Category Archives: I’m Never Doing That Again (Until Next Time)

Baby Girl’s Birth Story

I woke up on Sunday morning, July 18, 2010, when my 2-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son climbed onto my bed around 6:30 AM and began chattering and bouncing around as usual. After several minutes, they got down and went to play in another room, and as I lay in bed, I realized I was having light contractions, about 12-15 minutes apart. At exactly 42 weeks pregnant, I was ecstatic to finally have some indication that labor was beginning.

We considered staying home from church, but I finally convinced T that I would rather be doing something than just sitting around waiting for contractions to get stronger. After church, we went home, had leftovers for lunch, and put the kids down for naps. My mom picked me up at 1:40 to take me to a joint baby shower at church for another 3rd-time mama and me. My contractions started getting stronger and closer together during the shower. During the prayer time at the end, they were coming about 8 minutes apart and making me perspire and curl my toes!

As Mom was driving me back home after the shower, around 4 PM, I called my midwives and let them know I was ready to come to the birth center. We agreed to meet there at 5:30. I called T and let him know the plans. He was running errands with the kids, but he came home quickly and loaded our things into the van.

I had two contractions on the ride to the birth center and one more as I stepped out of the van; they were uncomfortable, but not at all as intense as our last hurried trip to the birth center when I was already in transition before giving birth to our 2-year-old.

We checked into the birth center at 5:40. I had planned to give birth to this child in the same room we’d used with our other two children, but that room was occupied, so we were shown to a very nice, large room with an extra-deep birth tub.

At this point, I was 4 cm dilated and very effaced.

My midwives made me a turkey sandwich, and after I ate it, T and I decided to go for a walk. It was a perfect summer evening, about 70 degrees with clear blue skies. Once T and I started walking around 6:15, my contractions immediately became much more intense and came every 2-3 minutes, lasting about a minute each. We would walk a block or so, then I would stop and lean on T for support, then we would resume walking until the next contraction.

We returned to the birth center at 7:15. I laid on my side on the bed to try to catch what little rest I could between contractions. I remember having one insanely strong one and saying to my midwives and T, “It won’t stop! Why is this contraction going on forever?” They assured me that it was because our baby would be born very soon.

My water broke at 8:07, and I sat on the birth stool at 8:08. After 6 minutes of very intense pushing, our daughter was born at 8:14 PM, weighing 9 pounds, 2 ounces, and measuring 20 inches long with a 13 ½ inch head. I birthed the placenta at 8:27 and T cut the cord at 8:30.

We had planned to go home after a few hours, but we ended up staying overnight at the birth center because Baby Girl’s breathing was a little fast. We arrived home around 1:30 PM the next day and introduced Baby Girl to her brother, sister, grandma, and grandpa. Baby Girl is doing great, and we’re so thankful for her.

It’s a Girl!

Born Sunday, July 18, at 8:14 PM. 9 pounds, 2 ounces, 20 inches long. Birth story to follow….

Birth Stories (Only Two So Far!)

Still no baby. I’ve just been reading D.L.F.’s and Cupcake’s birth stories to remind myself of what lies ahead….

The Birth of Our Daughter

Here is the birth story of our daughter, who will henceforth be referred to on this blog as “Cupcake,” because she’s cute, little, and sweet. 🙂

I woke up at 12:30 A.M. having some moderate contractions. They weren’t extremely painful, but I thought they seemed stronger than Braxton-Hicks. After a while, I started timing them, and they were about ten minutes apart. I lay awake for several hours and then managed to doze a bit between the contractions, which had slowed down.

I continued to have light to moderate contractions throughout the morning and early afternoon. I wasn’t very diligent to time them, because they weren’t even requiring my full concentration at that point—I was able to continue doing whatever I was doing through them.

I managed to take a nap for a couple of hours in the afternoon, which I guess meant that I didn’t have contractions during that time, or they were so light they were unnoticeable.

After I woke up, I decided to take a walk to see if that would help the contractions become more intense. I walked briskly around the neighborhood for about twenty or twenty-five minutes and had four fairly strong contractions during that time. When I got home, I started to make dinner. I had all the ingredients for potato-broccoli-bacon soup, and I wanted to use them up before they spoiled, so I started making the soup, even though the temperature was in the seventies and I already felt hot. I started chopping up vegetables and realized that my contractions were getting closer together and stronger. My water broke at with a gush at 5:00 P.M. while I was standing at the kitchen sink peeling potatoes. I found a contraction timer on the internet and started using that every time I had a contraction. Within forty-five minutes or so, the contractions went from moderate intensity and about five minutes apart to extremely strong and about three-and-a-half minutes apart. My water gushed a couple more times during contractions. By this time, Hubby had called my mom, who was staying nearby, and she said she would be right over. I guess I should have realized how close I was to having a baby at that point, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up of having a short labor, so I continued trying to make the soup. I told myself all these contractions were probably a false alarm, and the baby probably wouldn’t actually come for a couple more days. Finally, Hubby told me to stop making soup and come pack my bag! He had already put in a lot of my things for me, but I tossed in a few more things between contractions, which had me yelling and pounding on the wall. My mom arrived and took charge of D.L.F., who was becoming a little upset about seeing Mama acting so strangely (at first, he thought it was just a game and tried to imitate the sounds I was making, but after a while, he realized I wasn’t playing around). As we were heading out the door, I was giving my mom instructions on how to finish the soup! She said she would figure it out just fine, and I should go get in the car.

We made it down the stairs and about halfway out to the car when a big contraction hit. I was a bit embarrassed to have to moan so loudly while there were other people in the parking lot of our apartment complex, but I couldn’t help it.

We left our house around 6:30 P.M. and got to the birth center at 6:50. During the ride, I sat in the backseat and clenched the handle grip above the door with all my might during contractions, which were getting closer and closer together. The breeze from the open windows felt great. My method of distracting myself during contractions at this time was to slowly sing the ABC song in my head and mentally write the letters in swirly cursive.

When we arrived, Hubby opened my car door for me and extended his hand to help me out, but I was in the middle of having a contraction, so he stood there waiting until the contraction finished. Then I got out of the car and had another contraction. There were three men talking together on the sidewalk at the bottom of the stairway up to the birth center. I tried to ignore them, but was again embarrassed to be making such animalistic noises. We made it up the stairs and into the birth center. I saw my midwives, but couldn’t bring myself to even greet them, as the contractions were right on top of each other and were all I could concentrate on. I requested the room D.L.F. was born in. I collapsed on my side on the bed, and Midwife L. did a quick exam and said I was at ten centimeters and ready to push. Wow! What a different experience from the hours and hours and hours we spent at the birth center awaiting the birth of D.L.F.

Someone asked if I wanted the tub filled. I said sure, but I was beyond caring where the baby would be born. I was just ready to get her out. While the tub was being filled, I sat on a horseshoe-shaped wooden birth stool, gripped the handles, and pushed. Hubby was right behind me rubbing my back the whole time. I didn’t need the back massage this time in the same way I needed it with D.L.F., who was posterior, but it was still nice to feel Hubby’s touch and know he was there supporting me. He kept telling me what a great job I was doing and reminding me that we would see our baby very soon.

I started pushing at 7:07. At first, I was yelling a low “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” every time I pushed, but Midwife L. suggested changing to a more grunty yell, which would help get the baby out more easily. And it did—Cupcake was born at 7:27 P.M., weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce, and measuring 20 ¼ inches long. It was only thirty-seven minutes from the time we walked in the door of the birth center until she was in my arms. Whew! Her APGAR scores were 9 and 10.

I bled quite a bit, approximately 450 milliliters, and so one of the midwives gave me a shot of pitocin in my right thigh to help control the bleeding.

I pushed the placenta out at 7:36. It was large, healthy-looking, and complete. Cupcake’s cord was extremely long—“Enough cord for two babies,” as one of the midwives put it. Hubby cut the cord at 7:41. I got into the tub and cleaned up a bit.

I started nursing Cupcake at 8:00. She was more interested in trying to get her fingers in her mouth than in nursing, but she did manage to latch on and suck for about forty-five minutes.

Midwife D. brought us take-out from a Thai restaurant. I had cashew chicken, and Hubby had teriyaki chicken. We were hungry, as we never had gotten to eat our soup! Hubby fed my dinner to me, as my hands were busy with Cupcake.

After we ate, Midwife L. examined me and found that I had a small first-degree tear which did not require stitches. I was so grateful for that, as getting my third-degree tear after D.L.F.’s birth stitched up was physically and emotionally as hard or harder on me than the actual birth.

We left the birth center at 10:50 P.M.—exactly four hours after our arrival. Midwife D. said, “What a great way to spend an evening. It only took the same amount of time as going out for dinner and a movie, but you got a baby!”

Hubby and I thank God for our precious, sweet baby daughter. It was a blessing to have such a quick, natural, peaceful, beautiful, relatively easy birth. Mama and Baby are both doing great.




Baby Boy’s Birth Story

Here is the story of the birth of our precious son. It’s quite long, so if you don’t have time to read it right now, here are a few “highlights”:

birth center birth
water birth
long labor
posterior position

Baby Boy’s Birth Story

At 1:30 A.M. on Saturday, August 26 (one day before Baby’s official due date), I got out of bed to use the bathroom and discovered a bit of clear liquid trickling down my legs. I tested it with a nitrazine strip and found that it was amniotic fluid. It was the first sign in my body of any progression toward labor, and I was so excited I couldn’t go back to sleep for quite some time. Later that day, I began having bloody show. (I didn’t lose any more amniotic fluid until the pushing stage of labor.)

I began having contractions around 10 PM on Saturday. They didn’t seem much worse than bad menstrual cramps. I thought, wow, this isn’t so bad after all. I went to sleep, but woke up with a contraction every forty-five minutes or an hour all night.

Throughout Sunday, the contractions gradually got closer together. By nighttime, they were eight to ten minutes apart and extremely strong and painful. I mainly felt them in my lower back. Every time a contraction would start, I would start the timer, get on my hands and knees, and Hubby would rub my lower back for me, while one or both of us sang a few lines from whatever song came to mind to help distract me. We went back to sleep for eight to ten minutes until the next contraction started, and then went through the process again, all night long.

By Monday morning, I was pretty tired, but I assumed Baby would be arriving sometime that day, so I tried to stay cheerful and positive. Hubby and I finished packing our bags and gathering snacks for the birth center. We went for a walk at a park, which helped to bring the contractions closer together. By lunchtime, the contractions were four or five minutes apart. We called the midwives, and they told us to come on over to the birth center.

Hubby drove, of course. We took the freeway, and traffic was light, so we got to the birth center in about ten minutes. I only had one contraction along the way, but it was very uncomfortable to get through in a sitting position.

We arrived around 1:30 P.M. I was the only woman in labor when we arrived, so I was able to get the birth suite of my choice: a pink, feminine room with a double-wide birth tub. The midwives asked me a few questions and then allowed us to get settled in. They checked on us periodically to see if there was anything we needed, but for the next few hours, they mostly left us to labor on our own.

At 5:15 P.M., the supervising midwife asked if she could check my cervix. Because I was still pretty calm and collected, she was amazed to find that I was already 8 centimeters dilated. She told me I could get into the birth tub if I wanted. Hubby and I got in together and turned on the jets. The warm water and the jets really helped dull the pain of contractions. Hubby stayed in the water with me for a couple of hours, rubbing my lower back with each contraction. Then he got out, but he still came over to rub my back every time I had a contraction. The pain in my lower back was excruciating. I didn’t realize at the time that the baby was posterior, so all the contractions I had experienced to this point were “back labor.”

I really lost track of time after that, and with all the endorphins coursing through my system, I got a little spacey. I really wasn’t thinking clearly, and absolutely all I could focus on was the contractions. As it was getting dark outside, Hubby and I went for a walk around the block. I had two or three contractions along the way, which were hard to deal with after the milder birth tub contractions. I got back in the birth tub for a while, and then forced myself to get out and labor on the bed for a while, as I was concerned that the birth tub contractions weren’t “doing enough,” because they were nowhere near as painful as contractions outside the water. I was frustrated that I still felt no urge to push, and I was getting extremely tired.

I think the supervising midwife could tell at that point (around 4 AM on Tuesday) that I was becoming somewhat discouraged, so she took over. She had me lie on my side for contractions (even though I told her lying on my side hurt the worst), and put a “husband” back-support cushion between my legs, so that they were spread about two feet apart. She spoke soothingly during contractions, reminding me to keep my legs wide open to make room for the baby, which was difficult, as I just wanted to clamp them together to help deal with the pain. It was during this time that the baby finally rotated to a face-down position and I began to feel the urge to push. Also, I felt a lot of wetness between my legs and had the fleeting thought that the amniotic sac must have broken. I did a few gentle experimental pushes, but not too hard, because I wasn’t sure if I was really supposed to be pushing yet.

After a while, the midwife checked my cervix again and said it was at 10 centimeters, and that I was free to push. This was encouraging news. I thought that I would give a few pushes and the baby would be out. I pushed on my hands and knees on the bed for a while. After maybe half an hour, I felt something start to slip out a tiny bit, and Hubby said he saw some membrane. One of the midwives suggested that I try sitting backward on the toilet to push, so I did. Hubby sat on a chair behind me, and with each push, I alternated between squeezing his knees as hard as I could and scratching and pounding the wall with my hands. I couldn’t help screaming with every push. After pushing on the toilet for about half an hour, I returned to the birth tub, where I was determined to be done with labor and meet my baby. I pushed super hard and fast on my hands and knees, and the baby was born in the water at 6:44 A.M. I heard Hubby exclaim, “Baby!” with astonishment and relief in his voice, and I knew I was done. One of the midwives immediately scooped the baby up and placed it on my chest. Hubby asked if it was a boy or a girl. He had to ask a couple of times, because I was too engrossed in just staring at the baby’s adorable face and marveling that the baby was finally outside me. Finally I processed what Hubby was asking, looked, and announced, “It’s a boy!” We greeted him, using the name we had chosen early in pregnancy for a boy.

Baby Boy’s head was perfectly round and not cone-shaped (thanks to my “roomy pelvis,” as the midwives put it), and his Apgar scores were 10 and 10. After a few moments of holding him in the tub, Hubby and the midwives helped me over to the bed, where I continued to hold Baby Boy to my chest. I was amazed how his sucking instinct kicked in right away, and that he was able to snuggle up to my breast and know what to do.

After a couple of pushes, the placenta came out, which felt good, as it was such a huge relief of pressure. After the cord stopped pulsing, Hubby cut it. The midwives left us alone for a while to bond with our baby. Later, the head midwife did an exam on me and found that I had torn pretty badly and needed stitches. Hubby gave Baby Boy his first bath and dressed him. Then we were given a breakfast menu from a nearby restaurant, and we both ordered omelettes.

Eventually, I got stitched up, and then Hubby and I watched the midwives gave Baby Boy his newborn exam. He was found to be normal and healthy. He was 7 pounds, 14 ounces (the exact same birth weight as his papa), and 21 1/8 inches long. His hair is light brown and his eyes are dark blue, at least for now.

Around noon, my parents came by the birth center for a few minutes to meet Baby Boy. Shortly after that, Hubby and I and our new baby went home.

I am very grateful to have given birth in a birth center instead of in a hospital. If I had been in a hospital, I’m sure the doctors would have wanted to give me drugs to help speed things up, as it was such a long labor, or pressured me to have an epidural and episiotomy. I was determined to have a natural birth with no interventions if at all possible, and I am pleased to say that I did, even though it was difficult. Baby Boy was very alert and content after his birth as a result of not being drugged up. I feel like he is my precious reward for all the hard work of labor. We prayed for this baby, and now we hold him in our arms. Thank You, Lord.

It’s a BOY!

Baby Boy
Born August 29, 2006
6:44 A.M.
7 lbs. 14 oz.
21 1/8 inches
Perfect 10 APGAR scores
Praise the Lord!
Pictures and birth story to follow.