Tonight, Gentle Birth Services was blessed with another healthy baby! Minerva had her last prenatal exam on November 19th at 9:00am, and she was due the next day. We went ahead and gave her Diane’s homeopathic labor stimulation formula (you can get it here, it is extremely effective!) to get things moving along, and less than twelve hours after her prenatal ended, she was back and having contractions. Diane encouraged her to get some rest, and Minerva slept through the night and labored gently throughout the morning and early afternoon. Here’s how the rest of the day progressed:
3:15 pm: I arrived early for the 4:00 prenatal Diane & I had scheduled, and got settled in for the afternoon. Minerva was walking around and the contractions were starting to become more regular and closer together. She then tried squatting on the birth stool, which must have felt wonderful because she ended up spending most of the afternoon on it! Diane arrived soon after, and proceeded to check the progress of the labor. She found that Minerva was already 6 centimeters dilated! After this, we had our prenatal with our other expectant mother, then both went home to eat dinner and let Minerva relax.
5:30 pm: I arrive back at the birth center, where Minerva has begun to experience intense back labor. I show her a few comfort measures, including this great version of a double hip squeeze which uses a scarf. You stand in front of the laboring mother, wrap the scarf around her hipbones, cross it in front, and pull back and apart. Check out this great video showing how it’s done.
7:10 pm: Diane arrived back at the birth center just as Minerva was beginning to feel labor intensify, and we checked her again. Diane found her to be 8 centimeters dilated, and Diane gave Minerva belladonna, a homeopathic remedy which helps make the transition portion of labor easier on mom. Pretty soon after this, we filled up the tub and let Minerva relax in there for a while. After 30 minutes or so, we made a ginger tea and added it to the water to help mom be less likely to tear.
8:20 pm: Minerva was still experiencing back labor, and I was trying some other comfort measures. We got her on her knees leaning her elbows on the side of the tub for a while, a position which helps take that pressure off the back. Soon after, Minerva commented that she believed her water had broken, and Diane thought it might be true but couldn’t be sure.
9:00 pm: Minerva tired of the tub, and needed to use the restroom. She was becoming weak, and I helped support her as she walked. Afterwards, Diane checked her again and found that her water had not broken, as Minerva had thought. Minerva decided to stay in bed and Diane and I went to take a rest in the other room.
11:00 pm: Minerva hadn’t made much progress and her contractions seemed to be weakening and spacing further apart. Because we were worried that Minerva would lose her strength, Diane suggested she could take some Tylenol PM and try to sleep and regain her strength. Minerva wanted to continue laboring, though, and right afterwards her water broke! So at 11:10 pm, she began to push. Between pushes, I applied washcloths soaked in the ginger tea to her opening to prevent tearing.
12:00 am: Pushing didn’t seem to be making things progress the way we expected, and Diane and I could tell that Minerva was losing her strength rapidly. But thankfully, Minerva’s contractions become more powerful and effective soon after this. She was experiencing a lot of pain at this point, and grasped my arm very tightly with each push.
12:15 am: Stephanie Michelle is born! She poops almost immediately, all over poor Minerva’s leg, but is so cute it doesn’t matter. She weighs 6 pounds, 7 ounces, and has a full head of thick, dark hair. With the birth, all of Minerva’s water from the bag of waters gushes out – there is a ton of it! The placenta follows quickly, and we get mom and baby cleaned up and tucked into bed. Everyone, especially Minerva, is exhausted, and Diane and I head home ourselves after checking to make sure her uterus is contracting as it should.