You should remember reading about Tara and Kyler during last week’s birth story. If you have not, you can read her incredible journey to natural childbirth while battling pre-eclampsia here. Today, we have a special treat for you, a sequel to that story. Her doula’s version of how little Kyler came Earthside! Er, I guess that makes it a prequel? Maybe just a quel… Is quel even a word? Okay, okay. Soo off track! Without further ado, I bring you Kyler’s birth, again… From Rebecca’s side.
I am jumping in with Kyler’s birth story from the perspective of my AMAZING doula – Rebecca Overson of Salt Lake Prenatal Massage. It was so interesting to read her notes and point of view. I will have a post soon about why having a doula is SO SO SO important. Trust me I’ve done two births without a doula and one with – you NEED a doula. I’ll be including my mom’s and husband’s thoughts about the birth as well.
Birth of baby Kyler at Orem Community Hospital
Doula: Rebecca Overson
LMT Apprentice Doula: Marianne Olson LMT
At about 11am I was in a meeting at my office when I received a phone call from Tara saying, “Today’s the day. My blood pressure is elevated and we are going to induce.”
I told her I’d meet her at the hospital soon; that it would take me about an hour to an hour and a half to get to her. I let Marianne know and asked her if she could pick me up. I began packing all our things.
I had a premonition that today would be the day, simply because two out of my three appointments for today cancelled the day before, and the universe has a way of clearing my schedule for me when a baby is coming. Tara had been having bouts of contractions for awhile now and we thought that on Monday she might be in labor. But alas, today was Thursday, and yes, today is the day, and my schedule magically cleared itself.
Marianne arrived at the clinic and we headed to Orem.
12:55pm Doulas arrived at the hospital.
1pm IV administered by nurse Jill. Rubbed Citrus Bliss on Tara’s chest, breathing deeply, eyes closed, relaxed, contracting.
1:05pm Nurse Jill had a hard time finding a good vein, Tara wanted distraction. Massaged legs, held her hand, stroked her cheek and forehead during blood draw.
1:20pm Nurse is finishing getting Tara hooked up and checked in – IV now IN, Pitocin and external fetal monitoring going. Tara indicated baby is posterior, talked about different positions for labor based on baby’s hear rate tolerance. Tara is now going over paperwork with the nurse.
1:35pm Cindy arrived (Tara’s mom). I introduced myself and Marianne.
1:55pm Nurse done with all paperwork and such, going to get apple juice for Tara and birth ball.
2:30pm. Dr checked cervix, 5cm. Dr. wanting to know if he should break water; we decided we’d discuss it and let him know in an hour at next exam.Things are moving steadily but slowly, Marianne and I decided to run and grab some snacks in case we were here for awhile.
3:25pm Essential oils of Clary sage and Helichrysum administered by us on Tara’s spine.Pressing BL 64, neck massage and back massage. Birth ball comfortable, sitting on ball and leaning over bed supported with pillows.
3:30 Discussed with Tara and John breaking water or not, discussed advantages and disadvantages. Turned on music on my iPod (“Zen Notes”)
3:35pm Dr. Young coming in to check progress. Tara off the ball, back in bed waiting for doctor. Dr. Young checks, cervix is now 6cm, Tara lets him know we decided not to break the water.
4:20pm Tara is now in active labor. Sitting on ball. Got up to go to the bathroom, had three contractions in the bathroom, getting more intense. I talked to John while Tara was in the bathroom, asking how he was doing. He said he was a little afraid of seeing her in pain as it was clear things were picking up.
I shared with him that after seeing ten or so natural births, you just realize that there are sounds that MUST come out of a woman as she and her body do this very hard work. I told him that the sounds are good news, I get excited when I hear them because I can tell that she is progressing and baby is closer and closer.
I gave him this analogy:
“The sounds of a woman in labor is like a woman moving a grand piano by herself, and a little bit frustrated that nobody can help her do it. It’s work, it’s intense, it’s emotional, and she’ll be just fine.”
The sounds she makes are normal, and reassuring to me. That seemed to help him a bit.
Tara is now rocking on the birth ball. Marianne is rhythmically squeezing her shoulders,moving up and down her arms. Counting down from 50 during each contraction helps. I am sitting across the hospital bed looking directly at Tara. I can see the peak of each contraction as her eyes widen and she gets more intense in counting. She is working hard and doing wonderfully and I reassure her at the end of each contraction.
4:22pm Jill is back in the room and turns off the pitocin. She says “I’m sure your cervix is progressing, I can tell by the sounds you are making.” I love that she said that, because it’s just what I told John!
4:30pm Tara appears to be in transition. Contractions are steady and intense, we are still rocking and counting and watching for the peak of each contraction. I suggest she use a mantra “low, low, low” she says with each contraction, over and over and over again. John is standing by the foot of the bed. In between contractions I ask him how he is doing, if he is doing OK. He says “I’m GREAT. You guys are doing and saying things that would have never even crossed my mind! This is great!”
4:36pm Tara is feeling an urge to push. Nurse is back in the room. Tara is feeling scared, saying she wants an epidural. Jill says “You aren’t having an epidural Tara, you are having a baby.” We get her back in the bed, sitting up. She has that look on her face of a trapped and scared animal – that look every woman has when they realize it’s happening and there is nothing they can do about it.
I utilize the Take Charge routine – I get close to her and say,”Tara! Look at me. Look me right in the eyes. We are going to do this, you are about to push out your baby. You can do this, you are doing it.” She is visibly more scared and I ask her, “What do you need to tell yourself? What do you need to hear?” She is going into that altered state, Labor-Land – and starts saying “I’m ok. I’m ok, I’m OK. My baby’s ok. My baby’s OK. I love you baby, I love you baby.” And just repeating this over and over. It’s beautiful.
She starts to push involuntarily. I tell her to go with it; Nurse says “Please don’t tell her to push yet!”
4:44pm Dr. arrives in a hurry and is seeing baby crowning. He doesn’t even have time to put his gloves on, asks her to stop pushing but she can’t, it’s involuntary. He pulls his hands inside the sleeves of his gown. I am standing at Tara’s left side (on the right side of the hospital bed, facing her). One, maybe two pushes…
4:46pm Baby is born! Doctor gently unwraps cord from baby’s body. They cut the cord right away (we didn’t have time to stop them.) and hands baby to the nurse. A big sigh of relief. What an amazing and brave mama. She comes back to full awareness and says, “I did it! Oh I did it!” and my favorite: “That just saved me a thousand dollars!”
4:54 Lidocaine injection in perineum
4:59 stitching up minor tears in perineum
5:00 baby is breastfeeding. Eyes wide open.7 lbs 12.7 oz, 21 ½ inches.
Things I loved about this birth:
Cindy stood there, after the birth, at Tara’s right knee. She had tears streaming down her face. I looked at her and smiled. The nurse made some comment “Oh, it’s hard seeing someone you love in pain…” but I knew that was not why Cindy was crying.
Afterward,Cindy and I talked in the corner; she shared with me that Tara’s first birth was just so traumatic, so terrible, and what an amazingly empowering victory this was for her to be so well supported, so encouraged, and to finally get to have the experience she wanted. Cindy expressed deep and heartfelt words of gratitude for our being there. “What you do is so neat, and it’s so important, thank you so much. You two were amazing.” I told Cindy it is always an honor and a privilege to be a part of a baby’s birth.
Tara demonstrated beautifully what I have read in my textbooks about that “panicked” feeling women in transition experience. While it was scary for her, it was exciting for me to see how normal and natural birth is, how very common we are in birth, and mostly – how important it is that women have support and reassurance during that hard passageway. I am also really grateful that we chose not to have the membranes ruptured. Had she chosen to have her membranes ruptured, I would have naturally attributed the rapid birth to the water breaking. But since this was not the case, Tara now knows how powerful her body is – that it can totally do this on its own without any medical help. It was awesome. I didn’t realize until we were driving home that she was 6cm at 3:35 and baby was out at 4:46, 71 minutes later!
Amazing. Beautiful. Powerful. Perfect.
Thank you so much, Tara and John, for allowing Marianne and I to support you in what was a very personal and important experience. We are honored and grateful. You are so brave, so courageous, so strong.