Samson’s Birth Story

Hiring a Doula for my first pregnancy and birth was the best decision!  I loved having someone I could text/call/email during pregnancy with any questions or concerns and get a quick reply.  Drew and I were so thankful to have her helping us during Samson’s delivery.  I feel like we both really had a great experience (other than it just really hurting like hell!)  I highly recommend Carol at Salina Massage Therapy to anyone in the area.
The Labor and Birth Story of Samson Robert Duskie from a Doula’s Perspective
by Carol Rubino
Welcome to the world, Samson!  Your labor at the hospital was the perfect example of how the miracle of birth can be experienced.
You see, it all started Monday, May 29, 2017, the day before you were born.  Your mom heard a story about a woman who did a modified CrossFit workout to start her labor and it worked.  Being dilated at 2 cm your mom decided to try the same thing and it worked!  Later that evening she contacted me (Carol-the Doula) with questions about contractions.  She had started feeling tightness in her belly and some pressure. Later that evening they were sporadic, not super painful but a lot of pressure coming and going.
At 11:03 pm she sent me a picture of 30 minutes of timed contractions and asked my thoughts on it.  I told her it looked fairly normal for early labor.  I advised her to sleep for awhile and if they woke her up then try timing 5-6 contractions in a row and see how they were. She agreed.
At 11:56 pm I received a message stating that she definitely couldn’t talk through some at that point.  She was trying to relax but stated they may head to Salina soon.  At 12:15 am your mom called me and said they were leaving for Salina Regional Health Center and it would take about 90 minutes to get there.
At 1:24am on Tuesday, May 30th your mom sent me another picture of 20 minutes of timed contractions and she was definitely showing a pattern of labor.  They were 12 miles outside of Salina.  I told her I would meet them at the hospital.  I asked if she could talk through the contractions or were they requiring her full attention.  She replied with “Pretty full attention. Trying to breathe and sing thru them!  Some I just whine through! Drew (your dad) says yes.  They require my full attention.” I told her she was doing great, love the ways she was coping with them and I would see them soon.
I arrived at Salina Regional Health Center and your parents arrived shortly after.  We met in the parking lot and started walking towards the ER.  A black cat appeared but did not cross our path.  We paused and made small chat about the superstition, laughed it off and kept walking.
During registration, your mom had a few strong contractions.  Casity, our nurse from the OB floor, met us in the ER with a wheelchair.  Your mom, the champ that she is, asked if she could walk instead of using the wheelchair.  Casity took us to our labor room and your mom was admitted and cervix checked.  She was dilated 3-4cm and cervix was very very thin.  You and your mom were put on the monitors to get a read on the contractions and how well you were tolerating them.  Your heartbeat was strong and steady before, during and after each contraction.
Your mom was not thrilled about being monitored for 30-60 minutes.  During that time I rubbed and applied reflexology pressure to her feet to help keep her calm.  She was feeling a lot of discomfort in her lower back.  Your dad went to the car to grab some stuff.  On his way back to the room he got stuck in the elevator, was able to get out and then walked into the room next door by mistake.  I think your dad was a little excited or nervous or a little sleepy.
Casity attempted to put in the Saline Lock but was unsuccessful.  Another OB nurse was called in to assist and finally, it was in.  At 2:28 am the monitors were removed.  At 3:40 am portable monitors were applied so your mom could move around freely.  Your mom got up and walked around in the labor room.  Then we ventured down to look at the tub which was still filling with water.  After a bit of time, Casity checked on the tub only to find out that was filled with cold water.  It was emptied and filled with warm water.  Your mom wanted to stay in her room.  She swayed, walked, danced, sat on the labor ball and leaned on the bed and stool.  Finally, tailor sitting in bed seemed to be the most comfortable labor position for her.  She asked if we could diffuse some essential oils. I started the diffuser with Clary Sage, Lavender and Peppermint oils.  Casity informed us that the tub was ready.
After some time your mom was unsure about getting into the tub.  The contractions were feeling more intense.  We also wondered if the tub water was still warm.  I went and checked the water temperature.  I returned and suggested she try the tub for awhile to help keep her comfortable.  She agreed and off she went to labor in the warm, soothing water with the jets on her low back.  Contractions seemed to slow down but she was able to rest which is key to a successful labor and delivery.
We returned to her room and your mom requested the diffuser be turned off.  The contractions were picking up again and felt more intense.  She felt like she was leaking fluid.  Casity check her for membrane rupture and dilation.  Membranes were still intact and her cervix was dilated 4-5cm.  Making progress, slow and steady.
As time passed so did each contraction and each contraction was getting her closer to meeting you.  Many times she used profanities like “sh#*t “and “f#*k” and “this sucks!” through the pain of each contraction.  During her rest time she found her mantra of “I can do this” or “Shannon can do this” quietly under her breath.  She kept looking at the clock and I would tell her “Stop looking at it.”  Your dad and I listened for her cues like “rub my back”, “no stop”, “water” and so on.  Oh, and you were still tolerating contractions very well!
At 7:00 am shift change happened and our new nurse was Sara.  She checked your mom’s blood pressure, pulse oxygen and monitor readings.  At this point, your mom was dilated to 5-6cm.  Shortly after shift change Dr. Ablard arrived and heard about the progress you two were making throughout the night.  She felt good about it and let you both continue laboring with your team.
The next few hours were a whirlwind of activity.  Your mom decided to labor in the shower.  The warm water felt good on her low back.  She alternated between leaning on the shower chair and squatting.  Squatting felt good for her.  All of a sudden she was feeling a slight urge to push.  Sara asked your mom to come back to the bed to be checked in case she was fully dilated.  Your mom was dilated 7-8cm with a little bit of cervix still remaining.  Laboring in bed was not an option in your mom’s mind.  She got back into the shower and continued laboring with warm water on her back and belly.  Suddenly her water broke.  Sara asked your mom to return to the bed to be checked again.  She was dilated 9cm and still had some cervix present, probably a cervical lip.  At this point in labor, it was important for your mom wait to push in order to keep her cervix from swelling.  So, here’s where the breath work came in handy.  Again tailor sitting seemed to be the most comfortable position for her.  I told her to focus on her breath and “breathe in breathe out” with me.  She would do it for awhile and then lose her focus when the urge to push was too strong.  Finally, I told your dad to sit in front of her and breath with her.  That was the magic that needed to happen.  Your parents were in sync with their breath.  Your dad gazed at your mom with so much love and intention.  It was so beautiful to watch.  After awhile she quietly said to everyone in the room, “Breathe with me.”  We did and it helped with her focus and kept her in control.
During this time, OB nurses brought in Dr. Ablard’s delivery cart and pediatric nurses were prepping and warming the crib for delivery.  Dr. Ablard came in, gowned up and suggested that your mom recline with her feet in the stirrups or grab her the back of her legs and pull them toward her.  Your mom questioned that position and Dr. Ablard said it would allow her to curl around you for productive pushing.  Your mom started pushing you out at 9:37 am and at 10:17 am you were born weighing 7lbs 7.4 oz and 19 3/4 in. long.  After the umbilical cord stopped pulsating Dr. Ablard asked your dad if he would like to cut it.  He was unsure, your mom was saying “no” and Dr. Ablard handed him the scissors and guided him through the process.  He was a trooper and what a surprise to all three of us!
The motto for this whole experience has been “SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE” with a little cursing and a lot of breathing along the way.  Shannon, you made this labor look easy, you stayed with your labor process despite the pain and fatigue.  Drew, you were rock solid with Shannon.  You kept her focused and in control to the very end.  Samson, you chose the best parents.  Teach them well and learn from them.
Thank you for the privilege of assisting and witnessing your labor and delivery.  I wish you many blessings on your new journey as a family.
Carol Rubino
Professional Labor and Birth Doula



The Early Christmas Surprise

Our original plan:  To make your gender a Christmas surprise.  I had it all planned out!  We would keep it a surprise to Drew and I both, then open this little box on Christmas that would have a little pink or a little blue pacifier in it!  Our appointment was on a Monday and our awesome nurse removed one of the two pacifiers from the box and sent Carmen a snapchat telling her what you are so she could get some little cards ordered for us to send out by the end of the week!  I Christmas wrapped the box up as soon as she brought it back to us!  Your dad hated this plan from the beginning.  I am ornery.  And truthfully, just thought it was funny to watch your dad squirm with impatience.

    What really happened:  Tuesday morning I woke up and had dreamt about this little box ALL NIGHT.  In THREE different dreams!!  Two of them were about the little box with the ONE pacifier in it.  In another dream, we had the sonogram pictures, but you weren’t a baby!  You were some sort of tiny reindeer or something!  We used them as clues to try and figure out your gender, but we never did!  This little box and CD of ultrasound pictures sat under the Christmas tree all day.  I was half tempted to go to LHS over my Lunch so Drew and I could just open the box!  Carmen said don’t do it!  I was laughing at myself never thinking it would be this hard to wait just 6 days.  Maybe what got to me was the fact that other people knew and we didn’t know, plus all we had to do was open the box!  After making Drew promise not to tell ANYONE – not even a “don’t tell Shannon I told you” to Greg – we opened the little box Tuesday night!  (Carmen don’t be mad! :)).  Drew opened it and I had the best time watching him open it and seeing his reaction!  

The next week we sent out our Holiday scratch cards!  It was so much fun seeing calls, texts and snapchats come in from all of our friends and family who had received them!!!


4-5-inches3-5-ouncesStarting at 10 weeks, I decided to start writing to my little bun in the oven!  I thought it would be kind of a neat way to capture some of our life during the pregnancy and make a cute little scrapbook!  I wasn’t sure I’d share this with everyone, but it’s really all I’ve been writing lately.  Therefore – here’s a little update on baby Duskie!

16 Weeks 12/14/17

Good Morning Baby!!

I think I felt you wake up this morning with me!  There’s these little weird feelings kind of in the middle of my lower stomach.  Not really aches or pains, just weird feelings that are different from cramps or gas.  I’m guessing it’s you! 

Today my Ovia app tells me that you are the size of an action figure or dill pickle.  I know those things are fun and all, but you know…there’s several sizes of action figures or dill pickles so I’m really not sure how big you are based on that comparison.  The Google tells me you’re about 4.5 inches long and about 3.5 ounces.  The Google also says avocado.  Based on the measurements, just a regular avocado…not a jumbo one!

I’m wearing my favorite pregnant outfit today.  Hand me down tights from Yaya that have a small hole in them and one of your dads long sleeve shirts! Nowadays, when I actually put my jeans on, they are held together with a rubber band that I luckily found laying around the house.

Dad and I have been tossing around names if we find out you’re a boy!  I’ve had my mind set on one for months, even before you were conceived…but dad doesn’t seem to think he likes it…yet.  There are a few other potentials.  Our main criteria seems to be:

  • it must be a name that’s not abbreviated to something stupid sounding 
  • it must sound good when we’re cheering for you playing basketball later in life
  • it must be something that sounds cool 

For now…we’re just going to call you SamBob.  I can’t WAIT to find out if you’re a tiny little boy or girl!  It’s going to be the most exciting Christmas ever this year!!

Love Mom!

A Bean in a Sac

Friday 10/21/16

I am 8 weeks and 2 days pregnant today.  The baby is approximately the size of a 2×2 Lego and finally has a little hand!

Luckily I haven’t been sick at all and have had almost no symptoms whatsoever.  Except one night.  The night I was supposed to chaperone the homecoming dance with Drew.  I actually really love doing this!!  Watching the high school kids dance and have fun makes my mind reminisce about my high school days.  I watch students and match them up to who that was at my high school dances.  I stuck it out and lasted the whole football game.  I was so happy that Lisa helped me go get the pizzas for the dance.  But once the game was over and the pizzas were delivered safely, I bailed.  After Drew jumped my car that is.  I accidentally left the keys in it after getting the pizza out.  I had horrible cramps throughout the whole game.  I came home, laid down, and they were gone.

It was September 21st the day we found out we were pregnant.  Our 4 year anniversary was on the 29th.  We went all out for our anniversary!  Made a spaghetti dinner at home and watched New Girl on the couch.  All the while, we pondered and looked up different baby boy names.  It was the best anniversary to date!

That weekend, I was so excited to be sitting on the deck reading books about pregnancy rather than how to make babies.  I soaked it in just like the sun that day, and thanked God over and over.

Our first baby appointment was on Wednesday, October 12th.  I was a little nervous going in.  They don’t tell you what’s going to happen during this appointment or any of them really.  I feel like there should be a layout saying what they do at each one so you can be prepared.  First I had a sonogram. How a sonographer determines what is in there is crazy to me!!  She looked at several things, but it all looked very similar to me.  I asked some questions throughout and she really wasn’t all that friendly.  But then,  we saw the baby for the first time.  So cool!  Even cooler – we could see the heart beat!  She sent us home with a disc of pictures and a little 2 second video where you could actually see the heart beating.  I watched it ovcaptureer and over.  I sent it to my mom and my mother in law.  I always have found it so strange when people show off their sonogram pictures…. Or maybe I’m the weird one because I don’t know how to react.  I mean, it’s not like you say “It’s so cute!”  It looks like a little bean in a sac.  I wasn’t going to be a person that shows off her sonogram pictures.  And there I was…showing it to anyone who asked how my appointment went or how I was doing!  I guess it’s not that weird!!

The next Wednesday, we took some fall pictures.  This was something I was wanting to do with Drew this fall anyways, but was thrilled to be able to do some special ones!  I can’t wait to get them back!

I have been soaking up all of the pregnancy and baby conversations, instances, situations.  Overwhelmingly grateful for each and every one.