I don't get nervous for births these days. I've been doing this a long time and I truly trust the process and am lucky enough to generally work with care providers that I have built relationships with and trust with my clients. I was nervous for this birth. And not because I didn't trust the process or because I didn't trust her care providers, quite the opposite actually, but because I KNOW this mama. We met 4 years ago while we were both struggling with life after the birth of our first babies. I had just become a doula, like JUST... We connected at a local babywearing meetup and quickly became fast friends over our love for handwoven babywraps.
She had that first birth that is unfortunately common in our society and the type that keeps me attending births in ALL birth settings. She went in uninformed and unsupported. She didn't know her options or understand how to ask for evidence based birth support. She had a really traumatic 3rd-4th degree episiotomy turned tear that ended requiring surgery and medication for years afterwards. Her "big baby" was delivered with forceps. Her recovery left her in therapy and not knowing if she could ever go through giving birth again. We talked for years about preparing for a positive birth experience and when she let me know that they were trying for another baby, I was over the moon! When she sent me the picture of her positive pregnancy test I was so excited for her! She hired me at about 7 weeks pregnant! She took Hypnobabies and was diligent with it. She looked into birth center and homebirth and chose to birth at Willow Center for Birth because that's where she felt the best. When she texted me a few days before her due date that she felt different that morning, that the Braxton Hicks she'd had for weeks seemed stronger, we both knew that it was likely the day. She had a midwife appointment that morning and everything looked good. Around 2:30pm she messaged to say that she had lost her mucous plug and that surges were getting stronger. At 4pm we talked and she was busy trying to get her daughter over to her moms and I could tell her surges were coming every three minutes and suggested we both head to the birth center so she could definitely labor in the tub which would reduce the chances of re-tearing her scar tissue.
I arrived about 5 minutes after she did (It was 5pm on a Friday afternoon!). She was doing really well, standing and swaying as the midwives were getting things set up and getting a quick first listen to her baby.
We could tell things were moving very quickly now but she was doing amazing with her self-hypnosis. Suddenly her water broke while were waiting for the tub water to cool down (July in Phoenix problems)... She quickly got in the tub as she could feel baby start to make the shift downward.
The midwife Roxanne, and her assistant gathered around and her husband snuggled up behind her to hold a cloth to her head and encourage her...
And just 20 or so minutes after we arrived, her fetal ejection reflex kicked in and baby was ready to be born...
After a few minutes in the tub, it was clear that the placenta was on it's way, which she birthed while squatting in the tub! It was really cool, but she won't be sharing those on SM! With Baby still connected to his placenta resting in a bowl, they made their way to the bed to get cozy and start breastfeeding!
Mom was very much in shock that it happened so fast! After a long and painful first birth she never imagined that it could be this way!
At this point their family was on their way with their daughter. Her sister had arrived just moments after baby was born. They checked out her bottom and were ecstatic to discover that she had not torn even a little tiny bit! No stitches necessary. I'm pretty sure we both cried out of joy knowing that she wouldn't have to deal with that kind of recovery again. She got up, got a quick shower, put on a robe and waited to introduce her daughter to her baby brother.