Birth of Amos
by Anne & Eric L
During my husband and my first meeting with Lorie – and her doula partner Nancy – we knew we had found the right partner for us. I remember casting a vision of a room filled with women and food, and Lorie caught the vision immediately and said she would hope to make that vision possible. She was full of ideas, both fun (cover up the walls with fabric!) and practical (let’s make a plan to get Eric to eat!). As we got closer to my guess date we knew there would be 1week Nancy would be out of town.
Of course my water broke the night Nancy left. As I waited for contractions to get stronger Lorie was a comfort via the phone – she gave us the best advice to set up the next day’s work – get as much rest as possible during the early stages of labor. Still, the next morning my contractions had only progressed a little, so Lorie came over to help with positions to encourage labor. 24 hours after my water broke we decided with Lorie and our midwife to go into the hospital since I would need to have IV antibiotics because my water had been broken for so long.
Upon arrival to the hospital we learned I was only 2 centimeters. Ugh!!! I was devastated and anxious about what would happen next. Trusting our midwife we started a low dose of pitocin to help encourage contractions. Lorie was at home waiting to hear when we wanted her to come (we anticipated a long evening, since I had little movement with contractions). About an hour after I was given the PIT I asked Eric to get Lorie here! I was getting anxious, and even though I had made detailed plans about how I wanted labor to go, I couldn’t remember them anymore! I needed Lorie to help remind me of all the things I told her before I went into labor. I was walking the hallways when all of a sudden labor came on strong. Huge waves of contractions followed by waves of nausea. I made a break for the bathroom and, when I finally emerged after throwing up and having Eric calmly talk me into getting more comfortable instead of in the bathroom, I saw Lorie! What a relief - I knew she would help us!
Lorie helped us keep perspective over the next five hours of labor. Sometimes it even seemed like Eric relied on her advice and support more than me. She would be the one to tell him what positions or comfort measures to use, answered some of our questions and was a constant source of encouragement. Thank goodness. Lorie was there every step of the way listening and watching my body and suggesting what may be more comfortable or helpful. At one point we learned that our baby had flipped sunnyside up and we need to turn him before he could be born. Miles circuit! Lorie and our midwife suggested the Miles circuit! After going through the circuit a few times he flipped and settled into a better position.
Once the pushing began I lost sight of where everyone was in the room, focusing on the task at hand. Eric reminded me that Lorie was holding one of my legs. What I do remember is that our whole team and including the Peds nurses were in the room all at the same time. As the baby was crowning, shouts of “Look at all that hair!” was all I heard and I wondered to myself “have you seen my husband’s head of hair? Of course people! The baby would have lots of hair!” After two hours of pushing Amos was born in the wee hours of the morning. Immediately on my chest, Eric was able to cut the cord and Lorie helped me get a secure latch and snapped a bunch of photos for us. Amos’ birth and presence in our family has changed our lives.
Lorie’s presence at our birth helped us choose a group of home midwives with the birth of our second little boy 16months later (after we relocated for school). Lorie’s non-anxious, low intervention philosophy and her commitment to empower women to have the birth they hope for has forever impacted my approach to birthing my own babies and how I walk alongside other women during the last few months of pregnancy and first few months of mothering as a chaplain, spiritual director and friend.