Our local birth center shut down and left many mamas displaced and in need of care. Dove was one of those ladies. I think that it was simply fate that we were thrust together at the end of her pregnancy. We have become good friends in the short time we have known one another and I am glad to have met this wonderful family.
Dove called me at 7:30am on friday morning very excited that she had started having contractions. So, I started to prepare my day for a birth. I got to Doves house around 10:30am and Dove was laboring beautifully. She asked me to check her dilation and she was at 2cm. So, I hung out for awhile and chatted with her, Reuben and her friend (who had come from California to be a part of the birth). I stayed for a couple of hours but there wasn't much change so, I decided to go home for awhile. At around 3:30pm I went back over to check on them and again there was little progress, so I went back home knowing I would be called in the wee hours. I was right...I got a call around 1:30am from Reuben asking that I come over because things were getting more intense and Dove wanted me to be there. When I arrived I could see that her contractions were much stronger and I thought that I should just stay at this point. I called Camille and Mona to come over and we began to get things prepared for the birth. We waited and talked and tried to sleep as Dove's contraction got stronger and longer and closer together. Progress was slow but, I knew that this baby would come if we just gave him time.
Finally, at 7am Reuben woke me saying that Dove needed me. When I came in the room she was crying and saying that she couldn't do it anymore, she was begging me to help. I checked for dilation and found her completely dilated and the baby had moved down. So, I said it's time to give birth to your baby. You can push him out. She pushed and pushed with very little progress but, baby was doing well. So, we got her on hands and knees. She pushed and pushed until finally her water broke, then she pushed some more and out came the head. I could see that his face was bruised and swollen from the descent. She pushed again and at that point I could tell he was stuck. I had her do the Gaskin maneuver still nothing, I reached my hands in and tried to corkscrew him out still nothing, I took a deep breath and tried again this time saying "you will come out baby!" And out popped his posterior shoulder then his whole body! What a relief. He was limp and pale so I handed him to Dove and told her that he needed her to call him here. She began to rub him and call his name. Soon he opened his eyes and started to pink up. I was so relieved that I nearly fell on the floor and cried. Maintaining my composure I thanked him for coming here to be with us. Welcome sweet baby boy. Sidney Just Free, born on April 12 at 8:35am, 7lbs. 8oz.
I have to admit that for a moment I was afraid. For just a second I wondered if I could do this. But, in the end I felt reaffirmed in my knowledge that I am a midwife and that is what I will always be.