With my third baby, I returned to the same practice of midwives I loved. When I went into labor, the midwife lived about a half an hour out of town. I called their answering service at about 7 at night. She was soon on the phone and she asked me, "Should I come to the hospital now?" I didn't want her to drive down if things weren't going yet; I told her to wait until I or a nurse updated her from the hospital. Carolyn decided to come down the hill anyway. Shortly after I was settled into my room, she walked in, and I felt an immediate release of tension I didn't know I was carrying.
As with Isaac, Jonas was posterior, and this time we did know it. I had back labor during contractions. Carolyn helped me try all kinds of positions. I would start to push, and then stop, saying it hurt too bad (the pain I had was in my lower abdomen). She finally had me try to squat at the foot of the bed. Once I bent my knees and lowered myself, I knew I couldn't hold this position -- the pain was 10 times worse. I stood up, still in a contraction. Carolyn popped a foot pedal out of the Transformer bed and had my put my left foot up in it. I was still pushing, and once my pelvis opened, I felt Jonas rotate and drop. "He's COMMMMIIIINNNGGGGG!!!!!" I yelled in slow motion. Carolyn calmly crouched down to view, "Let me see...oh, yes! There he is! Hurry up and get in bed -- he will be born in the next contraction."
In the middle of this escapade, where suddenly the urge to push was overpowering after so many attempts, and me standing on the floor, I remember having this conversation with myself: "I can't move. He is probably going to fall on the floor. I think it's going to be ok." I would have stayed there, too, except for Carolyn's gentle suggestion to get to a safer position "before the next contraction comes." I did concede I did not want to be moving during the next contraction.
That was it! He was born in the next contraction. I had about 6-7 hours of labor, and a much shorter pushing time. Carolyn was there with me practically the whole time. The only evidence of this is the two (yes, I have two) birth videos filmed by my mother and my doula, so the picture I am including is terrible (maybe one of them should have had a regular camera, MOM!).
Carolyn showed me what that quiet, confident support can look like when mom already has a good foundation of her ability to birth. Carolyn's presence in the room, patiently waiting, laughing with my family, and just feeling like a friend, helped me as I did my work -- I knew she would be there when I needed her, without worry if she would make it on time or if her sudden presence would interrupt my birth flow. All the midwives in this practice used to offer a bath to the babies. When the whole birth was over, it was a way to end on a quiet, relaxed note. I have such a love for these midwives, and the incredible services they offered to women birthing in the hospital -- I wish every woman had access to this kind of care during pregnancy and birth.
♥ four young boys and a boy dog (offspring)