Christmas came early! Baby Graham Samuel is the perfect present for parents Heather and Ray

Today’s birth announcement was written by Emily, our fantastic doula with a wonderful sense of humor. Emily is a mother of 6, and when she’s not doulaing or deepening her faith at church, you’ll find her joy riding on her Harley.

Christmas came early for Heather and Ray's family this year! Ten days early to be exact! You see Heather's estimated due date was December 25th and Santa made a special trip (to give the storks a break) and delivered the best present ever on December 15th! Coincidentally Heather found herself in early labor while enjoying a Christmas party. During the celebration the couple didn't pay much attention to the contracting uterus so I believe their son decided to get his parents' full attention by breaking his amniotic sac. The reason why I say it was his idea is because when I asked Heather if she was certain that her waters broke she painted a picture in my mind of him using his little bitty fingers to poke the amniotic sac!

His attempt to break free started around 2 a.m, and the very thoughtful couple decided it would be a good idea to let their doula sleep and waited several hours before giving me a call. I work with so many wonderful people! I arrived Just before sunrise to a very exhausted mom and dad. Finding creative ways to rest while running a marathon of labor can be tricky. We alternated spinning babies techniques with periods of rest and utilized lots of hip squeezes, knee presses, and compression to close the pain gate as well as make room for the baby to enter the pelvis. Eating and drinking during early labor can be a good strategy for the long haul a marathon requires. A great big thank you goes out to Grandpa Andy who ran out to the store to replenish supplies! We appreciate you coming to the rescue.

I remember when I first met Heather and her husband Ray, I was thrilled to hear that Ray was completely on board with having a doula. Usually it requires a little bit of convincing. During labor he impressed me with how quickly he learned how to use comfort measures techniques and how open he was to my suggestions. I especially love that he didn't mind me reminding him to eat and sleep! Ray kept his cool throughout and even got Mama's approval in the end. Daddies make the best doulas!

Lucky for me while in the midst of this marathon I was assisted by a very special doula in training! JoJo is Heather and Ray's 20 month old first born daughter, and she's a natural at doula work! After breakfast she decided to lend a hand to the birthing team by providing hugs and kisses (yes, to all of us) but especially for Mom while she was contracting. If my hands weren't busy with hip squeezes I would have photos of her petting mom's head and bringing her water to drink, such a touching sight! There is one particular moment where daddy was performing a hip squeeze on Mom and JoJo was performing a hip squeeze on him, which was hysterically cute! She can be part of my doula team anytime! Sweet JoJo napped after her exhausting hard work and Grandma Amy stepped in and did an excellent job (with fewer hugs and kisses). Here's a photo of Lil JoJo performing a knee press; observe her perfect technique! This labor reminded me of running a marathon up and down hills, because the contraction pattern would change often. It seemed to pick up speed like when you are running downhill and slow down like when you're headed uphill. 12 hours with ruptured membranes and the expression on Heather's face told me that she was about ready to end the race. The three of us discussed options and concluded that her decision to go to the hospital was a good idea. The intention was to possibly use pitocin to regulate contractions, but I had a sneaky suspicion that It wouldn't be necessary and that she would labor on her own to deliver. Off to the hospital we go, arriving to find her at 6 centimeters! After the chaos of registering, Heather was able to nod off while she relaxed in the tub with the aroma of lavender, surrounded by soft music and twinkling lights. It wasn't long before Heather was at the pushing stage (it may have seemed like a lifetime for her). Out of the tub for a cervical check and less than an hour of very effective pushing, Graham was born into the loving arms of his mom. This little guy took to breastfeeding like a pro, making his doula proud!

Join me as we rejoice this Christmas season with the Flower family as they welcome their baby Graham Samuel Flowers who poked his way into our hearts on Saturday December 15th 2018 weighing 7 lb 10 oz stretching 19.5 in long.

In doula love,

Emily

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