Before I even set down my caffeine, the Resident looks at me and says, “You’re going to have a baby in Room 7. She wasn’t pushing well with me, so I left her for you.” In anticipation of possibly a speedy delivery during shift change and board rounds, I step into the room to introduce myself.
“So the doctor isn’t going to deliver my baby?” The doula at her bedside also asks where the doctor went, and why a doctor would not be there. I take a deep breath, explain the shift change, that midwives attend all low risk births here (at least during the days, lately), and that I am excited to be with her for her birth.
Rounds finish, I try to clear my head, and step in to check on how everyone is doing. Many family members are in the room, more than is commonly permitted in this setting, and I am thrilled that she has such support with her on this day.
Her epidural is strong, but she is restless with the contractions. After laboring down, the baby’s head is just behind the pubic bone. She starts pushing and is doing great, but I can tell she does not exactly feel where and how to push. She begins to cry, believing that she is not doing it correctly and that it is taking too long. I assure her of her work, but know she needs to see the process for herself.
We grab the mirror from the hallway, and her pushing really takes off when she sees which types of pushes show the most hair. The doula offers how excited she is there’s a midwife there, noting “how patient midwives are with the pushing phase.”
Many, many pushes later. Beautiful crying baby born easily, placed skin-to-skin, and seeks the breast immediately.