This birth happened last month, but I am just now able to post about it. I was contacted by Tara after a friend of a friend recommended she give me a call. Tara had talked to two otherdoula’s, and for different reasons, they did not work out. At the point that she called me she was getting nervous that she may not find someone to help in time. She was 34 weeks with her second child (Kirsten, 5) and the first baby came at 35 weeks.
We set up the informational meeting at her house, which we found out was about .5 miles from my house, and were able to review her desired birth plan. The birth plan she was given, by a previous doula (one that didn’t work out) was, in my opinion, too long. There was no doubt in my mind that most any doctor would NOT want to read through all that, let alone have a serious conversation about it. It was two pages, typed, single spaced if that gives you any idea. Tara admitted that she really just went along with it but that she wasn’t sure about all the details on the list. Now while they all sounded “reasonable” I assured her that I could sum up that two page paper in about 8 bullet points that wouldn’t put off the doctor. (*separate post about that later*).
Fast forward to Saturday, September 19th (two days before EDD). Around 7:30 Tara called me to tell me she had lost her mucus plug. Throughout her entire last trimester she seemed to have lots of uncomfortable hip and lower back pain. So when I asked her to keep me posted on when contractions started, she (thankfully) called me to tell me that she wasn’t having so much pain in her belly but was having it in her hips and lower abdomen and her back. I asked if they were coming in “waves” and she said yes! Good, those count!
So the waves were coming every 10 minutes or so. Around 10 she called and said she had been lying down and it was getting more painful but still about 10 minutes apart. Since she hadn’t eaten yet, I encouraged her (*read, threatened) to eat something and to then try getting up and walking. She did both and at 12 p.m she called and said that once she started walking that they were coming every 4-5 minutes and were very painful. At that point I suggested that she try to sit on the birth ball and rest (from walking) and see if they slowed down. At that point, I talked to Patrick and asked how she was handling the pain, to which he said, “she is getting more intense.”
So I got in my car to head to her house. When I got there at 12:15 she was able to talk in between contractions and within the hour she was starting to cry (not uncontrollably) with each contraction. She kept saying “I can’t do this pain, I just don’t handle pain well.” That really made me laugh because to look at her she was a PRO! She was staying calm and relaxed and was working one contraction at a time. *later at the hospital during their annoying 50 questions they ask while you are trying to labor, the nurse asked, “how do you deal with stress? by talking to someone, crying, internalizing it, etc” to which Tara said she cries. Interesting to know since she would tear up when she had a contraction.*
So it was about 1 p.m and the contractions were still 3-4 mintues apart and, while her signpost wasn’t “self-doubt,” I suggested we head to the hospital.. mainly because their hospital was a 30 minute drive away. So Patrick got their van ready and he drove us while Tara and I were in the very back of the minivan with the back row seat folded over. Poor momma had to deal with a small area to work with, while on a bumpy ride all while having contractions every 2-3 minutes. You could definitely say it was a long 30 minutes. But she did great!! I mean that. In fact, when they kept asking me how long I thought it would be I just said, “it could be in an hour it could be three hours.” No man knows, but based on signpost, I thought we had a while.
So you can imagine our excitement when we got to the hospital and she was 8/90/-1! Awesome! Tara did part of transition in the van!! What a trooper. She really felt better sitting up in the bed so that is where she pretty much where she camped out. She stayed on top of her contractions and about 45 minutes later she told us she was feeling lots of pressure. Her doctor was in the room at that moment (which let me just say, she had an amazing doctor!) and wanted to just check, which Tara was okay with.. she was 9 with an anterior lip and at a 0 station. Just as the doctor was pulling her hand out I asked “and her bag of waters is still intact, right?” and literally at that moment a gush came.. it was so funny because the doctor, knowing that momma wanted a spontaneous rupture of membranes, immediately said, “uh well, (as she pulled her hand out) I PROMISE that wasn’t me!”
about 15 minutes later Tara started to bear down with each contraction. She pushed for a total of one hour and 15 minutes. She even tried “squatting” while on the bed (she was on her knees leaning on Patrick” but the baby was having some ugly decels so we tried sitting on the bed at a 45 degree angle and the baby did much better (turns out that was because there was a nukal cord, wrapped around the neck 360 degrees, so gravity was NOT helping).
At 4:04 Tara pushed out (with NO tearing) Isaiah who was 6 lbs 14 oz and 19 1/2 inches long.
She didn’t think she would be able to handle the pain, but she did! She, and Patrick, did an amazing job! The nurses were so compliant with the birth plan and kept referring back to it and at one point when the doctor was in the room our nurse said, “what do you want to do about (something I can’t remember)” and the doctor said, “well whatever momma wants!” It was beautiful and refreshing. Our nurse was so hands off that at one point during the pushing I looked at her and said, “feel free to step in at any time, I am not trying to run this show. We are a team!” She said, “oh no.. everything is going great and I did natural births for 15 years and I know the one thing the momma needs is to be allowed to do what she needs to do.” Tell me that ain’t awesome!
Great job Tara. Your sisters were shocked to find out you “actually did it.” But I knew you could even before the big day! You rocked! You truly made it look easy!