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66 Hour Birth for this Doula

My birth was 66 hours long so I am feeling overwhelmed at how to write it all down. Things started gently Sunday night, I made groaning cake in between waves.


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Hubby and I were excited and ready. I had a bath and we listened to our Hypnobabies fear clearing session. As things got stronger and closer together we called our doula sometime on the middle of the night. I don’t remember much of the details but water was my best friend. I was in the tub, shower and pool at least 10 different times in the process.


Vancouver Doula Apple Blossom Families- Vancouver Birth Photographer Morag Hastings

Toning felt so good so I made lots of sound (I found out later that our building mgr and neighbour contacted Chris to find out if I was ok). I sang mantras from yoga class and was feeling positive and confident. As time wore on I was sure I was getting close. It must have been Monday in the middle of the night when Gloria told me “I think it’s still early, you need to sleep between waves”. I was shocked, disappointed and deflated. Lying down was my least comfortable position so I didn’t want to stop walking and moving. I think I would have given up and gone to the hospital at that point had we not hired Gloria and were with registered midwives.


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After lying down for 4 hours I had to get up. I had a bath and my water broke. There was meconium in the fluid but light. Again, I was grateful we were not in registered midwifery care. Things were intense and I was leaning over Sage’s dresser as transformation unfolded (transition). The waves came almost continuously and I was rocking away.

I told my doula “I don’t know how much longer I can maintain this”. I went in the bath again and I began to feel rectal pressure (mild) and pushy sensations. This was Tuesday morning, I ended up being fully dilated for around 24 hours!).


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I pushed for some time but my waves were 5-10 minutes apart. We did everything we could think of to get them to pick up. Homeopathics helped the most as well as positioning. After awhile I could feel a squishy bit of head only an inch inside my vagina- yay I was getting close! Well no, that wasn’t the case. I pushed and pushed and her head didn’t descend.

My waves were mild and spaced and I hadn’t eaten or slept much at all in 3 days. Gloria – Queen of Home Birth- told me she thought we may need to go to the hospital (where she has no privileges) and have them use a vacuum. I couldn’t believe it! A very big reason I hired her was because I knew I could trust her and she would never suggest a transfer unless absolutely necessary. Well F that! I knew I had to tap into some fierce Kali energy and just push like a wild savage beast!


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My uterus was no longer in charge of doing the majority of work, I was. For about four hours I “purple pushed” and I’ve now got a red eye because if it. Things started to shift. Small movement forward could be seen. I was falling asleep between waves and then having to remember where I was and what I was doing at the beginning if each one. Asleep-savage-asleep-savage.


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Finally it was time to get back into the birth pool. As her head crowned time stood still, my senses where heightened and I was stretched to my limits. All I could do was stare into Jessica’s eyes to stay grounded and present- she was my anchor.


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My baby was almost here and it was so tempting to just barrel through and get her out in one final heave but my team reminded me to guide her out slowly and gently to avoid tearing. I was on one knee and one foot as her head emerged and then I leaned back into Chris and waited for her body. I could feel her head turn to my right and then she wiggled her shoulders. I felt that her cord was around her neck and it was a bit too tight to pull over so Jess and I held her head to my right thigh and with the next surge her body somersaulted out. I pulled her up out of the water and she opened her eyes to look at us right away. I discovered that she was a girl and cried with joy. I had always secretly wanted a girl all along.


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She was calm and quiet and peaceful. Then she sort of spaced out and stopped breathing. Her colour was blue/grey and she was floppy. It was as if her enormous soul had a difficult time staying connected to this tiny new body. I was concerned for Chris because I knew it was scary for him. I had seen this as a birth doula and was terrified. With Sage connected to me I knew without a doubt that she as ok. For about 2 minutes we sang to her, suctioned her, and pinched her.


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We called 911 just as a backup but of course she started breathing and pinking up while the paramedics were on the phone. They told us they had to come anyway. When they arrived we didn’t invite them in.


My placenta came quickly and easily within about 15 minutes. We were parents at last! All the hard work was over!

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Sage is the most beautiful baby ever, and her skin is as soft as silk, not that i’m biased or anything She had a caput on the back right side of her head (so she was asynclitic)– that explains the slow/irregular dilation and wave pattern.


I share with your the birth of Sage Marie Dierkes, December 18, 2013, 7lbs 5oz, born at home in water.


Chris, Sage’s dad and Chloe’s husband, wrote a raw post on how he processed the birth. You can read it here.


Want to read more interesting blog posts. You can see a visual guide to delayed cord clamping.


Morag Hastings is a Doula and Birth Photographer located in Vancouver, BC Canada. Come check out more of her work on her facebook page at www.fb.com/vancouverbirthdoula or feel free to email me at moraghastings@gmail.com I would love to hear from you.

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