The Birth Story of
Mari Karlene Nelson
Parents: Lindsey and Rob Nelson
Told by: April Millar, doula
A few days before baby Mari would grace us with her presence, Lindsey was feeling pretty anxious that she was fast approaching her due date and no baby. Especially because she had shown signs of early progression being dilated to a 1+ and effaced quite a bit for two weeks now. Lindsey called me up and we chatted. She mentioned that she wasn’t concerned really about when she would go into labor, she knew the baby would come; but she had since become very focused on the actual labor, what it was going to feel like and if she could handle it. We had a wonderful discussion and she regained the confidence she had months earlier that a non-medicated birth was what she wanted and she could totally handle it. I agreed. I had seen enough of Lindsey that I had no doubt that she could absolutely handle childbirth.
Three days later, Friday October 24th, I got a text from Lindsey at 4:00PM telling me she thought she was experiencing some contractions. They were much tighter than she had ever felt before and coming in a pattern for the last 30 minutes. Hooray, it sounded like sweet baby Mari was on her way. I advised Lindsey to rest as much as she could, nap, bath, and eat and drink lots of water. She promised she would. However labor really got going, and was happening fast. An hour later Rob texted me telling me that Lindsey was having contractions every 5 minutes and each one stronger than the last. He wanted to know when they should head to the hospital. I told him that whenever Lindsey felt like they should go to the hospital is exactly the right time to go. However, if it were me I would wait a while and labor at home because they lived so close to the hospital that I was confident they would make it no matter what. We texted back and forth about ways to help Lindsey feel more comfortable and how to help her relax as much as possible, taking each contraction one at a time.
At 7:00PM Rob texted and told me they were ready to head to the hospital. Alright! I was so excited for them, and I could tell they were excited too. I got to the hospital right close to 8:00PM. Lindsey was in the bed; Rob, her mother and sister all near helping encourage Lindsey to relax as much as possible. Lindsey was at a 5! She was doing great and progressing quickly. Her sister informed me that Lindsey had been pretty tense, before they got to the hospital her hands were curling and unable to open or move because the muscles were so tight. Lindsey was doing better at releasing her muscles but it was still pretty clear that she was tensing up a lot. I was familiar with Lone Peak Hospital and aware that they had some of the best birth tubs I have ever seen in hospitals. I went straight to the bathroom and saw that they put her in a room with just a shower. It was at that point that I strongly urged Rob to go ask the nurse if a room with a tub was available. Lindsey wasn’t completely convinced that she wanted to get in the bathtub. I told her if she didn’t want to she definitely didn’t have to but it would be nice to have the option in case the desire arose.
Lindsey had a wonderful nurse who was very accommodating. It wasn’t but a few minutes before we were in another room and she was filling up the bathtub. Lindsey got in the tub and as she was sliding down into the warm water looked up at me and said “It’s like you know what you’re talking about.” It was then that Lindsey was able to really relax and unwind her muscles and as a result she not only labored easier but she started cracking jokes all over the place. She had us all laughing as she positioned the washcloths as a triangle bikini. She labored in the tub for about an hour getting out about 9:30PM.
She was checked when she was dry again and found to be about 8.5! She was sure moving fast. It was starting to make sense to me. Because she was moving so quickly her body was in hard very effective labor from the get go. That is why, I believe, she was so stiff in the beginning, she was trying to keep up with her contractions but they were so intense so it was throwing her off.
Lindsey’s preferred position to labor was standing next to the bed. It was perfect for her, she swayed her hips and took a power stance through every contraction. Rob was right by her side, quietly whispering encouraging words into her ear. Her sister and mother were so helpful throughout the whole process with their support and words of comfort, I could tell Lindsey really did well having them there. I did find it very interesting that Lindsey wanted very little physical support. She did not like any pressure on her back at any time of her labor. She didn’t mind the light touch massage but really only when Rob tickled her. For some reason she was retaining a lot of water in her legs, could be because she preferred to stand as she labored but she also wasn’t able to relieve her bladder the last time she tried so the fluid was making her legs really tight. I was able to rub her legs to give her some relief from the pressure. But really that is all the physical support she wanted.
At about 9:50PM she began to feel pushy with her contractions, this was only about 10 minutes after her last vaginal exam. Her nurse checked her and said there was only a little lip of the cervix left; she was a 9.5+. With each contraction it seemed as though Lindsey was pushing more and more, she was doing amazing squatting with every push. It wasn’t long before her water broke, showing there was a little meconium in her fluid.
At about 10:30PM she moved to the bed and really got down to pushing business pulling her legs up to her chest to help her bear down. She had amazing control and she told me after that when she was pushing she felt no pain, she didn’t even feel the “ring of fire,” she was just so focused and driven to get that baby out. Lindsey did perfectly, her baby made a smooth very gradual decent. Little Mari was crowning for a while when her heart rate started to drop some. Lindsey’s Dr. recommended an episiotomy and Lindsey agreed. Within seconds sweet Mari was born into this world at 11:11PM October 24, 2014. They gave her right to Lindsey and made sure all was well with Mari, that she didn’t need any additional treatment because of the meconium, she was perfect and soaking up the image of her mama’s face.
Rob did so well, only having to sit down twice for a few minutes to get his strength (stomach) back. And from what I understand, he did much better than expected. He really was right there with Lindsey the whole time, being her rock and strength throughout the whole process.
Congratulations Lindsey and Rob, Mari is adorable. I was so impressed with Lindsey and how well she did. Sometimes it can be overwhelming when labor goes quickly, everything seems more intense right out of the gate. But Lindsey did beautifully; she was so aware and even communicative even right up at towards the end. I am not kidding when I say she was joking around with her Dr. as she was pushing. And completely un-medicated I want to emphasize! Thank you for letting me be there, the birth of Mari Karlene was an absolute joy to witness.