Just in Time

4:00 AM Mom calls to say she has been having contractions for an hour and they were about every 10 minutes. She said you said to call you when there is change. (Note to self, tell mom’s unless you need me there now, if change happens in the middle of the night, and it’s not an emergency, let me know of change in the morning). Actually, this was a good call, I was glad she called and I’m reminded that everything is always perfect, because as I lay there in bed I knew to call my student who lives an hour and a half away, and tells her to be on her way. Mom said she could probably get a little more rest, and she would call when there was more change. I went back to sleep until about 5:50, then I got up to unlock the front door so when my student arrived, she could just let herself in.

6:15 AM Dad calls to say mom’s contractions were 5 minutes apart now, and they were strong, but she still didn’t want me there. I got up and ready to go anyway, because I know how fast second babies can come, and I wanted to be ready. I called my midwife partner to let her know, she said she would be on her way soon. She was about 30-40 minutes away.

6:28 AM Dad calls to say, okay she said you could come now, later I hear from mom what she wanted him to say was PLEASE COME NOW! I brushed my teeth and grabbed a few miscellanies supplies that I had left out from the birth just a couple days before and headed out the door. I called my student to let her know to go directly to mom’s house, I didn’t call my partner because I knew she was probably already on the road.

6:41 AM Dad calls back and in a VERY CALM voice, (I can’t emphasize “very calm” enough) he says, mom’s water just broke, and her body was pushing. I said, okay, well, I’m in my garage right now just leaving. As I am driving down my street, I say to myself, did he just say she is pushing???

6:44 AM I phone him back immediately, and ask if he said she was pushing, he said VERY CALMLY, yes. I asked if she was in the water, as this was a planned water birth. He said yes, I said, well I am just going to stay on the phone with you until I get there. Now keep in mind, I am driving NOT as calm as he sounds, I am hearing my tires squeal, as I leave my neighborhood, and once again as I round each corner. I come to an intersection with a RED light, not a smart light, it’s not going to change anytime soon, soon being relative, so I look all directions, mostly for a police car, and zipped across the intersection seeing RED! Still on the phone with dad, I am instructing him what to do with the next contraction as mom pushes. I tell him I’m pulling into his street right now, so I am hanging up. I grabbed my instruments and oxygen tank from the back of my car and RAN into the house. Sure enough, mom is leaned over the side of the tub trying not to push, they are both happy to see me. I commented on how dad is about the MOST calm person I have ever met. I did not hear ANY birth is imminent, in his voice. He said, he just trusts birth, and the process, no need to be in a panic. Mom wanted the birth videoed, and since it was just mom and dad and myself because my assistants hadn’t made it yet, dad was the cameraman.

Mom was a little worried about tearing, because with her 1st baby the cord came out with the head, and so she didn’t get a chance to push slow and easy, I needed her to push with all she had to bring the baby out quick because I didn’t want the cord to be compressed any longer, so we talked about pushing with this baby, and how it would be slow and very controlled. She didn’t even need to push, baby would come out even without pushing. Sure enough, she could feel the baby move down without her pushing, so with my instruction, she just breathed through each contraction, and the baby gently came down. I wanted to give some counter pressure on her bottom to protect from a spinning baby, this is when the baby turns as it is coming out, and sometimes an elbow ends up tearing the perineum, but mom didn’t want me to, that didn’t feel right to her. So I just let mom and baby figure it out together. The head would come out a bit, then goes back in, and with the next contraction, it did the same thing. Then with the next one, the head stayed out just part way. This process was perfect because it allowed for mom’s perineum to stretch much like when you stretch out a balloon before blowing it up. It makes blowing it up much easier.

6:55 AM With the next contraction the head is out, and mom is still just breathing, this contraction is strong, and baby pushes itself right out with that one contraction. I instruct mom to turn over as I am untangling the cord from baby, it was around her neck and body. Mom said, “is she out”? It was so smooth; she didn’t even realize her baby was here. I said, “yes, she’s here”! I gently lifted her sweet baby girl up to meet her new mom. Baby weighs in at 8 pounds 15 oz, and 21 ¾ inches long. An hour later she meets her new big sister and a family has just grown from three to four. An incredible mom, an incredibly calm dad, and two incredibly ADORABLE daughters!

10:00 AM Mom has eaten, mom and babe have had their herb bath, this a giant tea bath, with lots of herbs to help moms bottom heal, it’s anti-bacterial, and a stringent, it is very relaxing for mom and babe. Grandma has come to take big sister to her house, exciting phone calls have been made, mom and babe are tucked back in bed with fresh sheets, and are successfully nursing. Laundry is washing, and dishes are done. As I drive away I am in awe at the miracle that just happened in this home, and the world doesn’t even know.



  1. Nikki on February 26, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Hi Stephanie! I’m curious about the herb bath you mention in this post. Do you have more information on this (or what else you as a midwife do during labor/birth/postpartum) anywhere? I’d love to learn more about it.


    • Stephanie Fritz on April 7, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      Nikki, Her are the herbs I use in my herb bath for postpartum.

      Healing to the mother who has given birth recently. Also helps the baby’s umbilical cord dry up with less chance of infection.

      1 handful of Comfrey Leaf (speeds skin cell renewal)
      1 handful of Marigold (speeds skin cell renewal)
      1 handful of Shepherds Purse (stops bleeding)
      1 handful of Uva Ursi Leaf (prevents infection)
      1 handful of Lavendar (prevents infections)

      This mixture can be used twice, just re-steep it the second day and use the same herbs again, just add more fresh garlic and salt.

      1 Whole bulb of Garlic (prevents infection)
      1/2 cup Sea salt (prevents infection)

      1. Boil herbs in nylon bag about ½ hour in large pot.
      2. When herbs have boiled ½ hour, peel garlic, crush and add to cooking pot.
      3. Clean bath tub with cleanser.
      4. Rinse bath tub with Clorox bleach or vinegar (I prefer vinegar)
      5. Rinse bath tub WELL with plain water. Put stopper in tub.
      6. Fill bath tub with warm water.
      7. Remove herb bag from pot. Save in zip-lock bag to use for one more bath.
      8. Using a colander strain garlic and water into tub.
      9. Add salt to tub water, mix.

  2. Nikki on April 11, 2017 at 1:35 am

    Thank you SO much! I just had another doula ask me about an herb bath a day or two before you responded; I was excited to share this with my group.

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