Friday, February 12, 2010

Birth Story - Tami & Madeline's Birth

Written by Kim:

This story is long overdue, but I had to give one of the most amazing experiences I have ever witnessed as a doula, the honor it deserves. Better late than never.

In September I was hired by Tami and Andy to be their doula. Although I was hired when Tami was 38 weeks I felt an immediate connection with the couple. There was clearly a great chemistry between us all, and I knew this birth was going to be fun.
This was a dream birth for me, all of the stars aligned. On a Sunday around 1:00pm, Andy called to let me know that they thought that Tami was in labor. At that time she was eating and handling the contractions well so I told Andy to stay in close touch and let me know how things were progressing. Around 2:00pm Andy called back again and said that the labor seemed to be progressing and they would like me to start heading over to their house. Excitedly I rushed home to drop my boys off with my husband and headed toward their house, but Andy called back and said that he and Tami were going to head to the hospital now.

I arrived at the hospital around 3:30pm, shortly after Tami and Andy. At that time Tami was about 4 cm dilated and her labor was progressing. She was handling her contractions beautifully, she was active, following her body's signals and Andy was the perfect partner. He was supportive, encouraging, loving and simply there for Tami. Tami didn't even seem to need to say anything and Andy was there.

The labor seemed to be moving along well, but I kept reminding myself of how different every birth is. I didn't want to create any expectations of what was going to happen or when the baby might be born. I was just prepared to be there for the long haul.
The nurse who was assigned to us was also very supportive and encouraging. She was not originally assigned to Tami, but she happened to be Tami and Andy's birth educator so she asked to be reassigned because she knew Tami well and knew that she felt strongly about having a natural birth.

Tami was not required to have continuous fetal monitoring. Instead, the nurse simply came in at regular intervals, tracked the baby's fetal heart rate and then left Tami to labor with her birth partners.

At 5:30pm the doctor checked Tami again and noted that she was 5cm dilated and 100% effaced. This was good news, but still I tried to keep from making assumptions, I still remeber how different my other births were. After this check Tami and Andy decided to go over to the birthing tub suite. In this hospital they had one large jacuzzi tub in a beautiful, dimly lit room. If it was available when you wanted to go in there then you were in luck. Thankfully it was available for Tami and it was right across the hallway. So Andy jumped into his swimming trunks and he and Tami got into the tub together.

This was an amazing moment. I was truly in awe watching them together in the tub, watching Tami follow her body's signals and using the water to help calm and soothe her in between contractions. I had been taking pictures throughout their labor, but I just couldn't take a picture now, I felt like I would be intruding on the moment. As a matter of fact I even asked if they wanted me to step out of the room for a minute so they could have some alone time because I wondered if they felt like I was intruding. However, Tami said no she wanted me to stay and secretly this made me feel good too because I am always so concerned about whether or not I am actually helping or being annoying. I don't know why I have such self doubt, but I always do.

After about 40 minutes in the tub we all decided to go back to the room, Tami had progressed to 7 cm by 6:10pm and was complete 6:50pm. Now came the fun..... and at 7:41pm beautiful little Madeline was born at 7 lbs 7oz and 20 1/2 inches long.

1 comment:

  1. Great job Kim! Madeline was 13 1/2 inches? Is that written right? Just curious.