I was blessed to have worked with M and M two times before (you can read about those experiences here and here.) So it was not a surprise to get a message from M soon after getting her positive pregnancy test. The difference this time was that M and M had moved a distance away. M has unique experiences at delivery, so finding a new midwife was daunting. I mapped their new home, and found it was about 2.5 hours from me. We chatted about options, and found a reasonable solution for M and M to still have me as their midwife.
M’s pregnancy progressed perfectly. Her two previous home birthed babes came at 40.5 weeks, so we expected similar with this little one. However, this little one tooted to her own horn, so 40.5 came and went with no signs of a baby ready to come.
We chatted through fears and concerns, and discussed things to try.
The evening of May 9th at 41.0 weeks, I was chatting with M for a check in, and let her know that a massive storm was about to hit our area, making it very difficult to get to her. M then told me that she was pretty sure she was in the early stages of labor. After discussing what she was experiencing and the weather outlook, the decision was made to go ahead and head to her. However, by time my two apprentices made it to my place, it was torrential down pours and hail. We could barely see the road for the first hour. The normal 2.5 hour trip, took well over 3 hours! That storm was something!
We arrived, and found M walking around her house laboring. After doing initial vitals, M said she wanted to try some working positions. Apprentice A did a series of lift and tucks with the rebozo to help this little one sit more on the cervix, and to make the contractions stronger. M had a history of bigger babies, and it was helpful to be sure they stayed optimally positioned to make it easier. After working for a couple hours, M decided to lay down around 1am, so the birth team decided to lay down as well and try to catch a nap.
Morning came, and M was up and ready to get this slow, nagging labor moving to get that baby in her arms! We talked about some different things to try to get the contractions more active. I did an exam, and found M to be 4cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a -1 station. Baby was sunny side up, which makes for an abnormal labor pattern, and more back pain. One of the apprentices went to the store for parsley to make some tea, while M prepped for a walk with M, and then another round of lift and tucks.
The switch flipped, and active labor contractions began at 830am. After the walk, M spent a lot of time laboring in the kitchen, where we began another round of lift and tucks. M was feeling shaky and tired, and sat on the birth ball in between, trying to build back energy. M ate some breakfast, and did excellent with hydration. As intense as the contractions began to look that morning, we were all convinced that this little one was going to be born by lunch time, but again, this baby has her own idea of what her journey would be like.
Hours passed with contractions coming every 3-4 minutes, lasting over a minute in length, and strong in intensity. M alternated between laying in her bed where she felt she could relax some, to sitting on her ball. She was having a hard time finding strength to want to labor while standing. Contractions seemed to be stronger when standing, and a bit weaker when sitting or laying down.
We started talking about a cervical exam that afternoon, as it had been several hours since we had done one, and all of us had expected to see M with a baby in her arms at this point. M agreed to an exam a little after 3pm. I found baby to be in an anterior position, and M to be 9.5cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a +2 station. Almost at the finish line!
And almost at the finish line we stayed! M felt some pressure at the peaks, but her contractions began to space to as far as 10 minutes apart, but very strong when they came. We tried to do a push holding back the cervical lip, but M did not feel okay with it. So we labored on, waiting for the baby to tell M it was time.
M’s water broke at 430pm, and we thought for sure baby would decide to come barrelling earthside then, but alas, no. This little one really wanted her mama to work!
With M, M, and myself in the room, we started the dialogue on emotional blocks. M was having some fears this time that hadn’t happened in the previous deliveries. We talked through some things, and gave M and M some space to talk through things alone. About 6pm, M shouted out the door that M was pushing with contractions.
M pushed and pushed. For an hour and a half, she worked on pushing with all her might. As we saw more of the baby’s head, you could see the baby twisting and turning and trying to find the best route to get out of the pelvis. Mom and baby worked so hard together to get the baby out. M did well at moving positions, and using gravity to help get baby down and out. Finally, for mama’s sake, sweet baby girl was born at 728pm, with me helping M get the rest of her out once M used every bit of her strength to get the head and shoulders out.
Due to M’s history of postpartum hemorrhage, and our perfect working plan the last delivery, we immediately moved into controlling the yet to happen hemorrhage with getting the IV fluids started, and using prophylactic medications to get on top of bleeding. Once again, our plan worked beautifully.
Welcome to the world, Daphne! Born earthside on May 10th, 2019 at 728pm, weighing a whopping 9lbs 8ozs, M’s biggest baby!
There were several funny events that happened through out the labor that day that should be mentioned.
- The older girls were being watched by someone from church, and the older two girls and the friend went missing for hours. The youngest woke from a nap when M was in transition, and none of us knew what to do! haha
- Since the youngest was alone, she hung out with varying members of the birth team. When she saw us getting gloves on, she needed gloves on too. She had her play purse with all kinds of fun play jewelry, so she was decked out when she needed her gloves on to help.
- While doing M’s repair, one of the girls could not find her pillow at bed time and was upset. It was a bit entertaining that I was repairing her laceration, while she was being Mom, yelling from her bed to her sweet kiddo on where her pillow would be.
Love this sweet family, and so thankful that I have gotten to work with them for three of their four deliveries. By the third baby, it all begins to feel like family. <3