A Positive Birth Story
When Melanie called me at 2:36am on August 30th, 2017, she had three short contractions within six minutes while on the phone with me. It was clear her labour was regular but still needed to strengthen a bit. Her bloody show (the mucus plug) had come out not long before. Melanie's cervix was soft and her baby girl was almost ready to come out!
When I arrived at Melanie and Chris' apartment about an hour later, I was met by a calm atmosphere. Melanie was rocking gentle in her chair, holding her belly. She was wearing some cool, comfy leggings and she swayed in the darkness. I though she looked like a radiant goddess! With each contraction wave, she closed her eyes and breathed softly in and softly out.
As soon as we moved into the labour room at Sunnybrook, I encouraged Melanie to have a bath. We filled the tub and she asked for more warmth. It seemed to feel OK, lying in there belly-down and moaning through each contraction. Chris was really supportive, offering her water and back massage. We poured warm water over Melanie's back and let her labour intensify.
Pop! Melanie felt a gush and we knew her water broke. Amniotic fluid poured into the tub and Melanie began to feel an urge to bear down. I encouraged Melanie to continue breathing through her contractions and let the feeling build up a little more. Her contractions were naturally bringing her baby down further into her pelvis, and she didn't need to exert any extra energy by pushing just yet!
When the nurses heard that Melanie was nearly pushing, they helped her move from the tub to the bed, where the fun was just getting started. Melanie was 10cm dilated! Now was the time to bring her little girl earth-side. Chris put on some gloves and massaged Melanie's perineum with olive oil to help it stretch, and I applied a warm compress to the area. With only a few pushes, a beautiful, healthy baby girl was born at 6:40am! Chris knew what to do - he watched the clock for three minutes before cutting her cord. With cord cutting delayed, baby received a rush of blood that would help initiate her breathing and encourage her healthy development!
Welcome to the world, Julianne! We are so excited to meet you! At 7lbs 13oz, you were the perfect size and a joy right from the beginning. Your mom and dad love you so much! I am honoured that I could be your doula and support this journey. I will never forget your family's love, strength, and kindness.
Your placenta gave you life inside the womb...
Congratulations Melanie, Chris, Adrian, and Julianne! Enjoy every minute together.
Laughter is a common theme of Melanie and Chris' relationship, and I noticed this from day one. Our prenatal classes were lots of fun. During family yoga, Melanie would breathe love down to her baby. She was always so gentle, following her body. Her son Adrian made an excellent little doula, massaging Melanie's back and rubbing essential oils into her belly. Chris, on the other hand, was busy stretching his hips in child's pose and breathing deeply along side Melanie, inducing relaxation all around. These were happy family bonding times and I was glad to be a part of them.
I encouraged Melanie to drink lots of water and to keep breathing through her contractions. The intensity seemed to increase shortly after I arrived so we helped Melanie onto her hands and knees, leaning on the ottoman. Chris stroked her back while I massaged her ankles and put a warm pack on her low back. Spa music, gentle words of encouragement, and a soft moan filled the space. Melanie was very focused and stayed calm through her contractions. It was not half an hour later that I declared it time to forward ourselves to the hospital, as I could tell by Melanie's sounds and facial expression that we would be meeting her little girl very soon!
The drive to the hospital was like no other - I followed closely behind Chris as he made his way through red lights and stops signs to get to the hospital in time. Good thing the streets were still at that time of night! It was 5:40am when Melanie was in triage and given her first vaginal exam - 7cm dilated already!
And from now on, you will live on love from your mom and dad, and all that they have to offer you! Your life began with kisses and hugs, and I am sure you will have many more of those to come now that you're not covered in vernix - the amazing sticky substance that protected your skin in the womb and after birth!