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Doula attending a Scheduled Caesarean Breech Baby

Posted on January 23rd, 2013 by | 3 views

Doula attending a Scheduled Caesarean Breech Baby

by Jo Kilburn

I recently had a client whose baby insisted on staying in the breech position. I live in Southern California, where breech babies are not usually delivered vaginally. When I started working with this client, she told me that all her family was back East, she hadn’t lived in Southern California long and didn’t have many female friends or support. My maternal instinct kicked in, and in teaching her and her husband private childbirth classes we bonded on that level. We spoke of caesarean possibilities throughout our 4 week sessions. I tried to help her allow her body and mind to embrace whatever birthing developed for her, and to relax with the decision when it was made.

When she reached 38 weeks and the baby still had not turned, her doctor suggested she schedule a caesarean. She and her husband wanted to have a natural vaginal birth, but they went home and thought carefully about their options. They then called me to say they decided to go with the scheduled birth that Sunday.

We met at the hospital at 10am on Sunday morning. As we sat in the triage room, she showed excitement at the knowledge that she would be meeting her daughter today. The anesthesiologist came and described what would be happening. Her husband would be asked to come in once they got her prepared and he would be able to stay with the baby at all times. Both husband and mother asked “Once my husband leaves the room with my baby, can my doula come in to be with me?” The anesthesiologist said there was only one “guest” allowed in surgery at a time, but agreed to allow me to come in once the father left the room. The couple spoke to their OBGYN when she arrived and the doctor was definitely supportive of this decision.

My client was wheeled her into surgery at 12:10pm. At 12:30, they told dad he could come in. At 12:35 I heard the baby cry. Five minutes later, the door opened and out came a smiling, tearful dad with his newborn daughter in his arms. He said “Isn’t she beautiful?” As he was accompanied to the nursery, the OR nurse opened the operating room door and said I could come in. I had never been in a caesarean birthing room before, and my decision was not to look “over the sheet” but to focus on the mom. I sat on a stool next to her head. She looked into my eyes and asked “Did you see her?” I smiled, said soft soothing things and stroked her forehead. She said “I’m so tired.” I placed my hand over her eyes to help block out the light and told her she could doze if she wanted to. I spoke to her softly about her new daughter and encouraged her breathing. She fell to sleep quickly, for a 10 minute power nap. I sat there and listened to the sounds, felt her body move as the doctors stitched her up, smelt the smells of the cauterization and kept my hand on this sweet mother’s brow. I felt blessed to be a part of this couples’ birthing of their beautiful daughter.

I am sharing this beautiful birth story with doulas everywhere, so they will know how valuable their presence is to their birthing mothers, no matter what journey their labors take.

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