In their own time

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“Hi! So started having some back pain about two hrs ago. Took a shower and drank a glass of water and laid down. Just had three contractions about 9-10 mins apart

Just wanted to give you a heads up

What should I do now? Lol”

 

And so it began.  We would like to think that having given birth once gives us the advantage of knowledge, but each birth is so unique and ‘birth amnesia’ makes it feel all new again. Plus when you are preparing to birth your second born everyone will have loaded you up with all the stories of babies being born in cars!

 

The reply to this?  “Just wait for it to become something. Doze if you can”

Every time. Every single time. Get the rest!

 

Two and a half hours later, after having gotten the bags ready, called in family for their first born, and gone for a walk, this labour seemed to be slowing down?  The labour just had not engaged yet. Even though a second birth can be more efficient, it still has to take hold first.

She had 5 more hours of slower, then more intense and frequent contractions that finally settled into a pattern of being 6 minutes apart and were taking her breath away. We knew it was a little early to go but they wanted to get out of the house before their eldest woke up! So we headed to triage.

A cervix check confirmed what we thought, she was in the early stages of active labour, or the late stages of early labour, with a dilation of 3-4 cm and fully effaced.  We wandered the halls, found our way to the Art Gallery where we had spent so much time labouring with their first, and she moved and lunged and breathed. He made sure she was hydrated and fed, pacing along with her as they walked their path to meeting their second child.

Two hours of this and then that cervix was dilated to 5 cm.  That got us into a private labour room! The rhythm of the labour had definitely established itself and she found the shower to be so helpful in keeping the intensity at bay. He kept the water on her, she kept on breathing and swirling on the birth ball. A few hours later she came out of the shower to do some stretches to release her pelvic floor.  She started to feel those labour shakes as her body raced along, and the waves were definitely closer together.

The next assessment put her cervix at a dilation rate of 6-7 cm!  This work she was doing, was getting her closer to meeting her baby. While I applied counter pressure he stayed nearby getting her whatever she needed.  Then she was up on the bed leaning over the squat bar, giving her baby all the space to travel through.

This position really increased the power of the contractions. And then they spaced out enough that she was dozing off between them! Her body took the rest it needed for the next phase.

And then, determined to help her body along, she was back up and changing positions and trying all the things, working hard. An hour later she was falling asleep again between the powerful surges, while we rubbed soothing oil on that aching back.

Another cervix check and now it was dilated to a stretchy 8 cm, and baby had come down a little further into the pelvis, but the Nurse felt that baby’s head was not directly lined up just yet.  So we did some scarf work to relax her pelvis region.

Then she was up again, pacing the room and doing lunges during contractions and leaning on him during the pause. Where was this baby? She was feeling frustrated. He held her close, he knew she could do this.

So determined, she did some more intense positional moves to help this baby find the way.

Then she was sitting on the birth stool hanging onto the end of the bed and told us she was done.  

She didn’t want to do anymore, this was supposed to be faster! We didn’t try to dismiss it, this was hard.

We told her she was right to feel this was hard, and that we were amazed by her.

Somehow from deep within herself she pulled up what she needed in that moment, shook off her frustration, picked up her mantle of determination and focus once again, and did do it. She got up to move around and we had a chat about listening to her body.  We all agreed she needed a rest, so we set her up on her side in an open pelvis position and kept the room quiet and soft. About 90 minutes later she was checked again and told there had been no change, so this time when asked if she would let her waters be ruptured, she agreed.

Within half an hour she was feeling a whole new kind of pressure!

Another half hour and she was saying the words we wanted to hear, that urge to bear down was starting to build.

She was breathing it away, moving and swaying, and then she was on her knees on the bed and we could hear her bearing down.  

There was just a teeny lip of cervix left and that baby had moved way, way down!

14 minutes later that cervix was gone and she was bringing her baby down the last bit of the way.

Gently and with incredible patience and control she eased this baby out and into their arms.

There was that baby, finally here.

She had found her way through, together with their son in their own way, in their own time.

 

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