A Birth Story

A Birth Story

I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time, 13 months to be exact! Here it is now: My daughter’s birth story…or as much as I remember! 

The day before my daughter was born I binge watched The Good Wife on Netflix.

All. Day. Long.

Around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I felt my first contraction. Of course, I had no idea it was actually a contraction. Just cramps. No big deal, right? It was a good 20 minutes before it happened again. Then again after another 15 minutes. That’s when I thought, “Hey! Maybe that was a contraction?” I got out my phone with my newly downloaded contraction timing app and started timing each and every one. They were getting closer together but still only 8-10 minutes apart by the time I was ready for bed. I remember going to sleep around 9 that night, really hoping I would make it through the night and get some much needed rest.

I slept until about midnight. At that point the contractions were about 5 minutes apart. They were getting more intense and I just couldn’t get comfortable to fall back to sleep. My husband, on the other hand, was sleeping soundly next to me.

It was finally around 4am that I woke up my husband. The contractions were 4 minutes apart and I was in pain. I was ready to go to the hospital. After a few bites of toast, I barely had an appetite, we grabbed our hospital bags and headed out. It’s a 45 minute drive to the hospital, and one of my biggest fears was that we wouldn’t make it in time! Looking back, I could have probably waited a few more hours, but in the moment I was terrified of having a baby in a car! So we were on our way.

We arrived at the hospital around 5 that morning. I was barely dilated, just 1 tiny little centimeter, and my contractions were still 4 minutes apart. I was not happy when the nurses said I needed to walk until I was at least 4 cm dilated in order to be officially checked in. I was slightly dehydrated so they gave me water and set me loose, to walk the halls of the maternity ward. The nurse told me to come back by 8am and they would check my progression.

We walked the halls, listening to women in labor and hearing the sweet shrills of newborn babies, knowing that our daughter would be born that day. We were both jittery with nerves and excitement and anticipation. I was walking through contractions, stopping each time and bracing myself in the arms of my husband. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. It wasn’t yet 8 am but I told my husband I was done walking. It was time to go back.

The walking had worked. I was 4cm dilated and my contractions were closer together. It was time to get checked in. We were brought to a labor and delivery room. I wanted the drugs! It wasn’t long before I was given an epidural and started to feel some much needed relief. Once we were settled, we decided to call our parents. Since our family is all out of state, we knew we wouldn’t have any hospital visitors. We only told our immediate family, parents and siblings, that baby A was on her way.

And then we waited. And waited. And waited some more.

It seemed like an eternity. Seriously! I was tired but couldn’t nap. I was hungry but couldn’t eat. I was on an emotional roller coaster. One minute so incredibly happy. The next I was doubting if I could really do this parenting thing. Eventually, the doctor broke my water. Then everything started speeding along. I remember the moment the doctor told me it was time to push. I said, “Really?” I was thinking, “I’m really not ready.” And “I really don’t want to do this!” I was scared. More scared than I had ever been in my life. But it didn’t matter. Baby A was ready and so I had to make myself ready. Lesson #1 of parenthood.

I pushed forever. Forever. My epidural was lowered, so I would be able to feel the contractions myself and know when to push next. No one told me about that part of labor. I thought, “If I get an epidural, I won’t feel a thing and it will be great!” Nope. They wanted me to feel and be in tune with my body. I understand why but I certainly wasn’t happy about it then.

Childbirth is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It is emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting. I don’t think I was a very good pusher. No one said that to me, but, I’m pretty sure it’s true. There came a point, after an hour of active labor, that the doctor said, “If she’s not further along after this push, we are going to have to talk about forceps.” FORCEPS! That wasn’t happening. We did not have to talk about forceps.

The whole time, my eyes were closed tight. My husband was by my side, holding one of my legs, giving me ice chips and cold cloths for my head, desperately trying to comfort me. I knew he was upset at my discomfort. I honestly couldn’t even focus on him. I ignored the doctor and nurse talking about baseball in between contractions, passing the time. Seriously, baseball?? I was very much focused on myself, inside myself, trying not to think about anyone or anything except breathing and pushing. The nurse told me my baby’s head was born, “Open your eyes, honey, look at your baby” she said. I remember thinking that I didn’t even want to open my eyes to see my daughter. And then, in an instant, I felt terrible for that thought and reluctantly opened my eyes. I’m glad I did. I will never forget that first glance at A’s squishy, red, perfect baby face. She wasn’t even born yet, but there she was, my daughter.

Only one or two more pushes after that, and there was a crying baby on my chest. I forgot my pain. I forgot my exhaustion. I forgot my hunger. My needs didn’t matter. I was a mother. I was no longer cooped up inside myself, I was present. My husband cut our daughter’s cord, even though he had been determined that he wouldn’t want to, he did. I didn’t realize that I had torn, until the doctor asked for a suture kit. He sewed me up while I was nursing A, skin to skin.

I was amazed at my body’s strength. And I was amazed at our new baby girl. She was ours and we were hers. We truly became a family that day.

Baby A. June 3, 2015.

My journey into motherhood was just beginning…

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22 thoughts on “A Birth Story

  1. I love reading birth stories because everyone’s is so different but still have elements that you relate to. Thanks for sharing yours!

    With my first I went to the hospital when I thought the pain was bad but was sent back home because I was only 2cm. If I was in that much pain at 2 I wondered how I’d survive until 10cm! with the second birth I was determined to not have the same experience so I tried to stay at home as long as I possibly could. When I arrived this time I was 7cm, so I was very pleased about that!

    I felt like I wasn’t a good pusher with number 1 as well. It was 2.5 hours of pushing on the bed, the midwives were trying to tell me where to push but I just wasn’t “getting it”. They were going to prep me for c section if it didn’t start moving along but eventually with forceps she was born. With number 2 it was a few contractions, maybe 15 mins and she was out. I was in a different position for pushing this time which may have helped (plus they say your subsequent births are supposed to be easier/quicker which was absolutely the case with me – 14.5 hours of active labour with the first and 5 hours with the second)

    It’s cheesy but the miracle of birth and what the body goes through amazes me every time!!

    1. I love reading birth stories too! I have heard that it’s often easier the second time around. And it must help to have an idea of what’s going to happen! I think the worst part for me was the fear I felt that whole day. But it was really such an amazing experience- like nothing else! Thanks for sharing your birth stories with me!

      1. I agree even the second time I tried to tell myself I had nothing to fear – I had done this before and knew what to expect, I still felt a bit scared of what was to come. Even though every labour/delivery is different having that previous experience definitely helped me the second time around. It was so empowering. It’s cliche but birth really is a miracle! It’s amazing what your body does and how much you go through to bring life into the world. I love all things birth and baby related, could talk about it all day haha xx

  2. Such a beautiful moment isn’t? Even if it really hurts, we tend to forget it. I remember being totally enchanted when my little one was born. Happy to tell all my family and friends the pain was so worth it lol. It is of course, but reading your story reminded me how hard it was!

  3. Love reading birth stories! I would love to wake up in the middle of night with contractions haha! I was induced both times in previous pregnancies so would be nice to go on my own this time

  4. lovely birth story and photo – I remember using one of those contraction timer apps as well but I kept forgetting to push the button to reset and restart it and so it wasn’t very accurate and was fairly annoying trying to manage along with my tens machine as well. #marvmondays

  5. Aww I love reading birth stories, everyones is so different. It’s amazing what our bodies can do. My waters went without any contractions during the night, I rang up the labour ward and was told to pop in just to have a quick examination and see what was going on. Ended up staying in to be monitored because babys heartbeat was up and down. I then had to go on a drip to make them come and even then it took a while before things really started going. I was so tired by the end. #marvmondays

    1. I had never been so tired in my life during childbirth! But then I had a newborn and learned about a whole new kind of tired! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your birth story.

  6. Beautiful story! I always think it’s so nice to tell your birth story through your blog and have it to look back on as the memories do actually fade so quickly (I think it’s the oxytocin and it’s all a conspiracy to make us forget so that we have some more haha). I was a bit rubbish at pushing and ended up with the dreaded forceps *shudder* I’d do it all again in a heartbeat though 😉 Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us at #fartglitter x

    1. Thank you. It’s something I really wanted to write but just put it off for so long! Looking back, there are details that I can’t remember. My husband said he didn’t even remember cutting A’s cord! But I was able to remember how I was feeling that day. In the end we had a baby! So… I guess I would do it all again too!

  7. What a lovely birth story! Its amazing what we think we can and cant do and what our body can actually do. My first birth experience was really similar to yours and we ended up down the forceps route. I was convinced afterwards that my body didnt know how to birth properly. We just had our second baby three weeks ago and had a very different birth experience – a natural labour only assisted by gas and air. My body did and does know how to birth and I am still amazed that I did it by myself when I think about it now. If you do have another child, you may be surprised at how different an experience you might have 🙂 Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily

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