A good night's work
J's first baby was a typical first birth in many ways: It was long and tiring and hard work. But after 30 hours (about 10 hours of active labor) Her baby son slid happily into the hands of his mother, father and midwife. Beautiful, rewarding, just the way it was meant to be.
After he was snuggled up and nursing well, we awaited the placenta. After thirty minutes no placenta. No worry. No bleeding. We tried a little pitocin then a little "Placenta Out" herbal tincture. No placenta. After an hour no bleeding and no placenta, we tried a little caulophyllum homeopathic remedy. No bleeding and no placenta. More breastfeeding, more patience, and when there was no placenta after 2 hours we went to the hospital.
The Doctor was very excited and called in the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists for a consult. They warned J that she may bleed profusely as they attempted to extract the placenta, and that she may need a hysterectomy. Everybody cried a lot and was very anxious. The Doctor did his work and went in to manually extract the placenta. .... And it came out just fine! ("Very hard to extract", he said. Whatever,... it came out no bleeding, just fine) "You should not have another baby outside the hospital he said. This could repeat. You may be less lucky next time"
J and I heard and we were not sure what to think.
2 years later, she was in my office pregnant again. "What do you think?" 2 years had passed. I was feeling mellow that day. "Let's go for it" I said.
On Wednesday evening J called me at 9:45 in the evening "I've had half an hour of contractions, not too strong, every 10 to 15 minutes.... I think it's going to happen". I suggested we both try and get some rest. At 1:15am my phone rang. It was J's mom "Her contractions are 4 minutes apart and her water just broke. Water breaking in a multip..... often a sign that there's no time to lose. I jump in the car and off to Irving. I was so sure that things were moving fast that when J's mom opened the door to me at 1:50am I said "Is the baby out?" "No!" she said "If it were I'd be lying on the floor" (I'm not sure what she meant by that) but anyway I went into the bathroom where J was sitting on the toilet having a GINORMOUS contraction... "Ooooh" I thought, "The baby's going to come out right here in the bathroom VERY soon" So I lugged my stuff along the hallway so I'd be ready for the birth. Meanwhile J stood up and went "Uuuuuugh..... I'm pushing" As she said this she walked through to the living room and stood in the middle of the carpet in front of the big screen TV. Her mom, ever resourceful, grabbed a large tarp and threw it on the floor. J's husband (J2) was lying in bed with J3 trying to keep him asleep. J's mom ran in to get him up "She's pushing" He rubbed his eyes, walked in saying "What can I do?" "Look, can you see the head?"I said. J stood powerfully in the center of the living room and baby O slipped out. She sat down and J and J2 welcomed her into the world. 10 minutes later the placenta let go and slid out followed by a drop of blood the size of a half dollar.
A good night's work J