Melody Gives Birth to Abigail

Melody did not sleep well on 6/1. She had contractions off and on once she awakened but she knew it was early. She went for a walk with Luna and the contractions intensified and then diminished. She went on a second walk with Sherwin and Luna and the intensity returned and stayed strong. At 4:30pm she decided to call the on call midwife. Sherry suggested they come in to be checked. What they did not know was Sherry when on call stayed at the hospital, so she often had couples come in even it she thought it may be too early. I had wished they had called me first. It sounded like early prodromal labor to me still when I did talk to them.

I received my next call at 9:30pm. They had been checked and the hospital decided to send them back home. They called to let me know they were headed home. She was only barely effaced and not even l centimeter dilated. This was frustrating to Melody and Sherwin as they were unsure how to determine if they needed to return. She was contracting every 3 to 4 minutes for a full minute. But these contractions were only moderately intense. I think the comment from her mom that in comparison to her menstrual cramps, these might not be more difficult had confused her. They suggested she take a Tylenol pm or Benedryl to help her sleep. She did so but got no sleep at all.

On 6/2 my next call came at 230am. These contractions felt more intense, and had been feeling more intense ever since the previous exam. Melody thought that that was possibly when Abigail might have turned posterior. Sherry suggested they come on in for another exam. At 3am she was found to be barely 2cm (later Sherry said this was generous- she said only a loose 1 centimeter) and more than 50% per the exam by Carol the nurse.

I arrived 3:30am. She told me she was now feeling the pain mostly in her back. I got her in an exaggerated Sims position and she received a shot of Morphine and Phenergen at 4am in hopes of helping her sleep. Sherwin got Luna taken care of as I made up the bed up for Sherwin and lights out at 4:15am in hopes of everyone getting some sleep.

Sherwin was antsy. He could not fall asleep. It reminded me of Christmas Eve. He knew he was soon to be a dad and just could not calm his internal self down for a long time. I on the other had slept lightly while curled into a chair next to Melody sleeping in the bed. At 7:30am, Sherwin was up and out to the car and then out to get breakfast. I stepped out once he returned since Melody was still sleeping to get myself some breakfast.

I received a call at 730am from Rebecca, a client who was already past due. She was possibly in early labor. I called Guina for possible back up. At 9am Melody moved back to a deep Sims position and was resting well. At 10am we left for home (her mom’s). They called me at 230pm and I went to meet her at her mom’s. We moved her into a ton of positions to get the baby to move to occiput anterior. After a sacral release and some rebozo sifting, we believe that the baby did indeed turn! Melody had some much welcomed relief.

I suggested that they come to my house after she had some dinner. Sherwin says Melody had one bite of macaroni and cheese in order to fulfill the dinner requirement, then they came over around 330. She labored at my house for a couple of hours with Sherwin providing sacrum pressure during contractions. During this time, she also started having bloody show, which was very encouraging. Soon she took a bath while Sherwin showered. We left for hospital when Melody said she started feeling pushy. This was about 7pm. We arrived at 745pm. Upon arrival Melody was dilated to 6cm (I had guessed her to be 7cm) and had a bulging bag per Carol, our nurse again! Anjili was the midwife on call now. Melody was on the monitor and soon her IV was placed and she got her antibiotic at 8pm.

By 8:40pm, despite Carol not wanting us to be in the in tub without having her water broken, Melody got in the tub. Melody labored great in the tub and then began to start to feel a little pushy at 9:11pm. At 9:52pm she was now 8 cm and the baby is at 0 station. At 10:41pm her water released and there was meconium. So we had to get her out of the tub per hospital protocol.

Her exam at 10:46pm showed she was 8cm and the baby at 0 and she is effaced to 100%. She got her 2nd dose of antibiotics. At 12:15am, on June 3rd only a lip of cervix was remaining. The baby was at +1 station and is laying left occiput posterior. We encouraged her to try toilet sitting and then hands and knees. 1:20am a lip of cervix remained that easily reduced when Anjili checked her but then it would return. 1:52am Melody began pushing using the squat bar. At 2:23am was Abigail’s birth. Sherwin had intended to catch her, and Melody had intended not to over push (“horse lips”) in order to avoid a tear, but Abigail had other ideas. She burst out of her mother in one push, right past Sherwin’s hands into Anjili’s hands. She had APGARs of 9 and then 9 but Melody also had a partial 3rd degree tear. Abigail Jinju weighed in at 6# 2.8″ and was 19.5″ long. A little Korean doll was born today.

I was delighted to be invited to this gentle labor of love.

Teresa Howard, doula