A |Still|Birth Story;
On January 13th I was contacted by a local midwife asking if I was available to support a mom who was being induced due to Fetal Demise at a local hospital.
And what other answer could I have possibly gave than “I will be there!”
I met Jeannie & a midwife at the hospital around 6pm. She had already had one round of cytotec.
Moments after the midwife left - the Chaplain came in to do a Blessing Ceremony over Jeannie. She spoke so softly and rubbed Jeannie’s hand while Jeannie used her other hand to rub every inch of her stomach.
Jeannie’s contractions hadn’t really started yet - so we really spent a few hours just talking. I learned about her first born Gunnar and how he loves the outdoors! We talked about her animals & her partner. We made jokes together. We laughed together. We shared tears together.
Second round of Cytotec at 7:45 pm.
Jeannie mentioned to me that she really prayed for a water birth this time. She shared stories of the trauma she had surrounding her first birth...
It was my goal to get her into the water.
*Our local hospital has a Laboring Tub - but they do not allow you to give birth in them only labor*
I encouraged Jeannie to rest . She declined. She expressed to me she wanted to be present for everything. She wanted to experience it all. And She did.
Midnight: Third dose of Cytotec given.
1cm dilated 80% effaced.
1 am - I stepped out of the room for a moment. When I came back in Jeannie exclaimed “I think my water broke! Or maybe I peed?! But I really think it was my water!” She called for the nurse, Who confirmed Jeannie’s water had infact broke! We asked if we could get Jeannie into the Laboring Tub. The nurses were happy to get everything set up for her. With Jeannie’s consent her cervix was checked again prior to getting in 3-4cm dilated.
Jeannie labored in the tub so peacefully while I applied counter pressure . Changing positions to what felt best for her body - until roughly 2:30 am. At this time her contractions had really picked up. She felt an intense amount of pressure. Knowing she could not birth in the tub - she felt this was a great time to get out.
Back in the room - Jeannie asked to be checked again. 6 cm. She expressed she really needed to use the bathroom - the nurse & I exchanged looks. (Like bathroom or baby?!)
I helped Jeannie into the restroom and went to get her some water.
When I came back her tone had changed - and her moans were consistent with transition. She leaned up against the sink and I squatted beside her so we could see eachother. Gentle reminders to use the Oooo sound instead of Aaah. That she was DOING THIS.
The nurse called in the team.
Whitney(Nurse)& Kylie (Tech) met Jeannie in the bathroom. At this point we had turned on the shower for her. The water beating on her back - Jeannie had gone from 6cm to complete in a matter of 15 minutes.
Whitney squatted down behind Jeannie ready to catch. Kylie came in & joined her. They called out for her provider to be called - but reassured Jeannie - they were there & they were ready.
For the first time Jeannie grabbed my hand - I squeezed back.
Babies head was descending - her provider came in and was ready to catch. The water was turned off and in a matter of minutes Jolene was brought earth side at 3:39 am on January 14th.
“She is beautiful.”
“Yes she is.”
The room fell silent. Delivery rooms are never silent. Still squatting beside her - “I’m so proud of you.”
I helped Jeannie to her hospital Bed where she was met with her daughter. She held her Close and spoke so gracefully to her. Reminding her that she is so loved & so beautiful. She continued to admire her daughter while her provider assisted with the delivery of her placenta & checked her over.
In Memory of Jolene Athena - who was born silent on 1/14/2022 at 3:39 am.