Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In God's Own Way and Time

As January winds down,
I have been looking forward
to a particular client's birth.
Mama J. and Papa J.
have been preparing for
their birth experience
with diligence and purpose.
They took all the classes,
read all the books,
watched all the movies.
Mama J. has been meticulous in her
prenatal care
from Day One.

It has been a complete joy
getting to know her
care for her
and plan for her homebirth!
So when I got the call this afternoon,
I was excited!

The Midwife called
said Mama J was in early labor
but be ready to go.

I got my gear together,
and got my house in order
so that upon my leaving
things would get done--
like dinner and homework.

Finally, just before dinner time,
The Midwife called
"time to go."
Hug and kiss the yahoos
and I'm on my way.

Mama J and Papa J are preparing to
go into their own ministry...
and their birth plan was,
and I quote
"to rely on the Word."
Being raised Baptist,
I know what this means--
the songs of my youth,
and reading scriptures.
So on the way to their home,
I try to remember some hymns--
"Jesus Loves the Little Children"
"Jesus Loves Me"
"Amazing Grace"
"I stand all Amazed"--
I sing them all on my way
down I-25...
some verses are harder to remember
than others,
and I figure I can hum the ones I don't know,
in case we actually sing--
and then I wonder how awkward
it will be if I sing off-key
or forget the words entirely!

I decide it's not worth
worrying about.

When I arrive,
Emily is already there.
Mama J is in the labor pool--
she hears me come in
and looks over her shoulder
with a smile.
I love this woman.
She is gonna be a great mom.

Papa J. is sitting next to the pool
They're working together

So Emily and I
continue to set up what we can
until the Midwife arrives
and then
we get the rest of the stuff outta her car.

Contraction waves are coming
two minutes apart.
Mama J is smiling between them.
Breathing thru the waves
as they come
and able to smile
in between.
She's doing great!

The Midwife, Emily and I
step out of the bedroom
and give Mama and Papa
some time alone.

We're not out long when
we hear Mama's voice change--
it's not the controlled breathing
we're used to,
so we go in and breathe with her
to help her get into a rhythm.

We do this for a few hours.
Mama and Papa continually
vocalize their prayers...
sometimes Papa hums a tune
I do not recognize
but Mama does
and that's all that matters.

A few more hours of this
and Mama is getting tired.
We decide to get her out of the
labor pool
and stand her up in the shower.
She's hesitant at first
but standing up will use
gravity better,
and will speed dilation.

Mama J ends up really liking
the shower...
she has several more waves in there
and her water breaks.
That's when things changed...
there's meconium in the water.
and it's thick and dark.
We continue to listen to
the baby's heart tones...
which aren't awful
but not good either.

The Midwife checks Mama J to see
how dilated she is now...
almost 6 cm
but the baby is high...
so the Midwife makes the decision
to transport
Mama to the hospital
according to my GPS
was 375 yards away.
That's right,
it's across the street!

So we help Mama get dressed
and the Midwife goes with Mama and Papa
over to the hospital.

Emily and I
clean up
pack up
and head over to the hospital.
By the time we get there,
the baby is born!
And he is perfect!
His heart tones did dip down considerably
but his apgar scores were 8 and 9.

Mama J is renewed!
She is a little trembly
because of the adrenalin-rush,
because once they got to the hospital
she was 8 cm dilated
and went to 10 in just minutes!
Then once she was at 10cm
she just pushed that baby right out!

It all happened so quickly.
One could wonder
if we'd just stayed at home
how things woulda turned out--
obviously, things were fine;
but we didn't know
couldn't have known
how this little boy was going
to tolerate
the delivery.
And it's our policy
that it's better to be safe than sorry.

Mama and Papa both agreed
the right decision was made.
Tho their preparation
and faith
was abundant,
they accept that the events of their
was according to God's will.

There's a life lesson there
that I think will benefit this couple
as they continue to grow their
after all we can do,
we have to trust in God's will
even when we are unsure what that
might be.

Faith is believing in that which is unseen
which is true.

After a round of hugs and kisses,
Emily, the Midwife and I
headed down the long empty
corridors of the hospital,
feeling grateful to have been part
of the experience.
It didn't go as planned,
and still our hearts are filled
with gratitude
for a safe and healthy birth.
God does hear and answer prayers--
what more could we ask for?

I sang my favorite hymns all the way
while a full moon
lit the pathway home.


  1. It sounds like this mom was in very good hands...both yours and the Lord's. And I'm glad your little crew was so careful not to take any chances with her, even though it wasn't quite the birth she had in mind.

    I think the women whose babies you guys deliver are very lucky.


  2. Oops. I did it again. Posted my comments on the "other" blog. Oh well, suffice to say that I think you're a great doula!


  3. I just stumbled on your other blog from MDC and the homebirth tag caught my eye. WE have a lot of similaritites- I spent a year working as a doula and midwife's assistant at homebirths and loved (almost) every minute of it. I miss it, but the midwife I worked with moved and I have a special needs son and not a lot of time for doula work. Love reading about it though.

  4. I had a doula at my birth and would have LOVED to do it at home. the hospital was not my cup of tea. thanks for your words!


Feeling something you wanna say outloud? I'd love to hear it!