12 Jan 2012
This is the story of the birth of Eloise Jolene Mitchell born on January 12th 2012 to Kim and Peter Mitchell.
The story begins on January 10th at La Carta de Oaxaca, a most excellent Mexican restaurant in Ballard. A group of friends were gathered to celebrate Peter’s birthday. At 8pm, just as the food arrived, Kim’s water broke with gusto, (which was a surprise because there were no contractions.) When Peter went to pay the bill the host asked, “what did she have, the posole?” With to-go containers in hand, they placed their first call to Geraldine Lee at Fremont Midwifery.
After packing their bags for the birth center, the couple went to bed and slept through the night. Kim was woken intermittently by contractions.
The next morning, at breakfast, contractions were mild, so they went for a long walk through Carkeek park. After lunch, a nap, and a second walk Kim called Geraldine again reporting stronger, but still infrequent contractions. A 7pm visit was scheduled marking 24 hours.
At that time, Kim and Geraldine decided to use a cocktail of Lemon Verbena, Apricot Nectar, Almond Butter and Castor Oil. Kim remarked that the taste wasn’t bad. After fifteen minutes contractions kicked in much stronger. Fifty minutes brought the cocktail right back up and contractions escalated considerably. Peter and Kim called Doula Rebecca Shepherd and reported the progress (tracked with Contraction Master) and called Geraldine again. Rebecca headed right over, Geraldine planned for a midnight check-in at Puget Sound Birth Center in Kirkland.
On arrival at 10pm, Rebecca noted that Kim’s progress was strong. At 11pm, she calmly advised the couple to start packing the car, and called Geraldine to advise that an earlier rendezvous was a good idea. As Kim was heading to the car, contractions started with great force, and resisting the urge to push was nearly impossible. Rebecca coached Kim to raise her chin and blow past the contractions. Between waves, Rebecca called Geraldine to update her on the situation. The birth team decided to change plans and stay put.
Peter kicked into gear, moving furniture and grabbing sheets and towels by the armload. Rebecca helped Kim to the living room and onto side laying position to get gravity out of the equation. Strong, frequent contractions and unstoppable pushing made the situation tense, as Rebecca was preparing to deliver the baby, the cavalry arrived.
The Midwives trooped in equipped with triage bags and most awesome birth tools. Perhaps they were airdropped from a helicopter? Worlds of worry lifted from Peter’s mind and Kim could finally relax and push with the full support of the whole team.
Progress was fast, Kim labored on her back, then on hands and knees, and then moved to the birth stool. The baby was born after fifty minutes. The couple held their daughter and cried tears of joy. Joy for their darling child. Joy for the help they received and joy for the home birth they wanted.
Eloise Jolene Mitchell
18 ½ inches
Ten days early