4:30 AM Tuesday morning my cell phone rings. Dad is calling to let me know his wife has been having contx since around 1:00 AM. They are about 10 minutes apart, definitely getting stronger and lasting nearly a minute. They didn’t want me to come yet; generally first time moms have long labors. I said, call me back when there is ANY change because I had a little over an hours drive.
I laid there in bed wide awake for about 30 minutes, listening to a whisper that said, this won’t be a long labor, you should get up and get ready.
5:15 AM I get up and take a quick shower, get things ready for the day, and 6:00 AM dad calls again. Contx are 4-5 minutes apart and she would like my support there now. I was already ready, so I headed out the door. I called my partner to let her know, she would be heading out as well.
7:30 AM We arrive at moms house to find her VERY much in labor, working VERY hard and relaxing perfectly during her contx. Baby has a happy healthy heart rate, and mom can feel her baby move down into the birth canal as she contx.
8:30 AM Mom wants to move to the birthing tub. Contx are every 1-2 minutes and even stronger than before. The tub feels so good to her; she says she is able to relax much easier in the warm water.
9:00 AM I check mom to make sure she is complete because she is feeling a strong urge to push, but not making much progress. She is completely dilated and effaced; we can have a baby any time now. Baby’s heart rate sounds GREAT. Dad is making sure his sweetheart has sips of juice and keeps Chap Stick on her lips. He was so sweet to put towels between the tub and the walls because the noise was interfering with mom’s concentration. ANYTHING she wanted, he was all over it, usually before she even spoke it.
10:30 AM Mom is pushing, but very gently, and not through the whole contx. This was perfect, because she was bringing her baby down through the birth canal, but not wearing herself out. Contx are still VERY strong, but had back off just a bit so now they were only every 7-8 minuets. I suggested she get out of the tub and walk to the bathroom, it had been a while since she had emptied her bladder, and walking would be VERY helpful in moving her baby down.
11:00 AM Mom was back in the tub, moving back and forth from hands and knees to semi reclining. Her hands and knees felt best, but they needed a rest in between contx, and mom was able to even fall asleep during that resting time. Contx continued to be every 7-8 minutes, so she often would get a long rest. Baby appears to still be very happy and healthy, as I listen to its heart rate I can hear good variability. This means when baby moves the heart rate goes up just a bit, and when mom has a contx the heart rate lowers a bit, but comes immediately back up. If I were to chart it out, I would want to see a horizontal zigzag pattern. For example, 152-157-158-150-148-150-154 etc. is a good variability hear rate. By now, mom is pretty tired; she says she doesn’t know if she can do this much longer. I am glad when we get to this point, because that means we don’t have much longer to wait. I can say about 99% of moms get to this point, and voice it. We encourage her by saying, “it won’t be much longer”, and “you can do this”. I always let mom know she just has to do one contx at a time, and never the same contx twice.
11:50 AM We are seeing lots of dark hair. Mom took her time and gave slow gentle pushes, being in the water, we can’t do oil or ginger compresses to help avoid tearing, but slow gentle, controlled pushes really helps.
11:56 AM The head finally comes all the way out. It is fully under water, and I remind mom and dad to breath, because baby doesn’t take it’s first breath until it reaches air. This baby has lots of dark curly hair just like it’s mom and dad.
11:59 AM With tears in our eyes we welcome the cutest baby girl on the block! She weighs in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces, and she’s 21 inches long.
A few hours later, mom and babe have had a nice relaxing herb bath; they are happily tucked in bed with full tummies. The laundry is done; the tub is emptied and outside to dry. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE butter births like this one, it’s 4:00 PM, and we are off to our next prenatal already scheduled. This mom had her baby on the day we were already going to be seeing her for a prenatal and it was during day, no missed sleep, and no rearranging prenatal appointments. It just doesn’t get any better than that.