“If a woman doesn’t look like a goddess during labor, then someone isn’t treating her right.” – Ina May Gaskin
I met H over coffee a few days after we moved back to the Bay Area. I fell in love with this family after talking with H and looking through one of their family albums with the birth of their first son. I was even more in love after hearing they were expecting a baby girl who also happened to have Down Syndrome, what a blessing it was to be invited to the birth of such a special baby and such positive parents! I was so thrilled to have (wonderful) clients so soon, and I went on call shortly after our meeting, as her due date was at the end of the month.
Nine days later H sent me a text saying that she was having contractions 5 minutes apart. Thirty minutes later she said they were headed to the hospital. I grabbed my bag and off I headed to Alta Bates hospital in Berkeley, which thankfully was only 12 minutes away!
We checked in to Labor and Delivery around 12:50pm. Dad parked the car and came up, and immediately fell into his role as her birth partner, applying double hip-squeezes at each contraction. What a team! Their son, oh so cute, even jumped in to help his mom out!
By the time we settled into the L&D room, H was having contractions 2-3 minutes apart, and was 5 cm dilated. R’s parents were still on their way to pick up their adorable son, but labor was progressing much more quicker than they expected. I gave their son a cookie which he munched on while he watched his beautiful momma in labor, eagerly awaiting the arrival of his baby sister.
Their midwife arrived and brought with her a confident and calm presence. They call her the “baby whisperer”. She has been involved in delivering babies for 70 years. Incredible!
At 1:43pm, the midwife broke her water. Within minutes H was fully dilated, and after pushing for only two contractions, their beautiful baby girl was born at 1:48pm.
Seven minutes later, the grandparents arrived to pick up their grandson, and were surprised to meet their newest granddaughter!
What an afternoon! We were all amazed at how quickly everything transpired. It was an incredible birth; an amazing momma, a supportive husband, a patient toddler, and a very cute newly born babe.
Dad, brother, grandma, and grandpa soaked in baby M while momma was getting fixed up. With soft skin, long fingernails and toenails, and beautiful bright eyes, this baby girl was taking all of her first moments in.
Mom was eager to hold her sweet babe, and Baby M was eager to breastfeed and latched within seconds. It’s these sweet moments that make me love birth even more. Children are such gifts!
After a long feeding, Baby M had her first bath. She was not pleased to be away from her warm momma, but she sure did enjoy having her hair washed!
The happy family was transferred to a recovery room – the same recovery room they were in last time they gave birth at Alta Bates Summit. H was beaming and beautiful, and reminded me so much of Ina May Gaskin’s quote above. It was so cute to watch their son reach out his arms to hold his baby sister. He was so proud!
Congrats H & R on the arrival of your daughter! Things couldn’t have gone better for you both, and I am so happy for the four of you!