At a quarter after 10 in the morning, Mom starting having to pay attention to her contractions as they become slowly stronger. Dad kneels by her side and offers support by holding her hand.
Mom an dad "slow dance" while at home, with dad supporting mom through the contraction.
After 2 hours of contractions, mom is helped now by both her husband and her doula.
Mom sits on a birth ball while dad provides much appreciated back pressure/massage.
Time to head to the hospital...mom counts almost 13 hours since she announced labor had begun.
They arrive at the hospital and mom is wheeled up to her room.
Mom is gowned and gets into bed.
An external fetal monitor is placed on mom's belly to monitor the baby's heartrate. Mom is checked and found to be at one centemeter and 100% effaced.
After some monitoring of the baby, mom is unstrapped and chooses to sit on the birth ball next to the bed and use the bed for upper body support. Dad finds himself in a familiar position...providing counterpressure for her back which has been in considerable pain.
Mom disrobes and attempts a bath. Unfortunately, the water was drawn at too cold of a temperature to provide much comfort, so the bath was only used for a short time.
Mom is back in bed for more monitoring.
An ultrasound is ordered because mom had a problem in early pregnancy with a low-lying placenta and they want to be cautious with the placental position. The baby is found to be in a posterior position...this accounts for the back labor mom is experiencing. Fortunately, the baby turns during second stage and is born without incident.
The monitors track the baby's heart tones (currently at 152) as well as her contractions. She is currently between contractions.
Mom has recieved her epidural, and the lights are turned off so that she can rest. Although she has an epidural, there is still quite a bit that she can feel, and contractions are still definately noticable.
Contractions can be easily seen by the rising numbers....up to 76 for this particular contraction.
An internal exam is performed. "You're at about 9cm," says the nurse. "Go ahead and try to give me one little push." Mom pushes...but the nurse stops her and says that pushing is starting to make the cervix swell ever so slightly, so they are going to just wait for her body to do it on its own.
Time to start pushing. Initially, mom pushes in the "lithotomy" position...or on her back.
The nurse uses her fingers to feel for the baby's position...as well as to begin a little perineal massage.
Lithotomy wasn't very effective, so they try side-lying to push.
Finally they try a squat bar. YES! The squat bar does its job and the baby begins to move effectively down towards birth.
Mom pushes strongly using the squat bar. Her doula and husband offer encouragement.
And the very first glimpse of the baby's head can be seen!
Mom leans back and relaxes between pushes. Second stage can be a lot of hard work!
Hot compresses are used to prepare the perineum and in hopes of preventing tears. The labia part and the baby's head begins to crown.
The baby has hair!
Mom reaches down between contractions and feels her baby for the very first time.
The perineal area is washed with a betadine solution.
As the head stretches the perineum, the midwife offers some gentle pressure to steady the speed in hopes of preventing any tearing.
The midwife cups the baby's head and helps it ease out gently.
Mom is exhausted...but it's almost over.
And here comes the baby's face!
The head is completely out, and the midwife uses the fingers of her right hand to check for a cord around the neck while the baby rotates. There is none.
The shoulders begin to slip out even before the baby has completely rotated!
Baby is immediately placed up on mom's chest.
Dad gives mom a kiss for a job well done while they admire their new DAUGHTER! Baby is still attached to the cord, and since it's a short cord they can't pull the baby up any further than she is.
Dad cuts the umbilical cord 4 minutes after she was born.
Baby, covered in vernix, is taken over to the warmer for a moment.
The midwife applies gentle pressure to the cord in order to help pull out the delivered placenta.
She moves a blue basin underneither to catch the placenta.
And mom births the placenta.
The midwife inspects the placenta to make sure that it is intact and whole...and that there are no pieces remaining inside of the uterus.
Baby is weighed....7 pounds 5 ounces!
Baby gets its first attempt at breastfeeding...and it's a success! Mom and baby are still nursing to this day...3 months old as of the creation of this page.