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  • Melissa Duenas Mama Warrior Doula

Laurel

I remember receiving the first inquiry email from Laurel. There was so much to it, that it was a bit unforgettable. In a nutshell, Laurel has something called RH sensitivity, which basically means that rhogam does nothing for her, but their is still all of the issues that come along with being RH negative. She was being seen by multiple doctors and having TONS of doctor appointments. Her daughter, was born at home with midwives, so navigating this pregnancy and birth, had a lot more added stress and just overall stuff.

Maternal Fetal Medicine Doctors had been telling Laurel from the beginning of her pregnancy, that she would be facing an early induction, but as her pregnancy went on, herself and the baby continued to defy the odds. They scheduled Laurel for an induction at 39 weeks, which felt like a huge win, after earlier predictions.

We tried a lot of things to get her labor rolling, but eventually ended up at the hospital the morning of her scheduled induction.

They came in to start the process and Laurel's cervix was dilated 2cm and was 50% effaced. A few hours later and the doctor insisted on a check. Laurel was 3cm dilated at this time, but still handling everything beautifully. Laurel had hoped to have another pain medfree birth this time around as well. At this time they decided to break her water. Laurel had a ton of pressure, and it was because the bag of waters was bulging through the cervix.

Laurel was on quite a small dose of pitocin. Her body had began to take over the process. She was having very intense contractions and I suggested she cope by getting in the shower. She looked at me at one point and said, "these are so much more intense!" Laurel was groaning and moaning and they decided to half the dose of pitocin that she had been on.

At 4:31pm Laurel looked up at me while, in the shower, and said, "Right now I'm having the, 'what the fuck am I doing' moment. I have the option of an epidural this time." I smiled at her and she laughed. I knew this wasn't an actual request for an epidural, but just an increase in intensity.

At 4:53pm Laurel had the urge to push. She got out of the shower and had a resident check her cervix. She was 5cm and 80% effaced. She was defeated.

I suggested she turn on her knees and she looked at me with this face of sadness and just said my name and followed with, "this is so much worse than last time."

I normally don't give mom any predictions of what will happen next, because honestly, regardless of how many times you've seen someone have a baby, the whole thing is one giant hypothesis. However, there was now tons of bloody show, and her noises changed. I told her that she was going to fly through the rest of this and that I knew she was close. I had seen this exact scenario before, and it feels this intense because know it's full speed ahead. She told me that I better be right.

10 minutes later, I suggested that Laurel flip onto all fours in the bed. Within 15 minutes or so, you could again hear a change in Laurel. The nurse looked at me over Laurel's back and mouthed, "Thank god. I think you're right."

At 5:42pm Laurel again said she had an urge to push, but didn't want a doctor to check her because she was fearful of hearing a low number. At 5:46pm the nurses and I all knew that baby was coming and one of them turned off the pitocin.

At 5:58pm I suggested to Laurel that we get a doctor. She again told me that I better be right. In walked one of my favorite residents, Dr. Detrio, because they were unable to find Laurel's OB on the floor, but they had paged her for delivery.

At 6:00pm Dr. Detrio checked Laurel and she was fully dilated. She hadn't made Laurel change positions from hands and knees and I was thankful.

Me: "Laurel you can push."

Laurel: "This is worse than Penny. (first child)"

Me: "So then let's meet this baby and be done with it."

Laurel: "Fine"

In one push, the babies head emerged, quickly followed by his body. At 6:04pm Laurel had brought her baby earthside. I kissed her forehead. She asked, "My baby is here?!?". Duncan replied, "He is! You did it!

Within minutes the atmosphere of the room had changed. Laurel was back to her sweet and giggly self. She was nursing her babe and asking for food.

Duncan looked up at her and said, "I know you're retiring from the sport, but you're very good at it."

I couldn't have agreed more. Laurel it was an absolute pleasure getting to you know you and your family during this process. Thank you for trusting me to help you along the way.

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