When I met with Sara at our first prenatal visit to discuss her birth plans, she told me that she wanted to stay at home as long as possible. And, if she was ready to push and she was still at home, then that is where baby would be born. She seemed very confident in her decisions. Her first birth had been very long and exhausted her to the point that baby had to be vacuum extracted. (He was also posterior). This time around, she wanted to labor in comfortable positions, push when she felt the need, and stay relaxed in her own home.
Her first child had been born a few weeks early, so she suspected that #2 would be early also. Her due date was 12/25/11. She had been having light contractions for weeks.
On Friday, 12/23/11, I got a call around 6:00am from Sara. She had been up for a few hours walking around the block. The contractions were coming on stronger and closer now. She had taken a shower, which relaxed her and felt good on her back. I told her to continue walking or take a bath, whatever felt good to her; to eat something and stay hydrated. I wanted her to stay relaxed. I asked her to try to time the contractions and to call me back when they were about 5 minutes apart and I would come over. Around 7:30am, I got a text from her that they were 3-4 minutes apart. I tried calling her to discuss how she was feeling, but she did not answer. I figured that she just wanted to be alone. I waited for her call, and continued getting myself and Nolan ready to drop him off to the babysitter. It was now almost 9:00am, and no word. Through the amazing world of technology, I found out from a mutual friend that she was at the hospital!
I arrived at the hospital at 10:00am. As I entered her room, I was not prepared for the numerous nurses and to see Sara flat on her back with an oxygen mask on. I approached her, slowly, and placed my hand on her forehead. "Sara, I'm here", I said softly. She looked relieved and told me that the baby was distressed and they would need to vacuum him out, but they were waiting for the doctor. I think her husband was relieved to see me too! He stepped aside to let me in closer to Sara. I helped support her back, encouraging her, telling her she was doing great, and Lucas was almost here. She stayed calm and focused, gathered her strength and pushed through the contractions. I could see the baby's head moving down. He was crowning when the doctor arrived and assisted her with the vacuum as she pushed little Lucas out at 10:30am. He was placed on her chest and rubbed down to warm him up. He did not cry much, and the nurses were concerned that he had meconium in his airway. After a few minutes, the took him to the warming table to suction out his mouth, and weigh and check him. Sara was cleaned up and I helped prop her up in bed to start breastfeeding. The nurses warned, "He is probably not going to want to breastfed right away", to which I replied "Oh, yes, he is!" I explained to Sara, but loud enough for the nurses to hear, that breastfeeding will help clear out the meconium and soothe his throat. She got Lucas positioned and he latched on right away! Sara was shocked that he latched immediately, but I was not. Baby has an intense need to suckle and be near Mama. The nurse returned a little later and was surprised that he was still breastfeeding.
I stayed with Sara for about an hour and half after Lucas was born. I learned that her phone had been accidentally turned off, so she never got my calls. The contractions had intensified so quickly after we last spoke that she wanted to go to the hospital. When she arrived at 8:30am, she was 7cm dilated. Her water never broke, so that was done with the amniohook, and Baby was born within 2 hours. I was so pleased to see Sara in good spirits after the birth, alert and ready to eat a big breakfast!
"I didn't get a chance to officially thank Jenn Cohen for her amazing work with me as our Doula. Once she walked in the room, the climate changed completely and I was more focused and determined to deliver our baby. Her guidance, instruction, and support made it possible for me to have a drug free birth. Before she got there I was begging for an epidural, but I was already 7cm dilated when I got to the hospital, as I was birthing at home. The midwife said that an epidural at that point would be counterproductive and ineffective. Thank you so much Jenn Cohen for helping make our birth as smooth as possible. We are forever grateful!!!" ~ Sara