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BIRTH OF FAWN
The expectant mom had 2 previous suction abortions before becoming pregnant with this baby. The second abortion caused hemorrhaging. She had problems with hypoglycemia but this was controlled with her diet. She had 3 episodes of hypoglycemic reactions while under the doctor's prenatal care, when she was not watching her diet closely. We discussed her dietary needs and she was much more careful with her diet and took her supplemental herbs and natural vitamins. Her diet was good. She had reactions with the prenatal 6-week formula used for the last part of pregnancy, so we removed the formula from her diet.
Her prenatal care was uneventful. I was called by her husband from a pay phone (they did not have a phone) late evening June 29th with the birthing mom in moderate labor. Contractions were 7 minutes apart.
I had previously done some homebirth-out of hospital birth training for some local EMTs in a nearby town. I talked to them about homebirth and techniques we used in place of drugs and instruments. None of the EMTs had done a birth yet and had heard horror stories from the local hospitals about homebirths. They asked if they could attend as observers only. I discussed this with the expectant parents prior to the labor and they stated they did not mind since they did not have a phone and in case of emergency, the EMTs would already be there. After I received the call from the dad, I called the EMTs and let them know that we had a labor in progress and if they wanted to attend, it was fine. They arrived shortly after I did and sat back and visited with the parents and watched.
Mom working through contractions with partner offering support and application of counter pressure on lower back.
The dad worked with his wife by giving her back massage and support during her labor. She was having a great deal of back labor so dad and I traded off periodically with the counter-pressure on the mom's lower back. We all sat around quietly talking about homebirths and EMT experiences, some of which were quite humorous. The mom stayed calm and worked through her contractions with slow, focused breathing and visiting with everyone in between contractions.
An affectionate kiss to help labor.
Intimate moments help with relaxation and bonding.
The mom and dad were very loving during the labor. One of the EMTs mentioned at one point that it was almost like we needed to step out of the room, because of the intimacy exchange between the birthing partners.
Transitional labor has begun. Labor support from both partner and midwife. Mother was very relaxed and focused.
Finally the mom was feeling the need to push. I quickly labor checked her and found she was indeed complete and ready. Pushing was calm, quiet and very relaxed. Dad and I gave the mom the encouragement to continue during contractions and allowed her to rest between pushings. I used massage and support as the baby's head was emerging. I pinched the intact amniotic membrane as it appeared at the vaginal opening. Soon the baby's head was born over an intact perineum, rotated and had a slight bit of shoulder dystocia (stuck shoulders). I worked with the shoulders and the baby was born with the next contraction.
Baby daughter born.
Partial separation of placenta has started.
Encouraging baby to breastfeed to help with placenta expulsion.
The baby was a girl and the mom named her "Fawn." I suctioned her a little, but she breathed spontaneously, with no crying and no problems. The time was 3:26 am. She had an APGAR of 9/10. We clamped the cord in about 10 minutes and the dad cut the cord.
We attempted to get Fawn to nurse, but she simply was not interested and preferred to look around. I gave the mom some Angelica root tincture to help with placental expulsion. The mom began to have partial separation with some bleeding.
Baby, Fawn, nursing while I am working on placenta bleeding and delivery.
We finally convinced Fawn to nurse. Complete placental separation occurred and contractions resumed. The placenta was delivered complete, with no further bleeding problems. The uterus tightened down and stayed firm.
We handed Fawn to one of the EMTs to hold, while the dad and I got mom up and to the shower. While mom and dad were occupied in the shower, I changed the bed linen and pads. The mom came in and climbed back into a fresh bed, feeling good. I did a neonatal check on Fawn and she was fine.
Obtaining "footy prints" for homebirth certificate. Fawn nursing her first meal. Breastfeeding became well established. Mom and daughter cleaned up and settled in for the night.
We got pictures before and after the birth, but the EMTs became so entirely engrossed in the birthing that they forgot completely about the pictures until afterward. The head EMT (the male partner) admitted that he had been highly skeptical at first (that was why they had brought the transport van) and was expecting chaos and mayhem. He kept asking about the quiet calmness of the occasion and expressing his amazement. Problems were handled well and effectively. He had totally changed his mind about homebirth and he said that what they had observed and learned from this birthing would be used in their work as EMTs. Both EMTs thanked the birthing couple for the privilege of attending and told me that if I ever needed any transport, I was to let them know and they would be very happy to assist me. I thanked them for their offer and hoped I would never have to use their expertise.
Visiting EMTs wanted to observe a homebirth and were invited to attend as guests. EMTs attended as guests to view a homebirth.
They had been told several "horror" stories by the local hospitals that they wanted to see first hand what homebirth was all about. This birth helped to clarify and dispel these stories.
Family portrait. Dad rubbing moms tummy to keep uterus firm.
Fawn's dad with Christy, one of the EMT visitors.
Mom and daughter, Fawn, at one year of age. Portrait of Fawn, Age 1 year.
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