Written by Anne’s doula with a few words from Anne herself at the end.
Our Birth Story –
With much planning going into Anne and David’s pregnancy, it made sense that the couple would want as much support and guidance for the birth of their baby, due January 15, 2014. They picked their OB, Dr. Mary Deka, carefully, to support their desire of a low intervention, non-medicated birth. They hired doula Laura Correia early in their pregnancy, and attended Bradley childbirth classes. With Anne’s work going through a merger, and David focused on remodeling a new house so they could move in November, it was a busy pregnancy! However, Anne took good care of her health by eating well, staying active, and resting when she could. She worked until Monday, January 13 (and the entire weekend before).
At an appointment on Tuesday, January 14, Dr. Deka did her best to strip the membranes, but with Anne so open (4cm) there wasn’t much more she could do. Anne, David and her mom walked 5 miles on the canal in the afternoon and then Anne went to acupuncture. After a long bath and some feelings of stomach cramping, Anne laid down about 11pm to go to bed, which didn’t last long.
About 12:20 early Wed morning, January 15, contractions began and were about 4 minutes apart, lasting 50 seconds. David and Anne decided to pack a bag for the hospital and just try to relax. David called Laura at 3:45am; they didn’t need her to be with them yet, but Anne was no longer talkative, and David said they thought she would need Laura soon. At 4:30am, they called saying they were ready for her. Laura arrived to their house at 5:00am.Things had gotten too intense while standing, with Anne saying she felt like she couldn’t continue, so she lay down in bed while David did hip compression. Within minutes of Laura getting there, Anne vomited, but felt better immediately. She was able to sleep between contractions that were 5 minutes apart, and while she commented on there being “so much pressure,” she didn’t feel like she needed to push. With transition signs of hot/cold, doubt, pressure, vomiting, and then a lull that had the possibility of being the “resting phase” before pushing, Dave called the doctor’s office to let them know they would be leaving for the hospital soon. Anne’s mom, Kay, came with them, and they headed to Scottsdale Shea Hospital, arriving at 6:25am.
Although they got into triage quickly, because it was shift change at 7:00am there was some waiting involved. At 6:55, the triage nurse did an exam. Without telling Anne per her request, she charted that Anne was 5 cm, 100% effaced, and -2 in station. Anticipating that she would be discouraged by this news, Dave and Laura tried to avoid telling Anne, but finally she convinced them she really wanted to know. Once Dave told her, she seemed to readjust her thinking and expectations, and get her second wind. They moved to a room at 7:25am and got a new nurse, Julie. The morning was spent walking, hanging in David’s arms while contracting, being on the ball, and side lying for the 40 minutes they had between fetal monitoring every hour. At 10:30am they changed the mood to a “let’s move this along!” attitude by putting on more upbeat music, opening the windows, and eating. At noon, with lots of pressure and feeling like she was “sitting on the baby’s head,” Anne got another check. This time she was 8 cm and lower in station (-1). Encouraged, she walked more, this time squatting with contractions. At the next round of monitoring, she rested between 5 minute contractions, then moved to a upright, supported sitting position in the bed. Dr. Deka came in at 1:45 and although she was still 8 cm, the baby had moved down to 0 station. Anne took the opportunity to sleep. At 3:45pm, she got into the tub, and stayed in until 4:25, when it was time to monitor again. Julie checked her again, and she was 8-9 cm. She talked to Dr. Deka about the couple’s options if there was no progress in the next few hours, and brought back the information of options they had (continue walking, using the tub, possibly breaking her bag, or starting Pitocin). Contractions slowed to 5-7 minutes and were about a minute long. The couple decided to keep doing what they were doing since Anne and baby were both fine. Using some humor, David put on some music for the mood…“Push It”. With Laura’s help, they tried lots of position changes and Rebozo before Dr. Deka was expected to come in at 7:00pm. With an exam still at 8-9 cm at 7:00 p.m. by Julie, the couple decided to break the bag to get contractions to pick up, rather than use Pitocin or continue doing what didn’t seem to be effective and wearing Anne out. Since Dr. Deka was not able to be there, on call Dr. Romero did the AROM at 7:40. There was some light green to the fluid, but not too concerning. Twenty minutes later, contractions had picked up to every 2 minutes, lasting about a minute. With this, however, were some decelerations of the baby’s heart beat that made the new nurse, Brooke, want to keep her on the monitors continually. At 8:30 she vomited and Brooke did an exam at 9:00pm, but there was no cervical change. Over the next hour, things got more intense, and Anne began grunting at the top of each surge. Another exam at 10:00 showed that Anne only had an anterior lip left. She chose to continue letting her body labor naturally and at its own pace. At 11:00pm, when there was still a lip, though, she felt that manipulating the cervix to complete would keep her from being too tired to push. Once fully dilated, Anne used a multitude of different positions to push. Dr. Deka came in and helped coach. Eventually the medical staff realized the baby was Occiput Posterior and not rotating in the birth canal well, causing pushing to go much longer than expected. Dr. Deka even had time to fit in an emergency C-section for another mother in the midst of Anne pushing.
After 3 hours of pushing and with much anticipation and relief, Lincoln was born “sunny side up” on Wednesday, January 16, 2014, at 2:05am. He was born into his father’s hands, and brought straight to his mother’s chest. He had excellent APGAR scores of 9/9. The cord was clamped at 2:13 and cut by David after it had finished pulsing, and birthed at 2:16. The new family bonded together until just after 3:00am, when Vitamin K and eye ointment was given and he was weighed; he was 8 pounds, 3 ounces and 20 ½“ long. Because of some clots and heavier bleeding, Anne agreed to some Pitocin at 3:07. Proud Grandma Kay headed home at 3:25, and Laura left at 3:30am, once everyone was stable and getting comfortable.
Through a long labor and a baby in a difficult rotation, Anne and David worked beautifully together and were able to avoid medications and several interventions that could have increased the risk of a cesarean section. Their dedication to their baby’s health and well being, as well as staying in the moment, brought them a perfect treasure… their baby boy, Lincoln.
I am forever grateful for all the wonderful people surrounding us during this pregnancy and birth.
Dr. Mary Deka – My OBGYN who truly supported a natural childbirth. There were so many times throughout the labor that she could have stopped the natural process because I was in labor too long, there was no progress or the baby was OP…but she didn’t and told me after Lincoln was born that she never doubted, even after 21 hours of labor, that I could naturally birth an OP baby.
Dr. Dana Price – My traditional Chinese medicine Dr. who supported me with acupuncture in the days before I became pregnant using IUI to the day I went into labor. Her guidance and support throughout the pregnancy was so helpful. She taught me how to relax, the importance of resting and not trying to “do it all.”
Rachel Davis – My Bradley teacher. An amazing advocate and teacher of natural child birth. I learned so much from Rachel and she opened my eyes to so many things that I never would have imagined I would do or try. I am so thankful for her encouragement and positive spirit.
Laura Correia – My doula who went well above and beyond. She supported us throughout my pregnancy but her dedication and perseverance, being with us for nearly 24 hours during labor, was unbelievable. We truly could not have had the birth experience we did without her.
David – My husband. There are not words to express the love and support Dave showed me throughout pregnancy but especially in labor. He was there every second, every contraction and caught our baby. My love for him only deepened throughout this process.
I’m not a particularly sentimental person…they say that a child changes everything and clearly it has.