Thursday, August 29, 2013

Birth Story

Owen Cole
7lbs 12oz 20.5" born on August 20 at 12:16am
And perfect!

Owen made his arrival quite hastily after 8 hours of natural labor and delivery. The part that is crazy is that I went into labor ON his due date and missed it by only 16 minutes...which would have made for both of my babies born on their due dates! 

Monday, August 19th was my due date and a regular day like all the days prior. I didn't feel different or anticipate that labor was coming or a baby. I putzed around the house, cleaning and taking care of errands.

At around 3:30 I felt a braxton that had some pain with it, but it wasn't terribly intense so I ignored it and went on with cooking dinner and taking care of laundry. During dinner I had a series of 3 more slight contractions which I still believed to be "false labor". In no way did I believe that I was really in labor. Plus, they were so sporadic (10 minutes, 15 minutes, 8 minutes) that I was waiting for something more regular and intense for an hour before I raised the white flag and started making phone calls to my hubby and mom.

My hubby had called me at 5:30 pm to tell me he would be extended and I didn't even mention labor to him at that time. I really didn't want it to be a false alarm and get everyone excited if it was nothing. True, they hurt...but I had experienced labor before and expected something much more painful. With Eli my water had just broke and started intense 2 minute apart contractions, so I never experienced "beginning labor."

By 7:45 pm I decided to call my husband home since contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and much more intense, stopping me in the hallway to claw the walls (well, pretty much.)

Once he got home things quickly went into hyper drive. I got into the bath a couple times which helped but I couldn't do one position for too long. I would walk, then lay down, then get back in the bath. I even tried watching HGTV episodes in between contractions to take my mind off the pain to come. During this time my hubby prepped the car and got our bags ready to go "just in case." My goal was to labor at home for as long as possible to avoid any hospital interventions and help labor progress as much as I could comfortably at home. 

At one point I went into Eli's room, prepping him for bed and trying my best to be a good mom, maybe to perhaps take my mind off the pain which had grown so intense it felt like every fiber of my body was writhing in it. 

Eli wasn't quite sure what was wrong and grew concerned every time I had a contraction. I did my best to reassure him in between contractions. I think I even stayed in his room during them because I knew this would be our last moments alone together. A baby was coming.

I had called my mom right after I called my husband home, so she was aware and ready for us to come to her house. The hospital was a good hour from our house and we felt it would make more sense to be at her house once labor really got going since she lived closer to the hospital. Plus, my family was going to watch Eli for us.

By 9:30 pm I called her again and said we were on our way, be ready. My contractions were now 2-3 minutes apart and more painful than ever. I tried my best to breathe through and not clench up...advise my mom gave me.

We didn't make it to her house. I called and asked my sister to meet us at the bottom of the mountain to take Eli, we needed to get to the hospital instead. The whole way down the mountain every bump and turn made each contraction that much more miserable and painful. I cried "dear God, please help me do this" the whole way down and a few times shed tears.

By the time we got Eli to my sister it was 10:30 pm and contractions were steadily 2 minutes apart, just enough time to gear my head and body for the next one. We got to the hospital parking lot and the pain was so intense it had turned my stomach. I threw up violently and all at the same time as contractions came. My hubby didn't park terribly close so every few minutes through the parking lot I stopped, grabbed for him and had him hold me through each one. I knew that people's eyes were on me, but I just couldn't help it. I would sob into a contraction, then walk, and then do it again in a few minutes until we made it to the labor and delivery floor.

The nurse who checked me in asked me if I was having twins, With little to no rush at all, they placed me in a room where I guess they figured I labor until they could check me, give an IV and routinely check me in.


It didn't go that way at all. I pressed the pain button and a nurse came in. She quickly recognized a woman not in beginning stages or intermediate stages of labor, but one that was needing things sped a long much quicker than they had anticipated. I was checked and told I was at 5 cm, which didn't encourage me. With Eli I was at a 4 for hours with little dilation, so I felt like maybe this was going to go slow too. I grabbed one of the nurses hands and cried "I don't think I can do this"...and she said, "yes, you can. You are doing it. Relax your body into it, unclench your fists"...sounding just like my mom. No one asked for epidural or encouraged one. Instead they asked  my birth plan and I said I would like to do this naturally.

Until a horrible contraction hit, then I would say "I can't do this"...until it was over, then I would tell myself I could. It was a battle in my head.

Moments after checking me, my water broke and then...

the urge to push. She checked me again and I was at 6 cm and said she could feel his head.

They struggled to get my IV in to no avail and as contractions became more painful than any I had experienced, I started to grunt and involuntarily push. My hubby wasn't in the room yet, nor was my mom so they rushed to get one of them. They RAN me down the hall on a stretcher while I exaggeration...I really screamed all the way down the hall.

 A baby was coming!!!

I lost all track of time or people in the room or anything except the sweat and tears on my face, the pressure and pain from baby descending lower and lower and the voice of one of the nurse midwives asking me when I needed to push. It was all a whirlwind thinking back on it.

My mom almost didn't make it in the room since they didn't call both my hubby and her back at the same time. I hadn't noticed she wasn't there during all the chaos, but I am so glad that she did make it. Things were so fast and crazy they didn't have time to hook me up to any monitors or even get an IV in.

My nurse midwife held my cervix open for the next few contractions, making each one of them count, something I was so grateful for. Then she said to push down and hard when I felt the urge, which in that moment, no one needed to tell me what to body was doing it regardless.

About twenty minutes (maybe) of intense pushing and baby's head was out. I geared for the shoulders...screaming into each push and contraction. There was nothing quiet about that room that night. It was the only way I could release some of the pain. I felt myself want to give up, in my head thinking, I cannot do this. But once I felt the baby's head, I gave in to the pain and burning to "finish out the task at hand" other words I surrendered to it.

So much pain. So much pressure. So much burning. 

Once his body was out, I felt complete pain at all. It was amazing how they immediately set baby on my belly.
Such a moment of "I did it, it's over."

He felt perfect and I couldn't believe I was able to do it. It was so hard, the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. And so worth it.

Some hospital pics taken with my phone.

Eli was so excited to meet his brother. It was a tear jerking moment.

We were released from the hospital the very next day and have been settling in with two children...still such a strange amazing thing!

Owen is the perfect baby. He is a nursing champ (I only had a couple sore days as opposed to with Eli which lasted a month) and he sleeps solidly through a night if I let him. He rarely cries and spends most of his day napping.

I am so in love, something I could never quite imagine feeling to the extent with Eli...but it is just as amazing as the first time. I am so beyond blessed with such a good baby too.

He loves listening to music.

Eli loves to hold and cuddle him.

And so do I...


  1. Awwwww.... What a precious story! That middle part was intense and i just had to keep reading. Thank you for sharing. -Michele :-)

  2. Congratulations he is gorgeous! And I can see the resemblance to his big brother. You did a great job and you are much stronger than I am - I was begging for the epi but there just wasn't time! Great job! Even though I didn't plan to or even want to go natural, in retrospect it's a pretty amazing thing to do. Congrats again!

  3. It was such a beautiful birth. And he is so perfect! I'm am so proud of you♥

  4. What a beautiful memory shared!!! God bless you and your family. You are so blessed!


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