I met Sarah when her and her husband moved down here from Keystone, CO. Sarah and Kyle were snowboarding instructors and were welcoming their first baby into their family! Sarah had been seeing an OB in Keystone but decided when she moved to the Springs, that she wanted a natural home water birth! We hit it off right away and I knew deep down that Sarah was going to do very well. Other than some serious insomnia troubles, Sarah’s pregnancy was beautiful in every way and I loved having the privilege of watching her grow! Sarah chose to deliver at her mother-in-law’s house do to the tight quarters of their apartment. She was also worried about being too loud which always cracked me up. Sarah would tell me throughout the pregnancy that she needed someone who wasn’t going to let her walk all over them and were willing to stand up to her, I felt like I was talking as I listened to her as I myself can be stubborn, it was meant to be!
First labors are fascinating to me as they set the stage for what will come down the road with other babies. They pave the way for their brothers and sisters and they turn someone who was once just a woman into a mom. It truly is a miraculous transition to watch and I LOVE IT!! Another interesting thing about first time moms is they have a higher c-section rate in the hospital setting and a higher transport rate from home birth. This is something that I take very seriously and I coach my moms on how to keep their risk as low as possible especially while in labor. I have found that with the proper encouragement and support, my first time moms will sometimes to better than my second, third and fourth time moms and it makes my midwife heart proud to be able to help a mom conquer her first labor and vaginal delivery!
I received a text from Sarah around 7:30 am on January 11th that she was 95% sure she was in early labor and they were headed to her MIL’s house. I responded a little while later telling her to keep me posted and she responded back that she was 100% sure now 😉 I have very full office days on Mondays and Wednesdays so I always worry what will happen if I have someone go into labor on an office day and today was the day to find out! I didn’t hear anything from Sarah for most of the morning but her doula (Jenn with Colorado Mountain Doulas) texted me saying that Sarah had called her in and things seemed to be moving along. I continued with the rest of my morning as usual but around 12:30pm I got a call from Jenn that Sarah felt the urge to push and was having a hard time holding back! I was SO excited! I cancelled the rest of my afternoon appointments and jumped in my car to head their way only to see my gas tank on empty…YIKES!! Don’t ever do this as a midwife because inevitably, you will get called into a fast labor and will run the chance of missing the birth because you stopped to get gas!! I had no choice, I raced to the nearest gas station and while filling up, the texts were streaming in from Jenn, “Sarah is pushing hard, she really wants you here.” I could feel my anxiety rising as I bounced around by the gas station begging it to go faster! I’m sure people thought I was crazy 😉 Finally, my car finished guzzling and I was on my way but had about a 20 minute drive ahead of me. I texted Jenn to have her breath/pant through her contractions and not to push, she said she was trying. I raced down Interquest and Old Ranch Road and finally found myself racing down Milam. Before I knew it I was pulling into her in-laws driveway just 18 minutes after I left the gas station, not bad! I raced into the house and took my nice office shirt off (I was wearing a tank and didn’t want my shirt to get too dirty if I could help it) and gently placed my hand on Sarah’s shoulder to let her know I was there. I listened to baby (who was doing phenomenal) and decided to check Sarah because she was pushing but the urge didn’t seem as strong as I expected. We were all a bit bummed to find her still 8-9 cm BUT she had made it this far in only a few hours so I knew it wouldn’t be long! Because Sarah had been struggling with insomnia, she had not slept the entire night before her labor started so she was of course, exhausted! I encouraged Sarah and called my team in hoping the extra moral support could keep her strong. Sarah kept telling me how tired she was and my heart felt for her, I knew she was. After about an hour, I noticed Sarah’s contractions slow down and the urge to push seemed to fade. At this point, the body sometimes believes it has accomplished its work and will sometimes take a pause OR her uterus could be tired since she hadn’t slept in 24 plus hours. There were several variables with her being a first time laborer. Sarah and I both decided she should try getting out of the pool to move around and see if that helps. Normally, I allow moms to listen to their body but Sarah was tired and wanted to sit and let the labor slow for a break. I knew we were so close to delivery and though Sarah hated me and gave me some seriously deadly glares, I knew she would be grateful later. I busted out the peanut ball and had Sarah lay in exaggerated Sims on her right side and change sides every few contractions with the peanut ball between her legs. She complained the entire time about how much it hurt but I could tell her contractions were getting stronger and the bloody show indicated her cervix was changing. We were getting somewhere!! Finally, when she couldn’t lay down any longer, we got her up and encouraged her to walk around the room and sit down on the peanut ball when she got a contraction (if she rested or sat between contractions, her contractions would space out like crazy!). The bloody show continued to increase as baby moved the rest of her cervix and descended into the birth canal. I was getting so excited for her! Finally, the urge to push started up again but this time it was even more intense. I had Sarah lay on her side to push to check for the effectiveness of each push because she was tired and I could tell she was struggling. We pushed for a couple of contractions and though I could tell Sarah was pushing well, I couldn’t see baby moving down. I talked with Sarah about doing another exam to check for an anterior lip (where the front of the cervix sits in front of baby’s head and prevents baby from moving down) and sure enough, there was a large portion of her cervix and vaginal wall holding things back. We talked about some things to try to get it to reduce including pushing it behind baby’s head while pushing. Though it would likely be very painful, it could be just the ticket to getting baby to move down. She agreed and with the next contraction Sarah pushed with all her might and like butter, the cervix slipped behind baby’s head and bay dropped into the mid-pelvis! There was so much progress I worried we wouldn’t be able to make it to the pool in time but with that contraction she moved baby down and broke her water, things were getting good! She continued to push for a few more contractions and baby was starting to crown. I asked Sarah if she wanted to get back in the water and she nearly jumped up to get in 😉 We pushed for another 45 minutes; Sarah was a champ! She was exhausted and at many points begged me to pull baby out but I reminded her of her strength and how far she had already made it, it wouldn’t be long before she held her baby girl! With the last few contractions, the intensity grew as Sarah growled her baby out and was able to bring her to her chest. She couldn’t believe she had done it!! With tears streaming down her and Kyle’s face, they both embraced their sweet new baby and took in all the awe and wonder. Baby Wynter was born at 4:42pm on Monday, January 11th weighing in at 7#6oz. Mama did so good pushing her sweet baby out she didn’t even tear, and it had only been 11 ½ hours since she started early labor! It was amazing being able to be present for this sweet birth, thank you Sarah, Kyle and Wynter!!