Chris and Laura, expecting their fourth child, felt that the Lord was leading them to consider a natural child birth. They happen to go to my church and Laura saw my “ad” in our church Peddler (similar to a bulletin). I met with them for an informational meeting in which I just discuss what they can expect a typical labor to be like, and my roll in it.
Laura had two births at 38 weeks and one induction at 39 weeks. On Friday, Sept 18th, she was in her 35th week (due Oct 21st). I called her at 9:30 that morning (while at my own dr’s appt) to see how her dr’s appt had gone just two days before. She said it was fine, she was a fingertip dilated and about 60%. She said she was having contractions but that they didn’t hurt (just uncomfortable, “like braxtons,” she said) and that she was trying to lie down and that was helping. She also said they were very sporadic. NOTE TO SELF: anytime any momma, even one that is having her fourth.. NEVER assume these are just braxtons.
I encouraged her to drink a good bit amount of water (since we both thought they were justbraxtons). this is funny in hindsight. So I tell her to call me if anything changes. I get home and have to deal with three children and lunchtime and getting everyone down for naps.. I don’t even think to call Laura back and check on her.. I just assume, she’ll call if anything changes.
Well I got a call at 2:30 from her husband, Chris: “Rachel, this is Chris. We are at the hospital and Laura is 6 cm’s and we had to come by ambulance.” THIS was NOT what I wanted to hear. Turns out that Laura kept contracting after i got off the phone with her.. not painful and not in any pattern. And at about 1:30 she stood up to go to the bathroom and a “gush of blood came out.” It scared her and so she called 911.
She had two contractions in the ambulance. When she got to the hospital, Dr. R (my doctor, that I happened to see earlier that day, lol) checked her and saw what looked like a “typical amount of blood” you’d expect to see during a birth. So he explained that maybe the blood was related to rapid cervical dilation. I’ll be honest, I knew that if it were a “gush” as mom said, it was not going to be due to rapid cervical dilation. BUT thankfully, Dr. R is a doctor that practices medicine based on evidence and NOT on emotion or speculation. The baby’s heartbeat was great and mom was not having any “gushes” so he proceeded with the vaginal birth as planned. And should anything rise, he would treat it accordingly.
I got there at 3:30 and could immediately tell she had entered transition. I encouraged her to get out of the bed and onto the ball (beside the bed, since she was strapped). She did that and did much better. About 15 minutes later we got her to go pee and then back on the ball. At that point she was checked again and was 9/100/+1. She got back on the ball for one contraction and then started to really “loose it.” But only because she had to push but was trying not to. So after two of those contractions she hopped (literally) onto the bed and was ready to push. Keep in mind this is about 7 minutes after being checked. 😉 She was complete.. but no one told us that.. because when she hopped on that bed and spread her legs.. I said, “oh wow..” then the nurse asked, “what?” I said, “well, I hope the doctor is ready.” you could see the baby’s head. And a bulging perineum.
She pushed for about three contractions and had her precious little boy, Joseph: 7lbs, 19 inches. After the birth of the placenta it was obvious, then, that in fact there was a small placentalabruption. The baby did come out in a lot of blood and Laura had a good bit of blood and clots afterwards. But with some pitocin and nursing the baby, she was doing great by the time I left.
I told her the next day that I was absolutely amazed at her birth. I believe that natural childbirth is about 80% mental fortitude and preparation. And having such a scary ride to the hospital and seeing that gush of blood, and for her to still “stay in it” mentally and handle the labor.. is truly amazing. I was impressed. She said though, that had she known that it was anabruption on the front end she may not have been able to focus. I understand. But God took care of everything and working with the evidence that was being presented at the time.. everything went PERFECTLY!!