Pushing Phoebe Into the World


The nonchalent way Dr. Russell said “It’s time to start pushing” really caught me off guard. Even though we’d been given that extra time, and even though Sari had finally fully dilated, I was still very much anticipating that a C-section was imminent. After all, as far as I knew, the baby was still “malpositioned,” and Sari still seemed in a passive state of her labor. But I figured Dr. Russell wanted to give it the ol’ college try. She even made us open the room’s shades, letting in the late afternoon light to create more of an “active environment.”

Phoebe Feuer Neufeld


Thanks to my dad, we got back to the hospital by about 1 a.m. They put Sari back in triage for an initial exam, where we received two big surprises. One was that she was dilated up to 7 centimeters! The other was that her waters hadn’t actually broken. What we thought was her waters breaking in small trickles was actually just some small self-repairing leakage. No matter, though, 7 cm was definitely good reason to have her back at the hospital. They admitted Sari and gave us a labor room (one with a jacuzzi!). And they called Dr. Russell, and said she was coming in.

Despite Gabriela’s and my best efforts to keep Sari drinking, they found her slightly dehydrated (the barf in the shower probably hadn’t helped), so they hooked her up to an IV, as well as to a fetal monitor. Then we got back to helping her labor.

Water, Water Everywhere


Sari has produced all sorts of liquids, including barf, bloody show, and now her waters have broken. So it’s back to the hospital for us.

Sari & Gabriela have been doing some wonderful dance movement partnering. (Gabriela has a dance background similar to Sari’s, which is a big part of why we chose her as our doula.) Sari has found new reservoirs of tenacity, and is powering through her contractions with quiet determination.

She’s the best!

There and back again…


The contractions were coming fast & furious, so we headed over to the hospital at around 6 pm. And now we’re back home again. Sari was dilated about 1-2 cm, and Dr. Russell (yes, they finally reached her) advised us to continue laboring at home.

I know this happens a lot, but it was hard for me to believe we couldn’t progress just as well in a hospital room. I had to trust the doc and Gabriela on this one, though, that it was gonna be better for Sari to labor back home. Comparing this to where we were just a few short days ago is amazing.

And now that we are back, it does seem like the right decision. Sari’s been laboring in the shower, which helped her pain a lot, and now Gabriela has her doing light lunges to help open up the birth canal. Sari’s exhausted, and she’s had trouble keeping food down, so we’re gonna put her back in bed to see if she can get some Z’s in between contractions.

Once her water breaks, or she goes into real active labor, we’ll head back to the hospital. I’m thinking it’s gonna be not too long from now.

I’m in absolute amazement at what Sari is going through and how strong she is.

Gettin' there…


Gabriela, our doula, is here now. Contractions are closer together, and getting stronger. We could be heading over to the hospital sooner rather than later. My dad is driving us; better than a car service with this rain we’re having.

Our doctor isn’t on call today! This is quite worrisome. Hopefuly, she’ll reappear in the nick of time. She swore to us she delivers 90+% of her patients’ babies.

Chuggin' along


The contractions are continuing, irregularly, anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes apart. Still not too strong (‘tho nothing I’d wanna suffer through!), and not usually lasting more than 30-45 seconds. We’ve been practicing touch therapy. I just put my hand on a part of Sari’s back where it’s tense, and she relaxes at that spot. It really helps.

So far, Sari’s favorite labor positions are kneeling on the floor, with her head resting on the seat of a chair; and standing up with me behind her in a “slow-dance” position, with my hands on her belly. I’m glad I can help her in some little way as she goes through this intense process.

Labor? Early Labor?


This time we think so. Sari started having contractions again this morning at about 5:45. They’re much more manageable than the ones on Thursday, shorter and not so excruciating. Sari gets through them by making the most adorable little mooing sounds — sorta like a sad but friendly ghost. They’re very sporadic, anywhere between 3 and 8 minutes apart. Once they start getting more regular, last longer, and are stronger, we’ll know it’s for real. Stay tuned. (And I’m feeling much better, thanks.)