Birth Center Birth | Natural Birth | Cary, NC
****Image and Birth Story shared with permission from clients****
Dottie's birth was the 50th birth I attended as a doula, and what a beautiful birth it was!
Sarah and Vincent were planning to have a natural birth at Baby+Co, a local birth center, in Cary, NC. They decided to hire a birth doula to help support them through labor and birth. They were so excited for their baby girl to make her arrival! On April 14th, 2016 at 5:45am, Sarah sent me a text to let me know that her water had just broken. She wasn’t having any contractions yet, but still planned to call the birth center soon. She was GBS positive, and she knew that the midwives would want to give her IV antibiotics since her water was broken. I told her to stay well hydrated and to get some sleep if she could. She said she would keep me updated on how things were going and what the midwives said.
At 9:38am, Sarah let me know that she had just finished up at Baby+Co. She said she got a non-stress test, and all looked good. Baby was healthy and happy in there. She also received a round of IV antibiotics, and the midwives wanted her to come back at 12:45pm for a second dose. Sarah said that contractions had started up, but that they were really light. She said that Jewell was the midwife on call, and that she suggested that Sarah bind her belly with a rebozo. Sarah said that her and Vincent were planning on going to get breakfast, and then going home for a nap. I told her that sounded like a great plan.
At 1:21pm, Sarah sent me a text to tell me she had just finished with the second round of antibiotics. They were planning on going home, getting some lunch, and then going for a walk. She asked if I had any other suggestions. I suggested that they go ahead and bind her belly, if the midwife hadn’t already. She said they had. I also suggested they cuddle and kiss some to get oxytocin flowing. I also mentioned that nipple stimulation might be a good option, if contractions hadn’t picked up more after the next round of antibiotics. She said, Jewell had suggested trying some herbs and doing a membrane sweep, if contractions hadn’t changed any by the evening. I asked if they had put her on a time limit at all. She said that they just wanted her to be in active labor by 6:00am the next morning.
That evening, at 5:11pm, Sarah got her third round of IV antibiotics. At this time Jewell did a cervical check and a membrane sweep. Sarah was dilated to a tight 3 cm, and she still had a ways to go on effacement. They decided to try some castor oil, and agreed to meet back up at the birth center at 9:00pm, if things didn’t pick up before then. At 9:48pm, Sarah sent me a text to let me know that they were checked in at the birth center. She said she was beginning to get slightly more noticeable cramping, but that it was still manageable. She said she was going to lie down and get some sleep, and she would let me know as soon as things ramped up.
A few hours later, at 11:45pm, Sarah let me know that contractions had picked up and gotten stronger. She said they were about 5-10 minutes apart and one minute long. She asked that I come around 1:00am. I arrived at the birth center a few minutes after 1:00. Sarah and Vincent were in the back room. Sarah was sitting on the ball receiving another dose of IV antibiotics. She was having contractions about every 5 minutes, and she was handling them so well. Vincent was sitting behind her, and he would apply counter pressure to her back during each contraction. Around 2:15am, the contractions began to intensify some, and Sarah decided she’d like to get in the shower for comfort. She did and found it very helpful. She stayed in the shower for about 20 minutes, and then got back out and sat back on the ball. She sat on the ball breathing through each contraction, while Vincent and I applied heat to her back and counter pressure to her hips.
Around 2:45am, I suggested that maybe Sarah might want to try walking around the birth center a little. She did this for about 10 minutes, and then came back and sat on the ball for a few minutes, and then got back up and walked again. She alternated between walking and the ball until around 3:30am. At this point, contractions had intensified enough that Sarah no longer felt comfortable sitting during them. So she would stand and lean on Vincent during contractions, while I applied heat and counter pressure to her back. At 3:45am, Sarah decided to get back in the shower. She stayed in there for about 15 minutes. When she got out, we discussed maybe trying hands and knees, since she was feeling a fair amount of back pain. I was hoping that maybe both her and Vincent could rest some in between contractions, so I suggested she lie in Vincent’s lap. She got on the bed. There she alternated between hands and knees and side lying. She would doze in between contractions. This worked well for about 30 minutes, and then once again contractions intensified more.
Around 4:45am, Sarah changed positions. She sat on the edge of the bed, and Vincent sat on a chair in front of her. Every time a contraction hit, Sarah would stand up, lean on Vincent, and I would apply counter pressure and heat to her back and hips. In between contractions, she would sit back down and rest on the bed. At 5:15am, the intensity of Sarah’s contractions really started to pick up. She began groaning and feeling a lot of pressure during contractions. Jewell came back in shortly after that, and she did a cervical check. Sarah was completely dilated and ready to push!
After Jewell checked Sarah’s cervix, Sarah rolled to her right side and began pushing with contractions. She pushed in this position for about 20 minutes. At 5:45am, she got on hands and knees and pushed in that position for about 15 minutes. She wasn’t making much progress pushing on hands and knees, so Jewell suggested maybe try side lying again, but on the left side this time. She did, and Vincent laid down next to her in the bed supporting and encouraging her, while I applied cold cloths to her head and neck. She pushed for about 30 minutes in this position. Around 6:30am, she rolled on her back to push. She pushed this way until Dottie was born at 7:08am! Dottie was placed immediately on your Sarah’s chest. They were so overjoyed to meet her!
Sarah was such a strong, beautiful laboring woman. You would have never known this was her first time giving birth. She handled things like she’d done it many times before. She worked so hard and listened to her body so well. Vincent was an incredible source of love and support for Sarah. It was so beautiful to witness!
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