Sunday, October 16, 2011

That's Just What We Do RIght? A Birth Story

I have tons of pictures from our camping trip--
it was,
as my yahoos like to say,

And as I was uploading said pics on Saturday morning,
there was a disturbance in the Force,
such that, I didn't finish.
I'd just gotten out of the shower,
hair still wet,
and honestly, I was poking around
not gettin' a darn thing done.

Camping wears me out a bit,
so I get pokey afterwards.
We were set to go to Elitches in Denver
for the day,
and honestly, I was hoping we could postpone it
til next weekend.
Instead of getting ready to go,
I was on my bahooey at the pc
putting together a blog for a
Celebration of the 15th Anniversary of
 The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
I'd just finished it,
when the phone rang--
it was my cohort-in-crime, Nan
wanting to know if I'd be interested in
being a doula at a hospital birth
for a mutual friend (M.) of ours'
daughter-in-love (Mama Joy*)...
whose due date was August 24th.
Heck yeah! I'm in!
Right then, she got another call--
"Hold on a sec, I've been waiting for this call." she says.
She's gone for a couple of minutes,
returns and says,
"That was M.--
it seems Mama Joy's water has broken.
Can you go over right now?"

I grabbed my shoes,
ran a comb thru my still-damp hair,
and thought to bring my scrubs and doula stuff,
just. in. case.

I picked up Nan on the way,
cuz I didn't know Mama Joy's address and Nan didn't either
but knew how to get there.
When we arrive,
Mama Joy is fretful--
red nose, watery eyes, trembly lips...
I gave this new acquaintance a good hug
and assured her that things will be okay.

After just a few questions,
it sounded certain that her membranes had spontaneously ruptured--
she'd made a call to her hospital and they told her to come in
of course.
Mama Joy hadn't packed her hospital bags yet...
thinking she still had two weeks,
so we quickly came up with a necessity list of things to grab,
and also made a call to see if she could get a
priesthood blessing before leaving--
and within minutes two dear friends were over
to do just that.
Mama Joy was calm afterwards,
as was her young husband, Papa J.

I met them at the hospital
and after a bit of time in the triage,
she was admitted and given a room.
She wasn't having any good quality contractions,
the doctor had already prescribed pitocin
within the hour
if labor didn't progress.
So we took a stroll down the halls
and within 35 minutes,
her ctx were three minutes apart!

Mama Joy's goal was an un-medicated birth...
and let me say,
she was awesome!
She'd not taken a single birthing class,
but listened to every direction and counsel I gave her
and acted in every way
with purpose and focus.
Her sweetheart was exactly the same--
he learned to breathe with her,
massage her,
comfort her with encouraging words
after some coaching from me,
I found him to be a wonderful helper for
Mama Joy.
For 20 minutes of every hour,
she had to be on the fetal monitor...
but as soon as she could get off that,
she was moving--
walking the halls
in the shower
in the jacuzzi
standing at a high counter, leaning over it,
while Papa J did hip compressions,
swaying her side to side
helping that little baby move down.
When she had to be in bed,
I used aromatherapy lotion,
tranquil mint
to rub her feet which she loved
and was able to relax so much
that it looked like she was sleeping
between contractions!
We kept her hydrated so well
that she didn't have to have an IV...
tho she did have a hep-lock just in case.

When she was showing signs of transition,
(trembling, vomiting, change in emotion)--
the nurse checked and she was 9 cm dilated!!!
Within minutes she was complete!
She got a nice
"rest and be thankful" phase--
where her body stopped contracting for a few minutes.
At that time,
I coached her on what to do next
to bring the baby down
and how to push for the delivery.

She did it exactly as I said,
and twenty minutes later,
she delivered a perfect seven pound
baby boy!

The nurse staff was awesome,
and we all worked together so well.
I loved it
and they did too.
Mama Joy and Papa J. declared,
"we couldn't have done it without you!"--
but they could've and
they would've done it just fine,
ya know?

After family arrived
a few hours later,
hugs went all around
and it was time to go.
As the family was expressing gratitude
for my time and service,
I smiled and said,
"Isn't that what we do?"

I went home a happy doula.

I love what I do.
And to have the opportunity to be a part of a sacred event,
a birth,
is as much a blessing for me
as it was for them.

What lingers for me, even today is this:
I didn't wake up yesterday morning
planning to be at a total strangers'
that was a total gift
to me.
ya know?
We all have talents and abilities
to bless other people's lives--
I have been on the receiving end many times,
and to be able to pay it forward
to step up with just a moment's notice
is one way I can express my talents in purity
and truly feel those warm fuzzies way deep inside.

And get this!!
This morning, my Nana called--
she's in California visiting.
She doesn't have her own car,
but she wanted to go to church.
So she called a meetinghouse,
and whomever answered the phone

picked her up
took her to church
and another family took her back to the hotel
and offered their services to her while she's in California--
a meal,
a place to stay,
a ride to the airport next week...
whatever she needed...
because as they said to her,
"That's just what we do."

Yes it is.

*Mama Joy is not her real name. But she was a Joy to me!)

1 comment:

  1. And YOU were a joy to her. Sounds like a wonderful privilege to have been there and made things easier for Mama Joy.

    A lovely, lovely birth story.

    And touching to think that Nana was on the receiving end of some similar service...



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