The Waterbirth of Enzlo

It's been quite a while since I've blogged a birth since I've been so insanely busy attending them. Anyways, I'm hoping to get back in the swing of writing birth stories again and this is one I definitely want to share.

A mutual friend tagged me in a Facebook post of a young mom to be who was hoping to go natural and looking to have a water birth. I got in touch with Hayden and sent her some resources, encouraged her to watch The Business of Being Born, and invited her to my upcoming birth prep class. A few weeks after taking my class Hayden and her partner, Lorenzo, decided to hire me as their doula. I was excited & eager to work with them because I felt I could relate to them in some ways. They were a young couple, with a baby on the way, hoping to do things "alternatively" with not much support or encouragement from their families (regarding the birth aspect). 

Around 11pm Hayden texted me that she was having some contractions that felt pretty intense and I encouraged her to rest if she still could. I got a few hours of sleep and in the middle of the night Lorenzo called and said they were headed to the Elmer hospital. 

I arrived at 4am to Hayden in her zone and Lorenzo helping her through contractions. They were listening to Pink Floyd and everything was totally peaceful. Her uncle was there photographing the birth as well, and we both sat quietly in awe of Hayden and her strength. 

When Hayden's mom arrived I could tell she was emotional to see her daughter in pain. I knew that she was bit nervous about Hayden giving birth naturally at first, but she immediately picked up on the vibe in the room and supported Hayden in any way she could. There are some births where the mamas need a lot of hands on support, but Hayden's birth required me to hold space. Lorenzo and Hayden's mom supported Hayden physically through the contractions with the power of touch, while I emotionally supported her and did my best to create a calm environment. With this much love and support Hayden's oxytocin was flowing. 

At 5:15 am the midwife checked her and she was 8-9 cm dilated and the baby was at a +1 station.  After this, Hayden and Lorenzo just laid in the bed together, cuddled up as one unit and there was no doubt how totally in love they were with each other. Hayden started to cry as the music kept playing and it was just one of those moments that leaves everyone in the room speechless. 

Around 6am she got into the tub and felt the urge to push. At this point nothing was comfortable and she was ready to meet her baby. The sun started to rise and filled the room with fresh light. At 7:40am Hayden birthed her beautiful baby boy the exact way she wanted to in the birth tub. Lorenzo and Hayden's moms eyes were filled with tears as soon as they saw him. 

I was so happy for Hayden and Lorenzo to have the exact birth they had envisioned and plan for come true. It was an honor being apart of their birth team for such a beautiful birth. It fills me with joy knowing that they will inspire their friends to learn about the benefits of having a natural birth and how much of an empowering experience it can be. 

All photos are owned and copyright by Wanderlust Birth + Photo. Please do not use or copy without permission. 

The birth of Shea 8/13/14

I was excited to work with Lindsay & Matt after they were referred to me by their Bradley method instructor. Although this baby was a bit of a surprise, Lindsay absolutely knew she wanted a natural birth. They were originally planning on delivering at Virtua Hospital, but after telling them about the midwives at Gentle Beginnings & the water birth at Elmer Hospital they began to re-consider their options. At around 32 weeks, Lindsay & Matt met with Karen Shields, a midwife with Gentle Beginnings, & decided they would be changing not only practices, but hospitals as well. Here is their birth story...

At around 10:30, Sunday morning (8/3) Lindsay texted me and said she had began to feel contractions when she woke up, but nothing serious. Around 1, Matt called me and said that they were going to head to the hospital soon as things were starting to get a bit more intense & seemed to be progressing quickly. I told him to call me once they got checked into the hospital and I would head over whenever they needed me. At 2:30 pm Lindsay was checked and 3 cm dilated. I arrived about an hour later and she was handling her contractions beautifully! They were coming strong & consistently, but she was staying calm and let her body do the work. 

Matt was super eager to meet his baby boy! He stood by Lindsay's side the entire time, keeping her comfortable and hydrated. He was definitely a dad-doula, which made my job super easy. Lindsay was getting more back pressure and although she was still able to talk through the contractions, I could tell that they were becoming much more intense. There was no doubt that she was progressing.

Ironically, the position that Lindsay felt least comfortable in during her Bradley classes (side lying) was the position that she stayed in the most during her entire labor. At 4:45, Lindsay started feeling lots of pressure. She said her contractions were getting much more intense and she started to become more vocal. She would moan through them and this was a sign that she was progressing really quickly! We all watched Lindsay in awe of her strength and despite the moaning through contractions, she still remained so calm. 

The midwife on-call, Lindsay (yes her midwifes name was Lindsay as well), asked if she wanted to be checked to see how much progress she had made. At this point it was 5:45 pm, only 4 hours after they arrived at the hospital.  

Lindsay asked not to know how far dilated she was because she did not want to fixate on the number and get discouraged. But, as soon as the midwife checked her, her face lit up with a big smile. She said, "I can't believe this mama, but you are 9 1/2 cm and the baby is -1!" Both Lindsay and Matt looked shocked, they couldn't believe that she was almost fully dilated so quickly. At this point Lindsay was ready to get this baby out! Nothing could comfort her at this point, no position, no massage, nothing. So they suggested getting into the tub. 

Lindsay was planning on a water birth, she had LOVED being in water during her pregnancy. She loved to take baths and she figured it would be the ultimate comfort measure during her labor. But, at this point the water made no difference. She had no urge to push and she just wanted to start pushing. About an hour later, Lindsay sat on the toilet, where her water broke with clear fluid and she began to feel the urge to push. The midwife sat by her side, she gently coached her through pushing and monitored the babies heart rate. 

After a good 45 minutes of pushing on the toilet, the midwife suggested to get back on the bed. Lindsay walked on over and was on all fours. Suddenly the baby was showing signs of distress and the nurse immediately put an oxygen mask on Lindsay.  She was pushing with everything she had in her, but the baby needed assistance. The midwife called for the on-call OB/GYN to come in and he suggested a vacuum assisted delivery. 

Nurses came rushing in and all of a sudden the perfectly calm room was filled with anxiousness. I could tell Matt was worried about Lindsay and the baby, but I assured him that it would all be okay. With a few more pushes, an episiotomy, and assistance from the vacuum, baby Shea was born healthy!

Although this labor took a little bit of an unexpected turn, Lindsay and Matt were just glad that their baby boy arrived healthy (and it didn't hurt that he was super cute also). Shea weighed in at 7 lbs 13 oz. I am so totally still inspired by Lindsay's strength and courage, she did such a beautiful job which makes my job so worth it. Matt & Lindsay congrats on becoming parents, you're going to do a wonderful job!