Happy the day after Thanksgiving!
Had a truly lovely day yesterday. Right after I post here, I went to the hospital, to greet my still-smiling labor client. I've known her literally since I've lived here (in fact, met her while I was interviewing for the job here) and she has worked with most of the nurses at the hospital as well. It was great to have a labor on the holiday - it was just 2 experienced nurses working, both knew my client well and were thrilled to get to take care of her, and there were no trainees (we're currently training 3 new nurses, which is also fun, but more work, and more explaining, and more having to stay on my toes and check everything they do.) This way, she could just labor and we could just support her. She'd had an exam on admission by the nurse (3-4 cms) and was just feeling like contractions were kicking in to gear. She quickly decided to get in the tub, and we filled it for her and she was soon soaking on her side in her bikini top with a jacuzzi jet on her back, and still smiling between contractions. We set up the room, and then I sat in the bathroom starting her charting and chatting with her. The nurse came in and checked heart tones a couple times, and otherwise things were pretty quiet. Very shortly after getting in the tub, contractions really picked up to every 2 minutes, and she felt the tub really helped relieve some pressure. Within half hour or so, contractions were very intense, and she'd moan low with them - but she was still smiling and chatting in between. I was writing her history and physical when she suddenly gasped out "pushing!" in the middle of a contraction. One nurse had just come in the room, and she went and got the other, and we asked the client if she wanted to try to get out (we don't do intentional water births, but no way was I going to force her out if she felt like staying) and she said she wanted to get out (our tubs are actually kind of small and most folks due seem to feel too closed in there at the very end.) We helped her out, and dried her off, and made very slow progress back to the bed, stopping to squat for each contraction. I love my nurses, because they don't bat an eye at this, just drop down on the floor with the client for each contraction, and hand me a towel to catch in case it becomes necessary on the way! We made it to the bed, though, and she climbed on and stayed on her knees. She pushed through one contraction that way, but said it was way too much pressure, so lay down instead on her left side. Her very sweet dh sat holding her hands and brushing her hair off her face. In 2 contractions, baby crowned and was gently born into my hands - and mom and dad quickly called out "Oh, it's a boy!" (they didn't know ahead of time) and we scooped him up to mom's arms. She still had her wet bikini top on, and she was briefly worried the baby would get cold, but we told her we'd turn up the heat and cover him up well, and he was obviously not the least bothered - he snuffled a bit, but never really cried. Her mom and 12 year old dd came in just then, and were thrilled to see the baby so soon. (Her water broke at home at 5 am, and labor started shortly after, and baby was born at 7:49.) Baby was gorgeous - tons of dark hair, dark eyes, and very calm. He went to breast quickly and stayed there while the placenta was born, and the other kids arrived (11 year old girl and 3 year old boy who were with the other grandma - the 11 year old had decided she didn't want to be there when the baby was born.)
It was a perfect way to start Thanksgiving, with a lovely family and new baby.
The rest of Thanksgiving was great here, too. I cooked with the kids all morning and early afternoon, and my daughters did the table up beautifully together (it was lovely to hear the 15 year old helping the 7 year old, and teaching her how to do a place setting and fold beautiful napkins.) My oldest ds and his fiancee came, and later in the day, for dessert, his high school best friend stopped by as well. It was a wonderful day of being together, and enjoying company, and great food. While I was quickly throwing some dishes in the dishwasher before we did dessert, I was overwhelmed almost to tears at how content I felt, to have people around me I love, to have a happy life, and to have been to such a joyous birth to start the day.
This morning, I slept until 10! I did the rest of the dishes and then hopped on the treadmill to do my belated turkey trot (in my brand new dingo shirt which fits perfectly and feels great!.) Now off to shower, go see the mom and baby, and then put up our Christmas decorations!