birth story

What follows is my unabridged, in-full-gory-detail labor and delivery story. I try not to be too gross, but I wanted it fully recorded... for my own memories sake.

My mom came by Monday to drop some stuff off for Gwen... she snapped this picture of me, one day before 39 weeks. Around 12:30 a.m. that night (aka the morning of Tuesday the 16th) I was woken up by a feeling like I had peed myself a little. I ran to the bathroom and used the toilet and headed back to bed. But I felt the same feeling again not too much longer, accompanied by a contraction. I went back to the bathroom and this time when I wiped there was some of my mucus plug. It was my water breaking. I figured I would want more rest no matter what, so I headed back to bed again to try for some sleep... well that wasn't happening. The contractions kept coming and were much harder to deal with then the pre-water breaking ones I'd been having for weeks. Once I looked at the clock and realized they were coming every 4ish minutes I decided to get up and time them.

I spent the next almost two hours timing contractions, doing squats and shuffle walks to try and bring her down, and practicing my breathing. At that point I'd had 1.5 hours of contractions lasting a minute or more, and coming between 3-6 minutes apart... they were getting hard to talk through, so I decided to call the midwife. Considering we weren't sure what the weather would do, and that my contractions were strong and pretty consistent, she told me to come on in. So I finally got that moment of waking Trav up and asking him if he wanted to go have a baby! :-) (His reply... "Now?" LOL.)

We got dressed, gathered our stuff, took the dog out one last time, and headed to the car. The ride over was nice and quiet, but it was definitely hard being in the car for contractions. I rode in the backseat, facing backwards, leaning over the seat to work my way through them. We arrived at the Birth Center around 4am.

Once there the midwife checked me and I was already 3.5!! I was so happy to hear that because it meant we were staying. It also confirmed my water was broken... and rather amusing at the time, when I stood up and had my first contraction post-check, I definitely leaked a ton of water all over. :-o

From then on it was all about managing contractions. I found that rocking back and forth, with my knees bent, often while sort of leaning with my hands on the bed helped a lot! I did that position over and over. After a bit I decided to labor in the tub... the midwife ran it nice and warm for me, dimmed all the lights, and we put on my music (I don't think Trav will ever be able to listen to Enya again... since we put it on repeat, and ended up not taking it off the whole time I was in labor!). The tub was great, it helped me to relax a bit, which let the contractions do their work. I was still able to laugh and talk between contractions. After a while though, it started to get to be too much for me to sit through, even in the water with the jet on my back... so I got back out to try some different positions.

Even immediately following labor, the time from here on out gets fuzzy. I felt like time was dragging, like each contraction was a lifetime... but at the same time, I couldn't believe it when I noticed come pushing time that there was lots of light coming through the blinds. I know that I wouldn't have make it without Trav and the midwives, that is for damn sure. They encouraged me, reassured me, rubbed my back, kept me drinking fluids, etc. I was "verbalizing" a lot to deal with the pain (something I've always done), deep humming and ahhing. I was in a lot of pain. The mother's body is amazing, I can't remember now with actual feeling, what the pain was like... but intellectually I remember that I was in a lot of it.

At some point, I started feeling so discouraged... I was having a lot of trouble dealing, my verbalizations would end in "oh god, oh god, make it stop." I think I said, I can't do this a few dozen times. I cried. Again, the midwife (Jamesina) and Travis were so great and I would NOT have made it without them. It didn't help that I was exhausted! Running on only about an hour and a half of sleep, and doing the most physically demanding thing that my body has ever done. Seriously, the 60 mile walk was nothing. I got a shot of Stadol to take the edge off, which made my tiredness become loopiness. I vaguely remember laying in the bed, alternately holding Travis's hands and squeezing a pillow... moaning. They checked me again sometime in here and I was a 7.5... transition. No wonder I was having so much trouble.

It was also during that time when the midwife realized that my intense pain was lasting beyond the end of the contractions. It seems that Gwen's head was pressing on a nerve or just the wrong way on my pelvis, enough to keep me in a good amount of pain all the time. I ended up getting another shot of Stadol... though this one didn't seem to do anything.

I ended up on the bed at this point, on my knees leaning over a stack of pillows. I'm not sure how long I was there, but the midwife realized that was starting to bear down a bit. I didn't even realize I was doing it... but when she checked me, I was 10 cm!! So around 11:20 I started pushing. It was the weirdest thing, but once I was pushing it almost didn't hurt anymore. I mean, the contractions were still there... but the pressure was so intense that it distracted me, and it helped to be doing something! It felt like I wasn't making progress (though I knew I was doing something, because, yup... I totally pooped on the table), but the midwife and nurse kept reassuring me that I was doing it perfectly, and they soon had me reach down and feel Gwen's head!

On a [funny, weird, awkward] note... during the pushing stage, I remember glancing down towards the foot of the bed and noticed the midwife and nurse leaning forward and watching the action in the standard "guy watching exciting sports play" pose. You know, leaning forward, staring intently... though they weren't pumping their arms:

After some more pushing, I could feel her start to crown. It was INTENSE. Pain, burning, but also the impossible to ignore need to get her out. The hardest part was when they had me breath through a few contractions so that she wouldn't come out too fast. It was how they try to keep you from tearing, and it was really difficult. During this they were grabbing sheets and clamps and all the other items for the actual delivery. After a minute or two of the breathing, I literally begged them to let me push, which they did.

They got Trav to come down, and with just a few more pushes Gwen was born into her daddy's and the midwife's hands at 12:53 in the afternoon.

[In interest of full disclosure... this part was messy! A lot of blood and fluid comes out... more then I was anticipating... but its completely normal.]

They helped Trav to pass her up through my legs to me... we waited about a minute for the cord (which had been looped around her neck once) to stop pulsing, then Trav got to cut the cord too. They helped me turn around and lay down, pulled a hat on her, and I got to get a good look at my baby girl.

Her apgar scores were 8 and 9, and she was beautiful and pink.

After a minute I felt another contraction, and the midwife told me to bear down to deliver the placenta. It was uncomfortable with the same sort of pressure, but not "painful."

Once the placenta was out, the midwife started examining me. I ended up with a 2nd degree tear... though it didn't hurt just sitting there. I was too busy taking in my little girl.

It did hurt, however, when they injected the Novocaine to numb the area for stitches... yeow! They actually called the head midwife down to do the two or three internal stitches, then my midwife did the two or three external ones. Luckily the injection had done its job nicely and I didn't feel the actual stitching.

After that they brought over a warmed blanket to cover us both with, and we got to relax and spend a good hour just being together as a family before they did any of the weighing/measuring stuff. At that point they gave Gwenie her first (wash cloth) bath, her eye drops, and her vitamin K injection.

Trav took some pictures of the process, and then it was back to me for some breastfeeding and more relaxing. Trav really held her for the first time right around then... it was really neat to see. I'll admit that I grinned like an idiot watching him with her.

After my labor was over, we spent about 10 hours at the birth center... napping, relaxing, enjoying our little girl, calling or texting friends and family, and just enjoying the moments. It was so surreal and wonderful that she had finally arrived!

Immediately following all of the above I was almost delirious with tiredness. I remember the midwife talking to me, and nodding at what she was saying, but it took all my energy just to keep my eyes open! In fact, the few people I did actually talk to during this time all commented on how happy, but out of it I sounded.

So at the earliest moment, Gwen and I took our first snooze together! Trav ran out to get us some food, and me some hard candy for my sore throat (from all the verbalizing!).

We didn't get a lot of sleep that day, but we all slept great when we headed home that night.

All in all the whole process was amazing. I went in wanting a natural birth experience, and I think I got that. I don't regret the little bit of help I got from the Stadol... and I'm amazed with what my body was able to do.

As for recovery so far... well I had some very sore days immediately follow, but I'm already feeling almost normal down there. I'm still bleeding, but its nothing like it was the first day or two, and the swelling is gone. Sitz baths with witch hazel were a god-send for making my stitches feel better!! Tucks were also amazingly helpful. Citracel also helped immensely for making that first postpartum poop no big deal.

So there it is! It took me forever to write this... and I feel like there are a few missing details, but I got the most of it down, which I'm glad for. If any current pregnant people have any questions, ask away.

And I promise a new post, with pictures, much sooner then before. Now, off to snuggle my two-week old!!


  1. What a beautiful birth story Meegs! I am so happy you had such a great experience. Congratulations to you both!

  2. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing

  3. Just saw this on FB and had to jump over! Congrats :) Great story!

  4. Meegs- I am so happy that you had a better experience than I did with Kayden. I love the story. Congratulations on a beautiful baby girl.

  5. Congratulations! I have followed your story for quite a while and have been cheering you although I am not a big commenter.

    SO happy that your birth went as you had hoped. It is nice to take that as an additional great memory of that special day.

    Enjoy motherhood!

  6. What a great birth story! I hope that you and Gwen (and Travis) are getting lots of rest!

  7. Wonderful! she is beautiful I am so happy for you and your husband can't wait for more picutres of the little one.. Jean

  8. Oh Honey I'm so proud of you! Such a great birth story - and very well written! I hope I can be as strong as you. xoxo

  9. aww thank you for sharing! congrats!

  10. What a great story! Good job, Mama. :-)

  11. Hi Sweetie...thanks for writing it down. It is the beautiful story of my beautiful Gwenivere. I love you, Trav, Gwennie and Daisy. Mamacita

  12. wow! kudos to you hun!!!! I can't wait to meet her! :)

  13. What a beautiful story, thanks for sharing. Gwen came one day before my birthday! :) Amie

  14. That was a great story Meg! Congrats to you both :) MISS YOU AND LOVE YOU BOTH!


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~ Meegs