Thursday, January 8, 2009

Birth Story - Kim's First Birth as a Doula!

Posted by Kim:

Well bringing in the new year was VERY exciting this year. I was not with my family when the clock struck twelve, instead I was helping a family be born! Since Friday night I had been in touch with Gina and Steve as their contractions began. The first call from Steve was received on Friday night at 10:30pm just as my husband Paul and I were sitting down to see the new 007 movie! Things were pretty much under control at that time, however I expected to hear from them later that night, but no news (silly new doula). Saturday morning I called at 9am to see how things were going and Gina's contractions had slowed throughout the night, but things kicked in again a little early Saturday morning, but were light. On Sunday morning I heard from Gina and Steve again and contractions started early and they wanted me to come over. I headed over around 9am (after picking up a heating pad) and worked with Gina as her contractions remained 5 minutes apart. Unfortunately they started to fade again so we walked the stairs, I encourage them to be together and kiss, we took a walk together, but nothing seemed to help. So after a while I went home and Gina enjoyed her mother and sister's company for the rest of the day.

On Monday Steve and Gina went to see their doctor and found out that she was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. Good news that her contractions were actually doing something for her.

On Tuesday morning around 4:15 am Steve called again and asked if I would be willing to come over and help Gina as her contractions were back, but Steve was going to go into work. When I arrived Gina was laboring hard and we worked through the contractions. She sat on the fit ball and once the sun came up we went for a walk. Today however she wasn't able to walk through the contractions as on Sunday. We had to stop, I rubbed her back and she was cool and calm through each one. I was so impressed with how she was able to close her eyes, go into herself as each wave passed through her. Steve returned home from work around 10am, just as Gina's contractions were slowing in time and intensity AGAIN. Poor thing, how many days of labor can one person take? So I suggested she rest as much as possible and call me if she needs me. So once again I headed home expecting to hear from them again soon.

And I did..... It wasn't as soon as I thought, but after a fun evening of taking the boys Dave and Busters, Steve called me around 12:15 am Wednesday morning and said that Gina had been laboring and the intensity of the contractions seems like it had changed. After getting up and getting dressed (couldn't shower because the pilot on the hot water heater was out NICE...) I headed over to their house once again. I arrived around 1am and Steve immediately went to bed to rest. Gina and I spent some time together talked through the waves of contractions and I spent a lot of time rubbing her back, this seemed to be a continuous ache for her. While trying to remain completely confident and in control for Gina, on the inside I was worried that she could be progressing and we were close to birth and I didn't want to catch a baby. Gina kept asking me when we should go to the hospital and I reassured her that we could go any time, and we should especially go when she no longer instinctively felt safe at home. So around 3am and after a call to the hospital confirming that we could come home after being checked if we chose to, we decided to head out.

We arrived at the hospital about 20 minutes later and by 4am they checked Gina and confirmed that she had progressed to 5 cm and was about 100% effaced. This was good news so we decided to stay. Gina continued to labor and we all hoped that the contractions were making her progress, but again by 10am ish her contractions started to slow and become less intense. After talking with the doctor (she wanted to start pitocin right away) Gina and Steve agreed that we would wait until noon and see if she has progressed. At noon they checked her and she was only 6cm. So the doctor broke her water and this definitely brought on active labor. Gina continued to labor and was my hero because she was really handling it well considering the new level of intensity.

Around 6pm Gina decided to have another check and she was only 7cm. This was very discouraging for Gina and frankly after 5 days of labor she was really starting to get exhausted. So she and Steve decided it was time to consider the epidural. We all hoped the epidural would help her relax enough to dilate quicker. Once the epidural was placed there was instant relief and Gina felt much better and could even get a little rest. Unfortunately it did not help her dilate faster however. At 9pm she was 8cm, 11pm 9cm, 1am 9 1/2cm and by 1:40am she was fully dilated and ready to push. This was an exciting moment, but I tried not to get too excited because I knew from experience that there was still a lot of work to be done. I just didn't know how true this was, because it wasn't for 5 more hours before little baby girl Jordyn joined the world at 9 lbs 1 oz and 22 inches. As always it was amazing wonderful and euphoric. Looking at Gina's face it was like the last 28 hours (or 6 days for that matter) hadn't even happened! What a honor to be there. I can't wait for my next birth! I learned so much and it even allowed me to let go of some of the figurative pain I have been going through since Griffin's birth. Its like anything with parenting, you just can't make plans or if you do they have to be written in pencil because they are sure to change!

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