Katie woke up with what she thought was a broken bag of water on May 5th 2012. Katie emailed the doulas about what to do, and we encouraged her to go in and get checked to make sure it was really broken, but the advocate for going home. That is just what she did. Katie and her husband Hunter were “allowed” to go home to try to get labor started in their own space on their own time. They just had to be back by 10pm if contractions didn’t bring them in sooner.
Katie was contracting all day, but they weren’t big enough to bring her in early. I met her and Hunter at the hospital just before ten to talk about what to expect and make a game plan. After a quick pep talk, we walked upstairs and were put into labor room two. Katie’s contractions slowed down while she was getting checked in, which was totally normal for a laboring mama thrust into a new birthing space. Over the next hour and a half, several nurses tried unsuccessfully to start an IV in Katie’s fortress-like veins. They gave up for a bit and did a cervical check while they waited for someone fancier to try the IV. Katie was 1 cm dilated and 40% effaced, a big change from earlier in the week, but according to the doc she still had a long way to go and told her that even with pitocin, it might be a long time before we saw a baby. I reminded her that when a body is ready to open it will and not to worry about the time that it takes.
While we waited for the IV that would eventually bring the pitocin, Katie, Hunter, and I walked the halls. We enjoyed the storm and the super moon that were both raging outside. Around 2am, we aquired a new nurse who was able to place the IV (finally!). Katie was given a pole with fluids, a wireless monitor, and we set out into the halls for some more walking and squatting. I admitted to Katie, that I had a feeling about her birth. I had this nagging feeling that once her bag of waters truly burst, the baby would come and come quickly. We all hoped that would be true!
After what seemed like forever, I think somebody somewhere out in hospital land got in trouble for not already starting the pitocin and it was administered. Katie’s labor had already really picked up even before the pitocin, so it brought the contractions on with a fury. Katie labored fantastically. She listened to her body and changed positions a lot. Hands and knees was very productive for her, as was squatting. Hunter was the best labor support person I have ever witnessed (and I have been at some amazing births!). He gave her some much emotional support. He said all the right things. Their love filled the room. I know it helped Katie through some of the challenging parts of her labor.
Once Katie started to get tired, her and Hunter had some time in the shower. The shower was short, but it rejuvenated her spirits and relaxed her. Soon after at 6:30am, while laboring in hands and knees Katie had a super intense contraction that broke her fore bag with a POP. Labor progressed very quickly after that. At about 6:45am they did the second cervical check. Katie was 80% effaced and 7 cm dilated!
Katie transitioned like a warrior! She truly surrendered to her labor and let her contractions come. They were big and intense and beautiful. Hunter and I praised and applauded her while she vocalized through them. The doctor came in to check-in a little bit later, heard the vocalizing and checked Katie. She was 9cm! Katie headed over to the toilet to let her cervix finish opening.
Just around 8am, Katie was ready to birth her baby. She tried a variety of positions on the bed. Settling on changing from side to side, since baby girl hadn’t like moving down so low, so fast. With Hunter and I helping to hold legs and offering encouragement, Katie birthed Coriander June Cohen just before 9am on May 6th. It was beautiful. The new Cohen family were given space by the hospital staff. Once the baby nurse had the apgars, she said to just call her when they were ready to have her weighed. They got to hold and snuggle their sweet Cora for a good long while. Cora even latched on to the breast quickly and with no assistance. We even heard her loud swallows!
This was hands down, the most powerful birth I have ever been to. In spite of the inconvenience of her water breaking before labor, Katie toughed it out and got the birth and the baby she wanted. Congratulations Katie and Hunter! It was a huge honor to be at your birth!