This entry has been written by Sharon.For the last few weeks I have been waiting for my friend Heather to call me and let me know she was in labor. Heather, like me last year, was having a home birth and she asked me to be there with her, along with her other great friends. I felt very honored to be asked. Heather and I only met this year and we connected on a very special level.
Well, 40 weeks had gone by and nothing. 41 weeks, nothing. Then on her 42nd week at about 1:30 am she started her early labor. I got a call at about 5:30am, but did not need get to her house until about 8 that morning. When I got there, she was sitting on her ball doing great. She was handling this labor like a champ. The day progressed on and she was in and out of her birth tub, which really was a godsend to her. Heather is a surfer and now I truly believe she was a mermaid in another life :)
Around 7 that evening Heather was checked by her Midwife Vicki and she was around 8cm dilated and we were thinking, “okay this baby is going to come out anytime,” but she stayed that way until about 11pm that night. Finally, her midwife had to make a decision to take Heather to the hospital because she thought this baby might need a little help getting out. Vicki was thinking if we get her to the hospital and get her on a dose of Pitocin, that would help her progress along.
Vicki has been doing this for 30 years so she knows what she is doing, and she knows what is best for the baby and Mom. Heather was scared, but decided to go. We went to Baptist Hospital and got Heather checked in and was waiting for the on-call Ob to come in and assess the situation and go from there. Well this Ob that I will not name, but if anyone wants to know I will tell them in private, calls the nurse on duty and tells her to get Heather prepped for surgery she was going to get a C-section. Well, they come in and tell Heather and she started to panic and cry and so did the rest of us. This is not what we came here for and this was what Heather wanted to avoid by doing a home birth in the first place. This Dr. didn’t even want to check her. She just wanted to be a chop shop so she could get back home without having to mess up her night. Heather knew this Ob and did not like her as it was. At this point Vicki, the Midwife, was shooting fire out of her eyes because she knew what Heather needed and she knew the baby was doing great and there was no reason to cut her open at this point. So, Heather made the decision to sign herself out and go to Sacred Heart and hope that someone competent would be on duty that would listen to her wants and assess the situation.
As it turns out, the nurse that was to take care of Heather, also had a home birth with Vicki and the Dr. on duty was this wonderful man that really wanted Heather to have this baby the way she wanted. He was so kind and was exactly what Heather needed. He did not see any reason this baby couldn’t be born without doing a C-section, unless the baby was in stress or things just weren’t progressing. They let Heather labor on and then come about 4:30am Heather could not take the pain anymore and she just needed some help with the pain and needed some help with the contractions. She went with the epidural and the Pitocin, which pushed her right where she needed to be. Finally, Heather was able to get some much-needed rest and some pain relief. Let me tell you, she is a Superwoman in my book because most women wouldn’t go an hour without pain meds!! She labored drug-free for almost 30 hours, it was time for her to have a break and be able to have the strength to push this baby out when the time came. Well we were kind of in a hurry at this point because the nurse that we loved and the Dr. we loved were going to be getting off at 7am and we didn’t want to have anyone else deliver this baby.
Well, 7am came and it was time to push. The Dr and nurse both decided they wanted to see this through and decided to stay :) We were all so happy and relived at this point. Some how we all got a second wind and pulled together to help Heather push the baby out. We were all determined to see this kid sometime that morning.She pushed for about an hour and 15 min and then came the most beautiful baby boy ever!! Rowan finally made his way into this world with Heather reaching down and catching him as he came out. Which was one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed! Poor little guy had to be rushed off to try and get all of the meconium (infant poop) out of his lungs so he could breath. He pinked up and started to cry and that was one of the best sounds ever :) We all cried and were just so happy to see this little man that took forever to show his face.
I have been reflecting on this experience since that morning and I am forever changed by what all went on and what Heather went through. I was honored to have been a part of this, but at the same time scared me for what I am getting ready for next month with the birth of our daughter Nora. I know that I am a strong woman, but I just don’t think I could do what she did. She is truly amazing!
Heather I hope you don’t mind me telling your story, but it is so amazing and I just wanted people to know what kind of woman you are and that my life is so much better just by knowing you. Love to you soul sister and love to that little man that I think I will be connected to forever! Bless you both!