birth center, birth team, Cervical Checks, cervical dilation, Failure to Progress, Fear, First Baby, Home Birth, hospital birth, Labor, Long Labor, Midwife, Midwife's Assistant, OB, Patient Safety, Pelvic floor, start-and-stop contractions, Vaginal Exam

The Beautiful and Mysterious Resting Phase

"OHMYGODIWANTTOPUUUUUUUSH!!!!" This was Zoey's second baby and second planned home birth. She was 37 years old, had an uncomplicated pregnancy, and had been in fairly meandering labor - contractions maybe 4-5 minutes apart, at their most frequent, since 2 AM. Her last cervical check, at 4 AM, had her at 4 cm. Her sudden announcement… Continue reading The Beautiful and Mysterious Resting Phase

birth center, birth team, Cervical Checks, cervical dilation, Co-Dependency, Epidural, Failure to Progress, Fear, First Baby, Home Birth, hospital birth, Labor, Long Labor, Midwife, Midwife's Assistant, optimal fetal positioning, Sexual Abuse, Trauma, trauma informed care, Vaginal Exam

Long Labors, Part 3: Psychosocial Strategies

Long Labors, Part 3: Psychosocial Strategies, is a follow-up and final installment to Long Labors, Parts I and 2. Meredith Westin Photography When a client is having a very long labor, I tend to assume mechanical challenges are the direct cause and problem-solve on that basis, first. Many emotional and spiritual forces can arise during… Continue reading Long Labors, Part 3: Psychosocial Strategies

AROM, Cervical Checks, Epidural, Failure to Progress, Fear, Fetal Malposition, First Baby, Home Birth, Labor, Long Labor, Midwife, Midwife's Assistant, optimal fetal positioning, start-and-stop contractions, Vaginal Exam

Long Labors: Part 2, Physiologic Strategies

Meredith Westin Photography Long Labors: Part 2 is a follow-up to Long Labors, Part I. We don't need to feel entirely helpless when labor lasts a long time. The following physical strategies can help shift challenging labor patterns and keep a person's strength up: Consider that you may not be in labor at all. Start-and-stop contractions… Continue reading Long Labors: Part 2, Physiologic Strategies

Cervical Checks, Failure to Progress, Fear, Fetal Malposition, First Baby, Home Birth, Labor, Long Labor, Midwife, Vaginal Exam

Long Labors, Part 1: But Why?!

Meredith Westin Photography Last year I had an astounding cluster of long* labors**. We're talking two, three, four days of mother's stated experience of painful contractions, plus one nearly five day induction in the hospital for a medical indication.  A couple of the planned out-of-hospital births played out in their intended location. Several transitioned into… Continue reading Long Labors, Part 1: But Why?!

Cervical Checks, Fear, Home Birth, Labor, Midwife, Midwife's Assistant

Writer’s Workshop Birth Story

In June 2017 I attended a writer's workshop in which participants were asked: "In UNDER 1000 words, write about a time you overcame a fear. Whether by choice or necessity, write about a time when you were afraid, but took the action anyway, and came out the other side. It doesn't have to be a… Continue reading Writer’s Workshop Birth Story