Lauralee went into labor early on Friday morning when she was 39 weeks pregnant. Her sister-in-law, Erin, was well on the way to being in labor too, and I was the midwife for both families! Read about the birth of Ethan’s cousin, Caden, here.
The labor started gradually with mild cramping in the morning. I stopped by Lauralee and John’s house on Friday afternoon while Erin was there for lunch to see how the progress of Erin’s labor was going, and realized that Lauralee was possibly heading into labor as well! I asked Lauralee to check in with her body and baby to slow things down since Erin’s water was broken and I needed to focus on that first. We all laughed about the improbability of both women being in labor at the same time, and strategized about what we would do if the cousins decided to arrive on the same day. At this time, Lauralee’s contractions were still irregular and mild so I left to go back home and told her to contact me if things picked up. We crossed our fingers that her visualizations to slow things down would be effective and her baby would wait until Erin’s baby came . . .
This was not Ethan’s plan! I received a text later in the evening that Lauralee’s contractions were getting more intense and regular. I headed back over to their house and found Lauralee in early to mid labor with moderate contractions every 4-5 minutes or so. She was breathing and focusing well during each contraction. Lauralee’s sister, a midwife familiar with out-of-hospital birth, was with her and very willing to be supportive and present during the labor. I had to go to Erin and Dondi’s house to administer another dose of antibiotic, so I told Lauralee I would check in on them as soon as possible after I went to see Erin. She was completely fine with this plan, and happy to continue laboring for the time being with John and her sister, Misty, supporting her.
By the time I made it back to Lauralee it was about 8:30 pm. Megan (my assistant) was still with Erin and Dondi, so Misty volunteered to assist me with the rest of Lauralee’s birth. Contractions were close together and intense at this time. The next few hours passed quickly as Lauralee breathed, moaned, and moved her way through the end of active labor and transition. She leaned on John for support, sat on the birth ball, and walked around the house. It was clear that the second stage of labor was near when Lauralee began pushing spontaneously at the peak of each contraction. John, Misty, and I enthusiastically encouraged her as she worked to bring the baby down a little bit with each push. Lauralee pushed for less than an hour and birthed Ethan shortly before midnight while squatting on the bathroom floor with John supporting her from behind. Ethan was pink and crying from the moment I placed him on Lauralee’s chest. Shortly after the birth we helped Lauralee move to the bedroom, where she promptly squatted down by the bed and birthed the placenta without any help or support from anyone! Afterwards, she climbed up into the bed, took Ethan back from John who had been holding him, and brought him up to her breast where he eagerly began nursing without any trouble. A sweet and easy end to a fast and uncomplicated labor!
Welcome to the world Ethan! Congratulations Lauralee and John! Another big thank you and congratulations to Misty who helped with her nephew’s birth and Erin and Dondi, for their patience and understanding when I had to leave them to go be with Lauralee.
For more photos of Lauralee and Erin’s families, check out the Photo Gallery of BirthRoot Families.