Sweet Lindsay and JC. I had the privilege of doula’ing their second baby, Tessa. You can read that birth story here.
Alas, Lindsay was having her third baby. It’s important to note that she was again having blood pressure spikes toward the end of her pregnancy. In fact, right before she turned 38 weeks one of the docs in her practice said that he suggested she be induced on the Monday that she turned 38 weeks. After talking it over with her doctor, he decided to give it a little more time but making sure to have her come in every three days to check her urinalysis and protein levels (in her urine). And take it day by day. She was also asked to do a modified bed rest to help with the BP. “Modified” given that she has two other children two and under.
Bed rest (and lots of prayers) seemed to be helping. And then she went in to an appointment on Friday the 6th. She had the highest BP reading she’d had all pregnancy, so her doc (the amazing Dr. Ross of OBGYN South) suggested she come in on that following Monday to be induced. She would be 39 weeks.
Lindsay was very sad about this as she desperately wanted her body to go into labor on its own. And if the protein was getting higher, it made the most sense. However, there is always that option that she could show up on Monday for an induction and her BP and protein levels be normal and then she could go from there. But she wasn’t sure how to feel about that.
So apparently she decided to get out and go shopping. She was hoping something would help communicate to her baby, “anytime now would be great.”
But the odds were unknown of a natural onset of labor at 38.6 weeks. But that didn’t stop us from praying. Well I got a phone call around 11:15 on Saturday night (poor thing had to call my mom to get my home number.. YIKES. I thought Lindsay had it. And I was dead asleep and didn’t hear her calling my cell phone). Needless to say, the home phone did the trick and when I talked to her, she said she had been contracting for about an hour, had already called Dr. R and he suggested she call him back in an hour to check in and tell him the progress. I told her that she sounded like she was in early labor (timing of the ctx’s, able to talk easily through them) and that it could take a while or go really quickly. But that if she could do what she would normally do at this time of day/night (i.e, rest in bed) to try and do that. Or if she felt she needed to get up.. just to follow her bodies’ leading. I assured her that I would get dressed and immediately come over. (i live about 25 minutes from her).
So I got on the road. And apparently in that time, Lindsay had gotten up to go to the bathroom and her water broke. I got to her exit and called and JC answered and said, “well, we are getting in the car to head to the hospital. Her water broke and the ctx’s are much closer and stronger.” “Awesome!” I said.
Once at the hospital, Lindsay was found to be 9 1/2 cm’s with an anterior lip. Basically she was almost fully dilated. HELLO precipitous labor. Lindsay was in the bed at this point and labored there for a little bit and then had the urge to bear down. As the urges got stronger, she went ahead and pushed with all her might. After about 20 minutes of pushing the baby, while making progress, the baby was taking “it’s” (gender was not known.. a surprise) time. Lindsay tried the squat bar and also had some great contractions while on the toilet (can’t say it enough.. an AWESOME place to labor.. relaxed hips, opens the pelvis. Fabulous), but overall she wanted to go back to the sitting up position on the bed. And let me say here, even though the labor was quick and the pushing was taking longer than she expected, Lindsay was a rock. The only thing she asked was, “when is this baby going to come out?” But she took it one contraction at a time and did fantastic.
Here is where I hate to not have said something out loud, so as to prevent the “oh that’s what I thought it was (after the fact)” perceived know it all complex.. but seeing how effective those pushes were and seeing how this stage of labor was a little longer for a third time mom, I started to wonder if the baby was OP. The doctor had not mentioned it nor the nurse, but I really started to think the baby was posterior. Either way, Lindsay needed gravity on her side. So I asked the impossible of her (for a mom in transition.. you do NOT want to move): “Lindsay can you stand up beside the bed and just give me two contractions like that and then you can get back in the bed?” I explained my rationale and told her that I believe this baby needed gravity on it’s side. She agreed and had about three contractions. Intense ones, with LOTS of pressure. And then said, “i think the baby is coming.”
She “hopped” on that bed, sat up and that baby was crowning!!! Wow, it was fast! And with one more push, at 3:06 a.m. (yes, that’s five hours total labor).. a baby GIRL was born on Mother’s Day!! Andrea “Andi” Morgan Zannis, 8 lbs 2 oz, and gorgeous!! And yes, she was Posterior.
Lindsay- the facts still amaze me. A planned induction the next day. And your body did it the night before. Not only did you have that natural onset of labor you dreamed about (been there done that), you had an amazingly fast labor and a fantastic birth. I know you are likely still in awe of all the details, but can I say right now, how incredibly proud I am of you. Not just for the birth, but for not losing hope. For trusting the Lord for His plan even when it didn’t seem like it would happen the way you wanted, you always hand an open hand. And thankfully it worked out just the way you wanted. I bet there isn’t anything you’d change, well except that your doula would’ve answered her cell phone. 🙂
Also, I’d like to thank April D, our nurse at BWMC (I have her permission to mention her by name). April, girl, you rock. Not only were you supportive of Lindsay, you had some great suggestions to help move things along. When you came over to Lindsay with a towel and had her pull back on it while you pulled as well, I was dying to scream “Gone head gurl!” (go ahead girl). 😉 You know your stuff and I will happily add you to my list of amazing nurses I have had the pleasure to “work” with.
To Dr. R-Understatement of the year to say that you truly are the best doc in Birmingham. Thank you for your care of Lindsay. For your method of care, taking it one day at a time and giving her encouragement. My only concern is that BWMC may have to get bigger doors in the new building. ;-P
Once again, I stand amazed at the power of birth and how that I would even get the opportunity to be included in such a huge event in the life of a little family.