Updated: Dec 1, 2020
With my 5th birthing experience (the one in the picture), I got the most experience. This was the first time I got to labor at home with someone for many hours. This particular client was adamant about having a natural child birth. And although she opted for an epidural at the 8cm mark, I still was able to truly see all of the transitions of her 12 hour labor without too many interruptions.
In the beginning she was calm and we talked in between her contractions. She would just stop whatever she was doing and take a seat while she relaxed through the "wave" (contraction). When it was over, she would get up and continue her task as if she was not even in labor. At some point, she even made me something to eat and some tea as well. I actually felt kind of weird with her serving me because the whole point of me being there was for me to serve her. But I quickly realized that she was doing this to keep herself busy.
As we talked, and the contractions got stronger, I pulled out one of my magic doula gadgets. LOL! I'm joking....I pulled out a spinner. It's simply a little gadget that the client can watch spin as her "wave" is going by. It's a distraction. Early labor can be very tedious which is why distractions are very suitable at this stage. What would I do different or offer in addition to this for future reference? Perhaps I should carry MORE distractions with me. Games might be helpful. Note to self: Buy UNO cards to help distract doula clients. If the client is open to readings, I can also bring my numerology deck and we can pull cards to incite messages from the baby. As a metaphysician, I am excited to communicate with the baby and card pulling just might be the right medium to use for that.
Eventually, she got to the point that nothing I did would distract her from the "waves". Every wave seem to knock her to her knees. Luckily, I had some knee pads for her. She seemed to prefer being on the floor. Most women do like the position of being on all fours because it takes pressure off the lower back. By me using the scarf to lift up her pelvic area, this also took away some pressure.
Her waves were coming about every 5 minutes, and each one seemed to knock her down. Luckily, I had the assistance of another birth doula while we labored at home. My partner massaged her back while I used the scarf to lift her pelvic area. She loved that. And all three of us seemed to be coping well. Then boom.......she asked to go the hospital. Neither myself or my partner thought she was ready to go. None of us wanted to get there too early. We discussed it for a while then adhered to the clients wishes. Unfortunately, due to Covid, only one of us would be allowed in the room to assist the client. So my partner drove us to the hospital. Ironically, the baby must have liked the car ride because the contractions slowed down dramatically. I was amazed at how much things had changed during the car ride. This taught me to not be "sold" on how fast labor seems to be moving. Things can change with something as simple as a car ride.
When we got to the hospital and got all checked in, I was shocked to find out that the client was only 3 centimeters dilated. Yes... I said THREE CENTIMETERS! The way she was responding to the waves, I thought she was at least at 5. Three centimeters is still early labor. I called my husband and told him "babe.....I won't be home any time soon".
The remainder of the labor was very similar to how we moved in the house. Meaning that the client spent about 75% of her time on the floor. I learned how strong I was allright! I had to LITERALLY be strong because when she had a contraction she would seem to lose all of her strength to stand up. And there I was right there behind her to help her get on the floor. Once we got deep into active labor, and she seemed like she was ready to give in and get an epidural, I reminded her of her natural child birth plan. I gently reminded her of what she said several weeks ago. I started trying everything that we had planned to help keep her on track. We even called her mom for some encouragement.
Out of everything we did, I think it was the gospel music that kept her going for as long as it did. There's something about singing to God and praising God that gives you the hope that you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. I sang to her. I specifically put on "Can't give up now" by Mary Mary and we sang that together. So many times I felt my heart swell in compassion for her. I felt my eyes water a few times because I knew how hard she was working. The empathy in me grew greater and greater. I felt full doing this work. But eventually, she decided that she could go no further.
She was extremely tired. Of course, she was not allowed to eat in the hospital. She was using a lot of energy and she was completely drained. She finally went on and requested the epidural at 8cm. I was and am so proud of her. She went a long away without any artificial assistance. I have assisted 6 labors in the past 2 years, and she was the only one that was a first time mother that labored that long without any interruptions.
I received my birth doula certification on December 17, 2018 from Your Best Birth . So here I am at the end of my 2 year commitment as a volunteer doula. Today, I am submitting my experience to D.O.N.A so that I can be recognized as a member of their international birth doula organization. Even though, my 2 years of volunteering is over, I still have one more volunteer job coming up soon. This one is a home birth and I am super excited to assist. This one is going to be special. I'm sure of it. I can't wait to to tell you all about it.
Be light. Be blessed. And know that NOW is the safest place you can ever be.
P.S. Make sure you check out my metaphysical blogs on the BlaQ Fire Nation website.
Rev BlaQ Fire
Your Cosmic Doula