The phone rings, the clock says 2:00 AM. I’m not surprised, as I have been expecting this call any moment. My bags are ready, they always are. You just never know when “the call” might come. A lot of women will go into active labor late at night and birth in the early morning hours. This mother sticks to that timing. It’s time to notify the assisting midwife and our students. The birth team always consists of two fully licensed midwives to ensure safety for mom and baby.
I call to check on mom again. I walk out the door knowing I have plenty of time, but it isn’t always like this. Many times I am rushing out the door to race the clock.I make the drive to her house, she is fairly close to me but sometimes we have clients who are more than an hour away. I build lifelong relationships with our families that surpass distance or moves. The adrenaline builds throughout the drive and rises as we arrive at our destination.
The birth team and I walk in, assess the situation, and check mom and baby’s vitals. The birth process is a small intimate affair this time. The children were sleeping as mom and dad were laboring downstairs. I make sure the mother has all the comfort measures she needs as the students prepare our supplies. The mother is in control of her labor as we allow her to move around, eat and drink as she would like. Dad and I take turns applying counter-pressure and hip squeezes as needed. We will do anything to make mom comfortable as we allow her body to progress on it’s own while embracing the process of labor.
We continue to monitor contractions and vitals for both mom and baby while keeping detailed notes in mom’s chart. I allow dad to be the main support role for mom as they build a stronger bond to keep a lasting family dynamic. He tells mom how amazing she is doing and keeps her confident. Dad loves on her throughout the labor process and their bond is encompassing.
Once transition has happened and it’s time to meet the new little one, I help mom prepare to catch her miracle. This is the moment when the adrenaline peaks; seeing the look of pure joy on the family’s faces is what I live for. When mom sees her baby and oxytocin spills out across the room, everyone falls in love all over again.
The birth team and I make sure to get mom all settled and the siblings came to meet the new baby! They also instantly fell in love with the new little one. We take a few more vital checks to ensure the health of mom and baby then make sure mom gets a full meal. She has worked so hard up to now she needs nourishment to replenish her body.
The students have prepared an herbal bath at just the right temperature for mom and baby to escape and have an intimate bonding experience while also healing mom’s body.
We make sure the family is set up and prepared to start life with their new addition. We tidy up the house, start the laundry, and get everything done so that mom can have a restful and bonding time with baby.As we pack up and prepare to leave, I pray over the family and new baby to ask safety and health for everyone. We say our heartfelt good-bye’s and load my supplies into the car. As I make the drive back home I recall the night’s events with a smile on my face. Knowing I helped mom get past her fears and stay relaxed and comfortable throughout her birth brings me joy and happiness.
Heading home the birth team is starving! We stop for breakfast and rehash the birth, our hearts are warm and full. Then it’s time to get home to my bed, who knows when the next birth will happen!
As we dive head first into another holiday season, I am thankful for the birth professionals that I work with through the advocacy work we do at Texas Birth Networks, and those who have been a part of my own birth experiences.
Here are ten of my favorite reasons to be thankful for midwives this November.
Pregnancy, or getting pregnant, was not an easy road for us. After a loss, followed by a corrective surgery, and then some infertility, finding out we were expecting our little one was the greatest day in our lives up to that point.
One thing that can make the transition from pregnancy to motherhood easier is having a plan for postpartum. So many of us focus so much on the pregnancy, the baby, and the birth that we forget (or never even know) how much recovery is involved in the first few weeks after the baby comes.
Here are a few tips that can make the motherhood transition easier with each baby.
Funny story: I was doing a postpartum visit with a new mom last week and we were chatting about her labor. How it went. How she felt about things. She was feeling the strain of getting used to life with a newborn, I mean- who doesn’t, right? – but she was obviously in love with her sweet little babe. I was asking her questions about her experience and in the course of that conversation, she mentioned one thing that had surprised her about her labor was how much it hurt.
A doula is a person whose sole purpose is to emotionally and physically assist the birthing family during their labor time. Doula literally means “female servant” and in labor that is precisely what a doula does- she serves the family and assists them in having the BEST birth they can.
During childhood I loved science the most. I have since been amazed at how well a mother’s body was created to grow her baby, give birth, and make the most nourishing food- breast milk. I grew up knowing that my mother had loved nursing my brother and me and this made me feel so loved. I looked forward to nursing my own babies one day.