I always feel like this was one of my longest births, but it was partly because I was at Angela’s birth the whole night before, got a total of 5 hours sleep and then headed off to Shelly’s birth. So I was working on very little sleep. Looking back, I wasn’t even with Shelly for 24 hours. But for Shelly, her early birthing time was starting before I even headed to Angela’s birth, so it was VERY long for Shelly. However she did an AMAZING job!
When I first met Shelly and Chris they were planning a hospital birth. Even at that first meeting Shelly expressed interest in homebirth. They signed up for my Hypnobabies class and then hired me as their doula. Angela was in their class and she had a homebirth with her third and was now planning another homebirth with her 4th. I think her presence in the class helped Shelly and Chris to research home birth more. They ended up switching to Michelle Freund when Shelly was 37 weeks.
Shelly called me on Wednesday saying she was feeling crampy, but there was no regular pattern to them. I called her later that night to say I was going to Angela’s birth. I gave her my back up information and hoped she would wait to have her baby the next day!
Thursday early afternoon I touched base with Shelly (after taking a 3 hour nap). She was still crampy about every 10 – 20 minutes. She was going to see Dr. Jen for an adjustment later that day.
I went to bed at 9 pm and Chris called 11 pm on Thursday night. Shelly was now having pressure waves every 7-10 minutes. They were feeling really crampy and it was hard for her to be comfortable. I said I would come now.
I got to their house around 11:45. Shelly resting on bed, listening to Easy First Stage, very focused. PW seem to be every 5-7 minutes and pretty intense. Shelly had to work hard to stay relaxed through them.
I said, “Let’s call the midwife!” Michelle sends Sheryl to check things out.
12:30 I helped Shelly get up to pee. 1 AM Sheryl arrives. Shelly likes to be standing during her pressure waves, but is pretty tired. Sometimes she lifts up a leg to put on bed. This helps her feel more comfortable.
It is hard to tell when she is having PW because she stays so relaxed. Sometimes I can tell, but not always. It seems like her pw are getting closer together. It seems like they are 2-3 minutes apart now.
Sheryl wants to check her to see if Michele should come. Shelly doesn’t want to be checked because she would have to lie down. At 2:15 we have another potty run. Sheryl checks heart tones and baby is LOW into pelvis. Shelly doesn’t even like to be checked with the Doppler. This is a good sign and means it is time to call Michelle.
Michelle probably got there around 3:30?
Shelly is standing by the bed leaning on the ball to rest. Chris is sleeping on the bed and snoring. Shelly doesn’t appreciate this. Shelly has this blanket over her shoulders to keep her warm and she looks like an Indian princess to me. She looks beautiful, strong and stoic.
Chris starts getting the pool set up and Shelly gets in around 6:30 am. She seems to enjoy being in there. I lie down for a nap (48 hours with 5 hours of sleep is catching up with me) Michelle and Chris take over. I come out around 7:30 and Shelly is still in the tub relaxing beautifully. Later Shelly tells me she never knew I left her side! She had such a wonderful group of support people, we worked pretty seamlessly.
9:30 we decide it is time to get out of tub. Michelle wants to see what is going on. It takes 20 minutes to get Shelly out of the tub. Then she spends about an hour on the toilet. I LOVE how patient Michelle was. Never rushed Shelly to do anything.
11 Shelly has her first vaginal exam. She is 6cm, baby’s head it tilted a little. This is probably why it is taking so long. She thinks the baby’s head is small and baby is small. The baby iust needs to descend more to put even pressure on cervix.
Shelly rests in bed flipping sides. I take another little nap. At 1 PM another potty break.
1:05 we head upstairs. Fun music is on, sunlight, smoothie. We are trying to energize Shelly, she is lagging in energy (who can blame her after working so hard for so many hours)
She walks 2 laps with Chris and about 1:30 she gets on hands and knees, chest low.
1:55 she says “Water” So we get our trusty glass of water with a straw (how did women birth pre straws?) and she shakes her head NO and says “Water!”
Her water had broken. We get her cleaned up and back downstairs about 2:20 onto the toilet. She spends about an hour there. Another VE says she is 8cm +1. Good progress is being made. We encourage her to follow her body.
3:30 she is back in the bedroom on her hands and knees. She is doing little pushes at the top of pressure waves. We encourage her to listen to her body. She is doing great.
4 she really starts actively pushing with each pressure wave.
At some point Michelle checks again (maybe 5:15ish) and there is a lip left and she holds it back while Shelly pushes, so baby can move down and past that last little lip.
5:59 Baby is born. He is doing great. Shelly is exhausted and feels faint. We get her lying down and help her and baby. It is a little chaotic for about 5 minutes, while we are all worried about Shelly and checking baby.
She is SO tired and out of it for about an hour. We are giving her fruit, protein bar, coconut juice, etc. By the time I leave around 8 she is doing better. Still TIRED, but more alert. Baby is beautiful and weighs 9 pounds 1 ounce.
After the birth we talk about what may have happened if she had a hospital birth. We both agree she probably would have ended up with a cesarean. She also hated having her stomach touched during the birth and she couldn’t imagine having to have monitoring with belts on.