Birth Story by the Doula (with permission)
Cole McCall was born at 5:34AM on Friday, October 24, 2008 weighing 10 lbs. 13 oz.
Every baby brings into the world hope, joy, a child like trust, unconditional love….and a tale. We all have a birth story. Cole is no different. Then again, every story is oh so very different! Every baby, every couple, every woman’s labor is “oh so different!” That really translates into “Oh So Special”. Mommy, Kendra was ‘Oh So Amazing’ as I witness her strength and determination in labor land. Her husband, Brad, was ‘Oh So Amazing ‘as he was by her side every moment. This strong man being gentle and loving, listening and waiting with great respect for the birth process and the woman he loves. Both our L&D nurses, Eva and Anna were wonderful. Kendra’s doctor was kind and patient and supported mom’s wishes 100%.
I was blessed to be present and witness this special day! I was the doula. I met Kendra and Brad a couple of months earlier. Kendra and I planned on going on a ‘girls only’ walk Thursday afternoon, October 23rd. My phone rang on that Thursday morning at 4:45AM! Kendra had been awake having early contractions. I arrived at the house at 6AM. Kendra was having contractions every 5 minutes. By 9am she had gracefully adjusted to stronger serious face contractions. She had regular snacks of cereal or an apple. She was making regular trips to the bathroom and drinking lots of water. Midmorning Kendra and Brad went on a walk around the neighborhood to get fresh air and fresh perspective. When she returned she sat on the birth ball behind the couch trying to watch Return of the Jedi. We talked about her favorite childhood memories of watching and re-watching the Star Wars Series. Then Kendra said something funny. She said, “This is boring”. I knew by the end of the day, she would be rocked by very ‘exciting’ contractions so I made a mental note to remind her of this funny statement. After she said that she had even stronger contractions and opted to labor in a warm bath. Kendra then moved into the open knees chest position and then went to bed where labor gave her a short break and she napped. Then bam! The contractions changed again, coming about every 3-4 minutes. Kendra was ready to go to the hospital. I remember the registration desk person kept calling L&D saying, “she’s active, every 3 minutes”. Kendra left a little pool of amniotic fluid for housekeeping to mop up. In triage at approximately 2PM Kendra was estimated to be 3 centimeters dilated.
By 6PM Kendra was dilated to 5cms. And by 9PM Kendra was 8-9cms. She got into the shower, sat on the birth ball, walked, rocked and did everything she could think of to help move her baby down. It worked. Baby Cole was now so low on his Mommy’s cervix that Kendra had a huge urge to push. That was even more difficult than just working through contractions by breathing! She had to blow, blow, blow through each contraction to prevent her cervix from swelling (at this point Kendra stayed in the side lying position in bed). Kendra’s contractions were about 3 minutes long and double peaking now. At midnight, Anna helped a little bit of cervical lip over baby’s head. Now Kendra was fully dilated and could push in earnest! Kendra pushed for four hours.
The nice doc came in and told mom that most of the time he only lets mom’s push for three hours but in respect for Kendra’s birth plan he was willing to wait. Baby was doing fine (heart rate was great). But doc recommended either vacuum, forceps or cesarean delivery. Kendra was way way past exhausted. She knew something was holding Cole back and she needed a little help. She also knew she did not need a cesarean. So upon doc’s recommendation Kendra accepted some help via forceps. She was advised to get an epidural since the forceps include an episiotomy and it could be a painful procedure. Another reason they wanted her to have an epidural in place was in case forceps were not successful then they would do a cesarean. Brad and I put on our moon suits and waited to join Kendra in OR. Brad has such good daddy bear instincts. He was verbally questioning protocol and openly upset that they had Kendra in OR and we were just outside the doors and they would not let us in! It has never made any sense to me and always angers me too. It was good to have someone that saw it my way. Brad was ready to storm that OR!!! I’ve felt like that myself before. I even felt like that when Kendra and Brad were in triage for such a long time and I’m not even the husband/daddy/family. Soon we were all together again. Daddy was holding mommy’s hand. Then in the most quiet, quick and graceful way, Cole made his entrance and was placed on his mommy’s chest! I was so overcome that I didn’t get my usual photo of daddy’s reaction. But we were all so grateful! I think mostly we were all so amazed at how BIG Cole was! As he was being born it was like in slow motion, more baby, more baby, and even more baby. The nurses, anesthesiologist, and doc were all amazed.
In retrospect, Kendra had longer contractions (not for such long hours- just long in duration), the three minute ones lasted more hours (than is usual) and that is just what her body needed to do to birth her big baby boy. She didn’t look at the clock or complain once. She did one contraction at a time and used visualization. She visualized her baby in her arms. She visualized many other things that only she can share with you. All the time knowing, knowing when the contraction was over there would be rest. Knowing that when her baby was in her arms labor would be over. That moment arrived labor was over. “Women’s bodies don’t grow babies bigger than they can birth” had always been one of my mottos. Kendra is a wonderful example. She herself weighed 10lbs. 12 oz. at birth. Brad was a big baby too! They knew they could have big babies. Their mothers birthed them vaginally and they were confident - the baton was passed.
Welcome to baby Cole! Welcome to the world! God bless you always! Love, Rosie Peterson