The Birth of Big I

March 28, 2007 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Induction-The Lease is Up 


This birth story was taken directly from my journal.

March 27, 2001

Three to 17 days past my due date and I’m sitting here waiting for the phone to ring to tell me what time to come to the hospital to be induced.  Yesterday, my doctor gave me a few options; however, when she said she thinks the baby is between 8 and 9 lbs, the decision to induce was clear.  I was in complete disbelief last night and still am.  I just can’t quite believe that my body will actually do this feat.  I’m having a difficult time thinking of the reward for all this pain I’m going to go through.  It’s been this way throughout my entire pregnancy.  Once I passed the first and second due date, I just got this notion that the baby would just take up permanent residence. 

I lost "the plug" on Thursday and have had such terrible pressure-so bad that I constantly feel like I have to pee.  It just seems my body doesn’t quite know what to do.  I’m really praying that I take after my Mom and that once the induction starts it goes quickly, although I’m sure 5 minutes will feel like 5 hours.  But at least I can hope.  This just isn’t the way I thought it would happen.

Sitting here waiting for this phone call is pure torture.  I’m hungry and can’t eat anything before this happens.  I told my Mom I don’t think pain management will be a problem, because I’ll look at the IV in my arm and just pass out-come to-see the IV-pass out again.  I hope I can tough this out without pain meds.  I need to take my Dad’s advice and think "I’m tough like Tocchet."  I can’t help wondering if Tocchet would be this tough if he were put in my situation.  The guy probably passed out when his baby was born.  Oh well, enough for now.  Next time I write, maybe this will all be over. 

April 1, 2001

March 27th turned out to be the longest day of my life.  We arrived at the hospital around 10:30-11:00 and went immediately to labor and delivery room 12.  My first nurse, Vikki, took us to the room and had me change into one of those flattering hospital gowns.  She then strapped on an external fetal monitor and a contraction monitor on my stomach. 

It was neat to see the heartbeats of the baby.  Vikki tried to get an IV in my left arm and it really hurt.  She said my veins were rolling and moved onto my hand.  It hurt a lot but she eventually got it in.

Then they needed to draw blood before they started.  Vikki couldn’t get the job done.  Another woman came in and began to try my right arm while Vikki called the IV team.  This woman failed too.  (It’s funny because no one ever had any trouble previously).  Finally, Robin, "Pleasant Robin" arrived from the IV team.  She drew my blood no problem.  My parents had arrived just previously to this and I could tell my Mom (an RN) wanted to jumped in.  I really wish she would have.  My arms and hands were sore from all the bad sticks. 

They started the pitocin at around noon.  I was feeling nervous, but excited thinking I would be like my Mom and have the baby is just a couple of hours.  Around 1:30 p.m., my doctor came in and broke my water.  I was 3 centimeters and 70% effaced.  It didn’t hurt at all, but it felt really yucky.  The water was almost hot.  From here on out, amniotic fluid leaked out on a regular basis.  I kept making faces when it would gush out and my Mom and husband kept asking, "Is that a contraction?" It most certainly was not.

We were all in good spirits and I was joking around a lot.  Another doctor came in to check on me and told the nurse to find me an italian ice.  I was starving!  I ate ice chips and italian ice like there was no tomorrow. 

At 3 p.m., Stelene became my nurse.  She checked and I was dilated 3-4 centimeters and was still 70% effaced.  The baby was at -3 station-floating around.  They continued to bump up the pitocin every 15 minutes and I started to have contractions two to five minutes apart.  They really weren’t bad at all; they just felt like a tightening.   

At around 7-7:30 p.m., after Stelene said I was about 5 centimeters, my doctor checked and said I was still only 3-4, but 75% effaced.  The baby was still at -3 station. 

At this point, my doctor said that I was failing to progress and if she came back in two hours and I wasn’t making major progress, we would have to consider a c-section.  I got very upset and began crying. 

Linh became my new nurse.  She was this tiny Vietnamese woman and she was the sweetest thing ever.  She really helped me to calm down because I was a wreck.  She told me that this was still my choice; I still had control and to think positively.  Nothing was going as I had wanted it to.  My birth plan was completely blown to hell, but Linh helped me hold it together.   

I was determined to get the baby to come down, and began standing and holding onto my husband.  I rocked back and forth and when I couldn’t do that anymore, I sat on the edge of the bed.  The contractions were so strong and I relied on my husband and my breathing to get me through them.

The contractions were really starting to hurt badly and I was completely exhausted.  I asked for some Stadol because I was exhausted and didn’t think I could do it anymore.  My body was so tense and every muscle felt clenched.  I thought that the Stadol would help relax me and bring the baby down.  This was at about 8:30-9:00 p.m. 

Once I had the Stadol, I slept between contractions and didn’t have a care in the world, but it did nothing for the pain of the contractions.  This could be because they put me on double strength pitocin at this time.  Stadol should last for 1-4 hours, but mine lasted less than an hour.  The side effect of the stadol was that it made me talk non-stop like a drunk fool.  I was swearing up a storm and cracking up everyone in the room when I wasn’t taking my two minute naps. 

At 10:30 p.m. my doctor came to check me.  We were all encouraged.  I was 5-6 centimeters, 90% effaced, and the baby was at -1 station.  I could tell because I started to feel incredible pressure.  I got a reprieve from the c-section threat. 

Around midnight, the doctor checked me again and I was 7 centimeters and completely effaced.  After this check, things got very painful.  I began having terrible pressure everywhere down below.  It was this intense pressure and a horrible burning sensation.  Each contraction was no longer felt in my stomach and all I could do was to lay on my side, reach for my husband, and writhe and squirm in pain.  Nothing made it feel better.

My doctor guessed that I’d have the baby around 3 a.m.  My husband said after the fact that he began thinking there was no way I’d make it until then.  I felt the same way and I remember I kept staring at the clock, willing it to move, but it seemed to be motionless. 

At around 12:30 a.m., my body started pushing the baby out and I started yelling "I have to push," over and over again.  I was also gagging and began to vomit.  It was black and disgusting.  The nurse accused me of drinking soda, when I was really probably vomiting from the lack of any substantial food or drink since the day before. My jerk of a nurse (my 4th of the ordeal) finally sent in the doctor (who had been napping) after my Mom went to get her.  My Mom told me she went out to get her and told them I needed to push.  The nurse said to her, "I know.  We can hear her."  Out of 17 L & D rooms, I was the only one without the epidural and it was obvious to everyone on the floor.  I was in absolute agony. 

The nurse checked me, expecting a major let-down, but I was 10 centimeters and ready to push.  I remember thinking, "Of course I’m 10 centimeters because the baby is RIGHT THERE!"  I rolled onto my back and began to push with the next contraction. 

I felt overwhelmed with having to hold my legs, curl my body around the baby, hold my breath and push.  I was also still gagging and vomiting, which was just lovely.  I felt like I was auditioning for the next Exorcist movie. 

My first few pushing attempts felt futile.  Once the doctor got there, my Mom held my left leg and my husband held my right leg.  The nurse kept pulling my legs apart and I just wanted everyone to leave me the hell alone.

The doctor was pulling at me, trying to avoid an episiotomy, but the pulling hurt worse than anything.  It was horrible.  I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere, but I was. 

The doctor was watching the fetal monitor and said she would have to cut an episiotomy.  My Mom and husband said they could see the baby’s head but the head was hitting my bone and I couldn’t stretch on my own.  I remember crying and saying, "You’re going to numb me right?" With the next push, the doctor cut an episiotomy and the baby’s head was out.  As the doctor suctioned the baby, the baby began to cry a bit. 

I said, "GET IT OUT OF ME!" because the shoulders were killing me.  With one more small push, our baby was born.  The baby came out fast and sprayed amniotic fluid on the doctor and nurse.  I heard my Mom say "It’s a girl," and I couldn’t believe it.  I had been so focused on pushing, that I didn’t even think about whether or not it would be a girl or a boy.  I just wanted whatever it was OUT!

Our baby daughter was on the bed between my legs and I reached out to touch her.  She felt warm and slippery.  My first words upon seeing her were, "I can’t believe she’s mine, all mine."

They had been worried while I was pushing because her heart rate kept dropping and staying low so the doctor had called for pediatrics.  Talk about adding stress to the situation.  There I am pushing and screaming and there are three gowned up doctors just waiting for my baby. 

Once my baby was out, the doctor immediately said peds wasn’t needed, and then wrapped up my daughter and put her on my stomach.  She was wide awake and immediately stopped crying once she was touching me and heard my voice.  She felt like warm, liquid velvet as I held her, talked to her and kissed her. 

I introduced myself and my husband did the same.  They then took her to get cleaned up.  She began to cry and my husband, Mom, and Dad went with her to the other side of the room.  (My Dad was always on the other side of the room because he couldn’t deal with what was going on with me.)  As they suctioned out her nose, my baby got very angry and when the nurse went to do the other side, she punched the nasal aspirator out of the nurse’s hand and sent it flying across the room.  She was definitely my daughter. 

Her APGAR scores were 8 and 9 out of 10.  She was immediately pink and alert.  My husband held her next, while the doctor stitched me up (agony) and delivered the placenta.  My Mom and Dad took turns holding her as well.  Then, she came back to me. 

I have never seen a more perfect and beautiful baby in all my life.  My Mom said she looked just like my baby picture.  She had barely there blonde hair on top and just a little light brown fuzz around the rest of her head.  Her eyes were so big and bright.  Her little nose was slightly upturned and her nostrils looked like upside down hearts.  Her lips were perfectly shaped, and her little ears looked identical to my husband’s. 

She weighed in a 8 lbs 0 oz, 21 inches long-my exact measurements when I was born.  My Mom said she’s my little clone.  She was born at 1:29 a.m. on March 28th, about 45 minutes after I started pushing, and she forever changed my life.

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"Black Belt Mama" lives in the northeast and is a stay-at-home/work-at-home mother to her two daughters, "Big I" who is now six and "Lil C" who is almost 18 months old.  She writes on her blog, Black Belt Mama, and also for a syndicated (more tame) version of her original blog for her hometown newspaper’s website.  She is also the editor of the Birth Story blog. 

To read about her second birth, which was much more mama and baby friendly (with a midwife), go here.   

The Birth of Hunter

December 8, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Induction-The Lease is Up 


June 6th, we woke up early and phoned the hospital case room to arrange a time to come in for induction.  We arrived at 7:45 am and were set up in a delivery room.  I gave a urine sample and we were strapped into a fetal monitor belt, with one belt on baby and one on my uterus to watch baby’s heart rate and uterine muscle activity.  We spent about 30 minutes being monitored and then had a visit from our family doctor.  Dr. R went off to deliver a baby by Cesarean and we were monitored for a bit longer, to get a good reading of the baby’s heart rate and the activity of my uterus. 

Dr. R returned and we were induced at 9:00 am with the application of prostaglandin gel onto the cervix.  After the application of the gel, we waited for an hour being monitored to see if there were any changes in the muscle activity of the uterus or any influences on the baby’s heart rate.  After an hour of no changes because of the gel, we were told to go walk around the ward for half an hour.  We walked around the floor and checked out all the babies in the nursery, getting a chance to talk to some families of newborns.  Then we returned to be monitored for another thirty minutes.  There was still no action, so we walked around some more. 

At this point, we were both pretty tired so we decided to curl up and try to sleep.  After a third post-gel monitor, there was still no action in the uterine monitor so we were dismissed to go home with a list of things to watch for that indicate the onset of labor and would require us to return.  We were told to return at 3:45pm for another check and another application of the prostaglandin gel.

We went home and rested.  We did some e-mailing; I made some cranberry scones and then we had a nap.  At around 2:00 pm, while napping, I started to feel a little bit of tightening in my belly that I thought to be the beginning of little warm-up contractions.  They were very irregular and quite short and I was sleeping, so it was hard for me to time them to keep track of their regularity.

At 3:45 pm, we returned to KGH to get another monitor strip done.  I gave another urine sample and set it on the ledge in a four-bed room.  As soon as the belt was put on, the tightenings began again with a little more intensity and were very regular.  The contractions started at about three to four minutes between onset.  They were not very strong though, and could be felt simply as a tightening.  According to the readout on the monitor, the nurses and Dr. R figured that I was seeing natural contractions occurring, as well as contractions because of the gel.  Interesting!  We waited and monitored for a bit longer. 

The nurse came in to see us again and asked about the urine sample on the ledge.  I, trying to be funny, said that it was actually apple juice and she left it there and made a comment about being thirsty.  Uhhh… not a time for humor.  Sure did feel stupid after that. Because we were seeing something going on, Dr. R wasn’t sure if she wanted to go through with another application of the gel because that would have overstimulated the uterus, which could have caused some problems.  So, we postponed the application and we were monitored for another little bit.  At 5 pm Dr. R decided that we were in early labor and that we should go home to rest and let things progress naturally.  We were pretty excited, but it still felt pretty surreal, as things were not very strong and we weren’t quite sure what to make of it or how long things would take…

When we got home, we decided to run out and get some groceries so that we would have food in the house for when we returned home with baby and for when Justin was home waiting for us.  That was interesting.  Walking around the grocery store, feeling contractions getting stronger and stronger and becoming more and more uncomfortable.  We stocked up.  When we got home, I sent out some e-mails to let people know what was happening and made some phone calls to inform family of where we were.  Then, I tried to rest. 

That proved to be more challenging than anticipated.  Contractions kept getting stronger and the distance between only got shorter.  Lying in bed, timing them, the contractions were between 30 and 40 seconds long and there were between 1 minute and 3 minutes apart.  At about 7 pm, the contractions were very intense and I wasn’t able to talk through them.  We decided to have a shower and time the contractions again.  Still getting stronger, they were consistently around 35 seconds long and 1 minute 30 seconds apart.  I was in the shower for about an hour, when we called my parents to let them know where we were.  Mom H decided to leave for Kelowna to be there through the labor.  About half an hour later, Justin’s parents (Grandma and Grandpa d) called to let us know that they were also leaving to come for the labor. 

I tried to focus on other things for a while, but no position seemed to offer any solution, and I was too anxious about the pain to really put any effort or time into trying out the many different breathing techniques that we saw in prenatal classes.  At around 10 pm, I decided that I wasn’t going to be able to keep going in the state of anxiety and discomfort that I was in, and that I would like to have some pain relief soon.  At 10 pm, we called the hospital to ask about contraction intervals (the hospital had said to come in when contractions were between 3 and 4 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute to 1 minute and a half).  Well, we were wondering about that because the contractions were consistently lasting half as long and half that time apart.  We decided, with the nurse on the phone, that we would come in and prepared them that I had changed my mind and decided to have some pain relief.  Shortly after 10 pm, we made the phone calls and the e-mails that we were leaving for the hospital.  We gathered together all the things that we would need and headed out… perhaps the last time to leave the apartment baby-less.

I had three contractions in the car ride (about 7 minutes) to the hospital.  Upon arrival to the hospital, one more contraction in the parking lot, and we were headed in through emergency (doors lock at 10 pm).  Another contraction hit in between the double set of sliding doors.  We walked in and the greeting person asked, “Are we having a baby?”  Upon a positive answer, we were rushed through to admissions and she yelled, “We’re having a baby!” to security.  A couple people waiting in emergency chairs said congratulations to us.  We got things sorted out with admissions (two more contractions) and headed down the hall (contraction in the hallway and in the elevator).  We arrived at the door to 3 West (Maternity and Delivery) and buzzed.  Right when we were in the middle of the door (which is alarmed if it is held open for too long) another contraction hit, more intense than the ones before.  For these contractions, it made me feel a little bit better to lean on Justin’s shoulder.  Justin encouraged me to get through the door and finish the contraction on the other side (he he).  We checked in at the desk and were put into another four-bed room.  I gave another urine sample (contraction mid-stream –OUCH) and returned to the bed to be strapped into the fetal monitors again.  No sooner had I sat on the bed and had the belt put around my waist, than another contraction hit – the strongest yet.  It was extremely painful, so I cried out a little bit.  In the middle of the cry, I felt a little gush between my legs and said “Oh, and I peed!”  Thinking about it very quickly, I realized that I had felt a little pop prior to the gush and my water had broken!!  The nurse (who had not yet put down an absorbent sheet, oops) swabbed some of the fluid, as two more contractions came very quickly, to verify that it was amniotic fluid.  Indeed it was, so I was put into a huge pair of underwear with a big pad in them and moved into a delivery room (the same room, in fact, that we had been induced in).  Walking down the very short hall to the birthing room proved to be more challenging – Birthing Room #2.

In the birthing bed, we asked, again, for an epidural.  The anesthesiologist came in and told us about the epidural and the precautions and possible side effects.  I was really nervous about it because I had wanted to have a natural delivery with no pain medication.  While thinking about it, in the middle of a very intense contraction, I decided to have an epidural.  It was one of those moments where I still couldn’t decide, then when the contraction hit, I said “YESIwantonereallybadly!”

As the epidural went in (~11:00pm), it was the easiest contraction I went through.  Hindsight tells me that next baby, I should just do more focusing through the contractions, instead of panicking.
It didn’t take right away.  I was still incredibly anxious through each contraction and felt a lot of pain through my back (still didn’t know it was back labor).  As they put in a catheter, I remember my Mom being there and thinking, “I don’t want her to see this” but was in too much pain to do anything about it.   I just enjoyed her smoothing my hair and patting my hand.  The epidural had to be increased a couple times because I was still feeling the contractions very intensely and wasn’t supposed to.

There seems to me, now, that there was a lot of time between when I got the epidural and when I finally started to feel better.  Somewhere in that time, I loosened up and began to relax.  I relaxed so much, in fact, that I began to experience a lot of shaking in my legs.  The nurses were a little curious about why I was shaking so badly and kept checking to make sure that I was okay – I was fine!  Ah, the joy of not feeling labor pains.  I began to talk with the nurses about all kinds of things and even shared the recipe for cranberry scones that I had made earlier in the day.  **At some point prior to all this, it was determined that I was 2 cm dilated.**  Once my water broke the nurses were hesitant to carry out an internal exam.  So… we waited.  I ate ice chips (lame) for many hours, craving iced tea.  I was waiting to feel the urge to push.

At about 5:00am, after no sleep, despite trying, I still couldn’t feel the urge to push.  The epidural was turned down and I asked if I could try pushing anyways.  I was getting bored with this.  They turned the epidural down again, so that I could feel more of what was going on.  Dr. Richardson did an internal exam and found that I was 10 cm dilated.  Whew, I wonder how long I had been there for??  Watching the contractions on the monitor, I began pushing at about 5:10 am after Dr. R said that it would be okay to try.  I pushed for about ten pushes, then they checked to see what kind of movement they were getting from the baby.  The nurse was checking to see where baby was and wasn’t able to distinguish which part of the head she was feeling.  When Dr. R returned (I guess she had left for a bit) it was determined that the baby was posterior.  This would explain my extreme back pain during contractions.  Instead of his spine to my tummy, his spine was rubbing along my spine with each contraction.  The nurses then turned my epidural down some more so that I could try to take on a different position to push from.  Due to my extreme leg shaking, that wasn’t possible, although I was shifted a little bit.

Again, it was determined that I wouldn’t be able to push without feeling anything and the epidural was decreased again.  I waited again for the urge to push.  At this point I’m not sure how it was decided that I would just try to push anyways.  I think that I just kept bugging the nurses because I wasn’t feeling anything and just wanted the baby out!  At about 6 am, they decided that I would just push as best I could.  I pushed for about an hour, then they called in the Obstetrician.  He was amazing.  He pushed in various ways to help ease the baby’s position, but they didn’t work.  Then, they went to get forceps and the vacuum to try and help.  I asked for no forceps and because baby’s head was still so far out of sight, they weren’t an option.  So.. vacuum it was.  That in place, they tried pulling Hunter out for quite a while.  They weren’t finding very much success as Hunter kept slipping back after I would push him down.  The nurses and attending doctors kept complimenting me and saying how well I was pushing.  I kept thinking “Well then, where is my baby?”  After a number of pushes over a long time, they called the OR to prepare for a Cesarean and had me discuss and sign the release. 

I remember so well, the Obstetrician saying to me my option of a Cesarean was looking more important.  I remember feeling really sad at the thought of going through all I had done so far to have to heal from a c-section after.  I asked if we could try pushing some more.  The Obstetrician was very encouraging.  We just pushed and pushed and pushed.  I remember asking for a break because they were asking me to stack my pushes and I didn’t think I could do it anymore.  I also remember the moment I watched that contraction start on the monitor; I decided to push anyways because I couldn’t waste these contractions (maybe that was the urge they had been telling me to wait for).  In the middle of the nurse shift change and pushing for all I was worth, the anesthetist for the OR came in and a nurse shoved the surgery prep drink in my face.  It felt like the Obstetrician shouted at this point “Elizabeth, three more pushes and we’re having this baby or we are going downstairs” I guess that fired me up…  the next push he yelled (I think) to the Anesthetist ‘”Cancel the OR, we’re having this baby” at which point the surgery prep drink was taken away (whew).  I remember seeing the doc pulling on poor little baby’s head so hard with the vacuum.  I remember pushing and yelling (whimpering) with each push.  It felt better to make noise, it really did.  I don’t remember feeling pain, but I remember that it felt better to be loud.  I remember thinking that my Mom and in-laws were in the hall and I wanted them to know when I was pushing.  I pushed for over two hours straight.  Hunter was born by vacuum extraction.  Thank God. 

He was a perfect little miracle and his Dad got to see his face as he came out into the world for his first breath.  He was placed onto my chest right away.  He was all purple and I checked between his legs right away and yelled, “It’s a boy” to my family outside.  We were so happy.  Our perfect little man – Hunter James Phillip, born at 8:16 am, Tuesday June 7th.  His head was very misshapen and (I’m sorry Hunter, to admit that) my first words to describe you were “Well, you look… special.”  Because I had had a fever during labor and my IV had to be moved so many times, Hunter also had a fever.  He was checked and tested in the delivery room while I was sewn up (three stitches from an episiotomy I didn’t even know I was having) and was delivering the afterbirth. That was the most painful part of the actual delivery (sad, isn’t it?).  I remember making a lot of phone calls from Mom’s cell phone, right there in the delivery room.


Hunter was taken to the nursery pretty soon after being born to get an IV put in.  Justin went with him and observed that he wasn’t very fussy (high pain tolerance) and he liked being tickled on his feet).  Justin got me my iced tea shortly after Hunter was born and I didn’t even drink it. Sorry, J.  Hunter was on an IV for three days and came home on Friday the 10th.  We had a shared room for the first night as Hunter wasn’t with me – he slept in the nursery.  Then, for the second two nights, Hunter was in my room with me, in a private room.  We had outpatient bilirubin tests done on Saturday (because of jaundice) and Hunter was admitted into the hospital on June 11th because his levels were so high.  Because of ABO Conflict (my and Hunter’s blood types are different), and the vacuum bruise on his head, Hunter was quite jaundice and had to spend Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning in the hospital, under UV lights.  It was very hard for me to be there, but I was very glad to have Justin there with me, over the weekend.

My milk came in, in full force, when we were re-admitted into the hospital.  I remember being comfy out of my robe and in my sweats (soo nice) and looking down at my completely foreign body as I walked to pick up my little bundle in the nursery.  The nurses kept apologizing when they woke me to bring me to nurse.  I was only too happy to get to see him and hold him again.  Who cares about sleep when their baby is in another room in the hospital?  I didn’t like having to weigh Hunter before and after I nursed him, while we were re-admitted.  It was quite stressful and made me feel a lot of pressure to feed him enough.  I was sooo full while we were there that I pumped a little bit to relieve the pressure.  Man!  That electric pump was nasty.  I was quite misshapen after I was finished!  Then, the milk being gone, only made me produce more!!!  We went home on the 14th.  Hunter was already a week old.  As I experienced then.. time goes by too quickly when we have such precious memories to safe keep.

Elizabeth is a 26-year old working Mom.  She is a teacher and enjoys trying to balance work and home.  She is blessed by the support of many family, friends and a fantastic husband.  She would love to have another baby for Hunter to shower with affection.  Her hobbies are blogging, baking, playing basketball and having lots of adventures as a family.  Elizabeth thinks that Motherhood is wonderful and you can read more at her blog Look at Us Now.

The Birth of “Artist Boy”

September 27, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Induction-The Lease is Up 


My son was conceived at a time in my life when I had pretty much given up on ever having a child.  I had fertility problems, several miscarriages, and was so sure I was never going to have a baby. 

But God knew what he was doing and all the tests, all the drugs, all the perfect timing paid off and I got pregnant.  And this time it was going to happen.  I spent from my 3rd week until the middle of the seventh month without my husband.  He was in the Army and part of the 101st First Infantry rotation to the Sinai.  He left me skinny and came home to a very big woman! I gained way too much weight, but when the doctor told me to gain three pounds, I thought he meant a week, not a month.  Pizza junky!

Read more

The Birth of Maya Amrita


Maya was due on March 17, 2006.  But I was two weeks
overdue, and extremely impatient, hoping to go into
labor.  Ted and I had decided that we wanted it to be
just us in the delivery room, no other family.  On the
other hand, I had NO experience with babies; and I
wanted my mom to be there to help with her when Ted
went back to work.  So, we decided she would fly the
almost 4,000 miles from Juneau to Philly one week
after the due date, so she would be there to help us
as much as possible.

Since she was 2 weeks late, our plans were obviously
not working out as we had hoped.  My mom was there,
ready to help.  But no help was needed for a week before
Maya’s birth, which was fine actually.  It was nice
to have that time together.  I couldn’t tell you the
last time we had spent a whole week together, no work,
no school – probably never.  Certainly not since the
last time we had gone on vacation together when I was
a kid.

On March 27th, I had my last exam.  The midwife told
me that if I didn’t go into labor on Thursday, I
should check into the hospital Thursday evening, after
a light dinner.  Um…what?  Spend the night in the
hospital?  I hadn’t really gotten that far in my
thinking, and I wasn’t happy about it.  But I wasn’t
effaced at all, and they would apply some goop to my
cervix, which would help efface it, and it might even
start some contractions. 

I couldn’t see any sense in
Ted and/or my mom staying at the hospital with me.
There was nowhere for them to sleep, and it seemed to
me that we were in for a long day on Friday.  The
more rested we all were, the better.  So I was
admitted, put into a fashionable robe, had the goop
applied, a device strapped to my belly so they could
monitor the baby’s heartbeat, and that was that.  The
midwife said they would hook me up to the pitocin at
9am, and that usually it takes a while to get going, so
we decided that Ted and my mom should come back at 10
the next morning.  They went home, and I stayed
behind.  The goop did start some very minor
contractions, like bad menstrual cramps, which came
about every 10 minutes.  I dozed throughout the night,
waking with each contraction, trying to get
comfortable while hooked up to the fetal heart monitor
and listening to hospital sounds.

At 7AM, my water broke.  I buzzed the nurse and told
"Are you sure you didn’t pee in your bed?" she asked.
"Huh? Does that happen often?" I asked.
"You’d be surprised," she said.

The indignities of motherhood were just becoming
apparent to me.
It was my water breaking, however, not pee.  At 8AM,
they started the IV of pitocin, a whole hour early.  I
settled in to wait.  OUCH! the pain, amazing, scary,
what-was-I-thinking PAIN started pretty much right

A couple of words about pain.  I don’t like it.
However, I like needles even less than I like pain,
and the sight of the needle at childbirth classes had
made me rethink the epidural, and try for a natural
childbirth.  And part of natural childbirth is pain
(any childbirth, actually…I have yet to hear of one
that is painless, natural or not.)  My midwife had
told me that one way to look at it was that the pain
of childbirth was a natural pain, as opposed to
breaking a leg or rupturing an appendix, and that
usually what determines whether a woman needs an
epidural is the duration of the labor.  My family
tends to have embarrassingly short labors, so I was
hopeful that I could get through without seeing that
dreaded needle.

The midwife kept asking me if I wanted to call Ted and
tell him that contractions had started in earnest.  But
my addled brain was afraid; afraid that in his
panicked state, he would get in a car accident on the
way over to the hospital, and then he and my mom would
be dead while I gave birth, left alone in a strange
city to raise my baby.  Too many Hans Christian
Anderson stories in my youth, perhaps.

At 10:00, I was standing next to the bed, trying not
to murder the resident who kept trying to take my
blood pressure.  She couldn’t get an accurate reading,
because my contractions were too close together, and
the cuff tightening around my arm made me homicidal.
I think I was in the beginning of ‘transitional
labor’.  I could hear my mom talking loudly as she
walked down the hallway.  Ted said he heard someone
yelling, and he thought, "I hope that’s not Julie."
They opened the door, and yeah, it was me.

Ted said I was making "animal noises", like an animal
that was trapped and in pain.  That pretty much sums
up how I felt, too.  I looked at my mom’s face, and I
was sure she needed to be in the waiting area.  I
wanted this to be me and Ted, and if she were there, I
would want mother’s comfort, which wasn’t going to
help me right then.  So I told her to go.  I think her
feelings were hurt; and she had been hoping to watch
Maya come into the world.

I think mine was a "back labor," meaning the pain was
low down my spine, and laying down on the bed was
excruciating.  What helped the most was for Ted to
rub my lower back while I rocked back and forth on my
feet, and for him to remind me to relax my shoulders,
that they shouldn’t be up by my ears.
Eventually, that scary needle wasn’t seeming quite so
scary, and the idea of relief was sounding pretty good
to me.  So I asked for an epidural.  The
anesthesiologist was at lunch, but they told me he was
busy with another patient, probably because I would
have lost my mind if I knew he was grabbing his  only
chance at a sandwich while I was crazy with pain.
They said he would be there soon, and that they needed
to examine me to make sure I was far enough along
before he came anyway.  Up on the table, and
oops…time to push.  I had been told that I would be
moved from the "labor" room to the "delivery" room,
but thankfully the midwife left that decision up to
me, because the thought of being pushed down the
hallway in nothing but that gown, looking like crap,
screaming and scaring the other moms didn’t appeal to
me at all.
So I pushed.  I had been told what a relief that was,
how good it felt to finally push.  Nope, it hurt like
hell, and I was SO scared.  I remember wondering if
there was a way to sneak out of there, grab a taxi, go
home, and pretend the whole thing had never happened.
My fear came from knowing that they weren’t going to
let me out of there.  So I pushed. 

After about 15
minutes of pushing, out she came.  Ted said, "Honey,
LOOK!"  But I didn’t want to – I was afraid to see
myself all gross and bloody down there – so I said,
"No! It’s GROSS!"  He said, "No, it’s our baby!"  So I
opened my eyes, and I can tell you, I don’t know what
I THOUGHT was going to come out of me, but nothing
prepared me for it being a real, live, BEAUTIFUL baby.
Her lips were all stretched out, and I remember
thinking, "Uh Oh, here comes a supermodel," but
luckily they didn’t stay that way, and her resemblance
to Mick Jaggar was fleeting.

Ted got to cut the umbilical cord, and we got to hold
her.  That amazing rush of endorphins, relief, and joy
overcame me.  I was on top of the world.  No one had
told me that the pain stops the second the baby is
out…I guess I had thought it would wane.  THANK
GOD the pain just…stopped.
After we had a few minutes with her, they brought my
mom in.  Her jaw dropped to the floor, too. They had
just told her that I wanted her, not that Maya had
been born already.


Overall, I know that I had a very "easy" labor: Four
hours from when the serious contractions began to the
end.  It sure didn’t feel easy, though.  It was the
hardest, scariest, most wonderful thing I had ever
done.  After that day, whenever something seems
difficult or scary, I just think to myself, "I can do
this…I’ve given birth."

"J" is a work-at-home mother in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She works
as a tax compliance analyst, and finds more fulfillment in writing her
blog, "Thinking About", which can be found here.  Her daughter,
Maya, is 10 years old.

The Birth of “Baby Bug”


To My Dear Baby Girl:

December 29, 2005

Daddy and Mommy went into the hospital at 8:00 am for a scheduled inducement. We decided to go that route since your older sister’s labor was only 6 hours long. We were afraid that if my water bag broke in public, I wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time.

They started at about 8:45 am and you were born 3 1/2 hours later at 6 pounds, 2.9 ounces and 19 inches long.

I didn’t feel any contractions (even though I was getting them) for the first 3 hours. Daddy and I were actually watching television and laughing at the talk shows. The nurses couldn’t believe that I couldn’t feel any pain.

At about 11:45 they decided to break my water bag since I was about 5 cm dialated. The doctor had just finished her office hours and was on her way to the hospital. Once they broke the water bag, boy did I start to feel the contractions! I immediately asked for the epidural.

At about 12:00 pm, the contractions started getting worse. The doctor stopped by and said she would check on me in about half hour to see how far along I was.

10 minutes later, more contractions and still no epidural guy. I started to feel like I had to push so the nurse had the doctor paged. By the time the doctor got to my room I was fully dialated and starting to crown. She kept saying "Don’t push!" because they weren’t prepared for me to deliver yet. She had to still put on her booties, gloves and gown. The nurses still had to set up the equipment. The bed wasn’t even in the delivery position. Everyone was running around like chickens without heads! They didn’t expect me to deliver so quickly. I had my eyes closed the whole time but I could hear the chaos around me. All I could think about was the pain and pushing through it. I felt like I pushed for 5 minutes straight and the next thing I knew, you were born.

Daddy said that when the doctor finally did get in front of me, your head was already coming out. You came out so fast that the nurse had to catch you by your feet like she was holding a fish by it’s tail.

Of course, when it was all over, the epidural guy came in. He was surprised to see me already holding you. Everyone was kind of laughing and shaking their heads in disbelief at how fast the delivery went.


I guess you were just ready to be born!

Kailani is a full-time mommy to
Girlie Girl (4 years) & Baby Bug (6 months). They live in Hawaii
where she works as a flight attendant. She can be found at
The Pink Diaries or hosting her own carnival blog The Carnival of Family Life. She
loves visitors and making new blogging friends!

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