I met with the funny couple at their home about two weeks before the actual due date. After telling me the story of their first birth with son Sam (an induction due to post date, epidural delivery) we discussed what they could expect from the flow of a natural birth and my role in helping to be their advocate for their birth plan. Both had concerns but by the end of the meeting, they were both on board to go for it!!
Flash forward to Aug 6th (2 days before due date). Greta informed me that she had lost her mucus plug early in the day, and at 9 pm she texted me (gotta love technology) that she had been contracting 6-8 minutes apart for about 2 hours. I suggested that she try to go to bed, and if she couldn’t sleep to take a warm bath and then try again. At about 1 a.m she called with a concern about some bleeding. Her contractions had slowed down and weren’t as “uncomfortable” after resting. I said I was pretty sure (based on the description that it was in fact bloody show) but if she were still concerned to give her doc a call, however, to be prepared that he would recommend for her to come in to the hospital.
Greta and Bob decided to head over to the hospital and got there around 3:30. I got there at 4 a.m. Upon arrival Greta found out that she was 3cm/70%/-2. It was our expectation that after the bleeding was checked out, she would go back home. But I explained to them about the hospital “way of doing things” and that they (doc on call) would find some reason to keep her there, even at 3 cm. The nurse wanted desperately to get Greta’s heplock started, even though the doctor hadn’t even come in yet to give his “approval” of whether mom would be staying or not. So after some advocating on that end (hint, hint).. heplock was finally delayed until we could talk to the doc. So we sat in triage for about two hours until the doctor finally got there.. Mom looked great. ctx’s every 4-5 minutes, but certainly didn’t seem to be more than “uncomfortable.” So imagine our excitement when the doc came in, checked her and she was 5-6cm/80%/-1. Not only that but after a quick review of the birth plan (with approval from the doc- for the plan, which wasn’t her primary doc) we headed to a suite ready to stay out of the bed!
Mom did some knee raises while walking back and forth to me and Bob. Ending with some squats when she met us! This is where humor was evident. Mom was enjoying the work and didn’t seem to be more than “uncomfortable” with each contraction, coming every 2-3 minutes. I’ll tell ya, I was SHOCKED to KNOW that she was in fact in active labor.. but seemed like she was having braxton hicks because of the way she dealt with them. Completely calm and relaxed!! A great Bradley birther! She walked and paced and rested for three more hours and decided to get checked again. She was 6cm/90%/0. PROGRESS!! YAY! It was great to see her excited that she had just gone three hours without dilation but still understanding that her body was making great progress!! A little plateau, but not for long.
We headed out to the halls again (yes, hospital was willing to let us walk the halls) and after about 15 minutes of walking.. she stopped for a contraction (she was leaning against Bob while I used tennis balls for counter pressure on her back) and at the start of the contraction.. we all heard “GOOOOSH!” Her BOW broke right there on the carpeted floor! Now of course, knowing that this momma has a great sense of humor (and she was in between contractions) I said, “Oh Greta, can I please get a picture of you right now?!” To which she laughed and said, “yes, hurry!” while water was puddled around her feet and soggy flip flops. LOL!!
She wanted to head back to the room so we got set up for a quick strip on the baby (which looked great, btw) and mom was getting tired from leaning on the ball while standing up, so I got her in the bed, on her knees facing the head of the bed while leaning completely against the head of the bed that was tilted almost all the way up. She got to rest her entire upper body on comfy pillows from home and labored through her entire transition this way. *Except for a 20 minute bathroom break where she was able to empty her bladder but liked sitting on the toilet for some of the ctx’s.* After about 30 minutes went by with her up in the bed, leaning, she said she felt pressure. I encouraged her to go ahead and bear down if she wanted with each contraction and to not be afraid, we would know when the baby was coming out. She did that for about 15 minutes and then was checked again: 9 (with a small lip)/100%/+1. She took on about 10 more minutes of contractions and then decided to sit on the bed to start pushing more intently.
The sweet nurse (she was AMAZING, btw) asked if Greta would like stirrups to which Greta said very matter of factly, “ummm NO thank you.” So, Bob and I just pulled her legs back to help and she sat up and pushed with each contraction. No one was counting or telling her what to do.. we just encouraged and waited for her to push when she was ready. Oh and of course, tell her what amazing progress she was making!! After about 20 minutes it was very clear to me that although the doctor had been paged.. he was NOT going to make it if he wasn’t walking in right then to catch this baby.. so after seeing the nurse check the door quite a few times I looked at Great and said “Sweetie, your baby is right there ready to pop right out. And I know the doctor isn’t here but Jada (the nurse) is and I am confident she has caught a few babies in her time. So, no one is going to tell you Not to push, if you want to push.. so can push your baby out on this next contraction.” To which Jada said, “Well maybe he will get here…..” and with that out came the head and she finished her sentence, “oooh… okay.. there’s the head.” LOL.. I laugh just thinking about it. Greta was still in that contraction and took a breath and then pushed the rest of little Grey right out. And of course the awesome doctor came right in the room as Jada was putting the baby on mommy’s chest!!! It was beautiful. The doctor came in so excited and happy for Bob and Greta and even congratulated Jada on a great catch!
As much convincing as tried to do to get Bob to cut the cord, he gets a bit queezy at this kind of thing, he wasn’t up for the task. So the good ole’ doc asked mom is she would like to cut the cord. So there she is, holding her baby on her chest and reaches over and cuts the cord! It was awesome!! Way to go guys!
This birth was proof that there are still some people in the medical institution that are more willing to work with the momma and partner with her goal of less interventions and more freedom! It just gives me chills. Cool!
Congratulations Bob, Greta, Sam and Grey!!! You are an amazing family!