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Sunday, November 9, 2014

My Birth Story

I was scheduled to be induced at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, November 5th 2014. Jairo and I arrived at St. Mark’s hospital at 10:10 AM. We were placed in labor and delivery room number one. By the time we got all settled into our room it was about 10:30 AM. My nurse, Elizabeth, came in and introduced herself and hooked me up to the monitors to monitor my contractions and baby’s heart rate. I explained to her that I was planning on not getting an epidural and I was very nervous for the IV to be placed because I am such a baby when it comes to needles.

Normally I have good veins but for some reason that day my veins were not cooperating. Elizabeth was trying her best but after two failed attempts at placing my IV (one in each arm), she had to ask another nurse to give it a try. Finally my IV was placed in my right hand. This was awful for me because I am right-handed and having it in my hand was so uncomfortable for me. I was so worried that it was moving in my hand I felt like I had to be so careful with my hand. Luckily they allowed Jairo to sign all the papers we needed to sign for the baby because there was no way I could hold a pen.

At 11:02 AM my nurse checked me and said that I was dilated 3 cm (the same as I was at my appointment two days prior). I had to be hooked up to the monitors for at least 30 minutes before the Pitocin could be started. So at 11:09 AM I was hooked up to Pitocin. After that things moved pretty slowly. My contractions weren’t very painful or regular yet. Mostly we were just hanging out for a while.

My parents got to the hospital around 11:30 AM. Henry wanted to stay at home with my brother and grandma. The next couple of hours were pretty calm. I was mostly just getting comfortable. My nurse came in every half hour to increase my dose of Pitocin. Cassidy came by around noon for her lunch break because she works close by. She stayed for about an hour and then said she would come back after she got off work at 6. I told her that I would probably be in labor until at least 7 PM. I predicted the baby wouldn’t be born before 7:30 PM. Cass said she pictured the baby being born with a head full of black hair. I really thought she was going to be bald! Cass left around 1 PM.

My doctor came in and broke my water at 1:19 PM. I was still dilated 3 cm. He warned me that the contractions were going to get way more painful now that my water was broken. He said they could start getting more painful right away or within about 30 minutes. He talked to me about my options with getting an epidural. (I know that he was doubtful I could withstand going natural.) But I told him I was going to do it. Within the next hour I started getting more uncomfortable but my contractions weren’t super painful yet. At 2:26 PM my nurse checked me. I was 3 ½ cm dilated but she said that the baby’s head was significantly lower. At this rate I thought I would be lucky to have the baby by 10 PM. My parents went down to the cafeteria to get some food for them and for Jairo. I spent a lot of time in the rocking chair because it helped to relieve my back pain. (I had very painful back labor). 

Over the next hour I was in so much pain. I couldn’t talk through the contractions whatsoever. I had Jairo turn off all of the lights in the room. It took all of my concentration just to breathe through the contractions. I was feeling them mostly in my back so I was having Jairo massage my lower back through the contractions. At first I could talk between contractions. But soon the time between contractions was barely enough for me to catch my breath between contractions. When my parents came back from the cafeteria, Jairo was eating between massaging me through my contractions. At this point most of my time was spent with my eyes closed. I was crying through contractions now.

My nurse was really supportive of me going natural. She was showing Jairo techniques to help ease my contractions. She had him put a lot of pressure on my lower back while I was having a contraction. At the same time she would push on pressure points directly below my kneecaps. These techniques did help a little bit but the pain was practically unbearable at this point. At 3:43 PM the nurse checked me and I was 6 cm dilated. Honestly I was disappointed. It did not seem like the pain could get any worse. But it certainly did. At this point the nurse called my doctor to let him know I was a 6. My parents were planning on heading home to pick up Henry so that he could be in the waiting room when the baby was born. They were both going to go but luckily just my dad ended up leaving.

The next few minutes felt like they lasted hours. The contractions were so painful I could hardly breathe through them. I was ugly crying at this point. Elizabeth instructed me to use my breath to make low-pitched, deep noises instead of high-pitched cries. This seemed silly to me but it actually helped. Then I heard someone making the strangest noises later realizing it was me; I hardly recognized my own voice. My body had taken over at this point. I kept telling myself just to get through this contraction and I could take a breath during the break. But then there was no break. This contraction did not end. It kept building and building. And then my body started pushing. Jairo was putting pressure on my back, Elizabeth was putting pressure on my knees, and my mom was putting ice on my face because I felt like I was on fire. All the sudden I was saying, “I’m pushing, I’m pushing!”

Quickly Elizabeth checked me. It was 3:53 at the time. It had been 10 minutes since I was a 6. “You’re a 9” she said. She could feel the baby’s head. She called in another nurse to prepare for delivery and to call Dr. Nielsen. The contraction did not subside. I could barely catch my breath before I felt the urge to push again. Elizabeth was holding my legs together waiting for Dr. Nielsen to get there. He was at his clinic across the street. I just kept telling her “I’m pushing!” She kept saying, “Dr. Nielsen is on his way.” At this point I didn’t care if the doctor got there or not, I could not stop my body from pushing. They called in another doctor that was already in labor and delivery just incase my doctor didn’t make it in time. But luckily Dr. Nielsen came running in just in time. He threw on his scrubs and then they let me push. By the time everything was set up and Jairo and Elizabeth were holding my legs the baby was already almost crowning. I had to push one time and her head was coming out. This was by far the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life. I’ve heard people refer to it as “the ring of fire” and this could not be more accurate. It felt like I was on fire and being torn apart. I didn’t think I could do it. I had a moment where I doubted that I could push her out. But then I mustered up all my strength and pushed as hard as I could. I was crying out in pain between pushes but Elizabeth reminded me to put my energy into making deep noises and pushing. So I did. Dr. Nielsen was telling me to slow down so that her head would come out slowly. I pushed through two contractions. Finally her head was out. I thought the worst was over but then I had to push her shoulders out. I cannot even describe the pain I was feeling. I really thought the pain would never end. I pushed one more time and then she was out. The moment that she came out I felt instant relief. It was surreal how much relief I felt at that moment. Suddenly the burning had stopped and the contraction ended. And then I saw her beautiful face, and it was all worth it. All the pain was worth it in that one second that I saw her face and they laid her on my stomach. Jairo was able to cut her cord and then they weighed her.

Our little princess was born at 4:06 PM on November 5, 2014. She weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces and was 18 ¾ inches long. She blinked her little eyes and looked up at me but she didn’t cry. I was worried that she wasn’t crying. I thought she looked a little purple so I kept asking if she was okay. They kept sucking out her mouth and she was breathing but still didn’t really cry. They took her over to the little bed and sucked her out and I guess a ton of fluid came out so she probably breathed on her way out. She ended up being perfectly fine. But she still didn’t cry, it turns out she is just a calm baby. (She didn’t even cry when they weighed her.) I think it may have helped that all the lights in the room were off so it wasn’t such a shock for her when she was born.

After I delivered the placenta I was pleased to learn that I did not need stitches. I only had very minor tears that would heal on their own. After Anastazia was weighed they laid her on my chest and we did skin to skin. It was the best experience ever. It felt so natural. As Dr. Nielsen was examining the placenta and the umbilical cord he held up the cord for everyone to see. There was a huge knot in the cord. It was like three knots put together in one. It was at least the size of his palm.  He showed it to all the nurses and commented how lucky it was that the cord did not pull tight at any point in the pregnancy or delivery because it could have been fatal. He also said that in all his years of delivering babies he has never seen a knot that big.

Overall my labor and delivery was an amazing experience. I am so glad that I decided not to get an epidural. The pain was unreal but it felt so natural. My body knew what to do all on its own. With Henry, I never had the urge to push and pushing felt so unnatural. But this time my body was pushing on its own, it is so amazing to me that our bodies know just what to do. The recovery was amazing too. As soon as I was all cleaned off I was able to get up immediately to go to the bathroom. Then I was able to ride in a wheelchair while holding Anastazia up to my postpartum room. With Henry they had to physically lift me and place me on a stretcher in order to take me up to my room and he had to ride up in his little bassinet and I couldn’t get up until the following morning.

Please know that I am only stating my opinion on my personal experiences. I have experienced an epidural and no epidural and to me, no epidural was better. This does not mean that I have anything against epidurals or anyone who receives them. I am a huge fan of medicine and am not trying to talk it down in any way, shape, or form. To me, giving birth naturally was the most amazing experience I will ever have. I know it would not have been possible for me to go natural with Henry because with him being my first I was in labor for 15 hours and pushed for two hours because he was facing the wrong way. I was very close to having a C-section. I just know that I am blessed to have been able to experience childbirth twice, and it is awesome that they were both such different experiences. I wouldn’t change anything in either of them.


  1. I enjoy reading all of your blog posts, they entertain me ��
    This one was beautiful, i hope you keep writing more ��

  2. Absolutely love reading your blogs. I've been a big fan since watching you on 16 and pregnant

  3. I love your posts! Congrats girl to you and your family on the birth of youe beautiful baby girl Anastazia❤

  4. Birth is an amazing experience & I have my youngest child's birth on video & I am always watching it & every time I cry! Thank you for sharing your birth story! You are beautiful & you have a gorgeous family! Congratulations!!! (:

  5. I love your posts!!! Congratulations to you and your beautiful family and to your beautiful baby girl Anastazia��������

  6. I love your posts so much! Congrats to you, Jairo, and big Brother Henry on the new addition to the family! Many blessings!

  7. What a lovely birth story. My daughter is almost 5 months old and I havent written hers yet... I too had a natural birth, It was both the most painful but rewarding experience I've ever had. :)

  8. That was beautiful, darling. I loved this birth story, thank you for sharing :)

    And I'd like to just say, I have so much respect for you and I just love hearing about your beautiful little family.

  9. Amazing!!! I'm pregnant and you have convinced me Try natural

  10. I was able to have a natural birth as well, it's pretty amazing what our body's can do!

  11. I know this is was posted months ago but I want to thank you for sharing in detail your experience. When I was pregnant with my son (who happens to be share the same birthday as Henry 9/17/13) I wanted a natural vaginal birth. Everyone thought I was crazy and said j would be begging for a epidural once my contractions hit. My mom was my greatest inspiration as she told me how she had me natural despite it all and said it was the greatest experience she ever had. Unfortunately my son decided he wanted to come on his own terms and turned sideways. With this and my contractions coming too close together I had to have a C-section being the epidural I felt so out of it and couldn't even hold my son longer than 2 mins in fear I would drop him. Even worst I kept going in and out and my son had to be rushed to the NICU with hemoglobin issues and I hear everything but couldn't talk or more. When anyone asks I always recommend natural birth or at least til their body can take it so they don't miss out on the birth experience. I myself will never experience it due to having uterine fibroid surgery so I will only be able to have c-sections. Even though I will never experience this your detail of your labor and delivery made me feel like I was there. That I was the one going through it and I really appreciate that! God bless you, soon to be hubby Jairo, handsome Henry and beautiful Anastazia! (Sorry so long)


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