Friday, August 30, 2013

Excited for the Pain

Excited about pain? It may be a foreign concept to some, but for "Jackie" her pain meant the end was near!
For the past few months, I have been privileged to care for "Jackie" a woman in her early 30's with 2 boys and a baby on the way.
About 2 weeks ago, "Jackie" started to have regular contractions, regular, but painless. While this is a normal part of labor preparation that the body undergoes, for a 3rd time mother she knew that pain would mean true labor. So she waited..... And I kept my phone turned on.......
I had that midwife's instinct that when true labor hit, baby would soon follow.

I was just heading to the clinic for swing shift when I received a text. "Jackie" had arrived for her prenatal exam. We had to reschedule from the day before as it was her 2nd son's birthday. 
As I arrived, "Jackie" was full of smiles. Her sweet bubbly face told me that something was going on. At our last visit, she had been nervous of impending birth, but after a long discussion and prayer, she felt much more at ease.

All was normal during the visit and "Jackie" excitedly shared that after weeks of braxton hicks contractions, she was starting to have pain! And on top of that, she had lost her mucus plug that morning... She confided that she felt baby would be in her arms soon... Perhaps tomorrow, she thought aloud...
I smiled and told her to text me at any time. I would be at the clinic all evening anyway. She laughed and said that she would see me soon.
As she left, that feeling that is beginning to become more familiar arose inside of me. She would be in labor... soon... within the next day....

Shift picked up with postpartum visits and a laboring mother. Soon I was caught up in an impending birth. I charted for the midwife... baby born at 7:37pm...
I heard my phone buzz in my pocket, but at the time I was quite preoccupied and dismissed it from my mind.
About 20 minutes later, I was finished with my tasks and went to warm dinner for some of us midwives. As I went to head to the kitchen I saw "Jackie" standing there, hands on hips, nodding. "I'm in labor now" she said, trying hard to smile as the next contraction hit. Well, dinner for me would have to wait! I glanced at my phone... ayuh, there was a text "I'm on my way now"...

While checking "Jackie's" vitals, she abruptly stopped me. I looked at her as it was completely out of character... then we both looked down as her bag of waters trickled to the floor. "SROM, clear fluid" I alerted the head midwife.
Baby's heart beat sounded good and "Jackie" did not have the urge to push yet, so I finished checking her status. At 8:30pm she was at 7cm with steady contractions every 3 minutes, lasting about 60 seconds. My instincts told me she would progress very rapidly...

We labored together with her husband nearby. She was so beautiful and strong! With each contraction she calmly breathed and moved as her body dictated. For one she would stand and sway back and forth. Reminding me of the strong trees surrounding my home. For the next she sat and rolled her head, breathing deeply through the pain. The next she laid on the bed and curled into a ball, tensing and releasing her muscles. Finally she sat up on the bed, looked at me and said... "I am ready now. I need to push."
I looked and saw a large amount of show. I knew she was ready and asked for the head midwife to come. It was time.

"Jackie" was so calm. She pushed and rested as she needed. She listened to her body, and I listened to her. At one point she started to panic, but I advised her to relax and slowly she did as the baby's head emerged.
Beautiful baby girl was born at 9:31pm... "Jackie's" first girl...

Krystine Angela
A few hours later I leave the clinic. Mother and baby are both doing well and resting in the continued postpartum area. "Jackie" only had a slight tear that was quickly repaired. No sign that she had just given birth to this big girl (7lbs 6oz) a few short hours ago aside from her exhausted, smiling face.

2am and I climb into my bed. Thankful for the blessing of birth. Thankful for my friends who are ever helpful. Thankful for my blossoming midwifery instincts.Thankful that I can turn my phone off and sleep as it is the first time in 2 months that I will not be on call. Thankful that God has given me the privilege and opportunity to serve Him.... Thankful for my life!


  1. Love you, thanks for sharing your adventures~