Lori’s labor began at 6:00 am May 3rd 2011. The contractions varied and gradually moved into 10 minutes apart around 3:45 pm. This is when Lori called me. I arrived at her house at 4:07pm. I could tell that she was talkative and still interested in conversation. Therefore, we watched a movie. After the movie contractions were about 8 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds long. Lori, her husband Scott, her mother, and I ate dinner together at 7:00pm. After dinner her contractions continued to slowly become closer together. At 9:36 pm her contractions were about 5-6 minutes apart, lasting 60 seconds long. We arrived at the hospital at 10:00 pm. She was 5 cm dilated, 90% effaced, and at 0 satiation. Electronic Fetal Monitoring was initiated for 30 minutes and questions were asked. Intermittent monitoring was used the rest of the time. Shortly after her IV saline lock, she went to the Jacuzzi. After getting out of the water, at about 4 am Lori was 8 cm dilated. At about 6:00 am when the doctor checked her she was 7 cm again. At 6:30 the doctor broke the bag of waters. That doctor left at 7:00 am and another doctor came into the hospital. At 9:20 am she was fully dilated. Pitocin was administered and holding her breath for 10 seconds while pushing was instituted. By 10:35 am her baby girl was born on May 4th! And was in an anterior presentation. The placenta was delivered 10 minutes later. And breastfeeding was initiated.
These are approximations with Lori’s labor: early labor 15 hours, active labor 11 hours, Transition 1 hour, pushing 1 hour, placenta delivery 10 minutes. Total labor 28 hours 35 minutes. These estimates are variable because vaginal checks were not constantly conducted, but emotional sign posts were observed.
My Role as the Doula
When I arrived at Lori’s house she was talkative and excited about the contractions being in a consistent pattern. We all thought that it would be helpful to not focus too much on these contractions and decided to watch a movie. After the movie, I could tell that Lori wanted to get things moving along. I thought it would be a good idea to walk, but she said she did not feel like walking now. I asked if she could eat dinner and she said yes. After, I suggested that it would be a good idea to try some relaxation, massage, aromatherapy, and acupressure points. She tried various positions: sitting on chair couch, leaning over couch, sitting on birth ball leaning on the birth ball.
After a couple of hours her labor was more consistent. She decided to go to the hospital, I followed in my car. I helped them carry some things into the hospital. In her Labor and Delivery room, Scott and I made sure the lights were low, and that there was some soft music playing. We applied counter pressure to her knees for almost the entire labor. Scott and I switched off for many hours and at some point asked if the nurse could help apply pressure. She said on her birth plan that she wanted to use the Jacuzzi, so we moved to the adjacent room. The room was small and did not have ventilation. I asked if we could use a fan because Lori was starting to feel hot and nauseated. I helped Scott know when to stroke her arm in accordance with her deep breathing, this rhythm/ritual seemed to help.
When she returned to her bed, I thought she might like to use some sensory recall from past favorite trip she had. Scott talked to her about some of their favorite places. With the negative comments from the doctor, I told her to simply act like those words were never said, and that she was doing great, and not to worry.
For the possible posterior baby we tried leaning over the top of the bed while she was on her knees. When AROM was mentioned, I encouraged her husband to ask some questions about options and alternatives. They decided to go ahead with AROM, and continuous monitoring we tried moving from left side to sitting to right side. When an episiotomy was suggested I once again encouraged them to ask questions. The episiotomy was given with Lidocain before crowning. During the birth I helped by staying out of the way of the staff, Lori liked the way the nurse was encouraging her to push.
I helped with taking pictures after the birth and helped establish breastfeeding with encouraging immediately having the baby skin-to-skin and at the breast. Then trying the “U” hold and showing how to have a correct latch. The nurse was extremely helpful during this breastfeeding education. My main role was to offer a variety of suggestions to Lori and her husband throughout labor.
Mother's Reaction to Labor and Birth
The doctor said the day before her labor started said that she was around 3 cm dilated. She felt some pressure from her doctor to be induced since she was 41 weeks and 2 days gestation. She opted for a biophysical profile. She was told that her amniotic fluid was normal but on the low side. She said as long as it was normal then she would wait to go into labor herself.
Lori was woken up by her contractions and decided to go walking. She kept busy talking with her mother who was visiting. She appeared upbeat and excited about these early contractions. This meant that she did not have to be induced. After dinner she seemed a little annoyed at the contractions staying so far apart. After two hours of helping her stay calm and focused the contractions became more frequent. As soon as the contractions became about 4 minutes apart she wanted to go to the hospital.
The car ride really had a negative effect on her, she started to cry. Lori had some difficulty getting back into a comfortable rhythm or relaxation ritual with the interruption of EFM and IV saline lock. She felt like the Jacuzzi really helped but missed the previous counter pressure. She decided after a few hours that she needed to get back into the bed.
At this point she heard that her least favorite doctor was on call until 7 am. He also made some comments about things going slowly and referenced to women dying in childbirth in the 1800s. He also said he needed to catch a plane that morning, so he would be leaving. During this time she had reversed dilated by about 1 cm less. Lori was upset by his comments and did not want to have him as the doctor delivering her baby.
The nurse mentioned that her baby might be in a posterior position. Lori tried different positions. AROM at 6:30 am, and continuous monitoring. Lori was a little saddened about the continuous monitoring but she said it was not too big of a deal because at that point she did not want to get out of bed. At this point the other doctor she preferred more was going to deliver her baby.
She was told she had an anterior lip of cervix left and expressed she was tired and wanted to take some medication. The nurse said she was too close and advised her not to have medication at this point. She felt overwhelmed, but soon was pushing. She liked pushing but was so tired. She did not want Pitocin but the nurse said it might help; she used the standard hospital pushing method.
The doctor said that she was going to tear and needed to give her an episiotomy. She was so exhausted at this point she said that she just wanted to get the baby out! After the birth she was ecstatic. She did not like the stitches but felt the overall experience was amazing and she found a new sense of power within herself that she knew she had but wanted to prove it to herself!
What I learned as a Doula
I learned many things but for the most part, I gained knowledge on how to help the family communicate with the staff, keeping a positive atmosphere and how to help a husband participate. I felt like it was a little tricky, trying to work with such a long labor but then to have some negative comments and people around made it even more difficult. I found that I could help protect the mother’s birthing space and facilitate peace in any setting. I realized that I am there to help Lori have the best experience she can, even when decisions are made that I would have chosen differently. After everything is over, what matters is that Lori feels empowered and confident with herself and her choices, despite anything that happened to her or any change of plans that occurred.
Hello! My name is Linda. I am a Doula CD(DONA), Hypno-Doula, Childbirth Educator, Midwife Assistant and a Registered Nurse (RN) by profession.
I had two wonderful births with my daughters Mariah, Makayla, Maleah and wanted other women to have the best birthing experience they could.
This website is created to help women and their partners become more informed about birthing choices, classes and labor/birth methods.
I am currently NOT taking doula clients (due to my recent baby's birth & nursing her). If you live in Utah, the Salt Lake City/Tooele county area, and have thought about wanting a doula helping you at your baby's birth, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about finding Doula's go to: http://utahdoulas.org/listings/ Or http://apps.dona.org/Directory/Search Or https://hypnobabies.com/find-a-hypno-doula-2/find-a-hypno-doula-2
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