feeling inside.
K was hands and knees in the shower at 8pm, and ready for the enema to be administered. Over the next 25 minutes, K had the enemas and was able to empty her bowels some.
K was completely ready to push at 828pm. She was 9+cm, +1 station. She requested doing tug of war since she had been with another client who that was effective for, and she just felt that that would help her with pushing. After a couple pushes, the cervix was reduced, and K was 10cm and baby at a +2 station.
K began pushing with everything within her. She had renewed confidence. At 847pm, she felt the baby’s head and was ecstatic that the baby would be here soon.
The head was visible on the perineum at 856pm. R began using warm compresses and olive oil to help K’s perineum stretch. The head was crowning right at 9pm. K birthed the head into R’s waiting hands a minute later, followed by the rest of the baby the next minute. He was here!
Welcome to the world Atlas, born earthside on October 4th, 2017 at 902pm weighing in at 8lbs 6ozs, 20 inches long. K was amazing as she rocked her HBAC, and got the healing home birth she so desired. I am so thankful I got to help her through both journeys, and that this journey was all she wanted and more.