Thursday, March 31, 2011

Life as we know it

It was a busy day for prenatal visits. I'm not sure why, but everything seemed a little rushed and maybe a bit hectic. That's why when I got a text from a first time mom saying she felt a little "crampy" I handed the phone to Girl Thursday and asked her to call and get details. She asked if the crampiness came in waves and if it felt the same as the braxton hicks contractions. Mommy replied that up until this point she had felt nothing.....never a braxton hicks! Girl Thursday advised her to start looking at the clock and see if there was a pattern to the cramps and to call back after an hour of observing. By the way, this young first time mom was still at work cleaning houses!
It was 45 minutes later when this mommy called back and asked if it would be ok to come over be checked because she thought she was feeling contractions. When she walked down the stairs some 20 minutes later, she was flushed but still smiling. I took her back to the room and asked Girl Thursday to check her. As Girl Thursday was checking with her right hand, she was showing me with her left hand the dilation measurement. We looked at each other in disbelief when we realized that she was a good 6cm!
She insisted on driving herself to the Birth Inn (her bag had been packed and in the car for a few weeks) So I called Girl Tuesday and off to the BI we all went!
It didn't take long for our mommy's mother to show up, then finally daddy made it. Daddy was a little overwhelmed and unsure of what to do, but mommy most definitely was prepared and ready for the birth.
She wanted in the jacuzzi. It took her several positions in the tub before she found the one that she liked. Rather than being in the tub longways, she sat facing us with her feet poised on the side for good leverage. It didn't take long before she was ready to push. Daddy was a bit squeamish and still unsure of his role in helping. After a few pushes, baby was out. The cord was clamped and I invited daddy to come cut the cord. After some skin to skin bonding with mommy,I draped a warm towel over daddy's arms and placed the baby in the towel. I told daddy to sit in the chair and spend a few moments just looking at his child.
As we attended to mom, I glanced in the direction of the chair. There was daddy, looking into the face of his newborn son with so much emotion spilling from his eyes. It was a moment. The very moment that the father son bond is made. The moment that a union becomes a family. The moment when he realizes that life as he knows it is forever changed. The moment that a parent realizes the awesomeness of Christ's love for us and our responsibility as a parent to train this child in the way of the Lord.

Mommy and baby are doing great, and this mom is another testament to the importance of being fit and active during the days of sure pays off in the end!
Baby Boy wt. 8lbs. 8oz. Born at 02:15 pm Total labor 3hours and 15 min. Awesome for a primip

The Motor Boat Mom

It has been a busy few days at the Birth Inn, and today proves no different! But then, what would one expect with 8 mommies due in March!!
It was nearly 6:30 am and the phone rang. Sure enough, it was a mommy calling. Contractions started at 4:30, and by 6:30 it was time to make plans to get to the Birth Inn. This baby is already showing signs of obedience, today is the actual DUE DATE! We have often discussed that maybe it would be best if we eliminated due dates and instead gave 'due weeks', or 'due windows'

Mom arrived at the Birth Inn around 7:30am and was already dilated to 7. We started drawing the water in the tub because Mommy was sure she wanted an 'aqua-dural' Mommy labored well in the warm water. We left her and dad alone for a bit. From the living room we could hear mom making the sound of a motor boat. "brrrrrr, brrrrrrr, brrrrrrr." My assistants and I looked at each other with questioning looks. We know that every mom finds her own way to relax, but I have to say that the raspberry motorboat sound isn't the normal relaxation sound!
Very soon the motorboat turned to groans and we knew that baby was on the way. This mom had a very long labor with her first baby...over 24 hours actually. Second babies usually come much faster and it is so fun to watch the surprise of the parents when things move so much more quickly with baby 2.
Mom felt so much more comfortable in the jacuzzi tub and things progressed quickly. She decided that a hydrabirth would be wonderful so we prepared as such. It took only a few pushes and the head was out. A quick sweep around the neck revealed no nuchal cord. Baby restituted slightly, light downward pressure on the head....nothing. We asked the mom to quickly get out of the tub and get on her hands and knees on the floor, slight pressure and......nothing. We asked mom to sit on the step of the tub in a semi squat. more downward pressure.....finally, the shoulders emerged. It wasn't shoulder dystocia, but it was a case of snug shoulders!!

Baby boy, 9lbs even and Mommy doing quite well. Later, while relaxing in the Birth Inn living room, Mommy was telling me that she had read a book that proved to be quite helpful. The book talked about the relationship between the jaw muscles and the perineum. she read that if the jaw remains loose, the perineum is able to relax. The suggestion was made to blow air across the lips making a motorboat sound. Looks like it worked!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tale of Two (I mean THREE) Mommies cont.

I left you Friday night at at 10:30. Mommy B was resting and my assistants and I were looking forward to a few (hopefully several) hours of sleep. I went home, let the dogs out of their confinement and settled into bed around midnight. Sleep, sweet sleep!
NOT!! It was 1:35am when my phone rang. "Well, let's get baby B here!" I thought. I answered the phone expecting to hear the calm voice of Daddy B, but instead I heard the panicked voice of Daddy C!
Oh My! I could hear the distressed sounds of Mommy C in the background. I instructed them to go to the Birth Inn, called girls Tuesday and Thursday, put on my scrubs and headed out the door.

Let me give you a little background on Mommy C. Mommy C is a young newly wed and this is her first baby. She has been so careful to follow any and all instruction that I have given her. She has changed her eating habits, started exercising and has made water her best friend. Three weeks ago Mommy C came to the Birth Inn having long and frequent contractions. Because she was GBS positive, she decided to start taking antibiotics. After laboring for more than 12 hours, and dilating to 6cm, her contractions stopped. She spent the night at the birth Inn but by morning there was no sign of contractions. I sent her home expecting to see her in a day or two.

Now here it is, three weeks later, 4 days past her due date, and Mommy C is ready to give birth! I checked her as soon as she arrived and she was an easy 8-9 cm. Suddenly her water broke and out gushed green liquid. Baby C had passed meconium and now it was urgent to get her out! We set up the birthing chair and moved mom into position. Although she had been faced with the impending labor for 3 weeks, the pain was still shocking to her. She was a trooper and pushed with vigor. Baby was born at 3:04am.....just 45 minutes after arriving at the Birth Inn!! WOW!!

Baby girl. 8lbs 6 oz. 21" long Babies are a gift from God!

Meanwhile as Mommy C is birthing, Mommy B has started having contractions...the kind she can't talk through.
After Mommy A and Mommy C have delivered and gone home, the big inviting jacuzzi tub is open for Mommy B. See how God works?? In his perfect time! Lights are dimmed,music soft, Mommy B allowing the gentle jets to massage her tired body. Eventually she gets out of the tub, but now she is feeling the ominous pain in her back....has this baby turned posterior?? Mommy B must move to the dreaded bed, on her left side, right knee hiked to her chest. C'mon, many of you know that position!!
Hopefully Mommy B will rest. She is tired and has had little sleep. Sleep does not come and as the minutes and hours tick by, Mommy B becomes more exhausted. She experienced a large gush of fluid while in the bed, but the pain remained in her back.
Girl Tuesday and Girl Thursday spent a few hours with mom helping her try different positions. The best positions seemed to be dad sitting and mom leaning over him gently rocking and swaying. The baby was moving down. Around 10:00am blood started to drip as she contracted. Not like a hemorrhage, but still enough for me to take notice. We decided to give Mommy B's very tired legs a rest and set up the birthing chair for her. I helped the cervix with each contraction and was surprised to feel a bulging bag. Remember, she thought her water broke the morning before, and she had a large gush of fluid earlier today. A pocket must have formed in the membrane because when it broke, the fluid was green. Yep, second meconium birth of the day!
The blood increased and clots were being expelled. Mom was losing the drive to continue. We put the breast pump on her hoping to increase the intensity of the contractions, but although that worked, she was just too tired.

We discussed options. Was baby too big to come down? Was baby in a poor position? Was the bleeding becoming a problem? How long was the meconium present? The meonium was not a great surprise since she was 2 weeks past her due date but , having clear water earlier it did bring some ?'s as to what was going on. Did mom have the strength to get baby out on her own?

Finally dad made the decision........Transport her to the hospital.

We explained that it would take at least an hour before she would get an epidural, and there was a chance that this decision would result in a c-section. Mom agreed, she was out of energy.
We loaded up and went in. Once in the hospital she was taken to the maternity floor. They put in an IV, wrapped the fetal monitor around her, put a finger oxygen monitor on her and started with the barrage of questions. Once the epidural was administered, mom finally was able to relax. Her body began doing what it was designed to do....push baby out.
The attending doctor was amazing. He patiently waited as baby B started to appear. Finally he spoke the words everyone wanted to her. "Deep breath and blow out, now deep breath and hold. Push."
The team was ready; complete with NICU nurses just incase. A few minutes later Baby B was born. He was face down, restituted to the left, then did an unexpected twist to the right, his little hand under his chin and the umbilical cord wrapped around his arm. Dr rushed him to the the NICU nurses to be suctioned (remember the meconium?) He was checked over then wrapped up and brought over to meet his mommy. Sigh of relief..... everybody is fine. Mommy didn't even need a stitch!

Baby B.....8lbs 15oz Boy Dark hair and looks just like his daddy!

While many in America were enjoying March Madness, we had 30 hours of our own March Madness! After much needed sleep, we are more than ready for our next mommy to call!

Our scripture for these 30 hours......Isaiah 66:9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord

Two days in the life of Kathy
written by Girl Thursday

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tale of two Births

Let me tell you about my two mommies. Mommy A is "natural birth" through and through!! But even more than her desire to be ala naturale, her husband is rock-solid natural!! You see, HIS mother is a retired midwife. Mommy A is done being pregnant. She is tired. And, I might add, she is 11 days past her due date. Like a child in the back seat on a trip, she keeps wondering, "Are we there yet?" Mommy A has been in the office 3 times this week wanting to be checked. With every contraction she is wondering, "is this the one? Am I really in labor? Will I be holding my sweet baby tonight?"

Mommy A requested her membranes to be stripped on Tuesday. Wednesday she was SURE things had changed and she came in to be checked......well, let's just say things had changed, a little. Thursday night at 11, she called. "THIS IS IT!" she reported that contractions were 4 minutes apart, lasting more than a minute, and she was feeling shaky. YAY!!! (may I add that currently there are 4 moms past their due date!!) I called my assistants and we rushed to the Birth Inn. We set up the room, prepared our minds and waited for Mommy A to arrive.

Looking out the window we saw the headlights pulling into the driveway. Mommy stepped out of the car and waddled into the house, looked at us and......smiled. Uh Oh.......this does not look good. Following the routine of the last two days, she wanted to be checked. Well, sure enough, she had changed......a little. Baby still high, cervix dilated to 4, and still kinda thick. hmmmmmm. She happily contracted for for a couple of hours then slowly but surely, we all found our way to a pillow. Fast forward now to 7:30 am. Mommy A is up, she is rested, and she is REALLY wanting the baby OUT!!!

Now let me tell you about Mommy B. Mommy B has wanted another child for years. Her son is 24, and her daughter is 9. Son weighed 9lbs 15oz, and her daughter was 8 lbs 2 oz. At 13 days late, this baby boy might just be big! Both babies were born in the hospital, so this is the first time for a home birth. Mommy B is patient. She has eaten right, exercised and honestly feels better and healthier than she has in a while.
I saw Mommy B on Thursday. After some discussion we decided that a dose of castor oil would be a good step for this mom. She was instructed to ingest 2 oz at 3 or 4 am on Friday. (are you with me? we are at the Birth Inn with Mommy A who REALLY wants baby out, but is stalled. And Mommy B is taking castor oil!)

8:00 am Mommy B called. The castor oil had no effect. None, nada, zero. Ok, this is good-ish, I think. At least we won't have two Mommies at the Birth Inn at once!
Mommy A is going to walk. This is a good time to run home, eat some breakfast and let the dogs out. 10:45 Mommy B calls.......her water broke AND the castor oil FINALLY decided to work. Looks like I need to wrap up breakfast and head back to the Birth Inn.

I checked Mommy A again, helped the cervix along and Mommy and Daddy A left to grab some breakfast......just as Mommy B arrived at the Birth Inn. Checked Mommy B, she is dilated 4cm and cervix is very thin. Mommy B put on her jacket, took Daddy B's arm and off they went for a walk. Ahhh, so quiet in the Birth Inn. *sigh*

Baby A likes it when Mommy a is lying down. Now I know this seems contrary to what you might think, but it seems like baby A has a tendency to rotate in a less favorable position when Mommy A stands or sits. Baby B likes it when Mommy B walks or sits! Picture with me for a minute......Mommy A is in the living room on the couch, pillow propped under her belly providing just the right support for baby A. Mommy B is sitting on the birth ball laboring....with a labored smile on her face! Daddy B decided to go on a food run, good timing since contractions are really warming up for both Mommies!!

Every trip to the Birth Inn is a new experience. The thing that is evident this time is the fact that nobody is missing a meal! the kitchen has been very active!! I love the fact that these mommies are going to be nourished and energized for the delivery!

3:30pm Smiles are turning to grimaces, talking is suddenly silent. Mommy A and Mommy B are both looking intent..............Did I mention there is only one jacuzzi tub?? It's like a horse race, neck in neck, one pulling in front of the other, then the other pulling ahead. Decision time, who will get the tub? Both mommies are so kind, insisting the other can have the tub!! As it is right now, I don't think it is good for Mommy B to be in the tub, big babies aren't the easiest to deliver underwater! Mommy A has decided she doesn't want to take any chances with slowing down her contractions, remember, she wants this baby OUT!!!! So, nobody is going to use the tub.

Let me take this time to introduce you to my two assistants. They fondly refer to themselves as Girl Tuesday, and Girl Thursday. Girl Tuesday, Cynthia Barger is the mother of 8 children, 3 of them were delivered at home. She is a certified Doula and loves the adrenaline rush when delivery is near!.
Girl Thursday is Ginger Young she is the mother of 5 and 3 steps, and grandmother of 2. Ginger is also a certified Doula and is in training to be a midwife. You might wonder about the names they have given themselves. Cynthia assists me in prenatals on Tuesday, and Ginger on Thursday!

4:00 Cynthia and I take off for a little walk. Ginger stays behind. Mommy and Daddy B leave for a walk and Mommy A starts feeling pressure......Woo Hoo!!!

4:25 Mommy A is moving to the birth room! I wonder how the walk is going to Mommy B??

4:51 BABY A IS HERE!!!!!!! Strapping baby boy.....stay tuned for the weight.

Mean while, Mommy B has decided to rest. Guess what? Contractions have slowed. Baby does not like it when mommy is lying down.

Baby A is nursing and getting to know mom and dad. Baby B, well, let's just say that he is in no hurry to meet us!

Baby A weighs 8lbs 10 oz and is 20 3/4" He has strawberry blonde hair and of course, is cute as a bug!!

So birth is seldom what we imagine, rarely what we expect, but always a gift from God! When we are faithful to do our part in preparation and trust Him with the delivery, the baby...our gift from delivered at JUST the right time.

Baby B has decided to take a break. I think he wants just one more night's sleep in his warm safe bed. So the bed is turned down, the lights are dimmed and Mommy and Daddy B are going to go to bed and rest. My assistants and I are going home......for a bit.

NOTE TO DEIDRE: I'm thinking it is time to add on a second birthing suite off the dining room. And a restroom for the midwives (with our own private jacuzzi tub) ;)