The Birth of Althea Raye

May 16, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Give me a C (section) 


My original due date was 10/1/05.  I was home from work for a month already. I was huge. I was in pain. I was so DONE being pregnant. I could barely walk, my feet were swollen, my sciatic nerve was throbbing, and I was petrified! I was so scared of giving birth. I walked (waddled) around like a ticking time bomb, I could go off at any second! 

Every time I felt a twinge in my stomach (which was every day at that point) I would let out a deep sigh, my husband would jump off the couch…."Are you ok?!?!?!" I would look at him in fear….."I guess so".  My doctor told me from the very beginning that I was probably going to go early, hence why they moved my date up a week. He thought maybe even earlier than that. I had a big baby, they said, and she’s already head down in the blastoff position!

Meanwhile….here it was my due date and nothing! I was going to the doctor once a week, and he would do an internal (which at this point I started to welcome, thinking maybe he would move things along) and every time he would say the same thing…."Nope, she’s WAY up there….she don’t wanna come out!" He would add: You’re the perfect incubator! “GREAT” I thought, but I promise I’ll be a better MOM so tell her to GET OUT! 

On my due date they did a non-stress test and an ultrasound.   After the ultrasound the doctor came in, did the exam, and gave me the spiel: You got a big baby in there, especially for your size. (I’m 5’1") She’s fine in there, but I’m not sure you’re going to be able to deliver her naturally. One more week, and she’ll hit 9lbs, no problem! I think she’s not dropping because she can’t fit. If I induce you, you’ll probably labor all day and we’d still end up with a c-section anyway. So let’s just cut to the chase, we’ll do an appointment c-section, and go and get her.

We made an appointment. On my mother’s birthday 10/7/05 5:00pm, be there at 3:30 pm, I was gonna have a baby.

Friday was the longest day of my life. I sat at home…..alone…..trying to come to terms with the fact that I was going to be someone’s mommy by the end of the day! My husband came home early. I was freaking out. I was worried about getting the local and being numb and just the WHOLE THING. I had too much time to think about it. I think sometimes it’s better if it just HAPPENS.

We got to the hospital at 2:50 pm. They wheeled me up, and gave me a gown and my husband scrubs and stationed us in a room that looked like a closet with a bed, a TV, and a shared bathroom. We sat in that room for four hours! In the first hour I got an IV, and they shaved me (nice, right?) and asked me some questions, but after that we just sat there.

Apparently there were other c-sections, EMERGENCY c-sections that needed to go first. I was petrified. I wanted to be like, "Ummmm ya know what? I think I’m just gonna go home….never mind. I’ll be fine!" Everyone kept calling and asking if there was a baby, we kept saying…NO! My parents and Mike’s mother had been in the waiting room now for five hours! But the Yankee Game was on and it was the playoffs, so it kept us entertained.

I was having some pain, but I was having false labor for the past week, so no big deal. I was hooked up to the fetal monitor, and I started to realize…..ummmmm I’m having contractions!! They were very early contractions…but STILL!! The nurse came in and with a huge smile…I said "I’m having contractions!!!!!! Does that mean something?!?!?!" She looked at me like…..THOSE little teeny contractions are NOT CONTRACTIONS!!! You’re still going in for the section.

Finally at about 8pm, they brought me in. Alone. Without my husband. He wasn’t allowed in until I was all set up and numb. I remember thinking the table was so narrow. It was like the width of a weight bench, it didn’t look comfortable at all. Have they looked at the size of my ass?? It was also in the shape of a "t" so my arms could stay straight out on either side. I made all the nurses promise me that they wouldn’t tie me down. I heard they did that. They said as long as I didn’t move….they wouldn’t tie me….DEAL!

I got the needle in my back. It hurt but not as much as I thought it was going to. I forced the nurse to hold my hand (I’m such a baby). As I laid down my legs already started to get numb. It wasn’t as freaky as I thought, there was too much other stuff going on. While they were hooking me all up, they let my husband in. They sat him in a chair next to me, and he held my hand and asked me if I was ok. Now that he was there, I was. There were two doctors. One was my regular OB and the other I never met.

They started. I didn’t even feel it. My husband was trying to distract me so I wouldn’t pay attention, reminding me to breath. I was listening to the nurses and doctors. I heard them say they needed to make the incision bigger. Then they were talking about her being so big. My doctor told me they were going to push a little on my stomach to try and get her out. The nurse started pushing….nothing. Then both nurses started pushing….still nothing.

I was having trouble breathing, because they were pushing on my diaphragm. One doctor and two nurses are now JUMPING on my stomach trying to get her out. I see my husband’s eyes get real wide. I keep asking what the problem is. He gives me a fake smile and says nothing. (Turns out both my heart rate and the baby’s started to go down, and he could see it on the monitor behind me). I was coughing and coughing cause of all the pushing…it hurt, but because of the numbness it’s a weird type of hurt. Finally I feel some pressure and moving around in there….and she comes out. *SIGH OF RELIEF*. The nurse says to me and I quote: "I think you just gave birth to a toddler!"

She was 8lbs 13oz and 20.8 inches long and she wasn’t born until 9:03 pm. They wrapped her up and gave her to her daddy. Her face was all swollen, but she was adorable! She looked like my grandfather! LOL Her eyes were wide open and she was moving her head around like five minutes after she was born! I couldn’t hold her until they were done closing me up, but daddy was holding her and showed her to me. Then they took her into the nursery, and daddy went with her. Then I laid there while they put me back together. Finally they rolled me into recovery; my husband came back in without the baby.

My parents and my mother in law came up to see me in recovery. My husband brought them to see the baby through the window, meanwhile I’ve still yet to hold her. That part sucked! I didn’t get to hold her till almost midnight, and she was born at 9pm. There were no rooms (it was a busy night) and they couldn’t bring the baby into recovery. Finally when I did get a room it ended up being a private one (so it was kinda worth it…kinda). Finally when they did bring her in all I kept thinking was WOW, this perfect little baby was inside of me! Crazy!

My husband stayed over that night on a fold out couch thingy. The nurses came in and bothered me like every 5 minutes…so there was no sleep that night. Then the next night….he went home to deal with the 6 inches of water in our basement (on no sleep whatsoever) because it not only rains on every special occasion we have but it POURS!

Anyway, the second night I was alone. And truthfully it was nice. They brought her in to me every three hours to eat (or to attempt to breastfeed even though my milk didn’t really totally come in yet…ya know back in the first day or two when breastfeeding was easy and you thought – pssshaaw this is no big deal!). And those middle of the night times were amazing. It was just me and her in there and she was always wrapped up tight with her little head sticking out the top, eyes always wide open looking at me.

She was perfect! Still is!


Jenn is a proud, now expecting number two, Mom who details her adventures at Maniacal Days.  When she’s not there, she’s hashing it out with her husband at Dad Says, Mom Says. 

The Births of AJ and LG

May 15, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Au Naturale 


Launched into the World

It was a day in the last week of September when I waddled into my midwife’s office for another routine check.  At 37 weeks pregnant, I was prepared to wait several more weeks before seeing the precious baby kicking my ribs.  With my mind focused on the upcoming weekend wedding of my brother-in-law, I wasn’t prepared for her words, “You’re 2cm dilated and 80% effaced.  You might want to rethink leaving town for the weekend – 2 hours is a long way away if you go into labor!”

Oh the timing!  My husband was the best man and I was making the wedding cake!  Not go?  We really couldn’t do that, could we?  We headed home excited, wondering what to do, and feeling unprepared.  The next morning, I awoke about 4:30 and couldn’t sleep so I decided to make the wedding cake.  As I mixed up the first bowl of batter, I felt my stomach get all hard and then relax – weird!  Oh well, I had plenty to do. 

Soon, however, those little “weirds” were coming regularly, like every 10 minutes!  I flew into panic mode, determined that my brother-in-law and new sister-in-law would have the promised cake stopping every 7-10 minutes to breath through a contraction.

The cake was almost done – 8 hours later – when I collapsed in a chair in exhaustion.  Tears poured from my eyes as I realized all the energy I spent on the cake left my house in total disarray. So much for nesting! I also realized that those very regular contractions had tapered off within the last hour.  My mom called and told me to quit worrying about the house, to figure on staying home for the weekend, and to go take a nap. I did what she said!

Saturday and the wedding came and went without us.  Sunday also passed with not a tinge of a contraction to be seen and me feeling really guilty for not going to the wedding.  Monday dawned and looked like the very same thing.  By the time my husband came home from work, I was more than a little down on myself so he suggested going out to dinner to cheer me up.  As we sat in the restaurant, I felt something very strange, almost like my water broke, but there was hardly any liquid.  I had read it might just be a trickle so we debated for a while whether to call the midwife or not.  When I did, she told me what to watch for and then suggested getting some sleep and coming to the office in the morning.

Tuesday was a bright, warm October day as we headed to the midwife’s office.  She checked me and decided my water hadn’t broken, but informed us that I was dilated to 4cm and was 90% effaced.  Since our home was over an hour from the hospital, she asked us to stay in town for the day and then come back late in the afternoon to check again.  As soon as she checked me, I began having regular, mild contractions every 5 minutes. 

We wanted to speed them up so we walked around Wal-Mart for a couple of hours and then went to my mother-in-law’s home for the afternoon.  My husband was able to nap and I timed the 3-5 minute contractions until 4 o’clock. 

We headed back over to the midwife’s office to report that the contractions were regular, but not too uncomfortable.  She checked me again to find me dilated to 6 and 100% effaced.  Oh!  Within the hour, we were checked into the hospital and awaiting the midwife to break my water.  Once that happened, my contractions became painful, but not unmanageable.  With my husband, mom, sister and her husband to keep me company, we laughed our way (with little breaks for contractions) through the next 2 hours. 

I decided that I wanted to get in the Jacuzzi at that point and my family (other than my husband) had to leave for various reasons.  My mom said she’d call in a little while since it was probably going to take a long time.

I got in the hot tub and the water felt WONDERFUL!  I decided I was going to be staying in there for a while so when my husband wanted to call and update his mom, I readily agreed to wait for him in that warm cocoon.  He left the room and I thought someone was trying to rip my body in half!  WHAT WAS THAT?!? was the only coherent thought that I had.  As soon as my husband reappeared – after 2 more of those monsters that were tearing me apart – I asked to get out immediately. 

With the nurse’s help, my husband rushed me back to our room where I was checked and found to be 8-9 cm.  One more contraction and a wave of nausea.  I lay there waiting for the next one to come, but it didn’t it.  Suddenly a calm washed over me and I knew that the transition phase of labor was over leaving only the pushing part!  I was excited and said to my husband, “It’s over!”  He told me later he thought I had truly lost my mind because of the pain!!

I pushed for 18 minutes and then my daughter was handed to me.  It was 9:04!


A Leisurely Sunday

My second daughter decided to take a different course.  She wanted to fake me out!  Several weeks early, I was checked and found to be 2-3 cm dilated.  Since my first daughter had come within a week of that marker, I expected this little one to be at least as soon.  The weeks went by and I told my husband that I had decided I was just going to be pregnant forever.  He laughed, I didn’t!

I awoke on a mid-January Sunday morning thinking that maybe the induction date of next Saturday was really when I would see my little one.  I headed to the shower and that’s when I noticed that I was bleeding.  I called the midwife who reassured me that it was likely the “bloody show” and that my labor was starting.  Since we live over an hour from the hospital in Colorado and it had snowed the night before, we left for the hospital before contractions started.  By the time we arrived, however, they were regular and I was found to be 4-5 cm.  The midwife arrived sometime later and broke my water – it was 1:45PM. 

I again got into the Jacuzzi and enjoyed the warmth and support it offered.  About 3:00, we headed back to our room and my husband admitted he was starving.  He called his mom and asked that she bring him a sandwich although I warned that he might not have time before the baby came.  My mother-in-law and sister-in-law arrived at 3:30 and my husband eagerly dug into the sandwich they handed him.  As he finished the first half, I returned from the bathroom and sent him to find the midwife.  His mom and sister headed for the waiting room and I pushed 3 times.  Our daughter was born at 3:51 PM.  After we were all cleaned up, my husband asked if he could finish his sandwich now!

The author is the thrilled mother of 2 girls under 2.  They are 18 months and 2 months old.  You can read more of their crazy antics at Raising Daughters!