When I first thought of the idea of having a natural birth, I knew I wanted a Doula. I started researching them and the doula’s in my area. My only real requirement was that they lived close. I wanted someone to be there very shortly after I called them. I found a doula that lived pretty close and started phone interviews with her. I loved her and she seemed great. During one of our interviews she told me a story of a little boy helped deliver in May and a little bit about his birth story. It sounded familiar but it didn’t click until that night that she was talking about Rachel (Aaron’s sister..) I stumbled upon the same Doula she had used months before.
We had a few meetings with Angie and we both really liked her.
She was AMAZING! I could have never done it without her. People always ask me what she did to help. I feel silly when I say, she rubbed and tickled my back and told me I was doing a good job. But really.. that was all she did. But it was what I needed. I think having someone with me the entire time that knew what was going on and what was coming next really helped to put my mind at ease. I felt “safe”
She came by last night to meet Miles and dropped off the birth story she wrote. I decided to share it just mainly so I could come back and read it one day..
Here is his story through her eyes….
Ryley patiently waited for her body to go into labor. She was hoping this little boy would come out right after he tasted turkey. But Thanksgiving came and went and so did her “Due week.” Her cervix was nicely preparing for labor; however, being 80% thinned and open 3+ cm. So, Ryley was hopeful. Finally, one Saturday morning, December 20th, at 6:00am her membranes released at home. Contractions very soon began, coming 3-5 minutes apart and lasting 20-30 seconds. They got longer and stronger as Ryley kept in contact throughout the morning with her Doula, Angie. The intensity was really picking up so Ryley and Aaron decided to go into the hospital. Angie and Jessica were to meet her there. They arrived just after 12:30 and found Ryley and Aaron laboring away.
Angela was their nurse and her assessment of labor progress was discouraging to Ryley. After 6 hours of labor she was now 4cm dilated, 90% effaced and the baby was at a -1 station. All things were moving in the right direct, but more slowly than Ryley had hoped. Ryley was lying on the bed and was visibly uncomfortable. For awhile she stood at the bed side then settled on the ball where Angie rubbed her back and Aaron was always at her side to hold her hand. The hospital staff was not sure her water had released and did two tests that confirmed that it did not. This was quite distressing to Ryley because she knew her membranes had released! After 2 hours, however, the speculum test on the slide finally “ferned” – confirming that the membranes had indeed released. Ryley was greatly relieved.
At 2:00 Angela attempted to place an IV but it proved to be challenging. Another nurse Julie, came in and tried and was successful. Just before 3:00pm Angela checked on labor progress again and found that dilation was now 4+ cm, effacement at 95% and the baby descended to a zero station.. all good signs of progress, but Ryley was working so had and was hoping to be closer to delivery. She got up and used to restroom every so often and enjoyed the change of position, the cold bathroom and not having to be on the monitors for a few minutes. Her favorite position seemed to be sitting on the ball at the bedside having her back lightly rubbed. Dr. Langer was off for the weekend and Dr. Hansen was on call. He wanted to start some pitocin soon because labor progress had been slower than a cm and hour.
Just before 3:00pm the surges gained a whole new intensity. Ryley remained relaxed and in control as she allowed her body to do the work it knew how to do. At 3:45pm Angela checked labor progress and found that the cervix was indeed changing. It was now 6cm, 100% effaced and the baby down to a +1 station. This was great news! Ryley was amazing. Angela checked again at 4:15pm and found dilation at 9am with the baby at a +2 station! Wow, and morning and afternoon of labor was quickly catching up and birth was drawing near. The cervix had dilated from a 4 to a 10 in an hour and a half.
At 4:30 dilation was complete and pushing began at 4:40. The mirror was very helpful to Ryley as she learned to push and pushed through the pain. Dr Hansen came into the room at 5:05 and very quickly prepared to catch a baby as Ryley was pushing so well. This little boy was born at 5:13pm on the evening of December 20, 2008. The cord was cut at 5:15pm and the placenta delivered at 5:18pm. The baby was good and healthy with apgar scores of 9 and 9. Dr. Hansen quickly repaired a second degree tear was off to do a c-section. Very shortly after delivery Ryley said, “This isn’t so bad. People was wusses if they can’t do this!” She had done an amazing job in working with her body during labor. This baby weighed 9 lbs and was 20 3/4 inches long with a head circumference of 34cm. The first words Ryley said to her baby were, “Oh, he’s not huge.” Ryley experienced more bleeding than normal and was given 2 shots of methargine alone with pitocin to help control the bleeding. Breastfeeding began at 5:40 and this baby, was was still waiting to know his name, did a great job at latching on. His first cute little sneeze was at 5:49pm.
The things Aaron will most remember about this experience are: “Crying when he was born, this morning not knowing when we should go to the hospital, and letting the dog sleep on the bed with us this morning.” And Ryley will remember most, “My water breaking this morning, The unknown of sitting around the house wondering what we should do or when we should go to the hospital, the feeling of the contractions, it was different than I thought and how easy it actually was. Actually pushing him out wasn’t too bad.”
Ryley did an amazing job. She and Aaron will be wonderful parents to this new baby boy. By the way, soon after it was decided that his name would be Miles Christopher. It was an honor and privilege to be a part of this experience.
p.s. I wanted to comment on soo many things she said.. but refrained… My favorite part was that she wrote down my first words to him!! I wish I would have known she was going to do that. I would have thought of something better to say! :)
But really.. “oh, he’s not huge.” Really were the first words out of my mouth. The look on EVERYONES faces was priceless!!! Apparently I was the only one in the room that couldn’t really see how massive he was. I believe the doctors response was something like “Um, he’s really big.”
So there is our story through her eyes!