When Janene contacted me to let me know she was expecting her second baby, I literally squealed with excitement! I had met Todd and Janene through a hypnobabies class I had taken early on in my doula career, and they had asked to join them for the birth of their first baby girl, Tesla. Despite the fact that their first birth had been quite challenging (including Todd getting food poisoning the night labor started, and Janene stalling at 9cm for over 7 hours), I had been so impressed by their tenacity and resolve as they gracefully powered through and were able to deliver Tesla naturally. At the time, I was still a "newer" doula and was also just starting to get into birth photography and their birth was one of the first few I had documented. So, when they contacted me about their second, I was excited both for the opportunity to work with these amazing clients again, as well as the chance to see how my skills had improved since the first time around!
Janene was due December 23, but Christmas and New Years passed with no signs of baby. On Jan 4, Janene went in for a midwife checkup and they gave her some herbs and castor oil to help encourage labor to start on it's own. Within a few hours, Janene began to feel crampy and around 6pm she let me know that this was probably the real deal and said she might be heading to the birth center within a few hours. 10 minutes later, she let me know that things were getting much more intense and she was heading in. With second (or third of fourth!) time moms, I've learned things can move VERY quickly, so I immediately jumped in the car and headed towards the birth center. A big winter storm had just rolled in, so traffic was slow and the roads were slightly treacherous! Thankfully, we all made it to the birth center safely, and I arrived just minutes after Todd and Janene. Janene was at 6cm, and contractions were pretty intense. We thought we still had some time though, so while Janene got up to use the bathroom, Todd and Gaither (the midwife) worked to get the tub and nitrous oxide ready for use.
While she was using the bathroom, Janene's water broke and she immediately started feeling "pushy!" The midwife checked and we were all surprised to hear she was now at 9.5cm! Janene decided to get in the tub, and within minutes, after only a couple of pushes, their second baby girl was born into the water and gently guided up Janene's waiting arms.