Mindful Induction: The story of Jake Peter's beautiful arrival b.11/11/18

Jake Peter’s birth announcement was written by our birth doula, Tara. Tara is our Naples area doula and is a quite a natural at this doula thing! Tara is a mom of two boys and one pup, with her background in social work.

Jake Peter was born November 11, 2018. He was 8lbs 13oz and 21 inches long. Want to hear the story of his arrival? Let’s go!

I met Holly last spring. She had had a previous cesarean and was eager to have a vaginal birth this time. With her own background in wellness and holistic approach to her life, Holly did everything and anything she could to prepare for her VBAC. She ate well and had regular chiropractic care, prenatal massages, and acupuncture. She and her husband took our Birthing From Within classes to learn everything they could about pain-coping, making mindful birth decisions, asking hard questions of her providers, and so much more. She also changed her exercise routine to stretching and relaxing her pelvic floor muscles and completed the recommended activities from Spinning Babies for optimal fetal positioning. I enjoyed the time we had to get to know each other through Mindful Birth's birth circle gatherings, too.

The birth fairy had quite a few trials for Holly in her third trimester. She developed a horrible cold that she just couldn’t shake. The coughing was so bad she kept putting ribs out of place with every coughing fit. If you’ve ever had a rib out of place, you know how painful this can be. At nine months pregnant it is excruciating! While Holly was eager to go into labor, we prayed he would give her some time to heal first.

Well, he did give her time. At 40 weeks, Holly’s midwives advised a medical induction if he wasn’t here by 41 weeks. While Holly and her husband agreed to this timeframe if labor didn’t start on its own, they still kept their sights on a natural start. She tried several natural induction methods for several days to no avail. In fact, they only caused her to lose more sleep!

On Friday evening, the 9th of November, Holly and her husband arrived at the hospital for her induction. Inductions are rarely straightforward or easy. A mindful induction includes preparation for the upcoming event, gathering information and support needed before the procedure, and, ideally, excellent communication with your provider as well as your support team (partner and doula) before the procedure. Even with mindful preparation, there were moments of uncertainty and gaps in communication with her midwife team which caused some frustration. I was happy to be a positive support for Holly during this trying time. Holly requested they start the induction with a Foley bulb, to encourage dilation (a Foley bulb is a small catheter placed above your cervix and filled with saline. The pressure encourages dilation and will eventually fall out or be removed.) After several hours of strong contractions overnight, they subsided and Holly was able to get a little sleep. I'm proud of both of these mindfully-made decisions.

The next morning the bulb was removed and Pitocin was consented to. Holly started to have really strong contractions that afternoon. She was making slow and steady progress. I loved that everything I suggested to Holly, she was ready and willing to try including lots of movement, upright positions, Spinning Babies techniques, rebozo, and more. Baby took his time descending and Holly’s exhaustion was setting in.

Time to put some of the decision-making practices they learned about in class into practice! Lots of communication with her midwife later, some more mindful decisions were made overnight, including relief for pain and exhaustion. (Undoubtedly the Birth Fairy had a major hand in!) By 6:30am Holly was ready to push. Her first push broke her water and within an hour Jake was born with his hand holding his face! A nuchal hand and an almost nine pound baby? Holly, just two more reasons why your story inspires!

Holly’s determination throughout her difficult third trimester and long awaited labor was admirable to me. She continued her Spinning Babies exercises even through the pain and discomfort of her cold and rib concerns. She tried every possible natural induction method even when it made her sick. No matter how uncomfortable she was during labor, she continued to try more positions and do everything she could do to encourage baby to descend. When her birth plan did not go as expected she handled the next best thing with grace. I am in awe of her perseverance. It was an honor to walk this journey with this beautiful family.

Please join be in welcoming Jake Peter and in heartfelt congratulations to his proud parents and adorable big brother, Mac.

In doula love,

Tara

If you want to learn more about mindful inductions, check out our Birthing From Within classes! Next one starts in January and there are plenty of online spaces open for you.

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