I was at O and R's birth the other day - O is a midwife herself and knew exactly what she wanted - a home birth, with a quiet and dimmed atmosphere, with lots of love around. She wanted as few interventions as possible, and wanted to use TENs and for R to use Shiatsu for pain relief. They both had an array of homeopathic and bach flower remedies to hand... O had a long prelabour - she'd been up for two nights before I got there and R hadn't had much sleep either. We'd only met once before, but it's always so much easier for me when a couple know what they want...
I arrived at 11am and she was pleased to be told her cervix was 5cm dilated and the baby was in a good position and his heart was always really reassuring and steady. R has the most amazing smile that lights up the place and great big hands just great for massaging - mine didn't compare and O only wanted R's hands doing their magic on her shoulders and lower back.
I went off to collect the resus equipment and entonox (and grab some lunch). When I got back at about 1pm, O's contractions were still plodding along at about 2-3:10, strong but slightly irregular. Using acupressure would bring them up to speed slightly but they would always drop back to 2-3:10.
Still, O's cervix was 8 cm dilated at 17.15hrs (I'd left it a bit longer to check as I knew that we weren't going to get 1cm an hour!). I'm getting a bit of pressure from Labour Ward by this time - the coordinator would phone and want to know if I was happy and why didn't I do an ARM?!
But even as we're arranging transfer for delay, O starts to make that wonderful grunting noise that signifies second stage and there's a show and so, we cancel the ambulance and we say welcome to baby boy just half an hour later. And wait for the cord to stop pulsing and admire the true knot. The placenta only takes 11 minutes to arrive.
Beautiful baby boy is so alert and goes straight on the breast. O has achieved everything on her birth plan - a wonderful normal birth with just a whiff of entonox to get through transition, and R would make a wonderful midwife... His smile lights up the room after its all over. I have such admiration for their love and strength and courage and determination and teamwork.
HA! - I frogged the sock I'd knitted because I'd made it too narrow, but the next day I knitted up a teeny tiny pair of socks in the same yarn for O and R's baby boy, to remind them of that incredible journey - just as O had soaked a silk square in liquor (mec and all) to remind their son of his time in the womb.
I called them I ching socks because the lines remind me of those little pictograms.
If any of my blogland friends have been wondering where I've been - I've been over on Ravelry! What a wonderful place to get lost in. I've also been celebrating my half century - and made my birthday last an entire week - wonderful.