Nov 29, 2012

Joshua's birth story

Hello from the land of sleepless nights and constant attention to a new little person!

For those interested, I thought I would share a few details from Joshua's birth.

*Edit* this ended up being incredibly long but I wanted to have a record of his story!

We didn't end up being able to have our planned-for home birth since my water broke and was mixed with meconium. My midwife and I had both agreed beforehand that if this were to happen I would deliver at the hospital due to increased safety risks to our little one. I really had wanted a home birth but in the moment I was just excited that labor had started and knew that the Lord had all the details in His hands.

So this is what happened:

6:30am -  We initially went in to the hospital just to be monitored since I started bleeding in the morning and had not felt movement since the evening before. Just wanting reassurance, and my midwife was already at the hospital anyway.  Baby was fine and I was three centimeters dilated but real labor could still be hours away so we were sent home.

8:00 We went out for breakfast and enjoyed a good meal, anticipating the possible soon arrival of our baby! Contractions picking up slowly...

9:20  I was at home when my water broke, surprising me with a good dose of meconium. I called Loris who was out picking up a little heater for our room. (We decided last minute to get one since our house is old and tends to be cold.) He came home quickly and we drove to the hospital where I was hooked up to a monitor so we could make sure the meconium wasn't a sign of stress to baby. He was fine but my midwife wanted me to continue being monitored so I wasn't able to move about much.

10:00 My contractions were really starting to pick up and I was nervous but trying to keep calm. Loris was so attentive, doing whatever he could to comfort me but eventually I was in a lot of pain and just wanted to focus and be left alone. So he sat beside my bed very patiently :)

As the pain increased I just seemed to focus more on my body and less on what was going on around me - a strange feeling. People were in and out and I was vaguely aware of plans being made - a pediatrician would be on hand to check our baby afterwards because of the meconium, as well as a delivery doctor since my midwife had just attended another birth and wanted someone participating who was one hundred percent sharp. And then there was an intern doctor and a paramedic who hadn't seen a birth yet, and would it be okay if they observed? Somehow in the moment I didn't care how large of an audience we had, I just wanted to be finished.

12:30 The doctor on call checked me and I was 5 centimeters dilated. The external monitor for the baby wasn't doing a very good job since I kept leaning forward during contractions and it wasn't picking up very well. So she put an internal monitor on our baby and left again, saying she would come check on me in a couple hours to see how things progressed, expecting me to progress maybe a centimeter or so per hour.

Meanwhile my midwife was keeping an eye on me, although I wasn't very aware of her or anyone else who kept coming in and out. Afterward she said that she thought I had a while to go since I didn't seem to be in much pain - just breathing very deeply and rocking a bit through the contractions. They were very painful but I didn't realize how quickly I was progressing and thought I had a much higher pain level coming. I was so exhausted that I fell into a pattern of breathing through each contraction and then lying back to rest for a minute or so in between. I almost felt like I was in a dream, and didn't feel like I could take much more. I felt shaky and nausious as well.

2:40 My midwife checked me again and was surprised to find out that I was one hundred percent dilated and ready to begin pushing. I remember not believing her, and definitely not feeling ready! I did feel a lot of pressure but it was a strange feeling, not what I expected. She quickly left to call in the delivery doctor, intern, pediatrician, and paramedic. I remember saying that I didn't think I could push the baby out, I was too tired. The doctor just assured me that I was ready and could do it. Loris came over to the head of my bed and was so incredibly supportive and encouraging.

3:00  After a couple pushes the pediatrician was really concerned since our baby's heart rate had dropped so low on the monitor and was not going back up...a scary moment for me since everyone seemed so concerned. I was trying but baby was not coming fast enough so the doctor told me they were going to use the vacuum to assist me but it would only give me about a ten percent boost and I had to do the rest. I was so tired at this point but seemed to have a rush of adrenaline and Loris kept coaching me to give it my all. Two more big pushes and he was out!

They cut his cord right away so they could take him over to a nearby table to suction out the meconium. I felt a little dazed but could not take my eyes off him, this wet bundle of a mess that was our boy!  I just couldn't believe he was here!

I had third degree tearing so I had to endure repair for that while they checked Joshua and finally layed him on my chest.

There really is nothing like that moment - his warm body right against mine, his eyes wide open and dark.

There really are no words!

We are so thankful for a safe, short delivery and this precious little boy...


  1. So true, there IS nothing like that moment - of seeing and holding your newborn - especially for the very firt time! Though I can tell you, it never gets old!!! ;) :)

  2. You are amazing! So wonderful that you were able to labor through your tiredness and push him out! Wishing you patience while those stitches are healing!

  3. I agree with Kaitlin. It was new and exciting with every baby. God has certainly blessed you and Loris with a precious gift!

  4. Hi Stephanie, I've never heard someone say they remember the details of labour as much as you shared. Maybe they're just sparing my ears. :) Glad God gave you strength to endure. The end result is pretty much the best gift you will ever get. You're little boy is a cutie!

    1. Guess I have a good memory...although I wouldn't share these details in person unless I thought someone was interested in knowing ;) I wondered if this was a t.m.i. post but I read a lot of birth stories during my pregnancy and enjoyed them so I thought I might as well share for those that are interested!

    2. I like to prepare ahead, so birth stories don't scare me. :) I don't really want to observe someone giving birth at this point, but I think it's amazing how God has designed women's bodies to house and deliver babies. A lot of people keep this part of their life quiet. Embarrassed? Awkward? I don't know. God designed people to reproduce and you are now a mother to a new human being. I don't know why it has become awkward in our society.

  5. Congratulations! there is such a special bond between a mama and her boy. Yes writing it right away is good because you forget, must be the reason we get pregnant again!

  6. Glad everything went pretty smoothly - he is such a cute little guy!