04 November 2008

Today was a gloriously, wildly unpredictable and delightful day. I have to share!

5:00 am - My alarm goes off, and without delay, I hop out of bed ready for a exciting day.

5:35 am - Out the door and on the road. I enjoyed some lovely Bach on my iPod as the sun came up and I made my way to Nashville on a full tank of gas.

6:17 am - Arrive at Centennial Hospital where I connect with my mentor midwife Susie to meet J and her husband T as they are being admitted for the birth of their 3rd child. J was 6-7 cm dilated yesterday, 100% effaced and 0 station. She decided with her doctor to have an AROM (artificial rupture of membranes) to kickstart labor. At almost 41 weeks and with a Bishop score like hers, I was completely on board.

7:05 am - Bag of waters is broken. Still no contractions, still no pain. 7 centimeters, folks!

10:15 am - After a few laps down the hall and back, some blue and black cohosh, and other methods of labor augmentation, J is finally having some good contractions, making progress, and handling them beautifully.

10:17 am - Doctor threatens to start pitocin at 11:00 if no progress, which only makes us all the more determined.

10:20 am - Phone call from Ryan: my client that is due Thanksgiving weekend is in labor, her water broke at 7am and she is at 5 cm.

10:25 am - I leave J&T at the hospital with Susie and head south of Franklin to Columbia, TN.

11:15 am - Arrive at S's hospital room and greet her and her husband M. S is at 6 cm an is laboring beautifully and is really happiest laboring alone. After getting her settled, doing a bit of charting and talking with her nurses, I run out to WalMart to get some sweet oil, contact solution and a yoga ball (no time to stop at home for the necessities).

12:30 pm - Return to hospital room and meet S's midwife Carol from The Farm (S was only 36 weeks gestation, so she was unable to deliver at The Farm as planned). We talk about S's labor, listen to her work through her contractions and inflate the birth ball.

1:45 pm - Nurse checks S for progress - 9.5 cm - she's in transition and definitely beginning to need our help.

2:00 pm - Pushing commences. Carol and I work with Dr. to help teach S how to push.

2:52 pm - Using sweet oil and warm compresses, I'm actually right in there with the doctor easing the head out slowly and carefully. (coolest thing I've done in a long time!!)

3:02 pm - It's a girl! Baby C is born and weighs 6 lbs. 4 oz. and is 19" long. Even as a first time Mom and with a fast labor, we managed to help her deliver her baby without injury to herself. So cool!

5:37 pm - The big parade: S walks from her delivery room, past the nurses station and to her postpartum recovery room (I could have sworn there was a bit of a hop in her step). You should have seen the look on all the nurses faces - in a hospital with a 98% epidural rate, it was priceless! (We later referred to it as her victory lap.) :)

5:45 pm - After getting the new family situated and establishing nursing, I head home to Franklin. On my way back I check in with Susie and hear that J&T had a healthy, 8lb. 3oz. baby boy about 2 hours after I left them.

6:19 pm - Drive through Wendy's for some much needed nourishment and spend what seems like an eternity waiting for my chicken sandwich and fries.

6:33 pm - Finally leave stinking Wendy's.

6:46 pm - Pull up in front of my house long enough for the boys to jump in and make a mad dash to the Westhaven Clubhouse in hopes that we'll make it in the doors before 7:00 to vote.

6:59:51 pm - Fufill my American duty - vote! (I'll not here that we were the ONLY people in the voting facility that weren't workers. We walked right in, gave them our IDs, and went straight to the polling booth. Folks, this is the way to vote!) As Ryan and I clicked "confirm vote" on our screens, the poll workers were counting down in unison the last ten seconds of the open polls.

7:06 pm - We arrive promptly at Five Points Starbucks downtown to enjoy our free brew as a reward for voting. We call Mom and she walks from her house to join us. I go ahead and order a coffee for myself, in spite of the fact that I've never had coffee a day in my life and don't intend to.

7:16 pm - Ryan proudly exits the Starbucks with one up and one back. :)

7:17 pm - We walk down the street and find our place at the back of the line at Ben & Jerry's to collect our free ice cream as a reward for voting. (This voting thing really pays off!)

7:47 pm - (the line at Ben & Jerry's was long!) We all sit down to our tasty voting treats (yes, they gave one to Oliver too) and the littlest one of us proceeds to get sticky and cold and ready to go to bed.

8:03 pm - Drive everyone on our van to Mom's house. Oliver makes his case for spending the night at Grandma's house. The 1 little person makes a good case and the 3 big people concede.

8:08 pm - Ryan and I head home, 1 person lighter, and with less than a half a tank of gas.

8:15 pm - I sit down to my 21 emails, upload the photos from my camera and begin to lay out my day in this post.

And to close, I'll share this photo from my day. I'm still beaming from the cool, cool thing I got to be a part of - working with two incredibly skilled and experienced midwives, actually helping a baby's head as it enters the world, and, of course, getting free coffee and ice cream for voting!



Bethany Reine' said...

congratulations on your big day! sounds like it was really great. i'm praying for you as you begin this new chapter of your life...being a doula!

Susan said...

My only (well, one of) regret(s) in life is that I did not have you (or your sister) for my doula. :) You attended the birth, and I thank you for that, but you didn't say or do much to ease the discomforts of the event. You've come a long way since that first birth!

Christine said...

Your day ROCKED! Way cooler than mine. You are a fantastic doula. Can you come to Illinois for my next baby?

Christine said...

I had to read your post again because it was so thrilling. Can you explain the difference between a doula and a midwife to the ignorant among your devoted readers? I doubt my OB, a very traditional doctor whom I love dearly, would have let anyone near the baby besides a nurse. He wouldn't even let Steve cut the cord! :)

Susan Graham said...

Congrats! Doula's are the coolest people on earth. Don't know what I would have done without mine.

The Morrisons said...

So happy to hear about your amazing day! I can't wait to hear more about being a doula! Hope to see you soon.

McClelland Family said...

Congratulations! How special and what a blessing!!!

Tracy said...

very, very, very cool, Raechel! I'm so proud of you and so excited for you! I wish so much that I could be doing this at the same time, but God has other plans for me right now in this momment, apparently. :)

Would you ever consider driving a little bit for a doula client? :)