Birth & Babies: Zoe – Bursting with Life

ZOE’S BIRTH STORY (as told by Kyle)

Holly went into labor early on the morning of March 19th. She woke me up at 3:00 to say that she thought she was having rhythmic contractions. It turned out that they were coming about every twenty minutes. We decided to call our doula, Heidi Rau, to let her know that labor had begun. She told us to relax at home till the contractions were around 4 minutes apart. With our excitement, we decided to stay awake and rent a movie; Moulin Rouge. About halfway thru the movie, we decided to get some more sleep. Around 6:00 in the morning Holly woke up again with the contractions having increased in intensity slightly. By now, they were coming every 10 minutes or so. By 8:30 am, the contractions were coming every 4 to 5 minutes apart and we decided that it was time to get our things together and to head to Touro Infirmary. It was really exciting to think that our little Zoe was really going to be joining us soon, after all of the excitement and expectations over the last nine months. We took the car and headed to the hospital.

We parked and walked into the LDR at Touro and went to the nurses station. They checked us into LDR 4 and the nurse hooked Holly up to the monitors. Heidi got there a very short while after us and we watched some TV while we waited for the doctor to talk to the nurse. Heidi got us walking the hall and some stairs at the end of the hall. Holly did a bunch of bellydance stuff going up and down the stairs. It was funny to see her doing the dancing moves out of context like that, and in a hospital gown. The next few hours were passed walking the halls, sitting on the birthing ball, and generally just passing time in between contractions. During this whole thing, Heidi was helping Holly to keep moving about and trying different things so as to progress the labor as well as to reduce the pain of contractions. We were all in good spirits and spent much of the time lauging and joking around.

With everything that was being done, Holly went from being 4 cm dilated to 6 cm dilated in about two hours. About this time we started spending some time in the room because Holly’s contractions were getting more intense. We massaged her back for her during the contractions and helped her rest. Heidi knew exactly where to put pressure on Holly to relieve her aches and pains. At 5:30 pm the nurse checked her dilation and found that she was only at 7 and her water had still not broken. Hearing this, Heidi told us that she had seen this many times before and that she thought the embryonic sac was cushioning Zoe and was more than likely what was preventing Holly from dilating further. She recommended that we have her water broke. The doctor came at 6:30 pm and agreed that her water needed to be broken so as to progress the labor. Once her water was broken, the contractions came on strong and Holly went into active labor.

When she was at 9cm Heidi had her kneel on the bed and rest her chest on the birthing ball so as to help get her to 10 cm and to encourage movement of a partial blockage of the cervix. There came a time when holly was having a very hard time getting thru the contractions and not pushing. To get thru this, Heidi recommended a breathing technique that would help her resist the urge to push before it was time. When Holly could not resist the urge to push any longer, Dr. Peret came in and Holly started actively pushing. Our little Zoe was born twenty minutes later.

Throughout this whole process, Heidi’s presence was a comfort to both Holly and myself. She was very aware of what Holly was going through and made very good efforts to help holly not only deal with the pains of the contractions but to also help progress the labor. I know that if we did not have Heidi there that Holly would have ended up on with an epidural to deal with the pain, and that she would have been in labor for much longer than she was. Our short time in the hospital for the labor was, for the majority of the time, a lot of fun, which was facilitated greatly by our Heidi and pain management techniques she had to offer. Heidi’s presence there was also a great comfort for me because we had someone there with us the whole time to help encourage us and generally help guide us thru the delivery process. I know that if Holly and I have another baby, we hope that Heidi will be available to help us again.


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