The Birth of Ledger
When I go on-call for my clients, I stay in close communication with them to see how they’re feeling physically, emotionally, and mentally. It’s important to me to stay up to date on their prenatal appointments, any progress they’re having, as well as their outlook on their upcoming birth. This makes a huge difference coming into the birth space— knowing what they may be feeling and experiencing.
For Janel, she really didn’t have any labor signs or symptoms leading up to the day her body actually went into labor. And sometimes this is the way it happens! I got a call in the wee hours of the morning from her partner saying she had been having contractions through the night and that they’d been getting stronger.
By the time I joined them at the birth center, she was in active labor and working through her contractions with such grace and solitude. A wave would come and she would turn inward to work through it. Labor doesn’t require this from us, but doing so most definitely paves the way for a more relaxed bottom and blooming cervix.
By the time she got into the birth pool, she was experiencing transition-like contractions. As an observer, I felt like she was on the brink of pushing. I’ve been wrong before though! She still had some work to go. She was experiencing terrible sacral pain, what seemed like back labor, but not quite. When baby comes down the birth canal there can be a lot of pressure put on the sacrum by the head of the baby and this pain can feel quite intense.
After beginning to push after a few hours in the pool, you could sense exhaustion slowly inching its way over her. We kept telling her she could do this and that she was so close. Even through the exhaustion, she still had her resolve and her strength. At this point, the best position for her to be in was on all fours pushing, which allows more room for the baby to come down, as well as relieving the pressure off of the sacrum. But if you’ve been in transition labor then you know that it’s so difficult to think or talk about anything going on outside of yourself, not to mention get into another position. With the help of her team, her midwife, nurse, and partner, she changed positions.
Janel pushed with all her strength through about four contractions when her baby beautifully emerged. Her midwife told her, “Reach down, between your legs, and grab your baby!!” Sure enough, she brought her baby boy up and out of the water onto her chest where she leaned back and admired her beautiful son. The parents spent the next sacred hours bonding with their perfect son. What a gift!