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  • Bethany Geisel

A 2nd Baby, Different Experience - Soul Mama Story

This story has been published with permission from the parents. It is a copy of the birth events from the doulas perspective. We don't often write our perspective, as it is not our point of view that matters, but how the mother experiences it herself, and we don't want to put our beliefs and expectations onto a persons own experience of their own birth. However, in this case, the mother wanted her story from my eyes, and immediately asked for us to publish her story. Here it is. Hello! You likely don’t know me, but I was one of the very first people to meet you as a tiny baby! I was your mothers’ doula, her labour support person, during her pregnancy with you and during labour! I am writing this letter to let you know how strong your parents, especially your mother, was, and to give you a written record of your birth story

Prior to your birth, I met with your parents several times during the pregnancy. Your mother and father (and big brother) were in a unique time of their lives, because your dad was away a lot for work doing training for a new job, and they were concerned your mother might not have enough support when the time came! So, they hired me to be a part of it, and provide that support where he couldn’t, as well as help them work through some strong feelings from when your brother was born. Your mom and I got along super well, and I was so excited to be a part of this attempt of a vaginal birth after a caesarean surgery. Towards the end of the pregnancy, you proved to have been a stubborn baby, flipping upside down and breech, back and forth a couple times, and really just doing your own thing! It certainly made it interesting, the last few weeks, when we really weren’t sure what you would be up to from day to day, all snug in your mama’s belly! Combined with some prodromal (early) labour that would stop and start, we really didn’t know when you would make your big debut!

On September 21 st , in the morning, your mama texted me and let me know that things were maybe happening again, a little differently from how it had gone previously. There were some signs that hadn’t happened yet, and while your mama wasn’t getting her hopes up yet again, she thought I ought to know. I tried to remain positive for her – maybe today was the day! And it would be the start of some real labour – around noon, she texted again that contractions were regular at about 6.5 minutes, and getting longer steadily. I finished my errands in town, and headed home to prepare! While I was driving home, I saw a cute couple walking by the side of the road, and guess what? It was your parents, walking to help the contractions!

So I pulled over and we had a little chat. I could tell – this was the real thing. Your parents were excited, but nervous. Although we had all been waiting for this to happen, it was finally here, and it was hard. I encouraged your mama and dad to be positive, and reminded them of some additional coping methods to try when they got home from their walk – the goal was to stay home as long as possible. By about 3:30, contractions were about a minute and a half long, 5 minutes apart, and your parents thought that maybe her water had broken a tiny bit. Your mom was managing really well – she was using the birth support, and had had a nice relaxing shower. I spoke to your dad and we talked about how to tell if it

was the water or not, and of course they were in contact with their midwives, too. At 4:30, your parents opted to head into town and be assessed – it had been a while and they wanted to know what was happening. I was excited to hear back! And around 6:30 pm, they texted back. Dilation was going slowly, but she was 80% effaced (thinned out!) and cervix was favorable (forward and shortening). A Foley bulb was inserted to help with dilation. I know they were a bit disappointed that things weren’t farther along, but this was great progress, for sure! I advised some walking and movement, gravity led positions, and hoped to hear back again soon. At 9 pm, a much anticipated phone call was received – your moms water broke spectacularly, and I was requested to come in! This was great news for me to hear, it meant things would speed up. I was on my way.

When I arrived, I walked into a busy scene. In the half hour it had taken me to get there, contractions were really working hard on your mama, and she had requested some help to manage them. An anesthetist had been called, and we were preparing for an epidural to manage the pain. Just enough to take the edge off. Your mama felt a little sad that she needed it, but let me assure you, nothing is further from the truth – your mama was so strong, and labour is such hard work that she made exactly the right choice in requesting the medication. She felt like she was being overwhelmed with the pain, and really really needed this relaxation. Your daddy and I continued supporting her physically, applying counter pressure to her back, and supported her emotionally letting her know that she was doing so well, and it was OK to have a change in plans. Once the epidural was in, your mama felt much better and could begin to enjoy what was happening again. We had a good chat about how she was feeling, and she was able to feel excited again. At 11 pm, the midwife checked again, and your mom had gotten to 8cm! That was amazing, from 3cm to 8cm in two hours!

Jenna was watching the monitors closely – the pattern of labour felt a bit familiar, it was very similar to how things progressed with your brother. We did what we could – changing up moms’ position as far as the epidural allowed, and holding a safe space for your parents – your dad in particular held space for her, like a protective bear. At 11:10 pm, the monitoring showed some worrying trends, and things got a little bit frightening for your parents –

they were worried for you. I helped them maintain a safe space, a calm space, while the midwife explained that an OB had been called and a second caesarean surgery was very likely. I could only hold the space for your mom and dad to take this in, especially your mother, and reiterated that she was not to blame. Your father was her rock, here, coaxing and helping her work through the emotions surrounding this decision, and I ensured they could be in that space together.

At 11:30 PM, the doctor called for a caesarean surgery. I quickly ran through what the procedures were, and what would all happen and was happening in the room. This was scary for your mother, but she felt so much better about it because she had excellent people around her, and she was much more informed of what was happening.

I let her know that I would be here when she got brought back up, and your mother was almost cheerful as she was taken down for the surgery. Your father stayed right with her, and I remained upstairs to wait.

At nine minutes past midnight, on September 22nd , you were born via caesarean surgery at the our local hospital. I wasn’t there, in the OR, but I heard that there were some very big emotions in the OR when you were born – your mother cried, of course, and was allowed skin to skin in the OR as well, which was such a blessing for you both. I got my chance to meet you at 40 minutes after midnight, when your dad and you were returned upstairs. Your mama had been through a lot, and needed a sleep so she remained in recovery for a little bit, while you were checked out all over by the midwife, admired by me, and then you and your dad got in some awesome skin to skin time.

You were such an alert little guy! And smaller than expected, but still a great size at 7lbs, 4oz. You stayed awake until your mama came back upstairs, safe and snug with your daddy, warm and cuddly under some blankets. When mom got back, she was so happy to cuddle with you. You got comfy and cozy and latched nearly right away, and it didn’t take long before your parents were comfortable and happy to just be a unit with you. I took my leave of them, leaving your parents to cuddle with you and you to nurse. And I headed home, confident that your birth was at the very least, a healing experience. I wish you all the best in your life. Your beginning was a whirlwind, and I hope that your life is as full as adventure

as your start was.

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