I met Melanee about halfway through her pregnancy when she decided she would like to have a home birth for her second baby. It was fun watching Melanee grow and change and talking with her throughout the rest of her pregnancy. With her first baby, she went into labor at 37 weeks and so as 37 weeks approached, she was hoping for the same for this baby. I reminded her that midwives seldom have early deliveries and my experience has been that mama’s who went early while in OB care, tend to go right on time or late in my midwifery care! As 40 weeks approached, Melanee began to experience the common discomforts that late pregnancy brings that she had “missed out on” with her first baby. It was fun to hear Melanee exclaim how much she did not have these symptoms with her first baby! Even still, her pregnancy was perfect and healthy and things were going great! I couldn’t wait to see how her home birth story unfolded!
At 40w4d, I got a call from Melanee’s husband that he felt she was in labor. This is always the tricky part for the midwife, trying to figure out if it’s too early or just right to come and if she should bring her team or wait…well, with Melanee’s history of a 4 hour labor with her first baby, I wasn’t sure I wanted to take any chances since second babies tend to be much faster! I decided to head over and call my team in. When I arrived at Melanee’s home, I knew fairly quickly that it was probably too early for me to be there and felt badly for this mama who was wide awake at 2:30am! I stayed with my team for about an hour and it became even more clear that it wasn’t quite time yet and so I made the difficult decision to have us all go home and have mom get some sleep! I saw her Wednesday evening the next day and Melanee was doing well but had continued to contract and cramp throughout the last two days. I encouraged her to try some position changes as baby felt OP (sunny side up) and hopefully that would be what she needed to kick things over!
I received another call the morning of St. Patrick’s Day when Melanee was just shy of 41 weeks. Once again, Melanee felt she was headed toward active labor and was ready for me to come. When I walked in the door, I was surprised to find a group of women there and pink baby shower décor around! I asked Melanee about it and she told me that they had pushed off her baby shower to today because her family was going to be in town for the delivery and they wanted to be able to come to the baby shower! Well it turns out that they were going to be doing a whole lot more celebrating at this baby shower! It was fun listening to the ladies chat while Melanee labored. She did so well even with all the distraction she could have had! When I arrived, Melanee was calmly laboring on her birth ball. I watched as she labored and could tell things were different this time than the last but, her contractions were spaced out and short. I tried to feel babies position but mama was having a hard time lying down so I encouraged her to walk around to bring the contractions closer together and longer and it seemed to be working for a little while! After a while though, we seemed to be in a stale mate with her contractions and I decided we should really confirm which direction baby was facing and try some intentional position changes to encourage baby to come. I felt around baby and decided baby was still OP and helped mama get into some positions to encourage rotation. We did this for about an hour and I could tell we were making progress but we needed something more. I finally closed her in her room with her husband on her hands and knees and told her to holler when they really started to hurt. About an hour later, I checked in on Melanee to find tears streaming down her face! I asked her how she was doing and she told me her contractions hurt! I jumped with joy on this inside and helped her get in the pool. Within minutes of relaxing into the pool, Melanee felt like pushing! Three pushes later at 3:21pm little Malia Lynette joined her mama in the world weighing in at 7#11oz! It was amazing how quickly things progressed once baby was in the correct position and I believe firmly that if baby had started this way when labor hit, I would have been racing to Melanee’s birth! Thank you to both mama and baby for allowing me to share in this beautiful story (and for sharing your baby shower snacks 😉 )!!