My Surprise Birthday Labor and Birth
By Julie Rosen
I never post birth stories but this one was just too unbelievable not to share.
Mom was 41 weeks yesterday. Yesterday also happened to be my birthday. Because mom was scheduled to be induced today, Beth Onderdonk was kind enough to give her an acupressure massage on Friday to try to stimulate labor. Beth’s personal stats are that all of her post-dates clients for whom she does this go into labor within 72 hours. Nothing was happening over the weekend, and the mom was set on induction on Tuesday, as per her trusted doctor’s orders (groan). Yesterday morning she started feeling a little crampy, just down low in front and very irregularly. At 1 PM I went to her house and we walked for an hour. I had her climb stairs two at a time for about 10-15 minutes, then we walked some more. At 2:20 I worked spleen 6 and the uterus reflexes and did a general foot and leg massage for about 20 minutes, per Beth’s teachings. These cramps, which were coming regularly while we were walking, but which weren’t painful or lasting very long, stopped completely when she stopped walking. I left her at about 2:45 to pick up my daughter, and told her she could either keep walking to pick up the pace of labor, try some nipple stim, or just rest and see what happens. I told her to call me if things picked up again. A short while after I left, she started cramping again and her back started bothering her. By 5:15 she called me and said she was having to focus more on the cramping and having a hard time reading her daughter a book. She had a contraction over the phone, which she talked right through, so I told her I’d be there in 30 minutes but she should call if things suddenly got a lot more intense. I was expecting a long night.
I arrived at 5:45. She was having cx every 3-4 minutes, lasting only about 25 secs and feeling them only in her back (possible OP?), so I had her do lunges. The cx weren’t terribly painful, but made her want to bend all the way forward, so I got her on her hands and knees leaning over a comfy chair while I rubbed her back and gave counterpressure. Her folks arrived to pick up her daughter and cx. stopped, while she calmly instructed her parents for 20 minutes as to what to pack, what to feed her daughter, what time to put her to bed, etc. Mom stilled seemed very early.
At 6 PM, dad came home. Parents finally left at 6:10. Cx starting to come around front, so I popped rice sock in the oven (no microwave) and set up a heating pad. Mom got on the bed to lie down with heating pad and started saying she didn’t think she could do this much more. I’m rubbing her belly and back and giving reassurance, when suddenly at 6:25, she lets out a scream and yells, “My water just broke.” She’s miserable, has to get to the bathroom immediately. I help her over, she can’t walk. She sits on the toilet and tells me she has to push!! She has one more cx, and I ask her to describe where the pressure is coming from. She definitely has to push. I have dad call doctor, drag her off the toilet and get her new underwear and pants.
She pleads, “Can’t I just have the baby here?” and I remind her that I’m not a midwife and we WILL make it to the hospital. She can barely walk so getting her into the car is difficult. I have her stick her butt in the air and hold me tightly. I am being wedged against the car window for the 15 minute drive. With every contraction, I’m reminding her to breathe and blow in my face and she’s telling me she’s pushing. We make it to the E/R. She gets a bit more calm. She’s not crowning. There’s just enough time to whisk her up to L and D. She’s examined and the baby’s right there. I have her do little grunt pushes to satisfy the urge because the nurses are telling her not to push, the doctor is on her way up. This is a very difficult ten minutes. The poor thing wanted to push so badly, there were a million nurses there and the house doctor and they were yelling at her not to push until her doctor arrived. They wouldn’t even let me oil her perineum because they “didn’t know if the doctor would want that!” I got right in her face, had her blow on me, and told her to breathe the baby out, that it was okay for the baby to be born now and the baby would find her own way out, even if she didn’t push. (Those blasted nurses!). Finally, doctor arrives, she’s already been crowning for a few minutes and baby is born two pushes later at about 7:20. Mom has very minor tear and completely shell-shocked look on her face. Baby Tziona is healthy, beautiful and nurses like a champ. I am going to see the mom today again to help her process this totally unexpected birth and make sure she’s okay. She still looked stunned when I left her last night.
This was a birthday I will never forget.