Timing is everything

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It was their third time walking the birth path. The first two births were so different from each other that they were ready for anything, or they thought they were!

She had a restless night with the same kind of feelings she had before her second son was born. The discomfort was manageable but not minor enough to sleep through.  There were waves every 12-14 minutes of “something” for several hours in the early part of the day, and then it started to fade away a bit. By the time she was ready to go to her fetal assessment the waves were coming every 20 minutes, but she still had to breathe through them. We were hopeful this would turn into baby meeting labour.

But then! A twist in the birth path showed up in the form of an unsatisfactory fetal assessment.  It was observed that the amniotic fluid was low enough that the medical team felt it was safer to induce her labour instead of waiting. This was surprising and scary.  They had never faced this before. With only an hour and a half to get their bags and take their older two children to the Grandparent’s house, there wasn’t a lot of time for processing. There were tears and there was fear and through it all there were still contractions.

By the time we all met in triage, he was composed and centred, she was still distraught and emotional, and I felt hopeful because now I could see that these contractions were not nothing.

So while we waited to be admitted to triage, we walked and lunged and tucked and walked and lunged. One of the triage Nurses saw what we were doing and nodded with approval, she could see something was developing. And then those contractions were coming every 5-8 minutes!

And she needed to breathe through them.

Was that a light at the end of this tunnel?

The first assessment in triage told us that her cervix was 2 cm dilated, moving forward and thinning out. While we were in triage for the assessment the labour was definitely strengthening. It took a little over an hour to find out that we were not next in line for a room as there were higher priority cases waiting ahead of us.  The Nurse was encouraged by the visible labour that she saw happening and suggested we go for a walk to keep the momentum going. This felt like a good plan to us and as we walked and she swayed and lunged, the contractions became more powerful. Now she needed to lean on him and move and breathe. An hour and a half later she had the shakes and was throwing up the snack she tried to eat.  This did not look like the same labour we started with! Finally, six hours after we arrived, we were in a labour and delivery room.

By this time the labour was strong enough that the induction was on hold! We were elated!

She kept breathing and moving and changing positions, so determined to use the momentum of this labour to meet her baby on her own terms. Another check told us the cervix was now dilated to between 3 and 4 cm, and was 80% thinned out. This was enough progress and the labour was visibly active enough that the medical staff was happy to let it progress without augmentation at that point. Such good news.

This birther was showing all the signs of being much further in her labour than 4 cm, but we felt maybe the baby was still looking for a good position, so we tried a series of abdominal tuck and lifts and by the 3rd one the labour shifted.  She was really needing to focus now, feeling more pressure and starting to vocalize during the powerful contractions she was experiencing. She might have given me a little bit of a glare around this point. This took just under 30 minutes to do, and 15 minutes later she was checked again even though it had only been an hour since the previous check because she looked like she was starting to bear down.

She was now dilated to 6 cm and fully effaced! Big progress in one short but intense hour.

She climbed onto the bed and leaning over the back, on her knees, and we could see and hear the sounds of a labour bringing a baby down to meet us. 49 minutes later she had just a lip of cervix left and the baby had come way down.  She was feeling very pushy and was working hard at this point to let that feeling build, trying to breath her way through that intense pressure feeling.

All of a sudden she was bearing down and we could all see that it was involuntary.  The baby was coming fast and her heartbeat was all over the place. This is always intense feeling when it happens, but this Mama kept her calm and did her work.

Just 24 minutes after the last check and only 90 minutes after we did the abdominal lifts, 4.5 hours after the labour shifted and without an induction, they were wrapping themselves around their daughter.

What started out feeling scary and complicated, turned out to be straightforward and joy filled. Timing is everything. And now they were five.

 

 

Relief!

 

 

 

 

 

Look at his face, so in love from the start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those lips!

 

 

 

 

 

The way they immediately gave their fingers to her to clasp.

Letting her know she was safe, she was with her family.  Instinctively protective, nurturing, loving. 

 

 

 

 

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