Every birth I’ve attended is amazing. It’s where I get to witness the love, strength and determination it takes to bring a baby earth-side. But the birth of Miles Robert changed me, rocked my world, and left me in awe at the power of the love for one’s child. I drove to Barnes-Jewish hospital around 7:00 on a cold and crisp, Monday evening with the eager anticipation I feel every time I drive to a birth. When I arrived, Kait was laboring peacefully in the tub. I could tell contractions were already pretty intense and that she was well into active labor at this point. She eventually walked around between waves and stopped to lean on Dylan (her husband) or Emily (her doula). They were intense, but she was strong and was surrounded by people loving and encouraging her through every step. It had been several hours of moving and trying many different positions, but it seemed labor had stalled at around 8cm and that baby was in a wonky asynclitic position. Basically, Miles’ head was cocked to one side making contractions more painful and simultaneously unproductive in dilating her cervix because baby’s head wasn’t engaging properly. Eventually they break Kait’s water to hopefully get some more productive contractions. By this time, Kait had been working so extremely hard. I stood there in awe of her strength. Just when it seemed like she had had enough, we would give her a few words of encouragement and she would continue for a while riding through each contraction. It’s difficult to put into words just how hard of work labor is. Especially when you get stuck for hours and hours at 8cm. Around 3:00 am, Kait eventually got an epidural because she had not progressed from a 8cm in a while and her body actually undilated a couple cm due to her cervix swelling from baby’s wonky position. This was a hard, but good decision because she had already been in labor for over 20 hours at that point and was desperate for some sleep. Evening turned into morning and we all got a little bit of rest before Kait got to 10 cm and she could start pushing. Things took a turn though because baby was still in that asynclitic position and Mile’s started to have heart decels with each contraction. Eventually, her OB decided that a cesarean wouldn’t be safest for baby to come out. While Kait knew this was best for baby, you can image how difficult this news was to hear. At that point, Kait had been in labor for almost 30 hours and she had worked harder than any mama I’ve seen during her contractions. She had spent time, money and energy planning for a natural birth. It was devastating to not only let go of the peaceful birth she had dreamed about, but also worrying that Miles was okay and about having major abdominal surgery. Being able to witness the sacrificial love she had for her baby was shaking me to the core. When baby Miles was finally born on December 18th, he inhaled in a bunch of meconium causing him to have a hard time breathing at first. It was a very intense and heartbreaking few moments while they worked to get little Miles to breathe on his own, but eventually he pulled through. Kait and Dylan were joyful that their son was born, but were both very eager to hold him once he was more stable. Though their birth went very differently from what they originally had planned, it was full of beautiful moments that deserved to be captured.
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