6/27 Sent by Jess at 5:53am
Around 4am I began having what I would describe as cramping & pressure low in the uterus. There has been some viscous discharge with clear & pink coloring when I’ve gone to the bathroom. Not sure if that would be the mucus plug? It hasn’t been thick, but ‘stringy’ coming out. The cramping continues ~40 minutes.
I’m just laying in bed between going to the bathroom. Haven’t woke Dave to tell him.
Supposed to have an appointment at 1:30 today w/ the midwives…
Does any of this mean anything?
Susan’s Response: Hey Jess…these could all be signs of labor…or they could just be nothing. My advice would be to drink a full glass of water and go back to bed. In the event of true early labor rest and energy conservation is very important.
If your cramping evolves into contractions then have breakfast and take a walk.
If that slows or stops the ctx then you know it is probably just braxton hicks and just discharge or maybe your mucous plug. If the ctx continue to establish a regular pattern, then it may be real labor.
Let me know how your well visit goes. Lets speak phone afterwards either way.
I am going to revise your plan now you will have it in 15 mins. Print and take in
to your visit for their final blessing today.
Susan Rotman, AAHCC, CD(DONA)
DAVE SENDS THIS AT 10:17AM: What’s the rule on timing contractions again?
SUSAN: Hi Dave. The rule is 3 minutes apart and 1 minute long with them being this way for two hours. What is happening with Jess?
Is she in labor?
DAVE: If she is she skipped a bunch of early stuff
I think she’s being dramatic but I’m timing them
SUSAN: Some women find their voice during labor.
Take the timing of the contractions seriously. If she is really being dramatic then timing will be our only way to determine when to leave.
DAVE: The timing is consistent but she went straight to one minute long two minutes apart with nothing before it
SUSAN: I am going to get rid of my kids and head to Chapel Hill. Keep timing them. Is she in the tub?
DAVE: She won’t get in the water her feet are in the tub
Her head is on me and I’m on the toilet
SUSAN: Ok keep timing them. Keep telling me where things stand. Make her drink water. If she feels pressure down low or the urge to push call me
DAVE: K she’s sounding pretty primal and there is blood
SUSAN: Ok time to go I will see you at UNC
Up until now we have just been texting. I call Dave and hear Jess howling in the background. Right call.
Back to texting:
DAVE: Leaving now do I call them?
SUSAN: Just drive safely. Forget timing them I will see you there.
If you can easily and safely call your provider do so. If not don’t worry about it. Don’t speed be safe.
SUSAN: I am here where are you
DAVE: 54 exit
SUSAN: I will be in the loop at the valet
Arrival in the drop off loop. Jess splayed on front seat full on… Dave is in total control. We decide for me to take Jess while Dave leaves the car with the valet. Jess is contracting hard and loud she leans over the guardrail and tells me to rub her sacrum. I yell across the loop for a wheelchair and it arrives. Jess reluctantly sits in it. We move fast. We get to the lobby and another contraction takes Jess. She jumps out of the chair and leans over the first lobby chair which has a woman in it. Jess howls. This poor woman is freaked out…wish I had a camera for all this as everyone in the lobby jumped up and backed away from us in terror! Jess was so loud! Hospital personnel surrounded us…I said, “No, we will walk to the elevator,” which Jess did. Someone grabbed my doula bag and came with us. I rub Jess’s back in the elevator while she held onto the handrails. As it turns out ,one of the midwives in the practice (Meg who ends up delivering Jess) sees us and calls to upstairs thinking it may be one of theirs…right into L&D with no delay to the room where we meet Kathy the midwife who was on call for Meg (the one who saw us in the lobby on her way out to lunch.) Dave is just behind us with all the gear (how he got all that loot up to that room so fast is beyond me!)
Kathy was awesome. Cervical check revealed Jess was 9 and a half with a lip (really ten but with just a bit of thickness in the cervix on one side.) We got on hands and knees on the bed awhile. Progressed to lots of positions. Side with Susan supporting a leg, elevated back with Jess pulling back on knees (ultimately the most efficient). No position is a problem for Jess. She adjusts to all that is asked of her. Midwife asks, Jess does. She and her body can do it all! So onto the toilet for some vertical help. Jess does it. Dave is in there with her. They are a great team. Midwife comments on her arm strength and musculature. Susan takes pictures and steps in when needed. Then back to the bed for side lying. Susan gets Jess out of her tank and bra. Kathy confirms full dilation and low station and onto pushing. Kathy uses lidocaine cream on Jess’s perineum and does some perineal massage. Jess’s body responds beautifully to contractions and she pushes and moves baby down.
Effective pushing and moving the baby down seriously at this point. Susan is coaching Jess hard now. Teaching her how to push properly. It takes about 6 rounds of pushes before Jess really finds her groove. Then she is on it!! She takes her two breaths while the ctx builds then she pushes…hard… she quickly figures it out. Jess RULES! Jess is discovering her best push and finds that grabbing her shins, pulling those knees back and bearing down is her best push. Everyone cheers her on as she does her instinctive thing. Her strength and flexibility amazes everyone! Go Jess Go…it is all you girl!
Jess decides that she likes Dave and Susan to hold her legs in a specific way. Dave and Susan are facing each other on each side. They figure out what she likes and obey when she tells us what to do. Then Jess likes her hands/arms to be supported in a specific way too. Dave and Susan figure it out together how to best hold her. Dave and Susan support her legs between ctx and help her pull them back and hold her foot with force when she pushes. Jess likes the sole of her foot in Dave and Susan’s hands so she can put pressure on it. She is also fussy about her arms. Dave and Susan figure it out and give each other knowing looks when they get it right. They do a great job together. Dave and Susan are a great team to support Jess and help the midwife do what needs to be done :0)
Soon we see labia opening without touch and things get harder for Jess. She feels constant pressure down low. She asks “am I doing it right” Susan and the midwife say YES you are doing everything right. Jess keeps at the hard work. The baby rocks her way down. Eventually we begin to see head that does not disappear when the pushing stops and Jess relaxes. The head begins to stay down.
We get the mirror. With the next push Jess sees what is happening down low and is inspired. Immediately her pushes get stronger and more intense. She knows the end is near. She steps it up. Baby moves down lower.
Midwife switch. Meg is great. Susan has worked with her on many births and things immediately settle in. She is totally on board with the plan and slips into the program with no problem. She immediately gives Jess input which Jess readily accepts as she has all along. Minor adjustments. Jess asks for fruit juice. Nurses move slow; Susan grabs it faster. Cranberry Grape works for Jess and she sips it between pushes.
Into the home stretch. Dave and Susan hold legs and arms per Moms request. Baby
Is no longer is moving back…all forward here on out. Dave and I look at each other making sure we are doing as we should. We peek at the changes down low, Dave sweats; Susan tries to give him the positive expressions while her hands are tied up holding legs and arms. Dave knows…how obvious is it when your wife RULES?
Crowning. By this time Jess needs no coaching. She does what is instinctive now… her push…breathe, breathe, push, push, push, rest. She has her system. It works. Baby crowns, and Jess pushes. Babys head is out and then the body. Right up onto her chest.
Baby is perfect! Jess is in disbelief. Dave cries. Susan takes pictures. HOORAY! Welcome Baby Ella.