The Birth of Violet Skye: November 3rd, 2014
It was 4:30am, 5 days before her EDD, when Laura woke to a contraction. Could this be the day? She let Michael sleep while she timed a few. They seemed to be about 5minutes apart, a minute long but very mild. She ate some breakfast and took a shower.
At 10:45am, Laura tried to catch up on some sleep when she felt a POP, almost like baby had punched her. She knew this feeling, having felt it twice before-her water had released! She called her midwife Dina, who would meet her shortly and then me, her doula.
It was 11:18am when I arrived. I was welcomed by Michael, Charlie, and Axl. Laura came out of the bedroom wearing her mother’s Nick and Nora nightgown and said she was emotional. It seemed that her tears had come down with the water. This was very normal as birth is a highly emotional experience. I gave her a hug before following her to the bedroom.
Once in her room, I encouraged her to try sitting on the birthball. Laura wore the TENS unit and had it at level 2. I grabbed the sound machine from the girls’ bedroom and set it to “Gentle Stream”. Ten minutes later, Dina arrived. She walked into the bedroom and was surprised it didn’t seem “ready for birth”. Like any laid back, second time homebirther, the birth kit was still packed in its box, and everything was available just not laid out at the ready. At 11:50am, Dina took Laura’s blood pressure which was slightly high-attributed it to nerves, then did a pelvic exam. Laura’s cervix was “soft and melting” at 4cm dilated with baby at -1 station. Baby’s heartrate dipped when Laura laid on her back which was not an issue as Laura had no intention to spend any time lying flat. Dina urged Laura to drink lots of water and then recommended she take a 30min walk outside.
Thankfully it was a beautiful, sunny and mild November morning. I gave Laura a jasmine scented cloth, Michael grabbed a bottle of water and we were off. I suggested she try some “curb” walking-one foot in the street, the other on the curb, the asymmetry helps baby squiggle lower. She maneuvered around piles of fallen leaves, pausing to breathe through contractions, which were coming every 2-3 minutes. We circled around the block then crossed the road to explore other streets. We passed the house they’d almost bought and discussed baby names and guessed at baby’s gender. Michael felt “girl”, Laura went back and forth. I showed Laura how to do some open lunges on the curb and she alternated legs with each contraction. By 12:20pm they had gotten a bit stronger and by 12:30pm we were back at the house.
In our absence, Dina had unpacked her bags and prepared the room. Laura settled onto her birthball, Michael on the glider and Charlie on the bed, where he would remain until baby was born. We set Pandora to the Ingrid Michaelson station where she, Sia, and Florence and the Machine played in the background-perfect birthing/”girl power” music. Contractions spaced a bit, coming every 4-5 minutes but there was no rush. It was all very casual and relaxed. We spoke of pets, astrological signs and birth stories. I did some light touch massage on Laura while she kept her breath nice and slow and deep.
At 1:15pm, Dina suggested Laura try to sit on the toilet for a while. Laura did so and was immediately rewarded with stronger contractions. By 1:30pm, she had undergone “the change” and had slipped into Labor Land. Gone was the idle chit chat. Instead as each contraction approached, the room fell silent while one of us pressed on Laura’s lower back. The TENS unit was now dialed up to 5. She spent a few moments kneeling on the bed and leaning over the birthball but wasn’t comfortable. I suggested she try straddling a chair. Michael grabbed a dining room chair and Laura straddled it backwards, a pillow placed between herself and the backing. She was coping beautifully. Dina took pictures, and filmed a few moments. Her calm and confident presence a blessing. Sensing the time was coming closer, Dina spent a few minutes brewing an herbal bath to soak some washcloths in.
At 2:30pm, there came another shift in intensity. Laura moved to the bed where she knelt and leaned against a stack of pillows. A concerned Charlie, always by her side. By 2:50pm she began to feel pressure, an urge to bear down. She shifted to her side and Dina reminded her to follow her body, to push if it felt right and to stop if it didn’t. At 2:54pm she gave her first push. There was a slight pinching sensation, so she stopped and readjusted her position. Sweating, her nightgown clung to her like a second skin. I helped ease it over her head and fanned her face and neck.
Dina sat on the bed, pressing warm herbal washcloths against Laura’s perineum, praising Laura’s efforts while reminding her to take it slow. Laura’s one hand squeezed Michael’s, while the other supported her bent leg. By 3:15pm, baby’s head had come into view, to which Michael responded, “Holy shit!” And then, all at once, at 3:21pm while the song Come on, Come out played in the background-two little hands emerged followed by a beautiful round head and a warm wet body-baby was born! Placed immediately against Laura’s chest, they welcomed their new child with kisses and caresses.
Eleven minutes of love and adoration passed before they discovered the gender-another perfect daughter! Violet Skye had arrived.
Thank you for once again inviting me to take part in your special day. It’s been an honor to support such a wonderful couple through 3 beautiful births~Jessica
The boys relaxing…The boys relaxing…