Welcoming Benjamin / Surprise Gender Birth!!
A bit before noon on February 13th, I received a text from Kimberley with the news that she had just been in to see her OB and was 3cm dilated. She texted that she was feeling contractions on and off throughout the morning, but they weren’t regular at the moment. I put my day’s plans on hold and triple checked my birth gear was ready. Since this babe was Kimberley’s fourth, everything had to have the ability to be dropped at a moment’s notice. The day progressed quietly, I puttered around doing office work and running quick errands and finally went to bed to a howling windstorm around 10pm. My sleep was restless, and when my phone rang just after 1am, I was jolted wide-awake. That birth call adrenaline rush that every birth worker is all too familiar with!
“The power is out at our place and we’re going to go ahead and head to the hospital now.” said Chad, Kimberley’s husband. I tried to gauge just how progressed she was, but there was no chance I was going to risk not leaving right away.
I hurried around and was out the door within 10 minutes. I had to drive carefully with the branches covering the roadway along my route. A truly strange storm for the Bay Area.
Upon arrival, the nurse led me into the tiny ultrasound triage room with news that they were working hard to get a room ready for baby’s arrival, but as soon as I walked in the room to Kimberley crouched and laboring, I knew the baby was coming right here in this 8’x15’ room.
As she breathed baby down, listening all the time to the Gentle Birth guided labor meditations, her water broke and contractions were followed by the grunts of pushing. Kimberley’s OB had been called, but ultimately it was only one of the lovely residents and the nurse in the room as baby Benjamin–a surprise BOY after 3 girls!–made his entrance into the world. Less than 30 minutes after my arrival to L&D!
(And thanks to the fantastic nurse, they were able to spend their postpartum stay in the newly opened Lucille Packard postpartum wing!)
The birth of this little fella was such a special treat! A lovely Valentine’s Day gift to his mama and daddy and the perfect reason for this doula-tog to miss a full night of sleep.