Thursday, January 27, 2011

Five in three!

This week I got to deliver five babies in three days! They were all special in one way or another.

The first one didn’t even know she was in labor when she came in. Her husband brought her in because she had unrelenting belly pain but she insisted it was NOT labor. I didn’t argue with her, I just got out my doppler and watched. The thing was, her baby was in distress with heart tones in the 70s each contraction. 

The woman insisted on going home to deliver, but I cautioned her husband that it was not safe. There was likely a cord problem and the baby might not do well at home. He made the executive decision to stay, and we set up for the birth. She was fully and despite crazy-low heart tones each push, she was a rock star and delivered quickly.

Her little girl was born with a tight double cord coil around her neck and body. Plus, the cord was so short, it was tearing away from the insertion area on the placenta. I showed them the tear/weak insertion and they all smiled in relief. Catastrophe averted. I am so glad she stayed.

The next morning, I woke to another labor who had been waiting for first light. This was her fourth time down this path of pain, and she knew it was close. She told me she wanted to deliver in the kneeling position, so I set up the room with the underpad on the floor. (I love it when they deliver like this! It makes me actually feel like a midwife.)

She pushed like a pro but progress was slow. Between contractions, she rocked back on her heels and groaned rhythmically. I didn’t want to touch her, lest I break her concentration. It was magic. One huge splash, two grunts and a squawk later and a five pound seven ounced miracle slip into home! I definitely needed a mitt!
Mom #2 breastfeeding her little girl!
But the placenta wasn’t even cold when another lady came in saying it was time for her too! Fortunately, she wasn’t fully yet and chose to do a duck-waddle around the clinic while we cleaned up.

An hour (exactly) after arriving, she delivered a testosterone coated chunkster into my happy hands. He was born on his due date, meaning exactly at 40 weeks GA. I say that tongue in cheek because due dates are more of an art than a science in these parts! I must confess, I’ve gotten pretty good at guessing gestational age by fundal heights and palpation, but sometimes I’m WAY off. Ha!
Mom #3 and her boy!
The fourth baby arrived the next morning. Her mother is one of my favorite prenatal girls-- a true force to be reckoned with! When she arrived, she was going on and on about how she was dying. Her friends just laughed at her saying she was a big faker. She played it up though and in a few minutes had us all in stitches -- even my translator.

It was funny only because this culture is so quiet in labor. And when I say quiet, I mean SILENT.
I breathe louder than they do in transition! So when a woman starts complaining in labor... sometimes they are teased.

Anyway, her friends stopped laughing when I told them she was ready to deliver any minute. They seemed surprised and excited. I asked her to stand for a contraction or two to help the baby settle lower in her pelvis. She was happy to comply but instantly needed to push.

Baring down once, the head was almost born in mid squat. This freaked her out and she crawled awkwardly back on the bed. It surprised me too. I barely had time to glove up when her precious packet of estrogen tumbled out. All her friends where there to watch because as she pushed she screamed bloody murder bringing them running in panic.

They giggled and applauded and I joined in. It was perma-grins galore!
Check out those grins. What a fun birth!
I’ll stop there for the moment. I have one more birth to tell... it happened later that day. But this post is already too long, and frankly this other birth deserves its own space. It’s the story of my first footling breech.

To be continued...