4 cm for 4 days
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.
Have you heard the saying, a watched pot never boils?
When you want something to happen, paying attention to it can make the wait feel much longer. I find this to be true when moms approach their estimated due dates. Especially if labor starts and stops on and off for 4 days like in the case with Amanda. This sweet mama pulled out every trick in the book to keep herself grounded in the moment, being very patient waiting for Aubrey to present in the right time which probably proved to be more challenging than her delivery. Mostly because her uterus repeatedly decided to warm up for labor during the evening hours while Amanda was trying to sleep.
Without a doubt, one evening her contraction pattern changed. It seemed that it was go time! Amanda and Matthew made their way to the hospital informing their doula at the same time, only to find out that she was still four centimeters dilated (as she had been at her prenatal appointments the previous week)! You may think that Amanda found this news discouraging, as many moms may think that after all laboring for four days surely should have produce significant dilation? Instead, Amanda chose to focus on the moment and practice patience, giving her body time to do the work.
Amanda and Matthew faced quite a few decisions during pregnancy and labor but with careful thought and consideration they found peace of mind while weighing all their options. Remember the title of this story is 4 cm for 4 days; what we suspect that may have happened is the baby was floating in the pelvis due to a bulging bag of waters. Sometimes the baby's head can serve as a plug and water can get trapped between the head and the cervix creating a bulge. The dilemma is do you break the bag of waters at 4 centimeters or do you allow that bulging bag to press against the cervix to help with dilation? As this couple decided to move forward with breaking the bags of water a contraction decided to do it for them. Patience paid off!
Between position changes they would take romantic strolls through the hallways of the hospital, connecting during contractions like a synchronized dance! Seeing this lovely couple connected during such a sacred time filled my doula heart with joy!
A few things come to mind when I think about this labor and delivery: the sweet presence of peace and calmness and lots of smiling faces!
As contractions intensified, Amanda moved into a nice warm tub where she impressed her birthing team by trusting her instincts and giving in to the laboring process, allowing her body to do what felt natural. She used every tool imaginable to cope, breathing through contractions while relaxing every muscle and focusing in on the sound of her husband's voice while he whispered encouraging words. Amanda had what looked like a well-oiled team working together to comfort her, doula hard at work to help her through her contractions and including daddy Matthew using massage, knee presses and his very calming presence.
Grandma Clare, Amanda's mom, was the perfect addition to the team. She kept a prayerful spirit supporting in every way! Her excitement during the pushing stage electrified the room with squeals of joy while she encouraged her daughter Amanda!