Jordan and I had been talking all day for the last few. She was post dates, feeling pressure from her provider and pressure from herself to make some kind of progress.
On the morning of 9/16/20 Jordan sent me a text that said, "I'm fine, but sad." She was hoping that her induction massage from the day previous and the cramping that followed would have ended in baby. However, during covid times, anecdotally almost all of my own clients have gone post dates. I think the added stress of the world, even if we don't think we feel it, may be compounding a lack of feeling of safety. We are animals. Our bodies will hold on to our babies if it doesn't feel like we are in a safe environment for birth sometimes.
I wanted for Jordan to try to create that feeling of safety for herself. We discussed that perhaps there was a mental block and ways to overcome it.
I also sent Jordan a link to some hypnobirthing sleep affirmations/mediations that I have found to be helpful when blocks exist. I think this is helpful for any pregnant person, who is hypnobirthing or not. You can find it here on YouTube.
She texted me 5 hours later and told me that the mediation was helpful. That she had taken a bath and a nap. She said "No more signs, but I'm feeling better." I was hopeful that with her spirits lifted and her mind clear, that avoiding an induction would be possible.
At 10:44pm Jordan texted me, "My water just broke." She reached out to her doctor who wanted her to come to the hospital right away. She was hesitant, but her practice had made her nervous about waiting because she was already about 4cm dilated at her last visit.
We arrived to the hospital at 12:15am. They checked Jordan's cervix and she was 5cm dilated, 50% effaced and -3 station.
We still had a ways to go in the process, but we were all happy to now be on a path to baby.
Jordan, her husband Matt, and myself spent the next few hours talking, moving positions to help get baby to come down in the pelvis and laughing for the most part.
Every time a new resident would come in and introduce themselves and perform a cervical check, you could see a bit of surprise on their face. Jordan was moving along while remaining calm and relaxed. Her birthing location usually has about 85% of it's vaginal births with folks who have received an epidural. Jordan had with her first son as well after a bit of coaxing and convincing during her first labor and birth. This time she wanted to see if she could avoid it.
As time went on Jordan's body started to slow down. We did some abdominal lifts to get baby into a lower position, which helped, but her contractions were slowing. Her provider suggested pitocin. Jordan decided to wait a little bit and reevaluate the situation.
However, her provider came in again and suggested it. We discussed the options and while Jordan for just a split second doubted her body, we made some agreements about how the pitocin would be administered. Stereotypically, pitocin is giving in small drips and increased by two milliunits/minute every 20-30 minutes based on contraction pattern.
We decided to suggest starting at 1 milliunit/minute and only increasing the dose by 1milliunit every 30 minutes. Her provider agreed, but warned her that it could elongate the process. Jordan reminded them that with her last she was in labor for a day and that this was feeling speedy to her. She laughed and smiled and sent them on their way.
This woman was determined to be in control of her birth. She was powerful and calm, while clearly communicating her wants and not allowing for any one to attempt to change that. Matt was supportive and on board for every decision that Jordan made.
At 8:20am they started the pit at 1ml. She was 8cm, 90% effaced and the baby was sitting at zero station. Her contractions started to pick back up and come every few minutes. I was helping Jordan to cope with the shift in pressure. She mentioned that she could feel the baby coming lower and that at the peak she had a small urge to push. Not only did Jordan's previous labor last a bit of time, but so did her pushing phase. We had discussed that pushing might make her feel triggered a bit. I encouraged her to try to blow through that urge for as long as she could and she began to do just that.
At 8:50am they raised the pitocin to 2ml. Jordan looked at me for the first time with a bit of doubt on her face. "Can I do this?". I asked her what was she questioning she couldn't do, to which she replied, "I just want my baby." I reminded her that we discussed what transition would feel like. An out of body experience where she would doubt herself, but that if she could hold on it would last only minutes.
Matt and I physically provided comfort and then she looked at me wide eyed and said, "I don't think I can blow it away anymore. My body is pushing."
We called a resident in and she was fully dilated. They began to get themselves together and she said, "I have to push!" A resident told her to wait, but she said, "No!" looked at me for encouragement. I could tell she was nervous so I began to whisper to her. She added a little umph to what her body was already doing on its own. It was 9am when she engaged the first time.
She said, "It feels like my butthole is falling out." I giggled and assured her it was her baby. She said, "already?" and Matt said, "Babe you're doing awesome! She's right there I can see her already!". Jordan replied "I'm doing it!". And for for me, that kind of statement is better than hearing any first baby cry, I promise you.
She WAS doing it. Her husband was infinitely proud and his eyes up. She looked at me again, refocused from the fear, and while she started to grunt said "Come on baby!"
At 9:06am Jordan and Matt's chunky girls face emerged. With one more push their baby came fully earth side. Matt had tears rolling down his face. Jordan was in awe of herself and her new little one and so was I.
The umbilical cord was a bit short, so we encouraged them to wait until it stopped pulsing to place the baby skin to skin. She took a little bit to cry, which can be normal when quickly exiting the pelvis. I caught this picture of one of her first cries and it's probably one of my top favorite baby pics. I can hear her saying "I'm here! I was worth the wait!"
She was placed on Jordan's chest and the rest of the room went quiet. Jordan mentioned she wondered how much she weighed and the nurse said, she's a big girl. Jordan looked at me and asked how much I thought she weighed and I replied, "high 9's" to which Jordan seemed shocked.
After some time and a bit of nursing, they took the baby over to the scale. Matt and I followed and when her weight came up Matt said very quietly "shit" he turned to Jordan and said, "Babe she's 10lbs!"
I will forever feel the honor from being present for such a powerful and beautiful experience. Jordan you are such a warrior who can accomplish anything you put your mind too.