Henry's Birth Story

On Thursday, June 4, I was sitting on the yoga ball as I had been the last several days as I wrote and posted my 40 week pregnancy post to the blog. Around 9:30 p.m., just after I has scheduled it to post, I heard two "pop pops!" coinciding with two strong kicks from Baby Moe.

At the time, I thought the sounds were just a product of the kicks, but a few minutes later as I walked around, I noticed clear liquid leaking down my leg. Sure enough, I continued to have leakage and called the midwifery center to let them know.

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to the hospital we go.

The manfriend and I anxiously finished packing our hospital bags, I called my mom, and we tried to get a little rest before heading to the hospital. Pete was able to sleep, but I started getting contractions almost immediately that were coming every few minutes and I was just feeling anxious for what was to come, so I tried to pass the time and not pace around the house too much. Finally, at 1:00 a.m. I woke up the manfriend and told him I was ready to go. We both had a little cereal before leaving the house. In hindsight, I probably could have eaten more.

When we checked in, they confirmed my water had indeed broken and I was 3 cm dilated. They got us settled in our spacious labor and delivery room and we chatted with our midwife a bit. Shortly after, the contractions started picking up in strength and started coming every few minutes, lasting 45-60 seconds.

The manfriend was great about being supportive and encouraging me to drink water or have a bite of something. While I had packed a variety of snacks I like, I didn't expect to be so nauseous from the contractions + food. It seemed that anytime I tried to have a bite of something I felt like I was going to throw it up. That being said, I would still bring a lot of different snacks if I were to do it again. You never know what you're going to be in the mood for or what might sit well with your stomach.

Things I brought and liked: Trader Joe's just mango slices, sweet potato chips, Annie's goldfish crackers, and trail mix.

We labored through the night and saw the sun come up out our window. Contractions were coming pretty strong and every 1-2 minutes. I was surprised to never really have contractions that were 10 or 5 min apart. I did try laboring in the bathtub a few times, but while the warm water and jets felt good, it didn't allow me to move much, which was no bueno.

Most of the time I labored sitting on a yoga ball while leaning on the bed or the manfriend. And sometimes I would walk around the room too, but I never felt like I wanted to walk the halls. There is something that just feels so personal about going through that kind of unstoppable pain.

By 9:00 a.m., the midwives had changed shifts and it was time to check my progress again. At this point, I was at 5 cm dilated and my midwife estimated it would be another 6-8 hrs of laboring to get fully dilated and another 1-3 hrs of pushing.

Before getting checked, I had already talked to Pete and admitted I didn't have much more energy in me thanks to a lack of food and sleep and that I was really considering an epidural. Mentally, I was having a bit of a breakdown and knew I wouldn't have enough energy left to do any sort of pushing if I did indeed get to 10 cm without pain medication.

Shortly after telling the midwife and nurse I wanted an epidural, the anesthesiologist was in there doing her thing. From there on out I was relegated to lay in the bed, which sucked, but is obviously necessary as you can't feel your legs.

For the next 7-8 hours, I could feel the pressure of the contractions, but much less pain. Throughout that time, they had me positioned on my side because Baby Moe kept going into sleep cycles and they really wanted his or her heart rate to increase along with the contractions. When they started murmuring the possibility of a c-section if he didn't get a bit more active, we busted out all kinds of fun Pandora stations and I rubbed the belly and talked to the baby trying to get him to move. It must have done the trick because he started moving enough to make everyone happy.

At 6:15 p.m. on Friday night, they checked me and I was finally fully dilated! The next midwife on shift came in and we got down to business. She told me I would have 1-3 hours of pushing ahead.

And almost three hours, Henry Thomas Moe was born at 9 lb 3 oz and 22.5 inches long. Thanks to his impressive size (and my apparently strong pelvic floor preventing his exit), labor took such a long time.

After a few hours of skin on skin, the nurse helped me shower while Pete had skin on skin time with the little guy. A bit later we were moved into the mom and baby room to figure out life as a little family of three.

We ended up staying at the hospital Friday night and the following night. It was really nice to be taken care of by the nurses and get help with nursing and such, but the food left something to be desired.

Henry is now three weeks old and we're adjusting to life with a newborn. Pete got to stay home for a week with us, which was really nice. I think we've both been surprised to learn we can function quite well on only four hours of sleep.

I am feeling mostly healed at this point and can't wait to get back to running, but for now I know my body still needs a bit more time. Walks are where it's at right now.


Leigh said…
Congratulations again Lauren! You are a trooper for pushing for three hours - I know exactly how hard it is! Glad to hear you are healing well :)
Amber said…
Holy moly that was a long labour! You are a rock star for getting through that, especially since the contractions were so close together right from the beginning and then 3 hours of pushing on top of all that. Wow. Go Lauren!

Henry is so sweet and I'm so glad things are going so well for your little family of 3!
I have been looking forward to reading this as I find people's birth stories so interesting. I will echo what Amber said - you are a rock star! Having contractions that close together for that long and then pushing for 3 hours sounds SO HARD. So kudos for you for getting through that! Labor just sounds like SO MUCH WORK.

I hope that you recover quickly and can get back to being active! In the mean time, enjoy all the cuddles with baby Henry!!
Jessica Jarrell said…
Everyone always says the first is the hardest. My mom says that all the time as she was in labor with me for 36 hours! I'm glad everything went well and you have your little man. He's adorable. Congratulations Lauren! :)
missris said…
Awwww congratulations! I'm so excited for you guys :)
lisa valinsky said…
Loved reading this! He's such a beautiful baby. So glad to hear the three of you are doing well and settling in. (And thanks for the snack tips to pack for the hospital!) :)
Congratulations!! He's so beautiful and you look so happy and naturally "Mom". :) Couldn't be any happier for you three!
Anonymous said…
Ditto and ditto. Well done, my friend! I've been told pushing more than an hour or two really becomes too much and will usually lead to a C-section. Look at your perserverance! Lasse was also a 3 hr pushing baby (hence the suction cup and foreceps they had to take him with). Just think, it'll make any future marathon seem like a piece of cake :) and FYI: a 3 hr long pushing baby CAN amazingly be followed by a 3 minute pushing younger sibbling, so that whole "first baby's the hardest" rule is t.r.u.e. Xoxo, Siri Mom

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