J*s Birth Story
* name omitted
J*s birth was the second one I ever attended, and the first un-medicated birth I witnessed!
After meeting with J, she hired me right away as her doula. She liked that I had already attended one birth and was happy to help me out with my next certifying birth. We emailed a lot in the couple months leading up to her birth. I sent her lots of information and she had a very clear birth plan that we and her husband created.
At 2:30 in the morning on August 17th 2015 J texted me that her water broke, but she was doing well. This was more than two weeks before her due date so I was not on-call and the sound was off on my phone. Thankfully everything was just fine. I called her around 10 am and she said that she was being very active, cleaning the baby’s room, and drinking red raspberry leaf tea. I had already called my retail job and got someone to cover my shift, even though J was adamant that I should go to work; she didn’t want me missing out on money. I knew she would be needing me soon so I had no issue. When I told her this she was happy to know that I could come at a moment’s notice.
She and her husband went out to run some errands around 11:30am and she kept me up to date. Contractions were around 8 minutes apart. She texted me after she had a very long contraction alone in the car that she had to focus on, and said she started panicking a bit. I told her everything was going to be okay and to let me know when she got home; I would be there right away.
When I did, she had both her and her husbands mothers there as well. They were trying to help but were mostly hovering around, not knowing the best way that they could help. J told me that she was having a lot of back pain so I had her sit backwards on a dining room chair and I did the double-hip squeeze. This provided her with a lot of relief! So I kept doing it... for just about every contraction she had.
We decided to start a bath, dim the lights, and put on her hypnobirthing audio I had recommended to her. She got in the zone! I kept doing counter-pressure, while also timing some contractions. When they were 5 minutes apart I called her midwife, A*, and told her what was up. A said to head on over to the hospital and she’d meet us there. We got J dressed (slowly, as her contractions were getting very intense) and drove to the hospital.
Triage happened super quickly as it was very painful for J to be on her back for a vaginal exam. They assessed that she was already around 6 or 7 cm dilated, and they got us into a room. J missed the relief that the bath at home provided so I drew another one in the hospital tub right away and got her in there.
Her husband got in the bath with her, in front, stroking her face and getting her to breathe, and I was sitting on the ledge behind her, doing the famous double-hip squeeze. The mothers were there as well for whatever she needed, water, a cool cloth, etc. When A arrived she got all of her midwife gear set up, saw J experience a few contractions, and asked her to get out so she could examine her.
The midwife was very happy with how J was progressing and she still just needed a little more to go. We tried different positions on the bed, and tried toilet sitting which I think was that little extra push she needed to dilate completely. After a few very painful, intense contractions on the toilet she felt the urge to push. We got her back over to the bed where she very quickly delivered her baby boy around 6 pm!
We left the hospital only about 2 hours later, got back to their house so everyone could settle in, and a placenta encapsulator came to pick up her placenta. It took some time for baby C* to latch onto the breast, but by a week later when I did my post-natal visit he was feeding like a pro.
It was so incredible this time round to see a completely natural, non-medical birth. J was an absolute super star, I’m so glad that we were able to communicate so well and I was able to provide her with all the resources she needed to have her dream birth.
I am so grateful that I got to witness this amazing birth!