Birth story

*Disclaimer* May have more detail than you want to read... :)

As most of you know, I was two weeks late with Josie. I didn't want to be of course, but I also wasn't sure how I felt about induction. I really wanted to have her naturally because the thought of being induced (forced labor) just seemed so violent. Once I reached due date, I just had a feeling that this would not happen on its own. Sure enough, two weeks later, the date my doctor scheduled to be induced was here.

I called the hospital at 5:30 in the morning to have them tell me to come in a little after 7:00. It was so strange to pack my bag, pack her bag, make sure we had the carseat and everything else ready without the "rush" of being in labor. Once we got to the hospital, we checked in and met our nurse. She walked us down to a room, opened the door, and immediately shut it again. Inside was another woman in labor - and when I say labor I mean full-fledged screaming right-at-the-end labor. Our guess is that she got there progressed to the point of pushing, they saw the room all prepared (for me) and jumped in... so our room wasn't our room anymore.

Once we got to our room, we got to listen to that lady scream and scream, just like in the movies, while my nurse prepared the room. It seemed to take forever. She hooked me up to the IV, got the baby heart monitor set up, and got me comfy in bed with the remote for the tv. My doctor came in, a very "unsocial" man who only said what needed to be said although he was completely professional and good at what he does, and broke my water. Let me just tell you that I hated this!! Nobody prepares you for this. Once your water breaks, it drains and drains and drains and drains. There is no end! Your body continues to produce the amniotic fluid to keep the baby safe, so even when you think you must be running out, your body is just busy making more.

To make it clear how uncomfortable this makes a person, every time I had to get up or switch positions or go to the bathroom, I had to "diaper up" and wear this gigantic pad to the bathroom. Plus it felt like I was going to the bathroom the whole time. When I had a contraction, I often felt like I would pee myself... even when I had just gone. The pressure on my bladder was never ending.

The contractions started right away. They were bearable all morning, but the nurse wasn't impressed with how I was progressing. I started at 1 cm, moved to 2 by 11:00 AM, and was only at a 2.5 by 1:30. They up'd the pitocin (the drug used to induce me) to the full amount (20) and all of a sudden the contractions were awful. I had them every 30 seconds to a minute but they weren't reaching the level they wanted. My nurse said they should be reaching 60 but they were barely getting to 45-50. So while they weren't strong, they were frequent, and my body started to wear out fast.

I was so miserable all afternoon. I knew I couldn't get the epidural until I was 4 cm, but I wasn't progressing. By 5:00, I was only at 3.5 cm. I was at the point of accepting anything. C-section? Sure, whatever. Just get her out healthy and safe. No drugs? Ok... if it can happen now!! But my nurse said the magic words... I got the ok from my doctor to have an epidural. We had to wait for the lady who could give me the epidural for about a half hour, but it was worth the wait.

She got me in the right position, sitting up and curled around a pillow on my lap, and she said to tell her if I felt any pain. She also was going to give me another drug to numb the pain until the epidural kicked in. That drug was no problem when she injected it, but when she did the epidural, she hit a nerve. I have never felt pain like that! It was so intense and I immediately screamed out. I hadn't been very noisy up until this point, and seeing me in pain was more than Mike could handle. The nurse had him sit down (he had been rubbing my back and letting me lean on him) and he put his head down for a while. I really thought he was going to pass out!

The nurse tried a different spot, but this time she hit a nerve on the other side. Again, I screamed out and she had to stop. The third time, she hit a nerve, but was able to reposition the needle so that it wasn't hurting me. By this time I was praying out loud "Please, God" over and over again. I meant it with my whole heart and He came through!! I was so thankful that it worked. He knew I could not handle more than what I was going through now.

For most of the day, I was also sick to my stomach. I don't remember how many times I threw up during the day, but it was enough that I was just mostly gagging by the point I was given the epidural. I felt so much better at this point, as I was able to visit with my family and just hang out waiting for something to happen. The nurse said that she was hoping the epidural would calm my body down since I was most likely fighting the contractions more than allowing them to do their jobs. If my body was able to relax, it would also be able to continue on.

It worked! She checked me again at 10:00 and I was at 8 cm. I could not believe that my body had not failed me. I was so sure that I would go through intense labor and still end up getting the C-section. All of a sudden it hit me - she was going to come soon!! My nurse told me to sleep for a while (yeah right) and she'd check me again in a while.

When she checked me again, I was at 10 so she had me start pushing. Nobody told me about the pushing... I knew it could take a while, but I had no idea that it would take so long! I pushed for 2.5 hours before she arrived. There was a point about half way through, though, when I was told to stop pushing because my doctor was doing an emergency C-section on another woman. Can you imagine having to stop pushing when it is what your body is doing involuntarily?? It was excruciating. I wouldn't say the worse pain ever, since that was coming up, but definitely hard for me to do. At one point, I told the nurse that I was pushing and if she wanted a doctor here she'd have to find another one.

I also had some intense heart burn when I was pushing. I have never had heart burn before (there goes the theory that heart burn means hairy baby) so I wasn't sure what was going on. Since I kept throwing up, I didn't want my nurse to give me anything for it. I wonder how much easier it would have been if I didn't have to exhale/burp/gag every time I started pushing. 

Finally my doctor was free, but I still had a ways to go. I am not completely sure, but I think that Josie got stuck when I stopped pushing. I had been doing good and she was moving right along, but stopping and starting really messed things up. She didn't move forward much, and the doctor told me that he could try using forceps to move things along.

I was willing to do anything at this point. It was 2:30 AM and I was ready to be done. :) Let me just tell you. Forceps = most intense pain ever, as in just rip me open and pull her out. It was awful. I wasn't so quiet at this time! Again, Mike almost passed out, and I was screaming "get her out" over and over again.

I pushed when there were no contractions, but it was worth it. She had to get out of me... It was just too much. It was like taking the biggest bowel movement of my life, no kidding.

But then she cried, and my heart stopped beating, and I realized that I had done it. She was here!! They put her on my chest and I could not believe what I was seeing. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. And all the hair! I had hoped she would have a full head of hair, but it just made her all the more cute. She just stared at me for a while before they took her away to measure her and clean her up.

Mike got to hold her for a long time while I was busy with everything else, and it was so sweet to see him staring at her and her little hands gripping his. I will never forget that image. Ever.

I got sick again at this point, and the doctor had to finish what he was doing (sew me up from the episiotomy he had to do, push out the placenta and blood clots). I just kept saying out loud "just get this over with" and I'm sure my doctor loved hearing that! Finally he was done, and I was supposed to get some sleep. Unfortunately, I was still super sick. Plus they said if I felt like I had to go to the bathroom I should do that right away.

I did try to go to the bathroom, but between being sick to my stomach, completely exhausted, and super sore, my body was done. I almost passed out while trying, and had to have a bunch of nurses come in to help me into a wheel chair. They wheeled me down to the room we were to stay in for the next couple of days, and I couldn't even get out of the chair. Once I was in bed, I fell asleep and slept fairly well... for two hours.

Two hours later I was awake and wanting to see my baby! Our bodies are miracles - how could I feel so much better after such little sleep? And I never did crash. I felt so good; all I wanted to do was see her and get to know her.

The rest of the day was filled with nurses teaching me how to breastfeed, bathe her, and generally take care of her. I was supposed to go home on Thursday (she was born on Tuesday morning), but I was able to go home on Wednesday afternoon instead.

It was a long horrible process but the end result was completely worth it and I'd do it again in a second!!

1 day old


  1. Anonymous7/18/2011

    Okay, first of all don't ever read this when you are thinking of having another or pregnant again! haha! You will forget it all soon and want to do it over, but DON"T read this! Second of all, I think you just helped me decide what to do, since I had a c-section with Adri I can do that again or go natural...I thought the c-section recovery was bad, which it was, but I'm leaning that way now! Congratulations! She's beautiful! Enjoy the cuddling, they grow way too fast!

  2. Anonymous7/18/2011

    I really shouldn't have read this. We're due in November. I'm scared now. But thanks for being honest, some people make it seem like its all rainbows and butterflies. Thanks for giving me more realistic expectations!! Glad to hear that Josie is hear healthy as can be! - Maureen

  3. It was definitely not fun! But the good thing is that my recovery was GREAT and I have already forgotten how intense the pain was so I'd totally do it again in a heartbeat. It didn't scare me away from the thought of more kids, which was what I was afraid of!

    I have a feeling that having her naturally (with drugs of course) would have been a totally different experience so I wouldn't worry about that Maureen! And some people get induced and everything is just like a natural labor process... :)

    Sam - I am not as afraid of a C-section as I was before, and if you have already done it I can see why you'd want to do it again!

  4. Anonymous7/18/2011

    Okay even though I read this, I still want lots of babies. I've heard from so many women who say that you don't have any idea how horrible (but worth it!) childbirth is until you experience it, but I don't care! {I know I'll be eating my words some day when I have a kid, but oh well. Haha!!}

    Congrats on Josie!! :-) -nancy

    -- Nancy--

  5. Anonymous7/18/2011

    What a beautiful story, entertaining and well-written, but most noteworthy, a beautiful story with a wonderful happy ending. Even if I was part of the family that was hanging out, it was fascinating to fill in the holes of the story. God's plan is so beyond anything man could have come up with, births are such miracles.