So, yes! It took me seven months to compile my 2019 statistics and highlights, but when I realized my fifth grandchild would most likely be my 600th birth, I decided to hold off till the child arrived to get the job accomplished ♥
And arrive she did! Ellowyn Hannah Woodard, baby number 600 in 27 years of birthwork! She came through the morning of Friday, June 26, weighing just a smidge over eight pounds ♥
Through the last nineteen months I’ve attended 314 prenatal visits, 33 births, and 184 postpartum visits, bringing the total number of hours I’ve spent serving childbearing families to more than 15,000!
Nine of the births I attended were as an assistant to other midwives—one was a successful brow presentation birth; one was a 10lb, 8oz baby born after a successfully resolved shoulder dystocia; two were successful VBAC births; one I missed thanks to a crazy snow storm!
One of those births was a planned hospital birth—a successfully induced VBAC2!
A whopping five of those births were transfers from home. All five transfers were for first-time moms. All mothers and babies arrived at the hospital in good condition. I served as assistant to other midwives at two of the five. Three of the moms were progressing very, very slowly, and each agreed to an epidural and augmentation of their labor. Two mothers spiked fevers exactly four hours after we arrived at the hospital (and after having pressure catheters placed, incidentally). All three of these women birthed vaginally, although one of those babies, the baby of my own client, wound up admitted to the NICU and treated via cooling. This marked the first time a baby in my care as primary midwife was admitted to the NICU and only the second time a woman in my care developed a fever. Happily, this child completely escaped damage and made it home eight days post birth, having already surpassed his birth weight! He’s eleven months old now and thriving! The fourth mother I transported to the hospital manifested high blood pressure and non-reassuring fetal heart tones upon my arrival, but managed to give birth naturally with one of my favorite doctors about twenty minutes after appearing at the hospital. The fifth mother I transferred to the hospital carried a persistently breech baby right up to 42 weeks gestation. She had a cesarean and, though we were all thrilled she and her son did well, we did also grieve the loss of the family’s opportunity to enjoy a homebirth. The last two of these transfers occurred during the height of the COVID-19 restrictions, rendering me shed at the door, heartbroken to leave my charges unsupported.
Eleven of the mothers I served were first-time birthers.
Six of the mothers I served were over thirty-five.
One mother I served was a grand multipara.
Two of the mothers were Amish.
One mother I served suffered a postpartum hemorrhage, but was able to stay at home post birth.
Nineteen of the babies born within my care were caught by their own parents! I caught only six little ones myself.
Nine of the women I served suffered tears that required repair. I repaired five of these and was called in to conduct a fifth repair for another midwife. One of these women, the client of yet another midwife, was transferred to the hospital for her tear repair.
The smallest baby among these priceless lives was 5lb, 9oz and the largest was 10lb, 8oz.
One baby was born within his water sac.
Six births required a great many hours of attendance: 18 hours, 19 hours, 36 hours, 38 hours, 44 hours, and 51 hours. The last two births listed were among our transfers.
Two women in my care departed my care prior to their births. One elected to give birth in the hospital and the other decided to birth on her own at home. The woman who chose to give birth in the hospital was persuaded to yield to an early induction and, tragically, her baby was lost. The unattended birth proceeded without incident.
Two of the women I served were diagnosed with placenta previa, but were able to enjoy very lovely homebirths after their placentas migrated north!
The 587th baby born into my care was my fourth grandchild, my second grandson, Isaiah Paul Simmons. He was the baby born within his waters, actually, just like his big sister ♥♥
And as I’ve already mentioned, the 600th baby born within my care was my fifth grandchild, the third of my sweet grandgirls ♥♥♥
Kim Woodard Osterholzer, Colorado Springs Homebirth Midwife and Author. And Grandma ♥
Books by Kim: