I’m sitting here giddy at 5:47am on Saturday morning, listening to my baby talk in his crib (he’s been waking up early lately for some reason). I just got home because I was attending my first birth as a doula. It was as magical as I thought it would be.
I saw that I had a voice mail at 10:36pm. She apologized for calling so late and said it was probably nothing, but “I’m having intermittent pain in my low back and every time I sit down, water comes out.” Once I heard that, I started chanting “Oh my God, oh my God” and called her back immediately. She said that she’d also had a tiny bit of bleeding, and I knew the babe was on his way. She was 35 weeks and one day along, and although she was extremely uncomfortable with sciatica and other joint pain for the past week (or maybe it was early labor?), we weren’t expecting his arrival quite this soon. She called her midwives at the hospital and because her water had broken they wanted her to come in right away. So much for laboring at home but it turned out to be a good thing in the end. Her laboring at home would have ended in baby at home, which would have been quite exciting indeed, but maybe a little much for this doula newbie.
I arrived around midnight and all of the labor rooms were full so they had her in this weird preggo triage center. As soon as I saw her I could tell she was active, and she actually seemed like she was in transition. Her contractions were practically on top of each other, lasting at least 45 seconds and very painful. She kept saying, “I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this, make it stop” which I knew was either a great sign that she was close, or we were in for a long night or a possible epidural (which she wanted to try to avoid). Her partner and I talked her through each contraction, telling her she WAS doing it, reminding her to breathe, giving her light massage on her low back (she didn’t want any pressure-I remember feeling the same way). Although she was doubting her ability, she took direction beautifully and let us support her the best we could.
She felt kind of sick so we went into the bathroom and she contracted a lot on the toilet (I’m a huge fan of this, as you know), and there was a lot of blood, which I knew was another great sign that she was close. She wasn’t checked until she got to her room (maybe 1:15am?), and I was praying for a big number based on how close her contractions were and how much she said they hurt. Midwife checked her and she was an EIGHT! Two contractions after that she said she had to push, and started pushing involuntarily. Midwife checked again and she was good to go. Six pushes later, baby Milo was born. 1:51am, 5lbs 9oz, 18 inches long. He’s gorgeous, alert, zen baby. Latched great, feeding away. I pumped and left a little milk for them just in case his blood sugar dropped and they started to talk supplementing with formula. So far, they haven’t needed it. He’s doing great and I’m SO proud of mama! I’m in awe of her, actually.
Born 10.15.11 at 1:51am
18 inches long
I’m forever grateful to my dear friend of over ten years; one of the first friends I made in LA, the girl who introduced me to my husband, whose porch I got engaged on, who took my baby down my steps and out of my house when he was jaundiced at two days old because I couldn’t…thank you for letting me be a part of this momentous occasion. I will never, ever forget it.