August 26, 2010

Awesome, and a Bit Unusual Birth

This past weekend, I took care of a mom who said she hoped to deliver without an epidural. With her other kids, she had been induced, water broken early and she said she ended up screaming for her epidural around 6 cm. This time, she came it for some bleeding and an exam revealed she was in fact in active labor...very close to transition. She was surprised. She said she was only a little crampy, but never would have guessed she was in labor. Her bleeding was just bloody show. So I got her admitted, called the midwife and she decided to get up and walk for a bit. Her midwife wanted me to recheck her in an hour - she was now 7-8 cm, still looked more comfortable than any of us nurses! The dad actually asked me if they were going to get sent home because she wasn't feeling contractions! So her midwife comes in, sees how comfortable the patient appeared and I start to wonder about the accuracy of my exam. The patient decides to lay down for awhile. After a bit, the midwife decides to check her. We go in, she's on her side, in the middle of a contraction according to the monitor and she's breathing slowly with her eyes closed. Aw, that looks like she's getting ready. Nope. She was sound asleep. And she was 9.5 cm dilated! I've seen women seemingly labor effortlessly, but I've never seen anyone sleep at almost 10cm! Her midwife had never seen that and a couple of other nurses working who have 30+ years of experience had never seen that! Unless of course they have an epidural and she hadn't had anything, no pain meds, nothing! And no, she wasn't on any drugs or anything like that. Once her water broke, she did get uncomfortable as she delivered her baby. She did fabulous, although since she labored so easily, she was stunned after it was over because she went from sleeping to pushing her baby out without medication in 15 minutes. She didn't really have time to prepare is what she said afterward, but she was glad she finally was able to do it. I'm sure that happens more often than I have seen, but it was a first for me. Amazing!


Unknown said...

What?! Sleeping at 9.5?!?! I was screaming and cursing at everyone then.

I totally hate her. :)

sara said...

I can understand not feeling prepared! I wasn't sleeping during labor with my daughter, but I wasn't particularly uncomfortable either. When I started pushing I was shocked and by the time my daughter was born after less than 5 hours of contractions I was just really surprised. For days I couldn't believe that I had actually birthed her since it happened so fast..

I wonder if your patient now wonders if all of her labors could have been like that!?

Heather said...

That exact same thing happened to my Mom when she had my sister. Her water broke, they went to the hospital and she slept until they told her it was time to push. I wish mine were that easy.

AtYourCervix said...

I can count on one hand how many women I have seen this happen. Lucky women!! I call it a "silent labor". They don't really feel uncomfortable until about 9 cm.

IASoupMama said...

Wow! Good for her, that's pretty awesome!

If I ever manage to get pregnant again, I don't think that will happen for me... My daughter came pretty fast, but I sure felt it, LOL!

Queenjulie said...

I am insanely jealous of your patient! My two births were both evil back labors with anterior placentas and sunny-side up babies, 28 hours and 16 hours apiece. And definitely not painless! I did deliver my second daughter all natural, though, which was wonderful.

--Queenjulie (

Anonymous said...

With my last birth, in the transition stage before pushing I sat upright, and almost slept between contractions. I just relaxed my body and the nurses and midwife were just quiet. I held my husband's hand and kept my eyes closed, only noticing the contractions stroking my husband's finger. Yes, the contractions hurt, but I just sat there relaxing. It was not a method I trained for, it was just what felt right at the moment. I ended up needing that time because I had to push baby out pretty fast, she had a decel and it wouldn't come back up. The midwife noted I was grunting and asked if I was pushing, and then I was all awake and noisy. I had to be told to stop making noise though the midwife said, "I'm fine with vocalizations, but honey, we need to get this baby out." So I pushed hard for ten minutes and my baby was born OP with a tilted head. It was hard, she felt like she was stuck, but I had the energy to do it and quickly partly because of how great my labor had been with a relaxed midwife who allowed me to move as I wanted, and then to sit at the end and close my eyes, not checking dilation or bugging me.


Anonymous said...

I am one of these lucky women! The tricky part is to arrive on time at the hospital, because you do NOT realize you are in labor :-)

And I can totally relate to your patient not "feeling prepared". I also experienced this feeling with my very fast delivery.