Monday, December 15, 2008

All together

Marion was the doula for a lovely couple having their first baby. I'm hoping they tell their story on the Spinning Babies Website. I'd gotten to meet them when their baby was still breech -he spontaneously flipped head down at 37 weeks gestation. Not surprisingly, he went on to labor in a posterior position. More challenging was his extended head (chin up, not flexed).

I got to be part of the action on day 3 of labor. Marion was so tired. She called at 7:30 am for some input but couldn't track the advice. I think she couldn't remember what sentence she started before she could finish it! So I asked if I could join them.

The midwife working with this couple was open and knowledgeable about maternal positions for posterior babes. I asked her, on the phone, as well as the parents, if it were alright to join them. I encouraged them to get started with as many of four techniques as they could, but emphasizing the Pelvic Floor Release. I mentioned that I had a story using these techniques on my web site and she surprised me by saying she had read it! (The long labor that wasn't)

  • Sacral floor release (a myofascial release)
  • Rebozo sifting (Manteado)
  • Pelvic Floor Release
  • Inversion (using the hospital bed with her elbows on the foot of the bed and her knees on the middle of the bed and then lowering the foot of the bed significantly)


Braving the predicted ice storm, I wondered what I'd find as the mom had already been 9 cm for some time. She was ready for some pain relief, and who wouldn't be. But I was hoping she could get that pelvic floor release in first!

This was a determined and clear minded mama who followed her instincts well and used all her resources to get through this challenging labor and bring forth her boy. Her mate was ever at her side and I don't think he slept more than a couple hours each 24 hour segment of this labor.

For the rest of the day a beautiful dance emerged. Not an easy dance, that's certain, but beautiful. Each person in the circle around this couple gave support and offered a significant gift to the effort.

We had a midwife that smiled and got right in with the maternal positions. She had the perfect balance of letting the parents lead the birth and keeping mom working --and feeling encouraged.
The nurses were positive, smiling and experienced. The nurse at the time of the birth herself had four posterior babies!

The Pelvic Floor Release allowed the first sign of progress in some hours. Right after it, the anesthesiologist came in and gave a light epidural. And the immediate check showed 10 cm at last. It was a first for me to (seem to) work so hand in glove with an anesthesiologist, but hey, every birth is unique! Other than that, my input was mostly smiles and the absolute knowledge that she could do this birth. (The midwife gave a verbal description of her internal exams so I could tell that the baby was going to fit with enough time and strong enough contractions. And yes, Pitocin was added following the epidural appropriately.)
The midwife had this mobile mom on hands and knees, sitting up right, and finally and most effectively, kneeling on the bed and hanging on to her husband's high shoulders. The head came down low enough now for the doctor to assist if needed. We rejoiced that a cesarean was pretty clearly avoided by this progress.

The doctor did come in and gave a try at manually rotating the baby's head. The baby's head came back to OP but he seemed to be able to have tucked the chin, because when he brought his hand out, the head almost came out with it! The baby was suddenly crowning. It'd now been close to 12 hours since Marion called me.

This little guy emerged so nicely once his chin was tucked; direct OP.

If permission is given, I'm hoping the mother's own story and a couple photos will appear at Spinning Babies.
I'm so happy to witness this birth. I'm sure they would have/could have done it without me, but what a wonder. Don't you wonder how we get to be blessed to be at Birth?? It did certainly take a team of
  • A mature and confident doula
  • A skilled and patient midwife
  • A nurse who smiled and did not act worried (as well as do all her tasks so professionally)
  • A doctor willing and able to do a manual rotation (though the baby would have been born about an hour later in this case, with out the manual rotation)
  • A doctor willing to trust the midwife and mother and let labor continue beyond the length of a usual 2nd stage (pushing stage)
  • And mostly, mostly,
  • A woman who was willing to continue against all logic and odds (in today's birth scene) and much of that was because of her mate's great support
  • and a doula that stayed the course with her for 3 days!
Happy Birthing!

1 comment:

Michele L. said...

Wow! What a birth story! As a doula whose clients mostly have their babies in a hospital, I am so encouraged to see this team approach! It's stories like these that are going to change maternity care in the US!!!

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