As many of you know, one of my former Doula clients had contacted me several months ago to let me know that her and her husband were expecting their second baby, and would like for me to attend their birth again.
I originally attended the birth of their daughter back in Spring of 2011, and they were hands down my favorite clients I'd ever worked with.
I agreed instantly, on the grounds that they would be OK with it if I had to miss the birth for my "real" job, or due to a lack of childcare - the two things that have changed in the last two years which were most likely to impact them.
They also agreed instantly, and I was over the moon excited to get to attend a birth again. Especially since I knew this would probably be my last birth for a very long time, if not forever.
On tuesday, I got a text from the mom, saying she was at the hospital, 3 cm dialated, and her water had broken. Given that this was her second baby, I wanted to get there as fast as I could, especially since her water had broken.
Second babies can come very fast, and once the bag is broken and their sweet little heads are applying direct pressure to the cervix, they come even faster.
I got the kids fed and situated, and out the door within a a half hour, and was at the hospital exactly an hour after she called me.
When I got to her room, she was happy and smiling, but mentioned her contractions were getting more intense.
We sat on the birth ball and I rubbed her back, and for three or four contractions we were just happily breathing through them and chatting away after them.
But then things changed.
Only 15 minutes after I walked in, active labor really kicked in.
The nurse checked her, and she'd gone from 3 to 5 cm dialated in an hour.
Things picked up even more, and before I knew it she was grunting and panting, and would no longer open her eyes.
When she started throwing up, I knew we were almost done here.
The nurse checked her again, and she'd gone from 5 to 7 cm in no time at all.
We sat on the birth ball and moaned and puffed and sweated through contraction after contraction, as they were coming non-stop now.
The nurse hurried to call the doctor and set up the room.
Only an hour and a half after I arrived, she announced she needed to push.
At 10:38 p.m., Luca Bruno made his way - as fast as possible - into the world, weighing in at 9 lbs and 11 oz, and coming out in only three good, hard pushes.
Mom and baby and Papa are doing well.
It was a fun, and lovely journey back into what I used to do so often, some months going to as many as 10 births, between my apprenticeship and my doula practice.
But when I got home at nearly midnight, kissed my kids, and fell into bed, I remembered why I stepped away from this right now.
Instead of being gone 4 hours, I could've been gone for 2 days.
And there just aren't enough days of my kids being little left for me to do that.
Happy birthday, beautiful boy.