A Birth Story

TMI warning for some of you: Breastfeeding picture ahead.

I guess I could start off by simply saying “same song, different verse”.
Just like with Carter, Lydia and Asa, I had pre-eclampsia.
Just like with Carter, Lydia and Asa, I was induced.
Just like with Carter, Lydia and Asa, I tried to breastfeed.
Just like with Carter, Lydia and Asa, I wasn’t able to.

You look just like they all did.
You smell just like they all did.
When I look at you, my heart does flips…just like it did when I first looked at each of them.

But you are your own person already.
Before you were born, you were different.
Your little head bounced on my left hip and you stretched across so that your butt was high up on my right side.
You kicked up into my ribs much more than the others ever did.
You hiccupped more, too.
(You still do.)

The morning in labor & delivery started like it did with all the others.
Nurses struggling with IVs.
(I’m a horrible stick…with rolling veins; a nurse’s nightmare.)
Getting hooked up to monitors and cuffs and wires galore.
I really never minded that much.
It was kind of nice to hear the beep-beep-beep of your heartbeat.
I like being able to watch the contractions on the screen.
When I visualize it, I feel better prepared.
(That’s silly, I know…but it’s all a mental game anyway!)

Daddy and I had a long morning together.
We laughed and talked.
We enjoyed being quiet together.

As the contractions started to get a little more intense, we called for anesthesia.
The nurse anesthetist came in and got the epidural in quickly.
He wasn’t able to put it in as far as usual
because I felt a something like a shock wave and he didn’t want to push it.
After a while, I was numb on the right side but not the left.
After lying on my left side, the numbness spread.
But when I turned back onto my back, the left side went from numb to feeling everything.
That’s the most I’d ever felt contractions since my other epidurals only had one little hot spot.
It really is a wave of pain that rips around your body.
Because of the short lead in the first epidural, they told me that in order to get the left side numb
they would have to redo the whole thing!
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it or not.
(Looking back…what was I waiting on?)
The anesthesiologist came in and redid the epidural…
And just like that you were ready!!

You had a couple of late decels and my nurse Stacey gave me an oxygen mask.
By now our family had joined us in the labor room.
Stacey called the doctor and I started pushing.
At some point she said to me, “If you don’t want me to deliver this baby, you better slow down!”
Dr. P almost didn’t make it into the room.
I felt like with Carter I pushed forever.
(I did, actually…2 and half hours, roughly.)
But each time it became easier and easier.
Although it makes sense, it’s still a bit mind-blowing that it only takes a few pushes.
I remember at one point Dr. P telling me to not push so hard.
I’ve surely never heard that in an delivery room!
How do you not push hard?

I remember feeling your head slip out.
And then, like I did with Carter, remember the feeling of your arms and shoulders quietly escaping.
The only way I can describe it is like a waterfall, all of you cascading out at once.

They placed you, vernix and all, on my chest.
Daddy cut the cord.
You did your obligatory cry.
And you grasped my finger.
Oh, little girl…how you have me wrapped around your finger.

Daddy took you to the Ohio bed and wiped you down and warmed you up.
He wrapped you carefully and placed you back in my arms.
You latched on immediately.
I loved the feeling of still being attached to you somehow.
I loved the oneness that it brought.
(If it weren’t for my stupid boobs, you’d be a fantastic nurser. )

But I know that we can’t be one forever.
The moment is, however, quite bittersweet.
You are my last-
My grand finale.
Thank you, sweet girl, for a beautiful ride.


Of course this is the way I remember it.
It may not be how it really was.
You’ll understand one day, I bet.
Time rushes forward and freezes all at once.
The timeline of events gets so discombobulated in your brain,
But the end result is the same:
I am here, holding you in my arms
With my heart beating double time and tears streaming down my cheeks.

You are beautiful.
You are perfect.
And I am so blessed to have you here.

(Photos by Monica at Peapod Squad Stuff.)

17 Responses to A Birth Story
  1. Grandma
    February 2, 2011 | 12:05 pm

    Beautifully written.

  2. Aleasha
    February 2, 2011 | 12:15 pm

    BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!! She is beautiful! You are beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Tara
    February 2, 2011 | 12:21 pm

    And now tears stream down my face! Love that you got a breastfeeding picture, because I know how much it means to you!

  4. Sarah
    February 2, 2011 | 12:26 pm

    Oh congrats. This is beautiful, she’s beautiful.

    I just cried. 🙂

  5. Kirsten
    February 2, 2011 | 1:06 pm

    Lovely. Congrats and welcome to your sweet little girl.

    p.s. I was never able to breast feed any of my kids for the same reason. There is always a little bit of sadness about it, I have no regrets. 🙂

  6. Liz Sanders
    February 2, 2011 | 2:17 pm

    Oh I love the breastfeeding picture! When I saw it I got all teary! Beautiful story, just beautiful.

  7. cheryl johnson
    February 2, 2011 | 2:20 pm

    What a beautiful picture to leave with Anna Alden about how she came into this world…so loved! Love it! (and I cried, too!) Bless you all!

  8. punkinmama
    February 2, 2011 | 3:55 pm

    Beautiful post. Beautiful girl. Beautiful mom.

  9. Gramama
    February 2, 2011 | 9:56 pm

    Those are my girls!!!!! Love you !!

  10. monica
    February 2, 2011 | 11:17 pm

    you made me cry again. i was too nervous that morning to “feel” anything, but it hit me like a huge wall on my drive home. the beauty that is the miracle of birth…it’s overwhelming. luff to your precious family!

  11. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith
    February 2, 2011 | 11:23 pm

    If anyone ever needed proof that God exists and loves us, just look at the beauty of birth. Thanks for sharing your story.

  12. Courtney
    February 3, 2011 | 12:08 am

    Loved reading this! So special!

  13. Chibi Jeebs
    February 3, 2011 | 12:35 am

    Absolutely beautiful! *sniffles* Congratulations again. <3

  14. Rachel
    February 3, 2011 | 12:57 am

    “like a cascade”

    yes, exactly.

    <3 you

    <3 her

    can't wait to see more of y'all's story


  15. Shab
    February 3, 2011 | 1:26 am

    Wow. Just beautiful in every way. Thanks for sharing!

  16. domestic extraordinaire
    February 3, 2011 | 8:35 am

    love you both.

    The photos are beautiful and the words paint a photo that makes me feel as if I were right there in the room with you.


  17. Tara @ Feels Like Home
    February 3, 2011 | 9:13 am

    Beautiful and amazing!