Welcome Baby M.!
Last week I attended my 20th birth as a doula, and it was one of the most moving and memorable births in my experience. This mama hired me when she was in her first trimester; I was a referral from a friend and she was preparing for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and understood that a doula could help her achieve the birth she desired. Months went by and as we got to know each other, I really felt that our relationship was brought together by the Lord because we worked so well together!
As her due date approached we had many new things to research and investigate. We worked together to find information; I’d bring my findings to her, we’d talk and discuss, then she and her husband would decide what was the best decision for their family. I felt like it was a great doula-client relationship: she trusted me to help her research, we stayed in close contact during her last few weeks during her pregnancy, and we were just able to have great conversations about the sort of birth she desired to have.
Of course things couldn’t go exactly as planned- Mom’s due date came and went. She was facing a deadline by her OB but wanted nothing more than to have a natural, unmedicated birth. She was anxious, but was also giving it to God in prayer. The day before her scheduled induction, Mom went into natural labor on her own! I met her and Dad at their home where we labored for several hours, trying desperately to relieve the burning sensation of her back labor. In a dramatic flair, her water broke with quite intensity, and we all agreed it was time to go to the hospital!
As we arrived in L&D, the nurses could tell she was far along so they quickly moved her to triage and pronounced her 10 cm dilated! Mom wasn’t quite ready to push yet so we moved to a room and the staff rushed to set everything up… I have to say, Mom was in such good spirits… it was unreal… She was smiling and laughing, thanking everyone for their help, so thrilled to be finally in the place where she felt safe to birth her baby without the need of any medication. Her OB arrived quickly and she started to push. It took her a few pushes to sort of figure out the right technique and between contractions she had a little bit of time to rest and enjoy some ice. She handled each contraction with grace and understood what it meant; she pushed when her body told her to, and the room was silent as she pushed. It was so peaceful.
Not too long after she began pushing, Baby M. was born and placed on his Mommy’s belly. She was speechless as she realized the process was complete and SHE HAD DONE IT! I’ll be honest here… I teared up! It was so beautiful to see this Mom’s dream of a natural VBAC and to hold her baby boy on her immediately after birth, fully manifested right in front of me. Months and months of preparation led her to this moment, and she did it!
I am always honored to be present at a birth, and each one has left me with distinctive and special memories. 20 births later I have learned more than I could have imagined, but sometimes I definitely still feel like a newbie! I wonder if that feeling will ever go away? Probably not, given just how much there is to know about birth, and the unique needs of each woman will never be the same from one woman to the next.
Congratulations D. Family, thank you for choosing me to share this special memory with y’all!