Birth Story: Melissa and Ken, First time NCB

I have known Melissa for a long time. Since our days in the same church college group. She even knew my hubby before we were dating. Melissa and Ken had been waiting a long time (7 years) to get their little miracle baby. So when she found out she was expecting she already knew she wanted to do a NCB. She contacted me in her second trimester and was already “convinced” she wanted to go natural but just needed to know what my role would be in the whole thing.

At 38.1 weeks, Melissa called me around 5:30 pm to tell me she had been contracting for almost two hours about 10 m’s apart. I told her to go ahead and eat dinner, let me get my kids settled for bed and then I’d head to her house to check on things. I got to her house around 7 pm. She was still sporadic with the ctx’s, coming every 7-13 minutes lasting around a minute. So at 9 pm I suggested that I head back home so that she and Ken could try to get some sleep with the time in between the ctx’s. Also, when ctx’s are this far apart, it doesn’t do anyone any good to time them and have someone there “watching” you.
Around 10:45 they called again saying that the ctx’s had picked up in intensity and were coming every 3-4 minutes. Her water was still intact, but she was having some bloody show. I got to her house around 11:15 and after an hour of observing her I thought it would be good to head to the hospital. Now, the reason for my decision was more for comfort measure, not because I thought she was close to transition. Melissa was planning a water birth and had said for the remainder of her pregnancy that she couldn’t wait to get in that water. She emphasized that water makes her relax and she would want to get to the hospital in time to enjoy it. So that’s why we headed. NOT because of the timing of the contractions: because even at 3-4 minutes, based on her emotional signpost, I knew we still had a good while to go.
At 12:43 she was found to be 4/90/-1. For some odd reason she had a LOT of bleeding while waiting on the EFM and therefore had to wait a little while before she could get in the water. The nurse wanted to make sure that the bleeding was back to “normal” before she got in the water. Good call. An hour later she was 5/90/-1 and got into the water. It was amazing the difference getting in that pool made on Melissa. She was getting tired while in the bed and having a hard time getting through the ctx’s but as soon as she got in the water, her entire countenance changed. She was joking, and staying in great control, one ctx at a time. At around 2:15 we thought her water broke. turns out it was a fore bag. At almost 3 a.m she was 6-7/100/0. She was making great progress. At one point, for a change of scenery, she got out of the pool and into the shower. Although, she didn’t like that as much. So back to the pool it was.
At around 4:45 she was getting tired. The decision was made, after realizing her water was still intact, to go ahead and rupture it for her. I agreed, only because she was already in transition. about 30 minutes later at 5:05 she was 10/100/+1!! She was pushing on her own in the water, trying the squat and also being on hands and knees. However, her legs started cramping up and also the water just didn’t seem to be having the same calming effect that it did in the beginning. So after about 45 minutes, I suggested she try using the squat bar in the bed. This would keep her grounded (the water seems to have a floating effect..ha!) and we could all support her better (physically) since she was getting tired (HELLO, she had been laboring for 10 hours at this point).
So to the bed she went. She pushed, while looking in the mirror and at 7:11 she pushed her 8lb 15 oz baby boy out! Happy Birthday Tyler. That little chubby bubba came out with his hand on his face. And Melissa says that even now he likes to keep that same hand next to his cheek. Melissa and Ken were amazing. Ken was a great coach and I really enjoyed watching them work together. He was very patient and she was very controlled. Guys, you did a truly amazing job. Your little guy is truly beautiful!!
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