Monday, June 30, 2008

A phone call

May I journal a bit on my blog?

Last night I got a call from friend asking me to come over because her friend, D, was in labor. D had just moved to a new state and was having a hard time finding a midwife because she wanted to VBAC. If I got the story right, D's first birth was a UC that transferred and became a section. As of last night, D had decided to try UC again, but labor had been going for 24 hours and the back labor was tough.

My friend called D, figuring if they didn't want calls, they wouldn't answer. A bit of conversation and phone passing occurred and suddenly I was on the phone with an out-of-breath laboring woman.

I had once heard Laura Shanley say that sometimes when women are in labor and they don't know what to do, they call her. She tries, over the phone, to reassure them and help them relax. I was in the same kind of situation.

I couldn't see her, but I could hear the labor. A couple of times, she'd say "contraction" and set the phone down. I could hear the contractions in her vocalizations; I heard her asking her husband for more pressure on her back. I could even hear the contraction come to an end in her voice. After one contraction, I asked, "It's nice when they're over, isn't it?" "Yeah."

The really surreal thing for me was that it brought me back to my labor. After the baby's out, you are so happy and joyous, your memory of the difficulty fades away, but on that phone, I remembered the hours of back labor, calling for warm compresses and a fist on my lower back. I remember it feeling like it'd never end.

And I could do nothing for her. I knew how she was feeling and I was states away on a telephone in a living room comfortably with my own baby on my lap.

She needed assurance that babies do come. She asked me how long my labor was- I was afraid to say, "44 hours" because I didn't want her to be overwhelmed by that number. She asked me if my labor lasted for 2 nights and I said it did. She said that knowing that my baby came after 44 hours made her 24 hour struggle easier- she was reassured that a long labor isn't a singular experience. I gave her suggestions- try different positions. She told me how much it hurt to lie down, but she was so tired. She told me how sitting on the toilet was so uncomfortable- and I totally agreed.

She asked me if my baby was posterior or anterior, how long my pushing stage was, if I received a boost of energy at the end.

I hope I helped.

At one point she asked if I was LDS and we discussed the use of priesthood blessings in labor. She had been receiving some from her husband. I gave her some advice I received from one that really helped me.

The phone call ended when her 2 year old came home.

But I don't really know what I could do. I had been there- long, endless back labor, feeling like you don't know how to listen to the Spirit because the contractions take all your concentration and you're just so tired.

I told her that what she was doing was totally possible and that she could do it.

I hope she has her baby now and they're sleeping soundly together.

1 comment:

  1. AAAAHHHHHH. You have to find out how it ended!!! Am on the edge of my seat!


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