Birth Story of Noah Told By His Mom
Noah’s due date was August 20th, 2009. Throughout my pregnancy I kept thinking/hoping he’d be late so I could attend my brother, Mark’s, wedding on August 22nd. Maybe all my pep talks worked because he stayed put! Then, on Monday August 24th I went to my final prenatal appointment. My midwife, Margaret, said I was about 1-2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. She could feel my belly contracting and thought I might be in early labor. They did a non stress test to check out Noah’s heart beat and track my contractions. It went just fine. I left the office thinking I’d probably be back for another appointment the following week.
That night I decided to give eggplant parmesan a try. Figured it couldn’t hurt and I thought it’d be funny if I did go into labor afterward. Met my mom at Provino’s and we had a great time. Around 9:30 Brian and I decided to go for a walk. Before we left I used the bathroom and realized I had begun to lose my mucus plug!! I continued to lose more throughout the day on Tuesday. That night we went to bed around 10:00 and I woke up at midnight to pee. Then again at 1:00. Except that time there was more than just pee! My water broke! It started off mostly as a trickle so I decided to go downstairs, check my email, and wait to see what happened. It definitely picked up and contractions began.
I called Margaret to let her know what was going on and she told me to try to get some more sleep. Laid down for a while but couldn’t get comfortable enough to fall asleep. Went back downstairs and started timing contractions. They were about every three minutes. Contractions continued to get worse so I woke up Brian. Called our doula, Teresa, at 4:00 and told her what was happening. Finally at 5:00 the contractions were strong enough that I wanted to leave for the hospital so we wouldn’t get stuck in rush hour traffic. Our drive only took about 30 minutes but that was a very uncomfortable car ride! Tried to distract myself by singing along to 80s songs in between contractions.
When we got to the hospital the elevator took forever. I remember holding onto the wall, breathing through contractions while waiting to go up to L&D. Once there, Brian signed us in and we were taken to a triage room. Our nurse, Jennifer, asked me to put on the hospital gown and I told her no, I was going to wear my own clothes 🙂 Teresa arrived a few minutes later and the nurse hooked me up to the machine to monitor baby’s heart beat and my contractions. She also checked my cervix and announced I was 6-7 cm dilated! That shocked me. We stayed in triage for at least an hour or two. Teresa was pushing for them to get me into a room with a tub since I was so far dilated. Poor Brian started feeling really sick to his stomach and threw up right before we left triage.
We were eventually moved to a delivery room (with great views of Atlanta) and Margaret showed up while our new nurse, Rebecca, strapped more monitors onto my belly. I sat in bed while she took all the readings and Margaret got the tub ready. After they were done monitoring me I got out of bed and leaned over the window sill while Teresa massaged my back. I was having a lot of back labor. That was no fun! A little while later Teresa said “you could get in the tub, you know…” so I did just that. It was great. The warmth and buoyancy of the water made the contractions easier to deal with. Brian was so exhausted…they instructed him to lay down in the bed and take a nap. Good thing we had a doula 🙂 Eventually he got up and started helping me with back labor. He pressed so hard on my back for so long he was sore for a few days afterward! Margaret checked my cervix and found I was about 5 cm dilated. She thought the first nurse was probably wrong when she said 6-7 cm.I stayed in the tub for about three hours until Margaret suggested I get out and walk the halls.
Walking made the pain worse. I had to stop every other minute to hang onto the wall railing and moan. Brian would press on my back which helped me cope. After just a few laps I decided I was done with the walking and headed back to our room. Next I tried sitting on my birthing ball and again Brian pressed on my back. I was starting to breathe in an unproductive way and Teresa got me back on track. Saying “OHHHHHH” in a really deep voice helped. Eventually I got back into the tub.
The back labor continued so they had me do an exaggerated sims position to try to rotate the baby. So uncomfortable! Margaret checked me again a couple hours later and found I was 8 cm dilated and 100% effaced. Shortly after that I felt like I wanted to push. Teresa told me to do little grunts during contractions to help with all the pressure. I continued to want to push for the next four hours. At 3:00 I was 9 cm and I didn’t reach 10 cm until 7:00! I was so happy when they told me I could begin to really push.
The pressure was overwhelming. Seriously felt like I was going to poop out a 15 lb bowling ball. I pushed while squatting, on my knees, sitting, lying back, holding onto a sheet tied to the bed, etc. It was frustrating because I felt like I wasn’t making any progress…seemed like he’d go all the way back up after each push. At this point it was dark outside and a storm was rolling in. I had three midwives, a nurse, Teresa, and Brian cheering me on which was really neat. They kept telling me to push harder but I didn’t know how. My energy level was so low after being in labor all day.
I ended up pushing harder than I ever could have imagined and finally his head came out. They asked for one more big push and out came his body. That was such a strange feeling. His body was nothing compared to the head! The cord was wrapped loosely around his neck once which was no big deal. He was so calm and quiet when he first came out. Margaret suctioned his nose and mouth, rubbed his back, and tried to keep him warm by putting towels over him in the water. Finally he let out a cry and my mom came running in saying “I can’t take it anymore!!” It was 9:50 pm and she had been in the waiting room since 8:30 am!
Brian cut the cord and started crying. I was too tired and relieved to cry. I think my reaction was more like “WHEW.” I got to hold him while we were both still in the water which was awesome. He was so cute. Margaret took him away a few minutes later so they could warm him up. His APGARs were 8/9, he weighed 9 lbs 2 oz, and he was 20.5 inches long. I got out of the tub shortly after giving birth and got in the bed so I could deliver the placenta (what a WEIRD feeling!) and Margaret could repair my 2nd degree tear. Ouch. Teresa helped me focus on something else while that was going on and also helped me start breastfeeding. My dad and in laws came into the room to check out their first grandson. After that we headed downstairs to our postpartum room. Noah came with us instead of going to the nursery which I was very happy about. We settled in for a two night stay and fell in love with our precious baby boy.