Dina contacted me late in her pregnancy, wanting additional support during her 3rd labor and birth. She had gotten epidurals with her first two deliveries. This time she really wanted to experience a natural birth and knew the help of a doula would help both her and Brad get through it. We met only twice– the interview, and a quick “refresher” class to get them ready. It was a good thing we got those done quickly!

Only 2 days later, on Wed August 21, Dina called me around 4:30pm, to let me know her water had broken, and she was only having mild contractions, so notified the OB but stayed at home to wait for labor. Both Sabine and Beckett were so excited, they knew they’d be meeting their baby brother or sister soon!

Dina let me know over the course of the evening that contractions were picking up and by 9pm, they were every 5 minutes and getting strong. Her birth with Beckett was only a couple hours, so they decided to go ahead and go in, just to be on the safe side.

I arrived soon after around 10pm– Dina got checked at 10:15pm and was already 5cm, 100% effaced, and the baby was -1 station– a great start. Dr. Miller said “It’s a good thing you came in, the next 5cm may go fast”. The contractions were regular every 3-4 minutes, Dina was definitely having to “stop, relax, and breathe”. She was beginning to feel that “poopy” pressure– she didn’t like it. I broke the news to her it was only going to get worse as the baby came down, and she gave me a little stinky eye. 🙂

We got her admitted, IV in place (after a few tries) and a delivery table ready. Brad and I helped Dina stay comfortable and calm, she was beautifully working through each contraction. She liked standing and leaning best, it felt good to be out of bed and mobile.

Around midnight, the contractions got even closer and took a big leap in intensity. Dina began vocalizing during the contractions, we switched her to hands and knees in the bed and used a hot pack to help her aching back. The double hip squeeze also helped greatly. Brad was always close by to offer a kiss, gentle touch, or encouraging words. We kept Dina hydrated and encouraged her to rest in between contractions. I knew it wouldn’t be long now…

At 12:15am Dina began to feel the first “inkling” of pushing. I notified the nurse who called Dr. Miller in– she did an exam and said she was 9.5 cm already and the baby was low at +1 station! She encouraged very gentle pushes or grunting– not full blown pushing, to encourage the baby to
gently come down and to protect Dina’s tissue, which had been damaged in previous births. I helped Dina focus her energy on blowing through the contractions as much as possible– gently grunting when she felt she needed to. It was hard and intense, but Dina was doing great.

At 1am Dina’s urges became much more intense- she was still trying to resist pushing 100%. The baby was very gently coming down, easily stretching and molding. As the baby’s head moved down, Dina got scared of those sensations and we had to work to calm her down again– and to put her energy into bearing down… only she could end this. Dr. Miller encouraged her to really push by 1:30am– the baby’s head was right there. With careful guidance and control, Dina gently pushed the baby into the world at 1:38am on Thursday 8/22/13– and Brad announced… “It’s a boy!”.

I helped Dina roll over and we passed her baby to her! She was so delighted and thrilled, she started kissing and welcoming the baby immediately. August Hugo was here! She couldn’t believe it was over and she had done it! Dr. Miller helped her deliver the placenta and checked– she only had a tiny tear! Within minutes, Hugo was ready to nurse so we got her comfortable sitting up and helped him to the breast for the first time. He welcomed breakfast with vigor! Dina was exhilarated- she had done it!

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How does a doula really make a difference?
Results from different studies have all suggested that having a doula reduces the overall cesarean rate by 50%, Pitocin use by 40% and requests for epidurals by 60%. The use of a doula also showed a major reduction in the length of labor due to fewer stress hormones being produced in the laboring woman’s body.

The Doula Book © 2002; Klaus, Marshall, Klaus and Kennell.