Since we celebrated the birth of Jesus last month and started a new year, I thought I would share another birth and new life that happened this month.
Tracy and Kevin's newest one, Grady A. We were able to celebrate with them in the birth of their second son (third child).
Actually, I was able to be a special part of the celebration. about halfway through Tracy's pregnancy she read a book about natural childbirth and decided that she wanted to try and go without an epidural. Okay, I admit, I was a bit skeptical. Tracy has a very low pain tolerance and at first, I just knew she'd go the epidural route. But still, I told her that having a doula would increase her chances and help improve the birth. She agreed but said she didn't know if they would be comfortable with someone they barely knew in the room (besides the nurses, etc). So, I offered my "unprofessional" services. We both agreed early on that I would not be there for the delivery but just to help her get to that point if she wanted.
Fast forward to Friday, December 7th. She had a check up the day before and the doctor "helped things along" since she was almost two weeks post date. She called early in the morning to tell me her contractions were 10 minutes apart but that she thought she should send Kevin to work (even though they had been 10 minutes apart for two plus hours). This was area I wasn't familiar with since I've been induced with all my babies. So, I told her to do what she felt was right. Off Kevin went and I strongly encouraged her to get a shower and start moving around to see if the contractions would slow down (if they did, it was a sure sign of prodromal labor rearing it's ugly head). I also told her to come over since we were planning on making ornaments and that we could go for a walk. She agreed.
She arrived, ever so slowly, at my house at around 11:30. As she slowly walked in the door and doubled over through a contraction (keep in mind she had two children with her too), she told me the shower hadn't slowed things down. I asked her how far apart they were but she hadn't timed them since she was feeding kids breakfast and getting ready and such.
So, we downloaded the contraction app for my phone and she started timing them. Two to three minutes for a bit told me that I needed to call Mark. She still wasn't sure it was the right time to call Kevin but I ignored her and got a hold of Mark anyway. As I was calling him, she decided to call Kevin and told him when he finished up what he was doing that he might want to come on home. He asked how far apart the contractions were, she looked at me and I told her about 2 to 3 minutes and some were 5. She said he exclaimed, "I need to go!" and hung up and started the trek to my house. His work is 20 minutes away but he made it in less than 10.
Mark got home shortly after Kevin got here. In the midst of all this, I was making sandwiches for nine kids, finishing salt dough ornaments, nursing a baby, and making sure that Tracy's water didn't break on my new carpet or the hardwood. We got Tracy safely off to her house to load up and Kevin arranged child care. I finished feeding Malachi and gave Mark quick instructions about the birthday party for a friend that afternoon and grabbed my bags and headed to Tracy and Kevin's home.
Kevin's parents were loading kids and getting last minute instructions. I figured it might be awhile so I settled in to crochet and chat. Tracy didn't want to walk or move so we hung out and with every contraction Kevin asked if she was ready for the hospital. Two to three contractions on the floor and a crawl to the bathroom and she was ready to go.
We loaded Tracy in to the van and I followed them to the hospital. I will not disclose the rate at which we progressed. After getting to triage the nurse kindly asked, "Why are you here?" Tracy just stared at her. We were able to coax her to tell her the length of contractions and such and they quickly checked her and sent her on to a room.
She was at 4 1/2 cm and deflated. I have a friend who is a professional doula so I started texting her and my other best friend who just happens to be an L&D nurse. They were both encouraging and I was able to relay their messages. In less than two hours she decided she was done. We had changed positions from hands and knees to draped on the bed and it just hurt too much for her. She asked us if it counted that she tried and we said it did. She said she wanted an epidural so I told her that the nurse probably needed to check her first. She agreed and allowed herself to be checked. 8 cm meant transition. The nurse laughed and said that usually when the mom calls for an epidural she is usually transitioning. Her waters were bulging and so we waited, rubbed backs, prayed, encouraged, and helped her focus.
About 30 minutes after she was checked in walked the anesthesiologist. He just "wanted to introduce himself." Tracy wasn't speaking at this point and never even looked at him. He kept trying to talk and she just couldn't talk to him. The doctor looked at the nurse and said, "She's at a 5 right?" The nurse had been staring at him and so had the rest of us. The nurse replied, "Eight." And he got up and slowly started backing out the door. The nurse apologized profusely and said that usually check in before they walk in to a room.
A little bit of time later the on call doctor came in and asked Tracy if she wanted her waters broke. She looked to me and Kevin and knowing that her waters were bulging, I told her to go for it if she wanted to. She told the doctor she just wanted the baby out.
Immediately after the waters broke, she was ready to push! At that point I left the room. And then later, I got to meet this little man.
Being the cheerleader rather than the player was a bit difference but oh so precious! I loved it. And it warmed my heart when Tracy told me she couldn't have done it without me (although I totally know she could have...she did an amazing job). I've always said I wanted to be a doula and this just solidfied those desires. Of course, my babies have to get a bit older before I can do it but I'm definitely excited about being able to help and minister to moms when they are getting ready to bring new life in to the world!