Early in the pregnancy of their first baby, Lauren and Tom reached out to me for birth doula services. They knew they wanted a doula with them to navigate the waters of their first birth, and after getting to know one another in the interview we began to work together.
Throughout the summer months we met for prenatal visits to review birth plan and goals, one-on-one birthing classes, and to answer questions as they arose. I was able to provide book recommendations and help calm some nerves about this new experience for both Lauren and Tom.
August 12 was a busy day for both of them with plenty of walking around, and being so close to Laurens due date, it is no surprise this helped to kick start labor. Tom kept diligent track of her contractions and once they were regularly 5 minutes apart lasting 45-60 seconds each, they went to the University of Utah eager to meet their baby. While "only" being dilated 1 CM they returned home to progress further along before returning to the hospital.
August 13 in the afternoon Tom gave me a call and I offered to meet at their home to see where she was at in the progression of labor, and to help Tom support his beautiful wife. After being there for an hour I knew they would be going - and staying- in the hospital that evening, and at 7:00 PM we all met at University of Utah ready to get to work. Upon checking in to Labor and Delivery Lauren had progressed to 6 CM with contractions regularly 4 minutes apart.
Lauren managed her contractions like a warrior; it warmed my heart to see her strength and courage as she entered each new contraction cycle. Tom was at her side the entire time providing encouragement and love, and I was there to massage, provide counter pressure, and educate them both on the next steps. An epidural and some pain medication helped Lauren get some much needed sleep - after all, she had been awake for two days. At 1030 that evening the room was dark and quiet, Lauren was resting, and Tom said he hasn’t been this calm in two weeks. Everyone was ready for the next steps.
Early in the morning of the 14th Lauren was 9 CM dilated and 90% effaced, and with the help of some pitocin and sleep she progressed to 10 CM by 6 AM. Our new mom pushed for 20 minutes with Tom and I supporting her legs and Dr. Michael Draper and a resident coaching her efforts. Lauren's face lit up when she reached down to feel her new baby’s head, and this gave her the extra energy needed for the final push.
Baby girl was born the morning of August 14 at 7:34 AM weighing 8 lbs and 20 inches long. Lauren gave immediate skin-to-skin while Tom cut her umbilical cord. When baby Eloise went to the warmer to be cleaned and have her throat suctioned clear Tom was right by her side. His smile took over his entire face as he talked about how much they love her, how perfect she is, and how they “will be the coolest family ever!” Tom put on the first diaper and less than 30 minutes after birth Eloise had skin-to-skin with her father. She took to nursing with ease and the feeling in the room was happiness and peace. Everyone was healthy, smiling, and excited about the adventures ahead as a beautiful family.