This is in the doula's words.  Its an interesting story of how a doula introduced a pressure point concept to her OB friend and prevented a cesarean.


    This is going to be a long story so now is the time to bail out if you want to. I got to be a part of a birth yesterday that I am still on cloud 9 about. So here goes with a little bit of the history too.


    I taught a basic CBE class to this couple back on Memorial day weekend. They were planning to have a regular birth like every one else, you know the epidural  everyone else gets until they took my class. Then they thought maybe they would go for a non medicated birth and wanted me to be their doula. They were a delight to just be in the same room with so I was thrilled to get to serve them! I was not able to get my regular paper work e-mailed to them but we had spoken on the phone a few times. They were going to the doc and would give me the up date when they got home. Then I got the e-mail, there was  a major problem with the baby and that was why "mom" was measuring so big. The sono showed there was a blockage in the baby's intestine. The baby would need to be delivered c-section and need surgery right away to fix this problem and now they weren't sure if there were other problems too like maybe downs. Everyone's  hearts were broken and the prayers were being said big time for the mommy and this little guy.
Now mom was on strict bed rest so she did not go into labor early so the baby wasn't also dealing with being a preemie as  well as the other stuff. Now I had no contact with the mom. She was not returning any phone calls or e-mails. I thought she must have just been so devastated she didn't want to talk to any one she didn't have to and I was not on the list. So I continued to pray. Last week while praying for them I just could not understand why both the mom and the baby had to recover from surgery, why did this little one have to be born via surgery and not get the blessing of a vaginal birth if there didn't appear to be heart and other problems. But of course I didn't have the whole story.


    Since I was not going to be at the birth I made plans to be out of town this weekend for a very joyful occasion. Because my husband is a pilot my daughter and I were going to fly down south and it looked good that we would get a seat on the plane. Then Thursday evening we checked to make sure we were still going to get on the plane, but now the flights were all over sold! I was devastated!!! Major tears!!! The next morning it looked ever worse so I couldn't go. My husband kept saying "just try, I know how badly you want to go". But I couldn't because  "I knew the Lord didn't want me to go for some reason, but I didn't know the reason."  That afternoon I prayed and asked the Lord to please just let me know why I needed to stay home.


    Then the phone rang. It was this mommy. She was just told about 3:30 on Friday afternoon that the doctors wanted to induce her and see if she could try to deliver this baby vaginally in the morning so would I please be there doula? I just sat on the steps crying, now I knew why I needed to stay. The bigger boys said , "go mom, I got you covered with the little guys while dad is flying." So we had a date!


    I went to their home that evening for a couple of hours to try and help them be as prepared as I could then I met them the next morning and I followed them to the hospital. The birth was to be a the large hospital with the level 3 NICU for the baby. I usually will not deliver at this hospital because the nurses and doctors are usually so nasty to the doulas. But this time I knew the doctor and wanted to be with this couple.  I knew God would work out the details and put together a great team for us. This was going to be a "God thing" so I wasn't to worried. So we got to the room, the first nurse wasn't happy that there was "a doula", but she was just the back up nurse because our nurse was with her other patient and would be in very soon to finish the check in. The next nurse came in and was as sweet as a peach and very kind.


    Mom was contracting  very slightly about every 4 minutes on her own when we got there. So they added some pit and all she needed was a little whiff and off she went on her own. The baby made it to -2 and the doc decided to break her water because we were really going to have a baby today one way or another. She said there was about a 50/50 chance of a vaginal or c-section, it could go either way . We would just see how the baby could handle things. Every thing went great. The contractions would start to space out so I would do some acupressure on her hands or ankles and they would get cranking back up again. Then the baby kept "flat lining". We didn't know if he was taking a nap or just what. We already had one strike against us because there was mic in the water when she broke it. So a flat baby was not an option. So mom was aloud to have pop cycles, and that helped get the baby going for a while. Then flat again, so I had the dad start talking to the baby through the moms belly. that dad was a blast to work with, he had such a great sense of humor! He was singing to the baby, talking real loud, "HEY LITTLE GUY! HOW YOU DOING IN THERE! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU ! WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SO MUCH FUN WHEN YOU GET HERE! and on he went. It was amazing! Every time the dad talked to the baby we had a good heart rate.  But then we tried a new trick, I had dad put my little flash light on moms belly. WOW did that ever rev up that heart beat! It was great!  This kept the nurse out of our room and the doctor not freaking out from seeing a flat baby.


    Finally mom is complete and now we get to start pushing. The doctor and I have done births together for almost 9 years now and we know each other pretty well. She had talked to the nurse about how well my moms push and deliver usually very quickly. So the nurse came in and was all excited about seeing this mom deliver before she had to leave in an hour.  Usually my moms deliver in less then 30 minutes and almost always in less then an hour. But this time all bets were off because I was not able to spend any time preparing this couple other then just the basics and she had been on bed rest so she couldn't practice pushing and she was just barely 36 weeks. I don't recommend that the moms even start practicing before she is 36 weeks anyway.  So the nurse turned off the epidural. Mom starts pushing and the baby is banging his head against the pubic bone. So I had mom start pushing in the sitting position upright in the bed. As she pushed we put the bed down flat as fast as it would go. The baby went right under the pubic bone, but he wouldn't stay. We did this several times and finally he stayed. Then she really was having a hard time moving him any farther. I tried pressing on the ligaments at the bottom of her pelvis but they didn't seem tight. So I had mom try what I call the  "turtle maneuver". I had mom flat on her back, knees wide with the bottom of her feet together and pull her feet up over her head or as far as she could get them. At this point the doctor walked in .
This time with a smile on her face she asked me, Amy, What are you doing THIS time?"  
I told her , "the turtle maneuver, you know , slow and steady wins the race". The doc checked mom again and said, her pelvis was wide side to side but narrow front to back. I told her to get a hold of the front of her pelvis and move it out of the way. She finally was trying to move the bones then said the ligaments in the back or very deep in her pelvis were "as tight as steal bands". I had heard that tone in her voice before (usually right before she calls a c-section). I did NOT want this mom to go down on my watch! Not this one! (By the way the baby looked happier during pushing then he had all day.)


    So here is the really cool part! I said, "Doc, put your thumbs on those ligaments and hold them as hard as you can, they will melt soon I think. While she was holding the ligaments  deep in moms pelvis (by now the epidural was completely worn off)  I said , OK mom, we are going to float away on the blue cloud. You have to try to relax around this. Let's go some where, do you feel the cloud cradling you very gently, lets go to a warm beach. The could is very soft and ..... and so on. Then I put my chest up against the docs back and basically put my chin on her shoulder as I wrapped my arms around the doc and started VERY GENTLY jiggling the mom.
The "sifting" I learned from Gail Tully and the work with the CP kids on a rocker board as a physical therapist assistant really made a difference. It was a very slight shaking and talking mom through some imagery while the doc was holding pressure on the ligaments deep in the pelvis all at the same time. Then the doc said, "OH MY GOSH! THOSE LIGAMENTS ARE GETTING SOFT AND MOVING OUT OF THE WAY!" The baby moved down and we had a baby!!!!! To GOD be the glory GREAT things HE has done!!! 


    The couple had spoken with the NICU doctor earlier in the day and that doc said she wanted the baby with in the first minute of life and they would take the baby right away.  But the mom really wanted to have some skin to skin time with the baby, if he was ok for some. We talked to the delivering doc and she said once the baby was born , the baby really belongs to the NICU doc. So the dad said but what if you don't cut the cord!! The doc smiled and said that was cheating. But in the end she let the baby go to moms bare chest for a little bit. There was a different very laid back NICU doc that checked the baby out and found him to be doing  great. So the baby was brought back to the mom for some more skin to skin time. The baby's  apgars were 8-9. Finally, the baby did go to the NICU but now there is a very satisfied mom and dad that got to fulfill many of their dreams. They were met because the parents were pleasant , kind, reasonable, knowledgeable, and very persistent.


    Oh yea, the pushing started at 6:36 and birth was at 7:48. not to shabby for a first time mom,  that still had a light epidural at first, and that until 28 hours before thought she had to have a c-section.  I don't know about the rest of you but I LOVE being a labor doula  and a childbirth educator. Thanks so much to those of you that took the time to let me "debrief". I think now I can return to the Earth, I have been soaring around in the Heavenlies since 7:48 last night.


In HIS Labor,
Amy Bookwalter

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Hi Gail, 

I want to say thank you! A first time mother's posterior birth went well [with] a short labor. Membranes ruptured about 8am. Her labor started about 6pm: 3cm dilated; LOP station -1; cervix soft and effaced. 

We did rebozo sifting, sidelying release, abdominal lift and tuck, standing sacral release, Dip the hip, circling on the birth ball, lunge and she birthed at 9.58pm in sidelying position with hands around the husband's neck.

Baby's head showed more molding on the right side. What you taught in the workshop and website made a difference!

Chiew Gin, Doula, Singapore