A home dilatation story ( No names used)

The Birth of T
a home dilatation story
A calls me at 6:40h, she has been awake through the night contracting every 5 min since 00h. Her voice is lovely and kind as always and she sounds very bright and fresh although she has not slept. I She shares with me how she has been through the night, She says D has slept most of the night and I tell her that’s a good thing. He will need his strength later and he, unlike her he does not have the hormones in his body to help him keep going. I tell her to try and rest a bit and I will call her in an hour.
I call back at 8h and she says she is very much the same. Still contracting every 5 min. She sounds a bit worried so I tell her I will arrive at her house soon. I arrive at 8:45h to a sleepy D greeting me at the apartment door. He is excited and very welcoming. As I enter the piso I am met by A, as beautiful as ever with a warm and kind smile. I am also very excitedly welcomed by their sweet little dog. She is very happy to see me and it is obvious she has missed me from our last meeting.
I listen to baby and can hear all is well. A’s contractions slow down a bit with my arrival but this is very normal. She and D offer me breakfast with a special treat of a wonderful Bolivian bread. We chat and share a lovely breakfast. But as A relaxes her contractions become regular once again and it is difficult for her to eat. I suggest I give her a massage to help her relax even more. She agrees and we go through to the bed room.
I massage her arms and legs and talk her through a couple of her contractions. She copes well with the contractions and begins to relax. After the massage I cover her and quietly leave the room. I also try to rest for a couple of hours. Then A is up and in the shower. She later tells me that this is where she feels best. I know she is full of anticipation for what is to come and excited to meet T soon.
Once out of the Shower and with her contractions still regular but mild, I talk with A. I tell her I feel she needs to rest and that things could go on in the same way for a good few hours. I explain that I feel its is best for her to just be with D and have some intimate time alone. I tell her I will leave but that if she needs me she only needs to call. I feel A’s eyes have a trace of disappointment in them when I tell her this, but I know it is best to leave them alone so that her labor can really begin.
Awhile later  at 12:58h I receive a text from  D to ask if it is safe for them to make love. I respond with a joyful YES! And tell them to enjoy. Their love is very precious and wonderful to be around. I know this will help her to move forward in her labor.
At 14:19 D calls me to say A is feeling some nausea and her contractions are much stronger. She is in the bath and does not want to get out. That sounds fantastic to me and I tell him, not to worry.  I let him know it is normal to feel sick during labor and that I am on my way.

I arrive at 14:42, A is in the bath with the shower on. She is well and I listen to baby.
 Her beautiful smile is still there and she tells me about the intensity of her last few contractions. She tells me how she has been singing to help her cope with the feelings and how at one point she wanted to laugh, cry, sing and pee all at the same time. I smile and  tell her she is doing very well. I let her know that when she is ready I am happy to do a tacto, to see how dilated she is but until then I leave her to be comfortable in the bath.
Later when she leaves the bath, she asks if I will do the tacto, so she has some idea how long she has ahead of her. I tell this is a good idea and once she is comfortable in the bedroom I listen to baby and then do the examination. I find that her contractions have been doing a good job and her cervix is now in the right position for birthing and that she is 3cm dilated. I explain this to her and also D. I let them both know how well she is doing and that from a ‘text book’ point of view, she should continue to dilate ½ a cm per hour. I also explain that this could be faster or slower, but I feel she is doing very well.
 I suggest we inflate the pool so that A can use the water to help her cope with the contractions. We all agree and while A tries to rest a bit, D and I inflate and fill the pool. It is the first time I have used this pool and with D’s help it is ready for A in no time at all. D rings a friend to come and take the little dog. She has been wonderful and faithfully at A’s side but the inflation and filling of the pool makes her nervous. It is clear she would be happier with their friends.
Once the pool is full we close the doors to the outside windows and create a lovely intimate and dark space. I light candles around the room and there is beautiful music playing. When A enters the room she says it is like a gift and I feel this is what I truly wanted to give them both. The gift to labor in intimacy and with love. I listen quickly to baby and then A enters the pool.
Su corazonse abre (Your heart opens)
At 15:23  after A has been in the pool and contracting well, she begins to weep. D is with her when her tears begin to flow. I move close to her and place my hand on her head. I tell her that in order to birth her baby she must also open her heart and not just her body. Her tears are a beautiful signal that she is opening. D is face to face with her and I feel he is also with her heart to heart. I am deeply touched by their love.
At 17:00h A and D are lying together in their bed. Her contractions are stronger and she is singing to help her cope. D is singing with her and a wonderful chorus of AHHHH, fills the house.
19:30 A is now more active and sitting on her birthing ball, she is contracting very well and she is beautiful.
19:56h  A’s contractions are good and strong. She has vomited and I explain to her why this happens to some women. I tell her and D that with my son, my first child I was sick for nearly 20 hours!
A bit later A has taken off her clothes, this is a good sign. She is really allowing her contractions to take over her body. By candle light she and D make a beautiful picture, lovers awaiting the birth of their first child.

At 20:30 A is now 5cm dilated, she is half way there! She has labored so very well and is continuing to do so. She is tired but still smiling.
21:18, A has decided to go to the hospital. Her contractions have been strong and occurring every 2-3 min. She feels she needs some pain relief so she can rest. I tell her how amazingly well she has done, and that I support her decision. We begin the preparations to go to hospital. While emptying the pool D tells me how very proud of A he is and how he has seen her strength. This is always a beautiful moment for me. When a woman’s partner sees the power of her life and the strength it takes her to bring forth their child. I know they have found a greater respect for their partner.
Our journey to the hospital is swift. Our driver delivers us there safely and on our arrival D goes to let the porters know A is there. I wait with her by the side of the entrance, she has felt the need to vomit after our car ride. Some people offer to help and I let them know she is fine, its just parto. The porter arrives and we all go up to the maternity floor.
We are met by a kind nurse from Peru and a Catalan midwife. We let them know A is there for and epidural and the process begins. Once A is taken to get her epidural D and I talk for awhile. He is very happy and excited and tells me his and his brothers birth story. He tells me again how proud of A he is. When the nurse comes to take him to the sala de parto I leave wishing the all the best.
On my way home I feel such joy at having had the chance to share the beautiful dilatation time with A and D. I am so excited to meet baby T and know they will be very happy as a family.
At 02:45 I receive a text from D, baby T was born by section, all were well. I sent my love in reply.
Welcome baby T


  1. That's such a beautiful story buddhamama. I think of all the women I've known whose stories took a similar path but were summed up with "failure to progress – ended up with a section," and I love the way you show the love and power and joy of that couple.


  2. Thanks Ruth, at times we as midwives feel so helpless against an over medicalized system. I felt in this instance I was able to help them have something other than intervention they could hold on to, from that labour. It was a real pleasure for me to be there.


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