E and F hired me in the first trimester of their first pregnancy. Pregnancy progressed along very normally until 37 weeks when we began to notice that the fundal height measurement was starting to lag. At 39 weeks, I sent E for an ultrasound which confirmed baby was SGA (small for gestational age) and potentially growth restricted. E, F and I discussed and made the plan to begin trying to encourage baby to come out.
June 1st, the day after the ultrasound, E and F came over for their first membrane sweep. Her cervix was 2cm dilated, 80% effaced and baby was at a 0 station. That evening E had some contraction activity, but it fizzled away after some warm showers and was able to get some rest.
E and F came back for another sweep on June 2nd around 1pm. E had a job interview at 3pm, and was planning to head over there after her sweep. I made E a double strong red raspberry leaf tea with b&b tincture and honey and swept her membranes again. We were all hopeful that this one would get labor going since E had some activity the night before.
I asked E to update me after the job interview. She sent me a text around 3:40pm letting me know she got the job and that she was having some persistent back pain. I recommended they go for a walk now and see what happens.
I heard back from E a couple hours later saying they went for a walk and were now back home. Contractions were now coming every 3-4 minutes, lasting 40 seconds. She asked about trying a shower and seeing what happens. She said these were more intense than any she had felt, but she could still walk and talk through them if she tried. I recommended she try the shower, eat dinner, update her doula and try a nap and that I was ready when it was time.
At 6:14, E sent a text saying her water had broke. I called E and spoke with her. It seemed that contractions were intense and it was decided that I would head right over.
About 15 minutes into my drive, F called and asked if R, my apprentice, was heading over ahead of me because things seemed to be moving quickly and R was located the closest. I spoke with E and encouraged her through a couple of contractions and made sure R was heading over.
I arrived at 7:15pm and found E laboring on her hands and knees on her living room floor. After hearing one labor wave pass over her I knew baby wasn’t far away. I listened to the baby, and then did a quick cervical exam. E was 10cm dilated, 100% effaced and baby was at a +1 station. F had blown up the birth pool but it appeared there was not going to be time to fill it and use it for delivery.
I quickly set up a shower curtain on the floor with a chux for E to labor on. F and I alternated slow dancing with E through contractions.
R and E’s doula H began quickly moving around, setting up for delivery. I gently spoke with E about how to bear down. E started her first pushes by squatting in the middle of her living room, using F for support. After a few contractions, she moved into hands and knees and tried pushing in that position for a few.
A few minutes after 8pm, E wanted to move to the bed to try pushing. We recommended some different positions, and E decided she wanted to recline into F to push. We helped her get in position. The first push on the bed we could see a small amount of the head peeking on the perineum.
After a couple contractions like that, I suggested E to try doing tug of war with the rebozo with her doula to see if it gave her some extra power with pushing. The rebozo seemed to work well. E exclaimed, “This doesn’t hurt. It is just really hard work.”
With each push, we could see a little more head peeking out at us. We encouraged E that she was making good progress. She made a comment that she gets what she needs to do with pushing, and that she just needs to “push the crap out of it.” We all had a good laugh and encouraged her to keep pushing the “crap out of it” until I told her otherwise.
At 8:32pm, the baby’s head was crowning. E took a moment and put her hands down and felt her sweet baby’s head. The next contraction birthed the baby’s head into E’s waiting hands at 8:34pm. I gently unlooped the nuchal cord from the baby’s neck, and one more push brought the baby into our hands and gently to E’s chest.
Welcome to the world Julia, born earth side on June 2nd, 2016 at 8:35pm, weighing in at 5lbs 14ozs, 19″ long. E was so beautifully calm through her very fast and furious birthing journey. Such a joy to serve this family through their first birthing journey. #sacredjourneymidwifery