December 29, 2007

A birth story–and it’s not even mine!

Posted in Happiness is a true gift at 8:11 pm by Erin

First, let me just say that it was amazing to be there to help through a birth, to witness new life as it came into the world.  I’m going to write this down mostly so that I don’t forget it, though I can’t imagine that I would.  (I promise not to do this every time I attend a birth, if it happens again, but this was my first as a doula.)

H and C called to ask me to meet them at 1:15 p.m.  I grabbed my bag and birth ball, headed to Ye Olde Chik of Fil-A’s for a quick sandwich and soda, and got to the hospital at about 1:45.  H wasn’t having many contractions, so we went walking through the halls for a while.  She was on and off the monitor through the afternoon.  It went very, very slowly for several hours…contractions every once in a while, but not very strong or long.  We walked a bit and they picked up every time we did, but she preferred to be in bed and stayed there a lot.  We talked a lot between contractions and both C and I did massage during contractions.  C’s parents came by with H & C’s 2-year-old son (they took my class before they had him) at around 4 p.m., but that was too distracting and so they left about 20 minutes later.  Some more of their friends came around 6 p.m. and stayed for about 30 minutes.

At 7 p.m., the nurse came in and mentioned that since her water had been broken for 14 hours, they were going to want to do a septic workup on the baby if it wasn’t out by 18 hours.  The entire staff was extremely supportive and I’m actually really glad that the nurse told H that, because it was the impetus for her to get out of bed and walk around for almost 45 minutes.  The contractions started up again, and now they were very strong, much longer, and started coming about every 3-4 minutes or less.  H was a pro the whole way through–breathing well, relaxing her muscles, and basically listening to her body’s needs.  She went back to her room and kneeled on the bed for a while, which is when things got really tough for her.  Staying upright was her key.  She was put on the monitor again and the contractions were finally registering–her midwife came in and was very pleased, and said she wasn’t going far away because she could tell that H was really working through them.

At around 8:40, H started feeling little pushing twinges.  We got the midwife, who checked her (upon H’s request) for only the second time since she’d gotten to the hospital.  She was 7 cm and the baby was very low.  She cautioned H not to push yet, but told me and C to come and get her as soon as we noticed any pushing signs.  About 15 minutes later, I went to get her–H was clearly wanting to push.  The midwife watched her for a few contractions, checked her again, and she only had a lip of cervix left.  One more contraction and she was complete at 9:10 p.m.  H pushed and their baby boy was born at 9:33 p.m.  It was incredible!  Once the baby crowned, he was out in 2 pushes.

I am in awe that I got to be such a part of their son’s birth.  I held him for a minute after he’d been weighed and bundled up, but the medical people had just cleared out and I wanted to give them their special time as a family.  As I was leaving, H said she had no idea how she could ever repay me for my help and all that I did for them. 

They let me share in their miracle–I could never repay them for that. 



  1. My Reality said,

    What a beautiful story. I am glad you got to be there.

  2. sky girl said,

    Sounds amazing!! Thanks for sharing.

  3. jesspond said,

    I heard that 20 min is the new 2 hours for pushing. 🙂 I’m starting a trend. lol
    I’m glad you got to attend the birth. It IS amazing!

  4. Rebel said,

    Awww how awesome for you sweetie… I have been on the viewing end far to many times, so going into delivering this little one is a change for me. I really wish that you were here to be my doula, I would love to have you!!!

  5. Jitters said,

    I, too, witnessed a friends birth. TI was equally amazing.
    Their birth happened in their dining room (in a birthing pool) and I was there to comfort their then 2 year old and assist him what what he may need in the process.
    At the time this all was happening, our first IVF just failed and we were waiting, devastated, for a second try. I was a bit worried about how I would feel. Luckily, though, I was able to appreciate the beauty of the process and now realize this may be the only birth I will witness, ever.

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