We have been here before

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Only three hours after the cramping starts, she can’t speak through the waves of contractions anymore. We head to the hospital. Fuelled by the memory of the swiftness of the active part of her last labour, this baby’s Dad was very efficient in getting her to St. Boniface General Hospital. Even so, we waited for over an hour to be admitted to triage. She is swaying and rocking on the ball, he is holding her hands to anchor her. This is where and this is how we laboured, just like the time before. 

Finally in triage, she is assessed and told that her cervix is open to 4 centimetres. We aren’t buying it, we have been here before. Her body is clearly labouring in advance of that dilation.  Tricky cervix. She is labouring on the exam bed, leaning up against the back of it, when suddenly there is a lot of commotion in triage. The woman labouring across the room from us has fainted!  She is taken care of, is okay and shown to a room, but this throws us all off. We ask if we can walk around if there isn’t a room for us. We need the space, some quiet and focus, we need our birth bubble.

Once we have escaped the noise and busy bustle of the triage area, this couple was able to centre themselves again.  We walk and he does some abdominal lifts for her, since we know that has helped in the past. This brings the rhythm of the labour back with extra emphasis!

We head back to the labour floor to labour in the room across from triage, it is quieter here now, she is using a ball and movement, counter pressure, support and lots of good vibes. We laugh that we are here again. It is so similar to the last time, but perhaps a beat quicker.

It has been 4 hours. The pressure feeling, the intensity, everything is more. We ask that she be assessed again. Now she is dilated to between 6 & 7 cm. We remind the nurse that this body births fast at the end. We don’t want to be rushed. The Nurse assures us there is nothing to worry about here. 25 minutes later we are walking over to the labour and delivery ward.  We pass the Obstetrician on our way.

She is going the wrong way.

It takes ten minutes to walk to the room, stopping with each powerful wave of uterine contraction. This birthing Mama is so composed, so centered, but we can see she is in the throws of late stage labour. She gets onto the bed and leans over the ball. This is a position she feels strong in.

20 minutes pass and her waters rupture with a huge gush. The Nurse is outside the room getting everything ready, so we call her in and she attempts to monitor the baby’s heart rate. The next contraction we can see and hear that this Birther is bearing down, that baby is coming!

The Nurse wants to assess the cervix, we ask if she can do it in this position, she says yes.  

She doesn’t need to assess, the baby’s head is right there! We called for back up.  

It was too late.

5 minutes after those waters ruptured, this baby was born! She was tangled up in the cord in the most incredible way, around her neck twice, and criss crossed around her body in an X. The Nurse calmly and deftly caught and unwound this baby, that was not waiting for anyone.

As this precious new life was swept into loving arms, her Mother said to her Father “We have two kids!”

The Joy was palpable, the room was filled with surprise and love and elation. Relief too.

This is birth.



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