Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Banner Crop

Wow, all I can say is wow!  This past week at the birth center, we had a record setting amount of births.  One day, we had 5 babes in seven hours, then just one day later we had 5 babes in six hours, another baby was born a few hours later and the next night 3 babes were born back to back! It was intense and sometimes a blur of activity.  However, it served to highlight the amazing group of people that make up the birth center and I am so proud to be part of it! It was all hands on deck and the hands worked beautifully together.  Members of our administrative team were scrubbing toilets and doing laundry, staff members came in on their day off, it was a fantastic display of teamwork.  Every Mama had a birth room and no-one was turned away.

Here is a snippet of these births.  I was pretty tired if I do say so myself.  We had just had the two big 5 baby days and I was hoping for a little lull in activity....but, we had two Mama's who were almost 42 weeks.  The first one was pregnant with her second babe, she was so tired and ready to have her little one.  We had used a cervical balloon earlier in the week, and it had done some good and started some labor but the it stalled out.  She had decided to try castor oil and it was working.  She arrived to the center with contractions and was 5cm.  The contractions were sporadic and could have been more intense.  We had a long discussion about options and she and her husband opted to do some herbs and then AROM (artificial rupture of membranes).  These interventions worked and her labor picked up.  Then things stalled again, her contractions were in a coupling pattern, Mama was becoming frustrated.  Additionally, the location of the babes heart beat was OP presentation was happening.  I did what I refer to as "labor acrobatics"......rebozo shaking, the hands and knees bump and duck walking, just twenty minutes later her babe turned and she gave birth very shortly after that.  We were all enjoying this new little one when I got another call.....
Mama #2, she was having her second baby, her water had just broken and she was cranking out labor.  Of course, I said "get on over here!".  She came in, labored beautifully in the water and not long after started to push.  Her babes beautiful head emerged....and then stopped, a shoulder dystocia was occurring.  I told her to get out of the pool, which she did in amazingly fast speed, we got her on her hands and knees and with a little help the babe was born.  Then we settled everyone in the bed, gave them lots of TLC after the stress of the birth and they were recovering nicely.  And phone rang.....
It was the other Mama who was almost 42 weeks.  She had been doing some herbs and was now in good labor and ready to head in.  She arrived with her husband and Mother, they made a great team.  It was her first baby and she labored so gracefully.  In a very short time, she was ready to push.  She was in the pool, and soon the babe was almost crowning.  Then, she started to have some bleeding, at the same time, Mama said she felt something happen.  The blood kept coming, the heart tones were strong and steady.  I had her get out of the pool, as the baby crowned the bleeding stopped and shortly she gave birth to her gorgeous little one.  We placed babe skin to skin, Dad curled up next to them and we waited for the placenta.  She had some more bleeding but no placenta, so we gave her a shot of pitocin. Then her placenta came....along with a huge 500cc blood clot! I think that at the very end she had a small placental abruption.  Thank goodness, baby didn't have any trouble and both were well.
So, that was just one snippet from this week.  Of the 14 births that happened, I was blessed to be present for 8 of them.  I am still processing them and looking forward to seeing the families in their postpartum visits.  And now I am ready for a HUGE nap!


  1. Just curious - how many birth suites/rooms do you have at your birth center? I'm in the very early planning stages of a BC, and allotted for 2-3 birth suites.

  2. We have 3 birth rooms. The other thing to keep in mind is the number of midwives.....