Way back in the beginning of April, “A” contacted me as she was looking for a doula and birth photographer to attend the birth of her first child at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center. We talked over Skype and later met for a prenatal at their home in the East Bay area. We discussed their hopes for their birth over a cup of strong coffee. They shared what they were learning from their Hypnobirthing class and that they desired an unmedicated and natural childbirth, and I walked them through some childbirth information. This couple was so sweet and so supportive of each other and I left very excited to be a part of their birth team.
I received a text from “A” on a beautiful Sunday morning saying she was having contractions 10-15 minutes apart. Kaiser Oakland said to wait till her contractions were 3 to 4 minutes apart to come to the hospital, so they started getting ready to go to the her husband’s parent’s house and I prepared to meet them there. They never made it to their parents house, cause an hour and a half later she was 2 minutes apart, already 5 cm dilated, and being admitted to labor and delivery!
I arrived to see “A” beautifully relaxing and working through each contraction. She was calm and focused, and her husband so lovingly supported her.
“A” walked down the hall aways to encourage labor and help the baby into a more favorable position, and labor quickly intensified so she returned to her room.
The labor and delivery nurses she had during her time at Kaiser Oakland were incredibly supportive of “A’s” natural birth, and quick to offer ice water, birthing and peanut balls, and washcloths. One of them had even worked as a homebirth midwife for years prior to this job.
Soon after resting back in her quiet room, “A” quickly entered the transition phase. I helped the dad apply counter pressure to relieve back pain and a grounding head press to help mom work through the overwhelming feeling that usually comes with transition. The desire to push and bear down soon arrived as well. Dad and I both worked together to keep mom cool with wet washcloths, fan her, and remind her of breathing patterns. Little baby “L” decided to pass meconium, but the nurses were calm and didn’t interfere as it wasn’t medically necessary. “A” was focused and as soon as she was able to see the baby’s head in the mirror, she became evermore confident, strong, and dedicated to push baby “L” out.
Mom was able to keep baby “L” on her chest, who was alert and ready to breastfeed. They were able to bond and breastfed for over 40 minutes.
Baby “L” weighed around 6lbs and had a perfect little body with soft skin and sweet facial expressions. Dad had some time with his firstborn son, while mom cleaned up. Such precious moments soaking in the arrival of the baby they had waited so long to hold!
The grandparents were eagerly waiting in the lobby to see their first grandchild. I just love the expression of the grandpa in the next photo. What a treasured moment!
What an incredible peaceful Sunday; a perfect day to welcome this baby. We had arrived at the hospital mid-morning and baby came in time for dinner (which was take-out that the new parents enjoyed from a local vegetarian restaurant). Congrats “A” and “D”. You are an incredible couple and will equally make wonderful and loving parents!